Soon To Be Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Soon To Be. Here they are! All 100 of them:

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you’d get dressed up in a nurse’s outfit and give me a sponge bath?" asked Jace. "It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath." "As soon as I’m back on my feet, handsome," said Simon. "I knew we should have left you a rat.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
Philip K. Dick (I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon)
How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss
please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough. And i will always believe the same about you.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
When you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
William Saroyan
We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.
Philip Pullman
There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.
Eckhart Tolle
I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
As soon as one promises not to do something, it becomes the one thing above all others that one most wishes to do.
Georgette Heyer (Venetia)
You forgot another lesson: Never turn your back until you know your enemy is dead. Looks like we’ll have to go over the lesson again the next time I see you—which will be soon. Love, D.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
John Steinbeck
And that's when I know it's over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end.
Junot Díaz (This Is How You Lose Her)
THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. We are here to help you. 2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings. 3. The dress code will be enforced. 4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds. 5. Our football team will win the championship this year. 6. We expect more of you here. 7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen. 8. Your schedule was created with you in mind. 9. Your locker combination is private. 10. These will be the years you look back on fondly. TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. You will use algebra in your adult lives. 2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away. 3. Students must stay on campus during lunch. 4. The new text books will arrive any day now. 5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores. 6. We are enforcing the dress code. 7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon. 8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals. 9. There is nothing wrong with summer school. 10. We want to hear what you have to say.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss
You know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon...everything's different.
Bill Watterson
Pretty soon the only people left without a girlfriend will be me and Wendell the school janitor, and he smells like windex." "At least you know he's still available.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.
Friedrich Nietzsche
You're not going," he said as soon as she'd finished. "If I have to tie you up and sit on you until this insane whim of yours passes, you are not going to Idris." - Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
I keep thinking about blood, I dream about it. Wake up thinking about it. Pretty soon I'll be writing morbid emo poetry about it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
As soon as I take down her book and open it...My skies rise higher and hang younger stars.
Eavan Boland
I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.
Albert Einstein
I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.
William Faulkner
As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
I look up to say something but he puts his finger to my lips and whispers, “Don’t talk. You’ll just spoil my fantasy of rescuing an innocent damsel in distress as soon as you open your mouth.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
I love you" I say. "I love you, too" he says. "I'll see you soon.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W. I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.
Fulton J. Sheen (Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary)
As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.
Andy Warhol
He f**ks even better than he looks”, I settled on saying. Several heads turned. I didn’t care; I was pissed. “And that beautiful face is going to be clamped between my legs as soon as we get home, don’t you worry.
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you're going to get stuck trying to walk between two tress. And then, I'll have to rescue you." I give him a weary look. "Again.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
It comes so soon, the moment when there is nothing left to wait for.
Marcel Proust
Soon, the whole world would be searching for her--Linh Cinder. A deformed cyborg with a missing foot. A Lunar with a stolen identity. A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go. But they will be looking for a ghost.
Marissa Meyer (Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1))
I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.
Woody Allen
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Poems and Translations)
Desiring another person is perhaps the most risky endeavor of all. As soon as you want somebody—really want him—it is as though you have taken a surgical needle and sutured your happiness to the skin of that person, so that any separation will now cause a lacerating injury.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Alec," Magnus said. He put a hand on his boyfriend’s shoulder; Alec was standing still, staring angrily at the floor. "Are you okay?" Alec looked at him. "Who are you again?" Magnus gave a little gasp; he looked — for the first time Simon could remember — actually unnerved. It lasted only a moment, but it was there. "Alexander," he said. "Too soon to joke about the happy memory thing, I take it," Alec said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Your fate awaits you. Accept it in body and spirit. To get used to the life you'll most likely be leading soon, get rid of your low-class trappings.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
Augustus, perhaps you’d like to share your fears with the group.” “My fears?” “Yes.” “I fear oblivion,” he said without a moment’s pause. “I fear it like the proverbial blind man who’s afraid of the dark.” “Too soon,” Isaac said, cracking a smile. “Was that insensitive?” Augustus asked. “I can be pretty blind to other people’s feelings.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Yes, my great villan, my darling god. I will be as sober as a stone carving, just as soon as I can
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music.... And people flock around the poet and say: 'Sing again soon' - that is, 'May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either - Or)
The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?" His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together." "Then why did you lie to me?" We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help. "Why did you lie?" I murmured again. Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer. "Because we can't be together." "Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?" His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her." I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out. "No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
A torn jacket is soon mended, but hard words bruise the heart of a child.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Breckin, this is Holder. Holder is not my boyfriend, but if I catch him trying to break the record for best first kiss with another girl, then he'll soon be my not breathing non-boyfriend.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die.
