Stepping Stone Quotes

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Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
Dale Carnegie
If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.
Seamus Heaney (Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney)
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps. I hunger for your sleek laugh, your hands the color of a savage harvest, hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond. I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes, and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Pablo Neruda
...you have to use your failures as stepping stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. In the end it’s all a question of balance.
Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance (Vintage International))
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
Johnny Cash
Think like a queen. A queen if not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.
Oprah Winfrey
Of course you can have a true Shadowhunter name," Will said. "You can have mine." Tessa stared at him, all black and white against the black-and-white snow and stone. "Your name?" Will took a step toward her, till they stood face-to-face. Then he reached to take her hand and slid off her glove, which he put into his pocket. He held her bare hand in his, his fingers curved around hers. His hand was warm and callused, and his touch made her shiver. His eyes were steady and blue; they were everything that Will was: true and tender, sharp and witty, loving and kind. "Marry me," he said. "Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)
There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them.
Friedrich Nietzsche
A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.
Pablo Picasso
Do not be afraid of your difficulties.Do not wish you could be in other circumstances than you are. For when you have made the best of an adversity, it becomes the stepping stone to a splendid opportunity.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.
Enid Blyton (Mr Galliano's Circus)
Aelin took a step forward. One step, as if in a daze. She loosed a shuddering breath, and a small, whimpering noise came out of her - a sob. And then she was sprinting down the alley, flying as though the winds themselves pushed at her heels. She flung herself on the male, crashing into him hard enough that anyone else might have gone rocking back into the stone wall. But the male grabbed her to him, his massive arms wrapping around her tightly and lifting her up. Nesryn made to approach, but Aedion stopped her with a hand on her arm. Aelin was laughing as she cried, and the male was just holding her, his hooded head buried in her neck. As if he were breathing her in. "Who is that?" Nesryn asked. Aedion smiled. "Rowan.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
To have regret is to be disappointed with yourself and your choices. Those who are wise, see their life like stepping stones across a great river. Everyone misses a stone from time to time. No one can cross the river without getting wet. Success is measured by your arrival on the other side, not on how muddy your shoes are. Regrets are only felt by those who do not understand life’s purpose. They become so disillusioned that they stand still in the river and do not take the next leap.
Colleen Houck
The staircase that was revealed was lit with a soft red glow. I feel like I'm walking down into a porn movie," V muttered as they took the steps with care. Wouldn't that require more black candles for you," Zsadist cracked. At the bottom of the landing, they looked left and right down a corridor carved out of stone, seeing row after row of...black candles with ruby color flames. I take that back," Z said, eyeing the display. We start hearing chick-a-wow-wow shit," V cut in, "can I start calling you Z-packed?" Not if you want to keep breathing.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
In our struggle between liberty and destiny, we must never stop challenging the masterminds of fate that tries to deconstruct the stepping stones of our freedom. ("Wrong time. Wrong place")
Erik Pevernagie
This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!
Sivananda Saraswati
Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones to genius.
Elbert Hubbard (The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard)
Thinking about something is like picking up a stone when taking a walk, either while skipping rocks on the beach, for example, or looking for a way to shatter the glass doors of a museum. When you think about something, it adds a bit of weight to your walk, and as you think about more and more things you are liable to feel heavier and heavier, until you are so burdened you cannot take any further steps, and can only sit and stare at the gentle movements of the ocean waves or security guards, thinking too hard bout too many things to do anything else.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter. Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you. My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword. Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country. Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy fool who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter.
Pablo Neruda
You see, we cannot draw lines and compartments and refuse to budge beyond them. Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.' He paused, considering what he had just said. 'Yes', he repeated. 'In the end, it's all a question of balance.
Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance)
Fear may oust people into the dimness of disruption. Let us instead transcend darkness and create room for light to shine. Now is the moment, and the "now" is the stepping stone that allows us to forge ahead, with abundance of awareness and understanding, and without obtrusive egos. (“Fear of the white page”)
Erik Pevernagie
Once you admit to yourself that you are or aren't something, then you can begin searching for the reason why," Deuce went on. "And once you've found that, you can begin to take steps toward making it better. So, tell yourself you're an asshole, stop being an asshole, your problem's solved," Deuce said in a pleased voice.
Abigail Roux (Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run, #2))
[Julian]"Remember, Mark is in charge.” “Does he know that?” said Livvy. Julian sought Mark in the crowd on the steps. He was standing with his hands behind his back, exchanging a mistrustful look with a carved stone gnome. “Your pretense does not fool me, gnome,” he muttered. “My eye will be upon you.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
To have regret is to be disappointed with yourself and your choices. Those who are wise, see their life like stepping stones across a great river. Everyone misses a stone from time to time. No one can cross the river without getting wet. Success is measured by your arrival on the other side, not on how muddy your shoes are.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga, #3))
To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and
Robyn Davidson (Tracks)
Pessimism is not a prescription to escape the hornets’ nests of our anguish but a wrong tool to construct reliable steppingstones for the future. (''Happiness is blowing in the wind'')
Erik Pevernagie
If I could, I would have you use me as your stepping stone, the bridge you take apart after crossing, the corpse bones you need to trample to climb up, the sinner who deserved the butchering of a million knives. But I know you wouldn't allow it.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú])
Hua Cheng said quietly, "Your Highness, I understand your everything. "Your courage, your despair; your kindness, your pain; your resentment, your hate; your intelligence, your foolishness. "If I could, I would have you use me as your stepping stone, the bridge you take apart after crossing, the corpse bones you need to trample to climb up, the sinner who deserved the butchering of a million knives. But, I know you wouldn't allow it." (...) However, Hua Cheng only replied, "To die in battle for you is my greatest honour." Those words were like a fatal blow. The tears in Xie Lian's eyes could no longer be restrained, and they came pouring out. Like he was hanging on the thread of his life, he pleaded, "You said you would never leave me." However, Hua Cheng replied, "There is no banquet in this world that doesn't come to an end." Xie Lian bowed his head and buried it deep into his chest, his heart and throat in constricted agony, unable to speak. Yet soon after, he heard Hua Cheng say above him, "But, I will never leave you." Hearing this, Xie Lian's head shot up. Hua Cheng said to him, "I will come back. Your Highness, believe me.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú])
Maybe I can climb one of those," Simon said, eyeing the fat white pillars that held up the slanted roof of the Hall. Runes were carved on them in overlapping patterns, but otherwise there were no visible handholds. "Work off steam that way." "Oh, come on," Clary said. "You're a vampire, not Spider-Man." Simon's only response was to jog lightly up the steps to the base of a pillar. He eyed it thoughtfully for a moment before putting his hands to it and starting to climb. Clary watched him, open-mouthed, as his fingertips and feet found impossible holds on the ridged stone. "You are Spider-Man!" she exclaimed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain,in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal's black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.
Vladimir Nabokov (Selected Letters, 1940-1977)
Bye, Dr. Green.” I opened the door, stepping out. “I said, call me Sean,” he called after me. “Bye, Dr. Sean.” “Bye, smart ass.
C.L. Stone (Drop of Doubt (The Ghost Bird, #5))
I hold it truth, with him who sings To one clear harp in divers tones, That men may rise on stepping-stones Of their dead selves to higher things.
Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam)
Princes & Kings Isn't it strange how princes and kings, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common people, like you and me, are builders for eternity? Each is given a list of rules; a shapeless mass; a bag of tools. And each must fashion, ere life is flown, A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
R. Lee Sharpe
Sometimes, when people think they're putting obstacles in your path, they're actually laying your stepping-stones. You just gotta recognize them as one and the same.
Daniel Black (Perfect Peace)
The road may be rough, the journey may be tough and the experience may be bitter, but they are stepping stones to our future thrones.
Bamigboye Olurotimi
Fear is like the wilderland - Stepping stones or sinking sand
Joni Mitchell
I once saw a spindly man carrying a stone larger than his head upon his back. He stumbled beneath the weight, shirtless under the sun, wearing only a loincloth. He tottered down a busy thoroughfare. People made way for him. Not because they sympathized with him, but because they feared the momentum of his steps. You dare not impede one such as this. The monarch is like this man, stumbling along, the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders. Many give way before him, but so few are willing to step in and help carry the stone. They do not wish to attach themselves to the work, lest they condemn themselves to a life full of extra burdens. I left my carriage that day and took up the stone, lifting it for the man. I believe my guards were embarrassed. One can ignore a poor shirtless wretch doing such labor, but none ignore a king sharing the load. Perhaps we should switch places more often. If a king is seen to assume the burden of the poorest of men, perhaps there will be those who will help him with his own load, so invisible, yet so daunting.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you raise your foot.
Benny Lewis (Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World)
Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear--a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade, where her tiny hand had rested last.
Emmuska Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
It seems to me that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping-stones to making the world a better place--because we become better people in it.
