Somewhere I Lost Myself Quotes

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But I was young and didn’t know better and someone should have told me to capture every second every kiss & every night Because now I’m sitting here alone and it’s getting really hard to breath because tears are growing in my throat and they want to break out, but there are people watching and I just want to be somewhere silent somewhere still But still I don’t want to be alone because I’m scared and lonely and I don’t understand Because I was alone my whole life My whole life I was so damn lonely and I was content with that because I liked myself and my own company and I didn’t need anyone I thought But then there was you .. ... So, someone should have told me that love is for those few brave who can handle the unbearable emptiness, the unbearable guilt and lack of oneself, Because I lost myself to someone I love and I might get myself back one day but it will take time, it will take time. This is gonna take some time. I wish someone would have told me this. Someone should have told me this.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
And I wasn’t playing a role – I was trying to be myself. But the harder I was striving, the more I was realizing that I had probably lost that ‘myself’ somewhere between two perfectly performed roles...
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Gwenvael looked down at his body. Horrified, he sat up. “What is this? What’s happened to me?” “Calm down. It’ll heal quick enough, I’m sure.” “Heal? I’m hideous!” “You’re alive.” “Hideously alive!” He covered her face with his hands. “Don’t look at me! Look away!” “Stop it!” She pulled at his hands. “Have you lost your mind?” Gwenvael dropped back to the bed, turned his face toward the wall. “You know what this means, don’t you?” “Gwenvael—” “I’ll have to live alone, at the top of a castle somewhere. I’ll hide from the daylight and only come out at night.” “Please stop this.” “I’ll be alone but not for long because you’ll all want me more. You’ll lust for the beautiful warrior I once was and pity the hideous creature I’ve become. Most importantly, you’ll want to soothe my pain.” He looked at her again. “Don’t you want to soothe my pain? Right now? Without that dress on?” “No. I do not.” Dagmar tried to stand, and Gwenvael caught her hand, pulling her back down. “You can’t leave me. I’m tortured and brooding. You need to show me how much you adore me so I can learn to love myself again.” “You’ve never stopped loving yourself.” “Because I’m amazing.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
I was trying to go... somewhere. But I kept getting pulled back here. I couldn't stop walking, couldn't stop thinking. About the first time I ever saw you, and how after I couldn't forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn't stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institute. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me-- I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn't get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it-- it had never been like that for me before. I'd always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick's and I knew. And then to find out the reason I felt like that-- like you were some part of me I'd lost and never ever knew I was missing until I saw you again-- that the reason was that you were my sister, it felt like some cosmic joke. Like God was spitting on me. I don't even know for what-- for thinking that I actually get to have you, that I would deserve something like that, to be happy. I couldn't imagine what it was I'd done that I was being punished for--
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I smack myself in the forehead. “Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods, they’re not moving!” I exclaim. There’s a choking noise over my head somewhere. “Etruscan snoods?” I glow quietly inside. Some accomplishments mean more than others. I am officially the Shit. Now and forever. “Dude, watch your question marks. I just pried one out of you.” “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” “Admit it, you lost your eternal fecking composure.” “You have an obsession with a delusion about how I end my sentences. What the fuck are Etruscan snoods?” “Dunno. It’s just another of Robin’s sayings. Like, ‘Holy strawberries, Batman, we’re in a jam!’ ” “Strawberries.” “Or, ‘Holy Kleenex, Batman, it was right under our nose and we blew it!’
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
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)
It’s the beating of my heart. The way I lie awake, playing with shadows slowly climbing up my wall. The gentle moonlight slipping through my window and the sound of a lonely car somewhere far away, where I long to be too, I think. It’s the way I thought my restless wandering was over, that I’d found whatever I thought I had found, or wanted, or needed, and I started to collect my belongings. Build a home. Safe behind the comfort of these four walls and a closed door. Because as much as I tried or pretended or imagined myself as a part of all the people out there, I was still the one locking the door every night. Turning off the phone and blowing out the candles so no one knew I was home. ’cause I was never really well around the expectations of my personality and I wanted to keep to myself. and because I haven’t been very impressed lately. By people, or places. Or the way someone said he loved me and then slowly changed his mind.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
Somewhere along the journey i lost myself; i learnt to be who they told me to be, i lived that girl for decades until their truth showed me; the words they were preaching didnt match the the steps they were walking, so i was done with their opinion and went on my unique way.
Nikki Rowe
I'm lost again, inside myself. Somewhere that's not nowhere. Disoriented. I've let everything go.
Amy McNamara (Lovely, Dark and Deep)
In this new, turbulent reality, the one person I recognize is him. My memories of him - memories of us - have done something to me. I've changed somewhere deep inside. I feel different. Heavier, like my feet have been more firmly planted, liberated by certainty, free to grow roots here in my own self, free to trust unequivocally in the strength and steadiness of my own heart. It's an empowering discovery, to find that I can trust myself - even when I'm not myself - to make the right choices. To know for certain now that there was at least one mistake I never made. Aaron Warner Anderson is the only emotional through line in my life that ever made sense. He's the only constant. The only steady, reliable heartbeat I've ever had. Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, Aaron. I had no idea how much we'd lost, no idea how much of him I'd longed for. I had no idea how desperately we'd been fighting. How many years we'd fought for moments - minutes - to be together. It fills me with a painful kind of joy. - Ella
Tahereh Mafi (Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5))
I stopped wanting to float away from my life, because in the end my life was all I had. I'd walk the Fairmont campus and look up to the sky and I wouldn't see myself drifting off like some lost balloon. Instead I saw the size of the world and found comfort in its hugeness. I'd think back to those times when I felt like everything was closing in on me, those times when I thought I was stuck, and I realized that I was wrong. There is always hope. The world is vast and meant for wandering. There is always somewhere else to go.
Nick Burd (The Vast Fields of Ordinary)
I lost myself somewhere. And that’s a very sad thing. Losing yourself is sad and heartbreaking. Fucking sad and fucking heartbreaking. Losing yourself isn’t like losing a key to your house. It isn’t like losing an expensive pair of sunglasses or even the only copy of the greatest screenplay you’ve ever written.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Last Night I Sang to the Monster)
And so, while the rest of the world went on unaware, drinking their coffee, reading the sports page, and picking up their dry cleaning, I leaned forward and kissed Dexter, making a choice that would change everything. Maybe somewhere there was a ripple, a bit of jump, some small shift in the universe, barely noticeable. I didn’t feel it then. I felt only him kissing me back, easing me into the sunlight as I lost myself in the taste of him and felt the world go on, just as it always had, all around us.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
I tell you this not as aimless revelation but because I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the meliorative principle, in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. Quite often during the past several years I have felt myself a sleepwalker, moving through the world unconscious of the moment’s high issues, oblivious to its data, alert only to the stuff of bad dreams, the children burning in the locked car in the supermarket parking lot, the bike boys stripping down stolen cars on the captive cripple’s ranch, the freeway sniper who feels “real bad” about picking off the family of five, the hustlers, the insane, the cunning Okie faces that turn up in military investigations, the sullen lurkers in doorways, the lost children, all the ignorant armies jostling in the night. Acquaintances read The New York Times, and try to tell me the news of the world. I listen to call-in shows.
Joan Didion (The White Album)
Jace, you don’t have to—” “I was trying to go…somewhere,” Jace said. “But I kept getting pulled back here. I couldn’t stop walking, couldn’t stop thinking. About the first time I ever saw you, and how after that I couldn’t forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn’t stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institute. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you sitting on that couch with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me—I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn’t get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it—it had never been like that for me before. I’d always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick’s and I knew. “And then to find out that the reason I felt like that—like you were some part of me I’d lost and never even knew I was missing until I saw you again—that the reason was that you were my sister, it felt like some sort of cosmic joke. Like God was spitting on me. I don’t even know for what—for thinking that I could actually get to have you, that I would deserve something like that, to be that happy. I couldn’t imagine what it was I’d done that I was being punished for—” “If you’re being punished,” Clary said, “then so am I.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I'd lost myself somewhere along the way, and maybe my subconscious was telling me it was time I found that person again, because I sure as hell wasn't happy with who I'd become.
A.L. Jackson (When We Collide)
My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies. Take care! Love, Francis. Title: Letter to Abigail Scene: "Death-bed" Chapter: The Road To Awe
Huseyn Raza
You know where the name hell came from." He crossed his hands on his lap. "After I fell, I kept repeating to myself, God will forgive me. God will forgive me. Centuries of repeating this, I started to shorten it to He'll forgive me. Then finally to one word, He'll. He'll. "Somewhere along the way, I lost that apostrophe and now it's only Hell. But hidden in that one word is God will forgive me. God will forgive me. That is what is behind my door, you understand. A world of no apostrophes and, therefore, no hope.
Tiffany McDaniel (The Summer that Melted Everything)
Summoning my inner Kojak, I tried to convince myself that she would have sat next to me even had there been somewhere else on the bus to sit. Unfortunately, I didn't do a very good job of self-persuasion. Good thing I wasn't in court suing myself, because I would have lost. From: "My Best Valentine's Day.Ever: A Short Story
Zack Love (Stories and Scripts: an Anthology)
My dreams were always the same I could see myself laughing . I was standing somewhere in a forest a raindrop rolled down a branch and fell on my nose . My hair was a sparkling red color and I was wearing a white flowing ball gown made from silk. I could feel him the one I loved staring at me intensely . His eyes as gold as the sun . I could hear him saying my love Fleur .. you are everything to me. His fingertips lightly shivering as he touched my face beckoning for me to come closer. I don't know what I would do if I lost you . "Are you sure you want to be with me?" My body protested as I fought for him to stay but he never did. As soon as I woke up his presence was gone.
Isabella Kruger (Afterlife (A Discovery of Vampires, #1))
I had one too," Daniel said. He was quiet for a minute. "Do you think after Trenton, we could get married and settle down in an apartment in New York City or somewhere? I could be an industrial designer, and you could fight crime like a part-time ninja assassin." I almost laughed, but then I stopped myself, because I knew it would come out as a sob. I was quiet for a while as I composed myself. "Yeah," I said. "Yeah, that would be awsome.
Bree Despain
You are like the first drops of the wet rain You are like the first rays of the warm sun I call myself a madman For I have lost myself within you Somewhere...
Avijeet Das
I cried and cried, as if I had carelessly lost somewhere the most promising part of myself.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
During the night, I have one of those dreams that aren’t really dreams at all, just stuff about Laura fucking Ray, and Marco fucking Charlie, and I’m pleased to wake up in the middle of the night, because it means stopping the dream. But the pleasure only lasts a few seconds and then everything sinks in: that somewhere Laura really is fucking Ray (maybe not exactly now, because it’s 3:56 a.m., although with his stamina – his inability to climax, ha ha – you never know), and I’m here, in this stupid little flat, on my own, and I’m thirty-five years old, and I own a tiny failing business, and my friends don’t seem to be friends at all but people whose phone numbers I haven’t lost And if I went back to sleep and slept for forty years and woke up without any teeth to the sound of Melody Radio in an old people’s home, I wouldn’t worry that much, because the worst of life, i.e. the rest of it, would be over. And I wouldn’t even have had to kill myself.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. Its blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind its true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
Clouded thoughts Scattered around My soul is restless I have nowhere to go No safe haven Nothing makes sense Not anymore I think I lost myself Somewhere on the road And I don’t even want to go back.
Irum Zahra (Psychaotic: See The World In Red And Black)
It's the story that was too big for me to tell, the one that grew to fill the depths of my being and the far corners of my mind. It's how I lost my system of meaning. But I haven't lost everything. Somewhere, somehow, adrift in the sea and far from the stars, I've found faith. In myself. And that makes all the difference.
Stephanie Kuehn (Charm & Strange)
My social life changed. Before, I had yearned for company, especially the company of women, and had gone seeking it. Now I no longer went seeking, but taught myself (not always easily) to make do with the company that came. I felt older. I felt that I had seen ages of the world come and go. Now, finally, I really had lost all desire for change, every last twinge of the notion that I ought to get somewhere or make something of myself. I was what I was. "I will stand like a tree," I thought, "and be in myself as I am." . . . I went regularly about my duties, my meals, my lying down and rising. My days and tasks seemed not to be accumulating toward anything. I was making nothing of myself.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
I was born with more power inside myself than I ever dreamed. But along with it there came no more sense than any other idiotic kid. Somewhere along in here I need to grow up into a man I can stand to live with. A man who doesn't just survive, but deserves to.
Orson Scott Card (The Lost Gate (Mither Mages, #1))
What is hope? Is it the ambition of discovering for the first time what the carnal definition of physical love is without understanding the concept of true passion? Or is it imagination running wild and free fueled by the dram that tonight will last forever and tomorrows will always come as you are blinded by the brilliance of another's smile? Is it a theory of inevitability that relies on fate or destiny bringing two souls together for their one shot at true and unbridled happiness? Or is it a plea to erase a past that used to hold the potential for limitless smiles and endless laughs? I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our veins, igniting ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better tomorrow, while leaving today, but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiating grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacea. It's blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind it's true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.......
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
I remembered that once, as a child, I was filled with wonder, that I had marveled at tri-folded science projects, encyclopedias, and road atlases. I left much of that wonder somewhere back in Baltimore. Now I had the privilege of welcoming it back like a long-lost friend, though our reunion was laced with grief; I mourned over all the years that were lost. The mourning continues. Even today, from time to time, I find myself on beaches watching six-year-olds learn to surf, or at colleges listening to sophomores slip from English to Italian, or at cafés seeing young poets flip though "The Waste Land," or listening to the radio where economists explain economic things that I could've explored in my lost years, mourning, hoping that I and all my wonder, my long-lost friend, have not yet run out of time, though I know that we all run out of time, and some of us run out of it faster.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
It's the story that was to big for me to tell, the one that grew to fill the depths of my being the far corners of my mind. It's how I lost my system of meaning. But I haven't lost everything. Somewhere, somehow, adrift in the sea and far from the stars, I've found faith. In myself. And that makes all the difference.
Stephanie Kuehn (Charm & Strange)
Somewhere I lost myself. I lost the beat of my heart as my own drum. I have a sense that it was the same time I lost Medicine Woman. One day my soul slipped out of my body. Or maybe it was pulled too hard. Or shocked away. I don’t know. But I know that I lost Her. And have been sick ever since. An orphaned child In a world that does not feel like home.
Lucy H. Pearce (Medicine Woman: Reclaiming the Soul of Healing)
But then I wasn't just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren't confrontations with God but with the difficulty - in my own mind, or in the human lot - of knowing what or how to pray. Lying awake at night, I could feel myself being changed - into what, I had no idea. It was worse than wondering if I had received the call. I wasn't just a student or a going-to-be preacher anymore. I was a lost traveler wandering in the woods, needing to be on my way somewhere but not knowing where.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Spirituality was my safe haven, and the daily 20 minutes meditation was my private zone where I got lost somewhere deep within myself. But outside of this, I was intense and still battling with myself.
Monjyoti Bhattacharyya (A Relentless Pursuit of the Truth - A philosophical guide to living a life of fulfillment and meaning)
When they leave, you realize that somewhere along the way you lost yourself. You don’t even know who you are anymore because they made you into something completely different. I don’t miss you. I miss myself.
Nadia Nell Starbinski (excerpts from the book i'll never write)
I define hope as a narcotic. It courses through our vei s, igniti.g ideas and feelings and emotions that all work in collaboration to produce a better to.orrow, while leaving today but a distant memory. The essence of its unknown and unseen promise is beautiful and addicting to those who are in need of its satiati g grace. The dependence on the idea of possibility can become a crutch however; an excuse for ignoring the here and now. It can swiftly morph from a therapeutic escape to an addictive obsession that somewhere over the rainbow lies the answer that will make everything right again. I am thankful to call myself a true addict to hope's mind altering panacra. Its blissful nirvana can seem both inconceivably irrational yet entirely fathomable to anyone lost in a sea of uncertainty. Just as age brings wisdom, experience brings the understanding that no matter what pot of gold lies at the end of your hopeful rainbow, the relief it casts over tragedy and heartache is the power behind its true magic. To the hope that resides in the depths of my being, thank you.
Ivan Rusilko (Entrée (The Winemaker's Dinner, #2))
You know where the name hell came from.” He crossed his hands on his lap. “After I fell, I kept repeating to myself, God will forgive me. God will forgive me. Centuries of repeating this, I started to shorten it to He’ll forgive me. Then finally to one word, He’ll. He’ll. “Somewhere along the way, I lost that apostrophe and now it’s only Hell. But hidden in that one word is God will forgive me. God will forgive me. That is what is behind my door, you understand. A world of no apostrophes and, therefore, no hope.
Tiffany McDaniel (The Summer That Melted Everything)
Antidepression medication is temperamental. Somewhere around fifty-nine or sixty I noticed the drug I’d been taking seemed to have stopped working. This is not unusual. The drugs interact with your body chemistry in different ways over time and often need to be tweaked. After the death of Dr. Myers, my therapist of twenty-five years, I’d been seeing a new doctor whom I’d been having great success with. Together we decided to stop the medication I’d been on for five years and see what would happen... DEATH TO MY HOMETOWN!! I nose-dived like the diving horse at the old Atlantic City steel pier into a sloshing tub of grief and tears the likes of which I’d never experienced before. Even when this happens to me, not wanting to look too needy, I can be pretty good at hiding the severity of my feelings from most of the folks around me, even my doctor. I was succeeding well with this for a while except for one strange thing: TEARS! Buckets of ’em, oceans of ’em, cold, black tears pouring down my face like tidewater rushing over Niagara during any and all hours of the day. What was this about? It was like somebody opened the floodgates and ran off with the key. There was NO stopping it. 'Bambi' tears... 'Old Yeller' tears... 'Fried Green Tomatoes' tears... rain... tears... sun... tears... I can’t find my keys... tears. Every mundane daily event, any bump in the sentimental road, became a cause to let it all hang out. It would’ve been funny except it wasn’t. Every meaningless thing became the subject of a world-shattering existential crisis filling me with an awful profound foreboding and sadness. All was lost. All... everything... the future was grim... and the only thing that would lift the burden was one-hundred-plus on two wheels or other distressing things. I would be reckless with myself. Extreme physical exertion was the order of the day and one of the few things that helped. I hit the weights harder than ever and paddleboarded the equivalent of the Atlantic, all for a few moments of respite. I would do anything to get Churchill’s black dog’s teeth out of my ass. Through much of this I wasn’t touring. I’d taken off the last year and a half of my youngest son’s high school years to stay close to family and home. It worked and we became closer than ever. But that meant my trustiest form of self-medication, touring, was not at hand. I remember one September day paddleboarding from Sea Bright to Long Branch and back in choppy Atlantic seas. I called Jon and said, “Mr. Landau, book me anywhere, please.” I then of course broke down in tears. Whaaaaaaaaaa. I’m surprised they didn’t hear me in lower Manhattan. A kindly elderly woman walking her dog along the beach on this beautiful fall day saw my distress and came up to see if there was anything she could do. Whaaaaaaaaaa. How kind. I offered her tickets to the show. I’d seen this symptom before in my father after he had a stroke. He’d often mist up. The old man was usually as cool as Robert Mitchum his whole life, so his crying was something I loved and welcomed. He’d cry when I’d arrive. He’d cry when I left. He’d cry when I mentioned our old dog. I thought, “Now it’s me.” I told my doc I could not live like this. I earned my living doing shows, giving interviews and being closely observed. And as soon as someone said “Clarence,” it was going to be all over. So, wisely, off to the psychopharmacologist he sent me. Patti and I walked in and met a vibrant, white-haired, welcoming but professional gentleman in his sixties or so. I sat down and of course, I broke into tears. I motioned to him with my hand; this is it. This is why I’m here. I can’t stop crying! He looked at me and said, “We can fix this.” Three days and a pill later the waterworks stopped, on a dime. Unbelievable. I returned to myself. I no longer needed to paddle, pump, play or challenge fate. I didn’t need to tour. I felt normal.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
I wonder how God is good, how it doesn’t do any good to run from Him because what He has is good and who He is, is good. Even if I want to run, it isn’t really what I want—what I want is Him, even if I don’t believe it. If He made all this existence, you would think He would know what He is doing, and you would think He could be trusted. Everything I want is just Him, to get lost in Him, to feel His love and more and more of this dazzling that He does. I wonder at His beautiful system and how it feels better than anything I could choose or invent for myself. I wonder as I gaze up at the night sky, this love letter from God to creation, this reminder that somewhere there is peace, somewhere there is order, and I think about how great His kingdom is, and is going to be, and I wonder, in this rare and beautiful moment, how I could ever want to walk away from it all.