Charles Bukowski
Toni's Talk: When you invest in yourself, you have instant credibility with your biggest critic...you! As soon as you let doubt creep in---you lose that investment. Make a daily commitment to assess your worth with positive affirmations and watch your investment grow.
C. Toni Graham
He soon felt that the fulfillment of his desires gave him only one grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. This fulfillment showed him the eternal error men make in imagining that their happiness depends on the realization of their desires.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Okay, okay.” I set my hand on top of his and guide it to my chest, so it’s right over my heart. “Feel my heartbeat. Can you feel it?” “Yes.” “Feel how steady it is?” “It’s fast.” “Yes, well, that has nothing to do with the box.” I wince as soon as I’m done speaking. I just admitted to something. Hopefully he doesn’t realize that.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak... surrender to them. Don't ask first whether it's permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.
Hermann Hesse (Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're "not at all like yourself but will be soon," but you know you won't.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
I’m not sure. But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There’s a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we’d never say in the light.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I am the most tired woman in the world. I am tired when I get up. Life requires an effort I cannot make. Please give me that heavy book. I need to put something heavy like that on top of my head. I have to place my feet under the pillows always, so as to be able to stay on earth. Otherwise I feel myself going away, going away at a tremendous speed, on account of my lightness. I know that I am dead. As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me. Don't say anything, because I see that you understand me, and I am afraid of your understanding. I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe. I am in great terror of your understanding by which you penetrate into my world; and then I stand revealed and I have to share my kingdom with you.
Anaïs Nin
We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.
Madeleine L'Engle
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
So long as you don't bleed in the shape of wing joints, you should pass for human. Oh, and don't let anyone pick you up. They'll know you're not right as soon as they feel how light you are." "I'll be sure not to let anyone but you carry me in her arms.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally)
Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long, Some sell and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die.
Oscar Wilde (Selected Poems of Oscar Wilde including the Ballad of Reading Gaol)
Hey!" said the guy in the video. "Greetings from your friends at Camp Half-Blood, et cetera. This is Leo. I'm the..." He looked off screen and yelled: "What's my title? Am I like admiral, or captain, or-" A girl's voice yelled back, "Repair boy." "Very funny, Piper," Leo grumbled. He turned back to the parchment screen. "So yeah, I'm...ah..supreme commander of the Argo II. Yeah, I like that! Anyway, we're gonna be sailing towards you in about, I dunno, an hour in this big mother warship. We'd appreciate it if you'd not, like, blow us out of the sky or anything. So okay! If you could tell the Romans that. See you soon. Yours in demigodishness, and all that. Peace out!
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.
Zhuangzi (The Butterfly as Companion: Meditations on the First Three Chapters of the Chuang Tzu (SUNY series in Religion and Philosophy) (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition))
He hung up on me. I stared at the phone in disbelief, then ripped a clean sheet of paper from my notebook. I scribbled Jerk on the first line. One the line beneath it, I added, Smokes cigars. Will die of lung cancer. Hopefully soon. Excellent physical shape. I immediately scribbled over the last observation until it was illegible.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Do you remember,” he said, “when we first met and I told you I was ninety percent sure putting a rune on you wouldn’t kill you—and you slapped me in the face and told me it was for the other ten percent?” Clary nodded. “I always figured a demon would kill me,” he said. “A rogue Downworlder. A battle. But I realized then that I just might die if I didn’t get to kiss you, and soon.” Clary licked her dry lips. “Well, you did,” she said. “Kiss me, I mean.” He reached up and took a curl of her hair between his fingers. He was close enough that she could feel the warmth of his body, smell his soap and skin and hair. “Not enough,” he said, letting her hair slip through his fingers. “If I kiss you all day every day for the rest of my life, it won’t be enough.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Steve Jobs
All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore — For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore — Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door — Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; — This it is, and nothing more." Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; — Darkness there, and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" — Merely this, and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore — Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; — 'Tis the wind and nothing more." Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door — Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door — Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore — Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door — Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
I was suffering the easily foreseeable consequences. Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is witheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore-- despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have 'that thing' even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you're someone he's never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is,you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You're a pathetic mess,unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that's it. You have now reached infatuation's final destination-- the complete and merciless devaluation of self." - pg 20-21
Elizabeth Gilbert
I think you smoke them so you have something to do while thinking up your next witty line." He choked on the smoke, caught between inhaling and laughing. "Rose Hathaway, I can't wait to see you again. If you're this charming while tired and annoyed and this gorgeous while bruised and in ski clothes, you must be devastating at your peak." "If by 'devastating' you mean that you should fear for your life, then yeah. You're right." I jerked open the door. "Good night, Adrian." "I'll see you soon." "Not likely. I told you, I'm not into older guys." I walked into the lodge. As the door closed, I just barely heard him call behind me, "Sure, you aren't.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he’s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand. —should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden. I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact. I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you. I want you under me. On your back. I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough. I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you— And there it stopped.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” “But what if he is your friend?” Achilles had asked him, feet kicked up on the wall of the rose-quartz cave. “Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” “You ask a question that philosophers argue over,” Chiron had said. “He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard. He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain. It is his child, his dearest self. Should I reproach him for it? I have saved Briseis. I cannot save them all. I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Jace set what he was holding down on the windowsill and reached out to her. She came to lean against him, and his hand slid up under her t-shirt and rested caressingly, possessively, on the small of her back. He bent to kiss her, gently at first, but the gentleness went quickly and soon she was pressed up against the glass of the window, his hands at the hem of her shirt — his shirt — “Jace.” She moved a little bit away. “I’m pretty sure people down there in the street can see us.” “We could …” He gestured toward the bed. “Move…over there.” She grinned. “You said that like it took you a while to come up with the idea.” When he spoke, his voice was muffled against her neck. “What can I say, you make my thought processes slow down. Now I know what it’s like to be a normal person.” “How … is it?” The things he was doing with his hands under the t-shirt were distracting. “Terrible. I’m already way behind on my quota of witty comments for the day.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Lost in thought, it took her several moments to realize that Jace had been saying something to her. When she blinked at him, she saw a wry grin spread across his face. "What?" she asked, ungraciously. "I wish you'd stop desperately trying to get my attention like this," he said. "It's become embarrassing." "Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt," she told him. "I can't help it. I use my rapier wit to hide my inner pain." "Your pain will be outer soon if you don't get out of traffic. Are you trying to get run over by a cab?" "Don't be ridiculous," he said. "We could never get a cab that easily in this neighborhood.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Celaena shuddered. "This conversation's become far too awful to have after eating." she said, slumping against the pillows. "Tell me which one of your little cadre is the handsomest, and if he would fancy me." Rowan choked. "The thought of you with any of my companions makes my blood run cold." "They're that awful? Your kitty-cat friend looked decent enough." Rowan's brows rose high. "I don't think my kitty-cat friend would know what to do with you-nor would any of the others. It would likely end in bloodshed." She kept grinning, and he crossed his arms. "They would likely have very little interest in you, as you'll be old and decrepit soon enough and thus not worth the effort it would take to win you." She rolled her eyes. "Killjoy.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried. "You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?" He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said. I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care. I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe. I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I Am Vertical But I would rather be horizontal. I am not a tree with my root in the soil Sucking up minerals and motherly love So that each March I may gleam into leaf, Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted, Unknowing I must soon unpetal. Compared with me, a tree is immortal And a flower-head not tall, but more startling, And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring. Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars, The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors. I walk among them, but none of them are noticing. Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping I must most perfectly resemble them-- Thoughts gone dim. It is more natural to me, lying down. Then the sky and I are in open conversation, And I shall be useful when I lie down finally: The the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me. "I Am Vertical", 28 March 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately. Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
LOG ENTRY: SOL 381 I’ve been thinking about laws on Mars. Yeah, I know, it’s a stupid thing to think about, but I have a lot of free time. There’s an international treaty saying no country can lay claim to anything that’s not on Earth. And by another treaty, if you’re not in any country’s territory, maritime law applies. So Mars is “international waters.” NASA is an American nonmilitary organization, and it owns the Hab. So while I’m in the Hab, American law applies. As soon as I step outside, I’m in international waters. Then when I get in the rover, I’m back to American law. Here’s the cool part: I will eventually go to Schiaparelli and commandeer the Ares 4 lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can’t until I’m aboard Ares 4 and operating the comm system. After I board Ares 4, before talking to NASA, I will take control of a craft in international waters without permission. That makes me a pirate! A space pirate!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Oh, man there's a marathon of Beaches running tomorrow night. Can we go after ten so I can see it once all the way through?" Everyone in the room turned to the blond-and-black haired guy, who was propped in the corner, massive arms over his chest. What," he said. "Look, it's not Mary Tyler Moore, 'kay? So you can 't give me shit." Vishous, the one with the black glove on his hand, glared across the room. "It's worse than Mary Tyler Moore. And to call you and idiot would be an insult to half-wits around the world." Are you kidding me? Bette Midler rocks. And I love the ocean. Sue me." Vishous glanced at the king. "You told me I could beat him. You promised." As soon as you come home," Wrath said as he got to his feet, "we'll hang him up by his armpits in the gym and you can use him as a punching bag." Thank you, baby Jesus." Blond-and-Black shook his head. "I swear, one of these days I'm going to leave." As one, the Brothers all pointed to the open door and let silence speak for itself. You guys suck.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess: Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen
Anonymous
The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables. Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives. The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight. Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do. I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling. You will find a good man soon.” The first psycho therapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet. The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness when they care more about what they give than what they get. The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.” The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me forget what the trauma said. The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.” But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.” My bones said, “Write the poems.
Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase)
Meghan,” whispered a voice, heart wrenchingly familiar, drawing me out of the void. I recognized it immediately, just as I realized it was a figment of my desperate imagination, because the real owner of that voice would never be here, talking to me. Ash? “Wake up,” he murmured, his deep voice cutting through the layers of the darkness. “Don’t do this. If you don’t come out of this soon, you’ll fade away and drift forever. Fight it. Come back to us.” I didn’t want to wake up. There was nothing but pain waiting for me in the real world. If I was asleep, I couldn’t feel anything. If I was asleep, I didn’t have to face Ash and the cold contempt on his face when he looked at me. Darkness was my retreat, my sanctuary. I drew back from Ash’s voice, deeper into the comforting blackness. And, through the layer of dreams and delirium, I heard a quiet sob. “Please.” A hand gripped mine, real and solid, anchoring me to the present. “I know what you must think of me, but…” The voice broke off, took a ragged breath. “Don’t leave,” it whispered. “Meghan, don’t go. Come back to me.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2))
According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the gate: ‘To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods, ‘And for the tender mother Who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses His baby at her breast, And for the holy maidens Who feed the eternal flame, To save them from false Sextus That wrought the deed of shame? ‘Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, With all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me, Will hold the foe in play. In yon strait path a thousand May well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me? Then out spake Spurius Lartius; A Ramnian proud was he: ‘Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, And keep the bridge with thee.’ And out spake strong Herminius; Of Titian blood was he: ‘I will abide on thy left side, And keep the bridge with thee.’ ‘Horatius,’ quoth the Consul, ‘As thou sayest, so let it be.’ And straight against that great array Forth went the dauntless Three. For Romans in Rome’s quarrel Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, In the brave days of old. Then none was for a party; Then all were for the state; Then the great man helped the poor, And the poor man loved the great: Then lands were fairly portioned; Then spoils were fairly sold: The Romans were like brothers In the brave days of old. Now Roman is to Roman More hateful than a foe, And the Tribunes beard the high, And the Fathers grind the low. As we wax hot in faction, In battle we wax cold: Wherefore men fight not as they fought In the brave days of old.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (Horatius)
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'll mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection) but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers, a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people- but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child's swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, this skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies' own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain. Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives. A life that is, like any other, unlike any other. And the simple truth is this: There was a girl, and her uncle sold her.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay