Something To Think About Quotes

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Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
Bob Marley
Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.
Nicholas Sparks
Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
Christian D. Larson (Your Forces and How to Use Them)
You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
He looks," Simon had once said to Isabelle, "like he's thinking about something deep and meaningful, but if you ask him what it is, he'll punch you in the face.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Can't stay long, Mother," he said. "I'm up front, the prefects have got two compartments to themselves-" "Oh, are you a prefect, Percy?" said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. "You should have said something, we had no idea." "Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it," said the other twin. "Once-" "Or twice-" "A minute-" "All summer-" "Oh, shut up," said Percy the Prefect.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I like the way I feel about myself when I'm with him." I say quietly. "Warner thinks I'm strong and smart and capable and he actually values my opinion. He makes me feel like his equal--like I can accomplish just as much as he can, and more. And if I do something incredible, he's not even surprised. He expects it. He doesn't treat me like I'm some fragile little girl who needs to be protected all the time.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
I’m not sure. But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There’s a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we’d never say in the light.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Tattoos, for example, are very hard to forget. I think there's something about the impermanence of life these days that makes it necessary to etch ink into our skins. It reminds us that we've been marked by the world, that we're still alive. That we'll never forget.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure: 1. Acceptance 2. Understanding 3. Appreciation Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart. Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions? So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
I’ve been rereading your story. I think it’s about me in a way that might not be flattering, but that’s okay. We dream and dream of being seen as we really are and then finally someone looks at us and sees us truly and we fail to measure up. Anyway: story received, story included. You looked at me long enough to see something mysterioso under all the gruff and bluster. Thanks. Sometimes you get so close to someone you end up on the other side of them.
Richard Siken
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: "Don't think, don't politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!
Slavoj Žižek
Most things are forgotten over time. Even the war itself, the life-and-death struggle people went through is now like something from the distant past. We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
People say you fall in love, but fall is such a sad word when you think about it. Falls are never good. You fall on the ground, you fall behind, you fall to your death. Whoever was the first person to say they fell in love must have already fallen out of it. Otherwise, they’d have called it something much better.
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
I think about you much more than any self-respecting man would like to admit, and I'm insanely jealous of Tucker - something I never thought I'd say. Moving on after you is impossible. No other girl can keep me on my toes the way you can. No one else makes me WANT to embarrass myself by writing sappy letters like this one. Only you.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard P. Feynman ("What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character)
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and "fruitfulness" is drawn in.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despise being one myself. I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene, I hardly paid it any mind. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that eighteen years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn't give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. It was the age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. The scenery was the last thing on my mind.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
You're thinking about something, and it makes you forget to talk.
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
He smelled of magic and heartbreak, and something about the combination made her think that despite what he claimed, he wanted to be her hero.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
You can never know if a person forgives you when you wrong them. Therefore it is existentially important to you. It is a question you are intensely concerned with. Neither can you know whether a person loves you. It’s something you just have to believe or hope. But these things are more important to you than the fact that the sum of the angles in a triangle is 180 degrees. You don't think about the law of cause and effect or about modes of perception when you are in the middle of your first kiss.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy)
They sped by a pack of sea lions lounging on the docks, and she swore she saw an old homeless guy sitting among them. From across the water the old man pointed a bony finger at Percy and mouthed something like 'Don't even think about it.' "Did you see that?" Hazel asked. Percy's face was red in the sunset. "Yeah. I've been here before. I...I don't know. I think I was looking for my girlfriend." "Annabeth," Frank said. "You mean, on your way to Camp Jupiter?" Percy frowned. "No. Before that.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me. No one has time any more for anyone else. You're one of the few who put up with me. That's why I think it's so strange you're a fireman, it just doesn't seem right for you, somehow.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
The idea hovered and shimmered delicately, like a soap bubble, and she dared not even look at it directly in case it burst. But she was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
But in that moment I understood what they say about nostalgia, that no matter if you're thinking of something good or bad, it always leaves you a little emptier afterward.
John Corey Whaley (Noggin)
Thinking about something is like picking up a stone when taking a walk, either while skipping rocks on the beach, for example, or looking for a way to shatter the glass doors of a museum. When you think about something, it adds a bit of weight to your walk, and as you think about more and more things you are liable to feel heavier and heavier, until you are so burdened you cannot take any further steps, and can only sit and stare at the gentle movements of the ocean waves or security guards, thinking too hard bout too many things to do anything else.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Rachael, I don’t think this is a very good idea.” Adam tried to protest and break away, but it was too late. She had a good hold on him by now, and he was going nowhere. “Not bad for a little man like you,” she said. “There seems to be something different about you lately.” Rachael smiled.
Max Nowaz (Get Rich or Get Lucky)
I’d discovered, after a lot of extreme apprehension about what spoons to use, that if you do something incorrect at table with a certain arrogance, as if you knew perfectly well you were doing it properly, you can get away with it and nobody will think you are bad-mannered or poorly brought up. They will think you are original and very witty.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Solitary people, these book lovers. I think it's swell that there are people you don't have to worry about when you don't see them for a long time, you don't have to wonder what they do, how they're getting along with themselves. You just know that they're all right, and probably doing something they like.
Helen Oyeyemi (Mr. Fox)
It's a funny thing about the modern world. You hear girls in the toilets of clubs saying, "Yeah, he fucked off and left me. He didn't love me. He just couldn't deal with love. He was too fucked up to know how to love me." Now, how did that happen? What was it about this unlovable century that convinced us we were, despite everything, eminently lovable as a people, as a species? What made us think that anyone who fails to love us is damaged, lacking, malfunctioning in some way? And particularly if they replace us with a god, or a weeping madonna, or the face of Christ in a ciabatta roll---then we call them crazy. Deluded. Regressive. We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
Most people think happiness is about gaining something, but it's not. It's all about getting rid of the darkness you accumulate.
Carolyn Crane (Double Cross (The Disillusionists, #2))
I think there’s something beautiful about being lucky enough to witness a thing on its way out.
Becky Chambers (A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1))
Something about telling that story made my gut grow back together." What?" Oh, nothing. Just thinking out loud." That's who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of." The people who've been in your secret hiding places." The people you bite your thumb in front of." Hi." Hi." ..." ..." Wow. My first Lindsey." My second Colin." That was fun. Let's try it again." Sold." ..." ..." ..." ...
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it's about knowing who you are. It's about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you. What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can't have it. (p. 163)
Geneen Roth (Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
When you want to attract something into your life, make sure your actions don’t contradict your desires.. Think about what you have asked for, and make sure that your actions are mirroring what you expect to receive, and that they’re not contradicting what you‘ve asked for. Act as if you are receiving it. Do exactly what you would do if you were receiving it today, and take actions in your life to reflect that powerful expectation. Make room to receive your desires, and as you do, you are sending out that powerful signal of expectation.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything. In his eyes, there was no trace of what had happened between us earlier and I could feel something inside me break. So that was that. We were finally, finally over. I looked at him, and I felt so sad, because this thought occurred to me: 'I will never look at you the same way again. I'll never be that girl again. The girl who comes running back every time you push her away, the girl who loves you anyway.' I couldn’t even be mad at him, because this was who he was. This was who he’d always been. He’d never lied about that. He gave and then he took away. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, the familiar ache, that lost, regretful feeling only he could give me. I never wanted to feel it again. Never, ever. Maybe this was why I came, so I could really know. So I could say good-bye. I looked at him, and I thought, 'If I was very brave or very honest, I would tell him.' I would say it, so he would know it and I would know it, and I could never take it back. But I wasn’t that brave or honest, so all I did was look at him. And I think he knew anyway. 'I release you. I evict you from my heart. Because if I don't do it now, I never will.' I was the one to look away first.
Jenny Han (It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2))
How can I want something so badly but become so paralyzed every time I think about taking it?
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
About dreams. It is usually taken for granted that you dream of something that has made a particularly strong impression on you during the day, but it seems to me it´s just the contrary. Often it´s something you paid no attention to at the time -- a vague thought that you didn´t bother to think out to the end, words spoken without feeling and which passed unnoticed -- these are the things that return at night, clothed in flesh and blood, and they become the subjects of dreams, as if to make up for having been ignored during waking hours.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power ... that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.
Marcel Proust
Yesterday you asked me what the purpose of life is. I've thought about that ever since. I think it's to do good no matter what life throws at you, to not let the pain turn you bitter. It's something we have to learn, something we have to make ourselves become...Little kids don't have to learn it. They already know.
Janette Rallison (Just One Wish)
Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I was blessed with another trait I inherited from my mother, her ability to forget the pain in life. I remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don't hold onto the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass kicking your mom gave you or the ass kicking that life gave you, you’ll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It’s better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You’ll have a few bruises and they’ll remind you of what happened and that’s ok. But after a while, the bruises fade and they fade for a reason. Because now, it’s time to get up to some shit again.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift (Guitar Recorded Versions))
Awakening is not a thing. It is not a goal, not a concept. It is not something to be attained. It is a metamorphosis. If the caterpillar thinks about the butterfly it is to become, saying ‘And then I shall have wings and antennae,’ there will never be a butterfly. The caterpillar must accept its own disappearance in its transformation. When the marvelous butterfly takes wing, nothing of the caterpillar remains.
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Look, I didnt want to be a half-blood. If you're reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom and dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life. Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful nasty ways. If you're a normal kid, reading this because you think it's fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe none of this ever happened. But if you recognize yourself in these pages-if you feel something stirring inside- stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it's only a matter of time before THEY sense it too, and they'll come for you. Don't say I didn't warn you. -Percy Jackson
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
I think that’s the thing about friends who aren’t quick to let others in. When they do give you their friendship, it means something more.” --Conner
Becca Ritchie (Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters, #1))
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic… asshole.
George Carlin
I sat thinking how terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as incredible as living. One day we suddenly take the fact that we exist for granted - and then, yes, then we don’t think about it anymore until we are about to leave the world again.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
Micah showed up shortly thereafter and was happy to meet our other “brother.” He shook Adrian’s hand and smiled. “Now I see some family resemblance. I was starting to wonder if Jill was adopted, but you two kind of look like each other.” “So does our mailman back in North Dakota,” said Adrian. “South,” I corrected. Fortunately, Micah didn’t seem to think there was anything weird about the slip. “Right,” said Adrian. He studied Micah thoughtfully. “There’s something familiar about you. Have we met?” Micah shook his head. “I’ve never been to South Dakota.” I was pretty sure I heard Adrian murmur, “That makes two of us.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
If anyone dies today it will be because they finally have something to believe in. Don’t you even think about taking that away from them now.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
[W]hen a group of people make something sacred, the members of the cult lose the ability to think clearly about it. Morality binds and blinds.
