Sunday Evening Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Sunday Evening. Here they are! All 200 of them:

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know and if men should not hear them men are old may my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple and even if it's sunday may i be wrong for whenever men are right they are not young and may myself do nothing usefully and love yourself so more than truly there's never been quite such a fool who could fail pulling all the sky over him with one smile
E.E. Cummings (E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 (Revised, Corrected, and Expanded Edition))
Men suck, even imaginary ones
James Patterson (Sundays at Tiffany's)
Just because life is hard, and always ends in a bad way, doesn't mean that all stories have to, even if that's what they tell us in school and in the New York Times Review. In fact, it's a good thing that stories are as different as we are, one from another.
James Patterson (Sundays at Tiffany's)
Sitting with her on Sunday evening — a wet Sunday evening — the very time of all others when if a friend is at hand the heart must be opened, and every thing told…
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
Fridays are absolutely without a doubt the best day of the week, five grueling days of the same routine seem to melt at three o'clock on Friday afternoon. There's a sense of magic there, everything smells better, tastes better, and the colors are brighter. As opposed to Sunday evenings when everything begins to get dim all over again.
Stefanie Ellis (Ashes (The Gray Area, #1))
If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.
Bertrand Russell
But on that sunlit Sunday, Alexander knew nothing, thought nothing, imagined nothing. He forgot Dimitri and war and the Soviet Union and escape plans, and even America, and crossed the street for Tatiana Metanova.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war. I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century)
Now I want to live like everybody else. I want to have a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody. People will not even turn round in the streets. You will be the happiest of women. And we will sing, all by ourselves, till we swoon away with delight. You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself. If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Jesus waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited one day, a lot of people wouldn't have even heard he died. They'd be all, "Hey Jesus, what up?" and Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday!" and they'd be all, "Uh, you look pretty alive to me, dude..." and then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and the dude'd be like "Uhh okay, whatever you say, bro..." And he's not gonna come back on a Saturday. Everybody's busy, doing chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' the beard, NO. He waited the perfect number of days, three. Plus it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already, and they're all in there like "Oh no, Jesus is dead", and then BAM! He bursts in the back door, runnin' up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched, and FYI, that's when he invented the high five. That's why we wait three days to call a woman, because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait.... True story.
Barney Stinson
Just because life is hard and always ends in a bad way doesn't mean that all stories have to. Even if that's what they tell us in school and the New York Book Review.
James Patterson (Sundays at Tiffany's)
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped and summer was gone.
A. Bartlett Giamatti
Our jobs make relentless calls on a narrow band of our faculties, reducing our chances of achieving rounded personalities and leaving us to suspect (often in the gathering darkness of a Sunday evening) that much of who we are, or could be, has gone unexplored.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
I miss the way he used to kiss my shoulder whenever it was bare and he was nearby. I miss how he cleared his throat before he took a sip of water and scratched his left arm with his right hand when he was nervous. I miss how he tucked my hair behind my ear when it came loose and took my temperature when I was sick or when he was bored. I miss his glasses on my nightstand. I miss watching him take Sunday afternoon naps on my couch, with the newspaper resting on his stomach like a blanket. How his hands stayed clasped, fingers intertwined, while he slept. I miss the cadence of his speech and the stupidity of his puns. I miss playing doctor when we made love, and even when we didn't. I miss his smell, like fresh laundry and honey (because of his shampoo) at his place. Fresh laundry and coconut (because of my shampoo) at mine. I miss that he used to force me to listen to French rap and would sing along in a horrible accent. I miss that he always said "I love you" when he hung up the phone with his sister, never shy or embarassed, regardless of who else was around. I miss that his ideal Friday night included a DVD, eating Chinese food right out of the carton, and cuddling on top of my duvet cover. I miss that he reread books from his childhood and then from mine. I miss that he was the only man that I have ever farted on, and with, freely. I miss that he understood that the holidays were hard for me and that he wanted me to never feel lonely.
Julie Buxbaum (The Opposite of Love)
Until I realized: this long expanse of free time to rekindle friendships is not real. We will never come home to each other again and we will never again have each other’s undivided attention. That version of our friendship is over forever. And when I remember this, and it usually happens in those awful, quiet evening hours on Sunday nights, after dinner but before bed, I just lie on my sofa and cry for half an hour.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
So Nash and I went out and there were redheads and there were brunettes and there was even a super-hot chick that looked kinda like Pink but you think any of them did it for me?   No, Shaw not one because they weren’t fucking you and ever since you walked out on Sunday all I’ve been thinking of is you.   Now why is that?
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
The secret to finding your passion is to bring it to everything you do. --Marie Forleo (Yes, even doing the laundry!)
Marie Forleo
Sometimes it's your fragrance that comes to me, out of the blue, on a crowded road in a Sunday afternoon. But more often, it's memories of us that cross my mind almost every lone evening. All I want is to lessen the pain I feel every night. But every morning I wake up is another day, hopeless and miserable, with nothing but a deafening silence, a wave of tears, memories and your absence.
Sanhita Baruah
Morrigan didn’t like the sound of the Goal-Setting and Achieving Club for Highly Ambitious Youth, which met on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and all day Sunday. But she thought she could probably get on board with Introverts Utterly Anonymous, which promised no meetings or gatherings of any sort, ever.
Jessica Townsend (Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #2))
One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.
Beverly Cleary
Sundays are like confetti floating in the air in slow motion, in the evening they reach the ground and you hope a bit of wind could blow on them so they could fly a bit longer.
Alain Bremond-Torrent (running is flying intermittently (CATEMPLATIONS 1))
I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Tomorrow the rush of men, all working for a living, would drown him; but now, at this moment, in this soft green twilight, this soft green Sunday evening, when the heart of the world seemed to lie beating in the palm of his hand, he sat in that huge house upstairs terrified that he would never live.
Andrew Holleran (Dancer from the Dance)
Honestly, I never really understood the glorification of Fridays & weekends. I don't want to build a life and career, where I spent five days a week waiting for the weekend. No! I want to enjoy my life, and don't wish any weekday away. I want each day to matter to me, in some way, even if it's a small tiny way. I love my life. Everyday. That's the spirit we should convey all around us.
Akilnathan Logeswaran
Consider the rose...The rose is the sweetest smelling flower of all, and it's the most beautiful because it's the most simple, right? But sometimes, you got to clip the rose. You got to cut the rose back, so something sweeter smelling and stronger, and even more beautiful, will grow in its place
Billy Crystal (700 Sundays)
Everybody must work even if you are not working for money. You must work to actualize yourself.
Sunday Adelaja
The way she told it, she was such a criminal even the most God-fearing church ladies got bored of reporting on her; she did the marketing on Sunday, dropped by any church she liked or none at all, was a feminist (which Mrs. Asher sometimes confused with communist), a Democrat (which Mrs. Lincoln pointed out practically had "demon" in the word itself), and, worst of all, a vegetarian (which ruled out any dinner invitations from Mrs. Snow).
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
The morning opens, a mist of innocence appears across the countryside that tells each one of us the day is new. That feeling of hope, love and the humble awareness of our duty becomes clear if even for a moment. It is that experience of inspiration that follows us into a small town woken by a cool frost on this Sunday morning and the laughter of children playing.
Kris Courtney (Norma Jean's Sun)
Even the harmful and awkward and stupid things?" asked Sunday. "There are reasons for those?" "Especially those." said Joy.
Alethea Kontis (Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1; Books of Arilland #1))
we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Even now, whenever I think of her, I envision a quiet Sunday morning. A gentle, clear day, just getting under way. No homework to do, just a Sunday when you could do what you wanted. She always gave me this kick-back-and-relax, Sunday-morning kind of feeling.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
I spend all of Sunday in my room switching between the Smiths and Kid Cudi at top volume, and I don’t even care if that’s too random for my parents.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1))
The other part of me wanted to get out and stay out, but this was the part I never listened to. Because if I ever had I would have stayed in the town where I was born and worked in the hardware store and married the boss's daughter and had five kids and read them the funny paper on Sunday morning and smacked their heads when they got out of line and squabbled with the wife about how much spending money they were to get and what programs they could have on the radio or TV set. I might even get rich - small-town rich, an eight-room house, two cars in the garage, chicken every Sunday and the Reader's Digest on the living room table, the wife with a cast-iron permanent and me with a brain like a sack of Portland cement. You take it, friend. I'll take the big sordid dirty crooked city.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye)
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
I like idling when I ought not to be idling; not when it is the only thing I have to do. Thatis my pig-headed nature. The time when I like best to stand with my back to the fire, calculating how much I owe, is when my desk is heaped highest with letters that must be answered by the next post. When I like to dawdle longest over my dinner is when I have a heavy evening's work before me. And if, for some urgent reason, I ought to be up particularly early in the morning, it is then, more than at any other time, that I love to lie an extra half-hour in bed. Ah! how delicious it is to turn over and go to sleep again: "just for five minutes." Is there any human being, I wonder, besides the hero of a Sunday-school "tale for boys," who ever gets up willingly?
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
Isabel observed an etiquette of the telephone: a call before eight in the morning was an emergency; between eight and nine it was an intrusion; thereafter calls could be made until ten in the evening, although anything after nine-thirty required an apology for the disturbance. After ten one was into emergency time again.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie, #1))
Do whatever you gotta do. Go fuck that girl six ways from Sunday.” Danny laughed, trying to keep his hand steady as he glanced up. “I hope you have a daughter one day.” Jake’s face dropped. “Dude, fuck you, that’s not even funny.
Priscilla Glenn (Coming Home)
In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls -- with the great outside world. No man whose vision is bounded by colour can come into contact with what is highest and best in the world. In meeting men, in many places, I have found that the happiest people are those who do the most for others; the most miserable are those who do the least. I have also found that few things, if any, are capable of making one so blind and narrow as race prejudice. I often say to our students, in the course of my talks to them on Sunday evenings in the chapel, that the longer I live and the more experience I have of the world, the more I am convinced that, after all, the one thing that is most worth living for -- and dying for, if need be -- is the opportunity of making some one else more happy and more useful.
Booker T. Washington
As I look around on Sunday morning at the people populating the pews, I see the risk that God has assumed. For whatever reason, God now reveals himself in the world not through a pillar of smoke and fire, not even through the physical body of his Son in Galilee, but through the mongrel collection that comprises my local church and every other such gathering in God’s name. (p. 68, Church: Why Bother?)
Philip Yancey (Church: Why Bother?: My Personal Pilgrimage)
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
When we are harassed and reach the limit of our own strength, many of us then turn in desperation to God-"There are no atheists in foxholes." But why wait till we are desperate? Why not renew our strength every day? Why wait even until Sunday? For years I have had the habit of dropping into empty churches on weekday afternoons. When I feel that I am too rushed and hurried to spare a few minutes to think about spiritual things, I say to myself: "Wait a minute, Dale Carnegie, wait a minute. Why all the feverish hurry and rush, little man? You need to pause and acquire a little perspective." At such times, I frequently drop into the first church that I find open. Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on weekday afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach are eternal. I close my eyes and pray. I find that doing this calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, and helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice to you?
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
When, on a Sunday evening in May 1876, Anna throws herself under the freight train, she has existed more than four years since the beginning of the novel, but in the case of the Lyovins, during the same period, 1872 to 1876, hardly three years have elapsed. It is the best example of relativity in literature that is known to me.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pnin)
Mother says she doesn't need the medication anymore, that the only cure for cancer is having a daughter who won't cut her hair and wears dresses too high above the knee even on a Sunday, because how knows what tackiness I'd do to myself if she died.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Rats They fought the dogs and killed the cats, And bit the babies in the cradles, And ate the cheeses out of the vats, And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles. Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats By drowning their speaking With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.
Robert Browning (The Pied Piper of Hamelin)
Shouldn't you have today off? Isn't it Sunday?" "I've a half day off ever' three days. I'll be out temorra afte'noon." I snort. "A half day?" God, that's ridiculous. She doesn't even get a single full day off? What is Alex, some kind of slave driver? Jeez.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
I don’t feel pressure, either. I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of Sunday, July 9, 2006, in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup.
Andrea Pirlo (I Think Therefore I Play)
...Sunday evenings are heavier than clouds with rain, darker too and often interminable...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
Maybe God doesn't care if we get all dressed up and sit in the pew every Sunday, as Diana believes. Instead, maybe God comes to us through men like Sloth, watching over us as we make our own decisions. Maybe God has always been with me. Opening doors, leading me to opportunities, letting me choose my own path, and loving me even when I chose the wrong one. Never giving up on me. Knowing all along that I am on a journey. That I must find my own way to Him. Maybe River was rights. Maybe God does still believe in me.
Julie Cantrell (Into the Free (Into the Free #1))
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities. We establish a divine bond with each other as we approach God together through family prayer, gospel study, and Sunday worship.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
...there were redheads and there were brunettes and there was even a super-hot chick that looked kinda like Pink but you think any of them did it for me?  No, Shaw not one because they weren’t fucking you and ever since you walked out on Sunday all I’ve been thinking of is you.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
2-1-10: A languid Sunday, afternoon turned into evening, evening into night, night into morning. 'I just want to enjoy your nextness and nearness,' O says. He puts his ear to my chest and listens to my heart and counts the beats. 'Sixty-two,' he says with a satisfied smile, and I can't imagine anything more intimate.
Bill Hayes (Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me)
But like, how do you know it’s love?” “When you miss the other person even if they’re half a room away.
Anyta Sunday (True Colors (True Love, #2))
Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Once I had asked, ‘But are you a Democrat or a Republican?” and Jonathan said, “I’m socially progressive but fiscally conservative,” and Doug Miles, a football player who also came to Sunday breakfast but only ever read the sports section and ignored everyone, lifted his head and said, “Is that like being bisexual?” Which I actually thought was funny, even though I was pretty sure Doug was a jerk.
Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep)
Sexually, I wanted him six days to Sunday. Sixty-nine days to Sunday, in fact, and I wasn’t even a sixty-nine kind of girl. Confession: I was, of course I was. I’d just never acted like it in real life. But I’d do it with Charlie. In a heartbeat. And were there other numbers? I’d do those too.
Melanie Harlow (Floored (Frenched, #3))
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
She was nobody here. It was not just that she had no friends and family; it was rather that she was a ghost in this room, in the streets on the way to work, on the shop floor. Nothing meant anything. The rooms in the house on Friary Street belonged to her, she thought; when she moved in them she was really there. In the town, if she walked to the shop or to the Vocational School, the air, the light, the ground, it was all solid and part of her, even if she met no one familiar. Nothing here was part of her. It was false, empty, she thought. She closed her eyes and tried to think, as she had done so many times in her life, of something she was looking forward to, but there was nothing. Not the slightest thing. Not even Sunday. Nothing maybe except sleep, and she was not even certain she was looking forward to sleep. In any case, she could not sleep yet, since it was not yet nine o’clock. There was nothing she could do. It was as though she had been locked away.
Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn)
And we learned, perhaps the hard way, that church isn’t static. It’s not a building, or a denomination, or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Church is a moment in time when the kingdom of God draws near, when a meal, a story, a song, an apology, and even a failure is made holy by the presence of Jesus among us and within us.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
When you understand that through the power of conversion in solitude you can become great, so many things you’ve been wasting your time on will no longer interest you. You will even run away from some friends.
