Seconds Quotes

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For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
Albert Einstein
You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect—you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break—her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.
Bob Marley
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius
Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
Henry James
I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed. Turns out it wasn’t something about you at all. It was just you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
It's all in the view. That's what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus
Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.
Judy Garland
What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
Lance Armstrong (Every Second Counts)
Can you be a girl for a few seconds?" "I'm always a girl" I frown. "You know what I mean. Like a silly, annoying girl" I twirl my hair around my finger. "Kay.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
The past beats inside me like a second heart.
John Banville (The Sea)
if you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second.
Johnny Depp
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.
Lewis Carroll
If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.
Shannon L. Alder
She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
I don’t know what they are called, the spaces between seconds– but I think of you always in those intervals.
Salvador Plascencia (The People of Paper)
Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious: To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7))
Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.
Virginia Woolf
All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.
Mae West (Wit & Wisdom of Mae West)
I need to hear you say it. I need to know you’re mine.” “I’ve been yours since the second we met.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.
Banksy
Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us)
When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
I make mistakes; I'll be the second to admit it.
Jean Kerr (The Snake Has All the Lines)
Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
As far as I'm concerned, if something is so complicated that you can't explain it in 10 seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway.
Bill Watterson (The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes)
I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I pout my lower lip for a second, but then I grin as the pieces come together. "That's why you like me!" I exclaim. "Because you're not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Look...at...me..." he whispered. The green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
[D]on't ever apologise to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that's what they're there for. Use your library). Don't apologise to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend's copy. What's important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read...
Neil Gaiman
So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!” In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face. “WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Don't tell me," Jace said, "Simon's turned himself into an ocelot and you want me to do something about it before Isabelle makes him into a stole. Well, you'll have have to wait till tomorrow. I'm out of commission." He pointed at himself - he was wearing blue pajamas with a hole in the sleeve. "Look. Jammies." "Jace," Clary said, "this is important." "Don't tell me," he said. "You've got a drawing emergency. You need a nude model. Well, I'm not in the mood. You could always ask Hodge," he said as an afterthought. "I hear he'll do anything for a -" "JACE!" she interrupted him, her voice rising to a scream. "JUST SHUT UP FOR A SECOND AND LISTEN, WILL YOU?
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
There are three questions every woman should be able to answer yes to before they commit to a man. If you answer no to any of the three questions, run like hell." [...] "Does he treat you with respect at all times? That's the first question. The second question is, if he is the exact same person twenty years from now that he is today, would you still want to marry him? And finally, does he inspire to be a better person? You find someone you can answer yes to all three, then you've found a good man.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Two things you should know about me; The first is that I am deeply suspicious of people in general. It is my nature to expect the worst of them. And the second is that I am unexpectedly good with computers.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Did you just kiss me?" Will inquired. Magnus made a slip-second decision. "No." "I thought-" "On occasion the aftereffects of the painkilling spells can result in hallucinations of the most bizarre sort." "Oh," Will said. "How peculiar.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
You know that you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever; and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it.
Kiera Cass (The Elite (The Selection, #2))
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Shawn Slovo (Captain Corelli's Mandolin)
You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.
Maya Angelou
Quick, make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.
Sam Levenson
I'm lonely. Why do you think I had to learn to act so independent? I also get mad too quickly, and I hog the covers, and my second toe is longer than my big one. My hair has it's own zip code. Plus, I get certifiably crazy when I've got PMS. You don't love someone because they're perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they're not.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Everything, in the end, comes down to timing. One second, one minute, one hour could make all the difference.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
Thomas A. Edison
There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It's like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction--every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
George Bernard Shaw
Max: "Fang! This is a huge break! Of course we should go check it out!" Fang: "But we're grounded." Max and Fang: (stare at each other for a second and burst out laughing)
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.
Marc Riboud
But-" Maia, still looking at Alec and Magnus, broke off and rasied her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at - and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people - Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike - were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes widen, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. "Wait a second," she said. "Do we all have to do that, too?
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black.
Martin Amis (The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11)
The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Second place is a nice title for the first loser.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Oh, leave it,” said Jem, kicking Will, not without affection, lightly on the ankle. “She’s annexed my plan!” “Will,” Tessa said firmly. “Do you care more about the plan being enacted or about getting credit for it?” Will pointed a finger at her. “That,” he said. “The second one.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Just give me a second. Attempting to give a fuck...Attempting harder to give a fuck...Sorry, there was an error; fuck not given.
Suzanne Wright (Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1))
Let's just say you may regret that second piece of cake.' Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1))
One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Adrian!" Something inside of me burst. "Will you shut the hell up for five seconds?
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
In one split second I saw everything I could be, everything I want to be. And all that I’m not.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
So do you believe in second chances?" I bite my lip. "Second, third, fourth. Whatever it takes. However long it takes. If the person is right," he adds. "If the person is... Lola?" This time, he holds my gaze. "Only if the other person is Cricket.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it'.
Audrey Hepburn
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus." [The Science of Second-Guessing (New York Times Magazine Interview, December 12, 2004)]
Stephen Hawking
You’re not asleep, and you’re not dead. I’m here, and I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you. I was thinking of you, seeing your face in my mind, every second that I was away. When I told you that I didn’t want you, it was the very blackest kind of blasphemy.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
I'm like you,' he said. 'I remember everything.' I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you’re just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there’s not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Nothing's ever the same," she said. "Be it a second later or a hundred years. It's always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the time.
Iris Murdoch
Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.
George Carlin
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.
Benjamin Mee (We Bought a Zoo)
Wait until next time," he warned. "I'll do things that'll make you lose control within seconds.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Thalia's shoulders relaxed. "I owe you one." "Two." "One and a half," Thalia said. She smiled, and for a second, I remembered that I actually liked her when she wasn't yelling at me.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away.
C. JoyBell C.
Love is not a because, it's a no matter what.
Jodi Picoult (Second Glance)
Now I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Did you ever walk through a room that's packed with people, and feel so lonely you can hardly take the next step?
Jodi Picoult (Second Glance)
I want a years-worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.
Confucius
It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane. "Dumbledore would totally win," said the first one. "He has the badass Killing Curse." The second lycanthrope made a trenchant point. "But Dumbledore isn't real." "I don't think Magnus Bane is real either," scoffed the first. "Have you ever met him?" "This is so weird," said Clary, slinking down in her seat. "Are you listening to them?" "No. It's rude to eavesdrop," said Jace.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one." — George Bernard Shaw, playwright (to Winston Churchill) "Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one." — Churchill's response
George Bernard Shaw
The rat, huddled in the hollow of her palms, squeaked glumly. Delighted, she hugged him to her chest. "Oh poor baby," she crooned, almost as if he really were a pet. "Poor Simon, it'll be fine, I promise-" "I wouldn't feel too sorry for him," Jace said. "That's probably the closest he's ever gotten to second base." "Shut up!" Clary glared at Jace furiously, but she did loosen her grip on the rat.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Yeah, well,” Nico said, “not giving people a second thought…that can be dangerous.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
We kiss all the time." I clear my throat, then add, "We just...do it in private." "A smug expression crosses his face. "I don't buy it for a second, 'cause if you were my girlfriend and a stud like me was livin' in your house, I'd kiss you in front of the guy every chance I got as a reminder." "A reminder of w-w-what?" "That you were mine.
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
We almost made it to thirty seconds without an insult. I think we set a new record.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
She is my mate. And my spy,' I said too quietly. 'And she is the High Lady of the Night Court.' 'What?' Mor whsipered. I caressed a mental finger down that bond now hidden deep, deep within us, and said, 'If they had removed her other glove, they would have seen a second tatoo on her right arm. The twin to the other. Inked last night, when we crept out, found a priestess, and I swore her in as my High Lady.' (...) 'Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.' My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child rearing. My queen.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don't give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
In case you never get a second chance: don't be afraid!" "And what if you do get a second chance?" "You take it!
C. JoyBell C.
Maxon, some of those marks are on your back so they wouldn’t be on mine, and I love you for them.” He stopped breathing for a second. “What did you say?” I smiled. “I love you.” “One more time, please? I just—” I took his face in both of my hands. “Maxon Schreave, I love you. I love you.” “And I love you, America Singer. With all that I am, I love you.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need. First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind's way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door. Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying 'time heals all wounds' is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door. Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
The words ‘I Love You’ kill, and resurrect millions, in less than a second.
Aberjhani (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
A lot of people get so hung up on what they can't have that they don't think for a second about whether they really want it.
Lionel Shriver (Checker and the Derailleurs)
It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.
David Eagleman (Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives)
Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?