Donald Miller
Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules, only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief. Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind's mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history's Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the 'natural' (oh, weaselly word!) order of things? Why? Because of this: -- one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction. Is this the entropy written in our nature? If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers [sic] races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Tortuous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword. A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living. Upon my return to San Francisco, I shall pledge myself to the Abolitionist cause, because I owe my life to a self-freed slave & because I must begin somewhere. I hear my father-in-law's response. 'Oho, fine, Whiggish sentiments, Adam. But don't tell me about justice! Ride to Tennessee on an ass & convince the red-necks that they are merely white-washed negroes & their negroes are black-washed Whites! Sail to the Old World, tell 'em their imperial slaves' rights are as inalienable as the Queen of Belgium's! Oh, you'll grow hoarse, poor & grey in caucuses! You'll be spat on, shot at, lynched, pacified with medals, spurned by backwoodsmen! Crucified! Naïve, dreaming Adam. He who would do battle with the many-headed hydra of human nature must pay a world of pain & his family must pay along with him! & only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!' Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
I did value Margaux, but only now did I understand something I had not before: Margaux was not like the stars in the sky. There was only one Margaux — not Margauxs scattered everywhere, all throughout the darkness. If there was only one of her, there was not going to be a second one. Yet in some strange way, somewhere inside me, I had always believed that if I lost Margaux, I could go out and find another Margaux. Now it seemed so horrible to me. And didn’t it explain everything? But I had never wanted to be one person, or even believed that I was one, so I had never considered the true singularity of anyone else. I said to myself, You are only given one. The one you are given is the one to put a fence around. Life is not a harvest. Just because you have an apple doesn’t mean you have an orchard. You have an apple. Put a fence around it. Once you have put a fence around everything you value, then you have the total circle of your heart.
Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?)
But before I got in the ring, I’d won it out here on the road. Some people think a Heavyweight Championship fight is decided during the fifteen rounds the two fighters face each other under hot blazing lights, in front of thousands of screaming witnesses, and part of it is. But a prizefight is like a war: the real part is won or lost somewhere far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out here on the road long before I dance under those lights. I’ve got another mile to go. My heart is about to break through my chest, sweat is pouring off me. I want to stop but I’ve marked this as the day to test myself, to find out what kind of shape I’m in, how much work I have to do. Whenever I feel I want to stop, I look around and I see George Foreman running, coming up next to me. And I run a little harder. I’ve got a half-mile more to go and each yard is draining me, I’m running on my reserve tank now, but I know each step I take after I’m exhausted builds up special stamina and it’s worth all the other running put together. I need something to push me on, to keep me from stopping, until I get to the farmer’s stable up ahead, five miles from where I started. George is helping me. I fix my mind on him and I see him right on my heels. I push harder, he’s catching up. It’s hard for me to get my breath, I feel like I’m going to faint. He’s starting to pull ahead of me. This is the spark I need. I keep pushing harder till I pull even with him. His sweat shirt’s soaking wet and I hear him breathing fast and hard. My heart is pounding like it’s going to explode, but I drive myself on. I glance over at him and he’s throwing himself in the wind, going all out. My legs are heavy and tight with pain but I manage to drive, drive, drive till I pass him, Till he slowly fades away. I’ve won, but I’m not in shape. I’ve still got a long way to go. I’m gasping for breath. My throat’s dry and I feel like I’m going to throw up. I want to fall on my face but I must stay up, keep walking, keep standing. I’m not there yet but I know I’m winning. I’m winning the fight on the road . . .
Muhammad Ali (The Greatest: My Own Story)
So, when I read of a recent study that found that children are significantly more inclined to eat “difficult” foods like liver, spinach, broccoli—and other such hard-to-sell “but-it’s-good-for-you” classics—when they are wrapped in comfortingly bright packages from McDonald’s, I was at first appalled, and then … inspired. Rather than trying to co-opt Ronald’s all-too-effective credibility among children to short-term positive ends, like getting my daughter to eat the occasional serving of spinach, I could reverse-engineer this! Use the strange and terrible powers of the Golden Arches for good—not evil! I plan to dip something decidedly unpleasant in an enticing chocolate coating and then wrap it carefully in McDonald’s wrapping paper. Nothing dangerous, mind you, but something that a two-and-a-half-year-old will find “yucky!”—even upsetting—in the extreme. Maybe a sponge soaked with vinegar. A tuft of hair. A Barbie head. I will then place it inside the familiar cardboard box and leave it—as if forgotten—somewhere for my daughter to find. I might even warn her, “If you see any of that nasty McDonald’s … make sure you don’t eat it!” I’ll say, before leaving her to it. “Daddy was stupid and got some chocolate … and now he’s lost it…” I might mutter audibly to myself before taking a long stroll to the laundry room. An early, traumatic, Ronald-related experience can only be good for her.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
There is no formula. Lisa began this quest with active imagination by having continuous dialogs with the witch and herself, as a young girl. She discovered that there is joy in finding what has been lost and in cultivating feelings and potentials that have laid fallow for a lifetime. As our final session was coming to a close, Lisa leaned forward and said to me, “Looking inward has helped me feel the presence of love in my life. That something has been interested in me all along, guiding my life, supporting it in some strange way—trying to become known by me. It’s somewhere within myself. It seems funny I had to seek it, while at the same time allow it to find me. It brings a sense of peace, or serenity, no matter what hardships I have to face.
Bud Harris (Becoming Whole: A Jungian Guide to Individuation)
Why, all our art treasures of to-day are only the dug-up commonplaces of three or four hundred years ago. I wonder if there is real intrinsic beauty in the old soup-plates, beer-mugs, and candle-snuffers that we prize so now, or if it is only the halo of age glowing around them that gives them their charms in our eyes. The “old blue” that we hang about our walls as ornaments were the common every-day household utensils of a few centuries ago; and the pink shepherds and the yellow shepherdesses that we hand round now for all our friends to gush over, and pretend they understand, were the unvalued mantel-ornaments that the mother of the eighteenth century would have given the baby to suck when he cried. Will it be the same in the future? Will the prized treasures of to-day always be the cheap trifles of the day before? Will rows of our willow-pattern dinner-plates be ranged above the chimneypieces of the great in the years 2000 and odd? Will the white cups with the gold rim and the beautiful gold flower inside (species unknown), that our Sarah Janes now break in sheer light-heartedness of spirit, be carefully mended, and stood upon a bracket, and dusted only by the lady of the house? That china dog that ornaments the bedroom of my furnished lodgings. It is a white dog. Its eyes blue. Its nose is a delicate red, with spots. Its head is painfully erect, its expression is amiability carried to verge of imbecility. I do not admire it myself. Considered as a work of art, I may say it irritates me. Thoughtless friends jeer at it, and even my landlady herself has no admiration for it, and excuses its presence by the circumstance that her aunt gave it to her. But in 200 years’ time it is more than probable that that dog will be dug up from somewhere or other, minus its legs, and with its tail broken, and will be sold for old china, and put in a glass cabinet. And people will pass it round, and admire it. They will be struck by the wonderful depth of the colour on the nose, and speculate as to how beautiful the bit of the tail that is lost no doubt was. We, in this age, do not see the beauty of that dog. We are too familiar with it. It is like the sunset and the stars: we are not awed by their loveliness because they are common to our eyes. So it is with that china dog. In 2288 people will gush over it. The making of such dogs will have become a lost art. Our descendants will wonder how we did it, and say how clever we were. We shall be referred to lovingly as “those grand old artists that flourished in the nineteenth century, and produced those china dogs.” The “sampler” that the eldest daughter did at school will be spoken of as “tapestry of the Victorian era,” and be almost priceless. The blue-and-white mugs of the present-day roadside inn will be hunted up, all cracked and chipped, and sold for their weight in gold, and rich people will use them for claret cups; and travellers from Japan will buy up all the “Presents from Ramsgate,” and “Souvenirs of Margate,” that may have escaped destruction, and take them back to Jedo as ancient English curios.
Jerome K. Jerome (Complete Works of Jerome K. Jerome)
As I turn into our road, I wonder what it is that I have lost. I know that I have lost myself, and I don't know where to look for here, the strong, funny, capable woman I used to be. The woman who knew what to do in a crisis. The woman who never failed. I think I must have left her by the roadside one nigh, concentrating so hard on running away that I stopped running after what I wanted, or to the people I love. I stop in front of windows of the corner shop and look at my reflection in the glass. I'm soaked through to the bone. My feet are shoeless and wet. I'm exhausted and pale. I'm a half person, living a half life, surrounded by death. I'm a ghost, a shadow. I hear the long sound coming before I realize that I am making it, low like a moan. It is grief, and it is mine. Slowly, it builds into one wrenching sob after another and I realize I am mourning, I am mourning for the life I once had. The exciting job that made a difference, that brought people back from the brink of death, the strong, handsome, brave husband who adored me. I am grieving for the girl who always knew what she wanted and knew how to be alive in this terrifying world. That girl is gone. She is lying in pieces somewhere and I miss her. I miss her and I want her back.
Rowan Coleman (We Are All Made of Stars)
Dear Hopeless Soul, Listening to my heartbeat was the only comfort I had. However, my heavy heart sinks from carrying what seems like everlasting pain. My heart is now ripped from my soul because I cannot feel the warm blood in my veins. I feel a cold front coming, and now my heart is frozen. I am cold—a cold-hearted soul. My heart no longer beats for borrowed peace because it is paralyzed from continually having to start over again. I have officially lost hope. What is hope? In my eyes, hope is a teaser. I had hoped that things will get better, but when? Hope is not for now—it is for the future. Therefore, I guess hope is saying that things will not be better today, but maybe years or decades from now. With that being said, hope is not faith. Hope is wishful thinking. Hope is always shattered by one disappointment after another. Right now, I am in my own shadow. It is dark and lonely. I am a nightwalker trying to find the light within me somewhere. I can’t find myself in my own shadow. Well, what do I expect? My heart is cold. Hope has played with my emotions one too many times, and the only thing I can count on as of right now is my shadow. I do not have anything in life. I am a soul that is trying to find my way. Where am I going? I do not know. Everything has been taken from me, but they cannot take my shadow, and they cannot own my name. Faded from within.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
For all the bachelors out there tonight, yeah for anybody who's never whistled this song. Maybe you whistled it but you lost the sheet music. Um...this is um...well actually I don't mind going to weddings or anything, as long as there not my own I show up. But I've always kinda been partial to calling myself up on the phone and asking myself out, you know? Oh yeah, you call yourself up too huh? Yeah, well one thing about it, your always around. Yeah I know, yeah you ask yourself out, you know, some class joint somewhere. The Buretto King or something, you know. Well I ain't cheap you know. Take yourself out for a couple of drinks maybe. Then there'd be some provocative conversation on the way home. Park in front of the house you know. Oh yeah, you smoothly put a little nice music on, maybe you put on like uh, you know, like shopping music, something thats not too interruptive you know and then uh slide over real nice and say 'Oh I think you have something in your eye'. Well maybe it's not that romantic with you but Christ I don't know, you know I get into it you know. Take myself up to the porch, take myself inside or maybe uh, or may get a little something, a brandy snifter or something. 'Would like you like to listen to some of my back records? I got something here' Uh Well usually about 2.30 in the morning you've ended up taking advantage of yourself. There ain't no way around that you know. Yeah, making a scene with a magazine, there ain't no way around. I'll confess you know, I'm no different you know. I'm not weird about it or anything, I don't tie myself up first. I just kinda spend a little time with myself
Tom Waits
I opened the door with a smile on my face that soon melted when I saw his messy appearance. The doorframe held him up as he leaned all of his weight against it. Expressionless, bloodshot eyes stared back at me as he lifted his hand and ran it roughly down his unshaved face. His hair was disheveled and there was blood on the front of his shirt. Panic rose up as I took him in. I rushed to him and ran my fingers down his body, as I checked for injuries. “You’re bleeding! Oh my God, Devin! What happened? Are you OK?” “It’s not my blood,” he slurred. I took a better look at his gorgeous face. His unfocused eyes attempted to meet mine and it was then that the smell of liquor reached me. “You’re drunk?” “Abso-fucking-lutely.” He attempted to move toward me and almost fell over. I wrapped my arms around him and helped him into my apartment. Once we made it to the couch I let him collapse onto the cushion before I went straight to work on his clothes. I removed his blood-stained shirt first and threw it to the side. Quickly checked him over again just to be sure that he wasn’t injured somewhere. His skin felt cold and clammy against my fingertips. His knuckles were busted open, so I went to the bathroom and got a wet towel and the first aid kit. I cleaned his fingers then wrapped them up. I felt fingers in my hair and looked up to see a very drunk Devin staring back at me. “You’re so fucking beautiful,” he whispered as his heavy head fell against the back of my couch again. Shaking my head, I dropped onto my knees on the floor and removed his boots. Once I was done getting Devin out of his shoes, I went to the hallway closet and pulled out a blanket for him. When I got back to the couch, he was standing there looking back at me in all his tattooed, muscled glory. He was still leaning a bit to the side when his eyes locked on mine. “Come here,” he rasped. He looked as if he was about to crumble and I couldn’t tell if it was the alcohol or if something was really breaking him down. “Are you OK, baby?” I asked. He closed his eyes and sighed. “I love it when you call me baby.” I went to him and he groaned as I softly ran my hands up his chest and put my arms around his neck. On my tiptoes, I softly kissed the line of his neck and his chin. “Tell me what happened, Devin.” When he finally opened his eyes, he looked at me differently. The calm and collected Devin was gone and an anxiety-ridden shell of a man stood before me. His shoulders felt tense beneath my fingers and his eyes held a crazed demeanor. “I need you, Lilly.” He captured my face softly in his hands as he slurred the words. “Please tell me what happened?” “Make it go away, baby,” he whispered as he leaned in and started to kiss me. I let him as I melted against his body. He collapsed against the couch once more, but this time he took me with him. Not once did he break our kiss, and soon, I felt his velvet tongue against mine. I kissed him back and let my fingers play in the hair at the back of his neck. He broke the kiss and started down the side of my neck. “I need you, Lilly,” he repeated against my skin. “I’m here.” I bit at my bottom lip to stop myself from moaning. “Please, just make it all go away,” he drunkenly begged. “I don’t know what’s going on, but tell me what to do to make it better. I want to make it better, Devin.” I stopped him and stared into his eyes as I waited for his response. “Don’t leave me,” he said desperately. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it better.” I wanted to cry. He looked so hurt and afraid. It was strange to see such a strong, confident man so lost and unsure. He flipped me onto my back on the couch and crawled on top of me. His movements were less calculated—slower than usual. “I want you. I need to be inside you,” he said aggressively.
Tabatha Vargo (On the Plus Side (Chubby Girl Chronicles, #1))
You’re not from around here–you CIA?” he demanded. “I’m not CIA,” I replied wearily. “Just here to see the Buddhas.” “What Buddhas?” “The Buddhas of Bamiyan?” I suggested, doing my best not to let my contempt of this bandit’s ignorance show. “Carved into the mountainside itself ?” “Hell yeah,” mused the man on the truck. “I’ve seen them. You’re right to go now–twenty years from now they won’t even be standing!” I stepped back, surprised, and had another look at this ragged, smelling, dust-covered man. He grinned, touched his hand to his forelock and said, “Well, nice to meet you, even if you aren’t CIA.” He hopped down from the truck and began to head away. I called out, surprised at myself for even doing it, “Tiananmen Square.” He stopped, then swung round on the spot, toe pointing up and ankle digging into the dirt as he did, like a dancer. Still grinning his easy grin, he swaggered back towards me, stopping so close I could feel the stickiness coming off his body. “Hell,” he said at last. “You don’t look much like a Chinese spy neither.” “You don’t look like an Afghan warlord,” I pointed out. “Well, that’s because I’m only passing through this place on the way to somewhere else.” “Anywhere in particular?” “Wherever there’s action. We’re men of war, see–that’s what we do and we do it well–and there’s no shame in that because it’ll happen without us anyway, but with us–” his grin widened “–maybe it’ll happen that little bit faster. But what’s a nice old gentleman like you doing talking about Chinese geography, hey?” “Nothing,” I replied with a shrug. “The word just popped into my head. Like Chernobyl–just words.” Fidel’s eyebrows flickered, though his grin remained fixed. Then he gave a great chuckle, slapped me so hard on the shoulder that I nearly lost my footing, stepped back a little to admire his handiwork, and finally roared out loud. “Jesus, Joseph and the Holy Mary,” he blurted. “Michael fucking Jackson to you too.
Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
And the ladies dressed in red for my pain and with my pain latched onto my breath, clinging like the fetuses of scorpions in the deepest crook of my neck, the mothers in red who sucked out the last bit of heat that my barely beating heart could give me — I always had to learn on my own the steps you take to drink and eat and breathe, I was never taught to cry and now will never learn to do this, least of all from the great ladies latched onto the lining of my breath with reddish spit and floating veils of blood, my blood, mine alone, which I drew myself and which they drink from now after murdering the king whose body is listing in the river and who moves his eyes and smiles, though he’s dead and when you’re dead, you’re dead, for all the smiling you do, and the great ladies, the tragic ladies in red have murdered the one who is floating down the river and I stay behind like a hostage in their eternal custody. I want to die to the letter of the law of the commonplace, where we are assured that dying is the same as dreaming. The light, the forbidden wine, the vertigo. Who is it you write for? The ruins of an abandoned temple. If only celebration were possible. A mournful vision, splintered, of a garden of broken statues. Numb time, time like a glove upon a drum. The three who compete in me remain on a shifting point and we neither are nor is. My eyes used to find rest in humiliated, forsaken things. Nowadays I see with them; I’ve seen and approved of nothing. Seated at the bottom of a lake. She has lost her shadow, but not the desire to be, to lose. She is alone with her images. Dressed in red, and unseeing. Who has reached this place that no one ever reaches? The lord of those dead who are dressed in red. The man who is masked in a faceless face. The one who came for her takes her without him. Dressed in black, and seeing. The one who didn’t know how to die of love and so couldn’t learn a thing. She is sad because she is not there. There are words with hands; barely written, they search my heart. There are words condemned like the lilac in a tempest. There are words resembling some among the dead, and from these I prefer the ones that evoke the doll of some unhappy girl. Ward 18 when I think of occupational therapy I think of poking out my eyes in a house in ruin then eating them while thinking of all my years of continuous writing, 15 or 20 hours writing without a break, whetted by the demon of analogies, trying to configure my terrible wandering verbal matter, because — oh dear old Sigmund Freud — psychoanalytic science forgot its key somewhere: to open it opens but how to close the wound? for other imponderables lovelier than the smile of the Virgin of the Rocks the shadows strike blows the black shadows of the dead nothing but blows and there were cries nothing but blows
Alejandra Pizarnik
I crossed the garden, staying near the hedgerow borders until the pathway debouched onto one of the lovely brick streets. A quick glance down the street revealed scarcely any traffic--but way up at the other end were two tall, armed individuals wearing blue and black-and-white livery. Which meant the Marquis was somewhere around. For a moment I indulged in a brief but satisfying daydream of scoring him off as I had off the Baron the night before. But amusing as the daydream was, I was not about to go searching him out. First of all, while I didn’t look like I had before, the dress wasn’t much of a disguise; and second…I frowned. Despite his reputation as a fop and a gamester, I wasn’t all that certain he would react as slowly as Debegri had. I retreated back to the garden to think out my next step. Mist was falling, boding ill weather for the remainder of the day. And my stomach felt as if it had been permanently pressed against the back of my spine. I pulled the laces of the bodice tighter, hoping that would help, then sat on a rock and propped my elbows on my knees. “Are you lost?” The voice, a quiet one, made me start violently. My shoulders came up defensively as I turned to face an elderly man. He was elegantly dressed, wearing a fine hat in the latest fashion, and carried no weapons. “Oh no. I was supposed to meet someone here, and…” I shrugged, thinking wildly. “A-a flirt,” I added, I don’t know why. “I guess he changed his mind.” I got to my feet again. The man smiled a little. “It happens more frequently than not when one is young, if you’ll forgive my saying so.” “Oh, I know.” I waved my hands as I backed up one step, then another. “They smile, and dance, and then go off with someone else. But I’ll just find someone better. So I’ll be on my way,” I babbled. He nodded politely, almost a bow, and I whirled around and scurried down the path. Even more intensely than before, I felt that crawling sensation down my spine, so I dropped off the path and circled back. I was slightly reassured when I saw the old man making his way slowly along the path as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened; but my relief was very short lived. As I watched, two equerries in Renselaeus livery strode along the path, overtook the man, and addressed him. I watched with my heart thumping like a drum as the man spoke at some length, brushed his fingers against his face--the scratches from the trees!--and then gestured in the direction I had gone. Expecting the two equerries to immediately take off after me, I braced for a run. Why had I babbled so much? I thought, annoyed with myself. Why didn’t I just say “No” and leave? But the equerries both turned and walked swiftly back in the direction they’d come, and the old man continued on his way. What does that mean? And the answer was not long in coming: They were going back to report. Which meant a whole lot of them searching. And soon.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Dear Mel: I trust this finds you recovered. Why did you have to run off like that? But I figured you were safe arrived at home, and well, or Khesot would’ve sent to me here--since you wouldn’t write. And how was I to pay for sending a letter to Remalna-city? I thought indignantly, then sighed. Of course, I had managed to find enough coin to write to Ara’s family, and to obtain through the father the name of a good bookseller. But the first was an obligation, I told myself. And as for the latter, it was merely the start of the education that Branaric had blabbed to the world that I lacked. I’m here at Athanarel, finding it to my taste. It helps that Galdran’s personal fortune has been turned over to us, as repayment for what happened to our family--you’ll find the Letter of Intent in with this letter, to be kept somewhere safe. Henceforth, you send your creditors for drafts on Arclor House… I looked up at the ceiling as the words slowly sank in. “Personal fortune”? How much was that? Whatever it was, it had to be a vast improvement over our present circumstances. I grinned, thinking how I had agonized over which book to choose from the bookseller’s list. Now I could order them all. I could even hire my own scribe… Shaking my head, I banished the dreams of avarice, and returned to the letter--not that much remained. …so, outfit yourself in whatever you want, appoint someone responsible as steward, and join me here at Athanarel as soon as you can. Everyone here wants to meet you. “Now, that’s a frightening thought,” I said grimly. And I think it’s time for you to make your peace with Vidanric. He ended with a scrawled signature. I lowered the letter slowly to the desk, not wanting to consider why I found that last suggestion even more frightening than the first. Behind Bran’s letter, bearing three official-looking seals, was the Letter of Intent. In very beautiful handwriting, it named in precise terms a sum even higher than I’d dared to let myself think of, the remainder after the taxes for the army had been subtracted. Wondering who was getting that sum, which was even greater, I scanned the rest, which outlined in flowery language pretty much what Branaric had said. It seemed we now had a business house handling our money; previously I’d gathered the scanty sums and redispersed them myself, in coin. I put that letter down, too. Suddenly the possibilities now available started multiplying in my mind. Not visiting Athanarel. I didn’t even consider that; I’d tried to win a crown, and lost. But supposedly all the wrongs I had fought for were being addressed, and so--I vowed--I was done with royal affairs. No, I told myself, my work now was Tlanth, and with this money, all my plans could be put into action. Rebuilding, new roads, booksellers…I looked around at the castle, no longer seeing the weather damage and neglect, but how it would look repaired and redecorated. “Oria!” I yelled, running downstairs. “Oria! Julen! Calaub! We’re rich!
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I don’t like stories. I like moments. I like night better than day, moon better than sun, and here-and-now better than any sometime-later. I also like birds, mushrooms, the blues, peacock feathers, black cats, blue-eyed people, heraldry, astrology, criminal stories with lots of blood, and ancient epic poems where human heads can hold conversations with former friends and generally have a great time for years after they’ve been cut off. I like good food and good drink, sitting in a hot bath and lounging in a snowbank, wearing everything I own at once, and having everything I need close at hand. I like speed and that special ache in the pit of the stomach when you accelerate to the point of no return. I like to frighten and to be frightened, to amuse and to confound. I like writing on the walls so that no one can guess who did it, and drawing so that no one can guess what it is. I like doing my writing using a ladder or not using it, with a spray can or squeezing the paint from a tube. I like painting with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. I like drawing the outline first and then filling it in completely, so that there’s no empty space left. I like letters as big as myself, but I like very small ones as well. I like directing those who read them here and there by means of arrows, to other places where I also wrote something, but I also like to leave false trails and false signs. I like to tell fortunes with runes, bones, beans, lentils, and I Ching. Hot climates I like in the books and movies; in real life, rain and wind. Generally rain is what I like most of all. Spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain. Any rain, anytime. I like rereading things I’ve read a hundred times over. I like the sound of the harmonica, provided I’m the one playing it. I like lots of pockets, and clothes so worn that they become a kind of second skin instead of something that can be taken off. I like guardian amulets, but specific ones, so that each is responsible for something separate, not the all-inclusive kind. I like drying nettles and garlic and then adding them to anything and everything. I like covering my fingers with rubber cement and then peeling it off in front of everybody. I like sunglasses. Masks, umbrellas, old carved furniture, copper basins, checkered tablecloths, walnut shells, walnuts themselves, wicker chairs, yellowed postcards, gramophones, beads, the faces on triceratopses, yellow dandelions that are orange in the middle, melting snowmen whose carrot noses have fallen off, secret passages, fire-evacuation-route placards; I like fretting when in line at the doctor’s office, and screaming all of a sudden so that everyone around feels bad, and putting my arm or leg on someone when asleep, and scratching mosquito bites, and predicting the weather, keeping small objects behind my ears, receiving letters, playing solitaire, smoking someone else’s cigarettes, and rummaging in old papers and photographs. I like finding something lost so long ago that I’ve forgotten why I needed it in the first place. I like being really loved and being everyone’s last hope, I like my own hands—they are beautiful, I like driving somewhere in the dark using a flashlight, and turning something into something completely different, gluing and attaching things to each other and then being amazed that it actually worked. I like preparing things both edible and not, mixing drinks, tastes, and scents, curing friends of the hiccups by scaring them. There’s an awful lot of stuff I like.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
I’m first up, love,” Arion says as he starts invading my space again. “I thought the only thing holding you back was your fear. Clearly the fear is absent if you’re willing to turn yourself over to the very darkest part of me. It’s amazing you’re in one piece, so clearly you played submissive very well, Violet. It’s because you were ready for me to save you and overcame your fear of me. Now we can be together.” When I say nothing and simply stare at him like he’s forever losing his mind more and more when we speak, he frowns like he’s genuinely perplexed. “Arion, no matter what you did, I couldn’t have endured another second of those cries. And you were at Abby’s mercy while in that state. You ripped my throat out and told me to put on some healing potion so you could sit down and watch the fight.” Apparently, I guess right, because his pupils widen marginally. “I held your hand when you finished,” he says like he’s defending himself. “So you could watch the fight.” “Vance was focused. It’s been ages since he focused. Thing of beauty while it happens,” he says as if that’s important information. I gesture between us. “That’s sort of the problem. I feel like the conduit for your feelings for them because you have heterosexual body parts with a homosexual mentality. I’m not sure I’m okay with simply being a conduit,” I carefully explain, causing his eyes to widen a little more, as several muffled sounds of amusement spring from somewhere else in the room. “I’m sorry, love, but you’ve really lost me,” Arion says very seriously, brow crinkling. “You want this to be a thing between you and me, even though Idun is returning, because you want them back. It looks like you’re getting that without me, so we can be friends,” I suggest, completely rambling. I don’t think I’m explaining this very well, since they’re all muffling laughter down the hall. Even Vance makes a choked sound of amusement. Or they’re just really immature about these things… That’s definitely possible. Arion scrubs a hand over his face, as someone struggles to cover a surprise laugh with a cough. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t be having this conversation right now. It’s inappropriate to do with an audience,” I babble. “But you’re really intense. And I’ve just survived an apocalyptic wolf storm with your mostly naked beta, whose threads are still in my bra because one set of clothes ended up being enough.” The look of frustrated confusion on his face doubles. “I could use a small break before we discuss curses, some really confusing relationship statuses, and the somewhat terrifying woman you’ve all loved rising very soon. And those wolves stole my oranges, so I need to go back and get all of them.” “I’ve already returned them to your cellar,” Emit says from somewhere behind Arion. “Then I need to go start using them while they’re useable,” I say as I quickly disentangle myself from Arion and attempt to escape. “I’ll return the shirt.” “Keep it,” he says quietly from behind me, as I finally take in the other three all standing somewhat close together, smirking at me. “I’ll drive you home,” Damien says with a slow grin. “I’m not talking to you, and if you’re a smart man, you’ll figure out why,” I state firmly. “Only when you figure it out will we discuss it.” “I’ll take you—” “I don’t want to talk to you right now, because I need to get my cool back,” I tell Emit, whose eyes immediately flick away, as his jaw tics. He’s had multiple opportunities to explain to me why he told Damien I was a monster, and yet didn’t even bother telling me what I was. All this time, I’ve been patiently waiting, refusing to get too angry. Now…I’m getting sort of freaking angry, because he still hasn’t said one word about it. “Guess that just leaves me,” Vance says as he puts his hand at the small of my back and starts guiding me out.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