Sunday Adelaja (How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?)
Baptists: I'm a pious guy, but even I have my limits. I draw the line right around spending 8 hours in church every Sunday. Church should be a solemn 45 minutes to sit quietly and feel guilty, with donuts at the end to make you feel better. I don't go in for a full day of singing and dancing and rejoicing, no matter how nice the hats are. I prefer my Gospel monotonously droned to me from a pulpit, thank you very much.
Stephen Colbert (I Am America (And So Can You!))
It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it. I recognize now that there was nothing unusual in this: confronted with sudden disaster we all focus on how unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred, the clear blue sky from which the plane fell, the routine errand that ended on the shoulder with the car in flames, the swings where the children were playing as usual when the rattlesnake struck from the ivy. "He was on his way home from work — happy, successful, healthy — and then, gone," I read in the account of a psychiatric nurse whose husband was killed in a highway accident. In 1966 I happened to interview many people who had been living in Honolulu on the morning of December 7, 1941; without exception, these people began their accounts of Pearl Harbor by telling me what an "ordinary Sunday morning" it had been. "It was just an ordinary beautiful September day," people still say when asked to describe the morning in New York when American Airlines 11 and United Airlines 175 got flown into the World Trade towers. Even the report of the 9/11 Commission opened on this insistently premonitory and yet still dumbstruck narrative note: "Tuesday, September 11, 2001, dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
I suspect I’ll be suspicious for my whole life that Saturday night is sleeping with Sunday morning.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
There is a price for everything in life. Even what you receive freely has already been paid for by someone.
Sunday Adelaja (The Mountain of Ignorance)
Even here, in the dark, God is busy making all things new. So show up. Open every door.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
You can fuck me seven shades of sunday this evening." - Ana Grey
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
One of the worst incidents of that era caused no complaints at all: this was a sort of good-natured firepower demonstration, which occured one Sunday morning about three-thirty. For reasons that were never made clear, I blew out my back windows with five blasts of a 12 gauge shotgun, followed moments later by six rounds from a .44 Magnum. It was a prolonged outburst of heavy firing, drunken laughter, and crashing glass. Yet the neighbors reacted with total silence. For a while I assumed that some freakish wind pocket had absorbed all the noise and carried it out to sea, but after my eviction I learned otherwise. Every one of the shots had been duly recorded on the gossip log. Another tenant in the building told me the landlord was convinced, by all the tales he'd heard, that the interior of my apartment was reduced to rubble by orgies, brawls, fires, and wanton shooting. He had even heard stories about motorcycles being driven in and out the front door.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
The truth is, we think church is for people living in the “after” picture. We think church is for taking spiritual Instagrams and putting on our best performances. We think church is for the healthy, even though Jesus told us time and again he came to minister to the sick. We think church is for good people, not resurrected people.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
It's called Sunday school, but we are required to attend twice weekly: on Sunday before regular service and again on Wednesday evenings. There are two separate classes: one for children under ten, held in the classroom down the hall, to teach them basic prayers and the tenets of the Brotherhood's beliefs, and one for girls aged eleven to seventeen, to teach us about how wicked we are.
Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1))
Ted: Barney, the 3 days rule is insane. I mean, who even came up with that? Barney: Jesus. Marshall: Barney, don't do this, not with Jesus. Barney: Seriously, Jesus started the whole wait-three-days thing. He waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect. Barney: If he'd have only waited one day, a lotta people wouldn't have even heard that he died. They'd be all "Hey, Jesus. What up?" And Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday." Barney: Then they'd be all, "Uh, look pretty alive to me dude." And then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected and how it was a miracle. And then the dude would be like "Ah, oh-kay, whatever you say "bro"." Robin: Wow, ancient dialogue sounds so stilted now. Barney: And you're not gonna come back on a Saturday, everybody's busy! Doin' chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' their beards. No, he waits the exact, right number of days - three. Ted: Ok, I promise, I'll wait 3 days. Just please stop talking. Barney: Plus, it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already. They're all in there - "Oh no, Jesus is dead." Barney: Then BAM! He bursts through the back door, runs up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched and FYI, that's when he invented the high-five. Barney: Three days, Ted. We wait three days to call a woman because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait. True story.
Neil Patrick Harris
Old Spice           Every Sunday afternoon he dresses in his old army uniform, tells you the name of every man he killed. His knuckles are unmarked graves.   Visit him on a Tuesday and he will describe the body of every woman he could not save. He’ll say she looked like your mother and you will feel a storm in your stomach.   Your grandfather is from another generation– Russian degrees and a school yard Cuban national anthem, communism and religion. Only music makes him cry now.   He married his first love, her with the long curls down to the small of her back. Sometimes he would pull her to him, those curls wrapped around his hand like rope.   He lives alone now. Frail, a living memory reclining in a seat, the room orbiting around him. You visit him but never have anything to say. When he was your age he was a man. You retreat into yourself whenever he says your name.   Your mother’s father, “the almost martyr, can load a gun under water in under four seconds.   Even his wedding night was a battlefield. A Swiss knife, his young bride, his sobs as he held Italian linen between her legs.   His face is a photograph left out in the sun, the henna of his beard, the silver of his eyebrows the wilted handkerchief, the kufi and the cane.   Your grandfather is dying. He begs you Take me home yaqay, I just want to see it one last time; you don’t know how to tell him that it won’t be anything like the way he left it.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Cynicism is a powerful anesthetic we use to numb ourselves to pain, but which also, by its nature, numbs us to truth and joy. Grief is healthy. Even anger can be healthy. But numbing ourselves with cynicism in an effort to avoid feeling those things is not.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
He’s from a generation that never even expected to get midway up the ladder so when he got there he was too stunned to dare climb higher. That’s the problem with midway. Up is everything and down just means all the white people want to party on your street on Sunday night to feel realness. Midway is nowhere.
Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings)
Now then, in the earth these people cannot stand much church -- an hour and a quarter is the limit, and they draw the line at once a week. That is to say, Sunday. One day in seven; and even then they do not look forward to it with longing. And so -- consider what their heaven provides for them: "church" that lasts forever, and a Sabbath that has no end! They quickly weary of this brief hebdomadal Sabbath here, yet they long for that eternal one; they dream of it, they talk about it, they think they think they are going to enjoy it -- with all their simple hearts they think they think they are going to be happy in it!
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
Breakfast! My favorite meal- and you can be so creative. I think of bowls of sparkling berries and fresh cream, baskets of Popovers and freshly squeezed orange juice, thick country bacon, hot maple syrup, panckes and French toast - even the nutty flavor of Irish oatmeal with brown sugar and cream. Breaksfast is the place I splurge with calories, then I spend the rest of the day getting them off! I love to use my prettiest table settings - crocheted placemats with lace-edged napkins and old hammered silver. And whether you are inside in front of a fire, candles burning brightly on a wintery day - or outside on a patio enjoying the morning sun - whether you are having a group of friends and family, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace of the whole day. And Sunday is my day. Sometimes I think we get caught up in the hectic happenings of the weeks and months and we forget to take time out to relax. So one Sunday morning I decided to do things differently - now it's gotten to be a sort of ritual! This is what I do: at around 8:30 am I pull myself from my warm cocoon, fluff up the pillows and blankets and put some classical music on the stereo. Then I'm off to the kitchen, where I very calmly (so as not to wake myself up too much!) prepare my breakfast, seomthing extra nice - last week I had fresh pineapple slices wrapped in bacon and broiled, a warm croissant, hot chocolate with marshmallows and orange juice. I put it all on a tray with a cloth napkin, my book-of-the-moment and the "Travel" section of the Boston Globe and take it back to bed with me. There I spend the next two hours reading, eating and dreaming while the snowflakes swirl through the treetops outside my bedroom window. The inspiring music of Back or Vivaldi adds an exquisite elegance to the otherwise unruly scene, and I am in heaven. I found time to get in touch with myself and my life and i think this just might be a necessity! Please try it for yourself, and someone you love.
Susan Branch (Days from the Heart of the Home)
Between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, I broke into a total of six offices, one penthouse suite and a small bank, and cursed them all. I cursed the stones they were built on, the bricks in their walls, the paint on their ceilings, the carpets on their floors. I cursed the nylon chairs to give their owners little electric shocks, I cursed the markers to squeak on the whiteboard, the hinges to rust, the glass to run, the windows to stick, the fans to whir, the chairs to break, the computers to crash, the papers to crease, the pens to smear; I cursed the pipes to leak, the coolers to drip, the pictures to sag, the phones to crackle and the wires to spark. And we enjoyed it.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
I thought about that while he made his next calls, while I kept on with the newsletters. I thought about it during Sunday service at Word of Life, and during study hours in my room, with the Viking Erin and her squeaky pink highlighter. What it meant to really believe in something—for real. Belief. The big dictionary in the Promise library said it meant something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held conviction or opinion. But even that definition, as short and simple as it was, confused me. True or real: Those were definite words; opinion and conviction just weren't—opinions wavered and changed and fluctuated with the person, the situation. And most troubling of all was the word accepts. Something one accepts. I was much better at excepting everything than accepting anything, at least anything for certain, for definite. That much I knew. That much I believed.
Emily M. Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Even though my Sunday school upbringing had taught me that God loved me, inwardly I always suspected that maybe He was more interested in making me miserable than in blessing me.
Eric Ludy (When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Guide to Guy/Girl Relationships)
God will definitely multiply back to you even in greater amounts what you have sown.
Sunday Adelaja
Never stop seeking, even when it seems there is no hope
Sunday Adelaja
Mercy and favor are miracles of God that give a man something he could not even dare to dream of.
Sunday Adelaja
Thurmond—same thing. Kennedy, Eisenhower, Clinton . . . all men of power, and the power went right to their pants. Even FDR fooled around. This
Billy Crystal (700 Sundays)
Even here, in the dark, God is busy making all things new.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
They may look grown-up,” she continued, “but it’s a disguise. It’s just the clay of time. Men and women are still children deep in their hearts. They still would like to jump and play, but that heavy clay won’t let them. They’d like to shake off every chain the world’s put on them, take off their watches and neckties and Sunday shoes and return naked to the swimming hole, if just for one day. They’d like to feel free, and know that there’s a momma and daddy at home who’ll take care of things and love them no matter what. Even behind the face of the meanest man in the world is a scared little boy trying to wedge himself into a corner where he can’t be hurt.
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
Some of the dairy people, who were also out of doors on the first Sunday evening after their engagement, heard her impulsive speeches, ecstasized to fragments, though they were too far off to hear the words discoursed; noted the spasmodic catch in her remarks, broken into syllables by the leapings of her heart, as she walked leaning on his arm; her contented pauses, the occassional laugh upon which her soul seemed to ride - the laugh of a woman in company with the man she loves and has won from all other women - unlike anything else in nature. They marked the buoyancy of her tread, like the skim of a bird which has not yet alighted.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
It has been said that when we pray, we speak to God; when we read, He speaks to us. Keeping this in mind, look for more in good books than entertainment. You will find in these books much that applies to you, and even in good novels, you will find many points that can help you become a finer person and a better Christian.
William A. Carroll (Catholic Girl's Manual and Sunday Missal)
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Yet as the evening of Sunday came on, a sadness as of death would overtake me, for at nine o'clock I had to return to school, where everything was cold and strange and severe—where the governesses, on Mondays, lost their tempers, and nipped my ears, and made me cry.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Poor Folk)
I know every single street in this town. And I love strolling these streets in the mornings, in the evenings, and then at night when I am merry and tipsy. I love to have breakfasts with my friends along the Bosphorus on Sundays, I love to walk alone amid the crowds. I am in love with the chaotic beauty of this city, the ferries, the music, the tales, the sadness, the colors, and the black humor.....
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Our innate imbalances are further aggravated by practical demands. Our jobs make relentless calls on a narrow band of our faculties, reducing our chances of achieving rounded personalities and leaving us to suspect (often in the gathering darkness of a Sunday evening) that much of who we are, or could be, has gone unexplored. Society ends up containing a range of unbalanced groups, each hungering to sate its particular psychological deficiency, forming the backdrop against which our frequently heated conflicts about what is beautiful plays themselves out.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
This Room" The room I entered was a dream of this room. Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine. The oval portrait of a dog was me at an early age. Something shimmers, something is hushed up. We had macaroni for lunch every day except Sunday, when a small quail was induced to be served to us. Why do I tell you these things? You are not even here.
John Ashbery
She is married. I suppose there are children. They walk together on Sundays, the sunlight falling upon them. They visit friends, talk, go home in the evening, deep in the life we all agree is so greatly to be desired.
James Salter (A Sport and a Pastime)
This is what songs do, even dumb pop songs: they remind us that emotions are not an inconvenient and vaguely embarrassing aspect of the human enterprise but its central purpose. They make us feel specific things we might never have felt otherwise. Every time I listen to "Sunday Bloody Sunday," for instance, I feel a pugnacious righteousness about the fate of the Irish people. I hear that thwacking military drumbeat and Bono starts wailing about the news he heard today and I'm basically ready to enlist in the IRA and stomp some British Protestant Imperialist Ass, hell yes, bring on the fucking bangers and mash and let's get this McJihad started.
Steve Almond (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us)
During terms, Professor Marsden lives in Cambridge with his wife, chess player extraordinaire and distinguished physician and surgeon Bryony Asquith Marsden. His favorite time of day is half past six in the evening, when he meets Mrs. Marsden’s train at the station, as the latter returns from her day in London. On Sunday afternoons, rain or shine, Professor and Mrs. Marsden take a walk along The Backs, and treasure growing old together.
Sherry Thomas (Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2))
The great packing machine ground on remorselessly, without thinking of green fields; and the men and women and children who were part of it never saw any green thing, not even a flower. Four or five miles to the east of them lay the blue waters of Lake Michigan; but for all the good it did them it might have been as far away as the Pacific Ocean. They had only Sundays, and then they were too tired to walk. They were tied to the great packing machine, and tied to it for life.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
We called them the Nine-to-Fivers. They lived in accordance with nature, waking and sleeping with the cycle of the sun. Mealtimes, business hours, the world conformed to their schedule. The best markets, the A-list concerts, the street fairs, the banner festivities were on Saturdays and Sundays. They sold out movies, art openings, ceramics classes. They had evenings to waste. The watched the Super Bowl, they watched the Oscars, they made reservations for dinner because they ate dinner at a normal time. They brunched, ruthlessly, and read the Sunday Times on Sundays. They moved in crowds that reinforced their citizenship: crowded museums, crowded subways, crowded bars, the city teeming with extras for the movie they starred in. They were dining, shopping, consuming, unwinding, expanding while we were working, diminishing, being absorbed into their scenery. That is why we -- the Industry People -- got so greedy when the Nine-to-Fivers went to bed.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
If I hadn’t decided on cremation and a scattering, I could have used the phrase as an epitaph on a chunk of stone or marble: “Tony Webster—He Never Got It.” But that would be too melodramatic, even self-pitying. How about “He’s on His Own Now”? That would be better, truer. Or maybe I’ll stick with: “Every Day Is Sunday.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
The American really loves nothing but his automobile: not his wife his child nor his country nor even his bank-account first (in fact he doesn't really love that bank-account nearly as much as foreigners like to think because he will spend almost any or all of it for almost anything provided it is valueless enough) but his motor-car. Because the automobile has become our national sex symbol. We cannot really enjoy anything unless we can go up an alley for it. Yet our whole background and raising and training forbids the sub rosa and surreptitious. So we have to divorce our wife today in order to remove from our mistress the odium of mistress in order to divorce our wife tomorrow in order to remove from our mistress and so on. As a result of which the American woman has become cold and and undersexed; she has projected her libido on to the automobile not only because its glitter and gadgets and mobility pander to her vanity and incapacity (because of the dress decreed upon her by the national retailers association) to walk but because it will not maul her and tousle her, get her all sweaty and disarranged. So in order to capture and master anything at all of her anymore the American man has got to make that car his own. Which is why let him live in a rented rathole though he must he will not only own one but renew it each year in pristine virginity, lending it to no one, letting no other hand ever know the last secret forever chaste forever wanton intimacy of its pedals and levers, having nowhere to go in it himself and even if he did he would not go where scratch or blemish might deface it, spending all Sunday morning washing and polishing and waxing it because in doing that he is caressing the body of the woman who has long since now denied him her bed.
William Faulkner (Intruder in the Dust)
But as things stood, there weren't even two fun days. They only had Saturdays, because Mondays were a little bit too close to Sundays for Sunday's liking, as if Monday were a collapsed star in the week's solar system, with an excessive gravitational pull.
Matt Haig (The Humans)
She closed her eyes and tried to think, as she had done so many times in her life, of something she was looking forward to, but there was nothing. Not the slightest thing. Not even Sunday. Nothing maybe except sleep, and she was not even certain she was looking forward to sleep. In any case, she could not sleep yet, since it was not yet nine o’clock. There was nothing she could do. It was as though she had been locked away. In
Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn)
Even very wealthy people like Lauren would tend to reserve something like a McLaren for special events or the occasional Sunday drive. Not Musk. He drove it all around Silicon Valley and parked it on the street by the X.com offices. His friends were horrified to see such a work of art covered with bird droppings or in the parking lot of a Safeway.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future)
Pop said life was like learning to drive. You were bound to fuck up, make mistakes, maybe even cause an accident, but if you practice and follow the rules, people didn’t have to get hurt—and one day you’d just get better at it. Just don’t . . . give it up, he said.
Anyta Sunday (St-st-stuffed (Enemies to Lovers, #2))
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I love you,” he says. “I love you so much. I love waking up with you on Sunday mornings when we don’t have any plans. And I love coming home to you at night, seeing you reading a book, bundled up in a sweater and huge socks even though you have the heat up to eighty-eight degrees. I want that for the rest of my life. I want you to be my wife. That’s what I want.” I want to tell him that I want that, too. Ever since I met him I’ve wanted that, too. But now everything is different, everything has changed. And I’m not sure what I want at all. “But I don’t want you to share those things with me because you have to, because you feel it’s right to honor a promise we made months ago. I want us to share all of that together because it’s what makes you happy, because you wake up every day glad that you’re with me, because you have the freedom to choose the life you want, and you choose our life together. That’s what I want. If I don’t give you the chance to leave right now, then I don’t know,” he says, shrugging. “I just don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable again.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (One True Loves)
My train was late, slowed by the usual Sunday engineering work. I got home in the early evening. I remember that I had a bloody good long shit.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.
Dave Matthes
It’s been found that if you wake up every morning and practice saying three things you are grateful for—they have to be new each day—by doing this for twenty-one days, even people who were testing as the low-level pessimist on average were now testing as low-level optimist.
Oprah Winfrey (The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations)
When [Jesus] wanted fully to explain what his forthcoming death was all about,” writes New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, “he didn’t give a theory. He didn’t even give them a set of scriptural texts. He gave them a meal.”46 I guess sometimes you just have to taste and see.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
I'm pretty strong," he says. "I could cart you around on my back all day long. Hey, I could even teach you to swim." 'Tisn't true," she replies haughtily. "How could you do that?" I know how--with floats, to keep your feet up." She shakes her head. He puffs out his cheeks and whistles soundlessly. "I go fishing with my father on Sundays. I can bring you back a hake big as this!" He spreads his arms to show a fish about the size of a whale. "You like hake?" She shakes her head. Bass?" Same response. Crab claws? We got a lot of them, in the nets." She turns her chair around and pushes the wheels along--now she's the one who goes away. Snobby Parisienne!" he yells after her. "And to think I almost fell for you! I smell too fishy is that it?
Sébastien Japrisot
For I do not believe God means us thus to divide life into half halves - to wear a grave face on Sunday, and to think it out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a weekday. Do you think he cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only tones of prayer - and that He does not also love to see the lambs leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the children as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from the 'dim religious light' of some solemn cathedral?
Lewis Carroll
But as nearly every denomination in the United States faces declining membership and waning influence, Christians may need to get used to the idea of measuring significance by something other than money, fame, and power. No one ever said the fruit of the Spirit is relevance or impact or even revival. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—the sort of stuff that, let’s face it, doesn’t always sell.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
In addition to conformity as a way to relieve the anxiety springing from separateness, another factor of contemporary life must be considered: the role of the work routine and the pleasure routine. Man becomes a 'nine to fiver', he is part of the labour force, or the bureaucratic force of clerks and managers. He has little initiative, his tasks are prescribed by the organisation of the work; there is even little difference between those high up on the ladder and those on the bottom. They all perform tasks prescribed by the whole structure of the organisation, at a prescribed speed, and in a prescribed manner. Even the feelings are prescribed: cheerfulness, tolerance, reliability, ambition, and an ability to get along with everybody without friction. Fun is routinised in similar, although not quite as drastic ways. Books are selected by the book clubs, movies by the film and theatre owners and the advertising slogans paid for by them; the rest is also uniform: the Sunday ride in the car, the television session, the card game, the social parties. From birth to death, from Monday to Monday, from morning to evening - all activities are routinised, and prefabricated. How should a man caught up in this net of routine not forget that he is a man, a unique individual, one who is given only this one chance of living, with hopes and disappointments, with sorrow and fear, with the longing for love and the dread of the nothing and separateness?
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I’ll never forget that Depression Easter Sunday. Our son was four years old. I bought ten or fifteen cents’ worth of eggs. You didn’t get too many eggs for that. But we were down. Margaret said, ‘Why he’ll find those in five minutes.’ I had a couple in the piano and all around. Tommy got his little Easter basket, and as he would find the eggs, I’d steal ’em out of the basket and re-hide them. The kid had more fun that Easter than he ever had. He hunted Easter eggs for three hours and he never knew the difference. (Laughs.) “My son is now thirty-nine years old. And I bore him to death every Easter with the story. He never even noticed his bag full of Easter eggs never got any fuller. . . .
Studs Terkel (Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression)
It has often been suggested to me that the Constitution of the United States is a sufficient safeguard for the freedom of its citizens. It is obvious that even the freedom it pretends to guarantee is very limited. I have not been impressed with the adequacy of the safeguard. The nations of the world, with centuries of international law behind them, have never hesitated to engage in mass destruction when solemnly pledged to keep the peace; and the legal documents in America have not prevented the United States from doing the same. Those in authority have and always will abuse their power. And the instances when they do not do so are as rare as roses growing on icebergs. Far from the Constitution playing any liberating part in the lives of the American people, it has robbed them of the capacity to rely on their own resources or do their own thinking. Americans are so easily hoodwinked by the sanctity of law and authority. In fact, the pattern of life has become standardized, routinized, and mechanized like canned food and Sunday sermons. The hundred-percenter easily swallows syndicated information and factory-made ideas and beliefs. He thrives on the wisdom given him over the radio and cheap magazines by corporations whose philanthropic aim is selling America out. He accepts the standards of conduct and art in the same breath with the advertising of chewing gum, toothpaste, and shoe polish. Even songs are turned out like buttons or automobile tires--all cast from the same mold.
Emma Goldman (Red Emma Speaks)
MY DAD WAS A DEACON, and my mom taught Sunday school. I remember a stretch when I was young when we would go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening. Still, we didn’t consider ourselves overly religious, just good people who believed in God and were involved in our church.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
As a Jew, keeping kosher was tantamount to Peter’s very faith and identity, but when following Jesus led him to the homes and tables of Gentiles, Peter had a vision in which God told him not to let rules—even biblical ones—keep him from loving his neighbor. So when Peter was invited to the home of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, he declared: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean” (Acts 10:28). Sometimes the most radical act of Christian obedience is to share a meal with someone new.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: 'After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?' Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picknickers on her property. I guess the trouble was that we didn't have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew—at least they claimed to be Communists—couldn't have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves.
John Steinbeck (America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction)
Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them: it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in. Even idleness is eager now—eager for amusement; prone to excursion-trains, art museums, periodical literature, and exciting novels; prone even to scientific theorizing and cursory peeps through microscopes. Old Leisure was quite a different personage. He only read one newspaper, innocent of leaders, and was free from that periodicity of sensations which we call post-time. He was a contemplative, rather stout gentleman, of excellent digestion; of quiet perceptions, undiseased by hypothesis; happy in his inability to know the causes of things, preferring the things themselves. He lived chiefly in the country, among pleasant seats and homesteads, and was fond of sauntering by the fruit-tree wall and scenting the apricots when they were warmed by the morning sunshine, or of sheltering himself under the orchard boughs at noon, when the summer pears were falling. He knew nothing of weekday services, and thought none the worse of the Sunday sermon if it allowed him to sleep from the text to the blessing; liking the afternoon service best, because the prayers were the shortest, and not ashamed to say so; for he had an easy, jolly conscience, broad-backed like himself, and able to carry a great deal of beer or port-wine, not being made squeamish by doubts and qualms and lofty aspirations.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
The popular concept–that we should each determine our own morality–is based on the belief that the spiritual realm is nothing at all like the rest of the world. Does anyone really believe that? For many years after each of the morning and evening Sunday services I remained in the auditorium for another hour to field questions. Hundreds of people stayed for the give-and-take discussions. One of the most frequent statements I heard was that 'Every person has to define right and wrong for him- or herself.' I always responded to the speakers by asking, 'Is there anyone in the world right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behavior?' They would invariable say, 'Yes, of course.' Then I would ask, “Doesn’t that mean that you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is "there" that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of what a person feels or thinks?' Almost always, the response to that question was silence, either a thoughtful or a grumpy one.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Millennials want to be known by what we're for, ... not just what we're against. We don't want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it's uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
I suppose there may be a branch president or a high councilor or an elders quorum president or a visiting teacher in the room who wants to know what it is we are to accomplish as Church members when we get together, even if it's only in a home evening group or an opportunity to pray together. Well, this passage indicates that it may have something to do with remembering each other. We all count. Everyone matters. We have a name and it's recorded and we need to remember that here. No one must get lost. "And their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God. . . to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ . . . to fast and to speak with one another concerning the welfare of their souls . . . to observe that there should be no iniquity among them"--what a great thought about meetings and what they are supposed to do, what a Sunday School class can be, what a scriptural discussion in an apartment can be.
Jeffrey R. Holland
The Christian faith has become a cheap faith because we too often live as if it has no value. We complain when the preacher runs over a few minutes on the Sunday sermon and consider it a great inconvenience to return to services once or twice more in the same week. No wonder so much of the world does not consider our faith relevant when we are not even willing to give of our time, much less our freedom or lives, for what we say we believe in.
Billy Graham (Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional)
It's long past dark, and I don't see anyone walking tonight. Maybe Sundays are off-limits. Maybe my ninja girl even goes to bed and gives her swaying, beautiful hair a break. I wonder where she sneaks off to. I wonder, does she have a secret boyfriend or a favorite place? The ants say: What the hell are you doing to yourself? You'll never see her again. She lives two thousand miles away! Then I think of Granddad and wonder why I dream about a man who is twelve thousand miles away. It makes me ask: Why do I care so much about people who are so far away from me?
A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants)
If you think acting like you don't exist isn't the hardest thing I've ever done, you're wrong. I hate not talking to you, I hate not bickering like we're an old married couple, and I hate not spending every day right next to you. But this is how it has to be. Brandon hates me, and, Princess, trust me when I say he has every reason to. So if after everything I've done to you, you'll still even consider being my friend, then it has to be Sundays only.
Molly McAdams (Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #1.5))
It isn’t Easter,” he said, “but this week has caused me to think a lot about the Easter story. Not the glorious resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday but the darkness that came before. I know of no darker moment in the Bible than the moment Jesus in his agony on the cross cries out, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Darker even than his death not long after because in death Jesus at last gave himself over fully to the divine will of God. But in that moment of his bitter railing he must have felt betrayed and completely abandoned by his father, a father he’d always believed loved him deeply and absolutely. How terrible that must have been and how alone he must have felt. In dying all was revealed to him, but alive Jesus like us saw with mortal eyes, felt the pain of mortal flesh, and knew the confusion of imperfect mortal understanding. “I see with mortal eyes. My mortal heart this morning is breaking. And I do not understand. “I confess that I have cried out to God, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ ” Here my father paused and I thought he could not continue. But after a long moment he seemed to gather himself and went on. “When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what’s left to us? What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame him for the dark night into which he’s led us, to blame him for our misery, to blame him and cry out against him for not caring? What’s left to us when that which we love most has been taken? “I will tell you what’s left, three profound blessings. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us exactly what they are: faith, hope, and love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and he’s given us complete control over them. Even in the darkest night it’s still within our power to hold to faith. We can still embrace hope. And although we may ourselves feel unloved we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God. All this is in our control. God gave us these gifts and he does not take them back. It is we who choose to discard them. “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way. “And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one. It may not be the miracle you’ve prayed for. God probably won’t undo what’s been done. The miracle is this: that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day. “Jesus suffered the dark night and death and on the third day he rose again through the grace of his loving father. For each of us, the sun sets and the sun also rises and through the grace of our Lord we can endure our own dark night and rise to the dawning of a new day and rejoice. “I invite you, my brothers and sisters, to rejoice with me in the divine grace of the Lord and in the beauty of this morning, which he has given us.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
She began to fret about God's exact location. It was the Sunday-school teacher's fault: God is everywhere, she'd said, and Laura wanted to know: was God in the sun, was God in the moon, was God in the kitchen, the bathroom, was he under the bed?...Laura didn't want God popping our at her unexpectedly...Probably God was in the boom closet. It seemed the most likely place. He was lurking in there like some eccentric and possibly dangerous uncle, but she couldn't be certain whether he was there at any given moment because she was afraid to open the door. "god is in your heart", said the Sunday-school teacher, and that was even worse. If in the broom closet, something might have been possible, such as locking the door.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
We attended church Sunday as a family, and it was an even balance as to who was harder to keep still, the four Elliot children or Captain Elliot himself. Jack kept up a stream of secretive winks at me in a most suggestive fashion, which made me blush despite the fact that I desperately tried to maintain my composure. Two year old Suzanne squirmed in my lap but was still for him, so he bounced her quietly on his knee. The boys, true to their deeply spiritual natures, snored softly through the entire sermon, and April sat still but looked out the windows, bored and restlessly shifting in her seat. (pg 326)
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories (Sarah Agnes Prine, #1))
There's something about evening service in a country church that makes a fellow feel drowsy and peaceful. Sort of end-of-a-perfect-day feeling. Old Heppenstall was up in the pulpit, and he has a kind of regular, bleating delivery that assists thought. They had left the door open, and the air was full of a mixed scent of trees and honeysuckle and mildew and villagers' Sunday clothes. As far as the eye could reach, you could see farmers propped up in restful attitudes, breathing heavily; and the children in the congregation who had fidgeted during the earlier part of the proceedings were now lying back in a surfeited sort of coma. The last rays of the setting sun shone through the stained-glass windows, birds were twittering in the trees, the women's dresses crackled gently in the stillness. Peaceful. That's what I'm driving at. I felt peaceful. Everybody felt peaceful.
P.G. Wodehouse (The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves, #2))
For a person accustomed to the multi ethnic commotion of Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, or even Denver, walking across the BYU campus can be a jarring experience. One sees no graffiti, not a speck of litter. More than 99 percent of the thirty thousand students are white. Each of the young Mormons one encounters is astonishingly well groomed and neatly dressed. Beards, tattoos, and pierced ears (or other body parts) are strictly forbidden for men. Immodest attire and more than a single piercing per ear are forbidden among women. Smoking, using profane language, and drinking alcohol or even coffee are likewise banned. Heeding the dictum "Cougars don't cut corners," students keep to the sidewalks as they hurry to make it to class on time; nobody would think of attempting to shave a few precious seconds by treading on the manicured grass. Everyone is cheerful, friendly, and unfailingly polite. Most non-Mormons think of Salt Lake City as the geographic heart of Mormonism, but in fact half the population of Salt Lake is Gentile, and many Mormons regard the city as a sinful, iniquitous place that's been corrupted by outsiders. To the Saints themselves, the true Mormon heartland is here in Provo and surrounding Utah County--the site of chaste little towns like Highland, American Fork, Orem, Payson and Salem--where the population is nearly 90 percent LDS. The Sabbath is taken seriously in these parts. Almost all businesses close on Sundays, as do public swimming pools, even on the hottest days of the summer months. This part of the state is demographically notable in other aspects, as well. The LDS Church forbids abortions, frowns on contraception, and teaches that Mormon couples have a sacred duty to give birth to as many children as they can support--which goes a long way toward explaining why Utah County has the highest birth rate in the United States; it is higher, in fact, than the birth rate in Bangladesh. This also happens to be the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the nation. Not coincidentally, Utah County is a stronghold not only of Mormonism but also Mormon Fundamentalism.
Jon Krakauer
On his first parade the sergeant-major exclaimed that he couldn't make out the shape of Arthur's head because there was so much hair on it, and Arthur jocularly agreed to get it cut, intending to forget about it until the fifteen days was over, which he did. 'You're a soldier now, not a Teddy-boy,' the sergeant-major said, but Arthur knew he was wrong in either case. He was nothing at all when people tried to tell him what he was. Not even his own name was enough, though it might be on on his pay-book. What am I? he wondered. A six-foot pit-prop that wants a pint of ale. That's what I am. And if any knowing bastard says that's what I am, I'm a dynamite-dealer, Sten-gun seller, hundred-ton tank trader, a capstan-lathe operator waiting to blow the army to Kingdom Cum. I'm me and nobody else; and what people think I am or say I am, that's what I'm not, because they don't know a bloody thing about me.
Alan Sillitoe (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)
The only acceptable hobby, throughout all stages of life, is cookery. As a child: adorable baked items. Twenties: much appreciated spag bol and fry-ups. Thirties and forties: lovely stuff with butternut squash and chorizo from the Guardian food section. Fifties and sixties: beef wellington from the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Seventies and eighties: back to the adorable baked items. Perfect. The only teeny tiny downside of this hobby is that I HATE COOKING. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore the eating of the food. It's just the awful boring, frightening putting together of it that makes me want to shove my own fists in my mouth. It's a lovely idea: follow the recipe and you'll end up with something exactly like the pretty picture in the book, only even more delicious. But the reality's rather different. Within fifteen minutes of embarking on a dish I generally find myself in tears in the middle of what appears to be a bombsite, looking like a mentally unstable art teacher in a butter-splattered apron, wondering a) just how I am supposed to get hold of a thimble and a half of FairTrade hazelnut oil (why is there always the one impossible-to-find recipe ingredient? Sesame paste, anyone?) and b) just how I managed to get flour through two closed doors onto the living-room curtains, when I don't recall having used any flour and oh-this-is-terrible-let's-just-go-out-and-get-a-Wagamama's-and-to-hell-with-the-cost, dammit.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
We hear every day of murders committed in the country. Brutal and treacherous murders; slow, protracted agonies from poisons administered by some kindred hand; sudden and violent deaths by cruel blows, inflicted with a stake cut from some spreading oak, whose every shadow promised—peace. In the county of which I write, I have been shown a meadow in which, on a quiet summer Sunday evening, a young farmer murdered the girl who had loved and trusted him; and yet, even now, with the stain of that foul deed upon it, the aspect of the spot is—peace. No species of crime has ever been committed in the worst rookeries about Seven Dials that has not been also done in the face of that rustic calm which still, in spite of all, we look on with a tender, half-mournful yearning, and associate with—peace.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Lady Audley's Secret)
When Psyche got up to leave, Eros once again mentioned that he would miss her on Sunday."Even if you come on Sunday, I shall not be able to give you what you want. I shall be having my period then & it will be too messy for your liking," his secretary advised him.[MMT]
Nicholas Chong
I can become happy with the simplest things the most insignificant.. even the every day ones of every day. It is sufficient for me that weeks have Sundays and I am satisfied that years keep their Christmas for the very end that winters have stone houses dipped in snow that I know how to discover the hidden bitter herbs in their hiding places. It is enough for me that four people love me a lot.. It is enough for me that I love four people a lot.. that I spend my breath on them alone; that I am not afraid to remember; that I do not care if they remember me; that I can still cry and that I even sing..sometimes... that there is music which fascinates me and fragrances that enchant me..
Odysseus Elytis
Don't you miss having a man? Don't you want to get married?" He [Patrick Sonnier] is simple and direct. I'm simple and direct back. I tell him that even as a young woman I didn't want to marry one man and have one family, I always wanted a wider arena for my love. But intimacy means a lot to me, I tell him. "I have close friends - men and women. I couldn't make it without intimacy." "Yeah?" he says. "Yeah," I say. "But there's a costly side to celibacy, too, a deep loneliness sometimes. There are moments, especially on Sunday afternoons, when I smell the smoke in the neighborhood from family barbecues, and feel like a fool not to have pursued a "normal" life. But, then, I've figured out that loneliness is part of everyone's life, part of being human - the private, solitary part of us that no one else can touch." (p. 127)
Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate)
If you want to have loving feelings today, do loving things: Flirt with everyone, especially old people and yourself. Pick up some litter in your neighborhood, even though there will be more by Sunday. Get your work done, one inadequate sentence and paragraph at a time. Then go through your draft and take out all the lies and boring parts. Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.....Those are the things I am going to do today.
Anne Lamott
Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: 'After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?' Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picknickers on her property
John Steinbeck
In Port William, more than anyplace else I had been, this religion that scorned the beauty and goodness of this world was a puzzle to me. To begin with, I don’t think anybody believed it. I still don’t think so. Those world-condemning sermons were preached to people who, on Sunday mornings, would be wearing their prettiest clothes. Even the old widows in their dark dresses would be pleasing to look at. By dressing up on the one day when most of them had leisure to do it, they had signified their wish to present themselves to one another and to Heaven looking their best. The people who heard those sermons loved good crops, good gardens, good livestock and work animals and dogs; they loved flowers and the shade of trees, and laughter and music; some of them could make you a fair speech on the pleasures of a good drink of water or a patch of wild raspberries. While the wickedness of the flesh was preached from the pulpit, the young husbands and wives and the courting couples sat thigh to thigh, full of yearning and joy, and the old people thought of the beauty of the children. And when church was over they would go home to Heavenly dinners of fried chicken, it might be, and creamed new potatoes and hot biscuits and butter and cherry pie and sweet milk and buttermilk. And the preacher and his family would always be invited to eat with somebody and they would always go, and the preacher, having just foresworn on behalf of everybody the joys of the flesh, would eat with unconsecrated relish.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Correct thinking provides a sense of certainty. Without it, we fear that faith is on life support at best, dead and buried at worst. And who wants a dead or dying faith? So this fear of losing a handle on certainty leads to a preoccupation with correct thinking, making sure familiar beliefs are defended and supported at all costs. How strongly do we hold on to the old ways of thinking? Just recall those history courses where we read about Christians killing other Christians over all sorts of disagreements about doctrines few can even articulate today. Or perhaps just think of a skirmish you’ve had at church over a sermon, Sunday-school lesson, or which candidate to vote into public office. Preoccupation with correct thinking. That’s the deeper problem. It reduces the life of faith to sentry duty, a 24/7 task of pacing the ramparts and scanning the horizon to fend off incorrect thinking, in ourselves and others, too engrossed to come inside the halls and enjoy the banquet. A faith like that is stressful and tedious to maintain. Moving toward different ways of thinking, even just trying it on for a while to see how it fits, is perceived as a compromise to faith, or as giving up on faith altogether. But nothing could be further from the truth. Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
Receive this cross of ash upon your brow Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday's cross; The forests of the world are burning now And you make late repentance for the loss. But all the trees of God would clap their hands, The very stones themselves would shout and sing, If you could covenant to love these lands And recognize in Christ their lord and king. He sees the slow destruction of those trees, He weeps to see the ancient places burn, And still you make what purchases you please And still to dust and ashes you return. But Hope could rise from ashes even now Beginning with this sign upon your brow.
Malcolm Guite (The Word in the Wilderness)
After all, these were not topics you could discuss with someone else; what was there to say to another person about how it felt? You could concoct things you wanted but in certain moments the light shifted or time slowed – on Sundays in particular, time slowed, and occasionally on Saturday afternoons, if you didn’t have a game – and you saw that it was all really nothing. It was just endlessness and what you got or didn’t get would hardly make a difference, and then what was there? The loathsomely familiar room where you lived, your horrible face and body, and the rebuke of other people, how they were unbothered, how you would seem, if you tried to explain, kind of weird and kind of boring and not even original. Why did their lives proceed so easily? Why was it that you needed to convince them and they needed to be convinced and not the other way around? Not, of course, that you would actually succeed if you tried.
Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep)
Boy everyone in this country is running around yammering about their fucking rights. "I have a right, you have no right, we have a right." Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fuck, here we go again...here we go again. The God excuse, the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, "It came from God." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. Personally folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would've given you the right for some food every day, and he would've given you the right to a roof over your head. GOD would've been looking out for ya. You know that. He wouldn't have been worried making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend's parents. But let's say it's true. Let's say that God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights? The Bill of Rights of this country has 10 stipulations. OK...10 rights. And apparently God was doing sloppy work that week, because we've had to ammend the bill of rights an additional 17 times. So God forgot a couple of things, like...SLAVERY. Just fuckin' slipped his mind. But let's say...let's say God gave us the original 10. He gave the british 13. The british Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29, the Belgians have 25, the Sweedish have only 6, and some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fuckin' god damn god given deal is that!?...NO RIGHTS AT ALL!? Why would God give different people in different countries a different numbers of different rights? Boredom? Amusement? Bad arithmetic? Do we find out at long last after all this time that God is weak in math skills? Doesn't sound like divine planning to me. Sounds more like human planning . Sounds more like one group trying to control another group. In other words...business as usual in America. Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you're at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, "Japanese-Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fucking rights. Alright. You know about it. In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps. Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most...their government took them away. and rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're priveledges. That's all we've ever had in this country is a bill of TEMPORARY priviledges; and if you read the news, even badly, you know the list get's shorter, and shorter, and shorter. Yeup, sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize the government doesn't give a fuck about them. the government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. it simply doesn't give a fuck about you. It's interested in it's own power. That's the only thing...keeping it, and expanding wherever possible. Personally when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true: either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all.
George Carlin (It's Bad for Ya)
I’m a Christian,” I said, “because Christianity names and addresses sin. It acknowledges the reality that the evil we observe in the world is also present within ourselves. It tells the truth about the human condition—that we’re not okay.” “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed,” instructed James, the brother of Jesus (James 5:16). At its best, the church functions much like a recovery group, a safe place where a bunch of struggling, imperfect people come together to speak difficult truths to one another. Sometimes the truth is we have sinned as individuals. Sometimes the truth is we have sinned corporately, as a people. Sometimes the truth is we’re hurting because of another person’s sin or as a result of forces beyond our control. Sometimes the truth is we’re just hurting, and we’re not even sure why.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
He thought of nothing. Some thoughts or fragments of thoughts, some images without order or coherence floated before his mind--faces of people he had seen in his childhood or met somewhere once, whom he would never have recalled, the belfry of the church at V., the billiard table in a restaurant and some officers playing billiards, the smell of cigars in some underground tobacco shop, a tavern room, a back staircase quite dark, all sloppy with dirty water and strewn with egg-shells, and the Sunday bells floating in from somewhere.... The images followed one another, whirling like a hurricane. Some of them he liked and tried to clutch at, but they faded and all the while there was an oppression within him, but it was not overwhelming, sometimes it was even pleasant.... The slight shivering still persisted, but that too was an almost pleasant sensation.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Remembering Mom's Clothesline -- There is one thing that's left out. We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty. I can hear my mother now... THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES: (If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.) 1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top. 2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands. 3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - Walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines. 4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," And hang them first. 5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail! What would the neighbors think? 6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, Or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake! 7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could Hide your "unmentionables" in the middle perverts & busybodies, y'know!) 8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... Clothes would "freeze-dry." 9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky"! 10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item. Did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item. 11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed. 12. IRONED??!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject!
Unnown
In winter you wake up in this city, especially on Sundays, to the chiming of its innumerable bells, as though behind your gauze curtains a gigantic china teaset were vibrating on a silver tray in the pearl-gray sky. You fling the window open and the room is instantly flooded with this outer, peal-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers. No matter what sort of pills, and how many, you've got to swallow this morning, you feel it's not over for you yet. No matter, by the same token, how autonomous you are, how much you've been betrayed, how thorough and dispiriting in your self-knowledge, you assume there is still hope for you, or at least a future. (Hope, said Francis Bacon, is a good breakfast but bad supper.) This optimism derives from the haze, from the prayer part of it, especially if it's time for breakfast. On days like this, the city indeed acquires a porcelain aspect, what with all its zinc-covered cupolas resembling teapots or upturned cups, and the tilted profile of campaniles clinking like abandoned spoons and melting in the sky. Not to mention the seagulls and pigeons, now sharpening into focus, now melting into air. I should say that, good though this place is for honeymoons, I've often thought it should be tried for divorces also - both in progress and already accomplished. There is no better backdrop for rapture to fade into; whether right or wrong, no egoist can star for long in this porcelain setting by crystal water, for it steals the show. I am aware, of course, of the disastrous consequence the above suggestion may have for hotel rates here, even in winter. Still, people love their melodrama more than architecture, and I don't feel threatened. It is surprising that beauty is valued less than psychology, but so long as such is the case, I'll be able to afford this city - which means till the end of my days, and which ushers in the generous notion of the future.
Joseph Brodsky
Some might argue that the reality of Nordic autonomy is that you are free ... to be Nordic. If you are a Muslim who is looking to build a mosque, or an American who wants to drive a large car, espouse your deeply held Creationist beliefs, and go shopping with your platinum card on Sunday, or even if you are English and choose to conduct yourself according to archaic forms of baroque politeness, you are likely to experience varying degrees of oppression and exclusion should you come to live in this part of the world. This is true.
Michael Booth (The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia)
In Rome on the Campo dei Fiori Baskets of olives and lemons, Cobbles spattered with wine And the wreckage of flowers. Vendors cover the trestles With rose-pink fish; Armfuls of dark grapes Heaped on peach-down. On this same square They burned Giordano Bruno. Henchmen kindled the pyre Close-pressed by the mob. Before the flames had died The taverns were full again, Baskets of olives and lemons Again on the vendors' shoulders. I thought of the Campo dei Fiori In Warsaw by the sky-carousel One clear spring evening To the strains of a carnival tune. The bright melody drowned The salvos from the ghetto wall, And couples were flying High in the cloudless sky. At times wind from the burning Would drift dark kites along And riders on the carousel Caught petals in midair. That same hot wind Blew open the skirts of the girls And the crowds were laughing On that beautiful Warsaw Sunday. Someone will read as moral That the people of Rome or Warsaw Haggle, laugh, make love As they pass by martyrs' pyres. Someone else will read Of the passing of things human, Of the oblivion Born before the flames have died. But that day I thought only Of the loneliness of the dying, Of how, when Giordano Climbed to his burning There were no words In any human tongue To be left for mankind, Mankind who live on. Already they were back at their wine Or peddled their white starfish, Baskets of olives and lemons They had shouldered to the fair, And he already distanced As if centuries had passed While they paused just a moment For his flying in the fire. Those dying here, the lonely Forgotten by the world, Our tongue becomes for them The language of an ancient planet. Until, when all is legend And many years have passed, On a great Campo dei Fiori Rage will kindle at a poet's word.
Czesław Miłosz
One Sunday evening when it was very hot and breathlessly still we sere sitting here in this room in the dusk. He switched on the record player. Liszt. We sat. As I say, here. In this very room. We listened to the piece. Neither of us said a word. That's when he took my hand and we went out into the garden. In a quiet voice he said that I wasn't like any other person in the world and that some people wouldn't understand that. They wouldn't want me to be the way I was. They'd want to change me. They'd try to order me about and make me into the kind of person they wanted me to be. Since I was still a child there would be little I could do except stay alone, stay out of trouble, and make myself very small in the world.
Laird Koenig (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane)
But Mrs. Meany, see, the women went on, leaning forward, despite how her heart was broken, pulled herself together, anyway, to put on a good face for the rest of the family at home. And she went back, Sunday after Sunday, right up until the Sunday before she died. Mrs. Meany put her beautiful love - a mother's love - against the terrible scenes that brewed like sewage in that poor girl's troubled mind. She persevered, she baked her cakes, she hauled herself (the goiter swinging) on and off the ferry, and she sat, brokenhearted, holding her daughter's hand, even as Lucy shouted her terrible words, proving to anyone with eyes to see that a mother's love was a beautiful, light, relentless thing that the devil could not diminish.
Alice McDermott (Someone)
I was holding on to hurricane nights and lit candles and my acoustic guitar resting in your hands. I was holding on to the sound of your voice saying my name and the peace I felt with your arms around me. I was holding on to documentaries in bed and your beautiful eyes closed as you sang Rocket Man and all the songs we never finished. I was holding on to our first text and last phone call and the plane ticket you offered but never sent. I was holding on to our first Christmas together and the last few Christmas Eves apart and I've been thinking we should be together. we should be kissing even if there isn't any mistletoe because if I have you there' no reason to celebrate and fuck, your lips were mine. They were always supposed to be mine. I was holding on to hope and banana pancakes on Sundays. I was holding on to Main Street and sunsets in Jersey. I was holding on to two streets that separated us and blizzards that couldn't keep us apart. I was holding on to you. I was holding on to us. And it was killing me.
Christina Hart (Letting Go Is an Acquired Taste)
What troubled people especially was not just the tragedy--or even the needlessness--but the element of fate in it all. If the Titanic had heeded any of the six ice messages on Sunday . . . if ice conditions had been normal . . . if the night had been rough or moonlit . . . if she had seen the berg 15 second sooner--or 15 seconds later . . . if she had hit the ice any other way . . . if her watertight bulkheads had been one deck higher . . . if she had carried enough boats . . . if the Californian had only come. Had any one of these "ifs" turned out right, every life might have been save. But they all went against her--a classic Greek tragedy.
Walter Lord
They sat as if the weight of the world had in this minute been lifted from them both and left them dumb with surprise. But this lasted only for the moment. Arthur held her murderously tight, as if to vanquish her spirit even in the first short contest. But she responded to him, as if she would break him first. It was stalemate, and they sought relief from the great decision they had just brought upon themselves. He spoke to her softly, and she nodded her head to his words without knowing what they meant. Neither did Arthur know what he was saying; both transmission and reception were drowned, and they broke through to the opened furrows of the earth.
Alan Sillitoe (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
Caddy came home on Friday evening. Perfectly Harmless Patrick brought her in his battered old car... "Crikey, Caddy!" said Indigo, and he disappeared upstairs to tell Rose. Eve murmured, "Sweet," rather doubtfully. Sarah said, not doubtfully at all, "Horrendous! The worst yet. Rock bottom." "He had a very difficult childhood," said Caddy.... "Who didn't?" asked Saffron unsympathetically. "Gosh, he's ancient, Caddy! Look, he's going bald! All that long trailing stuff is just a disguise!" "If I was going bald," said Sarah, "I would face the fact and have it all shaved off." "Well, I thought Mummy would like him," said Caddy defensively. "...Anyway, I can always take him back." "I think you're going to have to, Caddy darling," said Eve... "Hello, Rose darling! Come in and see what Caddy has brought home to show us!" She escaped, and Rose, who had already heard the news from Indigo, glanced at Patrick and began laughing. "See?" said Sarah. "Rose knows! Absolutely rock bottom! You cannot be serious, Caddy!" "Oh, stop looking at him!" said Caddy, uncomfortably. "I'll find something to cover him up with in a minute!" "How long are you leaving him there for?" asked Rose. "Just until Sunday," said Caddy, trying to sound casual. "Till Sunday!" repeated Saffron. "So is Micheal dumped?" "Of course he isn't!" said Caddy indignantly. "I've never dumped anyone!" "Start!" said Saffron. "Otherwise they just pile up, taking up the sofas...
Hilary McKay (Indigo's Star (Casson Family, #2))
Indeed, our sins—hate, fear, greed, jealousy, lust, materialism, pride—can at times take such distinct forms in our lives that we recognize them in the faces of the gargoyles and grotesques that guard our cathedral doors. And these sins join in a chorus—you might even say a legion—of voices locked in an ongoing battle with God to lay claim over our identity, to convince us we belong to them, that they have the right to name us. Where God calls the baptized beloved, demons call her addict, slut, sinner, failure, fat, worthless, faker, screwup. Where God calls her child, the demons beckon with rich, powerful, pretty, important, religious, esteemed, accomplished, right. It is no coincidence that when Satan tempted Jesus after his baptism, he began his entreaties with, “If you are the Son of God . . .” We all long for someone to tell us who we are. The great struggle of the Christian life is to take God’s name for us, to believe we are beloved and to believe that is enough.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
That evening Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom of a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the fire, a volume of some dry divinity on his reading-desk, until the clock of the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however, as soon as the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his business-room. There he opened his safe, took from the most private part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll’s Will, and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents. The will was holograph, for Mr. Utterson, though he took charge of it now that
Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
There was between 1821 and 1913 a prolonged and atrocious holocaust which we have chosen to forget, and from which we have learned absolutely nothing. In 1821, between 26 March and Easter Sunday, in the name of liberty, the southern Greek Christians tortured and massacred 15,000 Greek Muslim civilians, looted their possessions, and burned their dwellings. The Greek hero Kolokotronis boasted without qualm that so many were the corpses that his horse’s hooves never had to touch the ground between the town gates of Athens and the citadel. In the Peloponnese, many thousands of Muslims, mainly women and children, were rounded up and butchered. Thousands of shrines and mosques were destroyed, so that even now there are only one or two left in the whole of Greece.
Louis de Bernières (Birds Without Wings)
Cynicism is a powerful anesthetic we use to numb ourselves to pain, but which also, by its nature, numbs us to truth and joy. Grief is healthy. Even anger can be healthy. But numbing ourselves with cynicism in an effort to avoid feeling those things is not. When I write off all evangelicals as hateful and ignorant, I am numbing myself with cynicism. When I jeer at their foibles, I am numbing myself with cynicism. When I roll my eyes and fold my arms and say, “Well, I know God can’t be present over there,” I am numbing myself with cynicism. And I am missing out. I am missing out on a God who surprises us by showing up where we don’t think God belongs. I am missing out on a God whose grace I need just as desperately, just as innately as the lady who dropped her child sponsorship in a protest against gay marriage. Cynicism may help us create simpler storylines with good guys and bad guys, but it doesn’t make us any better at telling the truth, which is that most of us are a frightening mix of good and evil, sinner and saint.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
She bought me betta fish when I was six, after I kept telling her the same story, every day, about the tanks we had in my class at school, the betta fish, red and purple and blue and green, swimming lazily in the tanks, flashing brilliant and then dull. She came home with one on a Sunday, after she'd been out all weekend. I hadn't seen her since Friday, since she told Mam she was going to the store to buy some milk and some sugar and didn't come back. When she came back, her skin was dry and flaking at the corners of her mouth, her hair stuck out in a bushy halo, and she smelled like wet hay. The fish was green, the color of pine needles, and he had stripes down his tail the color of red mud. I called him Bubby Bubbles, since he blew bubbles all day, and when I leaned over his tank, I could hear him crunching on the fish food Leonie had brought home in a sample-size bag. I imagined even then that one day I could lean over his bowl, and instead of crunching, little words would pop out the bubbles that fizzed up to the surface. Big face. Light. And love. But when the sample size of fish food ran out, and I asked Leonie to buy me more, she said she would, and then forgot, again and again, until old day she said: Give him sold old bread. I figured he couldn't crunch like needed on some old bread, so I kept bugging her about it, and Bubby got skinnier and skinnier, his bubbles smaller and smaller, until I walked into the kitchen one day and he was floating on top of the water, his eyes white, a slimy scrim like fat, no voice in his bubbles. Leonie kill things.
Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing)
You can’t control God with a time clock. God moves in His own time. He knows what’s best for us even when we don’t and He knows the right time to give it to us. Julia listened attentively to Pastor Leonard. “He knows that if He gives us things prematurely, we won’t appreciate them and we will abuse them. We have to learn how to patiently go through the process. It’s through the process that we learn who we really are and who God is. The process is where He removes the crutches and takes us out of our comfort zone. He does this so He can teach us to completely rely on Him, not on our ability. Trust God through the process. Trust that He knows what’s best for you. Hold on to every word God has given you. God is not a man and He doesn’t lie. God is God enough to make every promise good.
Wanda B. Campbell (First Sunday in October)
The morning grass was damp and cool with dew. My yellow rain slicker must have looked sharp contrasted against the bright green that spring provided. I must have looked like an early nineteenth century romantic poet (Walt Whitman, perhaps?) lounging around a meadow celebrating nature and the glory of my existence. But don’t make this about me. Don’t you dare. This was about something bigger than me (by at least 44 feet). I was there to unselfishly throw myself in front of danger (nothing is scarier than a parked bulldozer), in the hopes of saving a tree, and also procuring a spot in a featured article in my local newspaper. It’s not about celebrity for me, it’s about showing that I care. It’s not enough to just quietly go about caring anymore. No, now we need the world to see that we care. I was just trying to do my part to show I was doing my part. But no journalists or TV news stations came to witness my selfless heroics. In fact, nobody came at all, not even Satan’s henchmen (the construction crew). People might scoff and say, “But it was Sunday.” Yes, it was Sunday. But if you’re a hero you can’t take a day off. I’d rather be brave a day early than a day late. Most cowards show up late to their destiny. But I always show up early, and quite often I leave early too, but at least I have the guts to lay down my life for something I’d die for. Now I only laid down my life for a short fifteen-minute nap, but I can forever hold my chin high as I loudly tell anyone who will listen to my exploits as an unsung hero (not that I haven’t written dozens of songs dedicated to my bravery). Most superheroes hide anonymously behind masks. That’s cowardly to me. I don’t wear a mask. And the only reason I’m anonymous is that journalists don’t respond to my requests for interviews, and when I hold press conferences nobody shows up, not even my own mother. The world doesn’t know all the good I’ve done for the world. And that’s fine with me. Not really. But if I have to go on being anonymous to make this world a better place, I will. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about changing my hours of altruism from 7-8 am Sunday mornings to 9-5 am Monday through Friday, and only doing deeds of greatness in crowded locations.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
Eating was still a sore point with Smriti.She failed to understand,when interesting options like mango juice or chocolates were available,why was she forced by her stupid mother to eat boring regular meals? After much contemplation,Nikhil came up with a suggestion'Don't give her food till she herself asks for it'. His idea'starve-to know-the-worth-of -food'made sense to Abhilasha,though it took her a great deal of resolve before she could actually try it out. So on a sunday,the'lady with an iron will'took over from'the soft and kind hearted mother'.she did not give her anything to eat and waited for the golden moment,expecting a hungry Smriti to beg for food. But the much awaited moment never came.Smriti was not at all bothered about her meal and kept playing happily. The day turned into evening and still there was no trace of hunger in her. "Aren't you feeling hungry?' now a worried mother had no option but to eat the humble pie and ask the daughter. "No Maa. My friend Pinky had brought wafers and chocolates. Those were so yummy that I ate them all......" And that was the end of her'starve-to -know-the-worth-of-food-mission.
Chitralekha Paul (Delayed Monsoon)
The devil delights in reminding us daily of all our mistakes from the past. On Monday he reminds us of Saturday and Sunday’s failures; on Tuesday he reminds us of sins committed on Monday, and so on. One morning I was spending my time with the Lord, thinking about my problems and all the areas in which I had failed, when suddenly the Lord spoke to my heart: “Joyce, are you going to fellowship with Me or with your problems?” It is our fellowship with God that helps and strengthens us to overcome our problems. We are strengthened through our union with Him. If we spend our time with God fellowshipping with our mistakes from yesterday, we never receive strength to overcome them today. Meditating on all of our faults and failures weakens us, but meditating on God’s grace and willingness to forgive strengthens us: For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-11, emphasis mine) Our
Joyce Meyer (Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone)
But even as a kid you learn pretty quick that church doesn’t start and stop with the hours of service posted on the church sign. No, church dragged on like the last hour of the school day as we waited in the hot car with Dad for Mom to finish socializing in the fellowship hall. Church lingered long into the gold-tinted Sunday afternoons when Amanda and I gamboled around the house, stripped down to our white slips like little brides. Church showed up at the front door with a chicken casserole when the whole family was down with the flu and called after midnight to ask for prayer and to cry. It gossiped in the pickup line at school and babysat us on Friday nights. It teased me and tugged at my pigtails and taught me how to sing. Church threw Dad a big surprise party for his fortieth birthday and let me in on the secret ahead of time. Church came to me far more than I went to it, and I’m glad.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
No worries" is the best thing to happen to sullen teenagers since I was one - even better than vampire sexting, GTL, or Call of Duty. When I was a sullen teenager, we had to make do wtih the vastly inferior "whatever". "No worries" beats "whatever" six ways to Sunday. I'ts a vaguely mystical way of saying "I hear your mouth make noise, saying something that I plan to ignore." It has a noble Rasta-man vibe, as if you're quoting some sort of timeless yet meaningless proverb on the nature of change - "Soon come," or "As the cloud is slow, the wind is quick." In terms of ignoring provocation, "no worries" is just about perfect.
Rob Sheffield (Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut)
―When you kick out for yourself, Stephen―as I daresay you will one of these days―rememer, whatever you do, to mix with gentlemen. When I was a young fellow I tell you I enjoyed myself. I mixed with fine decent fellows. Everyone of us could lo something. One fellow had a good voice, another fellow was a good actor, another could sing a good comic song, another was a good oarsman or a good racket player, another could tell a good story and so on. We kept the ball rolling anyhow and enjoyed ourselves and saw a bit of life and we were none the worse of it either. But we were all gentlemen, Stephen―at least I hope we were―and bloody good honest Irishmen too. That's the kind of fellows I want you to associate with, fellows of the right kidney. I'm talking to you as a friend, Stephen. I don't believe a son should be afraid of his father. No, I treat you as your grandfather treated me when I was a young chap. We were more like brothers than father and son. I`ll never forget the first day he caught me smoking. I was standing at the end of the South Terrace one day with some maneens like myself and sure we thought we were grand fellows because we had pipes stuck in the corners of our mouths. Suddenly the governor passed. He didn't say a word, or stop even. But the next day, Sunday, we were out for a walk together and when we were coming home he took out his cigar case and said:―By the by, Simon, I didn't know you smoked, or something like that.―Of course I tried to carry it off as best I could.―If you want a good smoke, he said, try one of these cigars. An American captain made me a present of them last night in Queenstown.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Oh God,was all Keeley could think. Oh God, get me out of here. When they swung through the stone pillars at Royal Meadows,she had to fight the urge to cheer. "I'm so glad our schedules finally clicked. Life gets much too demanding and complicated, doesn't it? There's nothing more relaxing than a quiet dinner for two." Any more relaxed, Keeley thought, and unconsciousness would claim her. "It was nice of you to ask me, Chad." She wondered how rude it would be to spring out of the car before it stopped, race to the house and do a little dance of relief on the front porch. Pretty rude,she decided.Okay, she'd skip the dance. "Drake and Pamela-you know the Larkens of course-are having a little soiree next Sunday evening.Why don't I pick you up at eightish?" It took her a minute to get over the fact he'd actually used the word soiree in a sentence. "I really can't Chad. I have a full day of lessons on Saturday. By the time it's done I'm not fit for socializing.But thanks." She slid her hand to the door handle, anticipating escape. "Keeyley,you can't let your little school eclipse so much of your life." Her and stiffened,and though she could see the lights of home, she turned her head and studied his perfect profile. One day,someone was going to refer to the academy as her little school, and she was going to be very rude.And rip their throat out.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The dude feels right fatherly. Takes her down to the crick to wash the underground off of her. Just can't bring himself to shoot her while she's filthy and starving. There's time. Offers her a cake of French-milled soap he brought all the way out from Chicago. Smells like gardenias if you know your flowers, and the dude does. Snow White knows something's skewed but she grabs it, strips off like it's nothing and climbs in the water. She don't shiver even though that stream has to be as cold as a wagon tire. The miner's crud comes off her in black ribbons. The duded watches another girl come out of the blind mole-skin she was walking around it. This one has muscles like a mountain cat and a kind of pretty he doesn't know what to do with. For fairness he'd take her stepmother six days and twice on Sunday. The beauty Snow White's got has nothing to do with him. She's scarred up and suspicious an shameless. Her pretty's not for him. It's like saying the moon's got a fine figure on her. Maybe true, but what good is that to a man?
Catherynne M. Valente (Six-Gun Snow White)
For what, in actual practice, should the critical, mature modernist Christian do when, for instance, he gathers his children around him to celebrate Christmas? Should he read Luke's Christmas Gospel and sing the Christmas carols as if they were true, even though he believes them to be crude and primitive theology? After all, the rest of his society has no scruples about doing this, the pagans and the department stores. Or if this seems too cynical, too dishonest, ought he rather, in the manner of early socialist Sunday schools, to devise a passionately rationalist catechesis, swap German for German, chant a passage from Bultmann instead of 'Joy to the World!'; ought he rather to gather his little ones about the Crib, light the candles, and read Raymond Brown instead of St. Luke on the virginal conception of Jesus: 'My judgment in conclusion is that the totality of the scientifically controllable evidence leaves an unresolved problem.' How their eyes will shine, how their little hearts will burn within them as they hear these holy words! How touched they will all be as the littlest child reverently places a shining question mark in the empty manger. And how they will rejoice when they find their stockings, which they have hung up to a Protestant parody of a Catholic bishop, stuffed with subscriptions to 'Concilium,' 'Catholic Update,' 'National Catholic Reporter,' and 'The Tablet.
Anne Roche Muggeridge (The Desolate City: Revolution in the Catholic Church)
They had been able to criticise the Beijing government publicly without fear of retribution. In 1929, a number of prominent liberals spoke out in a collection of essays called On Human Rights. Hu Shih, the leading liberal of the day, wrote that his fellow countrymen had already been through a ‘liberation of the mind’, but now ‘the collaboration of the Communists and the Nationalists has created a situation of absolute dictatorship and our freedoms of thought and speech are being lost. Today we may disparage God, but may not criticise Sun Yat-sen. We don’t have to go to Sunday church services, but we have to attend the weekly [Sun] Commemorative Service and read the Sun Yat-sen Testament.’ ‘The freedom we want to establish is the freedom to criticise the Nationalist party and to criticise Sun Yat-sen. Even the Almighty can be criticised, why can’t the Nationalists and Sun Yat-sen?’ And, ‘The Nationalist government is deeply unpopular, partly because its political system fell far short of people’s expectations, and partly because its corpse-like ideology failed to
Jung Chang (Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China)
When Lebanese Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad on Christians in 1975, we didn’t even know what that word meant. We had taken the Palestinians in, giving them refuge in our country, allowing them to study side by side with us in our schools and universities. We gave them jobs and shared our way of life with them. What started as political war spiraled very fast into a religious war between Muslims and Christians, with Lebanese Muslims joining the PLO fighting the Christians. We didn’t realize the depth of their hatred and resentment toward us as infidels. The more that Christians refused to get involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to allow the Palestinians to use Lebanon as a launching pad from which to attack Israel, the more the Palestinians looked at us as the enemy. Muslims started making statements such as “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday,” meaning first we fight the Jews, then we come for the Christians. Christian presence, influence, and democracy became an obstacle in the Palestinians' fight against Israel. Koranic verses such as sura 5:51—"Believers, take not Jews and Christians for your friends. They are but friends and protectors to each other"—became the driving force in recruiting Muslim youth. Many Christians barely knew the Bible, let alone the Koran and what it taught about us, the infidels. We should have seen the long-simmering tension between Muslims and Christians beginning to erupt, but we refused to believe that such hatred and such animosity existed. America also failed to recognize this hatred throughout all the attacks launched against it, beginning with the marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983 all the way up to September 11, 2001. It was that horrible day that made Americans finally ask, What is jihad? And why do they hate us? I have a very simple answer for them: because you are “infidels.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
Sadly, the Christian church has not proven to be immune to performancism. Far from it, in fact. In recent years, a handful of books have been published urging a more robust, radical, and sacrificial expression of the Christian faith. I even wrote one of them—Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different. I heartily amen the desire to take one’s faith seriously and demonstrate before the watching world a willingness to be more than just Sunday churchgoers. That Christians would want to engage the wider community with God’s sacrificial love—living for their neighbors instead of for themselves—is a wonderful thing and should be applauded. The unintended consequence of this push, however, is that if we’re not careful, we can give people the impression that Christianity is first and foremost about the sacrifice we make for Jesus rather than the sacrifice Jesus made for us; our performance for him rather than his performance for us; our obedience for him rather than his obedience for us. The hub of Christianity is not “do something for Jesus.” The hub of Christianity is “Jesus has done everything for you.” And my fear is that too many people, both inside and outside the church, have heard our pleas for intensified devotion and concluded that the focus of Christian faith is our love for God instead of God’s love for us. Don’t get me wrong—what we do is important. But it is infinitely less important than what Jesus has done for us. Furthermore, it often seems that the Good News of
Tullian Tchividjian (One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World)
There's a small moment in this chapter when Bella wants to practice fighting techniques with Emmett, but Edward won't let her. Emmett is here? Hi Emmett! Hey Emmett, according to Google Maps, you live 2,931 miles away from me. If I don't make any stops for food or fuel, and sit on a pile of absorbent kitty litter, I can make the trip in 48 hours. So I can be there by Sunday or Monday. Oh…hey, did you know Monday is Valentine's Day? That's super weird, right? Didn't plan that at all. I swear. OK, see you then! Anyway, Bella wants to practice with Emmett but Edward says no. Huh? Not only does Edward refuse to teach his wife basic self-defense, but she can't even learn some tips from The Pain Maker? Why? I dare you to explain this. I double wolf dare you.
Dan Bergstein
The first time that I went to Tuskegee I was asked to make an address to the school on Sunday evening. I sat upon the platform of the large chapel and looked forth on a thousand coloured faces, and the choir of a hundred or more behind me sang a familiar religious melody, and the whole company joined in the chorus with unction. I was the only white man under the roof, and the scene and the songs made an impression on me that I shall never forget. Mr. Washington arose and asked them to sing one after another of the old melodies that I had heard all my life; but I had never before heard them sung by a thousand voices nor by the voices of educated Negroes. I had associated them with the Negro of the past, not with the Negro who was struggling upward. They brought to my mind the plantation, the cabin, the slave, not the freedman in quest of education. But on the plantation and in the cabin they had never been sung as these thousand students sang them. I saw again all the old plantations that I had ever seen; the whole history of the Negro ran through my mind; and the inexpressible pathos of his life found expression in these songs as I had never before felt it. And the future? These were the ambitious youths of the race, at work with an earnestness that put to shame the conventional student life of most educational institutions. Another song rolled up along the rafters. And as soon as silence came, I found myself in front of this extraordinary mass of faces, thinking not of them, but of that long and unhappy chapter in our country's history which followed the one great structural mistake of the Fathers of the Republic; thinking of the one continuous great problem that generations of statesmen had wrangled over, and a million men fought about, and that had so dwarfed the mass of English men in the Southern States as to hold them back a hundred years behind their fellows in every other part of the world—in England, in Australia, and in the Northern and Western States; I was thinking of this dark shadow that had oppressed every large-minded statesman from Jefferson to Lincoln. These thousand young men and women about me were victims of it. I, too, was an innocent victim of it. The whole Republic was a victim of that fundamental error of importing Africa into America.
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery: an autobiography)
Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters' shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom -- this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino "sharashka" -- a scientific institute staffed with prisoners -- in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind. But she -- who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously "Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won't do it again." The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer. This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building. Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head. It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped. The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm. A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape. And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: "Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and -- clip, clip, clip -- take off all her hair in front of the line-up!" But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: "At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!" The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand "at attention" in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM. She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: "Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!" And now she was not moving, only weeping: "Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won't do it any more!" But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: "All right, idiot! Come on it!" The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work. Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life! Fire, fire! We fought the war -- and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
There was a legend on the road that the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City was a veritable storehouse of gold, silver, and precious stones and it was this that lured Smiler back to that city. At that time a high adobe wall surrounded the block on which stood the Tabernacle and the then unfinished Mormon Temple. We looked it over for several days and nights but could get nothing tangible to work on. Sunday we attended services and the plate was to be seen, silver and gold; more than we could carry away if we got it. At last we decided to go over the wall and give the place a good reconnaissance. If it looked feasible we could get a couple of other idle burglars and give it a thorough looting. On top of the wall we pulled up our light ladder and placed it inside. Smiler went down first. I barely had my feet off the ladder when a dozen men rose up out of the shrubbery armed with shotguns, and surrounded us. We stood still by the wall. One of them spoke, sternly, evenly: “Go back over that wall.” Little we knew the Mormons. We went up the ladder, pulled it up, and went down and away. When Smiler’s good humor returned he held up his hand. “Kid, I’ll never try to rob another Mormon. I’ll go to work first.
Jack Black (You Can't Win)
But now I speculate re the ants' invisible organ of aggregate thought... if, in a city park of broad reaches, winding paths, roadways, and lakes, you can imagine seeing on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon the random and unpredictable movement of great numbers of human beings in the same way... if you watch one person, one couple, one family, a child, you can assure yourself of the integrity of the individual will and not be able to divine what the next moment will bring. But when the masses are celebrating a beautiful day in the park in a prescribed circulation of activities, the wider lens of thought reveals nothing errant, nothing inconstant or unnatural to the occasion. And if someone acts in a mutant un-park manner, alarms go off, the unpredictable element, a purse snatcher, a gun wielder, is isolated, surrounded, ejected, carried off as waste. So that while we are individually and privately dyssynchronous, moving in different ways, for different purposes, in different directions, we may at the same time comprise, however blindly, the pulsing communicating cells of an urban over-brain. The intent of this organ is to enjoy an afternoon in the park, as each of us street-grimy urbanites loves to do. In the backs of our minds when we gather for such days, do we know this? How much of our desire to use the park depends on the desires of others to do the same? How much of the idea of a park is in the genetic invitation on nice days to reflect our massive neuromorphology? There is no central control mechanism telling us when and how to use the park. That is up to us. But when we do, our behavior there is reflective, we can see more of who we are because of the open space accorded to us, and it is possible that it takes such open space to realize in simple form the ordinary identity we have as one multicellular culture of thought that is always there, even when, in the comparative blindness of our personal selfhood, we are flowing through the streets at night or riding under them, simultaneously, as synaptic impulses in the metropolitan brain. Is this a stretch? But think of the contingent human mind, how fast it snaps onto the given subject, how easily it is introduced to an idea, an image that it had not dreamt of thinking of a millisecond before... Think of how the first line of a story yokes the mind into a place, a time, in the time it takes to read it. How you can turn on the radio and suddenly be in the news, and hear it and know it as your own mind's possession in the moment's firing of a neuron. How when you hear a familiar song your mind adopts its attitudinal response to life before the end of the first bar. How the opening credits of a movie provide the parameters of your emotional life for its ensuing two hours... How all experience is instantaneous and instantaneously felt, in the nature of ordinary mind-filling revelation. The permeable mind, contingently disposed for invasion, can be totally overrun and occupied by all the characteristics of the world, by everything that is the case, and by the thoughts and propositions of all other minds considering everything that is the case... as instantly and involuntarily as the eye fills with the objects that pass into its line of vision.
E.L. Doctorow (City of God)
Oh I could be out, rollicking in the ripeness of my flesh and others’, could be drinking things and eating things and rubbing mine against theirs, speculating about this person or that, waving, indicating hello with a sudden upward jutting of my chin, sitting in the backseat of someone else’s car, bumping up and down the San Francisco hills, south of Market, seeing people attacking their instruments, afterward stopping at a bodega, parking, carrying the bottles in a paper bag, the glass clinking, all our faces bright, glowing under streetlamps, down the sidewalk to this or that apartment party, hi, hi, putting the bottles in the fridge, removing one for now, hating the apartment, checking the view, sitting on the arm of a couch and being told not to, and then waiting for the bathroom, staring idly at that ubiquitous Ansel Adams print, Yosemite, talking to a short-haired girl while waiting in the hallway, talking about teeth, no reason really, the train of thought unclear, asking to see her fillings, no, really, I’ll show you mine first, ha ha, then no, you go ahead, I’ll go after you, then, after using the bathroom she is still there, still in the hallway, she was waiting not just for the bathroom but for me, and so eventually we’ll go home together, her apartment, where she lives alone, in a wide, immaculate railroad type place, newly painted, decorated with her mother, then sleeping in her oversized, oversoft white bed, eating breakfast in her light-filled nook, then maybe to the beach for a few hours with the Sunday paper, then wandering home whenever, never- Fuck. We don't even have a baby-sitter.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
I don't myself think much of science as a phase of human development. It has given us a lot of ingenious toys; they take our attention away from the real problems, of course, and since the problems are insoluble, I suppose we ought to be grateful for distraction. But the fact is, the human mind, the individual mind, has always been made more interesting by dwelling on the old riddles, even if it makes nothing of them. Science hasn't given us any new amazements, except of the superficial kind we get from witnessing dexterity and sleight-of-hand. It hasn't given us any richer pleasures, as the Renaissance did, nor any new sins-not one! Indeed, it takes our old ones away. It's the laboratory, not the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world. You'll agree there is not much thrill about a physiological sin. We were better off when even the prosaic matter of taking nourishment could have the magnificence of a sin. I don't think you help people by making their conduct of no importance-you impoverish them. As long as every man and woman who crowded into the cathedrals on Easter Sunday was a principal in a gorgeous drama with God, glittering angels on one side and the shadows of evil coming and going on the other, life was a rich thing. The king and the beggar had the same chance at miracles and great temptations and revelations. And that's what makes men happy, believing in the mystery and importance of their own little individual lives. It makes us happy to surround our creature needs and bodily instincts with as much pomp and circumstance as possible. Art and religion (they are the same thing, in the end, of course) have given man the only happiness he has ever had.
Willa Cather (The Professor's House)
She is shocked, and also afraid to look at him. As he turns the page, he's describing a dessert whose name he cannot remember but which arrived at the table in flames. She feels utterly bewildered. This is who her father is: someone tickled by the existence of sushi. Someone who takes pictures inside a restaurant. Her father is cheesy. Even his handsomeness, she thinks, looking at one of the few photos in which he appears, is of a certain harmlessly generic sort, the handsomeness of a middle-aged male model in the department-store insert of the Sunday Inquirer. Has she only imagined him as a monster? His essential lesson, she always believed, was this: There are many ways for you to transgress, and most you will not recognize until after committing them. But is it she who invented this lesson? At the least, she met him halfway, she bought in to it. Not just as a child but all through adolescence and into adulthood--until this very moment. She realized now that Allison does not buy in to it, that she must not have for years, and that's why Allison doesn't fight with their father or refuse to talk to him for long stretches. Why bother? Hannah always assumed Allison was bullied into her paternal devotion, but no--it is Hannah who has seen his anger as much bigger than it ever was.
Curtis Sittenfeld (The Man of My Dreams)
We Let the Boat Drift I set out for the pond, crossing the ravine where seedling pines start up like sparks between the disused rails of the Boston and Maine. The grass in the field would make a second crop if early autumn rains hadn't washed the goodness out. After the night's hard frost it makes a brittle rustling as I walk. The water is utterly still. Here and there a black twig sticks up. It's five years today, and even now I can't accept what cancer did to him -- not death so much as the annihilation of the whole man, sense by sense, thought by thought, hope by hope. Once we talked about the life to come. I took the Bible from the nightstand and offered John 14: "I go to prepare a place for you.""Fine. Good," he said. "But what about Matthew? 'You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'" And he wept. My neighbor honks and waves driving by. She counsels troubled students; keeps bees; her goats follow her to the mailbox. Last Sunday afternoon we went canoeing on the pond. Something terrible at school had shaken her. We talked quietly far from shore. The paddles rested across our laps; glittering drops fell randomly from their tips. The light around us seemed alive. A loon-itinerant- let us get quite close before it dove, coming up after a long time, and well away from humankind
Jane Kenyon (Otherwise: New and Selected Poems)
My friends, I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to give people a batch of philosophy every Sunday morning and evening, and neglect the truths of this Holy Book. I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to leave out the main cardinal doctrines of the Word of God, and preach a religion which is all a mist and a haze, without any definite truths whatever. I take it that man does not preach Christ and him crucified, who can get through a sermon without mentioning Christ's name once; nor does that man preach Christ and him crucified, who leaves out the Holy Spirit's work, who never says a word about the Holy Ghost, so that indeed the hearers might say, "We do not so much as know whether there be a Holy Ghost." And I have my own private opinion, that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism. Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith without works; not unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor, I think, can we preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the peculiar redemption which Christ made for his elect and chosen people; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation, after having believed. Such a gospel I abhor. The gospel of the Bible is not such a gospel as that. We preach Christ and him crucified in a different fashion, and to all gainsayers we reply, "We have not so learned Christ.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Judge Lamberth’s ruling forever empowered the U.S. government to bar Dr. Fuisz’s testimony on any criminal or civil matter, by invoking the Secrets Act. Only the President of the United States could override the Director of the CIA, in a written memorandum to compel Dr. Fuisz to reveal his knowledge and sources on matters linked to national security, large or small.43 Neither the Secretary of State nor any member of Congress could override that provision. Even if Dr. Fuisz himself desired to contribute to an official inquiry, he would be prohibited from doing so. That would apply to Lockerbie, to any 9/11 inquiry — and to my own criminal case as an accused “Iraqi Agent.” Word of Dr. Fuisz’s first-hand knowledge of Pan Am 103—and his strange inability to testify— got reported in Scotland’s Sunday Herald at the height of the Lockerbie Trial, when Scottish families recognized the Crown’s lack of evidence against Libya, and started demanding real answers. In May, 2000, Scottish journalist, Ian Ferguson asked Dr. Fuisz directly if he worked for the CIA in Syria in the 1980s.44 His response was less than subtle. “That is not an issue I can confirm or deny. I am not allowed to speak about these issues. In fact, I can’t even explain to you why I can’t speak about these issues.’ Fuisz did, however, say that he would not take any action against a newspaper which named him as a CIA agent.
Susan Lindauer (EXTREME PREJUDICE: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq)
The Sunday service alone seldom leads people on deeper or even real journeys; we must begin to be honest about this. All that organized religion can do is to hold you inside the boxing ring long enough so you can begin to ask good questions and expect bigger answers. But it seldom teaches you how to really box with the mystery itself. Organized religion does not tend to cook you! It just keeps you on a low, half-cold simmer. It doesn’t teach you how to expect the mystery to show itself at any profound level. It tends, and I don’t mean to be unkind, to make you codependent upon its own ministry, instead of leading you to know something for yourself, which is really the whole point. It’s like we keep saying, “keep coming back, keep coming back” and you’ll eventually get it. But you don’t because the whole thing is oriented toward something you attend or watch and not to something you can participate in 24/7, even without the ministrations of priest and ministers and formal sacraments. Again, I mean no disrespect. If God-experience depends on formal sacramental ministry from ordained clergy, than 99.9 percent of creation has had no chance to know or love God. That can’t be true. And if the clergy themselves have not gone on a further journey, they don’t know how to send you there or guide you there because they have not gone there themselves yet (see Matthew 23:13). Nemo dat quod not hat, we said in Latin: “You cannot give away what you do not have yourself.
Richard Rohr (Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation)
ANTHONY: I feel you, Johanna, I feel you Do they think that walls can hide you? Even now I'm at your window I am in the dark beside you, Buried sweetly in your yellow hair, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: And are you beautiful and pale, With yellow hair, like her I'd want you beautiful and pale, The way I've dreamed you were, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... SWEENEY TODD: And if you're beautiful, what then, With yellow hair, like wheat? I think we shall not meet again — My little dove, my sweet Johanna… ANTHONY: I'll steal you, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: Goodbye, Johanna. You're gone, and yet you're mine. I'm fine, Johanna, I'm fine! ANTHONY: Johanna… BEGGAR WOMAN: Smoke! Smoke! Sign of the devil! Sign of the devil! City on fire! Witch! Witch! Smell it, sir! An evil smell! Every night at the vespers bell — Smoke that comes from the mouth of hell — City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief... SWEENEY TODD: And if I never hear your voice, My turtledove, my dear, I still have reason to rejoice: The way ahead is clear, Johanna... JOHANNA: I'll marry Anthony Sunday Anthony…Sunday… ANTHONY: I feel you… SWEENEY TODD: And in that darkness when I'm blind With what I can't forget — ANTHONY: Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: It's always morning in my mind, My little lamb, my pet, Johanna… JOHANNA: I knew you'd come for me one day… Come for me…one day… SWEENEY TODD/ANTHONY: You stay, Johanna — Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: The way I've dreamed you are Oh look, Johanna — a star! ANTHONY: Buried sweetly in your yellow hair… SWEENEY TODD: A shooting star! BEGGAR WOMAN: There! There! Somebody, somebody look up there! Didn't I tell you? Smell that air! City on fire! Quick, sir! Run and tell! Warn 'em all of the witch's spell! There it is, there it is, the unholy smell! Tell it to the Beadle and the police as well! Tell 'em! Tell 'em! Help! Fiend! City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief...Fiend . . . Alms…alms...for a miserable woman… SWEENEY TODD: And though I'll think of you, I guess, until the day I die, I think I miss you less and less as every day goes by, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... JOHANNA: With you beside me on Sunday, Married on…Sunday… SWEENEY TODD: And you'd be beautiful and pale, And look too much like her. If only angels could prevail, We'd be the way we were, Johanna... ANTHONY: I feel you...Johanna… JOHANNA'S VOICE: Married on Sunday…married on Sunday ... SWEENEY TODD: Wake up, Johanna! Another bright red day! We learn, Johanna, to say goodbye! ANTHONY: I’ll steal you!
Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
I had a magical day during one Sunday when I walked out in nature. On the outside this day only consisted of taking a walk out in the beautiful sunny weather and cleaning my apartment, but on the inside everything suddenly changed. When I walked out in nature in the sunny weather, a silent explosion suddenly happened within me and my whole perception of reality changed. In a single moment, everything had changed, although nothing on the outside had really changed. Everything on the outside was exactly as before, but my way of seeing had changed. The difference was that before I did not see and now I could see. My eyes were open. Suddenly I was one with everything, one with the stones, one with the trees and one with the people that I meet on my walk. My heart danced with joy together with a feeling of: ”I am God”. Not that I am the creator of everything, but that I am part of the Whole, part of the divine. It felt like coming home, that Existence is my home. I also saw that even if the people that I meet did not understand that they are a part of the Whole, they still are a part of the Whole. I felt the waves of Existence in my own heart and being and I felt like a small wave in a great ocean. It gave a taste of the eternal, a taste of the limitless and boundless source of creativity. In just a few moments, I learnt more than during 20 years in university. Wisdom is basically the understanding that we all are part of the Whole. We are all small rivers moving towards the ocean. I laughed at the fact that enlightenment is really our innate birthright, and that small children already live in this mystical unity with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
So he asked her what she’d like to drink. Her choice would be crucial. If she orders a decaf, he thought, I’m getting up and leaving. No one was entitled to drink a decaf when it came to this type of encounter. It’s the least gregarious drink there is. Tea isn’t much better. Just met, and already settling into some kind of dull cocoon. You feel like you’re going to end up spending Sunday afternoons watching TV. Or worse: at the in-laws’. Yes, tea is indisputably in-law territory. Then what? Alcohol? No good for this time of day. You could have qualms about a woman who starts drinking right away like that. Even a glass of red wine isn’t going to cut it. François kept waiting for her to choose what she’d like to drink, and this was how he kept up his liquid analysis of first impressions of women. What was left now? Coke, or any type of soda … no, not possible, that didn’t say woman at all. Might as well ask for a straw, too, while she was at it. Finally he decided that juice was good. Yes, juice, that was nice. It’s friendly and not too aggressive. You can sense the kind of sweet, well-balanced woman who would make such a choice. But which juice? Better to avoid the great classics: apple, orange, too popular. It would have to be only slightly original without being completely eccentric. Papaya or guava—frightening. No, the best is choosing something in between, like apricot. That’s it. Apricot juice: perfect. If she chooses it, I’ll marry her, thought François. At that precise instant, Natalie raised her head from the menu, as if emerging from a long reflection. It was the same reflection in which the stranger opposite her had just been absorbed. “I’ll have a juice…” “…?” “Apricot juice, I guess.” He looked at her as if she were a violation of reality.
David Foenkinos (Delicacy)
PROCRASTINATION The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow ... Tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the day after tomorrow, Maybe I could do it then; but not today ... No, nothing today; today I can’t. The confused persistence of my objective subjectivity, The sleep of my real life, intercalated, Anticipated, infinite weariness— I’m worlds too weary to catch a trolley— That kind of soul ... Only the day after tomorrow ... Today I want to prepare, I want to prepare myself for tomorrow, when I’ll think about the next day ... That’d be decisive. I’ve already got the plans sketched out, but no, today I’m not making any plans ... Tomorrow’s the day for plans. Tomorrow I’ll sit down at my desk to conquer the world; But I’ll only conquer the world the day after tomorrow ... I feel like crying, I suddenly feel like crying a lot, inside ... That’s all you’re getting today, it’s a secret, I’m not talking. Only the day after tomorrow ... When I was a kid the Sunday circus diverted me every week. Today all that diverts me is the Sunday circus from all the weeks of my childhood ... The day after tomorrow I’ll be someone else, My life will triumph, All my real qualities—intelligent, well-read, practical— Will be gathered together in a public notice ... But the public notice will go up tomorrow ... Today I want to sleep, I’ll make a fair copy tomorrow ... For today, what show will repeat my childhood to me? Even if I buy tickets tomorrow, The show would still really be the day after tomorrow ... Not before ... The day after tomorrow I’ll have the public pose I will have practiced tomorrow. The day after tomorrow I’ll finally be what I could never be today. Only the day after tomorrow ... I’m sleepy as a stray dog's chill. I’m really sleepy. Tomorrow I’ll tell you everything, or the day after tomorrow ... Yes, maybe only the day after tomorrow ... By and by ... Yes, the old by and by ...
Fernando Pessoa
Tony Williams: You’ve often mentioned that Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been a major influence on you. George Romero: It was the first film I got completely involved with. An aunt and uncle took me to see it in downtown Manhattan when it first played. And that was an event for me since I was about eleven at the time. The imagery just blew me away completely. I wanted to go and see a Tarzan movie but my aunt and uncle said, “No! Come and see a bit of culture here.” So I thought I was missing out. But I really fell in love with the film. There used to be a television show in New York called Million Dollar Movie. They would show the same film twice a day on weekdays, three times on Saturday, and three-to-four times on Sunday. Tales of Hoffmann appeared on it one week. I missed the first couple of days because I wasn’t aware that it was on. But the moment I found it was on, I watched virtually every telecast. This was before the days of video so, naturally, I couldn’t tape it. Those were the days you had to rent 16mm prints of any film. Most cities of any size had rental services and you could rent a surprising number of films. So once I started to look at Tales of Hoffmann I realized how much stuff Michael Powell did in the camera. Powell was so innovative in his technique. But it was also transparent so I could see how he achieved certain effects such as his use of an overprint in the scene of the ballet dancer on the lily ponds. I was beginning to understand how adept a director can be. But, aside from that, the imagery was superb. Robert Helpmann is the greatest Dracula that ever was. Those eyes were compelling. I was impressed by the way Powell shot Helpmann sweeping around in his cape and craning down over the balcony in the tavern. I felt the film was so unique compared to most of the things we were seeing in American cinema such as the westerns and other dreadful stuff I used to watch. Tales of Hoffmann just took me into another world in terms of its innovative cinematic technique. So it really got me going. Tony Williams: A really beautiful print exists on laserdisc with commentary by Martin Scorsese and others. George Romero: I was invited to collaborate on the commentary by Marty. Pat Buba (Tony’s brother) knew Thelma Schoonmaker and I got to meet Powell in later years. We had a wonderful dinner with him one evening. What an amazing guy! Eventually I got to see more of his movies that I’d never seen before such as I Know Where I’m Going and A Canterbury Tale. Anyway, I couldn’t do the commentary on Tales of Hoffmann with Marty. But, back in the old days in New York, Marty and I were the only two people who would rent a 16mm copy of the film. Every time I found it was out I knew that he had it and each time he wanted it he knew who had it! So that made us buddies.
George A. Romero (George A. Romero: Interviews)
Berlin. November 18, 1917. Sunday. I think Grosz has something demonic in him. This new Berlin art in general, Grosz, Becher, Benn, Wieland Herzfelde, is most curious. Big city art, with a tense density of impressions that appears simultaneous, brutally realistic, and at the same time fairy-tale-like, just like the big city itself, illuminating things harshly and distortedly as with searchlights and then disappearing in the glow. A highly nervous, cerebral, illusionist art, and in this respect reminiscent of the music hall and also of film, or at least of a possible, still unrealized film. An art of flashing lights with a perfume of sin and perversity like every nocturnal street in the big city. The precursors are E.T.A. Hoffmann, Breughel, Mallarmé, Seurat, Lautrec, the futurists: but in the density and organization of the overwhelming abundance of sensation, the brutal reality, the Berliners seem new to me. Perhaps one could also include Stravinsky here (Petrushka). Piled-up ornamentation each of which expresses a trivial reality but which, in their sum and through their relations to each other, has a thoroughly un-trivial impact. All round the world war rages and in the center is this nervous city in which so much presses and shoves, so many people and streets and lights and colors and interests: politics and music hall, business and yet also art, field gray, privy counselors, chansonettes, and right and left, and up and down, somewhere, very far away, the trenches, regiments storming over to attack, the dying, submarines, zeppelins, airplane squadrons, columns marching on muddy streets, Hindenburg and Ludendorff, victories; Riga, Constantinople, the Isonzo, Flanders, the Russian Revolution, America, the Anzacs and the poilus, the pacifists and the wild newspaper people. And all ending up in the half-darkened Friedrichstrasse, filled with people at night, unconquerable, never to be reached by Cossacks, Gurkhas, Chasseurs d'Afrique, Bersaglieris, and cowboys, still not yet dishonored, despite the prostitutes who pass by. If a revolution were to break out here, a powerful upheaval in this chaos, barricades on the Friedrichstrasse, or the collapse of the distant parapets, what a spark, how the mighty, inextricably complicated organism would crack, how like the Last Judgment! And yet we have experienced, have caused precisely this to happen in Liège, Brussels, Warsaw, Bucharest, even almost in Paris. That's the world war, all right.
Harry Graf Kessler (Journey to the Abyss: The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler, 1880-1918)
Sunday Morning I Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, And the green freedom of a cockatoo Upon a rug mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice. She dreams a little, and she feels the dark Encroachment of that old catastrophe, As a calm darkens among water-lights. The pungent oranges and bright, green wings Seem things in some procession of the dead, Winding across wide water, without sound. The day is like wide water, without sound, Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet Over the seas, to silent Palestine, Dominion of the blood and sepulchre. II Why should she give her bounty to the dead? What is divinity if it can come Only in silent shadows and in dreams? Shall she not find in comforts of the sun, In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else In any balm or beauty of the earth, Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch. These are the measures destined for her soul. III Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth. No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind He moved among us, as a muttering king, Magnificent, would move among his hinds, Until our blood, commingling, virginal, With heaven, brought such requital to desire The very hinds discerned it, in a star. Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be The blood of paradise? And shall the earth Seem all of paradise that we shall know? The sky will be much friendlier then than now, A part of labor and a part of pain, And next in glory to enduring love, Not this dividing and indifferent blue. IV She says, "I am content when wakened birds, Before they fly, test the reality Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?" There is not any haunt of prophecy, Nor any old chimera of the grave, Neither the golden underground, nor isle Melodious, where spirits gat them home, Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm Remote on heaven's hill, that has endured As April's green endures; or will endure Like her remembrance of awakened birds, Or her desire for June and evening, tipped By the consummation of the swallow's wings
Wallace Stevens
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
In the late 1800s a certain man taught Sunday school for over 20 years in a Baptist church; he eventually became the wealthiest man in the world. He also did not pay tithes. He was not generous toward anyone, quite the opposite, he was the reason that journalists came up with the term, "Robber Baron." The man was John D. Rockefeller. He engaged in ruthless and illegal business practices and built an oil company called Standard Oil that was so large that, when it was broken up by antitrust laws, several major oil companies were created from that one company. Over one hundred years ago, John D. Rockefeller was worth over one billion dollars, which would be 50 to 100 billion dollars in today’s money. If he did pay tithes it would have meant an income of 100 million dollars (5 to 10 billion today) to his local church. It was not God that "blessed" him with great wealth; it was Satan, the god of greed. God does not lead people to engage in ruthless and illegal business practices in a desire for more, more, more. Even in his old age, he displayed his greed by giving away dimes. He always had dimes in his pocket so he could generously give one to people he met! What lessons are we to learn from this? One very important thing is that very often Satan will give people lots of money because Satan knows that money is very deceitful and can make even the most devout Christian materialistic and greedy. Let's take a look at another example. There is today a man who planned to become a missionary when he was young, but he not only turned against his calling, he turned against Christianity. Do you suppose that God has blessed this man? He is today a multi-billionaire, media-mogul. The man is Ted Turner, who started CNN and is a partner in Time-Warner and other media companies. Can we use him as an example that God blesses a righteous man? No, actually, the opposite is most likely true, that Satan prospers those who turn from the straight way.
Michael D. Fortner (The Prosperity Gospel Exposed and Other False Doctrines)
In his book Real Presences, George Steiner asks us to "imagine a society in which all talk about the arts, music and literature is prohibited." In such a society there would be no more essays on whether Hamlet was mad or only pretending to be, no reviews of the latest exhibitions or novels, no profiles of writers or artists. There would be no secondary, or parasitic, discussion - let alone tertiary: commentary on commentary. We would have, instead, a "republic for writers and readers" with no cushion of professional opinion-makers to come between creators and audience. While the Sunday papers presently serve as a substitute for the experiencing of the actual exhibition or book, in Steiner's imagined republic the review pages would be turned into listings:catalogues and guides to what is about to open, be published, or be released. What would this republic be like? Would the arts suffer from the obliteration of this ozone of comment? Certainly not, says Steiner, for each performance of a Mahler symphony is also a critique of that symphony. Unlike the reviewer, however, the performer "invests his own being in the process of interpretation." Such interpretation is automatically responsible because the performer is answerable to the work in a way that even the most scrupulous reviewer is not. Although, most obviously, it is not only the case for drama and music; all art is also criticism. This is most clearly so when a writer or composer quotes or reworks material from another writer or composer. All literature, music, and art "embody an expository reflection which they pertain". In other words it is not only in their letters, essays, or conversation that writers like Henry James reveal themselves also to be the best critics; rather, The Portrait of a Lady is itself, among other things, a commentary on and a critique of Middlemarch. "The best readings of art are art." No sooner has Steiner summoned this imaginary republic into existence than he sighs, "The fantasy I have sketched is only that." Well, it is not. It is a real place and for much of the century it has provided a global home for millions of people. It is a republic with a simple name: jazz.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
Free spirits, the ambitious, ex-socialists, drug users, and sexual eccentrics often find an attractive political philosophy in libertarianism, the idea that individual freedom should be the sole rule of ethics and government. Libertarianism offers its believers a clear conscience to do things society presently restrains, like make more money, have more sex, or take more drugs. It promises a consistent formula for ethics, a rigorous framework for policy analysis, a foundation in American history, and the application of capitalist efficiencies to the whole of society. But while it contains substantial grains of truth, as a whole it is a seductive mistake. . . . The most fundamental problem with libertarianism is very simple: freedom, though a good thing, is simply not the only good thing in life. . . . Libertarians try to get around this fact that freedom is not the only good thing by trying to reduce all other goods to it through the concept of choice, claiming that everything that is good is so because we choose to partake of it. Therefore freedom, by giving us choice, supposedly embraces all other goods. But this violates common sense by denying that anything is good by nature, independently of whether we choose it. . . . So even if the libertarian principle of “an it harm none, do as thou wilt,” is true, it does not license the behavior libertarians claim. Consider pornography: libertarians say it should be permitted because if someone doesn’t like it, he can choose not to view it. But what he can’t do is choose not to live in a culture that has been vulgarized by it. . . . There is no need to embrace outright libertarianism just because we want a healthy portion of freedom, and the alternative to libertarianism is not the USSR, it is America’s traditional liberties. . . . Paradoxically, people exercise their freedom not to be libertarians. The political corollary of this is that since no electorate will support libertarianism, a libertarian government could never be achieved democratically but would have to be imposed by some kind of authoritarian state, which rather puts the lie to libertarians’ claim that under any other philosophy, busybodies who claim to know what’s best for other people impose their values on the rest of us. . . . Libertarians are also naïve about the range and perversity of human desires they propose to unleash. They can imagine nothing more threatening than a bit of Sunday-afternoon sadomasochism, followed by some recreational drug use and work on Monday. They assume that if people are given freedom, they will gravitate towards essentially bourgeois lives, but this takes for granted things like the deferral of gratification that were pounded into them as children without their being free to refuse. They forget that for much of the population, preaching maximum freedom merely results in drunkenness, drugs, failure to hold a job, and pregnancy out of wedlock. Society is dependent upon inculcated self-restraint if it is not to slide into barbarism, and libertarians attack this self-restraint. Ironically, this often results in internal restraints being replaced by the external restraints of police and prison, resulting in less freedom, not more. This contempt for self-restraint is emblematic of a deeper problem: libertarianism has a lot to say about freedom but little about learning to handle it. Freedom without judgment is dangerous at best, useless at worst. Yet libertarianism is philosophically incapable of evolving a theory of how to use freedom well because of its root dogma that all free choices are equal, which it cannot abandon except at the cost of admitting that there are other goods than freedom. Conservatives should know better.
Robert Locke
Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
Seth Godin (Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012)
5. Move toward resistance and pain A. Bill Bradley (b. 1943) fell in love with the sport of basketball somewhere around the age of ten. He had one advantage over his peers—he was tall for his age. But beyond that, he had no real natural gift for the game. He was slow and gawky, and could not jump very high. None of the aspects of the game came easily to him. He would have to compensate for all of his inadequacies through sheer practice. And so he proceeded to devise one of the most rigorous and efficient training routines in the history of sports. Managing to get his hands on the keys to the high school gym, he created for himself a schedule—three and a half hours of practice after school and on Sundays, eight hours every Saturday, and three hours a day during the summer. Over the years, he would keep rigidly to this schedule. In the gym, he would put ten-pound weights in his shoes to strengthen his legs and give him more spring to his jump. His greatest weaknesses, he decided, were his dribbling and his overall slowness. He would have to work on these and also transform himself into a superior passer to make up for his lack of speed. For this purpose, he devised various exercises. He wore eyeglass frames with pieces of cardboard taped to the bottom, so he could not see the basketball while he practiced dribbling. This would train him to always look around him rather than at the ball—a key skill in passing. He set up chairs on the court to act as opponents. He would dribble around them, back and forth, for hours, until he could glide past them, quickly changing direction. He spent hours at both of these exercises, well past any feelings of boredom or pain. Walking down the main street of his hometown in Missouri, he would keep his eyes focused straight ahead and try to notice the goods in the store windows, on either side, without turning his head. He worked on this endlessly, developing his peripheral vision so he could see more of the court. In his room at home, he practiced pivot moves and fakes well into the night—such skills that would also help him compensate for his lack of speed. Bradley put all of his creative energy into coming up with novel and effective ways of practicing. One time his family traveled to Europe via transatlantic ship. Finally, they thought, he would give his training regimen a break—there was really no place to practice on board. But below deck and running the length of the ship were two corridors, 900 feet long and quite narrow—just enough room for two passengers. This was the perfect location to practice dribbling at top speed while maintaining perfect ball control. To make it even harder, he decided to wear special eyeglasses that narrowed his vision. For hours every day he dribbled up one side and down the other, until the voyage was done. Working this way over the years, Bradley slowly transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in basketball—first as an All-American at Princeton University and then as a professional with the New York Knicks. Fans were in awe of his ability to make the most astounding passes, as if he had eyes on the back and sides of his head—not to mention his dribbling prowess, his incredible arsenal of fakes and pivots, and his complete gracefulness on the court. Little did they know that such apparent ease was the result of so many hours of intense practice over so many years.
Robert Greene (Mastery)