Shannon L. Alder
But the second she opened her eyes and looked at me, I knew. She was either going to be the death of me . . . or she was going to be the one who finally brought me back to life.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I'm heavy, like there's to much gravity on my heart.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered.
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it - which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? I don't know.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. A second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. A first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
A.A. Milne
With writing, we have second chances.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
Tess, Tess, Tessa. Was there ever a more beautiful sound than your name? To speak it aloud makes my heart ring like a bell. Strange to imagine that, isn’t it – a heart ringing – but when you touch me that is what it is like: as if my heart is ringing in my chest and the sound shivers down my veins and splinters my bones with joy. Why have I written these words in this book? Because of you. You taught me to love this book where I had scorned it. When I read it for the second time, with an open mind and heart, I felt the most complete despair and envy of Sydney Carton. Yes, Sydney, for even if he had no hope that the woman he loved would love him, at least he could tell her of his love. At least he could do something to prove his passion, even if that thing was to die. I would have chosen death for a chance to tell you the truth, Tessa, if I could have been assured that death would be my own. And that is why I envied Sydney, for he was free. And now at last I am free, and I can finally tell you, without fear of danger to you, all that I feel in my heart. You are not the last dream of my soul. You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth. With hope at least, Will Herondale
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
It only takes a second to call a girl fat and She'll take a lifetime trying to starve herself.. think before you act.
Harry Styles
Do you know how sometimes - when you are riding your bike and you start skidding across sand, or when you miss a step and start tumbling down the stairs - you have those long, long seconds to know that you are going to be hurt, and badly?
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.
Tom Hiddleston
I have noticed that if you look carefully at people's eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will shine through for just an instant before it flickers away.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays: First Series)
Like a word on a page that you’ve printed and read a million times, that suddenly looks strange or wrong, foreign. And you feel scared for a second, like you’ve lost something, even if you’re not sure what it is.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
What rules?” “Well, for one, I’m not allowed to break your heart,” he says. “Second, I’m also not allowed to break your damn heart. And last, I’m not allowed to fucking break your damn heart.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
Akhlys lunged at Percy, and for a split second he thought: Well, hey, I’m just smoke. She can’t touch me, right? He imagined the Fates up in Olympus, laughing at his wishful thinking: LOL, NOOB!
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Life can be long or short, it all depends on how you choose to live it. it's like forever, always changing. for any of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. you can never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count. what you have to decide is how you want your life to be. if your forever was ending tomorrow, is this how you'd want to have spent it?
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
Dorothy Parker
Want to play baseball?’” she asked. Shane’s eyes opened, and he stopped stroking her hair. “What?’” “First base,’” she said. “You’re already there.’” “I’m not running the bases.’” “Well, you could at least steal second.’” “Jeez, Claire. I used to distract myself with sports stats at times like these, but now you’ve gone and ruined it.
Rachel Caine (The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2))
I want so many things,” he whispers. “I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time.” His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says “I want this up.” He tugs on the waist of my pants and says “I want these down.” He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, “I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it’s racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never,” he says, he breathes, “never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
What have you done to my cat?" Magnus demanded... "You drank his blood, didn't you? You said you weren't hungry!" Simon was indignant. "I did not drink his blood. He's fine!" He poked the Chairman in the stomach. The cat yawned. "Second, you asked me if I was hungry when you were ordering pizza, so I said no, because I can't eat pizza. I was being polite." "That doesn't get you the right to eat my cat." "Your cat is fine!" Simon reached to pick up the tabby, who jumped indignantly to his feet and stalked off the table. "See?" "Whatever.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Love meant jumping off a cliff and trusting that a certain person would be there to catch you at the bottom.
Jodi Picoult (Second Glance)
Even when I detach, I care. You can be separate from a thing and still care about it. If I wanted to detach completely, I would move my body away. I would stop the conversation midsentence. I would leave the bed. Instead, I hover over it for a second. I glance off in another direction. But I always glance back at you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours - he was incredibly good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering--remembering and not using your right to hit back. Its a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you dont want to repeat what happened.
Desmond Tutu
I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you." He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow. "I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?" He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
You want to talk? Fine. Talk. Tell me something you've never told anybody else.' I thought for a moment. 'Turtles have the second-largest brains of any animal on the planet.' It took Isabel only a second to process this. 'No, they don't.' 'I know that's why I've never told anybody that before.
Maggie Stiefvater (Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2))
I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.
Lao Tzu
I love no one but you, I have discovered, but you are far away and I am here alone. Then this is my life and maybe, however unlikely, I’ll find my way back there. Or maybe, one day, I’ll settle for second best. And on that same day, hell will freeze over, the sun will burn out and the stars will fall from the sky.
Lemony Snicket
She whirled when the monster was almost on top of her. I thought the thing in her hands was an umbrella until she cranked the pump and the shotgun blast blew the giant twenty feet backwards, right into Nico's sword. "Nice one," Paul said. "When did you learn to fire a shotgun?" I demanded. My mom blew the hair out of her face. "About two seconds ago. Percy, we'll be fine. Go!
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
Rick Warren
Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds. I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hand tick tick tick its final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don't bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous. (quoted by Carol Lynn Pearson in Consider the Butterfly)
Deepak Chopra (Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles)
[F]or just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there's nothing else. It's here, and you'd better decide to enjoy it or you're going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.
Lev Grossman (The Magicians (The Magicians, #1))
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
I'm Draco Malfoy, I'm Draco, I'm on your side!" Draco was on the upper landing, pleading with another masked Death Eater. Harry Stunned the Death Eater as they passed: Malfoy looked around, beaming, for his savior, and Ron punched him from under the cloak. Malfoy fell backward on top of the Death Eater, his mouth bleeding, utterly bemused. "And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!" Ron yelled.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......
William Paul Young (The Shack)
When someone cries so hard that it hurts their throat, it is out of frustration or knowing that no matter what you can do or attempt to do can change the situation. When you feel like you need to cry, when you want to just get it out, relieve some of the pressure from the inside - that is true pain. Because no matter how hard you try or how bad you want to, you can't. That pain just stays in place. Then, if you are lucky, one small tear may escape from those eyes that water constantly. That one tear, that tiny, salty, droplet of moisture is a means of escape. Although it's just a small tear, it is the heaviest thing in the world. And it doesn't do a damn thing to fix anything.
Chase Brooks (Hello, My Love 2: First Love Deserves a Second Chance)
...her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
But ... but what if I hit you?” A snort. “You’re not going to hit me.” “How do you know?” I bristled at his amused tone. “I could hit you. Even master swordsmen make mistakes. I could get a lucky shot, or you might not see me coming. I don’t want to hurt you.” He favored me with another patient look. “And how much experience do you have with swords and weapons in general?” “Um.” I glanced down at the saber in my hand. “Thirty seconds?” He smiled, that calm, irritatingly confident smirk. “You’re not going to hit me.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
So there's magic? Real magic? It's not just all scientific like David says?" Tamani rolled his eyes. "David again?" Laurel bristled. "He's my friend. My best friend." "Not your boyfriend?" "No. I mean...no." Tamani stared at her for several seconds. "So the position's still open?" Laurel rolled her eyes. "We are so not having this conversation.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
Don't go far off, not even for a day, because I don't know how to say it - a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart. Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach, may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance. Don't LEAVE me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll have gone so far I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
Pablo Neruda
The phone rang. I picked it up. “Are you sitting down?” Curran's voice asked. “Yes.” “Good.” Click. I listened to the disconnect signal. If he wanted me to sit, then I'd stand. I got up. The chair got up with me and I ended up bent over my desk, with the chair stuck to my butt. I grabbed the edge of the chair and tried to pull it off. It remained stuck. I would murder him. Slowly. And I'd enjoy every second of it.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
I clinked my bottle against his. “To being the only girl a guy with no standards doesn’t want to sleep with.” I said, taking a swig. “Are you serious?” he asked, pulling the bottle from my mouth. When I didn’t recant, he leaned toward me. “First of all…I have standards. I’ve never been with an ugly woman. Ever. Second of all, I wanted to sleep with you. I thought about throwing you over my couch fifty different ways, but I haven’t because I don’t see you that way anymore. It’s not that I’m not attracted to you, I just think you’re better than that.” I couldn’t hold back the smug smile that crept across my face. “You think I’m too good for you.” He sneered at my second insult. “I can’t think of a single guy I know that’s good enough for you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
But it's strange, when you've always been told something is true, like the moon will come back. You need proof. And while you wait, you feel the entire balance of your world just tipping. It's crazy. But when it's over, and it does come back, that's the best, because it's all you want, everything narrows to just that. It's this great rush, like for that one second everything's okay with the world again. It's amazing.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions—we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives for decades to come.
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
But what I can do is paint you a picture of what you’ll never see when you’re with a guy who’s really into you: You’ll never see you staring maniacally at your phone, willing it to ring. You’ll never see you ruining an evening with friends because you’re calling for your messages every fifteen seconds. You’ll never see you hating yourself for calling him when you know you shouldn’t have. What you will see is you being treated so well that no phone antics will be necessary. You’ll be too busy being adored.
Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
Here's to the kids. The kids who would rather spend their night with a bottle of coke & Patrick or Sonny playing on their headphones than go to some vomit-stained high school party. Here's to the kids whose 11:11 wish was wasted on one person who will never be there for them. Here's to the kids whose idea of a good night is sitting on the hood of a car, watching the stars. Here's to the kids who never were too good at life, but still were wicked cool. Here's to the kids who listened to Fall Out boy and Hawthorne Heights before they were on MTV...and blame MTV for ruining their life. Here's to the kids who care more about the music than the haircuts. Here's to the kids who have crushes on a stupid lush. Here's to the kids who hum "A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me" when they're stuck home, dateless, on a Saturday night. Here's to the kids who have ever had a broken heart from someone who didn't even know they existed. Here's to the kids who have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower & didn't feel so alone after doing so. Here's to the kids who spend their days in photobooths with their best friend(s). Here's to the kids who are straight up smartasses & just don't care. Here's to the kids who speak their mind. Here's to the kids who consider screamo their lullaby for going to sleep. Here's to the kids who second guess themselves on everything they do. Here's to the kids who will never have 100 percent confidence in anything they do, and to the kids who are okay with that. Here's to the kids. This one's not for the kids, who always get what they want, But for the ones who never had it at all. It's not for the ones who never got caught, But for the ones who always try and fall. This one's for the kids who didnt make it, We were the kids who never made it. The Overcast girls and the Underdog Boys. Not for the kids who had all their joys. This one's for the kids who never faked it. We're the kids who didn't make it. They say "Breaking hearts is what we do best," And, "We'll make your heart be ripped of your chest" The only heart that I broke was mine, When I got My Hopes up too too high. We were the kids who didnt make it. We are the kids who never made it.
Pete Wentz
Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.
Jodi Picoult (Second Glance)
Did we have sex?" he asked directly. For about two minutes, this might actually be fun. "Eric," I said, "we had sex in every position I could imagine, and some I couldn’t. We had sex in every room in my house, and we had sex outdoors. You told me it was the best you’d ever had." (At the time he couldn’t recall all the sex he’d ever had. But he’d paid me a compliment.) "Too bad you can’t remember it," I concluded with a modest smile. Eric looked like I’d hit him in the forehead with a mallet. For all of thirty seconds his reaction was completely gratifying.
Charlaine Harris (Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5))
Vhat ozzer abilities do you haf?" ter Borcht snapped, which his assistant waited, pen in hand. Gazzy thought. "I have X-ray vision," he said. He peered at ter Borcht's chest, then blinked and looked alarmed. Ter Borcht was startled for a second, but then he frowned. "Don't write dat down," he told his assistant in irritation. The assistant froze in midsentence. "You. Do you haf any qualities dat distinguish you in any way?" Nudge chewed on a fingernail. "You mean, like, besides the WINGS?" She shook her shoulders gently, and her beautiful fawn-colored wings unfolded a bit. His face flushed, and I felt like cheering. "Yes," he said stiffly. "Besides de vings." "Hmm. Besides de vings." Nudge tapped one finger against her chin. "Um..." Her face brightened. "I once ate nine Snickers bars in one sitting. Without barfing. That was a record!" "Hardly a special talent," ter Borcht said witheringly. Nudge was offended. "Yeah? Let's see YOU do it." ... "I vill now eat nine Snickers bars," Gazzy said in a perfect, creepy imitation of ter Borcht's voice, "visout bahfing." Iggy rubbed his forehead with one hand. "Well, I have a highly developed sense of irony." Ter Borcht tsked. "You are a liability to your group. I assume you alvays hold on to someone's shirt, yes? Following dem closely?" "Only when I'm trying to steal their dessert" ...Fang pretended to think, gazing up at the ceiling. "Besides my fashion sense? I play a mean harmonica." "I vill now destroy de Snickuhs bahrs!" Gazzy barked.
James Patterson
Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. “No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.” My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified. “You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask. He laughs, loudly. “No, Anastasia, no Xbox, no Playstation. Come.”… Producing a key from his pocket, he unlocks yet another door and takes a deep breath. “You can leave anytime. The helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning. It’s fine whatever you decide.” “Just open the damn door, Christian.” He opens the door and stands back to let me in. I gaze at him once more. I so want to know what’s in here. Taking a deep breath I walk in. And it feels like I’ve time-traveled back to the sixteenth century and the Spanish Inquisition. Holy fuck.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
Are you sleeping with anyone?” The question was asked so casually it took a second to process what he’d said. I inhaled sharply. “Why is that any business of yours?” He looked at me and I saw what I’d seen the first time we’d met—tremendous power and steely control. Both of which had me taking an involuntary step back. Again. At least I didn’t fall this time; I was making progress. “Because I want to fuck you, Eva. I need to know what’s standing in my way, if anything.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
You just asked me to marry you," he said, still waiting for me to admit some kind of trickery. "I know." "That was the real deal, you know. I just booked two tickets to Vegas for noon tomorrow. So that means we're getting married tomorrow night." "Thank you." His eyes narrowed. "You're going to be Mrs. Maddox when you start classes on Monday." "Oh," I said, looking around. Travis raised an eyebrow. "Second thoughts?" "I'm going to have some serious paperwork to change next week." He nodded slowly, cautiously hopeful. "You're going to marry me tomorrow?" I smiled. "Uh huh" "You're serious?" "Yep." "I fucking love you!" He grabbed each side of my face, slamming his lips against mine. "I love you so much, Pigeon," he said, kissing me over and over.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn't matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated. One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name. At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights. The boy did. By thinking about the girl.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
Ronan's bedroom door burst open. Hanging on the door frame, Ronan leaned out to peer past Gansey. He was doing that thing where he looked like both the dangerous Ronan he was now and the cheerier Ronan he had been when Gansey first met him. "Hold on," Gansey told Adam. Then, to Ronan: "Why would he be?" "No reason. Just no reason." Ronan slammed his door. Gansey asked Adam, "Sorry. You still have that suit for the party?" Adam's response was buried in the sound of the second-story door falling open. Noah slouched in. In a wounded tone, he said, "He threw me out the window!" Ronan's voice sang out from behind his closed door: "You're already dead!
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
A secret is a strange thing. There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid. And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it. Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate. All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Iz," Alec said tiredly. "It's not like it's one big bad thing. It's a lot of little invisible things. When Magnus and I were traveling, and I'd call from the road, Dad never asked how he was. When I get up to talk in Clave meetings, no one listens, and I don't know if that's because I'm young or if it's because of something else. I saw Mom talking to a friend about her grandchildren and the second I walked into the room they shut up. Irina Cartwright told me it was a pity no one would ever inherit my blue eyes now." He shrugged and looked toward Magnus, who took a hand off the wheel for a moment to place it on Alec's. "It's not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It's a million little paper cuts every day.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty. Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves, books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank, then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--GROWNUPS KEEP OUT': a child sprawled on the bed, reading.
Anne Fadiman (Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader)
i give myself five days to forget you. on the first day i rust. on the second i wilt. on the third day i sit with friends but i think about your tongue. i clean my room on the fourth day. i clean my body on the fourth day. i try to replace your scent on the fourth day. the fifth day, i adorn myself like the mouth of an inmate. a wedding singer dressed in borrowed gold. the midas of cheap metal. tinsel in the middle of summer. crevice glitter, two days after the party. i glow the way unwanted things do, a neon sign that reads; come, i still taste like someone else’s mouth.
Warsan Shire
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
Growing up means learning what life is. When you're little, you have a set of ideals, standards, criteria, plans, outlooks, and you think that you have to sit around and wait for them to happen to you and then life will work. But life isn't like that, for anybody; you can't fall in love with a standard, you have to fall in love with a person. You can't live in a criteria, you have to live your life. You can't wait for your plans to materialize, because they may never materialize the way you think they will. You can't wait to watch your ideals and standards walk up to you, because you can't know what's yours until you have it. I always say, always take the first chance in case you never get a second one, but growing up takes that even one step further, growing up means that you have to hold on to what you have, when you have it, because what you have- that's yours- and all the ideals and criteria you have set in your head, those aren't yours, because those haven't happened to you.
C. JoyBell C.
I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You've wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he's ever held a truly personal desire, he'd find the answer. He'd see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He's not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander's delusion - prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can't say about a single thing: 'This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me'. Then he wonders why he's unhappy.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The first time I saw you, my heart fell. The second time I saw you, my heart fell. The third time fourth time fifth time and every time since, my heart has fallen. I stared at her. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Your hair, your eyes, your lips, your body that you haven't grown into, the way you walk, smile, laugh, the way your cheeks drop when you're mad or upset, the way you drag your feet when you're tired. Every single thing about you is beautiful. I stared at her. When I see you the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There's nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops and it is a beautiful place and there is only you. Just you, and my eyes staring at you. I stared. When you're gone, the World starts again, and I don't like it as much. I can live in it, but I don't like it. I just walk around in it and wait to see you again and wait for it to stop again. I love it when it stops. It's the best fucking thing I've ever known or ever felt, the best thing, and that, beautiful Girl, is why I stare at you.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
When I was alive, I believed — as you do — that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls. (...) You can strike your own time, and start the count anywhere. When you understand that — then any time at all will be the right time for you.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
Jack Kerouac (The Portable Jack Kerouac)
I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn't like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn't be a mother and it was likely you wouldn't become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed every math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You'd become a baker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you'd have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried. "You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?" He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said. I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care. I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe. I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
It is a curious thing, but as one travels the world getting older and older, it appears that happiness is easier to get used to than despair. The second time you have a root beer float, for instance, your happiness at sipping the delicious concoction may not be quite as enormous as when you first had a root beer float, and the twelfth time your happiness may be still less enormous, until root beer floats begin to offer you very little happiness at all, because you have become used to the taste of vanilla ice cream and root beer mixed together. However, the second time you find a thumbtack in your root beer float, your despair is much greater than the first time, when you dismissed the thumbtack as a freak accident rather than part of the scheme of a soda jerk, a phrase which here means "ice cream shop employee who is trying to injure your tongue," and by the twelfth time you find a thumbtack, your despair is even greater still, until you can hardly utter the phrase "root beer float" without bursting into tears. It is almost as if happiness is an acquired taste, like coconut cordial or ceviche, to which you can eventually become accustomed, but despair is something surprising each time you encounter it.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
We all need someone to look at us. we can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under. the first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public. the second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes. they are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. they are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. this happens to nearly all of them sooner or later. people in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need. then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love. their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category. one day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark. and finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. they are the dreamers.
Milan Kundera
Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won't know for twenty years. And you'll never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it's what you create. Even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but doesn't really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved.
Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script)
Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!” I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
Find one thing. One thing that's beautiful. Anything. Anything that shows you you're not one of them." His eyes were back on me studying my face silently. Panic raced through me. It wasn't working. I couldn't do this. We were going to have to get out of here, regardless of whatever state he was in. I knew he'd leave, too. If i had learned anything, it was that Dimitri's warrior instincts were still working. If I said danger was coming, he would respond instantly, no matter the self-torment he felt. I didn't want him to leave in despair. I wanted him to leave here one step closer to being the man I knew he could be. I wanted him to have one less nightmare. It was beyond my abilities, though. I was no therapist. I was about to tell him we had to get out of there, about to make his soldier reflexes kick in, when he suddenly spoke. His voice was barley a whisper. "Your hair." "What?" for a second, I wondered if it was on fire or somthing. I touched a stray lock. No, nothing was wrong exept that it was a mess. I'd bound it up for battle to prevent the strgoi from using it as a handhold, like Angeline had. Much of it had come undone in the struggle, though. "Your hair," repeated Dimitri. His eyes were wide, almost awestruck. "your hair is beautiful.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
You destroy me." "Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death. "I want you," he says. He says "I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you." He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says "It's never been a secret. I've never tried to hide that from you. I've never pretended I wanted anything less." "You-you said you wanted f-friendship-" "Yes," he says, he swallows, "I did. I do. I do want to be your friend. He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. "I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-" "No," I gasp. "Don't-don't s-say that-" "I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world." "I want so many things," he whispers. "I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time." His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says "I want this up." He tugs on the waist of my pants and says "I want these down." He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, "I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it's racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never," he says, he breathes, "never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it." And I drop dead, all over the floor. "Juliette." I can't understand why I can still hear him speaking because I'm dead, I'm already dead, I've died over and over and over again. He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says "I'm so-I'm so desperately in love with you-
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
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
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)