Small Saving Quotes

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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)
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
A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely.
Pam Brown
Small things such as this have saved me: how much I love my mother—even after all these years. How powerfully I carry her within me. My grief is tremendous but my love is bigger. So is yours. You are not grieving your son’s death because his death was ugly and unfair. You’re grieving it because you loved him truly. The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of his death.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. 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. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, 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 and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan
Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled "My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles" when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge, in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
My mind then wandered. I thought of this: I thought of how every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments—we hear a word that sticks in our mind—or maybe we have a small experience that pulls us out of ourselves, if only briefly—we share a hotel elevator with a bride in her veils, say, or a stranger gives us a piece of bread to feed to the mallard ducks in the lagoon; a small child starts a conversation with us in a Dairy Queen—or we have an episode like the one I had with the M&M cars back at the Husky station. And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection—certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether; one we didn’t even know was going on inside us. And maybe this other life is more important than the one we think of as being real—this clunky day-to-day world of furniture and noise and metal. So just maybe it is these small silent moments which are the true story-making events of our lives.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
Inej placed her hands on Nina’s shoulders. “We’ll see each other again.” “Of course we will. You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours.” “I think you’re ahead on that count.” “No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues. Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when I was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when I see you again.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time. And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you. That life—whatever else it is—is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time—so too has love. Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists; and it keeps on existing. And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days. It overwhelms me as I’m sitting on the bus; watching the golden leaves from a window; a sudden burst of realisation in the middle of the night. I can’t help it and I can’t stop it. I’m alone as I’ve always been and sometimes it hurts…. but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. To comfort my own heart when I wake up sad. To find small bits of friendship in a crowd full of strangers. To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, in a trip somewhere not so far away, a long walk an early morning in December, or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying ”I thought of you. I hope you’re well.” No one will come and save you. No one will come riding on a white horse and take all your worries away. You have to save yourself, little by little, day by day. Build yourself a home. Take care of your body. Find something to work on. Something that makes you excited, something you want to learn. Get yourself some books and learn them by heart. Get to know the author, where he grew up, what books he read himself. Take yourself out for dinner. Dress up for no one but you and simply feel nice. it’s a lovely feeling, to feel pretty. You don’t need anyone to confirm it. I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days, but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. Slowly building myself a home with things I like. Colors that calm me down, a plan to follow when things get dark, a few people I try to treat right. I don’t sometimes, but it’s my intent to do so. I’m learning.I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself. I’m trying, as I always will.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
For one brief, never-ending second, an entirely different path expanded behind the lids of my tear-wet eyes. As if I were looking through the filter of Jacob's thoughts, I could see exactly what I was going to give up, exactly what this new self-knowledge would not save me from losing. I could see Charlie and Renée mixed into a strange collage with Billy and Sam and La Push. I could see years passing, and meaning something as they passed, changing me. I could see the enormous red-brown wolf that I loved, always standing as protector if I needed him. For the tiniest fragment of a second, I saw the bobbing heads of two small, black-haired children, running away from me into the familiar forest. When they disappeared, they took the rest of the vision with them.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
Well, normally I’m against big things. I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things. Too many things can go wrong when they get big.” — Pete Seeger (on how he felt about attending his big 90th birthday bash last year)
Pete Seeger
Can I kick him?" my brother asks. "I'm going to kick him." "He saved your life Darin." "A small kick," he argues. "It wouldn't even hurt him. Look at him, skies. It would probably break MY foot." "NO." "Fine." Once past Elias, my brother turns around and mimes a kick, grinning.
Sabaa Tahir (A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4))
[Leo] lunged at Passalos, but the red-furred dwarf was too quick. He sprang from his chair, bounced off Jason’s head, did a flip, and landed next to Leo, his hairy arms around Leo’s waist. “Save me?” the dwarf pleaded. “Get off!” Leo tried to shove him away, but Passalos did a backward somersault and landed out of reach. Leo’s pants promptly fell around his knees. He stared at Passalos, who was now grinning and holding a small zigzaggy strip of metal. Somehow, the dwarf had stolen the zipper right off Leo’s pants. “Give—stupid—zipper!” Leo stuttered, trying to shake his fist and hoist up his pants at the same time. “Eh, not shiny enough.” Passalos tossed it away.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Mark whirled on them. His eyes were blind, unseeing. “You bring the twins in front of me and you kill them over and over. My Ty, he doesn’t understand why I can’t save him. You bring me Dru and when she laughs to see the fairytale castle, all ringed round with hedges, you throw her against the thorns until their pierce her small body. And you bid me wash in Octavian’s blood for the blood of an innocent child is magic under the Hill.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
For you little gardener and lover of trees, I have only a small gift. Here is set G for Galadriel, but it may stand for garden in your tongue. In this box there is earth from my orchard, and such blessing as Galadriel has still to bestow is upon it. It will not keep you on your road, nor defend you against any peril; but if you keep it and see your home again at last, then perhaps it may reward you. Though you should find all barren and laid waste, there will be few gardens in Middle-earth that will bloom like your garden, if you sprinkle this earth there. Then you may remember Galadriel, and catch a glimpse far off of Lórien, that you have seen only in our winter. For our spring and our summer are gone by, and they will never be seen on earth again save in memory.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Once, very long ago, Time fell in love with Fate. This, as you might imagine, proved problematic. Their romance disrupted the flow of time. It tangled the strings of fortune into knots.  The stars watched from the heavens nervously, worrying what might occur. What might happen to the days and nights were time to suffer a broken heart? What catastrophes might result if the same fate awaited Fate itself? The stars conspired and separated the two. For a while they breathed easier in the heavens. Time continued to flow as it always had, or perhaps imperceptibly slower. Fate weaved together the paths that were meant to intertwine, though perhaps a string was missed here and there. But eventually, Fate and Time found each other again.  In the heavens, the stars sighed, twinkling and fretting. They asked the Moon her advice. The Moon in turn called upon the parliament of owls to decide how best to proceed. The parliament of owls convened to discuss the matter amongst themselves night after night. They argued and debated while the world slept around them, and the world continued to turn, unaware that such important matters were under discussion while it slumbered.  The parliament of owls came to the logical conclusion that if the problem was in the combination, one of the elements should be removed. They chose to keep the one they felt more important. The parliament of owls told their decision to the stars and the stars agreed. The Moon did not, but on this night she was dark and could not offer her opinion.  So it was decided, and Fate was pulled apart. Ripped into pieces by beaks and claws. Fate’s screams echoed through the deepest corners and the highest heavens but no one dared to intervene save for a small brave mouse who snuck into the fray, creeping unnoticed through the blood and bone and feathers, and took Fate’s heart and kept it safe. When the furor died down there was nothing else left of Fate.  The owl who consumed Fate’s eyes gained great site, greater site then any that had been granted to a mortal creature before. The Parliament crowned him the Owl King. In the heavens the stars sparkled with relief but the moon was full of sorrow. And so time goes as it should and events that were once fated to happen are left instead to chance, and Chance never falls in love with anything for long. But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.  Occasionally Fate can pull itself together again.  And Time is always waiting.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
Maybe they'd use biological or chemical weapons instead. Maybe they'd crash the world economy. Maybe they'd turn every program on television into one of those reality shows." "That's mostly done already, Harry." "Oh. Well. I've got to believe that the world is worth saving anyway.
Jim Butcher (Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10))
Dear Sixpence, I saved them all, you know. Every letter you ever sent, even those to which I never replied. I’m sorry for so many things, my love: that I left you; that I never came home; that it took me so long to realize that you were my home and that, with you by my side, none of the rest mattered. But in the darkest hours, on the coldest nights, when I felt I’d lost everything, I still had your letters. And through them, in some small way, I still had you. I loved you then, my darling Penelope, more than I could imagine—just as I love you now, more than you can know. Michael Hell House, February 1831
Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1))
In life, there are those who save us, both in big ways and in small. Sometimes that means being set free from a dark, windowless room, or being pulled out of a burning building. More often, it means being saved from yourself, and made to finally believe that letting someone love you, isn't just a big lie that you're unwilling to tell.
Mia Sheridan (Stinger)
It's one thing to develop a nostalgia for home while you're boozing with Yankee writers in Martha's Vineyard or being chased by the bulls in Pamplona. It's something else to go home and visit with the folks in Reed's drugstore on the square and actually listen to them. The reason you can't go home again is not because the down-home folks are mad at you--they're not, don't flatter yourself, they couldn't care less--but because once you're in orbit and you return to Reed's drugstore on the square, you can stand no more than fifteen minutes of the conversation before you head for the woods, head for the liquor store, or head back to Martha's Vineyard, where at least you can put a tolerable and saving distance between you and home. Home may be where the heart is but it's no place to spend Wednesday afternoon.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history. Sometimes a chicken can save a man’s life.
Mary Roach (Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War)
I always tell my students, about the biggest baddest things in life you must try to write small and light, save the big writing for the unexpected tiny thing that always makes or breaks a story.
Pam Houston
Now you’re going to get it,” I said, guessing Al was coming when the ones in the back scattered. “You should have been nice.” With a weird cry, the closest surface demon fell back, but it was too late. A flash of red light exploded overhead, smashing the buildings away as if I were at the center of an atomic explosion. The surface demons scattered like brown leaves, the remnants of their clothes and auras fluttering. It was Al, and he burst into existence in a grand mood, an old-fashioned lantern in his hand and a walking cane at his side. “Rachel Mariana Morgan!” he shouted enthusiastically, raising the lantern high, and I painfully rose from my crouch, breaking my bubble with a small thought. “I’ve come to save you, love!
Kim Harrison (Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9))
Despereaux looked at his father, at his grey-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two. His father looked so small, so sad. "Forgive me," said Lester again. Forgiveness, reader, is, I think, something very much like hope and love - a powerful, wonderful thing. And a ridiculous thing, too. Isn't it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn't it ridiculous to think that a mouse ever could forgive anyone for such perfidy? But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, "I forgive you, Pa." And he said those words because he sensed it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. Despereaux, reader, spoke those words to save himself.
Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux)
She felt the essence of herself pulled finer and smaller like those streams of spun glass that pull and stretch till there remains but a glimmering illusion. Neither falling nor breaking, the stream spins finer. She felt herself very small and ecstatic. Alabama was in love.
Zelda Fitzgerald (Save Me the Waltz)
When the human race learns to read the language of symbolism, a great veil will fall from the eyes of men. They shall then know truth and, more than that, they shall realize that from the beginning truth has been in the world unrecognized, save by a small but gradually increasing number appointed by the Lords of the Dawn as ministers to the needs of human creatures struggling co regain their consciousness of divinity.
Manly P. Hall (Melchizedek and the Mystery of Fire)
We left behind this small town But we couldn't leave behind the ghosts As we headed for the coast, yeah, and you know There was something in the way she told me How my hair looked stupid, and How she couldn't hold her tequila, and How she was broken and beautiful and Still standing, and how was I supposed to know All along we were saving June Saving June, yeah She had flowers in her hair and one powerful glare My modern day Rubik's Cube, she made me feel Like maybe we could have it all But you can never have it all And now I've gone and lost All these things that they always sang about All the things that I still dream about Now I'm counting up the days, counting all the ways I never said what it means, but it's too late 'cause June is over and so are we And I'm the one left, with nothing to save
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
When you accept everything, everything is beyond dimensions. The earth is not great nor a grain of sand small. In the realm of Great Activity picking up a grain of sand is the same as taking up the whole universe. To save one sentient being is to save all sentient beings. Your efforts of this moment to save one person is the same as the eternal merit of Buddha.
Shunryu Suzuki
Inej placed her hands on Nina’s shoulders. “We’ll see each other again.” “Of course we will. You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours.” “I think you’re ahead on that count.” “No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues. Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when I was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when I see you again.” Kaz offered his gloved hand to Nina. “Until then, Zenik.” “Count on it, Brekker.” They shook.
Leigh Bardugo
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again 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 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. 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. 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)
He smiled - that small, secret smile he saved just for me.
Kristen Simmons (Three (Article 5, #3))
Should I bring my own chains this time? Or do you have bigger plans, and this is some sort of freaky murder foreplay”—why did the word foreplay just come out of my mouth?—“and I’ll end up cut up into small pieces inside some freezer at the end? I can just spray myself with mace and shoot myself in the head now and save you the trouble.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
I love you, Mallory," he said very quietly, very seriously. "So damn much." Warmth and affection and need and so much more rushed her. "I know." "You know?" "Yes." "Well, hell," he said with a small smile and a shake of his head. "You might have told me and saved me a lot of time." "How about I tell you something else?" she said. "I love you, too.
Jill Shalvis (Lucky in Love (Lucky Harbor, #4))
Private Parts The first love of my life never saw me naked - there was always a parent coming home in half an hour - always a little brother in the next room. Always too much body and not enough time for me to show it. Instead, I gave him my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knee - I lent him my corners, my edges, the parts of me I could afford to offer - the parts I had long since given up trying to hide. He never asked for more. He gave me back his eyelashes, the back of his neck, his palms - we held each piece we were given like it was a nectarine that could bruise if we weren’t careful. We collected them like we were trying to build an orchid. And the spaces that he never saw, the ones my parents half labeled “private parts” when I was still small enough to fit all of myself and my worries inside a bathtub - I made up for that by handing over all the private parts of me. There was no secret I didn’t tell him, there was no moment I didn’t share - and we didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, moulding each other into perfect yings and yangs. We kissed with mouths open, breathing his exhale into my inhale - we could have survived underwater or outer space. Breathing only of the breathe we traded, we spelled love, g-i-v-e, I never wanted to hide my body from him - if I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me - I did not know it was possible. To save some thing for myself. Some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious, he is across the world in another woman’s arms - the years have spread us like dandelion seeds - sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other. He drinks from the pitcher on the night stand, checks the digital clock, it is 5am - he tosses in sheets and tries to settle, I wait for him to sleep. Before tucking myself into elbows and knees reach for things I have long since given up.
Sarah Kay
Knox, I think we need to buy a small island, " she said, picking up a pocketknife. A small island? Knox turned towards her taking the knife out of her hand. 'Yes' diamond nodded enthusiastically. 'Did you know that you can buy small islands? They're kind of expensive, but if we save, we could buy one in a few years'. ' diamond....' Knox started to say something, but closed his mouth. 'Why an island?' "Because zombies can't swim
Jamie Begley (Knox's Stand (The Last Riders #3))
The thought came back to him, as it often did: To save the culture of your allies is a small thing. To cherish the culture of your enemy, to risk your life and the life of other men to save it, to give it all back to them as soon as the battle was won … it was unheard of, but that was exactly what Walker Hancock and the other Monuments Men intended to do.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History)
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. Winnie-the-Pooh
Jonas Jonasson (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden)
Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure.
Ruth Reichl (Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir)
You’re . . . you’re going back to the Marines?” Alston stuttered. “I thought SOCOM was defunct.” “It’s MARSOC now,” Ty mumbled. ”But that’s special operations. You don’t have a choice?” “No. I don’t.” He studied the orders. “I report in forty-eight hours. Immediate deployment.” Zane stood. His hands shook as he gripped the edge of the desk. Ty looked up, seeking Zane out. Zane could see it in Ty’s eyes. There was no choice. No way to wriggle out of it. No way for anyone to save him. “Oh God, Ty,” Zane whispered. Ty stared at him for a moment longer as the others broke into outraged babbling. Then Ty shook himself. He tossed the packet of orders onto the desk and stalked over to Zane. He grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him. The room spun to a halt. The babble ground to a stunned hush. Ty’s hands moved to the small of his back and he held him tight, bending him just enough for Zane to have to wrap his arms around him to keep from falling. He kissed him again. In front of their coworkers. In front of King and Country and anyone who would watch. It was the first purely honest kiss they’d ever shared. And it was a kiss good-bye.