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Hermes smiled. "I knew a boy once ... oh, younger than you by far. A mere baby, really." Here we go again, George said. Always talking about himself. Quiet! Martha snapped. Do you want to get set on vibrate? Hermes ignored them. "One night, when this boy's mother wasn't watching, he sneaked out of their cave and stole some cattle that belonged to Apollo." "Did he get blasted to tiny pieces?" I asked. "Hmm ... no. Actually, everything turned out quite well. To make up for his theft, the boy gave Apollo an instrument he'd invented-a lyre. Apollo was so enchanted with the music that he forgot all about being angry." So what's the moral?" "The moral?" Hermes asked. "Goodness, you act like it's a fable. It's a true story. Does truth have a moral?" "Um ..." "How about this: stealing is not always bad?" "I don't think my mom would like that moral." Rats are delicious, suggested George. What does that have to do with the story? Martha demanded. Nothing, George said. But I'm hungry. "I've got it," Hermes said. "Young people don't always do what they're told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment. How's that?
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I wanted you to be my partner for years, dumbass. When Karina had told me you were thinking about switching to pairs, I had thought you would say something to me, even in passing as a joke. I thought you would say you were going to kick my ass, and I had planned on talking to you over it. But you never did. The next thing I knew, you had a partner. Some dipshit that wasn’t half as good as you.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Come on, Hathaway," he said, taking my arm. "You can be my partner. Let’s see what you’ve been doing all this time." An hour later, he had his answer. "Not practicing, huh?" "Ow,” I groaned, momentarily incapable of normal speech. He extended a hand and helped me up from the mat he’d knocked me down on—about fifty times. "I hate you,” I told him, rubbing a spot on my thigh that was going to have a wicked bruise tomorrow. "You’d hate me more if I held back." "Yeah, that’s true," I agreed, staggering along as the class put the equipment back. "You actually did okay." "What? I just had my ass handed to me." "Well, of course you did. It’s been two years. But hey, you’re still walking. That’s something." He grinned mockingly. "Did I mention I hate you?” He flashed me another smile, which quickly faded to something more serious. "Don’t take this the wrong way…I mean, you really are a scrapper, but there’s no way you’ll be able to take your trials in the spring—" "They’re making me take extra practice sessions," I explained. Not that it mattered. I planned on getting Lissa and me out of here before those practices really became an issue. "Extra sessions with who?" "That tall guy. Dimitri." Mason stopped walking and stared at me. "You’re putting in extra time with Belikov?" "Yeah, so what?" "So the man is a god." "Exaggerate much?" I asked. "No, I’m serious. I mean, he’s all quiet and antisocial usually but when he fights...wow. If you think you’re hurting now, you’re going to be dead when he’s done with you." Great. Something else to improve my day.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don't. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest. Couples that enter the sacrament of marriage and are not prepared to go the distance or are not willing to get right with the real love of God cannot thrive. They may cleave together like robins or gulls or anything else that mates for life. But if they eschew this mighty course, at the moment when all are judged for the disposition of their eternal lives, their cleaving won't mean a thing. God bless the pure and holy. Amen.
Toni Morrison (Paradise (Beloved Trilogy, #3))
But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There’s a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we’d never say in the light.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake. That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead. And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
And talking about dark! You think dark is just one color, but it ain't. There're five or six kinds of black. Some silky, some woolly. Some just empty. Some like fingers. And it don't stay still, it moves and changes from one kind of black to another. Saying something is pitch black is like saying something is green. What kind of green? Green like my bottles? Green like a grasshopper? Green like a cucumber, lettuce, or green like the sky is just before it breaks loose to storm? Well, night black is the same way. May as well be a rainbow.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Pretty fucking tragic twist of fate, but you don’t seem to remember that we first met years ago. An issue, since I remember a little too well. I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
People often call me an optimist, because I show them the enormous progress they didn't know about. That makes me angry. I'm not an optimist. That makes me sound naive. I'm a very serious “possibilist”. That’s something I made up. It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview. As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that further progress is possible. This is not optimistic. It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are. It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things he would not have thought of if he had not started to say them.
William Stafford
I imagine what it must be like to stay hidden, disappear in the dusky nothing and stay still in the night. It’s not sadness, though it may sound like it. I’m thinking about people and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine, and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let the savage grass grow.
Ada Limon (Bright Dead Things)
Sometimes I go for days without speaking to a soul. I think, “I should make that call", but I put it off. Because there’s something pleasurable about not talking. But then I love talking, so it’s not that. But sometimes it can be nice. It’s not like I sit here philosophizing, because I’ve no talent for that. It’s just this thing about silence that’s so wonderful.
Ingmar Bergman
Get moving. We need to find that stag so I don’t have to chop your head off.” “I never said you had to chop my head off,” I grumbled, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and stumbling after him. “Run you through with a sword, then? Firing squad?” “I was thinking something quieter, like maybe a nice poison.” “All you said was that I had to kill you. You didn’t say how.” I stuck my tongue out at his back, but I was glad to see him so energized, and I suppose it was a good thing that he could joke about it all. At least, I hoped he was joking.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth
I know I'm still young and there's a lot of time for things to happen, but sometimes I think there is something about me that's wrong, that I'm not the kind of person anyone can fall in love with, and that I'll always just be alone.
Lynne Rae Perkins (Criss Cross)
I think that most of us feel like something is missing from our lives. And I wondered then if Knight's journey was to seek it. But life isn't about searching endlessly to find what's missing. It's about learning to live with the missing parts.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
But there was something about you that made me think of sparks and motion.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
You saved the world," annabeth said. "We saved the world." "And Rachel is the new Oracle, which means she won't be dating anybody." "You don't sound disappointed," I noticed. Annabeth shrugged. "Oh, I don't care." "Uh-huh." She raised an eyebrow. "You got something to say to me, Seaweed Brain?" "You'd probably kick my butt." "You know I'd kick your butt." I brushed the cake off my hands. "When I was at the River Styx, turning invulnerable . . . Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay mortal." Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. "Yeah?" "Then up on Olympus," I said, "when they wanted to make me a god and stuff, I kept thinking—" "Oh, you so wanted to." "Well, maybe a little. But I didn't, because I thought—I didn't want things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get better. And I was thinking . . ." My throat felt really dry. "Anyone in particular?" Annabeth asked, her voice soft. I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile. "You're laughing at me," I complained. "I am not!" "You are so not making this easy." Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. "I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it." When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body. I could've stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled, "Well, it's about time!" Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers. Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us both onto their shoulders. "Oh, come on!" I complained. "Is there no privacy?" "The lovebirds need to cool off!" Clarisse said with glee. "The canoe lake!" Connor Stoll shouted. and they dumped us in the water.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I think what I want is for someone to know me. Really know me. Know me better than anyone else and maybe even me. Isn’t that why we commit to another? It’s not for sex. If it were for sex, we wouldn’t marry one person. We’d just keep finding new partners. We commit for many reasons, I know, but the more I think about it, the more I think long-term relationships are for getting to know someone. I want someone to know me, really know me, almost like that person could get into my head. What would that feel like? To have access, to know what it’s like in someone else’s head. To rely on someone else, have him rely on you. That’s not a biological connection like the one between parents and children. This kind of relationship would be chosen. It would be something cooler, harder to achieve than one built on biology and shared genetics. I think that’s it. Maybe that’s how we know when a relationship is real. When someone else previously unconnected to us knows us in a way we never thought or believed possible.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.
Alan Bradley (I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce, #4))
You have to make an effort to always look at the good side, always think about the good things. Then you've got nothing to be afraid of. If something bad comes up, you do more thinking at that point.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
You know that half the girls in school would have been after you." He gave a soft laugh. "If they were into someone who was flunking out...I don't think I'd do too well with having to go to class when a bell rings or caring about homework..." "A bad boy--even better. You'd have done well in Spanish class." "If I ever went to it." We lay in silence for a awhile; Alex's arms felt so warm and safe that I was starting to get sleepy. "Say something in Spanish," I mumbled. He kissed my hair. "Te amo, Willow," he said quietly. I came awake, smiling into the darkness. "What does that mean?" I whispered. I could almost hear his own smile. "What do you think it means?" I hugged him, kissing his collarbone and wondering if it was possible to actually die of happiness. "Te amo, Alex.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The human embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe they can suffer their destruction in any way at all. It is worth remembered, in this context, that when a person's brain has died, we currently deem it acceptable to harvest his organs (provided he has donated them for this purpose) and bury him in the ground. If it is acceptable to treat a person whose brain has died as something less than a human being, it should be acceptable to treat a blastocyst as such. If you are concerned about suffering in this universe, killing a fly should present you with greater moral difficulties than killing a human blastocyst. Perhaps you think that the crucial difference between a fly and a human blastocyst is to be found in the latter's potential to become a fully developed human being. But almost every cell in your body is a potential human being, given our recent advances in genetic engineering. Every time you scratch your nose, you have committed a Holocaust of potential human beings.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Mr Freeman: "Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag." He sticks his finger down his throat. "The next time you work on your trees, don't think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or pain- whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat, or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling. When people don't express themselves, they die on piece at a time. You'd be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside- walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a mack truck to come along and finish the job. It's the saddest thing I know.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
I think there is no way to write about being alone. To write is to tell something to somebody to communicate to others. . . . Solitude is noncommunication, the absence of others, the presence of a self sufficient to itself.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Birthday of the World and Other Stories)
Listen, God love everything you love - and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
I've learned that it helps to talk about [anxiety]. Unfortunately I think most people would still get more sympathy from their colleagues and bosses at work if they show up looking rough one morning and say 'I'm hungover' than if they say 'I'm suffering from anxiety.' But I think we pass people in the street every day who feel the same as you and I, many of them just don't know what it is. Men and women going around for months having trouble breathing and seeing doctor after doctor because they think there's something wrong with their lungs. All because it's so damn difficult to admit that something else is...broken. That it's an ache in our soul, invisible lead weights in our blood, an indescribable pressure in our chest. Our brains are lying to us, telling us we're going to die. But there's nothing wrong with our lungs, Zara.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Being present, whether with children, with friends, or even with oneself, is hard work. But isn't this attentiveness -- the feeling that someone is trying to think about us -- something we want more than praise?
Stephen Grosz (The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves)
I always think of a passage from the Symposium, this allegory about people who started off as two halves of a whole, but then something cut them apart, and they spend their whole lives looking for their other half so they can fit themselves back together. And that's how it feels, it hurts, it's like I lost you before I was born.
Micah Nemerever (These Violent Delights)
And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, is that if something happened to one of us--excuse me for saying this--but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we're talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory.
Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)
I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results)
It’s easy to be close, but almost impossible to stay close. Think about friends. Think about hobbies. Even ideas. They’re close to us—sometimes so close we think they are part of us—and then, at some point, they aren’t close anymore. They go away. Only one thing can keep something close over time: holding it there. Grappling with it. Wrestling it to the ground, as Jacob did with the angel, and refusing to let go. What we don’t wrestle we let go of. Love isn’t the absence of struggle. Love is struggle.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator. What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances. An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally. That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam. Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)
Really, Sage? A date?" I sighed. "Yes, Adrian. A date." A real date. Not, like, doing homework together," he added. "I mean like where you go out to a movie or something. And a movie that's not part of a school assignment. Or about something boring." "A real date." I figured I wouldn't give him the specifics on the Shakespheare play. "What's the lucky guy's name?" "Brayden." There was a pause. "Brayden? That his real name?" "Why are you asking if everything's real? You think I'd make any of this up?" "No, no," Adrian assured me. "That what's so ynbelievable about it. Is he cute?" I glanced at the clock. It was time for me to meet my study group. "Gee, maybe I should just send you a picture to review?" "Yes, please. And a full background check and life history." "I have to go. Why do you care so much anyway?" I finally asked in exasperation. His answer took a long time, which was uncharacteristic.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
Revolution doesn't have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it. You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out.
Joseph Campbell (Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation)
Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.
Jane Goodall (The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times)
Adrian looked over at me again. “Who knows more about male weakness: you or me?” “Go on.” I refused to directly answer the question. “Get a new dress. One that shows a lot of skin. Short. Strapless. Maybe a push-up bra too.” He actually had the audacity to do a quick assessment of my chest. “Eh, maybe not. But definitely some high heels.” “Adrian,” I exclaimed. “You’ve seen how Alchemists dress. Do you think I can really wear something like that?” He was unconcerned. “You’ll make it work. You’ll change clothes or something. But I’m telling you, if you want to get a guy to do something that might be difficult, then the best way is to distract him so that he can’t devote his full brainpower to the consequences.” “You don’t have a lot of faith in your own gender.” “Hey, I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been distracted by sexy dresses a lot.” I didn’t really know if that was a valid argument, seeing as Adrian was distracted by a lot of things. Fondue. T-shirts. Kittens. “And so, what then? I show some skin, and the world is mine?” “That’ll help.” Amazingly, I could tell he was dead serious. “And you’ve gotta act confident the whole time, like it’s already a done deal. Then make sure when you’re actually asking for what you want that you tell him you’d be ‘so, so grateful.’ But don’t elaborate. His imagination will do half the work for you. ” I shook my head, glad we’d almost reached our destination. I didn’t know how much more I could listen to. “This is the most ridiculous advice I’ve ever heard. It’s also kind of sexist too, but I can’t decide who it offends more, men or women.” “Look, Sage. I don’t know much about chemistry or computer hacking or photosynthery, but this is something I’ve got a lot of experience with.” I think he meant photosynthesis, but I didn’t correct him. “Use my knowledge. Don’t let it go to waste.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.” Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees. Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.” Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota. Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —” Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.” Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Whenever I see news stories about children who were killed by their parents, I think: But how could it be? They cared enough to give this kid a name, they had a moment—at least one moment—when they sifted through all the possibilities and picked one specific name for their child, decided what they would call their baby. How could you kill something you cared enough to name?
Gillian Flynn (Dark Places)
I don't think people realize, when they're just getting started on an eating disorder or even when they're in the grip of one, that it is not something that you just "get over." For the vast majority of eating-disordered people, it is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You may change your behavior, change your beliefs about yourself and your body, give up that particular way of coping in the world. You may learn, as I have, that you would rather be a human than a human's thin shell. You may get well. But you never forget.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Sensuality does not wear a watch but she always gets to the essential places on time. She is adventurous and not particularly quiet. She was reprimanded in grade school because she couldn’t sit still all day long. She needs to move. She thinks with her body. Even when she goes to the library to read Emily Dickinson or Emily Bronte, she starts reading out loud and swaying with the words, and before she can figure out what is happening, she is asked to leave. As you might expect, she is a disaster at office jobs. Sensuality has exquisite skin and she appreciates it in others as well. There are other people whose skin is soft and clear and healthy but something about Sensuality’s skin announces that she is alive. When the sun bursts forth in May, Sensuality likes to take off her shirt and feel the sweet warmth of the sun’s rays brush across her shoulder. This is not intended as a provocative gesture but other people are, as usual, upset. Sensuality does not understand why everyone else is so disturbed by her. As a young girl, she was often scolded for going barefoot. Sensuality likes to make love at the border where time and space change places. When she is considering a potential lover, she takes him to the ocean and watches. Does he dance with the waves? Does he tell her about the time he slept on the beach when he was seventeen and woke up in the middle of the night to look at the moon? Does he laugh and cry and notice how big the sky is? It is spring now, and Sensuality is very much in love these days. Her new friend is very sweet. Climbing into bed the first time, he confessed he was a little intimidated about making love with her. Sensuality just laughed and said, ‘But we’ve been making love for days.
J. Ruth Gendler (The Book of Qualities)
What is talkativeness? It is the result of doing away with the vital distinction between talking and keeping silent. Only some one who knows how to remain essentially silent can really talk--and act essentially. Silence is the essence of inwardness, of the inner life. Mere gossip anticipates real talk, and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it. But some one who can really talk, because he knows how to remain silent, will not talk about a variety of things but about one thing only, and he will know when to talk and when to remain silent. Where mere scope is concerned, talkativeness wins the day, it jabbers on incessantly about everything and nothing...In a passionate age great events (for they correspond to each other) give people something to talk about. And when the event is over, and silence follows, there is still something to remember and to think about while one remains silent. But talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out. “Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either. “That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it. “He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it. “He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer. “Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything. “Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver. “The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.” I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.” There was a moment of stunned silence. “What?” Hespe asked incredulously. “His ass fell off.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
You know, they've got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you don't like others? And you eat all the ones you like, and the only ones left are the ones you don't like as much? I always think about that when something painful comes up. Now I just have to polish these off, and everything'll be OK. Life is a box of chocolates. I suppose you could call it a philosophy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I want to do something absolutely different, or perhaps nothing at all: just stay where I am, in my home, and absorb each hour, each day, and be alone; and read and think; and walk about the garden in the night; and wait, wait...
Rosamond Lehmann (Invitation to the Waltz)
They’re on a pedestal from the second they’re born, only they don’t realize it. Whenever they need something, their moms come running. They’re taught to believe that their penises make them superior, and that women are just there for them to use as they see fit. Then they go out into the world, where everything centers around them and their dicks. And it’s women who have to make it work. At the end of the day, where is this pain that men feel coming from? In their opinion: us. It’s all our fault—whether they’re unpopular, broke, jobless. Whatever it is, they blame women for all of their failures, all their problems. Now think about women. No matter how you see it, who’s actually responsible for the majority of the pain women feel? If you think about it that way, how could a man and a woman ever see eye to eye? It’s structurally impossible.
Mieko Kawakami (Breasts and Eggs)
I don't think most people would like my personality. There might be a few--very few, I would imagine--who are impressed by it, but only rarely would anyone like it. Who in the world could possibly have warm feelings, or something like them, for a person who doesn't compromise, who instead, whenever a problem crops up, locks himself away alone in a closet? But is it ever possible for a professional writer to be liked by people? I have no idea. Maybe somewhere in the world it is. It's hard to generalize. For me, at least, I've written novels over many years, I just can't picture someone liking me on a personal level. Being disliked by someone, hated and despised, somehow seems more natural. Not that I'm relieved when that happens. Even I'm not happy when someone dislikes me.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
I think the rules where different there. It was all about science, but the science was magical. It didn't care about whether something could be done. It was about whether it should be done, and the answer was always, always yes.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
If I didn't work as hard as I could, then I think it would be a bit like saying, 'God, thanks for giving me this ability, but I don't really care about it. I'm going to do something else, and I'm not going to work quite as hard.
Tim Tebow (Through My Eyes)
When I first started writing, I hated myself for being so uncertain, about images, clauses, ideas, even the pen or journal I used. Everything I wrote begin with maybe and perhaps and ended with I think or I believe. But my doubt is everywhere. Even when I know something to be true I fear the knowledge will dissolve, will not, despite my writing it, stay real.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
I tell myself that I want to live a happy life, and that the circumstances for happiness just haven't arisen. But what if that's not true? What if I'm the one who can't let myself be happy? Because I'm scared, or I prefer to wallow in self-pity, or I don't believe I deserve good things, or some other reason. Whenever something good happens to me I always find myself thinking: I wonder how long it will be until this turns out badly. And I almost want the worst to happen sooner, sooner rather than later, and if possibile straight away, so at least I don't have to feel anxious about it anymore.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
I don't know where this pressure came from. I can't blame my parents because it has always felt internal. Like any other parent, my mother celebrated the A grades and the less-than-A grades she felt there was no need to tell anybody about. But not acknowledging the effort that ended in a less than perfect result impacted me as a child. If I didn't win, then we wouldn't tell anyone that I had even competed to save us the embarrassment of acknowledging that someone else was better. Keeping the secret made me think that losing was something to be ashamed of, and that unless I was sure I was going to be the champion there was no point in trying. And there was certainly no point to just having fun.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
I don’t know what game you and geek boy are playing, Gautier. But you get in my way as I leave and I’ll wipe my boots on your balls. (Brett) Before he realized what was happening, Simi had taken Brett’s hand and squeezed it so hard Nick heard the bones break.) Nick is a friend of the Simi’s. You threaten him and you make the Simi really unhappy and want to eat your head. Trust me, not something you want me to think about. Now go away mean person or the Simi will tell akri she don’t know what happened to you and your masticated form. Not that I like to lie, but there are deceptions to every rule. And you’re about to become one. Now get in there and be quiet. (Simi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
Just remember, life is a box of cookies. You know how they’ve got these cookie assortments, and you like some but you don’t like others? And you eat up all the ones you like, and the only ones left are the ones you don’t like so much? I always think about that when something painful comes up. ‘Now i just have to polish these off, and everything’ll be O.K.’ Life is a box of cookies.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
You can’t say ‘if this didn’t happen then that would have happened’ because you don’t know everything that might have happened. You might think something’d be good, but for all you know it could have turned out horrible. You can’t say ‘If only I’d…’ because you could be wishing for anything. The point is, you’ll never know. You’ve gone past. So there’s no use thinking about it.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches, #4))
She's not much taller than Tess and definitely lighter than Kaede. For a second it seems like the crowd's attention has made her umcomfortable and I'm ready to dismiss her as a real contender until I study her again. No, this girl is nothing like the last one. She's hesitating not because she's afraid to fight,or because she fears losing,but because she's thinking. Calculating.She has dark hair tied back in a high ponytail and a lean, athletic build. She stands deliberately, with a hand resting on her hip, as if nothing in the world can catch her off guard. I find myself pausing to admire her face. For a brief moment,I'm lost to my surroundings. The girl shakes her head at Kaede. This surprises me too-I've never seen anyone refuse to fight. Everyone knows the rules: if you're chosen,you fight. This girl doesn't seem to fear the crowds wrath. Kaede laughs at her and says something I can't quite make out. Tess hears it,though, and casts me a quick, concerned glance. This time the girl nods. The crowd lets out another cheer,and Kaede smiles. I lean a little bit out from behind the chimney. Something about this girl...I don't know what it is.But her eyes burn in the light,and although it's hot and might be my imagination, I think I see a small smile on the girl's face. Tess shoots a questioning look at me.I hesitate for a split second,then hold up one finger again. I'm grateful to this mystery girl for helping Tess out, but with my money on the line,I decide to play it safe. Tess nods,then casts our bet in favor of Kaede. But the instant the new girl steps into the circle and I see her stance...I know I've made a big mistake.Kaede strikes like a bull, a battering ram. This girl strikes like a viper.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (the sun and her flowers)
Xander smiled, and something about it made me want to cry. “Do you think it’s okay,” he said, sounding younger than I’d ever heard him, “that I loved playing those Saturday morning games? Loved growing up here? Loved the great and terrible Tobias Hawthorne?
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Final Gambit (The Inheritance Games, #3))
You would think learning something from a book would be enough to just do it, right? But think hard about that, and you’ll realize that things really aren’t that simple.
Miya Kazuki (Ascendance of a Bookworm: Part 1 Volume 1)
Feminism is itself a challenge. Feminism is a challenge to the way things are in the world. It is by definition an oppositional movement, because it’s trying to accomplish something. I’ve never felt like feminism was a consciousness raising effort in isolation. Everything about feminism is about getting something in the world to get better for women, and to get the world to be less stupid on gender bifurcation terms. I think that feminism over time gets better, or it gets better and worse and better and worse at achieving the goals that it’s trying to achieve, but the overall mission stays the same. I guess I don’t think of it as feminism versus anti-feminism; I sort of think of it as feminism versus the world. I don’t think of it as a competition; there’s no winning. In feminism, you’re always trying to make stuff better. It’s opposition to which you cannot attribute a tally.
Rachel Maddow
I think,” Juna says after a pause, “that the thing about losing someone isn’t the loss but the absence of afterwards. D’you know what I mean? The endlessness of that.” She looks sideways at me and sniffs. “My friends were sad, people who knew my sister were sad, but everyone moves on after a month. It’s all they can manage. It doesn’t mean they weren’t sad, just that things keep going or something, I don’t know.” She rolls her shoulder, shakes her head. “It’s hard when you look up and realise that everyone’s moved off and left you in that place by yourself. Like they’ve all gone on and you’re there still, holding on to this person you’re supposed to let go of.
Julia Armfield (Our Wives Under the Sea)
[..]Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species." Yes? Why is that?" Because it means the end of innovation," Malcolm said. "This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behaviour. We innovate new behaviour to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. [..]
Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
That's the way it works in movies. Something happens that has an impact on someone's life, and based on that impact, his life shifts course. Well, that's not how it happens in life. Something has an impact on you, and then your life stays the same, and you think, 'Well, what about the impact?' You have epiphanies all the time. They just don't have any effect.
Carrie Fisher (Postcards from the Edge)
Why was "plain" a euphemism for "ugly," when the very hallmark of human beauty was its plainness, the symmetry and simplicity that always seemed so young and so innocent. It was impossible not to think that here beauty was one of the most important things about her - something having to do with who she really was.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
Damen bridged the nine chilly inches at the first opportunity. 'What are you doing? You were the one who warned me about Nicaise.' He spoke in a low voice. Laurent went very still; then he deliberately shifted in his seat and leaned in, bringing his lips right to Damen's ear. 'I think I'm out of stabbing range, he's got short arms. Or perhaps he'll try to throw a sugar plum? That is difficult. If I duck he'll hit Torveld.' Damen gritted his teeth. 'You know what I meant. He heard you. He's going to act. Can't you do something about it?' 'I'm occupied.' 'Then let me do something.' 'Bleed on him?' said Laurent.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1))
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
His appearance gives no clue to what his profession might be, and yet he doesn't look like a man without a profession either. Consider what he's like: He always knows what to do. He knows how to gaze into a woman's eyes. He can put his mind to any question at any time. He can box. He is gifted, strong-willed, open-minded, fearless, tenacious, dashing, circumspect—why quibble, suppose we grant him all those qualities—yet he has none of them! They have made him what he is, they have set his course for him, and yet they don't belong to him. When he is angry, something in him laughs. When he is sad, he is up to something. When something moves him, he turns against it. He'll always see a good side to every bad action. What he thinks of anything will always depend on some possible context—nothing is, to him, what it is: everything is subject to change, in flux, part of a whole, of an infinite number of wholes presumably adding up to a super-whole that, however, he knows nothing about. So every answer he gives is only a partial answer, every feeling an opinion, and he never cares what something is, only 'how' it is—some extraneous seasoning that somehow goes along with it, that's what interests him.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities)
Q: Do you feel concerned that after all this work, people won't treat [Starship Titanic] with the gravity of, say, a movie or a book? That they won't treat it as an art form? D.A.: I hope that's the case, yes. I get very worried about this idea of art. Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. ... [I]f somebody wants to come along and say, "Oh, it's art," that's as may be. I don't really mind that much. But I think that's for other people to decide after the fact. It isn't what you should be aiming to do. There's nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, "Well, okay, I'm going to do something of high artistic worth." ... I think you get most of the most interesting work done in fields where people don't think they're doing art, but merely practicing a craft, and working as good craftsmen. ... I tend to get very suspicious of anything that thinks it's art while it's being created.
Douglas Adams
It may sound reactionary, I know. But we can all feel it. We've changed the way we think of ourselves as citizens. We don't think of ourselves as citizens in the old sense of being small parts of something larger and infinitely more important to which we have serious responsibilities. We do still think of ourselves as citizens in the sense of being beneficiaries--we're actually conscious of our rights as American citizens and the nation's responsibilities to us and ensuring we get our share of the American pie. We think of ourselves now as eaters of the pie instead of makers of the pie. So who makes the pie? ... Something has happened where we've decided on a personal level that it's all right to abdicate our individual responsibility to the common good and let government worry about the common good while we all go about our individual self-interested business and struggle to gratify our various appetites.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
This is what I know - Sam is dead. My brother is dead. My mother is dead. My father is dead. My husband is dead. My cat is dead. My dog, who was dead in 1957, is still dead. Yet still I keep thinking that something wonderful is about to happen. Maybe tomorrow.
Patti Smith (Year of the Monkey)
There is something about you. That you tirelessly study people. Figure out who they are, what they want, and then mold yourself into whatever shape you think will fit them. I’ve seen you play half a dozen different roles for half a dozen different situations, switching personalities like you’re channel surfing, and I still have no idea who you are.
Ali Hazelwood (Love, Theoretically)
Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. [...] "But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying on ship's peanut." [...] "So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and...er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
prepare a little hot tea or broth and it should be brought to them . . . without their being asked if they would care for it. Those who are in great distress want no food, but if it is handed to them, they will mechanically take it ' ... There was something arresting about the matter-of-fact wisdom here, the instinctive understanding of the physiological disruptions... I will not forget the instinctive wisdom of the friend who, every day for those first few weeks, brought me a quart container of scallion-and-ginger congee from Chinatown. Congee I could eat. Congee was all I could eat.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something--I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
Hugh Laurie
I guess when someone tells you something they they usually guard, you feel privileged, not because you know something no-one else knows, but because you feel chosen. You feel like that person wants her life to intersect with yours. I think that's what felt best about it.
Markus Zusak (Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3))
Walking around, even on a bad day, I would see things – I mean just the things that were in front of me. People’s faces, the weather, traffic. The smell of petrol from the garage, the feeling of being rained on, completely ordinary things. And in that way even the bad days were good, because I felt them and remembered feeling them. There was something delicate about living like that – like I was an instrument and the world touched me and reverberated inside me. After a couple of months, I started to miss days. Sometimes I would fall asleep without remembering to write anything, but then other nights I’d open the book and not know what to write – I wouldn’t be able to think of anything at all. When I did make entries, they were increasingly verbal and abstract: song titles, or quotes from novels, or text messages from friends. By spring I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I started to put the diary away for weeks at a time – it was just a cheap black notebook I got at work – and then eventually I’d take it back out to look at the entries from the previous year. At that point, I found it impossible to imagine ever feeling again as I had apparently once felt about rain or flowers. It wasn’t just that I failed to be delighted by sensory experiences – it was that I didn’t actually seem to have them anymore. I would walk to work or go out for groceries or whatever and by the time I came home again I wouldn’t be able to remember seeing or hearing anything distinctive at all. I suppose I was seeing but not looking – the visual world just came to me flat, like a catalogue of information. I never looked at things anymore, in the way I had before.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. Makes you selfish. Makes you creepy. It makes you obsessed with your hair. Makes you cruel. Makes you say and do things you never thought you would do. It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love, then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot. It 'feeling right'. 'When it feels right, it’s easy.' But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is... When you find somebody that you love... it feels like hope.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag: The Scriptures)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
Do you ever get moods when life seems absolutely meaningless? It's like a badly-constructed story, with all sorts of characters moving in and out who have nothing to do with the plot. And when somebody comes along that you think really has something to do with the plot, he suddenly drops out. After a while you begin to wonder what the story is about, and you feel that it's about nothing—just a jumble.
