The Things They Carried Quotes

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The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I often carry things to read so that I will not have to look at the people.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Sonnet XVII I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda
A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims...
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.
Gordon B. Hinckley
I'll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
It's the good things that hurt when you're missing them.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
But the thing about remembering is that you don't forget.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
C.S. Lewis
Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We all do things we regret now and then. You just have to carry them with you.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won't carry a quitter.
Stephen King (Duma Key)
making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
the writing of some men is like a vast bridge that carries you over the many things that claw and tear. The Wine of Forever
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
I guess it's going to have to hurt, I guess I'm going to have to cry, And let go of some things I've loved to get to the other side I guess it's going to break me down, Like fallin when you try to fly, Sad but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye
Carrie Underwood
Maggots squirming in your eyeholes...and your other orifices, might be carrying things a bit too far." "This is why I keep you around, Rixon. Always seeing things from the bright side.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
I let myself slip away... Just to stay sane. Just to get through it. And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I'm always sure of - Blue eyes. Bronze curls. The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me. That Simon Snow is alive. And I'm hopelessly in love with him.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
If You Forget Me I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda
I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I sometimes wake in the early morning & listen to the soft breathing of my child & I think to myself, this is one thing I will never regret & I carry that quiet with me all day long.
Brian Andreas
Just his luck he was related to this grubby old dude. He hoped all sons of Neptune didn't share the same fate. First, you start carrying a man satchel. Next thing you know, you're running around in a bathrobe and pink bunny slippers, chasing chickens with a weed whacker.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
I like a lot of things that aren't good for me.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain. To let it be, to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
I survived, but it's not a happy ending.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
As I see it, you are living with something that you keep hidden deep inside. Something heavy. I felt it from the first time I met you. You have a strong gaze, as if you have made up your mind about something. To tell you the truth, I myself carry such things around inside. Heavy things. That is how I can see it in you.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?" There was a sound of shattering glass, and they both sat up to see Alec glaring at them. He had dropped the empty bottle of wine he had been carrying, and there were bits of sparkly glass all over the cave floor. "WHY CAN'T YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TO DO THESE HORRIBLE THINGS? MY EYES." "It's a demon realm, Alec," Isabelle said. "There's nowhere for us to go." "And you said I should look after her-" Simon began, then realized that would not be a productive line of conversation, and shut up.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
But in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
you're never more alive than when you're almost dead.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
But this too is true: stories can save us.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
That was the thing about secrets-you had to carry them with you forever, no matter what the cost.
Kass Morgan (The 100 (The 100, #1))
Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives (Little Women #1 part 2))
People, particularly big men carrying big rifles, don't expect lip from a scrawny thing like me. They always look a bit dazed when they get it.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Trying to build myself up with the fact that I have done things right that were even good and have had moments that were excellent but the bad is heavier to carry around and feel have no confidence.
Marilyn Monroe (Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters)
Yes, my tiara sets off the whole thing nicely," said Auntie Muriel in a rather carrying whisper. "But I must say, Ginevra's dress is far too low-cut." Ginny glanced round, grinning, winked at Harry, then quickly faced the front again.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
All I know is that I carried you for nine months. I fed you, I clothed you, I paid for your college education. Friending me on Facebook seems like a small thing to ask in return.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying "Blood...blood...blood...blood...
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
It was very sad, he thought. The things men carried inside. The things men did or felt they had to do.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
What sticks to memory, often, are those odd little fragments that have no beginning and no end...
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
You’re here!” Isabelle danced up to them in delight, carrying a glass of fuchsia liquid, which she thrust at Clary. “Have some of this!” Clary squinted at it. “Is it going to turn me into a rodent?” “Where is the trust? I think it’s strawberry juice,” Isabelle said. “Anyways, it’s yummy. Jace?” She offered him the glass. “I am a man,” he told her, “and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown.” “Brown?” Isabelle made a face. “Brown is a manly color,” said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle’s hair with his free hand. “In fact, look – Alec is wearing it.” Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. “It was black,” he said. “But then it faded.” “You could dress it up with a sequined headband,” Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. “Just a thought.” “Resist the urge, Alec.” Simon was sitting on the edge of a low wall with Maia beside him, though she appeared to be deep in conversation with Aline. “You’ll look like Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.” “There are worse things,” Magnus observed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing 1. Never open a book with weather. 2. Avoid prologues. 3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely. 5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose." 7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. 9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. 10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard
War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
One thing I often get carried away with is piggyback rides.