flicker?" He points to the screen and pauses the vid. "That's when they switched the footage." I stare at the screen. "How do I know you're not the ones lying?" "You saw it yourself on the street," Meyer says. I glance up from the pad and lock eyes with Meyer. "What else are they lying about?" Jayson chuckles. "Well… that's going to take longer than we have." "Here's one," Meyer says. "Remember that last viral outbreak that killed a bunch of Level Ones?" "3005B?" My heart races. That's the virus that ultimately killed Ben thirteen years ago. "That's it. The one they use in all the broadcasts to remind citizens how important it is to get your MedVac updates? It wasn't an accident." We were always told a virus swept through Level One because they hadn't gotten their updated VacTech yet. Hundreds of people died in the day it took to get everyone up to date. "My brother died because of that." Everything I've found out over the last week suddenly grips me with fear. This can't be real. My breath shortens, and suddenly my head starts slowly spinning. Everything goes blurry. Then black. ~~~ "It's all right, kid," a distant voice, which must be Jayson's, echoes in the back of my mind. The room swirls around me. Their faces blur in and out of focus. "Meyer, get her." Blinking a couple of times, I try to sit up. I guess I fell. Meyer's warm hands rest on the back of my neck, my head in his lap. "Don't stand. You could pass out again," he says. He helps me sit up. "Are you okay?" "No, I'm not okay," I mumble. "This is too much." I feel like I should be crying, but I'm not. The reality is that the anger I feel is so much greater than any sadness. Neither Meyer nor Jayson speak, and let me mull over what I've just heard. "Why did they do that?" I eventually ask. "Two reasons, kid," Jayson says. "To cull the Level Ones, and to scare Elore into taking the VacTech. If viral outbreaks are still a threat, no one questions it, and continues believing inside the perimeter is the safest place for them." "I'm sorry about your brother," Meyer says as he stands, offering me his hand. His words are genuine, filled with the emotions of someone who has also experienced loss. "I hate to end this," Jayson interrupts, "but it's time to go." Meyer eyes Jayson, and then me. "I understand if you're not ready, but you need to choose soon. Within the next few days." I take his hand and pull myself to my feet. Words catch somewhere between my heart and throat. The old me wants to tell them to get lost and to never bother me again. It's so risky. Then again, I can't stand by while Manning and Direction kill people to keep us in the dark. Joining is the right thing to do. Feelings I've never experienced before well inside my chest, and I long to shout, When do we start? Instead, I stuff them down and stare at the ground. Subtle pressure squeezes my hand, bringing me back to the present. I never let go of Meyer's hand. How long have we been like that? He releases my hand as he mutters and steps back. The heat from his touch still flickers on my skin. You didn't have to go. I clear my throat and turn toward Meyer. Our eyes lock. "I've already decided," I tell him. "I'll do it. For Ben. Direction caused his death, and there's no way I'm standing by and letting them do this to more people." I barely recognize my own voice as I ask, "What do I do?" A slap hits my back and I choke. Jayson. "Atta girl. Meyer and I knew you had it in you." "Jayson, you have to give Avlyn some time." Meyer steps toward me and holds his handheld in the air toward Jayson. "I'll bring her up to speed." "Sure thing." Jayson throws his hands in the air and walks to the other side of the room. "Sorry," Meyer murmurs. "Jayson is pretty… overwhelming. At least until you know him. Even then…" "Oh, it's fine." A white lie. "He's a nice guy. Now, why don't you tell me the instructions
Jenetta Penner (Configured (Configured, #1))
This was who The Composer was: A person who did not understand America's basic facts, but wholly and completely understood its deepest feelings, its most powerful fears and desires. And I came to understand that I needed the same things, that the only way to surface from my own panic was to hope it was temporary. To hope that somewhere, in the future, was an older version of myself able to transform disasters into stories. I look at her now, my younger self. She is working so hard at so many things. She's playing the violin underwater and wondering why no one can hear her. She has no idea why she has disaster-brain, no idea why she has lost the ability to know the most basic things about her own body. Still, she teaches me something important: In the midst of panic, something compels her to take a look around, to take note of her surroundings, to remember what she sees.
Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir)
Here I stand, regretting our missed opportunity to walk. A year ago I would have happily run up in the hills, whether it rained or not. And I was thinking that I could go out, in spite of the weather, but I wouldn’t enjoy it like I used to.” She gestured in amicable agreement. “There’s no fault in misliking the feel of a water-soaked gown.” “That’s part of it,” I said, seizing on the image. “Last year I wore the same clothes year round. My only hat was a castoff that Julen found me somewhere. I loved the feel of rain against my face, and never minded being soaked. I never noticed it! Now I own carriage hats, and walking hats, and riding hats, and ball headdresses--and none of them except the riding hats can get wet, and even those get ruined in a good soak. My old hat never had any shape to begin with, or any color, so it was never ruined.” I turned to face the window again. “Sometimes I feel like I didn’t lose just my hat, I lost my self that horrible night when I walked into Bran’s trap.” Nee was silent. I ran my thumb around the gilt rim of the cup a couple of times, then I made myself face her. “You think I’m being foolish?” She put her palms together in Peaceful Discourse mode. “Yes I do,” she said, but her tone was not unkind. “One doesn’t lose a self, like a pair of gloves or a pin. We learn and change, or we harden into stone.” “Maybe I’ve changed too fast. Or haven’t changed enough,” I muttered. “Have you compromised yourself in any important way?” she asked. I opened my mouth to say Of course, when we were forced to give up our plans to defeat Galdran, but I knew it would be an untruth as soon as it left my lips. “I think,” I said slowly, “I lost my purpose that day. Life was so easy when all I lived for was the revolt, the accomplishment of which was to bring about all these wondrous miracles. Nothing turned out to be the way we so confidently expected it to. Nothing.” “So…” She paused to sip. “…if you hadn’t walked into that trap, what would be different?” “Besides the handsomeness of my foot?” I forced a grin as I kicked my slippered toes out from under my hem. No one could see my scarred foot, not with all the layers of fine clothing I now wore, but the scars were there. She smiled, but waited for me to answer her question. I said, “I suppose the outcome in the larger sense would have been the same. In the personal sense, though, I suspect I would have been spared a lot of humiliation.” “The humiliation of finding out that your political goals were skewed by misinformation?” “By ignorance. But that wasn’t nearly as humiliating as---” my encounters with a specific individual. But I just shook my head, and didn’t say it. “So you blame Vidanric,” she said neutrally. “Yes…no…I don’t know,” I said, trying not to sound cross. “I don’t.” I looked down, saw my hand fidgeting with the curtain and dropped it to my side.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I take one step and my heel catches on a cobble. I barely manage to stop myself before I face plant. Oh God. These shoes! What if it’s the shoes? That’s exactly what happened before. Maybe I could buy a new pair of shoes and wear them, and maybe that would fix everything. I turn around and look up and down the walk. It’s not like I’ll find a Prada shop. But they obviously make shoes somewhere, right? I stalk past several stores, peering in the windows. Someone makes shoes. They have to. “Rebecca?” Emily’s voice calls after me as I pass another shop. The shoes will fix everything. I’ll put on some of those weird slipper-style things and once I walk out of the shop, I’ll be back in London. The Prada heels are just cursed or something. I pass another store. This one has little teacups in the window. This is ridiculous. Don’t girls like shoes here? Oh. Wait. Even if I find a shoe store, how am I supposed to pay for the shoes? Maybe I don’t need the shoes, per se. Maybe I just need to take these stupid ones off. I unbuckle the straps over my foot, pick up the heel, and fling one shoe down the walkway. Liberated, I pull the other heel off and fling it down with its mate. Now what? Should I fall over? On purpose? That’s how it worked before. I had to knock my head on the sidewalk. I eye the big cobbles beneath my bare toes. They look so hard. What if I have a real concussion? Last year, Mike Lange, star quarterback, had to sit out two games because he had a concussion. We lost both games because of it, but supposedly if he got another one within a couple weeks of the first, his brain could swell and he’d get brain damage. Which doesn’t really sound that fun. Emily clears her throat. I chew on my lip and look down the walkway at my shoes. What am I, crazy? I just flung four-hundred-dollar pumps down the street.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
I knew the instant I saw you that you were not her.” “But you didn’t say anything!” He smirks. “To be honest, I was intrigued. I intended to question you in private, so as not to alarm my mother or Emily. But then I saw the change in my cousin. She had been quite despondent over her impending marriage--until your arrival. I admit I had no intention of interfering in her engagement, yet I could hardly take away what happiness you brought. Perhaps it was a way of alleviating my guilt for not helping her. And aside from that, you seemed to be doing no harm.” He grins at that last statement, as it’s obvious I was up to far more mischief than he realized. “You mean all this time I’ve been freaking out over you hating me and you knew?” He smiles sheepishly. It’s the closest thing to embarrassment I’ve ever seen on his face. “Yes.” I groan. “I guess I deserve that.” I turn back to the sky, and for the first time, an odd sense of peace washes over me. I want to stay here. I know now, without a shadow of a doubt, I want to stay here. Those mixed feelings have been replaced by something else: fear. Fear that it’s not really my choice to make. His thumb picks up its soft circling on my hand. “What will you do now?” “I don’t…I don’t know. I mean, I’m so lost I can’t find my way home. And maybe that sounds weird, but it’s true.” “You may stay here. As long as you need to.” I squeeze his hand. “Thank you. I’m not sure if I should, though. I belong somewhere else, and there may come a day when I need to go. When I…have to go. And I don’t want you to…I don’t want you to put anything on hold because of me.” I can’t believe I just said that. I can’t believe I implied he’d be so stuck on me that he wouldn’t pay attention to the other girls and his supposed duty to find a wife. A Duchess for Harksbury. “I would not wish you to leave if it is not your desire.” I nod and swallow the boulder-sized lump forming in my throat. I don’t know if he feels quite as strongly for me as I do for him, but he does care about me. And it feels good. “Thank you.” We turn back to the sky again, and I edge closer to him. I feel strange, dressed in my jeans and T-shirt, while he is still dressed as he always is. It makes it so painfully obvious that we’re from different worlds. Worlds that will never see one another. Worlds much too far apart. I turn toward him, so my cheek is resting on the cool grass. When he looks back at me, his eyes nearly blend with the blades until all I see is a sea of intense green. And then I do it. I edge closer to him, close my eyes, and kiss him. His lips are as soft and full as before, but I enjoy it this time, because my mind isn’t reeling like it was. I lose myself to the moment as he presses back against me. It is perfect. It is everything I want it to be and more. And then we both retreat, and I open my eyes. He moves his arm so that it wraps around my shoulders, and I have somewhere to rest my head, and then I snuggle up against him and close my eyes again, as the heavy draw of sleep lulls me under.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Now that I was surrounded by admiration, I could admit without uneasiness that talking to her incited ideas, pushed me to make connections between distant things. In those years of being neighbors, I on the floor above, she below, it often happened. A slight push was enough and the seemingly empty mind discovered that it was full and lively. I attributed to her a sort of farsightedness, as I had all our lives, and I found nothing wrong with it. I said to myself that to be adult was to recognize that I needed her impulses. If once I had hidden, even from myself, that spark she induced in me, now I was proud of it, I had even written about it somewhere. I was I and for that very reason I could make space for her in me and give her an enduring form. She instead didn’t want to be her, so she couldn’t do the same. <...> that was the underlying cause of the illness that she called “dissolving boundaries.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels #4))
Ash, you’ve been nothing but perfect since you decided to grow up. Sure, you used to help me put frogs in people’s mailboxes, but that girl’s gone. You wanted to be perfect, and you achieved it.” She laughed and sat back up. I chanced a glance over at her. The dimple was there tucked into her cheek as she gazed down at the water. “If you only knew,” was all she said. “Tell me.” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “Why?” Because I want you. Just you. The girl I know is in there hiding from the world. I want my Ash back. I couldn’t say it like that. She’d see too much. I had to protect myself. “Because I’d like to know you aren’t so perfect. I’d like to know the girl who I once knew was still in there somewhere.” She laughed again and pulled her legs up to rest her chin on them. “There’s no way I’m admitting all my faults to you. Considering most of them are just in my thoughts and I’ve never acted on them.” What I would give to know what bad thoughts Ashton kept locked away. I doubted they were anything as bad as I wanted them to be. But hell, just a little bit of naughty would drive me crazy. “I’m not asking for your deep dark secrets, Ash. I just want to know what you could possibly do wrong that makes you feel that Sawyer’s got to keep you in line.” Her cheeks turned pink, but she kept her eyes straight ahead. She wasn’t going to tell me. I hadn’t really expected her to. Ashton had been hiding inside herself for years now. It still hurt so fucking bad when I thought of the girl I’d lost. The one she wouldn’t let me see anymore. After a few minutes of silence, I stood up and stretched. I couldn’t do this. I built a wall three years ago to keep from getting hurt. Only Ashton held the power to hurt me. I couldn’t let her do it again. “That’s fine,” I said. “I don’t really need you to tell me how you don’t always remember to take the buggy back to the return place in the parking lot or you don’t make it to the nursing home every week.” I started to walk away, angry at myself for sounding like a jerk but needing to get the hell away from her. This had been a mistake. A big-ass mistake that I was going to pay for. “Those are things Sawyer has to help me remember…But I wasn’t exactly referring to them.” She said it so softly I almost didn’t hear her. I should keep walking. I needed to stop this. But I never did the right thing.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
ROZ: My sister and I became guarded with each other in the weeks and months after our mother died. I don’t think either of us had a handle on what it was about, but I, in my characteristic way, was eager to roll up my sleeves and iron out some issues with her. She, less given to argument, preferred to keep her distance. Many is the time I drove through the streets of Boston presenting my case in the most cogent terms to a full courtroom just beyond the dashboard, while she was safely closeted a state away. My birthday came and went and still we had not managed to get together; of course I felt all the more put upon. Finally I had the grace to ask myself, “What’s happening here?” and I caught a glimpse of the in-between. All the energy I had been expending to shape a persuasive argument was actually propelling us apart. And I missed her—acutely. I thought that if I could just see her we surely could find some solutions. So I called her, and invited myself to her house for breakfast, and got up in the dark and was down in Connecticut by seven. There in the kitchen in her nightgown I found her, looking like my favorite sister in all the world. We talked gaily while we drank black Italian coffee, and then we took a long morning walk down the leafy dirt roads of Ashford, Connecticut, while her chocolate Lab, Chloe, ran ahead and came back, ran ahead and came back, in long arcs of perpetual motion. What did we talk about? The architecture, and the countryside, and the cats that Chloe was eager to visit at the farm ahead. We revisited scenes featuring our hilarious mother. We talked about my work, and about a paper she was about to present. My “case” never came up; it must have gotten lost somewhere along that wooded road because by the time I got in the car—my courtroom, my favorable jury—it was no longer on the docket. Did we resolve the issues? Obviously not, but the issues themselves are rarely what they seem, no matter what pains are taken to verify the scoreboard. We walked together, moved our arms, became joyous in the sunlight, and breathed in the morning. At that moment there were no barriers between us. And from that place, I felt our differences could easily be spoken. My disagreements with my sister were but blips on our screen compared to the hostilities individuals and nations are capable of when anger, fear, and the sense of injustice are allowed to develop unchecked. “Putting things aside” then becomes quite a different matter. At the apex of desperation and rage, we need a new invention to see us through.
Rosamund Stone Zander (The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life)
somewhere along the way i lost the essence of who i was while trying to be everything you wanted me to be i think we do that sometimes and maybe I've done that too much losing myself for a love that never existed
R H Sin (Rest in the Mourning)
And for the four remaining days - the ninety-six remaining hours - we mapped out a future away from everything we knew. When the walls of the map were breached, we gave one another courage to build them again. And we imagined our home an old stone barn filled with junk and wine and paintings, surrounded by fields of wildflowers and bees. I remember our final day in the villa. We were supposed to be going that evening, taking the sleeper back to England. I was on edge, a mix of nerves and excitement, looking out to see if he made the slightest move toward leaving, but he didn’t. Toiletries remained on the bathroom shelves, clothes stayed scattered across the floor. We went to the beach as usual, lay side by side in our usual spot. The heat was intense and we said little, certainly nothing of our plans to move up to Provence, to the lavender and light. To the fields of sunflowers. I looked at my watch. We were almost there. It was happening. I kept saying to myself, he’s going to do it. I left him on the bed dozing, and went out to the shop to get water and peaches. I walked the streets as if they were my new home. Bonjour to everyone, me walking barefoot, oh so confident, free. And I imagined how we’d go out later to eat, and we’d celebrate at our bar. And I’d phone Mabel and Mabel would say, I understand. I raced back to the villa, ran up the stairs and died. Our rucksacks were open on the bed, our shoes already packed away inside. I watched him from the door. He was silent, his eyes red. He folded his clothes meticulously, dirty washing in separate bags. I wanted to howl. I wanted to put my arms around him, hold him there until the train had left the station. I’ve got peaches and water for the journey, I said. Thank you, he said. You think of everything. Because I love you, I said. He didn’t look at me. The change was happening too quickly. Is there a taxi coming? My voice was weak, breaking. Madame Cournier’s taking us. I went to open the window, the scent of tuberose strong. I lit a cigarette and looked at the sky. An airplane cast out a vivid orange wake that ripped across the violet wash. And I remember thinking, how cruel it was that our plans were out there somewhere. Another version of our future, out there somewhere, in perpetual orbit. The bottle of pastis? he said. I smiled at him. You take it, I said. We lay in our bunks as the sleeper rattled north and retraced the journey of ten days before. The cabin was dark, an occasional light from the corridor bled under the door. The room was hot and airless, smelled of sweat. In the darkness, he dropped his hand down to me and waited. I couldn’t help myself, I reached up and held it. Noticed my fingertips were numb. We’ll be OK, I remember thinking. Whatever we are, we’ll be OK. We didn’t see each other for a while back in Oxford. We both suffered, I know we did, but differently. And sometimes, when the day loomed gray, I’d sit at my desk and remember the heat of that summer. I’d remember the smells of tuberose that were carried by the wind, and the smell of octopus cooking on the stinking griddles. I’d remember the sound of our laughter and the sound of a doughnut seller, and I’d remember the red canvas shoes I lost in the sea, and the taste of pastis and the taste of his skin, and a sky so blue it would defy anything else to be blue again. And I’d remember my love for a man that almost made everything possible./
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
Wild Oats" Watching the first sunlight touch the tops of the palms what could I ask All the beads have gone from the old string and the string does not miss them The daughters of memory never pronounce their own names In the language of heaven the angel said go make your own garden I dream I am here in the morning and the dream is its own time Looking into the old well I see my own face then another behind it There I am morning clouds in the east wind No one is in the garden the autumn daisies have the day to themselves All night in the dark valley the sound of rain arriving from another time September when the wind drops and to us it seems that the days are waiting I needed my mistakes in their own order to get me here Here is the full moon brining us silence I call that singing bird my friend though I know nothing else about him and he does not know I exist What is it that I keep forgetting now I have lost it again right here I have to keep telling myself why I am going away again I do not seem to listen In my youth I believed in somewhere else I put faith in travel now I am becoming my own tree
W.S. Merwin (The Moon Before Morning)
Though I don't know this today, I am making a choice. I am choosing not to choose. My mind has gone numb precisely so that I won't understand that somewhere buried deep in this mess there's a right and a wrong. Someone is the villain here. I just have no idea who it is, and I don't want to know - because knowing will mean I will have to choose my mother over my sister, or my sister over my mother. I've already lost so much I can't bring myself to lose any more. For the rest of my life, I will become stupid around this subject. I will shrug my shoulders when people ask me why my sister and mother don't speak. "My sister contested my father's will", I will say, as if this is the end of the story - or the beginning.
Dani Shapiro (Slow Motion)
I had erected someone outside myself who was the President’s wife. I was lost somewhere deep down inside myself. That is the way I felt and worked until I left the White House.” It was “the President’s wife” who took charge of White House cuisine, and “the President’s wife” who allowed Mrs. Nesbitt to strip the food of character and pound it into submission. But it was Eleanor, away from FDR and ensconced with the people she cherished, who discovered the delights of appetite; and it was Eleanor, “deep down inside myself,” who learned what food could mean when love did the cooking.
Laura Shapiro (What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories)
I turned back to my work and lifted the lid of the last crate. I sat down. Hard. And stared. It was filled with paper. Ink. Blank journals. In one wonderful, horrible moment I knew that I was lost. Keir, Warlord, had taken me, claimed me, made me his warprize. But somewhere, somehow, he had managed to find a way into my heart as well. How had this happened? I’d given myself to a barbarian, a ravaging, crazed warlord, expecting little more than abuse and dishonor at his hands. But this man had offered nothing but kindness and respect to me, his property. I knew this gift was by his hand, I’d not spoken to Sal about paper or ink, and she’d not understand its importance. Could he care so much that he paid attention to this tiny detail? Did he want me to be happy?
Elizabeth Vaughan (Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands, #1))
I remembered that once, as a child, I was filled with wonder, that I had marveled at tri-folded science projects, encyclopedias, and road atlases. I left much of that wonder somewhere back in Baltimore. Now I had the privilege of welcoming it back like a long-lost friend, though our reunion was laced with grief; I mourned over all the years that were lost. The mourning continues. Even today, from time to time, I find myself on beaches watching six-year-olds learn to surf, or at colleges listening to sophomores slip from English to Italian, or at cafés seeing young poets flip through “The Waste Land,” or listening to the radio where economists explain economic things that I could’ve explored in my lost years, mourning, hoping that I and all my wonder, my long-lost friend, have not yet run out of time, though I know that we all run out of time, and some of us run out of it faster.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
I wasn’t, apparently, responding to any of my lieutenants, or even Commander Tiaund, but when Lieutenant Dariet cried, “Ship! Have you lost your mind?” I answered. “The Lord of the Radch shot Lieutenant Awn!” cried a segment somewhere in the corridor behind me. “She’s been on Var deck all this time.” That silenced my officers—including Lieutenant Dariet—for only a second. “If that’s even true… but if it is, the Lord of the Radch wouldn’t have shot her for no reason.” Behind me the segments of myself that hadn’t yet begun their climb down the lift shaft hissed and gasped in frustration and anger. “Useless!” I heard myself say to Lieutenant Dariet as at the end of the corridor I manually opened the hold door. “You’re as bad as Lieutenant Issaaia! At least Lieutenant Awn knew she held her in contempt!” An indignant cry, surely Lieutenant Issaaia, and Dariet said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not functioning right, Ship!
Ann Leckie (Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1))
She leaned up and kissed me. Her mouth tasted like lipstick, blood, and gunpowder. It was also the softest thing that I’d ever felt, and in spite of the pain I felt my mouth opening so that my tongue could flick out to taste hers. The heat came off her face like a furnace. Our tongues moved around each other’s, swirling and dueling. Finally she broke the kiss. It was like surfacing after a long, intoxicating dive through a sea of Red Bull. “What was that for?”I managed. “I am beginning to like you, Perry.”I shivered out a breath. “You’ve got a kooky way of showing it.”“Have you ever felt more alive?”“Once or twice, yes.”Gobi was still looking at me, lips half parted, eyes searching the depths of whatever was inside me. She looked lost and young and totally uncontrolled, a reflection of how I felt now, in a place that I’d never been before, somewhere that nobody would ever think to look for me. I had the sudden, ridiculous, absolutely compelling vision of chucking everything—school, music, my family and friends—and running away with her, away from the rest of the world. I figured we’d last about a week. “Are you all right?”she asked. “My head hurts.”“Is the lipstick,”she smiled. “There is a mind-control drug in it. You are now completely under my power ... By dawn you will be mine.”“Just promise me you won’t hurt my family.”She went serious. “Families get hurt, Perry. There are no guarantees this side of the grave.”“You’re a real bitch, you know that?”“I never denied it.”I swung at her. She caught my fist. “Too slow.”I let myself tilt forward just enough for our foreheads to touch, then reached for her neck and put my fingers on the scar, tracing the thin curve of raised tissue. “What happened there?”Her gaze shifted away. “A painful memory.”“Like what, getting your throat cut and coming back from the grave?”Gobi straightened up. The mood didn’t just break—it shattered into a million sharp and spiky pieces that lay all over the sidewalk like dragon’s teeth. Then she shuddered and fell still. “Gobi?”She leaned forward again, and I caught her. For a moment we just stood there together in front of the dive bar, and when I felt her legs starting to give way, I lowered her back down the front steps.
Joe Schreiber (Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1))
We lay contentedly together, occasionally kissing, my fingers twined in his hair. I loved the feel of it, its texture, its color, and I brushed it back along the nape of his neck. “You’re tickling me,” he said with a smile. “Are you trying to keep me awake?” “No.” I laughed, pushing up on my elbow to look down at him. “It’s just--” I stopped, staring at the birthmark on his neck, the mark of the Bleeding Moon, as it had been called in the legend, and my hand began to shake. “What is it, Alera?” he asked, alarmed. “Nothing. It’s just…” I struggled to form a cohesive thought, for in all my dreams of a life with him, of having children with him, this question had never before occurred to me. “Just what?” He sat up, placing a hand on his neck where I had been playing with his hair. “When we have a child, what will happen? I mean, the High Priestess told me, when she was our prisoner in the cave, that the powers of the Empress of Cokyri were supposed to pass to her firstborn daughter upon the child’s birth, but that they were split between her and her brother when she was born a twin. The possibility of the powers reuniting and passing into the High Priestess’s firstborn daughter gave us our negotiating leverage with the Overlord.” “Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?” “Well, you have powers, too. I’m wondering…” A shadow fell over his face. “You’re wondering if my powers are unique to me. Or might a child of ours inherit them.” “Yes, or if…” I took a deep breath. “Could they pass from your body and into the child upon birth, like the magic of the Empress of Cokyri?” From the expression on Narian’s face, it was plain this was the first time he had ever considered the question. “I don’t know, Alera. The source of my power derives from an ancient legend and the circumstances surrounding my birth.” He touched my face, then added, “Perhaps it’s time we took another look at the origin of the legend--and we should find out if anything else was ever written about the powers I was destined to have.” I sighed. “I wish London were here. He uncovered the scrolls that foretold your birth, hidden somewhere in Cokyri. He would know what else was written.” Narian nodded, but said nothing more, and I tried to imagine what he must be feeling. Were his powers a blessing or a curse? Would he want them to pass to a child of his? And if a child held them, what manner of life would he or she lead? Then I asked myself the same questions, and an overriding answer became startlingly clear. “It would be good to know, Narian. But it doesn’t matter. I want children with you, and I do not fear the powers you hold, nor would I fear them in the hands of our own child.” He nodded, then settled on his back. I snuggled against him, lost in thought. At some point, I would fall asleep; it did not appear that he intended to do the same.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
It's like a maze. Moment I start thinking I'm getting somewhere, I turn a corner and come up against a dead end. Or find myself back where I started.
Robert Galbraith (Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5))
I'd promised myself I wouldn't cry. I wanted to deliver the only gift I had to offer in the memory of Cora Frost. But as I started blowing the first notes of "Shenandoah," the tears began to run. I played on anyway, and Miss Stratton followed, and the music itself seemed to weep and not just for what we'd lost that week. It was for the families and the childhoods and the dreams that were, even for those of us so young, already gone forever. But as I continued, I went to that place only music could take me, and although Cora Frost was dead and about to be buried along with my fleeting hope of a better life, I imagined she was listening somewhere, with her husband by her side, and they were both smiling down on me and Emmy and Albert and Mose and all the others whose lives, at least for a while, had been better because of them. And in the end, that's where my tears were coming from." p. 63
William Kent Krueger (This Tender Land)
felt older. I felt that I had seen ages of the world come and go. Now, finally, I really had lost all desire for change, every last twinge of the notion that I ought to get somewhere or make something of myself. I was what I was. “I will stand like a tree,” I thought, “and be in myself as I am.” And the things of Port William seemed to stand around me, in themselves as they were.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
I’m starting new day again. I’m not ashamed about knowing my failure or inabilities; I was ashamed of the feelings of love & how I felt it? How I became so insane for somebody to whom I not even know very much. I was upset on my mind that how can think of somebody who is already settled very well in life. I wanted to destroy that feeling; I was struggling to forget you; I was upset on my mind; my childish behavior was because of immaturity of this feelings; I was hated by me because from where this dangerous power come into me? & how can I tackle it? I broke myself in you to finish it all, to give full stop to all feelings, to end up this idiotic, so called love, I hated that love for you, that’s why I tried to end up with you. My fear was my love for you. My insecurity, depression, anxiety, dullness was all your love; because this is the only thing which I experienced first time; that was unseen, untold, but miracle. Miracle of eyes. Whenever you were there around me; I started to feel like safe, guided. You are peace, cold, stability, love, feeling, dream & everything in my life. I’ll be always keep respect of this beautiful feeling of love. In your language, being in love. Never pull out me from your heart, that is the safest place for me on this Earth, in this life. I was doing my work but UN-necessary I was finding you to be nearer to me; but I got your definition. I’m not 100% agreeing to your all thought but I can assure you that what you wanting to find in me, I’ll be like that, I also wanting to be Queen of my mind, my heart, my brain. But you know? You are different. I was absolutely right, you are the best actor, yes you’re. You are very clear on your thoughts but you are deep & complex in inside. No one can understand you better than me, I can bet it. Don’t worry about my thought process, I’m still positive. You don’t know about my journey but you know about my mind & you are the only person who know how to maintain it, how to repair it. FEEL THE FEELING formula connects the souls; but you know what; we are one by soul, we will be. The pain is of practicality, reality. THEN I HAD NOT GIVEN YOU CHANCE & NOW YOU HAVE REFUSED TO GIVE ME CHANCE; THIS IS THE PAIN; REST ALL THINGS ARE AS IT IS. I’m fine, I’ll be fine. I love my work, that’s why I’m here, I want to complete my dream, that’s why I’m here, I want to drink this never ending thirst of learning, that’s why I’m here. I never gave up; but somewhere lost for your love not attention. I was checking the phone not to seek your attention but I can meet you for a while & say you that I need you, please give me one chance, I’ll never leave you, I can do every possible attempt to help you in your growth, to be a small part of your life which can be an important only for you, I was waiting for that moment when you say “please come back, this work need a leader like you”, that was a only hope, that was the only pain but I forgot that whole world is in front of you; you can pick anyone & give them a chance, maybe some last moments of hope are last forever. I wanted here those few words which you have confessed. I knew your hidden words because I know you; but I wanted to breakout your silence & you broke it; that’s what I needed. My love was not gone in vain & we both won.