Small Quotes

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Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
Mother Teresa
I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.
Marilyn Monroe
A person's a person, no matter how small.
Dr. Seuss (Horton Hears a Who!)
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.
Pearl S. Buck
Acts of Kindness: A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else's life.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles")
Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.
Robert Bloch
I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower's stem.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater...The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that's the key. It's like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Dalai Lama XIV
As it has been said: Love and a cough cannot be concealed. Even a small cough. Even a small love.
Anne Sexton
And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
A small but noteworthy note. I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire.
François de la Rochefoucauld (Maxims)
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters
Albert Einstein
Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
Henry Thomas Buckle
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
Confucius (Confucius: The Analects (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition))
The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.
A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1))
Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.
Maxim Gorky (The Lower Depths and Other Plays)
I suspect the most we can hope for, and it's no small hope, is that we never give up, that we never stop giving ourselves permission to try to love and receive love.
Elizabeth Strout (Abide with Me)
Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
Victor Hugo
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.
A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1))
It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it's so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn't coma back. You're left so alone that you can't explain. Damn, there's nothing like that, is there? I've been there and you have too. You're nodding your head.
Henry Rollins (The Portable Henry Rollins)
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.
Anthony Bourdain
Tonight’s December thirty-first, Something is about to burst. The clock is crouching, dark and small, Like a time bomb in the hall. Hark, it's midnight, children dear. Duck! Here comes another year!
Ogden Nash (Collected Verse from 1929 On)
Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only the big eat the small; it is just as common for a bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad.
August Strindberg (Miss Julie)
The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it's the small things that count.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
A small fact: You are going to die....does this worry you?
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
Carl Sagan (Contact)
People tend to overestimate my character," I say quietly. "They think that because I'm small, or a girl, or a Stiff, I can't possibly be cruel. But they're wrong.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Power resides only where men believe it resides. [...] A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
The reality of what we really are is often times found in the small snips, way down at the bottom of things.
Jean Shepherd
I will remember the kisses our lips raw with love and how you gave me everything you had and how I offered you what was left of me, and I will remember your small room the feel of you the light in the window your records your books our morning coffee our noons our nights our bodies spilled together sleeping the tiny flowing currents immediate and forever your leg my leg your arm my arm your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again.
Charles Bukowski
There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time. Reading is not an exception.
Amos Oz
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
C.S. Lewis
Threats are the last resort of a man with no vocabulary.
Tamora Pierce (Lady Knight (Protector of the Small, #4))
Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (The Long Winter (Little House, #6))
I am grateful you're alive", he said. "I am grateful that you're beside me. I am grateful that you're eating." She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're better that waffles, Matthias Helvar." A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips. "Let's not say things we don't mean, my love.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.
Terry Pratchett
Together in our house, in the firelight, we are the world made small.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.
D.H. Lawrence (The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence)
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Aesop
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Winston S. Churchill (Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches)
And the air was full of Thoughts and Things to Say. But at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. Big Things lurk unsaid inside.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)
Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.
Mary Berry
Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
It's not a big thing, but I guess it's true--big things are often just small things that are noticed.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
Never underestimate the big importance of small things
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
You're awfully small to be so hugely irritating.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
When you loved someone and had to let them go, there will always be that small part of yourself that whispers, "What was it that you wanted and why didn't you fight for it?
Shannon L. Alder
Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.
Virginia Woolf
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
Muhammad Ali
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine. And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I feel like my life is so scattered right now. Like it's all the small pieces of paper and someone's turned on the fan. But, talking to you makes me feel like the fan's been turned off for a little bit. Like things could actually make sense. You completely unscatter me, and I appreciate that so much.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
When her body first hit the net, all I registered was a gray blur. I pulled her across it and her hand was small, but warm, and then she stood before me, short and thin and plain and in all ways unremarkable- except that she had jumped first. The stiff had jumped first. Even I didn't jump first. Her eyes were so stern, so insistent. Beautiful.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
When someone cries so hard that it hurts their throat, it is out of frustration or knowing that no matter what you can do or attempt to do can change the situation. When you feel like you need to cry, when you want to just get it out, relieve some of the pressure from the inside - that is true pain. Because no matter how hard you try or how bad you want to, you can't. That pain just stays in place. Then, if you are lucky, one small tear may escape from those eyes that water constantly. That one tear, that tiny, salty, droplet of moisture is a means of escape. Although it's just a small tear, it is the heaviest thing in the world. And it doesn't do a damn thing to fix anything.
Chase Brooks (Hello, My Love 2: First Love Deserves a Second Chance)
To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do.
Hermann Hesse
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.
John Green (Paper Towns)
There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.
Shannon L. Alder
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley...He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I don't like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: "Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity.'" Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, "We're the So-and-Sos," take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it's unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don't participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you're not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.
George Carlin
...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Howard Zinn
Maybe the first time you saw her you were ten. She was standing in the sun scratching her legs. Or tracing letters in the dirt with a stick. Her hair was being pulled. Or she was pulling someone's hair. And a part of you was drawn to her, and a part of you resisted--wanting to ride off on your bicycle, kick a stone, remain uncomplicated. In the same breath you felt the strength of a man, and a self-pity that made you feel small and hurt. Part of you thought: Please don't look at me. If you don't, I can still turn away. And part of you thought: Look at me.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
And,” Annabeth continued, “it reminds me how long we’ve known each other. We were twelve, Percy. Can you believe that?” “No, he admitted. “So…you knew you liked me from that moment?” She smirked. “I hated you at first. You annoyed me. Then I tolerated you for a few years. Then—” “Okay, fine.” She leaned in and kissed: him a good, proper kiss without anyone watching—no Romans anywhere, no screaming satyr chaperones. She pulled away. “I missed you, Percy.” Percy wanted to tell her the same thing, but it seemed too small a comment. While he had been on the Roman side, he’d kept himself alive almost solely by thinking of Annabeth. I missed you didn’t really cover that.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
Maya Angelou
Aelin took a step forward. One step, as if in a daze. She loosed a shuddering breath, and a small, whimpering noise came out of her - a sob. And then she was sprinting down the alley, flying as though the winds themselves pushed at her heels. She flung herself on the male, crashing into him hard enough that anyone else might have gone rocking back into the stone wall. But the male grabbed her to him, his massive arms wrapping around her tightly and lifting her up. Nesryn made to approach, but Aedion stopped her with a hand on her arm. Aelin was laughing as she cried, and the male was just holding her, his hooded head buried in her neck. As if he were breathing her in. "Who is that?" Nesryn asked. Aedion smiled. "Rowan.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here.
Warsan Shire
Isabelle snorted. 'All the boys are gay. In this truck, anyway. Well, not you, Simon.' 'You noticed' said Simon. 'I think of myself as a freewheeling bisexual,' added Magnus. 'Please never say those words in front of my parents,' said Alec. 'Especially my father.' 'I thought your parents were okay with you, you know, coming out,' Simon said, leaning around Isabelle to look at Alec, who was — as he often was — scowling, and pushing his floppy dark hair out of his eyes. Aside from the occasional exchange, Simon had never talked to Alec much. He wasn’t an easy person to get to know. But, Simon admitted to himself, his own recent estrangement from his mother made him more curious about Alec’s answer than he would have been otherwise. 'My mother seems to have accepted it,' Alec said. 'But my father — no, not really. Once he asked me what I thought had turned me gay.' Simon felt Isabelle tense next to him. 'Turned you gay?' She sounded incredulous. 'Alec, you didn’t tell me that.' 'I hope you told him you were bitten by a gay spider,' said Simon. Magnus snorted; Isabelle looked confused. 'I’ve read Magnus’s stash of comics,' said Alec, 'so I actually know what you’re talking about' A small smile played around his mouth. 'So would that give me the proportional gayness of a spider?' 'Only if it was a really gay spider,' said Magnus, and he yelled as Alec punched him in the arm. 'Ow, okay, never mind.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable. It’s true. I speak from experience.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending; nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the colour of its countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing (i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things 2. Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same. 3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood. 4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home. 5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave. 6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember. 7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless. 8. It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth. 9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war. 10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes. 11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents. 12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay. 13. I’m not a dog. 14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong. 15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things. 16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother. 17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot. 18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me. 19. You were too cruel to love for a long time. 20. It just didn’t work out. 21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back. 22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth. 23. I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home. 24. The women in my family die waiting. 25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you. 26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me. 27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick. 28. He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.” 29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile 30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love. 31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you. 32. I’m a lover without a lover. 33. I’m lovely and lonely. 34. I belong deeply to myself .
Warsan Shire
Because I wanted you." He turned from the window to face me. "More than I ever wanted anything in my life," he added softly. I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. "When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'" I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. "I said to myself, 'She's mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.' And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...'" He dodged around a chair. "Of course, I thought it might ha' just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together"--he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve--"with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs"--he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us--"and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest"--a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor--"I said to myself..." He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. "Jamie...I said...for all she's a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder's ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she's a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?" I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house. "You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?" I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. "Have I not...just been...saying so?
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Your Peter P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)