P.G. Wodehouse
A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarreling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.
Alfred Hitchcock
Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same sort of tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write more. Do that, and the next day's work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed-and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
I like no one, absolutely no one, but I liked you from the start. I liked you when I didn’t know you, and now that I do know you it’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, often, always, I think about you before falling asleep. Then I dream of you, and when I wake up my head’s still there, stuck on something funny, beautiful, filthy, intelligent that’s all about you. It’s been going on for a while, longer than you think, longer than you can imagine, and I should have told you, but I have this impression, this certainty that you’re half a second from running away, that I should give you enough reasons to stay. Is there anything I can do for you? I’ll take you grocery shopping and fill your fridge when we’re back home. Buy you a new bike and a case of decent reagent and that sludge you drink. Kill the people who made you cry. Is there something you need? Name it. It’s yours. If I have it, it’s yours.
Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis)
It’s the first thing I always say at our new employee training seminars. I gaze around the room, pick one person, and have him stand up. And this is what I say: I have some good news for you, and some bad news. The bad news first. We’re going to have to rip off either your fingernails or your toenails with pliers. I’m sorry, but it’s already decided. It can’t be changed. I pull out a huge, scary pair of pliers from my briefcase and show them to everybody. Slowly, making sure everybody gets a good look. And then I say: Here’s the good news. You have the freedom to choose which it’s going to be—your fingernails, or your toenails. So, which will it be? You have ten seconds to make up your mind. If you’re unable to decide, we’ll rip off both your fingernails and your toenails. I start the count. At about eight seconds most people say, ‘The toes.’ Okay, I say, toenails it is. I’ll use these pliers to rip them off. But before I do, I’d like you to tell me something. Why did you choose your toes and not your fingers? The person usually says, ‘I don’t know. I think they probably hurt the same. But since I had to choose one, I went with the toes.’ I turn to him and warmly applaud him. And I say, Welcome to the real world.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
What do I know about love? Not much-that’s the safe answer. Even when I think I have a grasp on it, something comes along to make me realize I don’t know anything at all. It’s just a concept to me. It’s the thing that all the songs are written about, the thing that makes smart people act stupidly. If I can make love a concept, it makes me a better observer. And it also leaves a place inside of me hollow. Sometimes I can actually feel it. To reach down inside that part-I wonder how it would feel, to touch a void. That nameless empty. This makes me seem lonely, which isn’t really true. I have other parts of me—friendship, for one—which compensate for the void. I can’t feel the nothingness except in those rare times when there’s nothing else to feel.
David Levithan (How They Met, and Other Stories)
I don’t have good processing skills—at least I don’t think I do, because I turn everything into a fucking joke and then bury it in a shallow grave in whatever part of the mind something you never want to think about ever again goes…until its decomposing hand emerges from the dirt on a random Tuesday at 3 a.m. to remind you of that embarrassing thing you thought you’d forgotten.
Samantha Irby (Wow, No Thank You.)
Of course we would all like to "believe" in something, like to assuage our private guilts in public causes, like to lose our tiresome selves; like, perhaps, to transform the white flag of defeat at home into the brave white banner of battle away from home. And of course it is all right to do that; that is how, immemorially, thing have gotten done. But I think it is all right only so long as we do not delude ourselves about what we are doing, and why. It is all right only so long as we remember that all the ad hoc committees, all the picket lines, all the brave signatures in The New York Times, all the tools of agitprop straight across the spectrum, do not confer upon anyone any ipso facto virtue. It is all right only so long as we recognize that the end may or may not be expedient, may or may not be a good idea, but in any case has nothing to do with "morality." Because when we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble. And I suspect we are already there.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Eventually, you deal with something for long enough that it becomes such an intrinsic part of you, and you can't imagine yourself without it. You accept it, maybe because you think you deserve it but also because you're scared that if you tried to change it, it wouldn't work. It feels easier to live in that somber place because you don't know who you are otherwise, and you're worried about putting in all that effort without a guaranteed outcome.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Weather Girl)
Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain - which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad - Marmite, village fetes, country lanes, people saying 'mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but', people apologizing to me when I conk them with a nameless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, stinging nettles, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, crumpets, hot-water bottles as a necessity, drizzly Sundays - every bit of it. What a wondrous place this was - crazy as fuck, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. What other country, after all, could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start? Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads, compel the Speaker of the House of Commons to sit on something called the Woolsack, or take pride in a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy? ('Please Hardy, full on the lips, with just a bit of tongue.') What other nation in the world could possibly have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, the Open University, Gardners' Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit? None, of course. How easily we lose sight of all this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the second half of the twentieth century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short, did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view. All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
But I don't need an apology. Not anymore. I have my whole life ahead of me - there isn't room in it for anger about things I don't have the power to change. I've mourned the loss of the mother I imagined could exist. I accept the one I have will never be the one I need. And that's okay - because I will be the person I need. I will be the one I can depend on, the one who has the power to make my life better or worse. I'll still panic when I'm in a crowd. I'll still question whether people mean something different from what they say. And I'll probably always feel my heart thump when I think someone is criticizing me. But I can live with that. I accept myself.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
As soon as she releases me, Galen grabs my hand and I don't even have time to gasp before he snatches me to the surface and pulls me toward shore, only pausing to dislodge his pair of swimming trunks from under his favorite rock, where he had just moments before taken the time to hide them. I know the routine and turn away so he can change, but it seems like no time before he hauls me onto the beach and drags me to the sand dunes in front of my house. "What are you doing?" I ask. His legs are longer than mine so for every two of his strides I have to take three, which feels a lot like running. He stops us in between the dunes. "I'm doing something that is none of anyone else's business." Then he jerks me up against him and crushes his mouth on mine. And I see why he didn't want an audience for this kiss. I wouldn't want an audience for this kiss, either, especially if the audience included my mother. This is our first kiss after he announced that he wanted me for his mate. This kiss holds promises of things to come. When he pulls away I feel drunk and excited and nervous and filled with a craving that I'm not sure can ever be satisfied. And Galen looks startled. "Maybe I shouldn't have done that," he says. "That makes it about fifty times harder to leave, I think.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Robin Williams
The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior--benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe. It had logic. It was dependable. Using it allowed a kind of moral uplift, as one's own chaos was also brought under control. 'Whenever I am troubled,' said the librarian, 'I think about the Dewey decimal system.' 'Then what happens?' asked the junior, rather overawed. 'Then I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place. That is what Jung was explaining of course--as the chaos of our unconscious contents strive to find their rightful place in the index of consciousness.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Nakata let his body relax, switched off his mind, allowing things to flow through him. This was natural for him, something he'd done ever since he was a child, without a second thought. Before long the borders of his consciousness fluttered around, just like the butterflies. Beyond these borders lay a dark abyss. Occasionally his consciousness would fly over the border and hover over that dizzying black crevasse. But Nakata wasn't afraid of the darkness or how deep it was. And why should he be? That bottomless world of darkness, that weighty silence and chaos, was an old friend, a part of him already. Nakata understood this well. In that world there was no writing, no days of the week, no scary Governor, no opera, no BMWs. No scissors, no tall hats. On the other hand, there was also no delicious eel, no tasty bean-jam buns. Everything is there, but there are no parts. Since there are no parts, there's no need to replace one thing with another. No need to remove anything, or add anything. You don't have to think about difficult things, just let yourself soak it all in. For Nakata, nothing could be better.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, five years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe. When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself. When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did. You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
Alida Nugent (You Don't Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism)
Why did I allow the abuse to continue? Even as a teenager? I didn’t. Something that had been plaguing me for years now made sense. It was like the answer to a terrible secret. The thing is, it wasn’t me in my bed, it was Shirley who lay the wondering if that man was going to come to her room, pull back the cover and push his penis into her waiting mouth it was Shirley. I remembered watching her, a skinny little thing with no breasts and a dark resentful expression. She was angry. She didn’t want this man in her room doing the things he did, but she didn’t know how to stop it. He didn’t beat her, he didn’t threaten her. He just looked at her with black hypnotic eyes and she lay back with her legs apart thinking about nothing at all. And where was I? I stood to one side, or hovered overhead just below the ceiling, or rode on a magic carpet. I held my breath and watched my father pushing up and down inside Shirley’s skinny body.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
The idea tells you everything. Lots of times I get ideas, I fall in love with them. Those ones you fall in love with are really special ideas. And, in some ways, I always say, when something's abstract, the abstractions are hard to put into words unless you're a poet. These ideas you somehow know. And cinema is a language that can say abstractions. I love stories, but I love stories that hold abstractions--that can hold abstractions. And cinema can say these difficult-to-say-in-words things. A lot of times, I don't know the meaning of the idea, and it drives me crazy. I think we should know the meaning of the idea. I think about them, and I tell this story about my first feature Eraserhead. I did not know what these things meant to me--really meant. And on that particular film, I started reading the Bible. And I'm reading the Bible, going along, and suddenly--there was a sentence. And I said, forget it! That's it. That's this thing. And so, I should know the meaning for me, but when things get abstract, it does me no good to say what it is. All viewers on the surface are all different. And we see something, and that's another place where intuition kicks in: an inner-knowingness. And so, you see a thing, you think about it, and you feel it, and you go and you sort of know something inside. And you can rely on that. Another thing I say is, if you go--after a film, withholding abstractions--to a coffee place--having coffee with your friends, someone will say something, and immediately you'll say “No, no, no, no, that's not what that was about.” You know? “This is what it was about.” And so many things come out, it's surprising. So you do know. For yourself. And what you know is valid.
David Lynch
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
11 WAYS TO BE UNREMARKABLY AVERAGE 1. Accept what people tell you at face value. 2. Don’t question authority. 3. Go to college because you’re supposed to, not because you want to learn something. 4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere safe like England. 5. Don’t try to learn another language; everyone else will eventually learn English. 6. Think about starting your own business, but never do it. 7. Think about writing a book, but never do it. 8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30 years paying for it. 9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work. 10. Don’t stand out or draw attention to yourself. 11. Jump through hoops. Check off boxes.
Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World)
For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, "Because they're scared." I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of "Onward! You can do it!" What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them. What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development))
So that night after Wyatt goes to bed, I can't sleep. And I see this piece of paper with this song he's writing and it's clearly about me. It says something about a redhead and mentioned the hoop earrings that I was wearing all the time. And then he had this chorous about me having a big heart but no love in it. I kept looking at the words, thinking, This isn't right. He didn't understand me at all. So I thought about it for a little while and got out a pen and paper. I wrote some things down. When he woke up, I said, "Your chorus should be more like 'Big eyes, big soul/big heart, no control/but all she got to give is tiny love.'" Wyatt grabbed a pen and paper and he said, "Say that again?" I said, "It was just an example. Write your own goddamn song." Simone: "Tiny Love"was the Breeze's biggest hit. And Wyatt pretended he wrote the whole thing.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
The idea of the supernatural as being something over and above the natural is a killing idea. In the Middle Ages this was the idea that finally turned that world into something like a wasteland, a land where people were living inauthentic lives, never doing a think they truly wanted to because the supernatural laws required them to live as directed by their clergy. In a wasteland, people are fulfilling purposes that are not properly theirs but have been put upon them as inescapable laws. This is a killer.... The spirit is really the bouquet of life. It is not something breathed into life, it comes out of life. This is one of the glorious things about the mother-goddess religions, where the world is the body of the Goddess, divine in itself, and divinity isn't something ruling over and above a fallen nature.... Our story of the fall in the Garden sees nature as corrupt; and that myth corrupts the whole world for us. Because nature is thought of as corrupt, every spontaneous act is sinful and must not be yielded to. You get a totally different civilization and a totally different way of living according to whether your myth presents nature as fallen or whether nature is in itself a manifestation of divinity, and the spirit is the revelation of the divinity that is inherent in nature.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
Okay, here’s a cheat I learned in a leadership seminar. It’s called active listening. Someone says something, a complaint, or a criticism, or they’re excited about something that happened to them. For a lot of us, our instinct is to offer a solution, or expand on an idea, to fix or offer something. The key is to think about how they’re feeling, be receptive to that, and parrot it back to them. They just got a new car, and they’re happy about it? A simple ‘that’s excellent’ or ‘you must be so proud’ works. It leaves room for them to keep talking, to know you’re listening. For your teammate who just lost someone she obviously cared about, just recognizing that she’s upset and she’s right to feel upset, that’s enough.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
I sat looking at her with rapt attention. My heart was thumping, the blood coursing warmly through my veins. What a wonderful pleasure to be sitting in a human dwelling again, hear a clock ticking, and talk with a lively young girl instead of with myself! Why don't you say something?" Ah, how sweet you are!" I said. "I'm sitting here getting fascinated by you, at this moment I'm thoroughly fascinated. I can't help it. You are the strangest person that... Sometimes your eyes are so radiant, I've never seen anything like it, they look like flowers. Eh? No, no, maybe not like flowers but... I'm madly in love with you, and it won't do me a bit of good. What's your name? Really, you must tell me what your name is..." No, what's your name? Goodness, I almost forgot again! I was thinking all day yesterday that I must ask you. Well, that is, not all day yesterday, I certainly didn't think about you all day yesterday." Do you know what I've called you? I have called you Ylajali. How do you like it? Such a gliding sound-" Ylajali?" Yes." Is it a foreign language?" Hmm. No, it's not." Well, it isn't ugly.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
You still think I’m too optimistic, don’t you?” Shallan said. “It’s not your fault,” Kaladin said. “I’d rather be like you. I’d rather not have lived the life I have. I would that the world was only full of people like you, Shallan Davar.” “People who don’t understand pain.” “Oh, all people understand pain,” Kaladin said. “That’s not what I’m talking about. It’s . . .” “The sorrow,” Shallan said softly, “of watching a life crumble? Of struggling to grab it and hold on, but feeling hope become stringy sinew and blood beneath your fingers as everything collapses?” “Yes.” “The sensation—it’s not sorrow, but something deeper—of being broken. Of being crushed so often, and so hatefully, that emotion becomes something you can only wish for. If only you could cry, because then you’d feel something. Instead, you feel nothing. Just . . . haze and smoke inside. Like you’re already dead.” He stopped in the chasm. She turned and looked to him. “The crushing guilt,” she said, “of being powerless. Of wishing they’d hurt you instead of those around you. Of screaming and scrambling and hating as those you love are ruined, popped like a boil. And you have to watch their joy seeping away while you can’t do anything. They break the ones you love, and not you. And you plead. Can’t you just beat me instead?” “Yes,” he whispered. Shallan nodded, holding his eyes. “Yes. It would be nice if nobody in the world knew of those things, Kaladin Stormblessed. I agree. With everything I have.” He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken. Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway. It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life. “How?” he asked.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
Cinema is a language. It can say things—big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. Its a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. Its not just words or music-it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
Orpheus never liked words. He had his music. He would get a funny look on his face and I would say what are you thinking about and he would always be thinking about music. If we were in a restaurant sometimes Orpheus would look sullen and wouldn't talk to me and I thought people felt sorry for me. I should have realized that women envied me. Their husbands talked too much. But I wanted to talk to him about my notions. I was working on a new philosophical system. It involved hats. This is what it is to love an artist: The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head there is always something more beautiful. Orpheus said the mind is a slide ruler. It can fit around anything. Show me your body, he said. It only means one thing.
Sarah Ruhl (Eurydice)
Jules: Emma? You haven't said anything since we left the church. Emma: You're in love with me. Still. Jules: What are you talking about? Emma: I thought you didn't love me anymore. But that isn't true, is it? Jules: Why are you saying that? Why now? Emma: Because of the church. Because of what happened. We burned a church down, Julian, we melted stone. Jules: What does that have to do with anyhing? Emma: It has everything to do with. You don't understand. You can't. Jules: You're right. I don't understand. I don't understand any of it, Emma. I don't understand why you suddenly decided you didn't want me, you wanted Mark, and then you decided you didn't wnat him either and you dropped him like he was nothing, in fron of everyone. What the hell were you thinking ... Emma: What do you care? What do you care how I feel about Mark? Jules: Because I needed you to love him. Because if you threw me away and everything we had, it had better be for something that meant more to you, it had better be for something real, but maybe none of this is ever real to you ... Emma: Not real to me? You don't know what you're talking about, Julian Blackthron! You don't know what I've given up, what my reasons are for anything, you don't know what I'm trying to do ... Jules: What you're trying to do? How about you did do? How about breaking my heart and breaking Cameron's and breaking Mark's? What, am I missing someone else, some other person whose life you want to wreck forever? Emma: Your life isn't wrecked. You're still alive. You can have a good life! You kissed that faerie girl... Jules: She was a leanansidhe! A shape-shifter! I thought se was you! Emma: Oh. Oh. Jules: Yes, oh. You really think I'm going to fall in love with someon else? You think I get to do that? I'm not you, I don't geet to fall in love every week with someone different. I wish it wasn't you, Emma, but it is, it'll always be you, so don't tell me life isn't wrecked when you don't know the first thing about it!
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
Remember your math: an anecdote is not a trend. Remember your history: the fact that something is bad today doesn't mean it was better in the past. Remember your philosophy: one cannot reason that there's no such thing as reason, or that something is true or good because God said it is. And remember your psychology: much of what we know isn't so, especially when our comrades know it too. Keep some perspective. Not every problem is a Crisis, Plague, Epidemic, or Existential Threat, and not every change is the End of This, the Death of That, or the Dawn of a Post-Something Era. Don't confuse pessimism with profundity: problems are inevitable, but problems are solvable, and diagnosing every setback as a symptom of a sick society is a cheap grab for gravitas. Finally, drop the Nietzsche. His ideas may seem edgy, authentic, baad,while humanism seems sappy, unhip, uncool But what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
No, really Patrick. What do you want me to call you?" King, I'm thinking. King, Evelyn. I want you to call me King. But I don't say this. "Evelyn. I don't want you to call me anything. I don't think we should see each other anymore." "But your friends are my friends. My friends are your friends. I don't think it would work," she says, and then, staring at a spot above my mouth, "You have a tiny fleck on the top of your lip. Use your napkin." Exasperated, I brush the fleck away. "Listen, I, know that your friends are my friends and vice versa. I've thought about that." After a pause I say, breathing in, "You can have them." Finally she looks at me, confused, and murmurs, "You're really serious, aren't you?" "Yes", I say, "I am." "But... what about us? What about the past?" she asks blankly. "The past isn't real. It's just a dream," I say. "Don't mention the past." She narrows her eyes with suspicion. "Do you have something against me, Patrick?" And then the hardness in her face changes instantaneously to expectation, maybe hope. "Evelyn," I sigh. "I'm sorry. You're just... not terribly important... to me.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
You may have a success in life, but then just think of it - what kind of life was it? What good was it - you've never done the thing you wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off…. The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy - not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call "following your bliss"... There’s something inside you that knows when you’re in the center, that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you’ve lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don’t get any money, you still have your bliss.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
If," ["the management consultant"] said tersely, “we could for a moment move on to the subject of fiscal policy. . .” “Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect. “Fiscal policy!" The management consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied. “Fiscal policy. . .” he repeated, “that is what I said.” “How can you have money,” demanded Ford, “if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know.” “If you would allow me to continue.. .” Ford nodded dejectedly. “Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.” Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed. “But we have also,” continued the management consultant, “run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut." Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The management consultant waved them down. “So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and. . .er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances." The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the management consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable autumn aloft and it got an appreciative round from the crowd.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Marturano recommended something radical: do only one thing at a time. When you’re on the phone, be on the phone. When you’re in a meeting, be there. Set aside an hour to check your email, and then shut off your computer monitor and focus on the task at hand. Another tip: take short mindfulness breaks throughout the day. She called them “purposeful pauses.” So, for example, instead of fidgeting or tapping your fingers while your computer boots up, try to watch your breath for a few minutes. When driving, turn off the radio and feel your hands on the wheel. Or when walking between meetings, leave your phone in your pocket and just notice the sensations of your legs moving. “If I’m a corporate samurai,” I said, “I’d be a little worried about taking all these pauses that you recommend because I’d be thinking, ‘Well, my rivals aren’t pausing. They’re working all the time.’ ” “Yeah, but that assumes that those pauses aren’t helping you. Those pauses are the ways to make you a more clear thinker and for you to be more focused on what’s important.
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
Tell me something, Mari—do you believe in reincarnation?” Mari shakes her head. “No, I don’t think so,” she says. “So you don’t think there’s a life to come?” “I haven’t thought much about it. But it seems to me there’s no reason to believe in a life after this one.” “So once you’re dead there’s just nothing?” “Basically.” “Well, I think there has to be something like reincarnation. Or maybe I should say I’m scared to think there isn’t. I can’t understand nothingness. I can’t understand it and I can’t imagine it.” “Nothingness means there’s absolutely nothing, so maybe there’s no need to understand it or imagine it.” “Yeah, but what if nothingness is not like that? What if it’s the kind of thing that demands that you understand it or imagine it? I mean, you don’t know what it’s like to die, Mari. Maybe a person really has to die to understand what it’s like.” “Well, yeah…,” says Mari. “I get so scared when I start thinking about this stuff,” Korogi says. “I can hardly breathe, and my whole body wants to shrink into a corner. It’s so much easier to just believe in reincarnation. You might be reborn as something awful, but at least you can imagine what you’d look like—a horse, say, or a snail. And even if it was something bad, you might be luckier next time.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted…secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology…by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more…The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite… Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged, humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid…we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function…zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coal-tars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling…this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others…
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Most people now are looking for a better place, which means that a lot of them will end up in a worse one. I think this is what Nathan learned from his time in the army and the war. He saw a lot of places, and he came home. I think he gave up the idea that there is a better place somewhere else. There is no “better place” than this, not in this world. And it is by the place we’ve got, and our love for it and our keeping of it, that this world is joined to Heaven. . . . “Something better! Everybody’s talking about something better. The important thing is to feel good and be proud of what you got, don’t matter if it ain’t nothing but a log pen.” Those thoughts come to me in the night, those thoughts and thoughts of becoming sick or helpless, of the nursing home, of lingering death. I gnaw again the old bones of the fear of what is to come, and grieve . . . over . . . (those) who have gone before. Finally, as a gift, as a mercy, I remember to pray, “thy will be done,” and then again I am free and can go to sleep.
Wendell Berry (Hannah Coulter)
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion [quoting 1 Tim 1:7].
Augustine of Hippo (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Vol 2 (De Genesi ad litteram))
There’s a myth that some people are more faithful than others. A truer statement is that in some areas, some of us are more surrendered than others. We surrender to God first, of course, the things we don’t really care that much about anyway. Some of us don’t mind giving up our attachment to career goals, but there’s no way we’re going to surrender our romantic relationships, or vice versa. Everything we don’t care that much about—fine—God can have it. But if it’s really, really important, we think we better handle it ourselves. The truth is, of course, that the more important it is to us, the more important it is to surrender. That which is surrendered is taken care of best. To place something in the hands of God is to give it over, mentally, to the protection and care of the beneficence of the universe. To keep it ourselves means to constantly grab and clutch and manipulate. We keep opening the oven to see if the bread is baking, which only ensures that it never gets a chance to.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
Think about it. Why does one eat a snack? Why is a snack necessary? The answer—and we’ve done a million studies on this—is because our lives are filled with tedium and drudgery and endless toil and we need a tiny blip of pleasure to repel the gathering darkness. Thus, we give ourselves a treat. “But here’s the thing,” Periwinkle continues, his eyes all aglow, “even the things we do to break the routine become routine. Even the things we do to escape the sadness of our lives have themselves become sad. What this ad acknowledges is that you’ve been eating all these snacks and yet you are not happy, and you’ve been watching all these shows and yet you still feel lonely, and you’ve been seeing all this news and yet the world makes no sense, and you’ve been playing all these games and yet the melancholy sinks deeper and deeper into you. How do you escape?” “You buy a new chip.” “You buy a missile-shaped chip! That’s the answer. What this ad does is admit something you already deeply suspect and existentially fear: that consumerism is a failure and you will never find any meaning there no matter how much money you spend. So the great challenge for people like me is to convince people like you that the problem is not systemic. It’s not that snacks leave you feeling empty, it’s that you haven’t found the right snack yet. It’s not that TV turns out to be a poor substitute for human connection, it’s that you haven’t found the right show yet. It’s not that politics are hopelessly bankrupt, it’s that you haven’t found the right politician yet. And this ad just comes right out and says it. I swear to god it’s like playing poker against someone who’s showing his cards and yet still bluffing by force of personality.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
That a work of the imagination has to be “really” about some problem is, again, an heir of Socialist Realism. To write a story for the sake of storytelling is frivolous, not to say reactionary. The demand that stories must be “about” something is from Communist thinking and, further back, from religious thinking, with its desire for self-improvement books as simple-minded as the messages on samplers. The phrase “political correctness” was born as Communism was collapsing. I do not think this was chance. I am not suggesting that the torch of Communism has been handed on to the political correctors. I am suggesting that habits of mind have been absorbed, often without knowing it. There is obviously something very attractive about telling other people what to do: I am putting it in this nursery way rather than in more intellectual language because I see it as nursery behavior. Art — the arts generally — are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend to be, at their best, uncomfortable. Literature, in particular, has always inspired the House committees, the Zhdanovs, the fits of moralizing, but, at worst, persecution. It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me more that it may know and does not care. Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.
Doris Lessing
She could have wept. It was bad, it was bad, it was infinitely bad! She could have done it differently of course; the colour could have been thinned and faded; the shapes etherealised; that was how Paunceforte would have seen it. But then she did not see it like that. She saw the colour burning on a framework of steel; the light of a butterfly’s wing lying upon the arches of a cathedral. Of all that only a few random marks scrawled upon the canvas remained. And it would never be seen; never be hung even, and there was Mr Tansley whispering in her ear, “Women can’t paint, women can’t write ...” She now remembered what she had been going to say about Mrs Ramsay. She did not know how she would have put it; but it would have been something critical. She had been annoyed the other night by some highhandedness. Looking along the level of Mr Bankes’s glance at her, she thought that no woman could worship another woman in the way he worshipped; they could only seek shelter under the shade which Mr Bankes extended over them both. Looking along his beam she added to it her different ray, thinking that she was unquestionably the loveliest of people (bowed over her book); the best perhaps; but also, different too from the perfect shape which one saw there. But why different, and how different? she asked herself, scraping her palette of all those mounds of blue and green which seemed to her like clods with no life in them now, yet she vowed, she would inspire them, force them to move, flow, do her bidding tomorrow. How did she differ? What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a crumpled glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably? She was like a bird for speed, an arrow for directness. She was willful; she was commanding (of course, Lily reminded herself, I am thinking of her relations with women, and I am much younger, an insignificant person, living off the Brompton Road). She opened bedroom windows. She shut doors. (So she tried to start the tune of Mrs Ramsay in her head.) Arriving late at night, with a light tap on one’s bedroom door, wrapped in an old fur coat (for the setting of her beauty was always that—hasty, but apt), she would enact again whatever it might be—Charles Tansley losing his umbrella; Mr Carmichael snuffling and sniffing; Mr Bankes saying, “The vegetable salts are lost.” All this she would adroitly shape; even maliciously twist; and, moving over to the window, in pretence that she must go,—it was dawn, she could see the sun rising,—half turn back, more intimately, but still always laughing, insist that she must, Minta must, they all must marry, since in the whole world whatever laurels might be tossed to her (but Mrs Ramsay cared not a fig for her painting), or triumphs won by her (probably Mrs Ramsay had had her share of those), and here she saddened, darkened, and came back to her chair, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman (she lightly took her hand for a moment), an unmarried woman has missed the best of life. The house seemed full of children sleeping and Mrs Ramsay listening; shaded lights and regular breathing.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
I believe that we're much healthier if we think of our selfishness as sin. Which is what it is: a sin. Even if there is nothing out there except a random movement of untold gases and objects, sin still exists. You don't need a devil with horns. It's a social definition of sin. Everything we do that is self-indulgent, and that is selfish, and that turns us away from our dignity as human beings is a sin against what we were born with, the capacities we have, what we could make of this planet. Our whole age has taken the line that if you feel bad about yourself, it's something that you can be relieved of by your goddamn analyst. Psst!—it's gone! And then you'll be happy, you know? But that feeling is not something you should be relieved of. It's something you should deal with. And there's no remission for what I mean by "sin," except doing something useful. The confessional does the same thing as the shrink, rather more quickly and cheaper. Three "Hail Mary"s, and you're out. But I've never been the kind of religious person that thinks saying "Hail Mary" is gonna get me out of it.
Orson Welles (My Lunches with Orson)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
The well bottom is like the bottom of the sea. Things down here stay very still, keeping their original forms, as if under tremendous pressure, unchanged from day to day. A round slice of light floats high above me: the evening sky. Looking up at it, I think about the October evening world, where "people" must be going about their lives. Beneath that pale autumn light, they must be walking down streets, going to the store for things, preparing dinner, boarding trains for home. And they think - if they think at all - that these things are too obvious to think about, just as I used to do (or not do). They are the vaguely defined "people," and I used to be a nameless one among them. Accepting and accepted, they live with one another beneath that light, and whether it lasts forever or for a moment, there must be a kind of closeness while they are enveloped in the light. I am no longer one of them, however. They are up there, on the face of the earth; I am down here, in the bottom of a well. They possess the light, while I am in the process of losing it. Sometimes I feel that I may never find my way back to that world, that I may never again be able to feel the peace of being enveloped in the light, that I may never again be able to hold the cat's soft body in my arms. And then I feel a dull ache in the chest, as if something inside there is being squeezed to death.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . . Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week. My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations. When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love. What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
You must want to be free. It must become first with you before anything else. Everything that you’ve done all your life, is only a game, a game you’re playing with your self, only it seems to be real. The only reality is the Self and you are That. Why look for anything else? Everything else will take care of itself. You’ve got to abide in the Self, just in the Self. Everything else will take care of itself in a beautiful way. You are boundless space, like the ocean, like the sky, all-pervasive. This is your real nature. But for some reason you believe you are a body, confined to a small space. This is not you. It’s illusion. You are all-pervading absolute reality. This is your true nature. This is who you really are. Just by thinking about these things all the time, something begins to happen to you, something wonderful. Do not think about the weather, or about the day’s work or your problems. For all the thinkers, who thinks? Find out who has the problems? Find out who you really are, who am I? It’s up to you to awaken from this mortal dream. You can keep on going like you are right now, with the good things and the bad things. Yet you live in a universe of dualities, which means for every good there is a bad. For every bad there is a good. It’s a false world in which you live. You need to awaken to this truth. Be aware of yourself, always. The world goes through its own karma. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. You belong to God. Everything you see is God. This is why you should be nonjudgemental. Leave everything alone. By practising these things, you become radiantly happy. Everyone wants something. If your mind stops thinking, what happens? Some of you believe you will not have anything, that you will have more problems. But it’s in reverse. You experience bliss, joy and happiness when you don’t want anything. From what we know, people want something and when they get it, they become more miserable than ever before. Nothing is wrong. Everything is right just the way it is. Do not try to understand this or figure it out. Leave it alone. It will happen by itself, by keeping yourself quiet and still. You quiet the mind because of realization. Let it be calm. In all situations be calm. Let it be still and quiet. The world doesn’t need any help from you. Aren’t you the world, aren’t you the Creator? You created the world the way it is. It came out of you, of your mind. The world that you are in, is a creation of your own mind. When the mind becomes still, the world begins to disappear. And you’re in divine harmony and joy. Therefore, happiness comes to you when you stop thinking, when you stop judging, when you stop being afraid. When you begin to contemplate what is happiness. All the answers are within you. Everything you’re looking for is within you, everything. Nobody can help but your Self. Know who you are. You are the power. All the power of the universe is within you. You have all the power you need. All is well, exceedingly well. It has always been well, it will always be well. When you leave here today act like a god or a goddess. Do not act like a human being any longer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, saying you’re unhappy. Stand up tall. Know the truth about yourself. Become the witness of all phenomena that you see and be free. Peace.
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
A pretty vampire woman in a cheongsam came flying down the hallway, ribbons waving from her purple-streaked hair like a silken flag. Her face was familiar. Alec had seen her at Taki’s, and around the city more generally, usually with Raphael. “Save us, oh fearless leader,” said Raphael’s lady friend. “Elliott’s in a huge aquarium puking blue and green. He tried to drink mermaid blood. He tried to drink selkie blood. He tried to—” “Ahem,” said Raphael, with a savage jerk of his head in Alec’s direction. Alec waved. “Shadowhunter,” he said. “Right here. Hi.” “He tried to keep to the Accords and obey all the known Laws!” the woman declared. “Because that’s the New York clan’s idea of a truly festive good time.” Alec remembered Magnus and tried not to look like he was here to ruin the Downworlder party. There was one thing he and this woman had in common. He recognized the bright purple she was wearing. “I think I saw you earlier,” said Alec hesitantly. “You were—making out with a faerie girl?” “Yeah, you’re gonna have to be more specific than that,” said the vampire woman. “This is a party. I’ve made out with six faerie girls, four faerie boys, and a talking toadstool whose gender I’m unsure about. Pretty sexy for a toadstool, though.” Raphael covered his face briefly with his non-texting hand. “Why, you want to make something of it?” The woman bristled. “How happy I am to see the Nephilim constantly crashing our parties. Were you even invited?” “I’m a plus-one,” said Alec. The vampire girl relaxed slightly. “Oh, right, you’re Magnus’s latest disaster,” she said. “That’s what Raphael calls you. I’m Lily.” She lifted a hand in a halfhearted wave. Alec glanced at Raphael, who arched his eyebrow at Alec in an unfriendly way. “Didn’t realize Raphael and I were on pet name terms,” said Alec. He continued to study Raphael. “Do you know Magnus well?” “Hardly at all,” said Raphael. “Barely acquainted. I don’t think much of his personality. Or his dress sense. Or the company he keeps. Come away, Lily. Alexander, I hope I never see you again.” “I’ve decided I detest you,” Lily told Alec. “It’s mutual,” Alec said dryly. Unexpectedly, that made Lily smile, before Raphael dragged her away.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
This is how to start telling the difference between thoughts that are informed by your intuition and thoughts that are informed by fear: Intuitive thoughts are calm. Intruding thoughts are hectic and fear-inducing. Intuitive thoughts are rational; they make a degree of sense. Intruding thoughts are irrational and often stem from aggrandizing a situation or jumping to the worst conclusion possible. Intuitive thoughts help you in the present. They give you information that you need to make a better-informed decision. Intruding thoughts are often random and have nothing to do with what’s going on in the moment. Intuitive thoughts are “quiet”; intruding thoughts are “loud,” which makes one harder to hear than the other. Intuitive thoughts usually come to you once, maybe twice, and they induce a feeling of understanding. Intruding thoughts tend to be persistent and induce a feeling of panic. Intuitive thoughts often sound loving, while invasive thoughts sound scared. Intuitive thoughts usually come out of nowhere; invasive thoughts are usually triggered by external stimuli. Intuitive thoughts don’t need to be grappled with—you have them and then you let them go. Invasive thoughts begin a whole spiral of ideas and fears, making it feel impossible to stop thinking about them. Even when an intuitive thought doesn’t tell you something you like, it never makes you feel panicked. Even if you experience sadness or disappointment, you don’t feel overwhelmingly anxious. Panic is the emotion you experience when you don’t know what to do with a feeling. It is what happens when you have an invasive thought. Intuitive thoughts open your mind to other possibilities; invasive thoughts close your heart and make you feel stuck or condemned. Intuitive thoughts come from the perspective of your best self; invasive thoughts come from the perspective of your most fearful, small self. Intuitive thoughts solve problems; invasive thoughts create them. Intuitive thoughts help you help others; invasive thoughts tend to create a “me vs. them” mentality. Intuitive thoughts help you understand what you’re thinking and feeling; invasive thoughts assume what other people are thinking and feeling. Intuitive thoughts are rational; invasive thoughts are irrational. Intuitive thoughts come from a deeper place within you and give you a resounding feeling deep in your gut; invasive thoughts keep you stuck in your head and give you a panicked feeling. Intuitive thoughts show you how to respond; invasive thoughts demand that you react.
Brianna Wiest (The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery)
Gustavo Tiberius speaking." “It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.” “It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.” “Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?” Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.” “Really.” “Yes.” “Gus.” “Casey.” “I miss you.” “I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely. “Yeah? How much?” Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.” “I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.” Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.” “Completely. You have no idea.” “They’re going to get you packed up this week?” “Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.” “Casey.” “Yes, Gustavo.” “You’re being cagey.” “I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.” Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?” There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up. Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen. Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.” “Hi,” Gus croaked. “Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?” Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal. Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile. He said, “Hi.” Gus said, “Hi.” “So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?” “I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close. The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.” Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.” “Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.” “What did?” Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?” “Yeah?” “I’m going to ask you a question, okay?” Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.” “What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?” Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to— And then he could barely breathe. Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?” Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could. And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.” Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
Something creaked beneath me! A soft step on rotting wood! I jumped startled, scared, and turned, expecting to see-God knows what! Then I sighed, for it was only Chris standing in the gloom, silently staring at me. Why? Did I look prettier than usual? Was it the moonlight, shining through my airy clothes? All random doubts were cleared when he said in a voice gritty and low, "You look beautiful sitting there like that." He cleared the frog in his throat. "The moonlight is etching you with silver-blue, and I can see the shape of your body through your clothes." Then, bewilderingly, he seized me by the shoulders, digging in his fingers, hard! They hurt. "Damn you, Cathy! You kissed that man! He could have awakened and seen you, and demanded to know who you were! And not thought you only a part of his dream!" Scary the way he acted, the fright I felt for no reason at all. "How do you know what I did? You weren't there; you were sick that night." He shook me, glaring his eyes, and again I thought he seemed a stranger. "He saw you, Cathy-he wasn't soundly asleep!" "He saw me?" I cried, disbelieving. It wasn't possible . . . wasn't! "Yes!" he yelled. This was Chris, who was usually in such control of his emotions. "He thought you a part of his dream! But don't you know Momma can guess who it was, just by putting two and two together-just as I have? Damn you and your romantic notions! Now they're on to us! They won't leave money casually about as they did before. He's counting, she's counting, and we don't have enough-not yet!" He yanked me down from the widow sill! He appeared wild and furious enough to slap my face-and not once in all our lives had he ever struck me, though I'd given him reason to when I was younger. But he shook me until my eyes rolled, until I was dizzy and crying out: "Stop! Momma knows we can't pass through a looked door!" This wasn't Chris . . . this was someone I'd never seen before . . . primitive, savage. He yelled out something like, "You're mine, Cathy! Mine! You'll always be mine! No matter who comes into your future, you'll always belong to me! I'll make you mine . . . tonight . . . now!" I didn't believe it, not Chris! And I did not fully understand what he had in mind, nor, if I am to give him credit, do I think he really meant what he said, but passion has a way of taking over. We fell to the floor, both of us. I tried to fight him off. We wrestled, turning over and over, writhing, silent, a frantic strug- gle of his strength against mine. It wasn't much of a battle. I had the strong dancer's legs; he had the biceps, the greater weight and height . . . and he had much more determination than i to use something hot, swollen and demanding, so much it stile reasoning and sanity from him. And I loved him. I wanted what he wanted-if he wanted it that much, right and wrong. Somehow we ended up on that old mattress-that filthy, smelly, stained mattress that must have known lovers long before this night. And that is where he took me, and forced in that swollen, rigid male sex part of him that had to be satisfied. It drove into my tight and resisting flesh which tore and bled. Now we had done what we both swore we'd never do.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind (Dollganger, #1-2))