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle
What does reading do, You can learn almost everything from reading, But I read too, So you must know something, Now I'm not so sure, You'll have to read differently then, How, The same method doesn't work for everyone, each person has to invent his or her own, whichever suits them best, some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don't understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they're there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it's the other side that matters, Unless, Unless what, Unless those rivers don't have just two shores but many, unless each reader is his or her own shore, and that shore is the only shore worth reaching.
José Saramago (The Cave)
The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega, it is God's brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blinded note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to "World." Distinctions blur. Quit your tents. Pray without ceasing.
Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
Friends of yours, eh?" I think one of them's about to faint." Oh, my god. "That's Chloe Dale," I said without turning arouind. "She suffers from high oestrogen levels. I can introduce you if you like." Gideon's smile grew wilder. "Maybe I'll take you up on that some other time. Now, come on. We still have a lot to do today." He took my arm (a loud squel could be heard from the steps and guided me towards the limousine.
Kerstin Gier (Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1))
If we can step back at times and have the guts to carve doubt in the concrete stone of our certainties, we can hear the beat of a thinking heart. While listening to the stirring of our deep selves and striving to squeeze through the thicket of our intentions, we may find an atoning venue of understanding and sympathy. ("Beware of the neighbor")
Erik Pevernagie
The street outside is empty, lit only by a half moon; yet factory engines beat in the background and the working day is about to begin. Maggie steps out of the tenement and suddenly the street begins to fill with women, some running, some pulling their jackets around them, some lighting pipes, some, like Maggie herself, taking a pinch of snuff. From other tenements come other women, and soon all merge into one, like a herd of cattle off to market, clopping over the stone pavements and the cobbles, lowing with last night’s news.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Did you know that Gideon and I were trained in Krav Maga?" Charlotte took another step closer to me, and I automatically took one back. "No, but did /you/ know that at this moment you look like that crazy rodent in Ice Age?
Kerstin Gier (Emerald Green (The Precious Stone Trilogy #3))
Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.
L.R. Knost
Each step is more difficult than the last; the heaviness fills me and turns my limbs to stone. You must hurt or be hurt.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
Where we fall are the stepping-stones for our journey.
Lolly Daskal (Thoughts Spoken From The Heart)
I don’t like anything here at all.” said Frodo, “step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.” “Yes, that’s so,” said Sam, “And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same; like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?” “I wonder,” said Frodo, “But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again.
Beatrix Potter
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
It’s only when we fail that we try to figure out a new and improved way that nobody has ever thought of
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and find a better one.
Lisa Hammond (Permission to Dream: Stepping Stones to Create a Life of Passion and Purpose (Guided Journal, Intentional Manifestation))
I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that alot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.
Anne Lamott
GGRRROOCCCCK... Ian's knees buckled. The rock outcropping shook the ground, sending a spew of grayish dust that quickly billowed around them. Shielding his eyes, he spotted Amy standing by the figurine, which was now moving toward her. She was in shock, her backpack on the ground by her feet. "Get back!" he shouted. Ian pulled Amy away and threw her to the ground, landing on top of her. Gravel showered over his back, embedding into his hair and landing on the ground like a burst of applause. His second though was that the shirt would be ruined. And this was the shock of it-that his first thought had not been about the shirt. Or the coin. Or himself. It had been about her. But that was not part of the plan. She existed for a purpose. She was a tactic, a stepping stone. She was... "Lovely," he said. Amy was staring up at him, petrified, her eyelashes flecked with dust. Ian took her hand, which was knotted into a fist. "Y-y-you don't have to do that," she whispered. "Do what?" Ian asked. "Be sarcastic. Say things like 'lovely.' You saved my life. Th-thank you." "My duty," he replied. He lowered his head and allowed his lips to brush hers. Just a bit.
Peter Lerangis (The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, #3))
Dawn's faint breath breathes with your mouth at the ends of empty streets. Gray light your eyes, sweet drops of dawn on dark hills. Your steps and breath like the wind of dawn smother houses. The city shudders, Stones exhale— you are life, an awakening. Star lost in the light of dawn, trill of the breeze, warmth, breath— the night is done. You are light and morning.
Cesare Pavese
A lot of people mock fandom and fan fiction, like it's lazy to base your own creativity and passion on someone else's work. But some of us need a stepping-stone to start. What's wrong with finding joy in making something, regardless of the inspiration?
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success)
Step on a crack , you'll break your mama's back. Step on a stone, you'll end up all alone. Step on a stick, you're bound to get the Sick. Watch where you tread, you'll bring out all the dead. - A common children's playground chant, usually accompanied by jumping rope or clapping.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Ursus stepped forward. 'Watch your tongue when you speak to the goddess!' he snarled. The Doctor frowned. 'I think that would make speaking rather difficult,' he said.He stuck his tongue out and crossed his eyes to look down on it. 'Therterly inghockigal.' he said.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Aelin ran for Manon, leaping over the fallen stones, her ankle wrenching on loose debris. The island rocked with her every step, and the sunlight was scalding, as if Mala were holding that island aloft with every last bit of strength the goddess could summon in this land. Then Aelin was upon Manon Blackbeak, and the witch lifted hate-filled eyes to her. Aelin hauled off stone after stone from her body, the island beneath them buckling. "You're too good a fighter to kill," Aelin breathed, hooking an arm under Manon's shoulders and hauling her up. The rock swayed to the left-but held. Oh, gods. "If I die because of you, I'll beat the shit out of you in hell." She could have sworn the witch let out a broken laugh as she got to her feet, nearly dead weight in Aelin's arms.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
The direction of a big act will warp history, but probably all acts do the same in their degree, down to a stone stepped over in the path or the breath caught at sight of a pretty girl or a fingernail nicked in the garden soil.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
A man inherited a field in which was an accumulation of old stone, part of an older hall. Of the old stone some had already been used in building the house in which he actually lived, not far from the old house of his fathers. Of the rest he took some and built a tower. But his friends coming perceived at once (without troubling to climb the steps) that these stones had formerly belonged to a more ancient building. So they pushed the tower over, with no little labour, and in order to look for hidden carvings and inscriptions, or to discover whence the man's distant forefathers had obtained their building material. Some suspecting a deposit of coal under the soil began to dig for it, and forgot even the stones. They all said: 'This tower is most interesting.' But they also said (after pushing it over): 'What a muddle it is in!' And even the man's own descendants, who might have been expected to consider what he had been about, were heard to murmur: 'He is such an odd fellow! Imagine using these old stones just to build a nonsensical tower! Why did not he restore the old house? he had no sense of proportion.' But from the top of that tower the man had been able to look out upon the sea.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Beowulf and the Critics (Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, #248))
Death arrives among all that sound like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it, comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no finger in it, comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue,with no throat. Nevertheless its steps can be heard and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.
Pablo Neruda
Where it Matters Being with you today is worth all the broken hearts of yesterday. In a flash, all of the stumbling blocks of relationships gone wrong have become the stepping stones to our perfect love. We fit. I now understand the feeling I used to think was pain that came along with love was actually the discomfort from being in a place I didn’t fit. Thank you for being you… for sharing your love with me… for inspiring me to accept myself… for helping me see the unique beauty in imperfection… for showing me that love is something you do; something not just to be said, but also to be shown. I am not perfect; neither are you. I love that! Our love is perfect. And even though we may not be, our love creates a bridge that spans over our imperfections and joins us where it matters. I love you!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
After Bajju delivered a few beaming salutations, we walked northward up the makeshift, winding path through protruding brush, not much but a few stones placed here and there for balance and leverage upon ascending or descending. Having advanced about hundred steps from the street below, a sharp left leads to Bajju’s property, which begins with his family’s miniature garden – at the time any signs of fertility were mangled by dried roots which flailed like wheat straw, but within the day Bajju’s children vehemently delivered blows with miniature hoes in preparation for transforming such a plot into a no-longer-neglected vegetable garden. A few steps through the produce, or preferably circumventing all of it by taking a few extra steps around the perimeter, leads to the sky-blue painted home. Twisting left, hundreds of miles of rolling hills and the occasional home peeps out, bound below by demarcated farming steppes. If you’re lucky on a clear day and twist to the right, the monstrous, perpetually snow-capped Chaukhamba mountain monopolizes the distance just fifteen miles toward the direction of Tibet in the north.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
The stream of life is black and angry; how so many of us get across without drowning, I often wonder. The best way is not to look too far before-just from one stepping-stone to another; and though you may wet your feet, He won't let you drown-He has not allowed me.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
Desire demands only a constant attention to the unknown gravitational field which surrounds us and from which we can recharge ourselves every moment, as if breathing from the atmosphere of possibility itself. A life’s work is not a series of stepping-stones onto which we calmly place our feet, but more like an ocean crossing where there is no path, only a heading, a direction, which, of itself, is in conversation with the elements.
David Whyte (Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity)
Above all human existence requires stability, the permanence of things. The result is an ambivalence with respect to all great and violent expenditure of strength; such an expenditure, whether in nature or in man, represents the strongest possible threat. The feelings of admiration and of ecstasy induced by them thus mean that we are concerned to admire them from afar. The sun corresponds to that prudent concern. It is all radiance gigantic loss of heat and light, flame, explosion; but remote from men, who can enjoy in safety and quiet the fruits of this cataclysm. To earth belongs the solidity which sustains houses of stone and the steps of men (at least on its surface, for buried within the depths of the earth is the incandescence of lava).
Georges Bataille (Van Gogh As Prometheus)
So, ninety-five percent of the time." She craned her head back to look up at time. "Ninety-five percent? What's the other five percent?" "Oh, you know, the usual--demons I might kill, runes I need to learn, people who've annoyed me recently, people who've annoyed me not so recently, ducks." "Ducks?" He waved her question away. "All right. Now watch this." He took her shoulders and turned her gently, so they were both facing the same way. A moment later--she wasn't sure how--the walls of the room seemed to melt away around them, and she found herself stepping out onto cobblestones. She gasped, turning to look behind her, and saw only a black wall, windows high up in an old stone building. Rows of similar house lined the canal they stood besides. If she craned her head to the left, she could see in the distance that the canal opened out into a much larger waterway, lined with grand buildings. Everywhere was the smell of water and stone. "Cool, huh?" Jace said proudly. She turned and looked at him. "Ducks?" She said again. A smile tugged the edge of his mouth. "I hate ducks. Don't know hy. I just always have.
Cassandra Clare
I’m so sorry. I don’t think the etiquette manuals cover this sort of situation.” He leaned in close, his lips all but grazing her neck, and inhaled. “Mmm. You smell good, too.” She nearly choked. Took a step backwards, until her back met cold stone. “Th-thank you.” “That’s better. May I kiss you?” His finger dipped into her shirt collar, stroking the tender nape of her neck. “I d-don’t th-think that’s a good idea.” “Why not? We’re alone.” His hands were at her waist. Her lungs felt tight and much too small. “Wh-what if somebody comes in?” He considered for a moment. “Well, I suppose they’ll think I fancy grubby little boys.
Y.S. Lee (The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2))
A step lower and strangeness creeps in: perceiving that the world is "dense", sensing to what a degree a stone is foreign and irreducible to us, with what intensity nature or a landscape can negate us. At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise. The primitive hostility of the world rises up to face us across millenia.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
but as he plodded along a vague and almost hallucinatory pall hazed over his mind; he found himself at one point, with no notion of how it could be, a step from an almost certain fatal cliffside fall—falling humiliatingly and helplessly, he thought; on and on, with no one even to witness it. Here there existed no one to record his or anyone else's degradation, and any courage or pride which might manifest itself here at the end would go unmarked: the dead stones, the dust-stricken weeds dry and dying, perceived nothing, recollected nothing, about him or themselves.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Are you all right?" he says tentatively. I am not all right. I was beginning to feel that I had finally found a place to stay, a place that was not so unstable or corrupt or controlling that I could actually belong there. You would think that I would have learned by now—such a place does not exist. "No," I say. He starts to move around the stone block, toward me. "What is it?" "What is it." I laugh. "Let me put it this way: I just found out you're not the worst person I know." I drop into a crouch and push my fingers through my hair. I feel numb and terrified of my own numbness. The Bureau is responsible for my parents' deaths. Why do I have to keep repeating it to myself to believe it? What's wrong with me? "Oh," he says. "I'm . . . sorry?" All I can manage is a small grunt. "You know what Mom told me once?" he says, and the way he says Mom, like he didn't betray her, sets my teeth on edge. "She said that everyone has some evil inside them, and the first step to loving anyone is to recognize the same evil in ourselves, so we're able to forgive them.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
There were never strawberries like the ones we had that sultry afternoon sitting on the step of the open french window facing each other your knees held in mine the blue plates in our laps the strawberries glistening in the hot sunlight we dipped them in sugar looking at each other not hurrying the feast for one to come the empty plates laid on the stone together with the two forks crossed and I bent towards you sweet in that air in my arms abandoned like a child from your eager mouth the taste of strawberries in my memory lean back again let me love you let the sun beat on our forgetfulness one hour of all the heat intense and summer lightning on the Kilpatrick hills let the storm wash the plates.
Edwin Morgan (The Second Life: Selected Poems)
May the Saints receive me. She pressed the tip beneath her breast, between her ribs, an arrow to her heart. Then a hand gripped her wrist painfully, forcing her to drop the blade. “Not just yet, Inej.” The rasp of stone on stone. Her eyes flew open. Kaz. He bundled her into his arms and leapt down from the crates, landing roughly, his bad leg buckling. She moaned as they hit the ground. “Did we win?” “I’m here, aren’t I?” He must be running. Her body jounced painfully against his chest with every lurching step. He couldn’t carry her and use his cane. “I don’t want to die.” “I’ll do my best to make other arrangements for you.” She closed her eyes. “Keep talking, Wraith. Don’t slip away from me.” “But it’s what I do best.” He clutched her tighter. “Just make it to the schooner. Open your damn eyes, Inej.” She
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm. 'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.' The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly onto the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm. From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming. Glamdring glittered white in answer. There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still. 'You cannot pass!' he said. With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed. 'He cannot stand alone!' cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge. 'Elendil!' he shouted. 'I am with you, Gandalf!' 'Gondor!' cried Boromir and leaped after him. At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness. With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Claire was just coming down the stairs, humming and thinking about how nice it was to have things getting back to normal, and how she'd tell Shane about the January thing tonight, when Myrnin sent a message through the portal--well, more of a rock with a note tied to it, which rolled across the floor and scared Eve into a scream before the portal snapped shut. Eve kicked the rock resentfully with her thick black boots and glared at it, then at the wall. Claire, who was coming down the steps, gave her a "What the hell?" kind of look. "Your boss," Eve said, and reached down the grab the rock, "needs to figure out texting. Seriously. Who does this? Is he actually from the Stone Age? And you need to figure out how to put something here that we can lock. What if this thing opens when I'm naked?" "Why would you be naked down here?" "Well--" Eve didn't have an answer for that one. She handed over the rock. "Okay, bad example. But I don't like it that he can just drop in any damn time he wants. Or throw rocks at us.
Rachel Caine (Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, #10))
Professor Severus Snape: There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few... [stares at Draco Malfoy] Professor Severus Snape: Who possess, the predisposition... I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death. [notices Harry scribbling on his paper] Professor Severus Snape: Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention! [steps over to Harry] Professor Severus Snape: Mister Potter. Our new celebrity.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
is a broken man an outlaw?" "More or less." Brienne answered. Septon Meribald disagreed. "More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They've heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. "Then they get a taste of battle. "For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they've been gutted by an axe. "They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that's still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water. "If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they're fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chicken's, and from there it's just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they're fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world... "And the man breaks. "He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them...but he should pity them as well
George R.R. Martin
our lives, thanks to their finitude, are inevitably full of activities that we’re doing for the very last time. Just as there will be a final occasion on which I pick up my son—a thought that appalls me, but one that’s hard to deny, since I surely won’t be doing it when he’s thirty—there will be a last time that you visit your childhood home, or swim in the ocean, or make love, or have a deep conversation with a certain close friend. Yet usually there’ll be no way to know, in the moment itself, that you’re doing it for the last time. Harris’s point is that we should therefore try to treat every such experience with the reverence we’d show if it were the final instance of it. And indeed there’s a sense in which every moment of life is a “last time.” It arrives; you’ll never get it again—and once it’s passed, your remaining supply of moments will be one smaller than before. To treat all these moments solely as stepping-stones to some future moment is to demonstrate a level of obliviousness to our real situation that would be jaw-dropping if it weren’t for the fact that we all do it, all the time.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
When asked whether or not we are Marxists, our position is the same as that of a physicist, when asked if he is a “Newtonian” or of a biologist when asked if he is a “Pasteurian.” There are truths so evident, so much a part of the peoples’ knowledge, that it is now useless to debate them. One should be a “Marxist” with the same naturalness with which one is a “Newtonian” in physics or a “Pasteurian.” If new facts bring about new concepts, the latter will never take away that portion of truth possessed by those that have come before. Such is the case, for example, of “Einsteinian” relativity or of Planck’s quantum theory in relation to Newton’s discoveries. They take absolutely nothing away from the greatness of the learned Englishman. Thanks to Newton, physics was able to advance until it achieved new concepts of space. The learned Englishman was the necessary stepping-stone for that. Obviously, one can point to certain mistakes of Marx, as a thinker and as an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived. We Latin Americans, for example, cannot agree with his interpretation of Bolivar, or with his and Engels’ analysis of the Mexicans, which accepted as fact certain theories of race or nationality that are unacceptable today. But the great men who discover brilliant truths live on despite their small faults and these faults serve only to show us they were human. That is to say, they were human beings who could make mistakes, even given the high level of consciousness achieved by these giants of human thought. This is why we recognize the essential truths of Marxism as part of humanity’s body of cultural and scientific knowledge. We accept it with the naturalness of something that requires no further argument.
Ernesto Che Guevara
A Rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed, Mark the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokens Of their sojourn here On our planet floor, Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny, But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness, Have lain too long Face down in ignorance. Your mouths spelling words Armed for slaughter. The rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world, A river sings a beautiful song, Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country, Delicate and strangely made proud, Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I And the tree and stone were one. Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow And when you yet knew you still knew nothing. The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river. Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for. You, who gave me my first name, You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, Then forced on bloody feet, Left me to the employment of other seekers-- Desperate for gain, starving for gold. You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream. Here, root yourselves beside me. I am the tree planted by the river, Which will not be moved. I, the rock, I the river, I the tree I am yours--your passages have been paid. Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you. History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness. The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.
Maya Angelou
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
Twenty-two months are a long time and a lot of things can happen in them- there is time for new families to be formed, for babies to be born and even begin to talk, for a great house to rise where once there was only a field, for a beautiful woman to grow old and no one desire her any more, for an illness- for a long illness- to ripen (yet men live on heedlessly), to consume the body slowly, to recede for short periods as if cured, to take hold again more deeply and drain away the last hopes; there is time for a man to die and be buried, for his son to be able to laugh again and in the evening take the girls down the avenues and past the cemetery gates without a thought. But it seemed as if Drogo’s existence had come to a halt. The same day, the same things, had repeated themselves hundreds of times without taking a step forward. The river of time flowed over the Fort, crumbled the walls, swept down dust and fragments of stone, wore away the stairs and the chain, but over Drogo it passed in vain- it had not yet succeeded in catching him, bearing him with it as it flowed.
Dino Buzzati (The Tartar Steppe)
The Fallen It was the night a comet with its silver tail fell through darkness to earth's eroded field, the night I found the wolf, starved in metal trap, teeth broken from pain's hard bite, its belly swollen with unborn young. In our astronomy the Great Wolf lived in the sky. It was the mother of all women and howled her daughter's names into the winds of night. But the new people, whatever stepped inside their shadow, they would kill, whatever crossed their path, they came to fear. In their science, Wolf as not the mother. Wolf was not wind. They did not learn healing from her song. In their stories Wolf was the devil, falling down an empty, shrinking universe, God's Lucifer with yellow eyes that had seen their failings and knew that they could kill the earth, that they would kill each other. That night I threw the fallen stone back to sky and falling stars and watched it all come down to ruined earth again. Sky would not take back what it had done. That night, sky was a wilderness so close the eerie light of heaven and storming hands of sun reached down the swollen belly and dried up nipples of a hungry world. That night, I saw the trapper's shadow and it had four legs.
Linda Hogan
Mister God made everything, didn’t he?” There was no point in saying I didn’t really know. I said “Yes.” “Even the dirt and the stars and the animals and the people and the trees and everything, and the pollywogs?” The pollywogs were those little creatures we had seen under the microscope. I said, “Yes, he made everything.” She nodded her agreement. “Does Mister God love us truly?” “Sure thing,” I said. “Mister God loves everything.” “Oh,” she said. “well then, why does he let things get hurt and dead?” Her voice sounded as if she felt she had betrayed a sacred trust, but the question had been thought and it had to be spoken. “I don’t know,” I replied. “There’re a great many things about Mister God, we don’t know about?” “Well then,” she continued, “if we don’t know many things about Mister God, how do we know he loves us?” I could see this was going to be one of those times, but thank goodness she didn’t expect an answer to her question, for she hurried on: “Them pollywogs, I could love them till I bust, but they wouldn’t know, would they? I’m million times bigger than they are and Mister God is million times bigger than me, so how do I know what Mister God does?” She was silent for a little while. Later I thought that at this moment she was taking her last look at babyhood. Then she went on. “Fynn, Mister God doesn’t love us.” She hesitated. “He doesn’t really, you know, only people can love. I love Bossy, but Bossy don’t love me. I love the pollywogs, but they don’t love me. I love you Fynn, and you love me, don’t you?” I tightened my arm about her. “You love me because you are people. I love Mister God truly but he don’t love me.” It sounded to me like a death knell. “Damn and blast,” I thought. “Why does this have to happen to people? Now she’s lost everything.” But I was wrong. She had got both feet planted firmly on the next stepping stone. “No,” she went on, “no, he don’t love me, not like you do, its different, its millions of times bigger.” I must have made some movement or noise, for she levered herself upright and sat on her haunches and giggled. The she launched herself at me and undid my little pang of hurt, cut from the useless spark of jealousy with the delicate sureness of a surgeon. “Fynn, you can love better than any people that ever was, and so can I, cant I? But Mister God is different. You see, Fynn, people can only love outside, and can only kiss outside, but Mister God can love you right inside, and Mister God can kiss you right inside, so its different. Mister God ain’t like us; we are a little bit like Mister God, but not much yet.” It seemed to me to reduce itself to the fact that we were like God because of the similarities, but God was not like us because of our differences. Her inner fires had refined her ideas, and like some alchemist she had turned lead into gold. Gone were all the human definitions of God, like Goodness, Mercy, Love, and Justice, for these were merely props to describe the indescribable. “You see, Fynn, Mister God is different because he can finish things and we cant. I cant finish loving you because I shall be dead millions of years before I can finish, but Mister God can finish loving you, and so its not the same kind of love, is it?
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Why are you being so cruel?' 'Because you won't leave!' Jacks shouted. 'And if you stay, you will die. Chaos hasn't fed in thousands of years. I know he thinks he can control his hunger, but he can't. That's why they put the helm on him.' 'You could have just said that. If you didn't want me to say goodbye or you want me to leave, you don't have to hurt me to get me to do it.' 'I'm not- I-' Jacks broke off abruptly. His eyes were no longer just red, they were blazing with fear. She'd never seen him look so terrified before. She'd been poisoned, shot, lashed across the back, and Jacks had always kept his calm until now. With a great deal of effort, he took a deep breath, and when he spoke again, his voice was soft but uneven. 'I'm sorry, Little Fox. I didn't want to hurt you, I just-' He looked suddenly at a loss for words, as if whatever he said next might be the wrong thing. He's never looked at her like this before. 'Jacks, please, don't use the stones tonight. Come with me instead.' He took a jagged breath. For a second, he looked torn. He raked a hand through his hair, his movements jagged. Evangeline took a step closer. He shuttered his expression and took a step back. 'This doesn't change anything. I still can't have you in my life. You and I aren't meant to be.' 'What if you're wrong?' Evangeline had once heard a tale about a pair of doomed stars, drawn across skies toward each other's brightness, even though they knew that if they drew too close, their desire would end in a fiery explosion. This was how Jacks looked at her now. As if neither of them would survive if they drew any closer. 'Evangeline, you need to go.' A thunderous roar poured out from the Valory, so loud it shook the arch and the angels and the ground at Evangeline's feet. 'Get out of here.' Jacks said. She held his gaze, one final time, wishing she knew how to change his mind. 'I wish our story could have had another ending.' 'I don't want another ending,' Jacks said flatly. 'I just want you to leave.
Stephanie Garber (The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #2))
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison? Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written. You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil. And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet." But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass; And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving. Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
Once I am sure there's nothing going on I step inside, letting the door thud shut. Another church: matting, seats, and stone, And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff Up at the holy end; the small neat organ; And a tense, musty, unignorable silence, Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off My cycle-clips in awkward reverence. Move forward, run my hand around the font. From where I stand, the roof looks almost new - Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't. Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce 'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant. The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence, Reflect the place was not worth stopping for. Yet stop I did: in fact I often do, And always end much at a loss like this, Wondering what to look for; wondering, too, When churches will fall completely out of use What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep A few cathedrals chronically on show, Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep. Shall we avoid them as unlucky places? Or, after dark, will dubious women come To make their children touch a particular stone; Pick simples for a cancer; or on some Advised night see walking a dead one? Power of some sort will go on In games, in riddles, seemingly at random; But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. I wonder who Will be the last, the very last, to seek This place for what it was; one of the crew That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were? Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique, Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh? Or will he be my representative, Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt So long and equably what since is found Only in separation - marriage, and birth, And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built This special shell? For, though I've no idea What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here; A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie round.
Philip Larkin
Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried - "My heart will break!" What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept. "Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck. To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving. "Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke. "But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman - "Sortez d'ici!" "I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously. "Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!" He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt. "What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character." "You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!" This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second. The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death. "It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he. "It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall