Selection Day Quotes

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

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
Well, now If little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you Little by little If suddenly you forget me Do not look for me For I shall already have forgotten you If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots Remember That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms And my roots will set off to seek another land
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
America Singer, one day you will fall asleep in my arms every night. And you'll wake up to my kisses every morning.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson (Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems)
Leave it to you to find beauty in something others would say ruins a day.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-war day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion. You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that's all it would manage to do. You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I've discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side. I love you, America. Yours forever, Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
The Peace of Wild Things When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry (The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)
I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
Vending Machine: "This product has no known nutritional value and may cause irritability or wakefulness in some individuals. Please enjoy your selection and your day." Eve: "Up yours.
J.D. Robb (Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12))
Unending Love I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times... In life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs, That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms, In life after life, in age after age, forever. Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain, It's ancient tale of being apart or together. As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge, Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time. You become an image of what is remembered forever. You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount. At the heart of time, love of one for another. We have played along side millions of lovers, Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting, the distressful tears of farewell, Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever. Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you The love of all man's days both past and forever: Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life. The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours - And the songs of every poet past and forever.
Rabindranath Tagore (Selected Poems)
Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war.” - Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War
Haile Selassie I (Selected Speeches)
anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men(both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain children guessed(but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew autumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more when by now and tree by leaf she laughed his joy she cried his grief bird by snow and stir by still anyone's any was all to her someones married their everyones laughed their cryings and did their dance (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream stars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down) one day anyone died i guess (and noone stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by side little by little and was by was all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep noone and anyone earth by april wish by spirit and if by yes. Women and men (both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their came sun moon stars rain
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
She missed him the days when some pretext served to take him away from her, just as one misses the sun on a cloudy day without having thought much about the sun when it was shining.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening and Selected Stories)
Innocent droplets of rain Make almost all events Quite natural. (from "A Rainy Day")
Visar Zhiti (The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry)
Kindness Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever. Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive. Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.
Naomi Shihab Nye (Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)
There's a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don't lose courage. You've already escaped the gravest danger: selection. So now, muster your strength, and don't lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves. Hell is not for eternity. And now, a prayer - or rather, a piece of advice: let there be comradeship among you. We are all brothers, and we are all suffering the same fate. The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them.
Dorothy Day (All the Way to Heaven: The Selected Letters of Dorothy Day)
Groceries, you need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you're gonna wear every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control. Drop everything else but that. Because if you can't learn to master your thinking, you're in deep trouble forever.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
We are totally dysfunctional.” “I prefer ‘selectively deviant’. But we’ll keep that to ourselves.
Sylvia Day (Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3))
Your soul is the priestess of memory, selecting, sifting, and ultimately gathering your vanishing days toward presence.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
Sea-fever I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking. I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
John Masefield (Sea Fever: Selected Poems)
It rains And rains And rains. But there is a sky above the rain, Nothing can rot the sky. Earth has turned to mud. What of it? The heart of the planet is made of fire, of ardent sun. (from "A Rainy Day")
Visar Zhiti (The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry)
Inebriate of Air — am I — And Debauchee of Dew — Reeling — thro endless summer days — From Inns of Molten Blue —
Emily Dickinson (Selected Poems)
Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Time. I was asking for a lot of it these days. I hoped that if I had enough, everything would somehow fall into place.
Kiera Cass (The Elite (The Selection, #2))
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow’d to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all A heart whose love is innocent!
Lord Byron (Selected Poems of Lord Byron)
Outside, there was that predawn kind of clarity, where the momentum of living has not quite captured the day. The air was not filled with conversation or thought bubbles or laughter or sidelong glances. Everyone was sleeping, all of their ideas and hopes and hidden agendas entangled in the dream world, leaving this world clear and crisp and cold as a bottle of milk in the fridge.
Reif Larsen (The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet)
I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV) " I shall forget you presently, my dear, So make the most of this, your little day, Your little month, your little half a year Ere I forget, or die, or move away, And we are done forever; by and by I shall forget you, as I said, but now, If you entreat me with your loveliest lie I will protest you with my favorite vow. I would indeed that love were longer-lived, And vows were not so brittle as they are, But so it is, and nature has contrived To struggle on without a break thus far,— Whether or not we find what we are seeking Is idle, biologically speaking. — Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Modern Library, 2001)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fireflies out on a warm summer's night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower's orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other's nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives. To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? ... For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?... Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned...sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates. 'The hen,' said Samuel Butler, 'is the egg's way of making another egg.' It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. ... The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon--often within hours of spawning--they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic. They've served their purpose. Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.
Carl Sagan (Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search For Who We Are)
How often we sit weeping — you and I — over the life we lead! My friends, if you only knew the darkness of the days ahead!
Alexandr Blok (Selected Poems)
Say to them, say to the down-keepers, the sun-slappers, the self-soilers, the harmony-hushers, "Even if you are not ready for day it cannot always be night." You will be right. For that is the hard home-run. Live not for battles won. Live not for the-end-of-the-song. Live in the along.
Gwendolyn Brooks (Selected Poems)
I buried a nickel under the porch when I was 8, she said, but one day my grandma died & they sold the house & I never got to go back for it. A nickel used to mean something, I said. She nodded. It still does, she said & then she started to cry.
Brian Andreas (Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas)
Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. They listen so much that they forget to be natural. This is a nice story.
Gertrude Stein (Selected Operas and Plays)
And certain things around us will change, become easier or harder, one thing or the other, but nothing will ever really be any different. I believe that. We have made our decisions, our lives have been set in motion, and they will go on and on until they stop. But if that is true, then what? I mean, what if you believe that, but you keep it covered up, until one day something happens that should change something, but then you see nothing is going to change after all. What then? Meanwhile, the people around you continue to talk and act as if you were the same person as yesterday, or last night, or five minutes before, but you are really undergoing a crisis, your heart feels damaged…
Raymond Carver (Short Cuts: Selected Stories)
That moment - to this ... may be years in the way they measure, but it's only one sentence back in my mind - there are so many days when living stops and pulls up and sits and waits like a train on the rails. I pass the hotel at 8 and at 5; there are cats in the alleys and bottles and bums, and I look up at the window and think, I no longer know where you are, and I walk on and wonder where the living goes when it stops.
Charles Bukowski (The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966)
Savor the imminent weirdness of the day.
Charles Baxter (Gryphon: New and Selected Stories)
We knew our days were numbered. We had fouled up our lives and we were getting ready for a shake-up.
Raymond Carver (Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories)
At the end of the day, I can't force any of you to treat people the way you should. But it should be on your conscience that whatever law I pass won't do much unless each of you takes it upon yourself to show kindness to your fellow citizens.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
The most important quality in the man you decide to marry should be the ability to make you laugh. Beauty fades, careers end, money comes and goes, religions change, children grow up and move away, spouses get sick, struggles happen, family members die, senility sets in when your older, but the ability to make you giggle every day is the most precious gift God can give you to get through all of it.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage)
I'm tired of my life, my clothes, the things I say. I'm hacking away at the surface, as at some kind of gray ice, trying to break through to what is underneath or I am dead. I can feel the surface trembling—it seems ready to give but it never does. I am uninterested in current events. How can I justify this? How can I explain it? I don't want to have the same vocabulary I've always had. I want something richer, broader, more penetrating and powerful.
James Salter (Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps)
It’s a pity if someone… has to console himself for the wreck of his days with the notion that somehow his voice, his work embodies the deepest, most obscure, freshest, rawest oyster of reality in the unfathomable refrigerator of the heart’s ocean, but I am such a one, and there you have it.
Leonard Cohen (Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs)
...your name will be in a history book one day, and some bored ten-year-old will memorize it for a test and then forget all about you. You have a job, just like everyone in the world. Stop acting like it makes you more or less than anyone else.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
I think these days when there is so little to believe in——when the old loyalties——God, country, and the hope of Heaven——aren't very real, we are more dependent than we should be on our friends. The only thing left to believe in——someone who seems beautiful.
William Carlos Williams (Selected Essays)
If you are going to walk with Jesus Christ, you are going to be opposed.... In our days, to be a true Christian is really to become a scandal.
George Whitefield (The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield, M.A...: Containing All His Sermons and Tracts Which Have Been Already Published: With a Select Collection of Letters... Also, Some Other Pieces on Important Subjects, Never Before Printed; Vol. V)
Positive energy is your priceless life force. Protect it. Don't allow people to draw from your reserves; select friends who recharge your energies . . . I'm not asking you to cut people out of your life, but I am asking you to invest your time with people who will push you to be your best. Winners love to see other people win.
Chalene Johnson (PUSH: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin' Body, and the Life You Deserve!)
I could not hold my breath for seven minutes. I couldn’t even make it to one. I once tried to run a mile in seven minutes after hearing some athletes could do it in four but failed spectacularly when a side stitch crippled me about halfway in. However, there was one thing I managed to do in seven minutes that most would say is quite impressive: I became queen. By seven tiny minutes I beat my brother, Ahren, into the world, so the throne that ought to have been his was mine. Had I been born a generation earlier, it wouldn’t have mattered. Ahren was the male, so Ahren would have been the heir. Alas, Mom and Dad couldn’t stand to watch their firstborn be stripped of a title by an unfortunate but rather lovely set of breasts. So they changed the law, and the people rejoiced, and I was trained day by day to become the next ruler of Illéa.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Libraries are about Freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
She waved at all the people on the train & later, when she saw they didn't wave back, she started singing songs to herself & it went that way the whole day & she couldn't remember having a better time in her life.
Brian Andreas (Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas)
The best of my essence is shown to those who value my energy and appreciate my love, some would call it selfish, I call it selective.
Nikki Rowe
It hurt me to be away from him. Some days I went crazy wondering what he was doing. And when I couldn't handle it, I practiced music. I really had Aspen to thank for me being the musician that I was. He drove me to distraction. And that was bad.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Each day I'm thankful for being chosen. Sometimes I try to imagine what it would have been like if we'd never met...I'd rather lose you now than have gone a lifetime without this.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
What are these?" Maxon asked, brushing across the tips of my fingers as we walked. "Calluses. They're from pressing down on violin strings four hours a day." "I've never noticed them before." "Do they bother you?" I was the lowest caste of the six girls left, and I doubted any of them had hands like mine. Maxon stopped moving and lifted my fingers to his lips, kissing the tiny, worn tips. "On the contrary. I find them rather beautiful." I felt myself blush. "I've seen the world – admittedly mostly through bulletproof glass or from the tower of some ancient castle – but I've seen it. And I have access to the answers of a thousand questions at my disposal. But this small hand here?" He looked deeply into my eyes. "This hand makes sounds incomparable to anything I've ever heard. Sometimes I think I only dreamed that I heard you play the violin, it was so beautiful. These calluses are proof that it was real.
Kiera Cass (The Elite (The Selection, #2))
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
John Keats (Complete Poems and Selected Letters)
...you'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are. We will let a selection from the writings of Chuang-tse illustrate: Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, "I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same - useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them." ... "You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
You're such a good cook. You're going to make someone very fat and happy one day," he said, his mouth half full with a bite of apple. "I'm going to make you fat and happy. You know that." "Ah, to be fat!
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Saturday is a day for the spa. RELAX, indulge, enjoy, and love yourself, too.
Ana Monnar (Relax: New and Selected Poems)
Every day you say something or do something that challenges me, changes me.
Kiera Cass (Happily Ever After (The Selection, #0.4, 0.5, 2.5, 3.1, 3.5))
If I die in Atlanta my work shall then only begin, but I shall live, in the physical or spiritual to see the day of Africa’s glory.
Marcus Garvey (Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey)
One day, I will be a poet. Water will depend on my visions.
Mahmoud Darwish (Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems)
When I have to die, I would like to die on a day of rain - long rain, slow rain, the kind you think will never end.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume One)
It is not so much trying to keep alive As trying to keep from blowing apart From inner explosions every day.
May Sarton (Selected Poems)
Who knows? Life may just be a Positive Conspiracy bent on putting us in the right place at the right time every living, breathing moment of the day. It just takes a certain kind of perspective to see this. Realizing this can put our "analyzer" on hold, our interpretive mind on "ga-ga" and our hearts on breathless.
Antero Alli (Angel Tech: A Modern Shaman's Guide to Reality Selection)
But . . . maybe I could find something. Maybe there would be one person who’d still want to kiss me when I had a runny nose or would rub my shoulders after a long day of meetings. Maybe I could find someone who didn’t seem so scary, who made letting him past the wall seem natural. But all that still could be asking for too much.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
December 27, 11:00 p.m. My Dear America, I’ve never written a love letter, so forgive me if I fail now. . . . The simple thing would be to say that I love you. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. I want you, America. I need you. I’ve held back so much from you out of fear. I’m afraid that if I show you everything at once, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll run away. I’m afraid that somewhere in the back of your heart is a love for someone else that will never die. I’m afraid that I will make a mistake again, something so huge that you retreat into that silent world of yours. No scolding from a tutor, no lashing from my father, no isolation in my youth has ever hurt me so much as you separating yourself from me. I keep thinking that it’s there, waiting to come back and strike me. So I’ve held on to all my options, fearing that the moment I wipe them away, you will be standing there with your arms closed, happy to be my friend but unable to be my equal, my queen, my wife. And for you to be my wife is all I want in the world. I love you. I was afraid to admit it for a long time, but I know it now. I would never rejoice in the loss of your father, the sadness you’ve felt since he passed, or the emptiness I’ve experienced since you left. But I’m so grateful that you had to go. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to figure this out if I hadn’t had to start trying to imagine a life without you. I know now, with absolute certainty, that is nothing I want. I wish I was as true an artist as you so that I could find a way to tell you what you’ve become to me. America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion. You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do. You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I’ve discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side. I love you, America. Yours forever, Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any---lifted from the no of all nothing---human merely being doubt unimaginably You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
E.E. Cummings (100 Selected Poems)
Every day he stood in front of the Bank of America. You're trapped in the belly of a big pink pig, he said. We ignored him. We had work to do.
Brian Andreas (Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas)
Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
I remembered how angry I was when I saw his name come up the day of the drawing, like I was being cheated somehow. Now I didn't care how that form ended up in the pile; I was just glad it did. I hoped that he felt the same way.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Everything, except boredom, bores me. I’d like, without being calm, to calm down, To take life every day Like a medicine— One of those medicines everybody takes. I aspired to so much, dreamed so much, That so much so much made me into nothing. My hands grew cold From just waiting for the enchantment Of the love that would warm them up at last. Cold, empty Hands.
Fernando Pessoa (A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems)
Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his lips, and the inspired fool burst into song – if you please! But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart. And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say
Vladimir Mayakovsky (The Bedbug and Selected Poetry)
Then and Now In younger days each morning I rose with joy, To weep at nightfall; now, in my later years, Though doubting I begin my day, yet Always its end is serene and holy.
Friedrich Hölderlin (Selected Poems and Fragments)
The calls are for updates and to see how her day went. The letters are for the things I can’t always say out loud.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Keep the prospect of death, exile and all such apparent tragedies before you every day – especially death – and you will never have an abject thought, or desire anything to excess.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings (Classics))
Consider A Move The steady time of being unknown, in solitude, without friends, is not a steadiness that sustains. I hear your voice waver on the phone: Haven't talked to anyone for days. I drive around. I sit in parking lots. The voice zeroes through my ear, and waits. What should I say? There are ways to meet people you will want to love? I know of none. You come out stronger having gone through this? I no longer believe that, if I once did. Consider a move, a change, a job, a new place to live, someplace you'd like to be. That's not it, you say. Now time turns back. We almost touch. Then what is? I ask. What is?
Michael Ryan (New and Selected Poems)
Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
What We Want What we want is never simple. We move among the things we thought we wanted: a face, a room, an open book and these things bear our names -- now they want us. But what we want appears in dreams, wearing disguises. We fall past, holding out our arms and in the morning our arms ache. We don't remember the dream, but the dream remembers us. It is there all day as an animal is there under the table, as the stars are there.
Linda Pastan (Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems, 1968-1998)
There are some delightful places in this world which have a sensual charm for the eyes. One loves them with a physical love. We people who are attracted by the countryside cherish fond memories of certain springs, certain woods, certain ponds, certain hills, which have become familiar sights and can touch our hearts like happy events. Sometimes indeed the memory goes back towards a forest glade, or a spot on a river bank or an orchard in blossom, glimpsed only once on a happy day, but preserved in our heart.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
With such a deep rooted interest you can withstand the setbacks and failures, the days of drudgery, and the hard work that are always a part of any creative action. You can ignore the doubters and critics. You will then feel personally committed to solving the problem and will not rest until you do so.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
I feel the nights stretching away thousands long behind the days till they reach the darkness where all of me is ancestor.
Annie Finch (Spells: New and Selected Poems)
you are good but you are too emotional the way to whip life is to quietly frame the agony,study it and put it to sleep in the abstract. is there anything less abstract than dying everyday and on the last day?
Charles Bukowski (The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966)
This dream the world is having about itself includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail, a groove in the grass my father showed us all one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell something better about to happen.
William Stafford (The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems)
Why is it so difficult to assemble those things that really matter in life and to dwell among them only? I am referring to certain landscapes, persons, beasts, books, rooms, meteorological conditions, fruits.
James Salter (Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps)
If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots Remember That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms And my roots will set off to seek another land
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
Maxon, I hope you find someone you can't love without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them." Maxon's face was a shallow echo of my own pain. He looked absolutely brokenhearted for me. More than that, he looked angry. "I'm sorry, America. I don't..." His face shifted a little. "Is this a good time to pat your shoulder?" His uncertainty made me smile. "Yes. Now would be a great time." He seemed as skeptically as he'd been the other day, but instead of just patting my shoulder, he leaned in and tentatively wrapped his arms around me. "I only really ever hug my mother. Is this okay?" he asked. I laughed. "It's hard to get a hug wrong." After a minute, I spoke again. "I know what you mean, though. I don't really hug anyone besides my family." I felt so drained after the long day of dressing and the Report and dinner and talking. It was nice to have Maxon just hold me, sometimes even patting my hair. He wasn't as lost as he seemed. He patiently waited for my breathing to slow, and when it did, he pulled back to look at me. "America, I promise you I'll keep you here until the last possible moment. I understand that they want me to narrow the Elite down to three and then choose. But I swear to you, I'll make it to two and keep you here until then. I won't make you leave a moment before I have to. Or the moment you're ready. Whichever comes first." I nodded. "I know we just met, but I think you're wonderful. And it bothers me to see you hurt. If he were here, I'd...I'd..." Maxon shook with frustration, then sighed. "I'm so sorry, America." He pulled me back in, and I rested my head on his broad shoulder. I knew Maxon would keep his promises. So I settled into perhaps the last place I ever thought I'd find genuine comfort.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
I would like to meet myself sometime to see how I would look to myself. But I'd have to be in an extremely good state of mind on such a day, because I don't like unpleasantness.
Multatuli (The Oyster and the Eagle: Selected Aphorisms and Parables)
Your days still half-opened, crackle like the fires to come. Outside. The earth. Wind. Night. Unfold for you. Listen to their sounds. They have sung me seasons that never abandoned me.
Sonia Sanchez (Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems)
But when the sun drops closer to the earth, the cold of the earth runs to it from the water and causes all green things to dry up. And because the sun has dropped closer to the earth, the days are short, and it is winter.
Hildegard von Bingen (Selected Writings)
You were saved because you were the first. You were saved because you were the last. Alone. With others. On the right. The left. Because it was raining. Because of the shade. Because the day was sunny.
Wisława Szymborska (Poems New and Selected 1957-1997)
I cannot remember how I felt when the light went out of my eyes. I suppose I felt it was always night and perhaps I wondered why the day did not come.
Helen Keller (Helen Keller: Selected Writings)
What are the chances that we will one day discover that DNA has absolutely nothing to do with inheritance? They are effectively zero.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Reluctant hero, drafted again each Fourth of July, I'll bow and remember you. Who shall we follow next? Who shall we kill next time?
William Stafford (The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems)
Maybe there would be one person who'd still want to kiss me when I had a runny nose or would rub my shoulders after a long day of meetings.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
was the crying voice from the grave that said, ‘Garvey, we have suffered for 250 years for your day and for your time; we expect something from you at this hour.’”16
Marcus Garvey (Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey)
There is no imam but the mind, who guides by day and night.
Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (The Luzumiyat Of Abu'l-Ala: Selected From His Luzum Ma La Yalzam And Suct Uz-Zand)
The days are nouns: touch them The hands are churches that worship the world
Naomi Shihab Nye (Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)
I loved those little bits of luxury in my day. Dresses made to my exact measurements, exotic desserts flown in simply because it was Thursday, and an endless supply of beautiful things were all perks; and they were easily my favorite parts of the job.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
You are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through the sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion. You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that's all it would manage to do.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Making a Fist For the first time, on the road north of Tampico, I felt the life sliding out of me, a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear. I was seven, I lay in the car watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass. My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin. "How do you know if you are going to die?" I begged my mother. We had been traveling for days. With strange confidence she answered, "When you can no longer make a fist." Years later I smile to think of that journey, the borders we must cross separately, stamped with our unanswerable woes. I who did not die, who am still living, still lying in the backseat behind all my questions, clenching and opening one small hand.
Naomi Shihab Nye (Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)
I love your hair!" Marlee gushed. "I wish I'd been born with red hair. It makes you look so alive. I hear that people with red hair have bed tempers. Is that true? Despite my rotten day, Marlee's manner was so vivacious that my smile grew wider. "I don't think so. I mean, I can have a bad temper at times, but my sister is a redhead, and she's as sweet as can be.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
→ "He carries in his eyes a pearl; from the ends of days and from the winds he takes a spark; and from his hand, from the islands of rain a mountain, and creates dawn. I know him—he carries in his eyes the prophecy of the seas. He named me history and the poem that purifies a place. I know him—he named me flood.
Khaled Mattawa (Adonis: Selected Poems)
We should realize that an opinion is not easily formed unless a person says and hears the same things every day and practises them in real life.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings)
During the terrible years of the Yekhov terror I spent seventeen months in the prison queues in Leningrad. One day someone ‘identified’ me. Then a woman with lips blue with cold who was standing behind me, and of course had never heard of my name, came out of the numbness which affected us all and whispered in my ear—(we all spoke in whispers there): ‘Could you describe this?’ I said, ‘I can!’ Then something resembling a smile slipped over what had once been her face.
Anna Akhmatova (Poem Without a Hero: And Selected Poems)
Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a little sunshine, a little rain. Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from one boot to another—why don’t you get going? For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees. And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.
Mary Oliver (Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver)
What matters is to be natural and calm In happiness and in unhappiness, To feel as if feeling were seeing, To think as if thinking were walking, And to remember, when death comes, that each day dies, And the sunset is beautiful, and so is the night that remains . . . That’s how it is and how I want it to be . . .
Fernando Pessoa (A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems)
Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. It rips up the calendar. You aren't at your desk or on the subway or fixing dinner for the children. You're reading People in a surgery waiting room, or shivering outside on a balcony smoking all night long. you stare into space, sitting in your childhood bedroom with the lobe on the desk... The bad part is that when you return to your ordinary life all the routines, the marks of the day, seem like senseless lies. all is suspect, a trick to lull us, rock us back into the placid relentlessness of time.
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
In these dark rooms I pass such listless days, I wander up and down looking for the windows - when a window opens there will be some relief. But there are no windows, or at least I cannot find them. And perhaps it's just as well. Perhaps the light would prove another torment. Who knows what new things it would reveal? ("The Windows")
Constantinos P. Cavafy (Selected Poems)
and because what we learn in the dark remains all our lives, a noise like the sea, displacing the day's pale knowledge, you'll come to yourself in a glimmer of rainfall or frost, the burnt smell of autumn, a meeting of parallel lines, and know you were someone else for the longest time, pretending you knew where you were, like a diffident tourist, lost on the one main square, and afraid to enquire.
John Burnside (Selected Poems)
THE CURSE May they never Return home at night... May you have no part of eventide, May you have no room of your own, Nor road, nor return. May your days be all exactly the same, Five Fridays in a row, Always an unlucky Tuesday, No Sunday, May you have no more little worries, Tears or inspiration, For you yourself are the greatest worry on earth: Prisoner!
Visar Zhiti (The Condemned Apple: Selected Poetry)
A nothing day full of wild beauty .... Little fish stream by, a river in water.
James Schuyler (Selected Poems)
Another circumstance, too, worried me in those days: that there was no one like me and I was unlike anyone else. "I am alone and they are everyone," I thought–and pondered.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Why don't we spend the day together tomorrow? he asked. I smiled. I'd like that.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Otherwise I got out of bed on two strong legs. It might have been otherwise. I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach. It might have been otherwise. I took the dog uphill to the birch wood. All morning I did the work I love. At noon I lay down with my mate. It might have been otherwise. We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks. It might have been otherwise. I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls, and planned another day just like this day. But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.
Jane Kenyon (Otherwise: New and Selected Poems)
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry (The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)
We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we have selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make. Those who believe there is one God who made all things and who governs the world by this providence will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who hold in reverence that being who gave them life and worship Him through adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving will make choices different from those who do not. Those who believe that mankind are all of a family and that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who believe in a future state in which all that is wrong here will be made right will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many choices different from those who do not. Since the foundation of all happiness is thinking rightly, and since correct action is dependent on correct opinion, we cannot be too careful in choosing the value system we allow to govern our thoughts and actions. And to know that God governs in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayers, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, is, indeed, a powerful regulator of human conduct.
Benjamin Franklin (the Art of Virtue: His Formula for Successful Living)
I was wondering,” he began, murmuring the words into my cheek as I rolled over. “Seeing as it’s my birthday, do you think we could get away with spending the entire day in bed?” I smiled and forced my sleepy eyes open. “And who will run the country?” “No one. Let it fall to pieces. So long as I have my America in my arms.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
How had I lost so much in such a short period of time? It would seem like leaving your family, living in some foreign place, and being separated from the person you love should be events that take years to roll into place, not just a day.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Every day became an epic of endurance.
Charles Baxter (Gryphon: New and Selected Stories)
He gave her that last word. He gave her his love. He would think of her almost every day for the rest of his life. Only his presence would he withhold.
Edith Pearlman (Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories)
I'll know coffee works without cream and sugar when I see people buying unsweetened bakers chocolate for Valentine's Day.
Kevin Sinnott (The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee)
Night is the sleep of seven wax moths Dawn is the singing of five mermaids Noon is the scratching of three field mice Dusk is the shadow of a crow
Xi Chuan (Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems)
What day is the day that we know that we hope for or fear for? Every day is the day we should fear from or hope from. One moment Weighs like another. Only in retrospection, selection, We say, that was the day. The critical moment That is always now, and here.
T.S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral)
Sunday was the normal day for the political awareness session at sea. Ordinarily Putin would have officiated, reading some Pravada editorials, followed by selected quotations from the works of Lenin and a discussion of the lessons to be learned from the readings. It is very much like a church service.
Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3))
One way of taking care of our suffering is to invite a seed of the opposite nature to come up. As nothing exists without its opposite, if you have a seed of arrogance, you have also a seed of compassion. Every one of us has a seed of compassion. If you practice mindfulness of compassion every day, the seed of compassion in you will become strong. You need only concentrate on it and it will come up as a powerful zone of energy. Naturally, when compassion comes up, arrogance goes down. You don’t have to fight it or push it down. We can selectively water the good seeds and refrain from watering the negative seeds.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering)
I woke early the next morning, well before the others, and smiled at my brothers, my protectors. The sister in me wanted to stay. But the princess in me got up and went to prepare for the new day.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Writing is so much more problematic than drawing, full of moral pitfalls, ambiguity, public responsibility. If you record a day of your life, does the decision to do so change the shape of the day? One of Doris Lessing's days in The Golden Notebook is fifty-four pages long. It's complete; the rest are summaries - the "impression" of a day foisted artfully upon the reader by providing a few details. Fiction is made this way - as lineal perspective gives the illusion of three dimensions in drawing. But does the selection of a day - that you begin by knowing you must remember and observe - really affect it? Do you change the balance, distort the truth? The period itself, its choice and selection, does that not in itself constitute a kind of misconstruction, and the rest follow subconsciously?
Kate Millett (Sita)
We may seem to forget a person, a place, a state of being, a past life, but meanwhile what we are doing is selecting new actors, seeking the closest reproduction to the friend, the lover, the husband we are trying to forget, in order to re-enact the drama with understudies. And one day we open our eyes and there we are, repeating the same story. How could it be otherwise? The design comes from within us. It is internal. It is what the old mystics described as karma, repeated until the spiritual or emotional experience was understood, liquidated, achieved.
Anaïs Nin (Seduction Of The Minotaur)
We do not think of it every day, but we never forget it: the beloved shall grow old, or ill, and be taken away finally. No matter how ferociously we fight, how tenderly we love, how bitterly we argue, how pervasively we berate the universe, how cunningly we hide, this is what shall happen.
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
I took a steadying breath. “Listen, I know we have a full night ahead of us, but I wanted to give you your birthday present.” “Oh, darling, you didn’t need to get me anything. Every day with you is a gift.” He leaned in and kissed me. “Well, I hadn’t planned on getting you a gift, but then something presented itself, so here we are.” “All right then,” he said, placing his glass on the ground. “I’m ready. Where is it?” “That’s the only problem,” I started. I felt my hands begin to shake. “It won’t actually arrive for another seven or eight months.” He smiled but squinted. “Eight months? What in the world could take . . .” As his words drifted away, so did his eyes, leaving my face and making their way to my stomach. He seemed to expect me to look different, for me to be as big as a house already. But I’d done my best to hide everything: the tiredness, the nausea, the sudden distaste for foods. He stared on and on, and I waited for him to smile or laugh or jump up and down. But he sat there, frozen to the point that it started to frighten me. “Maxon?” I reached out and touched his leg. “Maxon, are you all right?” He nodded, still watching my stomach.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
President Donald Trump chose “Make America Great Again” as his 2016 campaign slogan. It sounded the call to white America to return to simpler, better days. But the golden age of the past is a fiction, a projection of nostalgia that selects what is most comforting to remember. It summons a past that was not great for all; in fact, it is a past that was not great at all, not with racism and sexism clouding the culture.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
It’s not Love. But what fault is it of mine if my affections do not become Love? Very much my fault, I would say, when I can live from day to day on mad purity, blind pity… Make a scandal of meekness. But the violence of the senses and intellect that has confounded me for years was the only way.
Pier Paolo Pasolini (Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini, The: A Bilingual Edition)
And yet in only a few hours we've managed to erase her almost entirely. All of her things - bought, received, painstakingly selected; her tastes and preferences; all the random stuff accumulated over the years - all of it sorted, trashed, or packed up in less than a day. How easily we get erased.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
The first morning I really sat and watched him it was a Tuesday. I know that because Tuesday is trash day for our neighborhood. Unlike me, he leaves gathering up his trash for the morning of pickup instead of doing it the night before. My alarm went off at 6 AM and I went in to start the coffee maker, and as I went about selecting a bit of fruit from the bowl on my kitchen table I looked out the window. It was just a casual glance, and the human eye is attracted to movement.
Benjamin R. Smith (Sketches: An Erotic Collection)
Finding a proper husband is rather like selecting a hound. They all have more bark than bite, my girl. One day you'll look across the breakfast table and realize the only option is obedience training. -Grandmamma Holmes
Emma Jane Holloway (A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair, #1))
One clings desperately to some vain hope, till a day comes when it has sucked the heart dry and then it breaks through its bonds and departs. After that comes the misery of awakening, and then once again the longing to get back into the maze of the same mistakes.
Rabindranath Tagore (Selected Stories of Rabindranath Tagore (General Press))
We were in the middle of a game of cards when I noticed a figure out of the corner of my eye. It was Maxon, standing at the open door, looking amused. As our eyes met, I could see that his expression was clearly asking what in the world I was doing. I stood, smiling, and walked over to him. "Oh, sweet Lord," Anne muttered as she realized the prince was at the door. She immediately swept the cards into a sewing basket and stood, Mary and Lucy following suit. "Ladies," Maxon said. "Your Majesty," she said with a curtsy. "Such an honor, sir." "For me as well," he answered with a smile. The maids looked back and forth to one another, flattered. We were all silent for a moment, not quite sure what to do. Mary suddenly piped up. "We were just leaving." "Yes! That's right," Lucy added. "We were-uh-just..." She looked to Anne for help. "Going to finish Lady America's dress for Friday," Anna concluded. "That's right," Mary said. "Only two days left. They slowly circled us to get out of the room, huge smiles plastered on their faces. "Wouldn't want to keep you from your work," Maxon said, following them with his eyes, completely fascinated with their behavior. Once in the hall, they gave awkwardly mistimed curtsies and walked away at a feverish pace. Immediately after they rounded the corner, Lucy's giggles echoed down the corridor, followed by Anne's intense hushing. "Quite a group you have," Maxon said, walking into my room, surveying the space. "They keep me on my toes," I answered with a smile. "It's clear they have affection for you. That's hard to find." He stopped looking at my room and faced me. "This isn't what I imagined your room would look like." I raised an arm and let it fall. "It's not really my room, is it? It belongs to you, and I just happen to be borrowing it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
The experts are right, he thought. Venice is sinking. The whole city is slowly dying. One day the tourists will travel here by boat to peer down into the waters, and they will see pillars and columns and marble far, far beneath them, slime and mud uncovering for brief moments a lost underworld of stone. Their heels made a ringing sound on the pavement and the rain splashed from the gutterings above. A fine ending to an evening that had started with brave hope, with innocence. ("Don't Look Now")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned, if you can know despair or see it in others, I want to know 
if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes, saying this is where I stand. I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living, 
falling toward the center of your longing. I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.
David Whyte (River Flow: New & Selected Poems 1984-2007)
Maybe I was just flattering myself, thinking I'd be worth some sort of risk. Not that I'd wish that on anyone!" he clarified. "I don't mean that. It just...I don't know. Don't you all see everything I'm risking?" "Umm, no. You're here with your family to give you advice, and we all live around your schedule. Everything about your life stays the same, and ours changed overnight. What in the world could you possibly be risking?" Maxon looked shocked. "America, I might have my family, but imagine how embarrassing it is to have your parents watch as you attempt to date for the first time. And not just your parents-the whole country! Worse than that, it's not even a normal style of dating. "And living around my schedule? When I'm not with you all, I'm organizing troops, making laws, perfecting budgets...and all on my own these days, while my father watches me stumble in my own stupidity because I have none of his experience. And then, when I inevitably do things in a way he wouldn't, he goes and corrects my mistakes. And while I'm trying to do all this work, you-the girls, I mean-are all I can think about. I'm excited and terrified by the lot of you!" He was using his hands more than I'd ever seen, whipping them in the air and running them through his hair. "And you think my life isn't changing? What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I'll be lucky if I can just find someone who'll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I've already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn't feel? What if she's waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don't find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?" His speech had started out angered and impassioned, but by the end his questions weren't rhetorical anymore. He really wanted to know: What was he going to do if no one here was even close to being someone he could love? Though that didn't even seem to be his main concern; he was more worried that no one would love him. "Actually, Maxon, I think you will find your soul mate here. Honestly." "Really?" His voice charged with hope at my prediction. "Absolutely." I put a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be comforted by that touch alone. I wondered how often people simply touched him. "If your life is as upside down as you say it is, then she has to be here somewhere. In my experience, true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
...if there really is some day discovered a formula for all our desires and caprices - that is, an explanation of what they depend upon, by what laws they arise, how they develop, what they are aiming at in one case and in another and so on, that is a real mathematical formula - then, most likely, man will at once cease to feel desire, indeed, he will be certain to. For who would want to choose by rule? Besides, he will at once be transformed from a human being into an organ-stop or something of that sort; for what is a man without desires, without freewill and without choice, if not a stop in an organ?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
One is seduced and battered in turn. The result is presumably wisdom. Wisdom! We are clinging to life like lizards. Why is it so difficult to assemble those things that really matter in life and to dwell among them only? I am referring to certain landscapes, persons, beasts, books, rooms, meteorological conditions, fruits. In fact, I insist on it. A letter is like a poem, it leaps into life and shows very clearly the marks, perhaps I should say thumbprints, of an unwilling or unready composer.
James Salter (Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps)
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why,—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation. She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies to stir her pulses and warm her blood.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening and Selected Short Stories)
She had spent days balancing on the edge of a choice. A choice, she had suddenly realized, that was never truly a matter of selection. It was what Damien had seemed to know from the start. The only choice she could make was to ignore the demands of her heart and her spirit, both of which she had tried to ignore no matter how loudly they had screamed at her. In truth, there was no choice. She was meant to be his, and he was meant to be hers. She had searched day after day for outside proof of this, only to realize that there was none, and never would be. The proof was stamped in the desires of her soul. It was the instinct that had been born in her, flipped on like a switch, the moment it had flipped on as brilliantly in him. Only he had seen the light, and she had been blinded by it.
Jacquelyn Frank (Damien (Nightwalkers, #4))
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
Don't wear those trousers with that shirt. What are you thinking?" "I'm going to a bust, not a party." "That's no reason not to look your best. Let's see, what's the well-dressed cop wearing these days to take down a major terrorist organization? You can't go wrong with basic black." "Is this a joke?" she asked as he selected another shirt. "Good fashion sense is never a joke." He handed her the shirt, slid a finger down the dent in her chin. "But it's good to see you smile again, Lieutenant. Oh, and wear the black boots, not the brown." "I don't have any black boots." He reached in, pulled out a pair of sturdy black leather. "You do now.
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
Meaning" - When I die, I will see the lining of the world. The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset. The true meaning, ready to be decoded. What never added up will add up, What was incomprehensible will be comprehended. - And if there is no lining to the world? If a thrush on a branch is not a sign, But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day Make no sense following each other? And on this earth there is nothing except this earth? - Even if that is so, there will remain A word wakened by lips that perish, A tireless messenger who runs and runs Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies, And calls out, protests, screams.
Czesław Miłosz (Selected Poems: 1931 - 2004)
Hamlet | Act I, Scene III POLONIUS: Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame! The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are stay'd for. There, my blessing with thee. And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous, chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell. My blessing season this in thee!
William Shakespeare
The feedback from the speakers changes and begins blasting death metal music so loudly into the sky that I swear the bridge suspensions are vibrating. The twins were in charge of the music selection. I catch sight of them on the side of the bridge, each with an arm raised, holding up their forefingers and pinkies in a devil sign, head-banging to the beat. They’re mouthing the words to the garbled voice screaming over the intense electric guitar and drums blasting out of the speakers. They might look pretty badass if it weren’t for their hobo clown outfits. It’s the loudest party the Bay Area has ever heard.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Is it not possible that the rage for confession, autobiography, especially for memories of earliest childhood, is explained by our persistent yet mysterious belief in a self which is continuous and permanent; which, untouched by all we acquire and all we shed, pushes a green spear through the dead leaves and through the mould, thrusts a scaled bud through the year of darkness until, one day, the light discovers it and shakes the flower free and - we are alive - we are flowering for our moment upon the earth?
Katherine Mansfield (Katherine Mansfield Letters And Journals: A Selection)
Every day, hundreds of observations and experiments pour into the hopper of the scientific literature. Many of them don't have much to do with evolution - they're observations about the details of physiology, biochemistry, development, and so on - but many of them do. And every fact that has something to do with evolution confirms its truth. Every fossil that we find, every DNA molecule that we sequence, every organ system that we dissect, supports the idea that species evolved from common ancestors. Despite innumerable possible observations that could prove evolution untrue, we don't have a single one. We don't find mammals in Precambrian rocks, humans in the same layers as dinosaurs, or any other fossils out of evolutionary order. DNA sequencing supports the evolutionary relationships of species originally deduced from the fossil record. And, as natural selection predicts, we find no species with adaptations that only benefit a different species. We do find dead genes and vestigial organs, incomprehensible under the idea of special creation. Despite a million chances to be wrong, evolution always comes up right. That is as close as we can get to a scientific truth.
Jerry A. Coyne (Why Evolution Is True)
What are you doing here?" I whispered, smiling in the dark. "I had to see you," he breathed into my cheek as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me down until we were lying side by side on the bed. "I have so much to tell you, Aspen." "Shhh, don't say a word. If anyone hears, there'll be hell to pay. Just let me look at you." And so I obeyed. I stayed there, quiet and still, while Aspen stared into my eyes. When he had his fill of that, he went to nuzzling his nose into my neck and hair. And then his hands were moving up and down the curve of my waist to my hip over and over and over. I heard his breathing get heavy, and something about that drew me in. His lips, hidden in my neck, started kissing me. I drew in sharp breaths. I couldn't help it. Aspen's lips traveled up my chin and covered my mouth, effectively silencing my gasps. I wrapped myself around him, our rushed grabbing and the humidity of the night covering us both in sweat. It was a stolen moment. Aspen's lips finally slowed, though I was nowhere near ready to stop. But we had to be smart. If we went any further, and there was ever evidence of it, we'd both be thrown in jail. Another reason everyone married young: Waiting is torture. "I should go," he whispered. "But I want you to stay." My lips were by his ears. I could smell his soap again. "America Singer, one day you will fall asleep in my arms every night. And you'll wake up to my kisses every morning. And them some." I bit my lip at the thought. "But now I have to go. We're pushing our luck." I sighed and loosened my grip. He was right. "I love you, America." "I love you, Aspen." These secret moments would be enough to get me through everything coming: Mom's disappointment when I wasn't chosen, the work I'd have to do to help Aspen save, the eruption that was coming when he asked Dad for my hand, and whatever struggles we'd go through once we were married. None of it mattered. Not if I had Aspen.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Since the days of Descartes it has been a conception familiar to philosophers that every visible event in nature might be explained by previous visible events, and that all the motions, for instance, of the tongue in speech, or of the hand in painting, might have merely physical causes. If consciousness is thus accessory to life and not essential to it, the race of man might have existed upon the earth and acquired all the arts necessary for its subsistence without possessing a single sensation, idea, or emotion. Natural selection might have secured the survival of those automata which made useful reactions upon their environment. An instinct would have been developed, dangers would have been shunned without being feared, and injuries avenged without being felt.
George Santayana (Little Essays Drawn From The Writings Of George Santayana)
my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell I hold my honey and I store my bread In little jars and cabinets of my will. I label clearly, and each latch and lid I bid, Be firm till I return from hell. I am very hungry. I am incomplete. And none can tell when I may dine again. No man can give me any word but Wait, The puny light. I keep eyes pointed in; Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt Drag out to their last dregs and I resume On such legs as are left me, in such heart As I can manage, remember to go home, My taste will not have turned insensitive To honey and bread old purity could love.
Gwendolyn Brooks (Selected Poems)
Just try to let yourself be carried away blindly by your feelings, without reflection, without a primary cause, suppressing consciousness even for a moment; hate or love, anything, just in order not to sit idly by with your arms folded. The day after tomorrow at the very latest, you'll begin to despise yourself for having deceived yourself knowingly. The result: a soap bubble and inertia.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgement go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases. But the moment the patient begins to assimilate contents that were previously unconscious, its danger diminishes. The dissociation of personality, the anxious division of the day-time and the night-time sides of the psyche, cease with progressive assimilation.
C.G. Jung (The Essential Jung: Selected Writings)
The fundamental biological variant is DNA. That is why Mendel's definition of the gene as the unvarying bearer of hereditary traits, its chemical identification by Avery (confirmed by Hershey), and the elucidation by Watson and Crick of the structural basis of its replicative invariance, are without any doubt the most important discoveries ever made in biology. To this must be added the theory of natural selection, whose certainty and full significance were established only by those later theories.
Jacques Monod (Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology)
Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free: as they cannot destroy either one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large that holds the end of his chain. By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
Some years ago a writer not much older than I am now told me (not bitterly, but matter-of-factly) that it was a good thing that I, as a young writer, did not have to face the darkness that he faced every day, the knowledge that his best work was behind him. And another, in his eighties, told me that what kept him going every day was the knowledge that his best work was still out there, the great work that he would one day do. I aspire to the condition of the second of my friends, I like the idea that one day I'll do something that really works, even if I fear that I've been saying the same things for over thirty years. As we get older, each thing we do, each thing we write reminds us of something else we've done. Events rhyme. Nothing quite happens for the first time anymore.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
the feeling of being a digression not the link in the argument, a new direction, an offshoot, the limb going on elsewhere, and liking that error, a feeling of being capable because an error, of being wrong perhaps altogether wrong a piece from another set stripped of position stripped of true function and loving that error, loving that filial form, that break from perfection where the complex mechanism fails, where the stranger appears in the clearing, out of nowhere and uncalled for, out of nowhere to share the day.
Jorie Graham (The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994)
WORK, SOMETIMES I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words falling off my tongue. The robins had been a long time singing, and now it was beginning to rain. What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem. Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance. You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment! As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2)
Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused—in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened—by the recurrence of Christmas. There are people who will tell you that Christmas is not to them what it used to be; that each succeeding Christmas has found some cherished hope, or happy prospect, of the year before, dimmed or passed away; that the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes—of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune. Never heed such dismal reminiscences. There are few men who have lived long enough in the world who cannot call up such thoughts any day of the year. Then do not select the merriest of the three hundred and sixty-five for your doleful recollections, but draw your chair nearer the blazing fire—fill the glass and send round the song—and if your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass be filled with reeking punch, instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter, and empty it offhand, and fill another, and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it’s no worse.
Charles Dickens (Sketches by Boz)
saying—” Lady Brice’s next words were lost because, without any warning, Grandma flung the door open. “You really need to ask permission first,” a guard warned her in a hushed tone. She kept walking toward me. “Well, my girl, it’s time for me to head out.” “So soon?” I asked, embracing her. “I can never stay too long. Your mother is recovering from a heart attack, and she still has the audacity to order me around. I know she’s the queen,” she conceded, raising her hands in the air in surrender, “but I’m her mother, and that trumps queen any day.” I laughed. “I’ll remember that for down the road.” “You do that,” she said, rubbing my cheek. “And if you don’t mind, get yourself a husband as soon as you can. I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to see at least one great-grandchild before I’m dead.” She stared at my stomach and shook her finger. “Don’t let me down.” “Ooooookay, Grandma. 
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle. The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat. And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger. And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap… And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle. And then the eagle lets go. And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises. But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection. One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them. But never lose sight of the fact that it is your friends who will lead you along the paths that you will follow. While you should be friendly with all people, select with great care those whom you wish to have close to you. They will be your safeguards in situations where you may vacillate between choices, and you in turn may save them. . . . Be Grateful. Be Smart. Be Involved. Be Clean. Be True. Be Positive. Be Humble. Be Still. Be Prayerful. There they are, nine Be's which, if observed, will bring handsome dividends to any young man or woman. They will add sparkle to your days and peace to your nights. They will save you from heartache and pain. They will bring purpose into your life and give direction to your energies. They will bring you friends of your own kind. They will protect you from associations that would pull you down and deflect you from your course.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Way to Be!: 9 Ways To Be Happy And Make Something Of Your Life)
The mass-man would never have accepted authority external to himself had not his surroundings violently forced him to do so. As to-day, his surroundings do not so force him, the everlasting mass-man, true to his character, ceases to appeal to other authority and feels himself lord of his own existence. On the contrary the select man, the excellent man is urged, by interior necessity, to appeal from himself to some standard beyond himself, superior to himself, whose service he freely accepts...Contrary to what is usually thought, it is the man of excellence, and not the common man who lives in essential servitude. Life has no savour for him unless he makes it consist in service to something transcendental. Hence he does not look upon the necessity of serving as an oppression. When, by chance, such necessity is lacking, he grows restless and invents some new standard, more difficult, more exigent, with which to coerce himself. This is life lived as a discipline — the noble life.
José Ortega y Gasset (The Revolt of the Masses)
I took a deep breath. “I don’t want to marry Henri. I want to marry Eikko.” “Who?” “Erik. His translator. I’m in love with him, and I want to marry him. And even though he hates having his picture taken, I want to take a thousand so I can put him on my wall and wake up to us laughing every day, just like you do with Mom. And I want him to make me doughnuts, just like his mom does for his dad. Even if I have to let out all my dresses. And I want us to find our own thing or maybe find out that our own thing is everything, because I feel like if I have him, even the stupid stuff would matter.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
Indifference This hate has blossomed like a living love, grieving, watching its own exhaustion. It seeks a face, it seeks flesh, as though it were love. The worldly flesh and the voices that spoke are dead, all has shuddered away, all life hangs on a voice. Days pass in bitter ecstasy to the sad caress of the voice that returns and drains the blood from our faces. Not without sweetness that voice returns to the mind exhausted and trembling: once it trembled for me. But the flesh does not tremble. Only love could set it alight, this hate seeks it out. All the possessions, all the flesh and all the voices in the world cannot equal the burning caress of that body and those eyes. In the bitter ecstasy that kills itself, this hate still finds each day a glance, a broken word, and grasps them, hungrily, like love.
Cesare Pavese (Selected Poems)
A custom existed among the first generations of Christians, when faith was a bright fire that warmed more than those who kept it burning. In every house then a room was kept ready for any stranger who might ask for shelter; it was even called “the stranger’s room.” Not because these people thought they could trace something of someone they loved in the stranger who used it, not because the man or woman to whom they gave shelter reminded them of Christ, but because—plain and simple and stupendous fact—he or she was Christ.
Dorothy Day (Dorothy Day: Selections from Her Writings (Modern Spirituality))
Rapture I can feel she has got out of bed. That means it is seven a.m. I have been lying with eyes shut, thinking, or possibly dreaming, of how she might look if, at breakfast, I spoke about the hidden place in her which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo, and right then, over toast and bramble jelly, if such things are possible, she came. I imagine she would show it while trying to conceal it. I imagine her hair would fall about her face and she would become apparently downcast, as she does at a concert when she is moved. The hypnopompic play passes, and I open my eyes and there she is, next to the bed, bending to a low drawer, picking over various small smooth black, white, and pink items of underwear. She bends so low her back runs parallel to the earth, but there is no sway in it, there is little burden, the day has hardly begun. The two mounds of muscles for walking, leaping, lovemaking, lift toward the east—what can I say? Simile is useless; there is nothing like them on earth. Her breasts fall full; the nipples are deep pink in the glare shining up through the iron bars of the gate under the earth where those who could not love press, wanting to be born again. I reach out and take her wrist and she falls back into bed and at once starts unbuttoning my pajamas. Later, when I open my eyes, there she is again, rummaging in the same low drawer. The clock shows eight. Hmmm. With huge, silent effort of great, mounded muscles the earth has been turning. She takes a piece of silken cloth from the drawer and stands up. Under the falls of hair her face has become quiet and downcast, as if she will be, all day among strangers, looking down inside herself at our rapture.
Galway Kinnell (A New Selected Poems)
I Have Walked Down Many Roads by Antonio Machado translated from the Spanish by Don Share I have walked down many roads and cleared many paths; I have navigated a hundred oceans and anchored off a hundred shores. All over, I have seen caravans of sadness, pompous and melancholy men drunk with black shadows, and defrocked pedants who stare, keep quiet, and think they know, because they don’t drink wine in the neighborhood bars. Bad people who go around polluting the earth . . . And all over, I have seen people who dance or play, when they can, and work their four handfuls of land. If they turn up someplace, they never ask where they are. When they travel, they ride on the backs of old mules, and don’t know how to hurry, not even on holidays. When there’s wine, they drink wine; when there’s no wine, they drink cool water. These are good people, who live, work, get by, and dream; and on a day like all the others they lie down under the earth.
Antonio Machado (Times Alone: Selected Poems)
I’m certain, but my certainty is a lie. To be certain is to not be seeing. The day after tomorrow doesn’t exist. This is what exists: A blue sky that’s a bit hazy and some white clouds on the horizon, With a dark smudge underneath, as if they might turn black. This is what today is, And since for the time being today is everything, this is everything. I might be dead—who knows?—the day after tomorrow, In which case the storm that will strike the day after tomorrow Will be a different storm than it would be if I hadn’t died. I realize that the storm doesn’t fall from my eyes, But if I’m no longer in this world, the world will be different— There will be one person less— And the storm, falling in a different world, won’t be the same storm. In any case, the storm that’s going to fall will be the one falling when it falls. 10 JULY 1930
Fernando Pessoa (A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems)
The vast universal suffering feel as thine: Thou must bear the sorrow that thou claimst to heal; The day-bringer must walk in darkest night. He who would save the world must share its pain. If he knows not grief, how shall he find grief’s cure? If far he walks above mortality’s head, How shall the mortal reach that too high path? If one of theirs they see scale heaven’s peaks, Men then can hope to learn that titan climb. God must be born on earth and be as man That man being human may grow even as God. He who would save the world must be one with the world, All suffering things contain in his heart’s space And bear the grief and joy of all that lives. His soul must be wider than the universe And feel eternity as its very stuff, Rejecting the moment’s personality Know itself older than the birth of Time, Creation an incident in its consciousness, Arcturus and Belphegor grains of fire Circling in a corner of its boundless self, The world’s destruction a small transient storm In the calm infinity it has become. If thou wouldst a little loosen the vast chain, Draw back from the world that the Idea has made, Thy mind’s selection from the Infinite, Thy senses’ gloss on the Infinitesimal’s dance, Then shalt thou know how the great bondage came. Banish all thought from thee and be God’s void.
Sri Aurobindo
He told me that in 1886 he had invented an original system of numbering and that in a very few days he had gone beyond the twenty-four-thousand mark. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him. His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen he would say (for example) Maximo Pérez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Railroad; other numbers were Luis Melián Lafinur, Olimar, sulphur, the reins, the whale, the gas, the caldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated...
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings)
Last to dry was the hair. When we were already far from the sea, when words and salt, which had merged on us, separated from one another with a sigh, and your body no longer showed signs of a terrible ancientness. And in vain we had forgotten a few things on the beach, so that we would have an excuse to return. We didn’t return. And these days I remember the days that have your name on them, like a name on a ship, and how we saw through two open doors one man who was thinking, and how we looked at the clouds with the ancient gaze we inherited from our fathers, who waited for rain, and how at night, when the world cooled off, your body kept its warmth for a long time, like the sea
Yehuda Amichai (The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai)
In our part of the country, spring passes quickly. If you haven't been out for five days, you find the trees in bud. If you don't see the trees for another five days, you discover that they've put out leaves. In another five days, they're so green you wouldn't recognize them. It makes you wonder: Can these be the same trees I saw a few days before? And you answer yourself: Of course they are. That's how fast spring goes by. You can almost see it. From far away it comes racing toward you. And when it reaches you it whispers in your ear, 'I'm here,' and then runs swiftly on. Spring - what a rush it's in. Every place seems to be urging it to come. If it delays its arrival a bit, the sunlight fades and the earth turns to stone. Trees especially can't endure any delay. Let spring dally even briefly on the way, and many lives are lost. ("Spring In A Small Town")
Xiao Hong (Selected Stories Of Xiao Hong)
There were two things about this particular book (The Golden Book of Fairy Tales) that made it vital to the child I was. First, it contained a remarkable number of stories about courageous, active girls; and second, it portrayed the various evils they faced in unflinching terms. Just below their diamond surface, these were stories of great brutality and anguish, many of which had never been originally intended for children at all. (Although Ponsot included tales from the Brothers Grimm and Andersen, the majority of her selections were drawn from the French contes de fées tradition — stories created as part of the vogue for fairy tales in seventeenth century Paris, recounted in literary salons and published for adult readers.) I hungered for a narrative with which to make some sense of my life, but in schoolbooks and on television all I could find was the sugar water of Dick and Jane, Leave it to Beaver and the happy, wholesome Brady Bunch. Mine was not a Brady Bunch family; it was troubled, fractured, persistently violent, and I needed the stronger meat of wolves and witches, poisons and peril. In fairy tales, I had found a mirror held up to the world I knew — where adults were dangerous creatures, and Good and Evil were not abstract concepts. (…) There were in those days no shelves full of “self–help” books for people with pasts like mine. In retrospect, I’m glad it was myth and folklore I turned to instead. Too many books portray child abuse as though it’s an illness from which one must heal, like cancer . . .or malaria . . .or perhaps a broken leg. Eventually, this kind of book promises, the leg will be strong enough to use, despite a limp betraying deeper wounds that might never mend. Through fairy tales, however, I understood my past in different terms: not as an illness or weakness, but as a hero narrative. It was a story, my story, beginning with birth and ending only with death. Difficult challenges and trials, even those that come at a tender young age, can make us wiser, stronger, and braver; they can serve to transform us, rather than sending us limping into the future.
Terri Windling (Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales)
Seen on her own, the woman was not so remarkable. Tall, angular, aquiline features, with the close-cropped hair which was fashionably called an Eton crop, he seemed to remember, in his mother's day, and about her person the stamp of that particular generation. She would be in her middle sixties, he supposed, the masculine shirt with collar and tie, sports jacket, grey tweed skirt coming to mid-calf. Grey stockings and laced black shoes. He had seen the type on golf courses and at dog shows - invariably showing not sporting breeds but pugs - and if you came across them at a party in somebody's house they were quicker on the draw with a cigarette lighter than he was himself, a mere male, with pocket matches. The general belief that they kept house with a more feminine, fluffy companion was not always true. Frequently they boasted, and adored, a golfing husband. ("Don't Look Now")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
There once was a brown horse that was brown like a bean, and he lived in the home of a very poor farmer. And the poor farmer had a very poor wife, and they had a very thin chicken and a lame little pig. And so, one day the very poor farmer s wife said: We have nothing more to eat because we are very poor, so we must eat the very thin chicken. So they killed the very thin chicken and made a thin soup and ate it. And so, for a while, they were fine; but the hunger returned and the very poor farmer told his very poor wife: We have nothing more to eat because we are so poor, so we must eat the lame little pig. And so the lame little pig s turn came and they killed it and they made a lame soup and ate it. And then it was the bean-brown horse s turn. But the bean-brown horse did not wait for the story to end; it just ran away and went to another story. Is that the end of the story? I asked Durito, unable to hide my bewilderment. Of course not. Didn't you hear me say that the bean-brown horse fled to another story? he said as he prepared to leave. And so? I ask exasperated. And so nothing you have to look for the bean-brown horse in another story! he said, adjusting his hat. But, Durito! I said, protesting uselessly. Not one more word! You tell the story like it is
Subcomandante Marcos (Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings)
Every telecomm company is as big a corporate welfare bum as you could ask for. Try to imagine what it would cost at market rates to go around to every house in every town in every country and pay for the right to block traffic and dig up roads and erect poles and string wires and pierce every home with cabling. The regulatory fiat that allows these companies to get their networks up and running is worth hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. If phone companies want to operate in the “free market,” then let them: the FCC could give them 60 days to get all their rotten copper out of our dirt, or we’ll buy it from them at the going scrappage rates. Then, let’s hold an auction for the right to be the next big telecomm company, on one condition: in exchange for using the public’s rights-of-way, you have to agree to connect us to the people we want to talk to, and vice-versa, as quickly and efficiently as you can.
Cory Doctorow (Context: Further Selected Essays on Productivity, Creativity, Parenting, and Politics in the 21st Century)
Many [Tudor-era religious radicals] believed then, exactly as Christian fundamentalists do today, that they lived in the 'last days' before Armageddon and, again just as now, saw signs all around in the world that they took as certain proof that the Apocalypse was imminent. Again like fundamentalists today, they looked on the prospect of the violent destruction of mankind without turning a hair. The remarkable similarity between the first Tudor Puritans and the fanatics among today's Christian fundamentalists extends to their selective reading of the Bible, their emphasis on the Book of Revelation, their certainty of their rightness, even to their phraseology. Where the Book of Revelation is concerned, I share the view of Guy, that the early church fathers released something very dangerous on the world when, after much deliberation, they decided to include it in the Christian canon." [From the author's concluding Historical Note]
C.J. Sansom (Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4))
I was a prisoner inside my own body. I felt desperate, angry, stupid, confused, ashamed, hopeless and absolutely alone... and that this was of my own making. I could speak at home, how come I couldn't outside it? I have never been able to find the right words to describe what it was like. Imagine that for one day you are unable to speak to anyone you meet outside your own family, particularly at school/college, or out shopping, etc., have no sign language, no gestures, no facial expression. Then imagine that for eight years, but no one really understands. It was like torture, and I was the only person that knew it was happening. My body and face were frozen most of the time. I became hyperconscious of myself when outside the home and it was a relief to get back as I was always exhausted. I attempted to hide it (an impossible task) because I felt so ashamed that I couldn't do what other people seemed to find so natural and easy - to speak. At times I felt suicidal.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
Following Homo sapiens, domesticated cattle, pigs and sheep are the second, third and fourth most widespread large mammals in the world. From a narrow evolutionary perspective, which measures success by the number of DNA copies, the Agricultural Revolution was a wonderful boon for chickens, cattle, pigs and sheep. Unfortunately, the evolutionary perspective is an incomplete measure of success. It judges everything by the criteria of survival and reproduction, with no regard for individual suffering and happiness. Domesticated chickens and cattle may well be an evolutionary success story, but they are also among the most miserable creatures that ever lived. The domestication of animals was founded on a series of brutal practices that only became crueller with the passing of the centuries. The natural lifespan of wild chickens is about seven to twelve years, and of cattle about twenty to twenty-five years. In the wild, most chickens and cattle died long before that, but they still had a fair chance of living for a respectable number of years. In contrast, the vast majority of domesticated chickens and cattle are slaughtered at the age of between a few weeks and a few months, because this has always been the optimal slaughtering age from an economic perspective. (Why keep feeding a cock for three years if it has already reached its maximum weight after three months?) Egg-laying hens, dairy cows and draught animals are sometimes allowed to live for many years. But the price is subjugation to a way of life completely alien to their urges and desires. It’s reasonable to assume, for example, that bulls prefer to spend their days wandering over open prairies in the company of other bulls and cows rather than pulling carts and ploughshares under the yoke of a whip-wielding ape. In order for humans to turn bulls, horses, donkeys and camels into obedient draught animals, their natural instincts and social ties had to be broken, their aggression and sexuality contained, and their freedom of movement curtailed. Farmers developed techniques such as locking animals inside pens and cages, bridling them in harnesses and leashes, training them with whips and cattle prods, and mutilating them. The process of taming almost always involves the castration of males. This restrains male aggression and enables humans selectively to control the herd’s procreation.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The political merchandisers appeal only to the weak­nesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this pur­pose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully se­lected samples of the electorate are given "interviews in depth." These interviews in depth reveal the uncon­scious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given so­ciety at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look "sincere." Under the new dispen­sation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The person­ality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really mat­ter. In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to con­centrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most -- and prefera­bly (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex is­sues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most con­scientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchan­dise the political candidate as though he were a deo­dorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.
Aldous Huxley
The Genius Of The Crowd there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day and the best at murder are those who preach against it and the best at hate are those who preach love and the best at war finally are those who preach peace those who preach god, need god those who preach peace do not have peace those who preach peace do not have love beware the preachers beware the knowers beware those who are always reading books beware those who either detest poverty or are proud of it beware those quick to praise for they need praise in return beware those who are quick to censor they are afraid of what they do not know beware those who seek constant crowds for they are nothing alone beware the average man the average woman beware their love, their love is average seeks average but there is genius in their hatred there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you to kill anybody not wanting solitude not understanding solitude they will attempt to destroy anything that differs from their own not being able to create art they will not understand art they will consider their failure as creators only as a failure of the world not being able to love fully they will believe your love incomplete and then they will hate you and their hatred will be perfect like a shining diamond like a knife like a mountain like a tiger like hemlock their finest art
Charles Bukowski (The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966)
The old woman sits on a bench before the door and quarrels With her meagre pale demoralized daughter. Once when I passed I found her alone, laughing in the sun And saying that when she was first married She lived in the old farmhouse up Garapatas Canyon. (It is empty now, the roof has fallen But the log walls hang on the stone foundation; the redwoods Have all been cut down, the oaks are standing; The place is now more solitary than ever before.) "When I was nursing my second baby My husband found a day-old fawn hid in a fern-brake And brought it; I put its mouth to the breast Rather than let it starve, I had milk enough for three babies. Hey how it sucked, the little nuzzler, Digging its little hoofs like quills into my stomach. I had more joy from that than from the others." Her face is deformed with age, furrowed like a bad road With market-wagons, mean cares and decay. She is thrown up to the surface of things, a cell of dry skin Soon to be shed from the earth's old eye-brows, I see that once in her spring she lived in the streaming arteries, The stir of the world, the music of the mountain.
Robinson Jeffers (The Selected Poetry)
Next day Tarrou set to work and enrolled a first team of workers, soon to be followed by many others. However, it is not the narrator's intention to ascribe to these sanitary groups more importance than their due. Doubtless today many of our fellow citizens are apt to yield to the temptation of exaggerating the services they rendered. But the narrator is inclined to think that by attributing overimportance to praiseworthy actions one may, by implication, be paying indirect but potent homage to the worse side of human nature. For this attitude implies that such actions shine out as rare exceptions, while callousness and apathy are the general rule. The narrator does not share that view. The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.
Albert Camus (The Plague, The Fall, Exile and the Kingdom, and Selected Essays)
Let me try to explain to you, what to my taste is characteristic for all intelligent thinking. It is, that one is willing to study in depth an aspect of one's subject matter in isolation for the sake of its own consistency, all the time knowing that one is occupying oneself only with one of the aspects. We know that a program must be correct and we can study it from that viewpoint only; we also know that it should be efficient and we can study its efficiency on another day, so to speak. In another mood we may ask ourselves whether, and if so: why, the program is desirable. But nothing is gained—on the contrary!—by tackling these various aspects simultaneously. It is what I sometimes have called "the separation of concerns", which, even if not perfectly possible, is yet the only available technique for effective ordering of one's thoughts, that I know of. This is what I mean by "focusing one's attention upon some aspect": it does not mean ignoring the other aspects, it is just doing justice to the fact that from this aspect's point of view, the other is irrelevant. It is being one- and multiple-track minded simultaneously.
Edsger W. Dijkstra (Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective)
Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
David Foster Wallace
He paused a moment, gazing in awe at the huge mass of buildings composing the castle. It stood close to the river, on either side and to the rear stretched the extensive park and gardens, filled with splendid trees, fountains and beds of brilliant flowers in shades of pink, crimson, and scarlet. The castle itself was built of pink granite, and enclosed completely a smaller, older building which the present Duke's father had considered too insignificant for his town residence. The new castle had taken forty years to build; three architects and hundreds of men had worked day and night, and the old Duke had personally selected every block of sunset-colored stone that went to its construction. 'I want it to look like a great half-open rose,' he declared to the architects, who were fired with enthusiasm by this romantic fancy. It was begun as a wedding present to the Duke's wife, whose name was Rosamond, but unfortunately she died some nine years before it was completed. 'never mind, it will do for her memorial instead,' said the grief-stricken but practical widower. The work went on. At last the final block was laid in place. The Duke, by now very old, went out in his barouche and drove slowly along the opposite riverbank to consider the effect. He paused midway for a long time, then gave his opinion. 'It looks like a cod cutlet covered in shrimp sauce,' he said, drove home, took to his bed, and died.
Joan Aiken (Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2))
It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, what agonies I endured in that struggle! I did not believe it was the same with other people, and all my life I hid this fact about myself as a secret. I was ashamed (even now, perhaps, I am ashamed): I got to the point of feeling a sort of secret abnormal, despicable enjoyment in returning home to my corner on some disgusting Petersburg night, acutely conscious that that day I had committed a loathsome action again, that what was done could never be undone, and secretly, inwardly gnawing, gnawing at myself for it, tearing and consuming myself till at last the bitterness turned into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last—into positive real enjoyment! Yes, into enjoyment, into enjoyment! I insist upon that. I have spoken of this because I keep wanting to know for a fact whether other people feel such enjoyment? I will explain; the enjoyment was just from the too intense consciousness of one’s own degradation; it was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into. And the worst of it was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing. Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were any consolation to the scoundrel once he has come to realise that he actually is a scoundrel.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
At the end of the vacation, I took a steamer alone from Wuhan back up through the Yangtze Gorges. The journey took three days. One morning, as I was leaning over the side, a gust of wind blew my hair loose and my hairpin fell into the river. A passenger with whom I had been chatting pointed to a tributary which joined the Yangtze just where we were passing, and told me a story.In 33 B.C., the emperor of China, in an attempt to appease the country's powerful northern neighbors, the Huns, decided to send a woman to marry the barbarian king. He made his selection from the portraits of the 3,000 concubines in his court, many of whom he had never seen. As she was for a barbarian, he selected the ugliest portrait, but on the day of her departure he discovered that the woman was in fact extremely beautiful. Her portrait was ugly because she had refused to bribe the court painter. The emperor ordered the artist to be executed, while the lady wept, sitting by a river, at having to leave her country to live among the barbarians. The wind carried away her hairpin and dropped it into the river as though it wanted to keep something of hers in her homeland. Later on, she killed herself. Legend had it that where her hairpin dropped, the river turned crystal clear, and became known as the Crystal River. My fellow passenger told me this was the tributary we were passing. With a grin, he declared: "Ah, bad omen! You might end up living in a foreign land and marrying a barbarian!" I smiled faintly at the traditional Chinese obsession about other races being 'barbarians," and wondered whether this lady of antiquity might not actually have been better off marrying the 'barbarian' king. She would at least be in daily contact with the grassland, the horses, and nature. With the Chinese emperor, she was living in a luxurious prison, without even a proper tree, which might enable the concubines to climb a wall and escape. I thought how we were like the frogs at the bottom of the well in the Chinese legend, who claimed that the sky was only as big as the round opening at the top of their well. I felt an intense and urgent desire to see the world. At the time I had never spoken with a foreigner, even though I was twenty-three, and had been an English language student for nearly two years. The only foreigners I had ever even set eyes on had been in Peking in 1972. A foreigner, one of the few 'friends of China," had come to my university once. It was a hot summer day and I was having a nap when a fellow student burst into our room and woke us all by shrieking: "A foreigner is here! Let's go and look at the foreigner!" Some of the others went, but I decided to stay and continue my snooze. I found the whole idea of gazing, zombie like rather ridiculous. Anyway, what was the point of staring if we were forbidden to open our mouths to him, even though he was a 'friend of China'? I had never even heard a foreigner speaking, except on one single Linguaphone record. When I started learning the language, I had borrowed the record and a phonograph, and listened to it at home in Meteorite Street. Some neighbors gathered in the courtyard, and said with their eyes wide open and their heads shaking, "What funny sounds!" They asked me to play the record over and over again.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
There are probably no pure races but only races that have become pure, even these being extremely rare. What is normal is crossed races, in which, together with a disharmony of physical features (when eye and mouth do not correspond with one another, for example), there must always go a disharmony of habits and value-concepts. (Livingstone¹¹³ heard someone say: 'God created white and black men but the Devil Created the half-breeds.') Crossed races always mean at the same time crossed cultures, crossed moralities: they are usually more evil, crueller, more restless. Purity is the final result of countless adaptations, absorptions and secretions, and progress towards purity is evidenced in the fact that the energy available to a race is increasingly restricted to individual selected functions, while previously it was applied to too many and often contradictory things: such a restriction will always seem to be an impoverishment and should be assessed with consideration and caution. In the end, however, if the process of purification is successful, all that energy formerly expended in the struggle of the dissonant qualities with one another will stand at the command of the total organism: which is why races that have become pure have always also become stronger and more beautiful. The Greeks offer us the model of a race and culture that has become pure: and hopefully we shall one day also achieve a pure European race and culture.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Men would no longer be victims of nature or of their own largely irrational societies: reason would triumph; universal harmonious cooperation, true history, would at last begin. For if this was not so, do the ideas of progress, of history, have any meaning? Is there not a movement, however tortuous, from ignorance to knowledge, from mythical thought and childish fantasies to perception of reality face to face, to knowledge of true goals, true values as well as truths of fact? Can history be a mere purposeless succession of events, caused by a mixture of material factors and the play of random selection, a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing? This was unthinkable. The day would dawn when men and women would take their lives in their own hands and not be self-seeking beings or the playthings of blind forces that they did not understand. It was, at the very least, not impossible to conceive that such an earthly paradise could be; and if conceivable we could, at any rate, try to march towards it. That has been at the centre of ethical thought from the Greeks to the Christian visionaries of the Middle Ages, from the Renaissance to progressive thought in the last century; and indeed, is believed by many to this day.
Isaiah Berlin (The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas)
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
From then on, my computer monitored my vital signs and kept track of exactly how many calories I burned during the course of each day. If I didn’t meet my daily exercise requirements, the system prevented me from logging into my OASIS account. This meant that I couldn’t go to work, continue my quest, or, in effect, live my life. Once the lockout was engaged, you couldn’t disable it for two months. And the software was bound to my OASIS account, so I couldn’t just buy a new computer or go rent a booth in some public OASIS café. If I wanted to log in, I had no choice but to exercise first. This proved to be the only motivation I needed. The lockout software also monitored my dietary intake. Each day I was allowed to select meals from a preset menu of healthy, low-calorie foods. The software would order the food for me online and it would be delivered to my door. Since I never left my apartment, it was easy for the program to keep track of everything I ate. If I ordered additional food on my own, it would increase the amount of exercise I had to do each day, to offset my additional calorie intake. This was some sadistic software. But it worked. The pounds began to melt off, and after a few months, I was in near-perfect health. For the first time in my life I had a flat stomach, and muscles. I also had twice the energy, and I got sick a lot less frequently. When the two months ended and I was finally given the option to disable the fitness lockout, I decided to keep it in place. Now, exercising was a part of my daily ritual.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
The sap rises and, itself a mixture of elements, flowers in a mixture of tones; the trees, the rocks, the granites cast their reflections in the mirror of the water; all the transparent objects seize and imprison colour reflections, both close and distant, as the light passes through them. As the star of day moves, the tones change in value, but always they respect their mutual sympathies and natural hatreds, and continue to live in harmony by reciprocal concessions. The shadows move slowly and drive before them or blot out the tones as the light itself, changing position, sets others vibrating. These mingle their reflections, and, modifying their qualities by casting over them transparent and borrowed glazes, multiply to infinity their melodious marriages and make them easier to achieve. When the great ball of fire sinks into the waters, red fanfares fly in all directions, a blood-red harmony spreads over the horizon, green turns to a deep red. But soon vast blue shadows chase rhythmically before them the crowd of orange and soft tones, which are like the distant and muted echoes of the light. This great symphony of today, which is the eternally renewed variation of the symphony of yesterday, this succession of melodies, where the variety comes always from the infinite, this complex hymn is called colour.
Charles Baudelaire (Selected Writings on Art and Literature)
By Jove, it's great! Walk along the streets on some spring morning. The little women, daintily tripping along, seem to blossom out like flowers. What a delightful, charming sight! The dainty perfume of violet is everywhere. The city is gay, and everybody notices the women. By Jove, how tempting they are in their light, thin dresses, which occasionally give one a glimpse of the delicate pink flesh beneath! "One saunters along, head up, mind alert, and eyes open. I tell you it's great! You see her in the distance, while still a block away; you already know that she is going to please you at closer quarters. You can recognize her by the flower on her hat, the toss of her head, or her gait. She approaches, and you say to yourself: 'Look out, here she is!' You come closer to her and you devour her with your eyes. "Is it a young girl running errands for some store, a young woman returning from church, or hastening to see her lover? What do you care? Her well-rounded bosom shows through the thin waist. Oh, if you could only take her in your arms and fondle and kiss her! Her glance may be timid or bold, her hair light or dark. What difference does it make? She brushes against you, and a cold shiver runs down your spine. Ah, how you wish for her all day! How many of these dear creatures have I met this way, and how wildly in love I would have been had I known them more intimately. "Have you ever noticed that the ones we would love the most distractedly are those whom we never meet to know? Curious, isn't it? From time to time we barely catch a glimpse of some woman, the mere sight of whom thrills our senses. But it goes no further. When I think of all the adorable creatures that I have elbowed in the streets of Paris, I fairly rave. Who are they! Where are they? Where can I find them again? There is a proverb which says that happiness often passes our way; I am sure that I have often passed alongside the one who could have caught me like a linnet in the snare of her fresh beauty.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
Environmental influences also affect dopamine. From animal studies, we know that social stimulation is necessary for the growth of the nerve endings that release dopamine and for the growth of receptors that dopamine needs to bind to in order to do its work. In four-month-old monkeys, major alterations of dopamine and other neurotransmitter systems were found after only six days of separation from their mothers. “In these experiments,” writes Steven Dubovsky, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado, “loss of an important attachment appears to lead to less of an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Once these circuits stop functioning normally, it becomes more and more difficult to activate the mind.” A neuroscientific study published in 1998 showed that adult rats whose mothers had given them more licking, grooming and other physical-emotional contact during infancy had more efficient brain circuitry for reducing anxiety, as well as more receptors on nerve cells for the brain’s own natural tranquilizing chemicals. In other words, early interactions with the mother shaped the adult rat’s neurophysiological capacity to respond to stress. In another study, newborn animals reared in isolation had reduced dopamine activity in their prefrontal cortex — but not in other areas of the brain. That is, emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex, the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation. Given the relative complexity of human emotional interactions, the influence of the infant-parent relationship on human neurochemistry is bound to be even stronger. In the human infant, the growth of dopamine-rich nerve terminals and the development of dopamine receptors is stimulated by chemicals released in the brain during the experience of joy, the ecstatic joy that comes from the perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction. Happy interactions between mother and infant generate motivation and arousal by activating cells in the midbrain that release endorphins, thereby inducing in the infant a joyful, exhilarated state. They also trigger the release of dopamine. Both endorphins and dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex. Dopamine released from the midbrain also triggers the growth of nerve cells and blood vessels in the right prefrontal cortex and promotes the growth of dopamine receptors. A relative scarcity of such receptors and blood supply is thought to be one of the major physiological dimensions of ADD. The letters ADD may equally well stand for Attunement Deficit Disorder.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us? I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is a constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes that would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour forth a stream, a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and the crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings)
The Job Application Esteemed gentlemen, I am a poor, young, unemployed person in the business field, my name is Wenzel, I am seeking a suitable position, and I take the liberty of asking you, nicely and politely, if perhaps in your airy, bright, amiable rooms such a position might be free. I know that your good firm is large, proud, old, and rich, thus I may yield to the pleasing supposition that a nice, easy, pretty little place would be available, into which, as into a kind of warm cubbyhole, I can slip. I am excellently suited, you should know, to occupy just such a modest haven, for my nature is altogether delicate, and I am essentially a quiet, polite, and dreamy child, who is made to feel cheerful by people thinking of him that he does not ask for much, and allowing him to take possession of a very, very small patch of existence, where he can be useful in his own way and thus feel at ease. A quiet, sweet, small place in the shade has always been the tender substance of all my dreams, and if now the illusions I have about you grow so intense as to make me hope that my dream, young and old, might be transformed into delicious, vivid reality, then you have, in me, the most zealous and most loyal servitor, who will take it as a matter of conscience to discharge precisely and punctually all his duties. Large and difficult tasks I cannot perform, and obligations of a far-ranging sort are too strenuous for my mind. I am not particularly clever, and first and foremost I do not like to strain my intelligence overmuch. I am a dreamer rather than a thinker, a zero rather than a force, dim rather than sharp. Assuredly there exists in your extensive institution, which I imagine to be overflowing with main and subsidiary functions and offices, work of the kind that one can do as in a dream? --I am, to put it frankly, a Chinese; that is to say, a person who deems everything small and modest to be beautiful and pleasing, and to whom all that is big and exacting is fearsome and horrid. I know only the need to feel at my ease, so that each day I can thank God for life's boon, with all its blessings. The passion to go far in the world is unknown to me. Africa with its deserts is to me not more foreign. Well, so now you know what sort of a person I am.--I write, as you see, a graceful and fluent hand, and you need not imagine me to be entirely without intelligence. My mind is clear, but it refuses to grasp things that are many, or too many by far, shunning them. I am sincere and honest, and I am aware that this signifies precious little in the world in which we live, so I shall be waiting, esteemed gentlemen, to see what it will be your pleasure to reply to your respectful servant, positively drowning in obedience. Wenzel
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)