Abigail Roux (Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7))
Life is a hurricane, and we board up to save what we can and bow low to the earth to crouch in that small space above the dirt where the wind will not reach. We honor anniversaries of deaths by cleaning graves and sitting next to them before fires, sharing food with those who will not eat again. We raise children and tell them other things about who they can be and what they are worth: to us, everything. We love each other fiercely, while we live and after we die. We survive; we are savages.
Jesmyn Ward (Men We Reaped)
He met his day in the shower, washing his hair with shampoo that was guaranteed to have never been put in a bunny's eyes and from which ten percent of the profits went to save the whales. He lathered his face with shaving cream free of chlorofluorocarbons, thereby saving the ozone layer. He breakfasted on fertile eggs laid by sexually satisfied chickens that were allowed to range while listening to Brahms, and muffins made with pesticide-free grain, so no eagle-egg shells were weakened by his thoughtless consumption. He scrambled the eggs in margarine free of tropical oils, thus preserving the rain forest, and he added milk from a cartn made of recycled paper and shipped from a small family farm. By the time he finished his second cup of coffee, which would presumably help to educate the children of a poor peasant farmer named Juan Valdez, Sam was on the verge of congratulating himself for single-handedly preserving the planet just by getting up in the morning.
Christopher Moore
I want to help you," Oliver said. "Why?" Galen looked up at him. "Because of Petunia?" Oliver was relieved that the prince didn't seem to be skeptical about his conviction. He simply looked like he wanted to know, and so did Heinrich, when Oliver dared to look at the other prince. Oliver was very aware that Heinrich had known his father. Had known him better than Oliver had, in fact. "Because of her," Oliver said at last. "Even though I have only met her twice, really...I just..." "I risked my life to save Rose after only speaking with her twice," Galen said with a small smile.
Jessica Day George (Princess of the Silver Woods (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #3))
There is magic in this sad, hard world. A magic stronger than fate, stronger than chance. And it is seen in the unlikeliest of places. By a hearth at night, as a girl leaves a bit of cheese for a hungry mouse. In a slaughter yard, as the old and infirm, the weak and discarded, are made to matter more than money. In a poor carpenter's small attic room, where three sisters learned that the price of forgiveness is forgiving. And now, on a battlefield, as a mere girl tries to turn the red tide of war. It is the magic of a frail and fallible creature, one capable of both unspeakable cruelty and immense kindness. It lives inside every human being ready to redeem us. To transform us. To save us. If we can only find the courage to listen to it. It is the magic of the human heart.
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things too.
Alexander McCall Smith (La's Orchestra Saves the World)
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
Life goals and changing the world...You've got to start small. You can not change the world unless you start with your neighbour! It's about Supporting someone and just telling somebody that you care about them. You can't save the world if you can't save your self. You can't save the world if you can't save your neighbour.
Angie karan
It was true, when you saved someone, they belonged to you in some small way, but it was also true that you belonged to them. They would stay with you and enter into your dreams and your thoughts, as you would enter into theirs.
Alice Hoffman (Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1))
We are gripped by God’s will of love, and must help carry out that will in this world, in small things as in great things, in saving as in pardoning. To be glad instruments of God’s love in this imperfect world is the service to which we are called.
Albert Schweitzer
When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? If you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. But if you think, as it were, This is an emissary sent from the Lord, and some benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights. You are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
It does not take a great supernatural heroine or magical hero to save the world. We all save it every day, and we all destroy it -- in our own small ways -- by every choice we make and every tiniest action resulting from that choice. The next time you feel useless and impotent, remember what you are in fact doing in this very moment. And then observe your tiny, seemingly meaningless acts and choices coalesce and cascade together into a powerful positive whole. The world -- if it could -- will thank you for it. And if it does not... well, a true heroine or hero does not require it.
Vera Nazarian
And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time — so too has love. Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists; and it keeps on existing. And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I know you adore Father, but he isn't the white knight you imagine him to be. He never was. True, he's charming and loving in his way. But he's selfish. He's a limited man determined to bring about his own end-" "But-" Tom grabs both my hands in his and gives them a small squeeze. "Gemma, you can't save him. Why can't you accept that?" I see my reflection on the surface of the Thames. My face is a watery outline, all blurred edges with nothing settled. "Because if I let go of that" - I swallow hard, once, twice - "then I have to accept that I am alone." The ship's horn howls again as it slips out toward sea. Tom's reflection appears beside mine, just as uncertain. "We're every one of us alone in this world, Gemma." He doesn't say it bitterly. "But you have company, if you want.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
The spirit in the body is like wine in a glass; when it spills, it seeps into air and earth and light….It’s a mistake to think it’s the small things we control and not the large, it’s the other way around! We can’t stop the small accident, the tiny detail that conspires into fate: the extra moment you run back for something forgotten, a moment that saves you from an accident – or causes one. But we can assert the largest order, the large human values daily, the only order large enough to see.
Anne Michaels (Fugitive Pieces)
He couldn't believe Jude's mute, macabre roommate had saved his life. He wondered if he'd have to get her a small taxidermied spider or something for her efforts.
Mary H.K. Choi (Emergency Contact)
Small wonder our national spirit is husk empty. We have more information but less knowledge. More communication but less community. More goods but less goodwill. More of virtually everything save that which the human spirit requires. So distracted have we become sating this new need or that material appetite, we hardly noticed the departure of happiness
Randall Robinson (The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks)
be a mermaid. be a mermaid who doesn’t settle for making a small splash. be a mermaid who doesn’t stop until she makes tidal waves. be a mermaid who knows to stop before she devastates the world with her
Amanda Lovelace (The Princess Saves Herself in this One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #1))
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
Well, ain't it a small world, spiritually speaking? Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.
Joel Coen (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
Small Man can be a very funny or a very tiresome Tour Companion, depending on how this kind of thing grabs you. He gambles, he drinks too much and he always runs away. Since the Rules allow him to make Jokes, he will excuse his behaviour in a variety of comical ways. Physically he is stunted and not at all handsome, although he usually dresses flamboyantly. He tends to wear hats with feathers in. You will discover he is very vain. But, if you can avoid smacking him, you will come to tolerate if not love him. He will contrive, in some cowardly way, to play a major part in saving the world.
Diana Wynne Jones (The Tough Guide to Fantasyland)
She spent an astonishing amount of time in attending lectures and demonstrations, distributing literature for the Junior Anti-Sex League, preparing banners for Hate Week, making collections for the savings campaign, and such-like activities. It paid, she said; it was camouflage. If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones.
George Orwell (1984)
Persons of genius are, ex vi termini, more individual than any other people - less capable, consequently, of fitting themselves, without hurtful compression, into any of the small number of moulds which society provides in order to save its members the trouble of forming their character.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Forgive us, my lord, for you have us at a disadvantage. My sister is frankly deplorable at conducting courtly conversation. The only thing worse than her ability to make appropriate small talk with royalty is her attempt to let a man lead her on the dance floor. Your timely interruption has saved me from the chore of attending dance lessons with her. My feet thank you.
C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1))
They do not learn, fixed in their ways as they are. You are naïve to think otherwise. It’s an illness, Assassin, for which there is but one cure.’ ‘You’re wrong. And that’s why you must be put to rest.’ ‘Am I not unlike those precious books you seek to save? A source of knowledge with which you disagree? Yet you’re rather quick to steal my life.’ ‘A small sacrifice to save many. It is necessary.
Oliver Bowden (Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade (Assassin's Creed, #3))
Dan, this is crazy!" Amy quavered. "You can't drive a boat!" "Say's who? It's no different from Xbox!" Wham! The port-side rubber bumper at the launch's bow slammed into the end of an ancient cobblestone wharf. The small craft spun like a top, pitching Amy to the deck. Only an iron grip on the wheel saved Dan from a similar spill. He hung on for dear life. "Okay, scratch Xbox–think bumper cars! I rock at those! Remember the carnival?
Gordon Korman (One False Note (The 39 Clues, #2))
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
God save the Queen and a fascist regime … a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire
William S. Burroughs (The Place of Dead Roads)
A hundred years from now, folks will look back at this time period and think, Wow, what an incredible moment it must’ve been to be alive. Syrian refugees, human trafficking, climate change—the whole world is out there waiting to be saved. And you’ll have a grand adventure doing it, even if only in what you consider a small, locally based way. You know, you already have as a teacher.
Ray Smith (The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen)
...we have to save the history we have. You never know what small bit of it might change your life--or change the whole world.
Jack Gantos (Dead End in Norvelt)
We can't afford to be without God," Feliks continued. "Even if he doesn't exist, we have to hold on to him. Because if we don't, then how are we to convince ourselves that we have to go on with this fight? If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things, too.
Alexander McCall Smith (La's Orchestra Saves the World)
Imagine you are sitting down in a chair and on a screen before you you are shown a bloody, ripping film of yourself undergoing surgery. The surgery saved your life. It was pivotal in making you you. But you don't remember it. Or do you? Do we understand the events that make us who we are? Do we ever understand the factors that make us do the things we do? When we sleep at night - when we walk across a field and see a tree full of sleeping birds - when we tell small lies to our friends - when we make love - what acts of surgery are happening to our souls - what damage and healing and shock are we going through that we will never be able to fathom? What films are generated that we will never be shown?
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
Where Maleldil is, there is the centre. He is in every place. Not some of Him in one place and some in another, but in each place the whole Maleldil, even in the smallness beyond though. There is no way out of the centre save into the Bent Will which casts itself into the Nowhere. Blessed be He! Each thing was made for Him. He is the centre. Because we are with Him, each of us is at the centre...In His city all things are made for each. When He died in the Wonded World He died not for men, but for each man. If each mad had been the only man made, He would have done no less. Each thing, from the single grain of Dust to the strongest eldil, is the end and the final cause of all creation and the mirror in which the beam of His brightness comes to rest and so returns to Him. Blessed be He!
C.S. Lewis (Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2))
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
To save ourselves from getting lost in this sea of data and ending up directionless, it becomes vital for every business owner to not just set up their market research objectives but also to stick to those.
Pooja Agnihotri (Market Research Like a Pro)
Found in a small stone cave bitten from the roadside, stitchless save for his great outsized boots and a plague of flies, fat on the human scrappage of dinners long past, Toad squatted in the slitted stomach of a warm child, eating loudly the face of her hapless, headless father, who sat a good foot off the ground impaled up the ass on a pointed post.
Nick Cave (And the Ass Saw the Angel)
Adolescence is when girls experience social pressure to put aside their authentic selves and to display only a small portion of their gifts.
Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls)
You can’t save the world, but keep trying in any small way you can.
Madeline Martin (The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II)
How young you are. When you attain my age you will understand one of life's great secrets: Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure.
Ruth Reichl (Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir)
The young women in all the YA books I loved were high-school age. By eighteen, the majority of them had saved the world, not to mention: kissed people, traveled, been in a relationship, had sex. At twenty I felt like a pathetic, unaccomplished, uncultured, virgin grandma. It sounds like a joke now, but at the time, around all these people my age casually discussing all of the above, I felt so small.
Christine Riccio (Again, but Better)
No matter where; of comfort no man speak: Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth, Let's choose executors and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath Save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own but death And that small model of the barren earth Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd; All murder'd: for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life, Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus Comes at the last and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king! Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence: throw away respect, Tradition, form and ceremonious duty, For you have but mistook me all this while: I live with bread like you, feel want, Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus, How can you say to me, I am a king?
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
Logic and morality made it impossible to accept an illogical and immoral reality; they engendered a rejection of reality which as a rule led the cultivated man rapidly to despair. But the varieties of the man-animal are innumerable, and I saw and have described men of refined culture, especially if young, throw all this overboard, simplify and barbarize themselves, and survive. A simple man, accustomed not to ask questions of himself, was beyond the reach of the useless torment of asking himself why. The harsher the oppression, the more widespread among the oppressed is the willingness, with all its infinite nuances and motivations, to collaborate: terror, ideological seduction, servile imitation of the victor, myopic desire for any power whatsoever… Certainly, the greatest responsibility lies with the system, the very structure of the totalitarian state; the concurrent guilt on the part of individual big and small collaborators is always difficult to evaluate… they are the vectors and instruments of the system’s guilt… the room for choices (especially moral choices) was reduced to zero
Primo Levi (The Drowned and the Saved)
To save the culture of your allies is a small thing. To cherish the culture of your enemy, to risk your life and the life of other men to save it, to give it all back to them as soon as the battle was won… it was unheard of, but that is exactly what Walker Hancock and the other Monuments Men intended to do.
Robert M. Edsel (The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History)
The evil world expected me to curl up in a corner like a seashell--silent and small and breakable--forgetting that a seashell held the roar of an entire ocean inside it. I didn't need a voice, only my teeth and my dreams to save me
Natalia Jaster (Dare (Foolish Kingdoms, #2))
If we don't demonstrate solidarity through small collective sacrifices, we will not win the war, and if we do not win the war, we will lose the childhood home of every human who has ever lived.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” when a person believes, as I did during my youth, that the choices I made had no effect on the outcomes in my life. From Middletown’s world of small expectations to the constant chaos of our home, life had taught me that I had no control. Mamaw and Papaw had saved me from succumbing entirely to that notion, and the Marine Corps broke new ground. If I had learned helplessness at home, the Marines were teaching learned willfulness. The
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
We need to return to harmony with Nature and with each other, to become what humans were destined to be, builders of gardens and Shires, hobbits (if you will), not Masters over creatures great and small.
Steve Bivans (Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living)
It is lifelong habit of mine to pick up litter because of something my dear father once said. It is a small act of remembrance as well as a token gesture to atone for the chaos left behind by the human race.
Hazel Prior (How the Penguins Saved Veronica (Veronica McCreedy #1))
Before I could get the word daughter out, Grayson leaned his head down and crushed his lips to mine. He kissed me to save me from what I’d been about to say. For a small eternity, nothing in the world existed outside of that kiss. His lips. Mine. For show.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2))
You're cute when you're worried," she muttered. "Your eyebrows get all scrunched together." "You are not going to die while I owe you a favor," I said. "Why did you take that knife?" "You would've done the same for me." It was true. I guess we both knew it. Still, I felt like somebody was poking my heart with a cold metal rod. "How did you know?" "Know what?" I looked around to make sure we were alone. Then I leaned in close and whispered: "My Achilles spot. If you hadn't taken that knife, I would've died." She got a faraway look in her eyes. Her breath smelled like grapes, maybe from the nectar. "I don't know, Percy. I just had this feeling you were in danger. Where... where is the spot?" I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. But this was Annabeth. If I couldn't trust her, I couldn't trust anyone. "The small of my back." She lifted her hand. "Where? Here?" She put her hand on my spine, and my skin tingled. I moved her fingers to the one spot that grounded me to my mortal life. A thousand volts of electricity seemed to arc through my body. "You saved me." I said. "Thanks." She removed her hand, but I kept holding it. "So you owe me," she said weakly. "What else is new?
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world. Even on the low level of practical affairs this is patently untrue. Any small human activity, the local bowls club or the ladies’ luncheon club, requires for its survival a measure of self-sacrifice and service on the part of the members. In a wider national sphere, the survival of the nation depends basically on the loyalty and self‑sacrifice of the citizens. The impression that the situation can be saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication, can only lead to collapse.
John Bagot Glubb (The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival)
I’ll save a spot for you on the hood of my truck.
Laura Miller (My Butterfly (Butterfly Weeds, #2))
The Toad Pee Club had taken one small step for toadkind and one giant leapfrog for humankind.
Megan McDonald (Judy Moody Saves the World! (Judy Moody #3))
You have to stop this. I don't want to lose you too. If you have to make a revolution, Make a small revolution.
Judy Budnitz (Nice Big American Baby)
In life, there are those who save us, both in big ways and in small.
Mia Sheridan (Stinger)
No! No!” the star crackled desperately. “That’s wrong! I’m supposed to die!” “But I could save you if you’d let me catch you,” Michael told it gently. “No!” cried the star. “I’d rather die!” It dived away from Michael’s fingers. Michael plunged for it, but it was too quick for him. It swooped for the nearest marsh pool, and the black water leaped into a blaze of whiteness for just an instant. Then there was a small, dying sizzle. When Sophie hobbled over, Michael was standing watching the last light fade out of a little round lump under the dark water. “That was sad,” Sophie said.
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1))
Once Dad took us to an amusement park in Oregon. Before I ever manifested. I plummeted twenty stories on a drop ride. Totally helpless to gravity. Unable to fly, to save myself ... I feel that same helpless terror now. Because nothing I say will divert Mom off her present course. Nothing will make her realize what she's doing to me. I'm falling. And this time nothing will save me. No mechanical device will work its wonder and jerk me back at the last minute. But she does realize, a small voice whispers through me. That's why she's doing it. That's why she brought you here. She wants me to hit ground.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
The line between moral behavior and narcissistic self-righteousness is thin and difficult to discern. The man who stands before a crowd and proclaims his intention to save the seas is convinced that he is superior to a man who merely picks up his own and other people’s litter on the beach, when in fact the latter is in some small way sure to make the world a better place, while the former is likely to be a monster of vanity whose crusade will lead to unintended destruction.
Dean Koontz (Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6))
There is in this valley a beating heart. It is always and ever there. And when I am gone, it will beat for you and when you are gone, it will beat for your children and theirs, forever. Forever. Until there is no water, no air, no green in the spring or gold in the autumn, no stars in the sky or wind from the north. And when you cannot speak, it will speak for you. When you cannot see, it will be your eyes. When you cannot remember, it will be your memory. It will never forget you. And when you cannot be faithful, it will save a place for your return. This is a gift to you. It cannot be taken away. It is yours forever. It is the narrative of this world, and the scrapbook of your own small life, and, when you are gone into ash and darkness and the grave, it will tell your story.
Robert Goolrick (Heading Out to Wonderful)
Everyone has stories of the small coincidence by which their parents met or their grandmother was saved from fire or their grandfather from the grenade, of the choice made by the most whimsical means that led to everything else, whether you're blessed or cursed or both. Trace it back far enough and this very moment in your life becomes a rare species, the result of a strange evolution, a butterfly that should already be extinct and survives by the inexplicabilities we call coincidence. The word is often used to mean the accidental but literally means to fall together. The patterns of our lives come from those things that do not drift apart but move together for a little while, like dancers.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
Old Spice           Every Sunday afternoon he dresses in his old army uniform, tells you the name of every man he killed. His knuckles are unmarked graves.   Visit him on a Tuesday and he will describe the body of every woman he could not save. He’ll say she looked like your mother and you will feel a storm in your stomach.   Your grandfather is from another generation– Russian degrees and a school yard Cuban national anthem, communism and religion. Only music makes him cry now.   He married his first love, her with the long curls down to the small of her back. Sometimes he would pull her to him, those curls wrapped around his hand like rope.   He lives alone now. Frail, a living memory reclining in a seat, the room orbiting around him. You visit him but never have anything to say. When he was your age he was a man. You retreat into yourself whenever he says your name.   Your mother’s father, “the almost martyr, can load a gun under water in under four seconds.   Even his wedding night was a battlefield. A Swiss knife, his young bride, his sobs as he held Italian linen between her legs.   His face is a photograph left out in the sun, the henna of his beard, the silver of his eyebrows the wilted handkerchief, the kufi and the cane.   Your grandfather is dying. He begs you Take me home yaqay, I just want to see it one last time; you don’t know how to tell him that it won’t be anything like the way he left it.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
It's a side effect of the process. You know how they say the eyes are the windows to the soul?" he asked, and I swallowed thickly before nodding. I didn't like where this was headed. "Evidently they mean that literally. Once the soul is gone, there's nothing to see through the windows." Nash whistled softly. "That has to be the weirdest thing I've ever seen." And that meant a lot coming from a bean sidhe. "You want me to put the contact back in, don't you?" Addison cocked her head and gave him a small, eerie smile. "That's be great, thanks." Nash nodded decisively. -Tod, Nash and Addison talking about her blank white eyes
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2))
My father had not been outside the house except to drive back and forth to work or sit out in the backyard, for months, nor had he seen his neighbors. Now he looked at them, from face to face, until he realized I had been loved by people he didn't even recognize. His heart filled up, warm again as it had not been in what seemed so long to him- save small forgotten moments with Buckley, the accidents of love that happened with his son. ~pgs 209-210; Buckley, Lindsey and Jack on Susie
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Courage It is in the small things we see it. The child's first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone. When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it. Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to cover your heart. You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there. Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing. If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
Anne Sexton
Then the bull shook himself, turned his head and looked at us. There was an awed whisper from one of the young men: “By gaw, it’s working!” I enjoyed myself after that. I can’t think of anything in my working life that has given me more pleasure than standing in that pen directing the life-saving jet and watching the bull savouring it.
James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small (All Creatures Great and Small, #1-2))
For centuries poets, some poets, have tried to give a voice to the animals, and readers, some readers, have felt empathy and sorrow. If animals did have voices, and they could speak with the tongues of angels--at the very least with the tongues of angels--they would be unable to save themselves from us. What good would language do? Their mysterious otherness has not saved them, nor have their beautiful songs and coats and skins and shells and eyes. We discover the remarkable intelligence of the whale, the wolf, the elephant--it does not save them, nor does our awareness of the complexity of their lives. Their strength, their skills, their swiftness, the beauty of their flights. It matters not, it seems, whether they are large or small, proud or shy, docile or fierce, wild or domesticated, whether they nurse their young or brood patiently on eggs. If they eat meat, we decry their viciousness; if they eat grasses and seeds, we dismiss them as weak. There is not one of them, not even the songbird who cannot, who does not, conflict with man and his perceived needs and desires. St. Francis converted the wolf of Gubbio to reason, but he performed this miracle only once and as miracles go, it didn’t seem to capture the public’s fancy. Humans don’t want animals to reason with them. It would be a disturbing, unnerving, diminishing experience; it would bring about all manner of awkwardness and guilt.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature)
Now we are able to rejoice that we are saved not through the immanent mechanisms of history and nature, but by grace; that God will not unite all of history’s many strands in one great synthesis, but will judge much of history false and damnable; that he will not simply reveal the sublime logic of fallen nature but will strike off the fetters in which creation languishes; and that, rather than showing us how the tears of a small girl suffering in the dark were necessary for the building of the Kingdom, he will instead raise her up and wipe away all tears from her eyes – and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor any more pain, for the former things will have passed away and he that sits upon the throne will say, ‘Behold, I make all things new.
David Bentley Hart (The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?)
Hello, Celaena,” he said as calmly as he could, well aware that two Fae males behind him could hear his thundering heart. Rolfe whipped his head toward him. Because it was Celaena who sat here—for whatever purpose, it was Celaena Sardothien in this room. She jerked her chin at Rolfe. “You’ve seen better days, but considering half your fleet has abandoned you, I’d say you look decent enough.” “Get out of my chair,” Rolfe said too quietly. Aelin did no such thing. She just gave Rowan a sultry sweep from foot to face. Rowan’s expression remained unreadable, eyes intent—near-glowing. And then Aelin said to Rowan with a secret smile, “You, I don’t know. But I’d like to.” Rowan’s lips tugged upward. “I’m not on the market, unfortunately.” “Pity,” Aelin said, cocking her head as she noticed a bowl of small emeralds on Rolfe’s desk. Don’t do it, don’t— Aelin swiped up the emeralds in a hand, picking them over as she glanced at Rowan beneath her lashes. “She must be a rare, staggering beauty to make you so faithful.” Gods save them all. He could have sworn Fenrys coughed behind him. Aelin chucked the emeralds into the metal dish as if they were bits of copper, their plunking the only sound. “She must be clever”—plunk—“and fascinating”—plunk—“and very, very talented.” Plunk, plunk, plunk went the emeralds. She examined the four gems remaining in her hand. “She must be the most wonderful person who ever existed.” Another cough from behind him—from Gavriel this time. But Aelin only had eyes for Rowan as the warrior said to her, “She is indeed that. And more.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
In my mind there is a scale. I do not know how many small lives add up to a big one, or if there is a formula to work it out. How many cats do I have to save? How many dogs? How many injured animals on the road do I have to drag to safety, their blood on my hands, their wild-smelling hair on my clothes?
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
Finding fault with yourself is also the key to overcoming the hypocrisy and judgmentalism that damage so many valuable relationships. The instant you see some contribution you made to a conflict, your anger softens—maybe just a bit, but enough that you might be able to acknowledge some merit on the other side. You can still believe you are right and the other person is wrong, but if you can move to believing that you are mostly right, and your opponent is mostly wrong, you have the basis for an effective and nonhumiliating apology. You can take a small piece of the disagreement and say, “I should not have done X, and I can see why you felt Y.” Then, by the power of reciprocity, the other person will likely feel a strong urge to say, “Yes, I was really upset by X. But I guess I shouldn’t have done P, so I can see why you felt Q.” Reciprocity amplified by self-serving biases drove you apart back when you were matching insults or hostile gestures, but you can turn the process around and use reciprocity to end a conflict and save a relationship.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Over time I learned that objects and animals are true friends. In the forest I was surrounded by trees, bushes, birds, and small animals. I was not afraid of them. I was sure that they would do nothing harmful to me. I became familiar with cows and with horses, and they provided me with a warmth that has remained with me to this very day. Sometimes it seemed to me that what saved me were the animals I encountered along the way, not the human beings.
Aharon Appelfeld (The Story of a Life)
In the Northern Hemisphere, the switch to daylight savings time in March results in most people losing an hour of sleep opportunity. Should you tabulate millions of daily hospital records, as researchers have done, you discover that this seemingly trivial sleep reduction comes with a frightening spike in heart attacks the following day. Impressively, it works both ways. In the autumn within the Northern Hemisphere, when the clocks move forward and we gain an hour of sleep opportunity time, rates of heart attacks plummet the day after. A similar rise-and-fall relationship can be seen with the number of traffic accidents, proving that the brain, by way of attention lapses and microsleeps, is just as sensitive as the heart to very small perturbations of sleep. Most people think nothing of losing an hour of sleep for a single night, believing it to be trivial and inconsequential. It is anything but.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Faith, coming from the lack of faith: as much as the faith in oneself is demolished, as much the intoxicating faith in the salvation becomes strong and the desperate need to be save grows. The savior is that much great, as you’re small, insignificant and unworthy. Anri Begrson writes: “It’s not true that faith can move mountains. On the contrary, the main thing in faith is the ability not to notice anything, even the moving of the mountain in front of you. It’s like a hermetic screen, fully impregnable to the facts.
Amos Oz (Black Box)
I need to go back to the toy factory. I need to be recalled. I need to go back to the toy maker who made me so they can sew back on my arms or get rid of the tiny pieces that will choke small children. I am a hazard to all of those who play with me. I need to be restrung
Cinda Johnson (Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle to Save Her)
The Author To Her Book Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth did'st by my side remain, Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad exposed to public view, Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge, Where errors were not lessened (all may judge). At thy return my blushing was not small, My rambling brat (in print) should mother call. I cast thee by as one unfit for light, The visage was so irksome in my sight, Yet being mine own, at length affection would Thy blemishes amend, if so I could. I washed thy face, but more defects I saw, And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw. I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet, Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet. In better dress to trim thee was my mind, But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find. In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam. In critic's hands, beware thou dost not come, And take thy way where yet thou art not known. If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none; And for thy mother, she alas is poor, Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.
Anne Bradstreet (The Works of Anne Bradstreet)
Oh, how small we were, in the grand scheme of it all. Our planet was but a speck in the midst of the milky way galaxy, which was a speck in the midst of the known universe. We were fighting to save it, and yet it could disappear without anyone in the nearest solar system even noticing. Small, insignificant. Little more than ants before a giant.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
A small patch of sunflowers came into view. Dozens of tall stalks topped with heavy golden flower heads swayed in they hot breeze. From a distance they looked like a group of ladies with their heads hung low, as if embarrassed that they'd arrived at a party wearing identical hats.
Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
And you know what happens when a bomb goes off? The truth about people comes out. Men leave their children and run away. Shopkeepers push aside wives and try to save their cash. People come and loot the shops. A blast reveals the truth about places. Don't forget what you're doing is noble.
Karan Mahajan (The Association of Small Bombs)
The old man must have stopped our car two dozen times to climb out and gather into his hands the small toads blinded by our lights and leaping, live drops of rain. The rain was falling, a mist about his white hair and I kept saying You can’t save them all accept it, get back in wev’e got places to go. But, leathery hands full of wet brown life knee deep in summer roadside grass, he just smiled and said They have places to go too.
Joseph Bruchac
Inside, Howl was still sitting on the stool. He sat in an attitude of utter despair. And he was covered all over in thick green slime. There were horrendous, dramatic, violent quantities of green slime – oodles of it. It covered Howl completely. It draped his head and shoulders in sticky dollops, heaping on his knees and hands, trickling in glops down his legs and dripping off the stool in sticky strands. It was in oozing ponds and crawling pools over most of the floor. Long fingers of it had crept into the hearth. It smelled vile. “Save me!” Calcifer cried in a hoarse whisper. He was down to two desperately flickering small flames. “This stuff is going to put me out!” Sophie held up her skirt and marched as near Howl as she could get – which was not very near. “Stop it!” she said. “Stop it at once! You are behaving just like a baby!
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
What is art? Art is tar, rearranged. Art is tar on canvas or tar on tarp or tar on a naked body. Art is a bird chirping changed into something visual. Art is an image of a thousand beaks breaking into the office of a quack doctor. I know that doctor, and I've personally spoken to ten of those beaks. Art is rhythm, two hands clapping at a urinal while a third shakes off pee to the beat. Good art stays with you your whole life, especially if that good art is a tattoo. Good art is my name, written backwards, inked on your upper lip in a furry font. Art imitates life, just as life imitates Orafoura. Art can be anything from a Manet to a Monet to a painting of money to a missile. Art can save the world, or devastate it. (We could drop another big bomb on Japan, though I'm not advocating dumping Basquiat paintings on Hiroshima). Art rhymes with a bodily function, and everybody should let their creativity rip everywhere from the privacy of their bathrooms to small heated boxes with four of their closest friends. Art is thinking outside that box, and desperately trying to escape.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
The critical mind is too thin and cold, thinking itself will help little and reason will be of small avail; only the spirit of reasonableness, a sort of warm, glowing, emotional and intuitive thinking, joined with compassion, will insure us against a reversion to our ancestral type. Only the development of our life to bring it into harmony with our instincts can save us. I consider the education of our senses and our emotions rather more important than the education of our ideas.
Lin Yutang (Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living)
Folding her arms and closing her eyes, Hatsumi sank back into the corner of the seat. Her small gold earrings caught the light as the taxi swayed. Her midnight blue dress seemed to have been made to match the darkness of the cab. Every now and then her thinly daubed, beautifully formed lips would quiver slightly as if she had caught herself on the verge of talking to herself. Watching her, I could see why Nagasawa had chosen her as his special companion. There were any number of women more beautiful than Hatsumi, and Nagasawa could have made any of them his. But Hatsumi had some quality that could send a tremor through your heart. It was nothing forceful. The power she exerted was a subtle thing, but it called forth deep resonances. I watched her all the way to Shibuya, and wondered, without ever finding an answer, what this emotional reverberation that I was feeling could be. It finally hit me some dozen or so years later. I had come to Santa Fe to interview a painter and was sitting in a local pizza parlor, drinking beer and eating pizza and watching a miraculously beautiful sunset. Everything was soaked in brilliant red—my hand, the plate, the table, the world—as if some special kind of fruit juice had splashed down on everything. In the midst of this overwhelming sunset, the image of Hatsumi flashed into my mind, and in that moment I understood what that tremor of the heart had been. It was a kind of childhood longing that had always remained—and would forever remain—unfulfilled. I had forgotten the existence of such innocent, all-but-seared-in longing: forgotten for years to remember what such feelings had ever existed inside of me. What Hatsumi had stirred in me was a part of my very self that had long lain dormant. And when the realization struck me, it aroused such sorrow I almost burst into tears. She had been an absolutely special woman. Someone should have done something—anything—to save her. But neither Nagasawa nor I could have managed that. As so many of those I knew had done, Hatsumi reached a certain stage in her life and decided—almost on the spur of the moment—to end it. Two years after Nagasawa left for Germany, she married, and two years after that she slashed her wrists with a razor blade. It was Nagasawa, of course, who told me what had happened. His letter from Bonn said this: “Hatsumi’s death has extinguished something. This is unbearably sad and painful, even to me.” I ripped his letter to shreds and threw it away. I never wrote to him again.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Of course we will. You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours.” “I think you’re ahead on that count.” “No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues. Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when I was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when I see you again.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Hi.” I caught a flash of his smile as he bent to kiss me. His lips were warm and his kiss was sweet. Gentle. He only deepened the kiss a little while his hand slid into my hair and his other hand curved into the small of my back. I smiled as he pulled away. “Hi.” “That’s better.” He cupped my cheek in his hand, his thumb tracing the curve of my cheekbone. “I’ve missed you since yesterday. Is that weird? Does that make me one of those stalker guys?” “Only if you follow me home. Cut off a lock of my hair while I sleep. Something like that.” “I thought I’d save that for next weekend.” He bent to kiss me again but swerved at the last second to brush his lips against my cheek instead. “I have a  theory about you, Emily Parker.” “You do?” “I do.” Another kiss on my cheek, and then his teeth grazed my earlobe, and I shivered. “I don’t think you’ve ever been wooed. Have you?” The words were a low whisper in my ear, and the shiver intensified. “Wooed?” The word felt strange in my mouth. “Wooed,” he repeated, punctuating the word with a kiss on my other cheek. “Courted. Swept off your feet. Had someone show you how you make him feel.” “I . . . I can’t say that I have.” That was an understatement. “Then brace yourself.” He straightened up and backed away from me a step or two. “I’m going to woo your ass off.
Jen DeLuca (Well Met (Well Met, #1))
St Paul said it is better to marry than to burn, but my mother taught me it is better to burn than to marry. She wanted to be a nun. She hoped I would be a priest and saved to give me an education while my friends plaited rope and trailed after the plough. I can't be a priest because although my heart is as loud as hers I can pretend no answering riot. I have shouted to God and the Virgin, but they have not shouted back and I'm not interested in the still small voice. Surely a god can meet passion with passion? She says he can. Then he should.
Jeanette Winterson
Wisdom is really the key to wealth. With great wisdom, comes great wealth and success. Rather than pursuing wealth, pursue wisdom. The aggressive pursuit of wealth can lead to disappointment. Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience, and being able to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. Wisdom is basically the practical application of knowledge. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs. Become completely focused on one subject and study the subject for a long period of time. Don't skip around from one subject to the next. The problem is generally not money. Jesus taught that the problem was attachment to possessions and dependence on money rather than dependence on God. Those who love people, acquire wealth so they can give generously. After all, money feeds, shelters, and clothes people. They key is to work extremely hard for a short period of time (1-5 years), create abundant wealth, and then make money work hard for you through wise investments that yield a passive income for life. Don't let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you're crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you're lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you're greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn't understand. Failure is success if we learn from it. Continuing failure eventually leads to success. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. Whenever you pursue a goal, it should be with complete focus. This means no interruptions. Only when one loves his career and is skilled at it can he truly succeed. Never rush into an investment without prior research and deliberation. With preferred shares, investors are guaranteed a dividend forever, while common stocks have variable dividends. Some regions with very low or no income taxes include the following: Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Delaware, South Dakota, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Panama, San Marino, Seychelles, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Curaçao, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Monaco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Kuwait, Oman, Andorra, Cayman Islands, Belize, Vanuatu, and Campione d'Italia. There is only one God who is infinite and supreme above all things. Do not replace that infinite one with finite idols. As frustrated as you may feel due to your life circumstances, do not vent it by cursing God or unnecessarily uttering his name. Greed leads to poverty. Greed inclines people to act impulsively in hopes of gaining more. The benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar is actually doing the giver a favor by allowing the person to give. The more I give away, the more that comes back. Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
I think the measure of advancement depends on where you are stood and from what distance you look. A thousand years ago, we farmed the fields, built towns and defended our land with swords and spears. It is little different now, save for the number of people we have to protect. We still kill with a sharp edge or point of metal, blood runs red still, sons ride off to war and parents grieve. If you look at the Empire in its whole, then it is peaceful. If you look closely, you will see the small wars, the bandits and rebellions. Look more closely still and you’ll see the petty crimes, the struggle to survive, the rich bleeding the poor. Even the soil can turn against its farmers, yielding few crops. Or the weather, a late frost killing the early crops. There is strife and conflict everywhere in the Empire. Everywhere you find men, you find conflict.
G.R. Matthews
You don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “That’s why you don’t understand. You don’t know what I used to be like. You don’t know what it was like in my head. I lived in a really dark place,” I say to him. “I wasn’t safe in my own mind. I woke up every morning hoping to die and then spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe I was already dead because I couldn’t even tell the difference,” I say, more harshly than I mean to. “I had a small thread of hope and I clung to it, but the majority of my life was spent waiting around to see if someone would take pity on me.” Kenji is just staring at me, his eyes tight. “Don’t you think I’ve realized,” I say to him, angrier now, “that if I’d allowed myself to get mad a long time ago, I would’ve discovered I had the strength to break through that asylum with my own two hands?” Kenji flinches. “Don’t you think that I think about that, all the time?” I ask him, my voice shaking. “Don’t you think it kills me to know that it was my own unwillingness to recognize myself as a human being that kept me trapped for so long? For two hundred and sixty-four days, Kenji,” I say, swallowing hard. “Two hundred and sixty-four days I was in there and the whole time, I had the power to break myself out and I didn’t, because I had no idea I could. Because I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward,” I say, “who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself. “This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.
Tahereh Mafi
Sirs, I am but a nameless man, A rhymester without a home, Yet since I come of the Wessex clay And carry the cross of Rome, I will even answer the mighty earl That asked of Wessex men Why they be meek and monkish folk, And bow to the White Lord's broken yoke; What sign have we save blood and smoke? Here is my answer then. That on you is fallen the shadow, And not upon the Name; That though we scatter and though we fly, And you hang over us like the sky, You are more tired of victory, Than we are tired of shame. That though you hunt the Christian man Like a hare on the hill-side, The hare has still more heart to run Than you have heart to ride. That though all lances split on you, All swords be heaved in vain, We have more lust again to lose Than you to win again. Your lord sits high in the saddle, A broken-hearted king, But our king Alfred, lost from fame, Fallen among foes or bonds of shame, In I know not what mean trade or name, Has still some song to sing. Our monks go robed in rain and snow, But the heart of flame therein, But you go clothed in feasts and flames, When all is ice within; Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb Men wandering ceaselessly, If it be not better to fast for joy Than feast for misery. Nor monkish order only Slides down, as field to fen, All things achieved and chosen pass, As the White Horse fades in the grass, No work of Christian men. Ere the sad gods that made your gods Saw their sad sunrise pass, The White Horse of the White Horse Vale, That you have left to darken and fail, Was cut out of the grass. Therefore your end is on you, Is on you and your kings, Not for a fire in Ely fen, Not that your gods are nine or ten, But because it is only Christian men Guard even heathen things. For our God hath blessed creation, Calling it good. I know What spirit with whom you blindly band Hath blessed destruction with his hand; Yet by God's death the stars shall stand And the small apples grow.
G.K. Chesterton (The Ballad of the White Horse)
Our minds are small, but our hearts are big. Just about every one of us has fucked up at one point or another. You're in a pickle. You did things you didn't hope to do. You have not always been your best self. This means that you're like the rest of us. I've never been in a humiliating situation when I wasn't shocked by all the "normal" people who were also in the very same humiliating position. Humans are beautifully imperfect and complex. We're horny, ass-saving, ego-driven drug fiends, among other, more noble things.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Jake, our fearless leader. On a crazed kamikaze mission. I’d never seen him like this. Even in our lowest moments, he’d always been steady. Resolute. He weighed the costs, made a decision, forged ahead. And I’d always wondered how he did it. How he kept it straight in his mind. Yeerks. Visser One. Aliens conquering humans, conquering the planet. Fighting the enemy without becoming like them. How did he sort through all that? The emotions, the ethical dilemmas, the moral crises? How did he wrap his brain around it all so he could make logical decisions? Smart decisions. The kind that saved the lives of his team. The kind that set the enemy back a small step or two. But now I knew. Jake didn’t understand any of it better than the rest of us did. If he defeated the Yeerks, freed humanity, rescued Earth, that was good. But that was just a bonus. His main goal was much simpler. To save his family. That goal was what had given him strength. That goal was what had kept him sane. Allowed him to retain a center of calm focus amid the awful chaos. His family.
Katherine Applegate (The Diversion (Animorphs, #49))
We were talking about the space between us all And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion, Never glimpse the truth, then it's far too late, when they pass away. We were talking about the love we all could share. When we find it, to try our best to hold it there. With our love, with our love, we could save the world. If they only knew. Try to realise it's all within yourself― No one else can make you change― And to see you're really only very small And life flows on within you and without you. We were talking about the love that's gone so cold And the people who gain the world and lose their soul. They don't know, they can't see. Are you one of them? When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find Peace of mind is waiting there, And the time will come when you see we're all one And life flows on within you and without you.
George Harrison
Yes, there are constraints on our actions, conventions and structural injustices that set the parameters of possibility. Our free will is not omnipotent – we can't do whatever we want. But, as Scranton says, we are free to choose from possible options. And one of our options is to make environmentally conscientious choices. It doesn't require breaking the laws of physics–or even electing a green president–to select something plant-based from a menu or at the grocery store. And although it may be a neoliberal myth that individual decisions have ultimate power, it is a defeatist myth that individual decisions have no power at all. Both macro and micro actions have power, and when it comes to mitigating our planetary destruction, it is unethical to dismiss either, or to proclaim that because the large cannot be achieved, the small should not be attempted.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
A generation of children is not only being raised indoors, but is being confined to even smaller spaces. Jane Clark, a University of Maryland professor of kinesiology . . . calls them "containerized kids"--they spend more and more time in car seats, high chairs, and even baby seats for watching TV. When small children go outside, they're often placed in containers--strollers--and pushed by walking or jogging parents. . . Most kid-containerizing is done for safety concerns, but the long term health of these children is compromised. (35)
Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder)
With no small amount of swagger, Gavin Greyling said, "I remember Gavin fucking Guile, who won the False Prism's War, who outwitted the Thorn Conspirators and ended the Red Cliff Uprising. Gavin Guile, who brought low pirate kings and bandit lords, who ended the Blood Wars with wits and one deadly wave of his hand, who brought justice to the Seven Satrapies. Gavin Guile, who hunted wights and criminals, who built Brightwater Wall in less than a week, who aborted the birth of gods, destroyed at least two bane, and killed a god full fledged at Ruic Head. Gavin Guile, who faced a sea demon and lived, saving all the people of Garriston and the Blackguard, too. Gavin Guile, who sank Pash vecchio's great ship Gargantua with a rat. Gavin Guile, who armed us for war and gave the Blackguard the seas entire with ou sea chariots and hull wreckers. Gavin Guile, heart of our heart, our Promachos, the one who goes before us in war, who came and conquered and will come again.
Brent Weeks (The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4))
Jaenelle looked thoughtful. “He seduced me. Well, seduced Witch. When we were in the abyss.” “He what?” Lucivar asked with deadly calm. “Don’t get snarly,” Jaenelle snapped. “It was a trick to make me heal the body. He didn’t really want me. Her. He didn’t…” Her voice trailed away. She waited a minute before continuing. “He said he’d been waiting for Witch all his life. That he’d been born to be her lover. But then he didn’t want to be her lover.” “Hell’s fire, Cat,” Lucivar exploded. “You were a twelve-year-old who had recently been raped. What did you expect him to do?” “I wasn’t twelve in the abyss.” Lucivar narrowed his eyes, wondering what she meant by that. “He lied to me,” she said in a small voice. “No, he didn’t. He meant exactly what he said. If you had been eighteen and had offered him the Consort’s ring, you would have found that out quick enough.” Lucivar stared at the blurry garden. He cleared his throat. “Saetan loves you, Cat. And you love him. He did what he had to do to save his Queen. He did what any Warlord Prince would do. If you can’t forgive him, how will you ever be able to forgive me?” “Oh, Lucivar.” Sobbing, Jaenelle threw her arms around him.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
Rev. [Martin Luther] King continued, chanting, singing his prophetic litany. We were one people, indivisible in the sight of God, responsible to each other and for each other. We, the black people, the most displaced, the poorest, the most maligned and scourged, we had the glorious task of reclaiming the soul and saving the honor of the country. We, the most hated, must take hate into our hands and by the miracle of love, turn loathing into love. We, the most feared and apprehensive, must take fear and by love, change it into hope. We, who die daily in large and small ways, must take the demon death and turn it into Life. His head was thrown back and his words rolled out with the rumbling of thunder. We had to pray without ceasing and work without tiring. We had to know evil will not forever stay on the throne. That right, dashed to the ground, will rise, rise again and again.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
I can’t believe he sent me flowers.” A rude noise escaped from somewhere deep in Aidan’s throat. “I just saved your life. What are roses compared to that?” He was glaring at the long-stemmed flowers, his golden gaze intent and menacing. Alexandria glanced up at him, saw the dark, determined set of his mouth, and burst out laughing. She spun around and went up on her toes to cover his eyes with her palm. “Don’t you dare. If my roses wither, I’ll know exactly who’s responsible. I mean it, Aidan. You leave my flowers alone. You can probably destroy the entire bouquet with one ferocious glance.” Her body was soft against his, her laughter warm against his throat. His arm circled her small waist, locking her to him. “I was only going to make them droop a little. Nothing too dramatic.
Christine Feehan (Dark Gold (Dark, #3))
But that’s not what I’m trying to tell you,” Violet said, her eyes taking on a slightly determined expression. “What I’m trying to say is that when you were born, and they put you into my arms—it’s strange, because for some reason I was so convinced you would look just like your father. I thought for certain I would look down and see his face, and it would be some sort of sign from heaven.” Hyacinth’s breath caught as she watched her, and she wondered why her mother had never told her this story. And why she’d never asked. “But you didn’t,” Violet continued. “You looked rather like me. And then—oh my, I remember this as if it were yesterday—you looked into my eyes, and you blinked. Twice.” “Twice?” Hyacinth echoed, wondering why this was important. “Twice.” Violet looked at her, her lips curving into a funny little smile. “I only remember it because you looked so deliberate. It was the strangest thing. You gave me a look as if to say, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing.’ ” A little burst of air rushed past Hyacinth’s lips, and she realized it was a laugh. A small one, the kind that takes a body by surprise. “And then you let out a wail,” Violet said, shaking her head. “My heavens, I thought you were going to shake the paint right off the walls. And I smiled. It was the first time since your father died that I smiled.” Violet took a breath, then reached for her tea. Hyacinth watched as her mother composed herself, wanting desperately to ask her to continue, but somehow knowing the moment called for silence. For a full minute Hyacinth waited, and then finally her mother said, softly, “And from that moment on, you were so dear to me. I love all my children, but you…” She looked up, her eyes catching Hyacinth’s. “You saved me.” Something squeezed in Hyacinth’s chest. She couldn’t quite move, couldn’t quite breathe. She could only watch her mother’s face, listen to her words, and be so very, very grateful that she’d been lucky enough to be her child. “In some ways I was a little too protective of you,” Violet said, her lips forming the tiniest of smiles, “and at the same time too lenient. You were so exuberant, so completely sure of who you were and how you fit into the world around you. You were a force of nature, and I didn’t want to clip your wings.” “Thank you,” Hyacinth whispered, but the words were so soft, she wasn’t even sure she’d said them aloud.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
I bent my head and breathed the fresh new scent of her. I looked into her deep blue eyes and saw reflected there the dawn of my own new life. This little girl seemed to me, at that moment, answer enough to all my questions. To have saved this small, singular one—this alone seemed reason enough that I lived. I knew then that this was how I was meant to go on: away from death and toward life, from birth to birth, from seed to blossom, living my life amongst wonders.
Geraldine Brooks (Year of Wonders)
I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces. - Henry Ford
Bryce G. Hoffman (American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company)
We, the black people, the most displaced, the poorest, the most maligned and scourged, we had the glorious task of reclaiming the soul and saving the honor of the country. We, the most hated, must take hate into our hands and by the miracle of love, turn loathing into love. We, the most feared and apprehensive must take fear and by love, change it into hope. We, who die daily in large and small ways, must take the demon death and turn it into life.-Martin Luther King Jr.
Maya Angelou
The hobbit is hallowed for his terrible and grace-filled journey and hollowed out by it. His body seems too small for all that he endures but not so his heart. Fear, fatigue, cold, hunger, and thirst torment him, but he continues out of love. Frodo’s struggle shows that there are, in fact, two quests going on: his to destroy the Ring and the Ring’s to dominate and destroy him. Despite the despair that it causes, which both fills and empties him, the Ring-bearer remains as intent upon saving everyone as Denethor is not. Frodo’s torn heart still beats, and it pushes past terror and hopelessness because of Sam’s blessed aid and his own battered and bleeding will to do so. Both hobbits teach us the great value of redemptive suffering.
Anne Marie Gazzolo (Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings)
It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as to my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cotton ball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified. A few quick cuts and cunt becomes can't, cock turns into back, clit transforms to a very unlikely cat, the l and i turned into a teetering capital A. The last words I ever carved into myself, sixteen years after I started: vanish. Sometimes I can hear the words squabbling at each other across my body. Up on my shoulder, panty calling down to cherry on the inside of my right ankle. On the underside of a big toe, sew uttering muffled threats to baby, just under my left breast. I can quiet them down by thinking of vanish, always hushed and regal, lording over the other words from the safety of the nape of my neck. Also: At the center of my back, which was too difficult to reach, is a circle of perfect skin the size of a fist. Over the years I've made my own private jokes. You can really read me. Do you want me to spell it out for you? I've certainly given myself a life sentence. Funny, right? I can't stand to look myself without being completely covered. Someday I may visit a surgeon, see what can be done to smooth me, but now I couldn't bear the reaction. Instead I drink so I don't think too much about what I've done to my body and so I don't do any more. Yet most of the time that I'm awake, I want to cut. Not small words either. Equivocate. Inarticulate. Duplicitous. At my hospital back in Illinois they would not approve of this craving. For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is that the cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured. But I was out of places to write, slicing myself between my toes - bad, cry - like a junkie looking for one last vein. Vanish did it for me. I'd saved the neck, such a nice prime spot, for one final good cutting. Then I turned myself in.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
The welcome book would have taught us that power and signs of status can’t save us, that welcome—both offering and receiving—is our source of safety. Various chapters and verses of this book would remind us that we are wanted and even occasionally delighted in, despite the unfortunate truth that we are greedy-grabby, self-referential, indulgent, overly judgmental, and often hysterical. Somehow that book “went missing.” Or when the editorial board of bishops pored over the canonical lists from Jerusalem and Alexandria, they arbitrarily nixed the book that states unequivocally that you are wanted, even rejoiced in.
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every 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 rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. 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. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Let her go in with him." (...) "Actually, I feel quite endangered by her presence. Dont you, Lila?" "Absolutely," said Lila. "She terrifies me. Right Sean?" "Shit." Sean wiped a hand over his face. (...) Lila raised her eyebrows and the Viking groaned in defeat. "Never been so scared in my life. She's so small and ...wounded." "Please, Finn," said Ali, her eyes full of warmth and good humor. "Save us. You're our last hope." "F***ing ridiculous." Finn pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and shoved one into the lock.
Kylie Scott (Skin (Flesh, #2))
Don’t you want to take a last look at the place?" he asked Hedwig, who was still sulking with her head under her wing. “We’ll never be here again. Don’t you want to remember all the good times? I mean, look at this doormat. What memories . . . Dudley puked on it after I saved him from the dementors . . . Turns out he was grateful after all, can you believe it? . . . And last summer, Dumbledore walked through that front door . . . .” Harry lost the thread of his thoughts for a moment and Hedwig did nothing to help him retrieve it, but continued to sit with her head under her wing. Harry turned his back on the front door. “And under here, Hedwig”—Harry pulled open a door under the stairs—“is where I used to sleep! You never knew me then—Blimey, it’s small, I’d forgotten . . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
When we confess and receive absolution together, we are reminded that none of our pathologies, neuroses, or sins, no matter how small or secret, affect only us. We are a church, a community, a family. We are not simply individuals with our pet sins and private brokenness. We are people who desperately need each other if we are to seek Christ and walk in repentance. If we are saved, we are saved together--as the body of Christ, as a church. Because of this, I need to hear my forgiveness proclaimed not only by God but by a representative of the body of Christ in which I receive grace, to remind me that though my sin is worse than I care to admit, I'm still welcome here. I'm still called into this community and loved.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Johnny had killed four mountain-sheep and a caribou while we were gone, and not only had fed the dogs well, but from time to time had put aside choice portions expecting our return. But what was most grateful to us and most extraordinary in him, the boy had saved, untouched, the small ration of sugar and milk left for his consumption, knowing that ours was all destroyed; and we enjoyed coffee with these luxurious appurtenances as only they can who have been long deprived of them. There are not many boys of fifteen or sixteen of any race who would voluntarily have done the like.
Hudson Stuck (The Ascent of Denali (Mount McKinley) A Narrative of the First Complete Ascent of the Highest Peak in North America)
It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look - I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring - caring deeply and passionately, really caring - which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naïveté - the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball - seems a small price to pay for such a gift.
Roger Angell (Game Time: A Baseball Companion)
The way God squandered Himself had always hurt her; and annoyed her too. The sky full of wings and only the shepherds awake. That golden voice speaking and only a few fishermen there to hear; and perhaps some of the words He spoke carried away on the wind or lost in the sound of the waves lapping against the side of the boat. A thousand blossoms shimmering over the orchard, each a world of wonder all to itself, and then the whole thing blown away on a southwest gale as though the delicate little worlds were of no value at all. Well, of all the spendthrifts, she would think and then pull herself up. It was not for her to criticize the ways of Almighty God; if He liked to go to all that trouble over the snowflakes, millions and millions of them, their intricate patterns too small to be seen by human eyes, and melting as soon as made, that was His affair and not hers. All she could do about it was to catch in her window, and save from entire waste, as much of the squandered beauty as she could.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Rosemary Tree)
My cell phone rang on the table. I never went far without it, even in the house. I picked it up. An unlisted number. Oh goodie. “Nevada Baylor.” “I need to talk to you,” Mad Rogan said into the phone. “Meet me for lunch.” My pulse jumped, my body snapped to attention, and my brain shut down for a second to come to terms with the impact of his voice. I’d slap myself except my mother and grandmother already thought I was nuts, and hurting myself would get me committed for sure. “Sure, let me get right on that.” Hey, my voice still worked. “Should I bring my own chains this time? Or do you have bigger plans, and this is some freaky murder foreplay”—why did the word foreplay just come out of my mouth?—“and I’ll end up cut up into small pieces inside some freezer at the end? I can just spray myself with mace and shoot myself in the head now and save you some trouble?” “Are you done?” he asked. “Just getting started.” I was so brave over the phone. “Lunch, Ms. Baylor. Concentrate. Pick a place.” “You seem to be under the impression that I work for you and you can give me orders. Let me fix that.” I hung up. Grandma looked at my mom. “Did she just hang up on Mad Rogan?” “Yes, she did.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
He’d decided to keep a journal in the hope that this might help. He looked at the recent entries. Probably Tuesday: hot, flies. Dinner: honey ants. Attacked by honey ants. Fell into waterhole. Wednesday, with any luck: hot, flies. Dinner: either bush raisins or kangaroo droppings. Chased by hunters, don’t know why. Fell into waterhole. Thursday (could be): hot, flies. Dinner: blue-tongued lizard. Savaged by blue-tongued lizard. Chased by different hunters. Fell off cliff, bounced into tree, pissed on by small grey incontinent teddy bear, landed in a waterhole. Friday: hot, flies. Dinner: some kind of roots which tasted like sick. This saved time. Saturday: hotter than yesterday, extra flies. V. thirsty. Sunday: hot. Delirious with thirst and flies. Nothing but nothing as far as the eye can see, with bushes in it. Decided to die, collapsed, fell down sand dune into waterhole.
Terry Pratchett (The Last Continent (Discworld, #22))
Bit by bit, he has pared down his desires to what is now approaching a bare minimum. He has cut out smoking and drinking, he no longer eats in restaurants, he does not own a television, a radio, or a computer. He would like to trade his car in for a bicycle, but he can’t get rid of the car, since the distances he must travel for work are too great. The same applies to the cell phone he carries around in his pocket, which he would dearly love to toss in the garbage, but he needs it for work as well and therefore can’t do without it. The digital camera was an indulgence, perhaps, but given the drear and slog of the endless trash-out rut, he feels it is saving his life. His rent is low, since he lives in a small apartment in a poor neighborhood, and beyond spending money on bedrock necessities, the only luxury he allows himself is buying books, paperback books, mostly novels, American novels, British novels, foreign novels in translation, but in the end books are not luxuries so much as necessities, and reading is an addiction he has no wish to be cured of.
Paul Auster
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. But in the main, I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall In company with other bags, white, red and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small, things priceless and worthless. A first water diamond, an empty spool bits of broken glass, lengths of string, a key to a door long since crumbled away, a rusty knife-blade, old shoes saved for a road that never was and never will be, a nail bent under the weight of things too heavy for any nail, a dried flower or two still a little fragrant. in your hand is the brown bag. On the ground before you is the jumble it held so much like the jumble in the bags could they be emptied that all might be dumped in a single heap and the bags refilled without altering the content of any greatly. A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter. Perhaps that is how the Great Stuffer of Bags filled them in the first place, who knows?
Zora Neale Hurston (How It Feels to Be Colored Me)
The green painted concrete out in front of the house, which at first seemed like a novel way to save money on lawn-moving, was now just plain depressing. The hot water came reluctantly to the kitchen sink as if from miles away, and even then without conviction, and sometimes a pale brownish color. Many of the windows wouldn't open properly to let flies out. Others wouldn't shut properly to stop them getting in. The newly planted fruit trees died in the sandy soil of a too-bright backyard and were left like grave-markers under the slack laundry lines, a small cemetery of disappointment. It appeared to be impossible to find the right kinds of food, or learn the right way to say even simple things. The children said very little that wasn't a complaint.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
Did I ever tell you that they nearly cut my dick off?’ ‘No,’ I said, uncertain whether this was something that had really happened or something he was misremembering in his delirium. ‘It’s true,’ he said. ‘The night before the Gardaí found me. They said that I had a choice. That they’d either pop one of my eyes out or cut my dick off. They told me I could choose which.’ ‘Jesus,’ I said. ‘I mean I would have said my eye, of course. Probably the one on the other side to the missing ear, just to balance things out. But can you imagine if they had cut my dick off? I wouldn’t be lying here right now, would I? None of this would have happened.’ ‘That’s one way of looking at it,’ I said. ‘They would have saved my life.’ ‘Maybe.’ ‘No, you’re right. I’d be dead already because I’d probably have killed myself if they’d cut my dick off. There’s no way I would have gone through my life dickless. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how one small part of our anatomy completely controls our lives?
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Our politicians tell us we are free, even though most governments take over 50% of what we earn. They claim we get services that we need for our hard-earned money, even though we could buy the same services at half the price from the private sector. Today, we ridicule the slave-owners' claim that they "gave back" to their slaves by housing, clothing, feeding them, and bestowing upon them the "benefits" of civilization instead of leaving them in their native state. We see this as a self-serving justification for exploitation. In the future, we will view being forcibly taxed to pay for things we don't want, such as bombs for the Middle East, subsidies for tobacco, other people's abortions, regulations that put small businesses out of business, prisons for people trying to feel good, keeping life-saving medications out of the hands of dying people, etc., as taking away our freedom. When even a small portion of our lives is spent enslaved, that part tends to dominate the rest of our time. If we don't put our servitude first as we structure the remainder of our lives, our masters will make sure we regret it. How much freedom do we need to survive and how much do we need to thrive?
Mary J. Ruwart
One day a young fugitive, trying to hide himself from the enemy, entered a small village. The people were kind to him and offered him a place to stay. But when the soldiers who sought the fugitive asked where he was hiding, everyone became very fearful. The soldiers threatened to burn the village and kill every man in it unless the young man were handed over to them before dawn. The people went to the minister and asked him what to do. The minister, torn between handing over the boy to the enemy or having his people killed, withdrew to his room and read his Bible, hoping to find an answer before dawn. After many hours, in the early morning his eyes fell on these words: “It is better that one man dies than that the whole people be lost.” Then the minister closed the Bible, called the soldiers and told them where the boy was hidden. And after the soldiers led the fugitive away to be killed, there was a feast in the village because the minister had saved the lives of the people. But the minister did not celebrate. Overcome with a deep sadness, he remained in his room. That night an angel came to him, and asked, “What have you done?” He said: “I handed over the fugitive to the enemy.” Then the angel said: “But don’t you know that you have handed over the Messiah?” “How could I know?” the minister replied anxiously. Then the angel said: “If, instead of reading your Bible, you had visited this young man just once and looked into his eyes, you would have known.” While versions of this story are very old, it seems the most modern of tales. Like that minister, who might have recognized the Messiah if he had raised his eyes from his Bible to look into the youth’s eyes, we are challenged to look into the eyes of the young men and women of today, who are running away from our cruel ways. Perhaps that will be enough to prevent us from handing them over to the enemy and enable us to lead them out of their hidden places into the middle of their people where they can redeem us from our fears.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society)
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you. When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes. The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming. One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed
For if there are no waving flags and marching songs at the barricades as Walter marches out with his little battalion, it is not because the battle lacks nobility. On the contrary, he has picked up in his way, still imperfect and wobbly in his small view of human destiny, what I believe Arthur Miller once called "the golden threat of history." He becomes, in spite of those who are too intrigued with despair and hatred of man to see it, King Oedipus refusing to tear out his eyes, but attacking the Oracle instead. He is that last Jewish patriot manning his rifle at Warsaw; he is that young girl who swam into sharks to save a friend a few weeks ago; he is Anne Frank, still believing in people; he is the nine small heroes of Little Rock; he is Michelangelo creating David and Beethoven bursting forth with the Ninth Symphony. He is all those things because he has finally reached out in his tiny moment and caught that sweet essence which is human dignity, and it shines like the old star-touched dream that it is in his eyes.
Lorraine Hansberry
After three of four years of schooling, the nucleus basalis, which forms sharp memories in the brain, falls into disuse and decays. This is the part of the brain that makes learning so effortless for small children, and it is always activated in undomesticated humans. But neuroplasticity research has shown that damage to the nucleus basalis can be reversed by reintroducing activities involving highly focused attention, which results in massive increases in production of acetylcholine and dopamine. Using new skills under conditions of intense focus rewires billions of neural connections and reactivates the nucleus basalis. Loss of function in this part of the brain is not a natural stage of development--we are supposed to retain and even increase it throughout our lives. Until very recently in human history, we did.
Tyson Yunkaporta (Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World)
Some may object that to speak of election or predestination is to limit the kingdom of God to a few. Does it make God a capricious tyrant? We must answer that such objections usually stem from a refusal to accept that we are faced here with a mystery that is not given to us to solve. There is also a radical misunderstanding which maintains that God's sovereignty in election removes man's responsibility. Such is not true. How divine sovereignty and human responsibility work together we cannot know. The Bible makes it clear that they do. // Let us remember that Jesus discriminated and limited the numbers of the saved: 'Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it' (Matthew 7:13-14). This is in line with the Old Testament teaching that only a faithful remnant of Israel would be saved.
Graeme Goldsworthy (The Goldsworthy Trilogy: Gospel and Kingdom, Wisdom, and Revelation)
He thought dawdling, protective thoughts, sitting under the lamp, but he knew that pretty soon his name would be called and he would have to go up before the bench with himself as judge and his own crimes as jurors. And his name was called, shrilly in his ears. His mind walked in to face the accusers: Vanity, which charged him with being ill dressed and dirty and vulgar; and Lust, slipping him the money for his whoring; Dishonesty, to make him pretend to talent and thought he did not have; Laziness and Gluttony arm in arm. Tom felt comforted by these because they screened the great Gray One in the back seat, waiting—the gray and dreadful crime. He dredged up lesser things, used small sins almost like virtues to save himself. There were Covetousness of Will’s money, Treason toward his mother’s God, Theft of time and hope, sick Rejection of love. Samuel spoke softly but his voice filled the room. “Be good, be pure, be great, be Tom Hamilton.” Tom ignored his father. He said, “I’m busy greeting my friends,” and he nodded to Discourtesy and Ugliness and Unfilial Conduct and Unkempt Fingernails. Then he started with Vanity again. The Gray One shouldered up in front. It was too late to stall with baby sins. This Gray One was Murder.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming. One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
Cheryl Strayed
good news is that we’re all doomed, and you can give up any sense of control. Resistance is futile. Many things are going to get worse and weaker, especially democracy and the muscles in your upper arms. Most deteriorating conditions, though, will have to do with your family, the family in which you were raised and your current one. A number of the best people will have died, badly, while the worst thrive. The younger middle-aged people struggle with the same financial, substance, and marital crises that their parents did, and the older middle-aged people are, like me, no longer even late-middle-aged. We’re early old age, with failing memories, hearing loss, and gum disease. And also, while I hate to sound pessimistic, there are also new, tiny, defenseless people who are probably doomed, too, to the mental ruin of ceaseless striving. What most of us live by and for is the love of family—blood family, where the damage occurred, and chosen, where a bunch of really nutty people fight back together. But both kinds of families can be as hard and hollow as bone, as mystical and common, as dead and alive, as promising and depleted. And by the same token, only redeeming familial love can save you from this crucible, along with nature and clean sheets. A
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
I believe that it was really due to Lorenzo that I am alive today; and not so much for his material aid, as for his having constantly reminded me by his presence, by his natural and plain manner of being good, that there still existed a just world outside our own, something and someone still pure and whole, not corrupt, not savage, extraneous to hatred and terror; something difficult to define, a remote possibility of good, but for which it was worth saving. The personages in these pages are not men. Their humanity is buried, or they themselves have buried it, under an offense received or inflicted on someone else. The evil and insane SS men, the Kapos, the politicals, the criminals, the prominents, great and small, down to the indifferent slave Häftlinge, all the grades of the mad hierarchy created by the Germans paradoxically fraternized in a uniform internal desolation. But Lorenzo was a man; his humanity was pure and uncontaminated, he was outside this world of negation. Thanks to Lorenzo, I managed not to forget that I myself was a man.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
Filth, filth, filth, from morning to night. I know they're poor but they could wash. Water is free and soap is cheap. Just look at that arm, nurse.' The nurse looked and clucked in horror. Francie stood there with the hot flamepoints of shame burning her face. The doctor was a Harvard man, interning at the neighborhood hospital. Once a week, he was obliged to put in a few hours at one of the free clinics. He was going into a smart practice in Boston when his internship was over. Adopting the phraseology of the neighborhood, he referred to his Brooklyn internship as going through Purgatory, when he wrote to his socially prominent fiancee in Boston. The nurse was as Williamsburg girl... The child of poor Polish immigrants, she had been ambitious, worked days in a sweatshop and gone to school at night. Somehow she had gotten her training... She didn't want anyone to know she had come from the slums. After the doctor's outburst, Francie stood hanging her head. She was a dirty girl. That's what the doctor meant. He was talking more quietly now asking the nurse how that kind of people could survive; that it would be a better world if they were all sterilized and couldn't breed anymore. Did that mean he wanted her to die? Would he do something to make her die because her hands and arms were dirty from the mud pies? She looked at the nurse... She thought the nurse might say something like: Maybe this little girl's mother works and didn't have time to wash her good this morning,' or, 'You know how it is, Doctor, children will play in the dirt.' But what the nurse actuallly said was, 'I know, Isn't it terrible? I sympathize with you, Doctor. There is no excuse for these people living in filth.' A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise. When the needle jabbed, Francie never felt it. The waves of hurt started by the doctor's words were racking her body and drove out all other feeling. While the nurse was expertly tying a strip of gauze around her arm and the doctor was putting his instrument in the sterilizer and taking out a fresh needle, Francie spoke up. My brother is next. His arm is just as dirty as mine so don't be suprised. And you don't have to tell him. You told me.' They stared at this bit of humanity who had become so strangely articulate. Francie's voice went ragged with a sob. 'You don't have to tell him. Besides it won't do no godd. He's a boy and he don't care if he is dirty.'... As the door closed, she heard the doctor's suprised voice. I had no idea she'd understand what I was saying.' She heard the nurse say, 'Oh, well,' on a sighing note.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
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
We are all, of course, wayfaring strangers on this earth. But coming out of the rainbow tunnel, the liminal portal between Marin and San Francisco, myth and reality, I catch sight of a beautiful, sparkling city that might as well be on the moon. I can name the sights, the streets, the eateries, but in my heart it feels as unfamiliar as Cape Town or Cuzco. I've lived here for fourteen years. This is the arena of my adult life, with its large defeats and small victories. Maybe, like all transplants (converts?), I've asked too much of the city. I would never have moved to Pittsburh or Houston or L.A. expecting it to save my soul. Only here in the great temple by the bay. It's a mistake we've been making for decades, and probably a necessary one. The city's flaws, of course, are numerous. Our politics can suffer from humourless stridency, and life here is menacingly expensive. But if you're insulated from these concerns, sufficiently employed and housed, if you are -in other words- like most people, you are in view of the unbridgeable ideal. Here, with our plentiful harvest, our natural beauty, our bars, our bookstores, our cliffs and ocean, out free to be you and me; here, where pure mountain water flows right out of the tap. It's here that the real questions become inescapable. In fact the proximity of the ideal makes us more acutely aware of the real questions. Not the run-of-the-mill insolubles-Why am I here? Who am I?- but the pressing questions of adult life: Really? and Are you sure? And Now what?
Scott Hutchins (A Working Theory of Love)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The next day, when I came home from the library, there was a small, used red record player in my room. I found my mother in the kitchen and spotted a bandage taped to her arm. “Ma,” I asked. “Where did you get the money for the record player?” “I had it saved,” she lied. My father lived well, had a large house and an expensive imported car, wanted for little, and gave nothing. My mother lived on welfare in a slum and sold her blood to the Red Cross to get me a record player. “Education is everything, Johnny,” she said, as she headed for the refrigerator to get me food. “You get smart like regular people and you don’t have to live like this no more.” She and I were not hugging types, but I put my hand on her shoulder as she washed the dishes with her back to me and she said, in best Brooklynese, “So go and enjoy, already.” My father always said I was my mother’s son and I was proud of that. On her good days, she was a good and noble thing to be a part of. That evening, I plugged in the red record player and placed it by the window. My mother and I took the kitchen chairs out to the porch and listened to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from beginning to end, as we watched the oil-stained waters of the Mad River roll by. It was a good night, another good night, one of many that have blessed my life.
John William Tuohy
Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. -Benjamin Franklin Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced. -James Baldwin She wore an expression I've only seen in paintings in museums, of a love and a grief so fierce that they forged together to create some new, raw emotion. There are two types of people who become public defenders: those who believe they can save the world, and those who know damn well they can. Any public defender who tells you justice is blind is telling you a big fat lie. If no one ever talks about race in court, how is anything ever supposed to change? It is amazing how you can look in a mirror your whole life & think you are seeing yourself clearly. Then one day, you peel off a filmy gray layer of hypocrisy, & you realize you've never truly seen yourself at all. My client hates me. She thinks I'm a racist. Micah: She has a point. You're white and she's not, and you both happen to live in a world where white people have all the power. It is a strange thing being suddenly motherless. It's like losing a rudder that was keeping me on course, one that I never paid much mind to before now. Who will teach me how to parent, how to deal with the unkindness of strangers, how to be humble? You already did, I realize. She looks at me, and we laugh....we have more in common than we have differences. Everyone has prejudices. It's my job to make sure that they work in favor of the person I'm representing. The Millennials are the me generation. They usually think everything revolves around them, and make decisions based on what's going on in their lives & how it will affect their lives. They're minfields of egocentrism.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
Jesus of Nazareth is so entirely one of them they can hardly find anything special about him at all. He fits right in with the messy busyness of everyday life. And it is here, in their midst, with their routines of fish and wine and bread, that he proclaims the kingdom of heaven. The gospel, Jesus teaches, is in the yeast, as a woman kneads it with her bare hands into the cool, pungent dough. It is in the soil, so warm and moist when freshly turned by muscular arms and backs. It is in the tiny seeds of mustard and wheat, painstakingly saved and dried from last season's harvest... Jesus placed the gospel in these tactile things, with all the grit of life surrounding him, because it is through all this touching, tasting, and smelling that his own sheep- his beloved, hardworking, human flock- know. And it is through these most mundane, touchable, smellable, tasteable pieces of commonplace existence that he shows them, and us, to find God and know him. Jesus delivered the good news in a rough, messy, hands-on package of donkeys and dusty roads, bleeding women and lepers, water from the well, and wine from the water. Holy work in the world has always been like this: messy, earthy, physical, touchable.
Catherine McNiel (Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline)
The Los Angeles River is small, but mean. People who don't know the truth of it make fun of our river; all they see is a tortured trickle that snakes along a concrete gutter like some junkie's vein. They don't know that we put the river in concrete to save ourselves; they don't know that the river is small because it's sleeping, and that every year and sometimes more it wakes. Before we put the river in that silly trough centered on a concrete plain at the bottom of those concrete walls, it flashed to life with the rain to wash away trees and houses and bridges, and cut its banks to breed new channels almost as if it was looking for people to kill. It found what it looked for too many times. Now, when it wakes, the river climbs those concrete walls so high that wet claws rake the freeways and bridges as it tries to pull down a passing car or someone caught out in the storm. Chain-link fences and barbed wire spine along the top of the walls to keep out people, but the walls keep in the river. The concrete is a prison. The prison works, most of the time.
Robert Crais (The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9))
Frowning, she warmed up the scone she’d saved for Callum. “I could get a pop-up camper to pull behind my truck. When I get a truck, of course. That way, I could move my house every few days and experience different views.” “You’re not living in a camper.” He bit into the scone and chewed angrily. “Excuse me.” The female half of the eavesdropping couple took a step closer to the counter. “Are there any more of those scones?” Lou pasted a regretful smile on her face. “Sorry, no. This was the last one.” “I didn’t see it in the display.” The woman scowled. “I specifically asked if you had any scones, and you said you were out.” “I had to hold this one back. It was defective.” “Defective?” Her eyes darted between Lou’s expression of fake sympathy and the small bite of scone Callum hadn’t eaten yet. “It looked fine.” “I licked it.” Lou heard Callum choke on the last piece of scone, but she couldn’t look at him or she would start laughing. If his airway was blocked, he was going to have to give himself the Heimlich. The woman’s suspicious expression didn’t ease. “Why did you let him eat it then?” “Oh, his tongue is in my mouth all the time,” Lou said sweetly, and Callum’s coughing increased. “I didn’t think he’d mind my germs.” With a sound of frustration, the woman stormed out of the shop, followed closely by the male half of the couple. The bells rang merrily as the door closed behind them, as if celebrating their absence. “Sparks,” Callum rasped once his coughing died down. “You’re going to kill me.” “But what a way to go.” “True.” Grabbing her hand, he pulled her closer and leaned across the counter. “Now give me some of those germs.
Katie Ruggle (Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue, #1))
You mentioned earlier that if I wanted to help, Miss Oliviera, I should save the lectures, and help,” Mr. Smith said as he sprayed. “Perhaps that’s exactly what Fates do.” I shook my head, bewildered. “I’m sorry?” “Perhaps Fates are people like us…ordinary souls who’ve found themselves caught up in the battle between good and evil, and have chosen to take a stand and help do what’s right.” Mr. Smith was lecturing again, but this time the speech seemed to be directed at John, too. His tone was kindly, however. “Maybe that’s why John’s fingerprints aren’t in the Isla Heusos Police Department database, and why no one will find his footsteps here. Small things that take just a moment to do, yes, but that could add up, in the end, to make an enormous difference to someone. What do you say to that, Miss Oliviera?” “I…I don’t know,” I said. I was confused. I supposed he was right, though. This could certainly explain how John was able to drift like a ghost in and out of the Isla Heusos Cemetery-and my various schools-leaving behind no trace, except rumors and the faintest images on video, and broken padlocks and chains.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Winter's last rain and a light I don't recognize through the trees and I come back in my mind to the man who made me suck his cock when I was seven, in sunlight, between boxcars. I thought I could leave him standing there in the years, half smile on his lips, small hands curled into small fists, but after he finished, he held my hand in his as if astonished, until the houses were visible just beyond the railyard. He held my hand but before that he slapped me hard on the face when I would not open my mouth for him. I do not want to say his whole hips slammed into me, but they did, and a black wave washed over my brain, changing me so I could not move among my people in the old way. On my way home I stopped in the churchyard to try to find a way to stay alive. In the branches a red-wing flitted, warning me. In the rectory, Father prepared the body and the blood for mass but God could not save me from a mouthful of cum. That afternoon some lives turned away from the light. He taught me how to move my tongue around. In his hands he held my head like a lover. Say it clearly and you make it beautiful, no matter what.
Bruce Weigl
Sparks come from the very source of light and are made of the purest brightness—so say the oldest legends. When a human Being is to be born, a spark begins to fall. First it flies through the darkness of outer space, then through galaxies, and finally, before it falls here, to Earth, the poor thing bumps into the orbits of planets. Each of them contaminates the spark with some Properties, while it darkens and fades. First Pluto draws the frame for this cosmic experiment and reveals its basic principles—life is a fleeting incident, followed by death, which will one day let the spark escape from the trap; there’s no other way out. Life is like an extremely demanding testing ground. From now on everything you do will count, every thought and every deed, but not for you to be punished or rewarded afterward, but because it is they that build your world. This is how the machine works. As it continues to fall, the spark crosses Neptune’s belt and is lost in its foggy vapors. As consolation Neptune gives it all sorts of illusions, a sleepy memory of its exodus, dreams about flying, fantasy, narcotics and books. Uranus equips it with the capacity for rebellion; from now on that will be proof of the memory of where the spark is from. As the spark passes the rings of Saturn, it becomes clear that waiting for it at the bottom is a prison. A labor camp, a hospital, rules and forms, a sickly body, fatal illness, the death of a loved one. But Jupiter gives it consolation, dignity and optimism, a splendid gift: things-will-work-out. Mars adds strength and aggression, which are sure to be of use. As it flies past the Sun, it is blinded, and all that it has left of its former, far-reaching consciousness is a small, stunted Self, separated from the rest, and so it will remain. I imagine it like this: a small torso, a crippled being with its wings torn off, a Fly tormented by cruel children; who knows how it will survive in the Gloom. Praise the Goddesses, now Venus stands in the way of its Fall. From her the spark gains the gift of love, the purest sympathy, the only thing that can save it and other sparks; thanks to the gifts of Venus they will be able to unite and support each other. Just before the Fall it catches on a small, strange planet that resembles a hypnotized Rabbit, and doesn’t turn on its own axis, but moves rapidly, staring at the Sun. This is Mercury, who gives it language, the capacity to communicate. As it passes the Moon, it gains something as intangible as the soul. Only then does it fall to Earth, and is immediately clothed in a body. Human, animal or vegetable. That’s the way it is. —
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
Her kiss is hungry, as if long deprived. As if they didn’t already spend the morning doing just exactly this, making up for the lost time they were apart. Triton’s trident, I could do this all day. Then he catches himself. No, I couldn’t. Not without wanting more. Which is why we need to stop. Instead, he entwines his hands in her hair, and she teases his lips with her tongue, trying to get him to fully open his mouth to her. He gladly complies. Her fingers sneak their way under his shirt, up his stomach, sending a trail of fire to his chest. He is about to lose his shirt altogether. Until Antonis’s voice booms from the doorway. “Extract yourself from Prince Galen, Emma,” he says. “You two are not mated. This behavior is inappropriate for any Syrena, let alone a Royal.” Emma’s eyes go round as sand dollars. He can tell she’s not sure what to think about her grandfather telling her what to do. Or maybe she’s caught off guard that he called her a Royal. Either way, like most people, Emma decides to obey. Galen does, too. They stand up side by side, not daring to be close enough to touch. They behold King Antonis in a polka-dot bathrobe, and though he’s the one who looks silly, they are the ones who look shamed. Galen feels like a fingerling again. “I apologize, Highness,” he says. It seems like all he does lately is apologize to the Poseidon king. “It was my fault.” Antonis gives him a reproving look. “I like you, young prince. But you well know the law. Do not disappoint me, Galen. My granddaughter is deserving of a proper mating ceremony.” Galen can’t meet his eyes. He’s right. I shouldn’t be flirting with temptation like this. With the Archives on their way-or possibly here already-there is a distant but small chance that he and Emma can still live within the confines of the law. That they can still live as mates under the Syrena tradition. And he almost just blew it. What if it had gone too far? Then his mating with Emma would forever be blemished by breaking the law. “It won’t happen again, Highness.” Not until we’re mated, anyway. “Um. Did you just promise not to kiss me ever again?” Emma whispers. “Can we talk about this later? The Archives are obviously here, angelfish.” She’s on the verge of a fit, he can tell. “He’s just looking out for us,” Galen says quickly. “I agree, we need to respect the law-“ At this her fit subsides as if it was never there. She smiles wide at him. He can’t decide if it’s genuine, or if it’s the kind of smile she gives him when he’ll pay for something later. “Okay, Galen.” “Galen, Emma,” Nalia calls from the dining room, saving him from making a fool of himself. “Everyone is here.” Emma gives him a look that clearly says, “We’re so not done with this conversation.” Then she turns and walks away. Galen takes a second to regain a little bit of composure-which kissing Emma tends to steal from him. Then there’s the mortification of being interrupted by-Get it together, idiot.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
These days, there are so few pure country people left on the concession roads that we may be in need of a new category of membership, much as sons and daughters of veterans are now allowed to join the Legion. A few simple questions could be asked, a small fee paid and (assuming that the answers are correct) you could be granted the status of an "almost local." Here are some of the questions you might be asked: Do you have just one suit for weddings and funerals? Do you save plastic buckets? Do you leave your car doors unlocked at all times? Do you have an inside dog and an outside dog? Has your outside dog never been to town? When you pass a neighbour in the car, do you wave from the elbow or do you merely raise one finger from the steering wheel? Do you have trouble keeping the car or truck going in a straight line because you are looking at crops or livestock? Do you sometimes find yourself sitting in the car in the middle of a dirt road chatting with a neighbour out the window while other cars take the ditch to get around you? Can you tell whose tractor is going by without looking out the window? Can people recognize you from three hundred yards away by the way you walk or the tilt of your hat? If somebody honks their horn at you, do you automatically smile and wave? Do most of your conversations open with some observation about the weather? Is your most important news source the store in the village? Have you had surgery in the local hospital? If you hear about a death or a fire in the community, does the woman in your house immediately start making sandwiches or a cake? Do you sometimes find yourself referring to a farm in the neighbourhood by the name of someone who owned it more than twenty-five years ago? If you answered yes to all of the above questions, consider it official: you are a local.
Dan Needles (True Confessions from the Ninth Concession)
Feeling Faint Issue: I’m happy losing weight with a low carbohydrate diet, but I’m always tired, get light headed when I stand up, and if I exercise for more than 10 minutes I feel like I’m going to pass out. Response: Congratulations on your weight loss success, and with just a small adjustment to your diet, you can say goodbye to your weakness and fatigue. The solution is salt…a bit more salt to be specific. This may sound like we’re crazy when many experts argue that we should all eat less salt, however these are the same experts who tell us that eating lots of carbohydrates and sugar is OK. But what they don’t tell you is that your body functions very differently when you are keto-adapted. When you restrict carbs for a week or two, your kidneys switch from retaining salt to rapidly excreting it, along with a fair amount of stored water. This salt and water loss explains why many people experience rapid weight loss in the first couple of weeks on a low carbohydrate diet. Ridding your body of this excess salt and water is a good thing, but only up to a point. After that, if you don’t replace some of the ongoing sodium excretion, the associated water loss can compromise your circulation The end result is lightheadedness when you stand up quickly or fatigue if you exercise enough to get ‘warmed up’. Other common side effects of carbohydrate restriction that go away with a pinch of added salt include headache and constipation; and over the long term it also helps the body maintain its muscles. The best solution is to include 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth in your daily schedule. This adds only 1-2 grams of sodium to your daily intake, and your ketoadapted metabolism insures that you pass it right on through within a matter of hours (allaying any fears you might have of salt buildup in your system). This rapid clearance also means that on days that you exercise, take one dose of broth or bouillon within the hour before you start.
Jeff S. Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable)
Behind her, the two Sharpe sisters came out to cross the courtyard. He dragged in a heavy breath as the younger one caught his eye. Masters approached to look out the window, too. "And there she comes, the most beautiful woman in the world." "And the most maddening," Jackson muttered. "Watch it, Pinter," Masters said in a voice tinged with amusement. "That's my wife you're talking about." Jackson started. He hadn't been staring at Mrs. Masters. "I beg your pardon," he murmured, figuring he'd best not explain. Masters would never accept that Lady Celia was to her sister as a gazelle was to a brood mare. The newly wedded barrister was blinded by love. Jackson wasn't. Any fool could see that Lady Celia was the more arresting of the two. While Mrs. Masters had the lush charms of a dockside tart, Lady Celia was a Greek goddess-willowy and tall, small-breasted and long-limbed, with a fine lady's elegant brow, a doe's soft eyes... And a vixen's temper. The damned female could flay the flesh from a man's bones with her sharp tongue. She could also heat his blood with one unguarded smile. God save him, it was a good thing her smile had never been bestowed on him. Otherwise, he might act on the fantasy that had plagued him from the day he'd met her-to shove her into some private closet where he could plunder her mouth with impunity. Where she would wrap those slender arms about his neck and let him have his way with her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
To fill the days up of his dateless year Flame from Queen Helen to Queen Guenevere? For first of all the sphery signs whereby Love severs light from darkness, and most high, In the white front of January there glows The rose-red sign of Helen like a rose: And gold-eyed as the shore-flower shelterless Whereon the sharp-breathed sea blows bitterness, A storm-star that the seafarers of love Strain their wind-wearied eyes for glimpses of, Shoots keen through February's grey frost and damp The lamplike star of Hero for a lamp; The star that Marlowe sang into our skies With mouth of gold, and morning in his eyes; And in clear March across the rough blue sea The signal sapphire of Alcyone Makes bright the blown bross of the wind-foot year; And shining like a sunbeam-smitten tear Full ere it fall, the fair next sign in sight Burns opal-wise with April-coloured light When air is quick with song and rain and flame, My birth-month star that in love's heaven hath name Iseult, a light of blossom and beam and shower, My singing sign that makes the song-tree flower; Next like a pale and burning pearl beyond The rose-white sphere of flower-named Rosamond Signs the sweet head of Maytime; and for June Flares like an angered and storm-reddening moon Her signal sphere, whose Carthaginian pyre Shadowed her traitor's flying sail with fire; Next, glittering as the wine-bright jacinth-stone, A star south-risen that first to music shone, The keen girl-star of golden Juliet bears Light northward to the month whose forehead wears Her name for flower upon it, and his trees Mix their deep English song with Veronese; And like an awful sovereign chrysolite Burning, the supreme fire that blinds the night, The hot gold head of Venus kissed by Mars, A sun-flower among small sphered flowers of stars, The light of Cleopatra fills and burns The hollow of heaven whence ardent August yearns; And fixed and shining as the sister-shed Sweet tears for Phaethon disorbed and dead, The pale bright autumn's amber-coloured sphere, That through September sees the saddening year As love sees change through sorrow, hath to name Francesca's; and the star that watches flame The embers of the harvest overgone Is Thisbe's, slain of love in Babylon, Set in the golden girdle of sweet signs A blood-bright ruby; last save one light shines An eastern wonder of sphery chrysopras, The star that made men mad, Angelica's; And latest named and lordliest, with a sound Of swords and harps in heaven that ring it round, Last love-light and last love-song of the year's, Gleams like a glorious emerald Guenevere's.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
These young-marrying, contemporaries or juniors of the Beat Generation, have often expressed themselves as follows: "My highest aim in life is to achieve a normal healthy marriage and raise healthy [non-neurotic] children." On the face of it, this remark is preposterous. What was always taken as a usual and advantageous life-condition for work in the world and the service of God, is now regarded as an heroic goal to be striven for. Yet we see that it is a hard goal to achieve against the modern obstacles. Also it is a real goal, with objective problems that a man can work at personally, and take responsibility for, and make decisions about—unlike the interpersonal relations of the corporation, or the routine of the factory job for which the worker couldn't care less. But now, suppose the young man is achieving this goal: he has the wife, the small kids, the suburban home, and the labor-saving domestic devices. How is it that it is the same man who uniformly asserts that he is in a Rat Race? Either the goal does not justify itself, or indeed he is not really achieving it. Perhaps the truth is, if marriage and children are the goal, a man cannot really achieve it. It is not easy to conceive of a strong husband and father who does not justified in his work and independent in the world. Correspondingly, his wife feels justified in the small children, but does she have a man, do the children have a father, if he is running a Rat Race? Into what world do the small children grow up in such a home?
Paul Goodman (Growing Up Absurd)
Dear Mama, I hope this letter finds you well. It contains all my love and affection. (It also contains all my questions about how you could ever have loved a man like Professor Miller.) You asked about where I live. I cannot believe I haven’t mentioned it, but I suppose I’m so used to it now I don’t think of it. The dorms are small and plain, but as a student I don’t need much more. (I cannot afford the dorms. I do not live in them.) The food is dreadful, all heavy meat and sauce. I miss fruit! (I am always hungry; a supper with a strange man was the fullest my stomach has been since I got here.) As I have mentioned in every letter, my professors are all interesting and I take copious notes during lectures. (If you do not bring up my father, I am certainly not going to offer you information on that louse of a man.) The course work is challenging but I am excelling. (I have to be perfect so they can find no excuse to dock my grades.) I have delivered Aunt Nani’s package to Jacabo. He was so happy to receive it, and I take tea with him once a week. It is a great comfort to speak Melenese with someone. (I live in the hotel where Jacabo works. He saved me when I realized I could not afford room and board at the school. I work long, hard hours in the evenings to earn a tiny hole of a servant’s room and whatever scraps of food are left over.) Please give everyone my love and tell them how much I am learning to bring back to the island as a teacher. (I will not fail, and I will use everything I learn here to make Melei better.) Your affectionate daughter, Jessamin
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
What first comes across our minds About the stocky Mexican Pushing a mower across the lawn At 7 a.m. on a Saturday As the roar of the cutter wakes us? Let me take a guess. Why do they have to come so damn early? What do we make of his flannel Shirt missing buttons at the cuffs, Threadbare at the shoulders, The grass stains around his knees, The dirt like roadmaps to nowhere, Between the wrinkles of his neck? Let me take a shot. Dirty Mexican. Would his appearance lead us to believe He is a border jumper or wetback Who hits the bar top with an empty shot glass For the twelfth time then goes home To kick his wife around like fallen grapefruit Lying on the ground? First, the stocky Mexican isn’t mowing the lawn At 7 a.m. on a Saturday. He doesn’t work weekends anymore ever since He lost one-third of his route To laborers willing to work for next to nothing. Second, he knows better than to kneel On the wet grass because, well, the knees Of his pants will become grass-stained And pants don’t grow on trees, even here, Close to Palm Springs. Instead, after 25 years of the same blue collar work, Two sons out and one going to college, Rather than jail, and a small but modest savings In case he loses the remaining two-thirds Of his work—no matter how small and reluctantly The checks come in the mail— My father the stocky gardener believes He firmly holds his life In both his hands like pruning shears, Chopping branches and blossoms, Never looking downward as they fall to his feet In pieces like the American dream.
John Olivares Espinoza (The Date Fruit Elegies)
Some very elegant dishes were served up to himself and a few more of us, whilst those placed before the rest of the company consisted simply of cheap dishes and scraps. There were, in small bottles, three different kinds of wine; not that the guest might take their choice, but that they might not have any option in their power; one kind being for himself, and for us; another sort for his lesser friends (for it seems he has degrees of friends), and the third for his own freedmen and ours. My neighbour . . . asked me if I approved the arrangement. Not at all, I told him. "Pray, then," he asked, "what is your method upon such occasions?" "Mine," I returned, "is to give all my visitors the same reception; for when I give an invitation, it is to entertain, not distinguish, my company: I place every man upon my own level whom I admit to my table." . . . He replied, "This must cost you a great deal." "Not in the least." "How can that be?" "Simply because, although my freedmen don't drink the same wine as myself, yet I drink the same as they do." And, no doubt about it, if a man is wise enough to moderate his appetite, he will not find it such a very expensive thing to share with all his visitors what he takes himself. Restrain it, keep it in, if you wish to be true economist. You will find temperance a far better way of saving than treating other people rudely can be. . . . Remember, then, nothing is more to be avoided than this modern alliance of luxury with meanness; odious enough when existing separate and distinct, but still more hateful where you meet with them together.
Pliny the Younger
Do you believe in love at first sight?” He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth. “I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?” Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup. And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her. She came readily into his arms. Lincoln leaned against the coffee machine and pulled her onto him completely. There it was again, that impossible to describe kiss. This is how 2011 should have ended, he thought. This is infinity. The first time Beth pulled away, he pulled her back. The second time, he bit her lip. Then her neck. Then the collar of her shirt. “I don’t know…,” she said, sitting up in his lap, laying her check on the top of his head. “I don’t know what you meant by love before love at first sight.” Lincoln pushed his face into her shoulder and tried to think of a good way to answer. “Just that… I knew how I felt about you before I ever saw you,” he said, “when I still thought I might never see you…” She held his head in her hands and titled it back, so she could see his face. “That’s ridiculous,” she said. Which made him laugh. “Absolutely,” he said. “No, I mean it,” Beth said. “Men fall in love with their eyes.” He closed his. “That’s practically science,” she said. “Maybe,” Lincoln said. Her fingers felt so good in his hair. “But I couldn’t see you, so…” “So, what did you see?” “Just…the sort of girl who would write the sort of things that you wrote.” “What things?” Lincoln opened his eyes. Beth was studying his face. She looked skeptical-maybe about more than just the last thing he said. This was important, he realized. “Everything,” he said, sitting straighter, keeping hold of her waist. “Everything you wrote about your work, about your boyfriend…The way you comforted Jennifer and made her laugh, through the baby and after. I pictured a girl who could be kind, and that kind of funny. I pictured a girl who was that alive…” She looked guarded. Lincoln couldn’t tell from her eyes whether he was pushing her away or winning her over. “A girl who never got tired of her favourite movies,” he said softly. “Who saved dresses like ticket stubs. Who could get high on the weather.. “I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter. I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like. And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.” Beth’s fingers trembled in his hair, and her forehead dropped against his. A heavy, wet tear fell onto Lincoln’s lips, and he licked it. He pulled her close, as close as he could. Like he didn’t care for the moment whether she could breath. Like there were two of them and only one parachute. “Beth,” he barely said, pressing his face against hers until their lashes brushed, pressing his hand into the small of her back. “I don’t think I can explain it. I don’t think I can make any more sense. But I’ll keep trying. If you want me to.” She almost shook her head. “No,” she said, “no more explaining. Or apologizing. I don’t think it matters how we ended up here. I just…I want to stay…I want.. He kissed her then. There. In the middle of the sentence.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
She asked, “Are you well?” “Yes.” His voice was a deep rasp. “Are you?” She nodded, expecting him to release her at the confirmation. When he showed no signs of moving, she puzzled at it. Either he was gravely injured or seriously impertinent. “Sir, you’re…er, you’re rather heavy.” Surely he could not fail to miss that hint. He replied, “You’re soft.” Good Lord. Who was this man? Where had he come from? And how was he still atop her? “You have a small wound.” With trembling fingers, she brushed a reddish knot high on his temple, near his hairline. “Here.” She pressed her hand to his throat, feeling for his pulse. She found it, thumping strong and steady against her gloved fingertips. “Ah. That’s nice.” Her face blazed with heat. “Are you seeing double?” “Perhaps. I see two lips, two eyes, two flushed cheeks…a thousand freckles.” She stared at him. “Don’t concern yourself, miss. It’s nothing.” His gaze darkened with some mysterious intent. “Nothing a little kiss won’t mend.” And before she could even catch her breath, he pressed his lips to hers. A kiss. His mouth, touching hers. It was warm and firm, and then…it was over. Her first real kiss in all her five-and-twenty years, and it was finished in a heartbeat. Just a memory now, save for the faint bite of whiskey on her lips. And the heat. She still tasted his scorching, masculine heat. Belatedly, she closed her eyes. “There, now,” he murmured. “All better.” Better? Worse? The darkness behind her eyelids held no answers, so she opened them again. Different. This strange, strong man held her in his protective embrace, and she was lost in his intriguing green stare, and his kiss reverberated in her bones with more force than a powder blast. And now she felt different. The heat and weight of him…they were like an answer. The answer to a question Susanna hadn’t even been aware her body was asking. So this was how it would be, to lie beneath a man. To feel shaped by him, her flesh giving in some places and resisting in others. Heat building between two bodies; dueling heartbeats pounding both sides of the same drum. Maybe…just maybe…this was what she’d been waiting to feel all her life. Not swept her off her feet-but flung across the lane and sent tumbling head over heels while the world exploded around her. He rolled onto his side, giving her room to breathe. “Where did you come from?” “I think I should ask you that.” She struggled up on one elbow. “Who are you? What on earth are you doing here?” “Isn’t it obvious?” His tone was grave. “We’re bombing the sheep.” “Oh. Oh dear. Of course you are.” Inside her, empathy twined with despair. Of course, he was cracked in the head. One of those poor soldiers addled by war. She ought to have known it. No sane man had ever looked at her this way. She pushed aside her disappointment. At least he had come to the right place. And landed on the right woman. She was far more skilled in treating head wounds than fielding gentlemen’s advances. The key here was to stop thinking of him as an immense, virile man and simply regard him as a person who needed her help. An unattractive, poxy, eunuch sort of person. Reaching out to him, she traced one fingertip over his brow. “Don’t be frightened,” she said in a calm, even tone. “All is well. You’re going to be just fine.” She cupped his cheek and met his gaze directly. “The sheep can’t hurt you here.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Violet didn’t realize that she’d pressed herself so tightly against the door until it opened from the inside and she stumbled backward. She fell awkwardly, trying to catch herself as her feet slipped and first she banged her elbow, and then her shoulder-hard-against the doorjamb. She heard her can of pepper spray hit the concrete step at her feet as she flailed to find something to grab hold of. Her back crashed into something solid. Or rather, someone. And from behind, she felt strong, unseen arms catch her before she hit the ground. But she was too stunned to react right away. “You think I can let you go now?” A low voice chuckled in her ear. Violet was mortified as she glanced clumsily over her shoulder to see who had just saved her from falling. “Rafe!” she gasped, when she realized she was face-to-face with his deep blue eyes. She jumped up, feeling unexpectedly light-headed as she shrugged out of his grip. Without thinking, and with his name still burning on her lips, she added, “Umm, thanks, I guess.” And then, considering that he had just stopped her from landing flat on her butt, she gave it another try. “No…yeah, thanks, I mean.” Flustered, she bent down, trying to avoid his eyes as she grabbed the paper spray that had slipped from her fingers. She cursed herself for being so clumsy and wondered why she cared that he had been the one to catch her. Or why she cared that he was here at all. She stood up to face him, feeling more composed again, and quickly hid the evidence of her paranoia-the tiny canister-in her purse. She hoped he hadn’t noticed it. He watched her silently, and she saw the hint of a smile tugging at his lips. Violet waited for him to say something or to move aside to let her in. His gaze stripped away her defenses, making her feel even more exposed than when she had been standing alone in the empty street. She shifted restlessly and finally sighed impatiently. “I have an appointment,” she announced, lifting her eyebrows. “With Sara.” Her words had the desired effect, and Rafe shrugged, still studying her as he stepped out of her way. But he held the door so she could enter. She brushed past him, stepping into the hallway, as she tried to ignore the fact that she was suddenly sweltering inside her own coat. She told herself it was just the furnace, though, and had nothing to do with her humiliation over falling. Or with the presence of the brooding dark-haired boy. When they reached the end of the long hallway, Rafe pulled out a thick plastic card from his back pocket. As he held it in front of the black pad mounted on the wall beside a door, a small red light flickered to green and the door clicked. He pushed it open and led the way through. Security, Violet thought. Whatever it is they do here, they need security. Violet glanced up and saw a small camera mounted in the corner above the door. If she were Chelsea, she would have flashed the peace sign-or worse-a message for whoever was watching on the other end. But she was Violet, so instead she hurried after Rafe before the door closed and she was locked out.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
It is true. I did fall asleep at the wheel. We nearly went right off a cliff down into a gorge. But there were extenuating circumstances.” Ian snickered. “Are you going to pull out the cry-baby card? He had a little bitty wound he forgot to tell us about, that’s how small it was. Ever since he fell asleep he’s been trying to make us believe that contributed.” “It wasn’t little. I have a scar. A knife fight.” Sam was righteous about it. “He barely nicked you,” Ian sneered. “A tiny little slice that looked like a paper cut.” Sam extended his arm to Azami so she could see the evidence of the two-inch line of white marring his darker skin. “I bled profusely. I was weak and we hadn’t slept in days.” “Profusely?” Ian echoed. “Ha! Two drops of blood is not profuse bleeding, Knight. We hadn’t slept in days, that much is true, but the rest . . .” He trailed off, shaking his head and rolling his eyes at Azami. Azami examined the barely there scar. The knife hadn’t inflicted much damage, and Sam knew she’d seen evidence of much worse wounds. “Had you been drinking?” she asked, her eyes wide with innocence. Those long lashes fanned her cheeks as she gaze at him until his heart tripped all over itself. Sam groaned. “Don’t listen to him. I wasn’t drinking, but once we were pretty much in the middle of a hurricane in the South Pacific on a rescue mission and Ian here decides he has to go into this bar . . .” “Oh, no.” Ian burst out laughing. “You’re not telling her that story.” “You did, man. He made us all go in there, with the dirtbag we’d rescued, by the way,” Sam told Azami. “We had to climb out the windows and get on the roof at one point when the place flooded. I swear ther was a crocodile as big as a house coming right at us. We were running for our lives, laughing and trying to keep that idiot Frenchman alive.” “You said to throw him to the crocs,” Ian reminded. “What was in the bar that you had to go in?” Azami asked, clearly puzzled. “Crocodiles,” Sam and Ian said simultaneously. They both burst out laughing. Azami shook her head. “You two could be crazy. Are you making these stories up?” “Ryland wishes we made them up,” Sam said. “Seriously, we’re sneaking past this bar right in the middle of an enemy-occupied village and there’s this sign on the bar that says swim with the crocs and if you survive, free drinks forever. The wind is howling and trees are bent almost double and we’re carrying the sack of shit . . . er . . . our prize because the dirtbag refuses to run even to save his own life—” “The man is seriously heavy,” Ian interrupted. “He was kidnapped and held for ransom for two years. I guess he decided to cook for his captors so they wouldn’t treat him bad. He tried to hide in the closet when we came for him. He didn’t want to go out in the rain.” “He was the biggest pain in the ass you could imagine,” Sam continued, laughing at the memory. “He squealed every time we slipped in the mud and went down.” “The river had flooded the village,” Sam added. “We were walking through a couple of feet of water. We’re all muddy and he’s wiggling and squeaking in a high-pitched voice and Ian spots this sign hanging on the bar.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole. Jay was grinning back at her from outside. Her heart leaped for a completely different reason. She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it. "What took you so long?" Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. "What d'you think, dumbass?" she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't alert her parents. "You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here." "Good!" he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her. She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you till tomorrow." "I wanted to show you something!" He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn't help smiling back excitedly. "What is it?" she asked breathlessly. He didn't release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there. And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn't brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of. "Whose is it?" she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda. Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. "It's mine. I got it tonight. That's why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before..." He smiled down at her. "I didn't want to borrow your car to take you to the dance." "Really?" she breathed. "How...? I didn't even know you were..." She couldn't seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time. "I know right?" he answered, as if she'd actually asked coherent questions. "I've been saving for...for forever, really. What do you think?" Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. "I think it's beautiful," she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. "I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay," she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child." "I'd offer to take you for a test-drive, but I'm afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow," he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him. He settled down on the couch, where she'd been sitting by herself just moments before, without letting her go. There was a movie on the television, but neither of them paid any attention to it as Jay reclined, stretching out and drawing her down into the circle of his arms. They spent the rest of the night like that, cradled together, their bodies fitting each other perfectly, as they kissed and whispered and laughed quietly in the darkness. At some point Violet was aware that she was drifting into sleep, as her thoughts turned dreamlike, becoming disjointed and fuzzy and hard to hold on to. She didn't fight it; she enjoyed the lazy, drifting feeling, along with the warmth created by the cocoon of Jay's body wrapped protectively around her. It was the safest she'd felt in days...maybe weeks... And for the first time since she'd been chased by the man in the woods, her dreams were free from monsters.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))