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.)
(People who tell you that slamming and bashing into things won't make you feel better haven't slammed or bashed enough.)
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
Funny always makes the bad things go away.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Hope is a crazy thing. It will make you believe.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
Listen, I'm bossy. I can't help it. It's who I am and what I do. I'm pushy and I like to take over. But I'm going to work really hard not to do so much and your going to try and accept me the way I am. Flaws and all. Because I'm good in bed and I can carry heavy things and reach all the high shelves.
Lauren Dane (Coming Undone (Brown Family, #2))
But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
He wished he could've explained some of this. How he had been braver than he ever thought possible, but how he had not been so brave as he wanted to be. The distinction was important.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make every moment holy. I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing, shrewd and secretive. I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will, as it goes toward action; and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times, when something is coming near, I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. I want to be a mirror for your whole body, and I never want to be blind, or to be too old to hold up your heavy and swaying picture. I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie. and I want my grasp of things to be true before you. I want to describe myself like a painting that I looked at closely for a long time, like a saying that I finally understood, like the pitcher I use every day, like the face of my mother, like a ship that carried me through the wildest storm of all.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The superhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.
Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1))
sometimes the best thing to do is to pretend it didn't happen
Candace Bushnell (Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2))
I think she was afraid to love sometimes. I think it scared her. She was the type to like things that were concrete, like the ocean. Something you could point to and know what it was. I think that's why she always struggled with God. And I think that's why she also struggled with love. She couldn't touch it. She couldn't hold on to it and make sure it never changed.
Carrie Ryan (The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2))
All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we’re going to be able to carry on. The wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
don't do things that kill you.
John Bytheway (What Are You Carrying in Your Backpack?)
He's going macho again," Dev says, totally nonchalantly, while he unlocks the door. He's always going macho," Is adds. "It must be the wolf thing." I am not going macho. I am always macho," Nick says.
Carrie Jones (Captivate (Need, #2))
It wasn't a question of deceit. Just the opposite; he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I want some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever- I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
...his love was too much for him, he felt paralyzed, he wanted to sleep inside her lungs and breathe her blood and be smothered.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
He looks at my face and huffs, exasperated. "Baz, you're actually, literally the only thing I have to lose. So as long as doing gay stuff in public doesn't make you hate me, I don't really care." "We're just dancing," I say. "That's hardly gay stuff." "Dancing's well gay," he says. "Even when it isn't two blokes.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
Ultimately, the most romantic thing is the heart, and every sensitive person carries in himself old cities enclosed by ancient walls.
Robert Walser (The Walk)
If you're going to carry a dagger, you need to learn to use it." I frowned at him. "I know how to use it. I stick the pointy end in things I don't like.
Kalayna Price (Grave Dance (Alex Craft, #2))
This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore
Brian Andreas
It's one thing to know a truth in your head but another to understand it in your heart.
Carrie Ryan (The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3))
Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.
Natalie Goldberg
Happiness is such a fragile thing, isn't it? So easily burst, like a bubble blown by a child, and always on the verge of being carried away.
Nenia Campbell (Endgame (Virtual Reality Standalones, #1))
Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately. Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
Sometimes things come out of your mouth that you regret later on. Or no, not regret. You say something so razor-sharp that the person you say it to carries it around with them for the rest of their life.
Herman Koch (The Dinner)
It's stupid to miss a thing when there are so many people to miss instead, but I miss this train already, and all the others that carried me through the city, my city, after I was brave enough to ride them. I brush my fingers over the car wall, just once, and then jump.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes. The heart of a hurt child can shrink so that forever afterward it is hard and pitted as the seed of a peach. Or again, the heart of such a child may fester and swell until it is a misery to carry within the body, easily chafed and hurt by the most ordinary things.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
Women endure entire lifetimes of these indignities—in the form of catcalls, groping, assault, oppression. These things injure us. They sap our strength. Some of the cuts are so small they’re barely visible. Others are huge and gaping, leaving scars that never heal. Either way, they accumulate. We carry them everywhere, to and from school and work, at home while raising our children, at our places of worship, anytime we try to advance.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you're living with this illness and functioning at all, it's something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
This is the most important thing about me--I'm a card-carrying reader. All I really want to do is sit and read or lie down and read or eat and read or shit and read. I'm a trained reader. I want a job where I get paid for reading books. And I don't have to make reports on what I read or to apply what I read.
Maxine Hong Kingston (Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book)
In my opinion, there are two things that can absolutely not be carried to the screen: the realistic presentation of the sexual act and praying to God.
Orson Welles
Do you ever not go for the lowest blow? Like, do you ever think, 'Maybe I shouldn't say the most cruel thing just now?'" "I'm trying to be efficient.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On)
I was a coward. I went to the war.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It's absolutely true that, "Wherever you go, there you are.
Richard Carlson (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life)
But that's how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don't have to carry a suitcase.
Tove Jansson (Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, #2))
A marriage is a private thing. It has its own wild laws, and secret histories, and savage acts, and what passes between married people is incomprehensible to outsiders. We look terrible to you, and severe, and you see our blood flying, but what we carry between us is hard-won, and we made it just as we wished it to be, just the color, just the shape.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1))
If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.
C. JoyBell C.
I have a sense of melancholy isolation, life rapidly vanishing, all the usual things. It's very strange how often strong feelings don't seem to carry any message of action.
Philip Larkin (Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica)
Life is never that simple. And the fact that it's not that simple to you means only one thing: You're still alive.
Carrie Ryan (The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3))
I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year; And you must welcome from another part Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear. No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing; And I have loved you all too long and well To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring. Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes, I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums, That you may hail anew the bird and rose When I come back to you, as summer comes. Else will you seek, at some not distant time, Even your summer in another clime.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
you can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don't care for obscenity, you don't care for the truth; if you don't care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.
James O'Barr (The Crow)
Suddenly, all I can think about are all the things I don't know about him. All the things I never had time to learn. I don't know if his feet are ticklish or how long his toes are. I don't know what nightmares he had as a child. I don't know which stars are his favorites, what shapes he sees in the clouds. I don't know what he is truly afraid of or what memories he holds closest. And I don't have enough time now, never enough time. I want to be in the moment with him, feel his body against mine and think of nothing else, but my mind explodes with grief for all that I am missing. All that I will miss. All that I have wasted.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
First, you start carrying a man satchel. Next thing you know, you're running around in a bathrobe and pink bunny slippers, chasing chickens with a weed whacker.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
If you are someone who still carries hope in your heart, kindness in your eyes and generosity in your fingertips despite terrible people happening to you, thank you. You are one of the few truly pure things left in this world, and you deserve to be protected.
Nikita Gill
It's a lot easier to understand things once you name them. It's the unknown that mostly freaks me out. I don't know the name of that fear, but I know I've got it, the fear of the unknown.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
It was my view then, and still is, that you don't make war without knowing why. Knowledge of course, is always imperfect, but it seemed to me that when a nation goes to war it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause. You can't fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can't make them undead.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Your daughter is ugly. She knows loss intimately, carries whole cities in her belly. As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her. She was splintered wood and sea water. They said she reminded them of the war. On her fifteenth birthday you taught her how to tie her hair like rope and smoke it over burning frankincense. You made her gargle rosewater and while she coughed, said macaanto girls like you shouldn’t smell of lonely or empty. You are her mother. Why did you not warn her, hold her like a rotting boat and tell her that men will not love her if she is covered in continents, if her teeth are small colonies, if her stomach is an island if her thighs are borders? What man wants to lay down and watch the world burn in his bedroom? Your daughter’s face is a small riot, her hands are a civil war, a refugee camp behind each ear, a body littered with ugly things but God, doesn’t she wear the world well.
Warsan Shire
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum. I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; I have no judgment about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions - not about anything, really. I know only that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation or something I do not know.
C.G. Jung
Small things such as this have saved me: how much I love my mother—even after all these years. How powerfully I carry her within me. My grief is tremendous but my love is bigger. So is yours. You are not grieving your son’s death because his death was ugly and unfair. You’re grieving it because you loved him truly. The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of his death.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)
When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it. Don't try to take it away. Forgive yourself for not having that power. Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They're sacred. they are part of each person's journey. All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone. That's the one fear you can alleviate.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
I do feel that I’ve managed to make something I could maybe call my world…over time…little by little. And when I’m inside it, to some extent, I feel kind of relieved. But the very fact I felt I had to make such a world probably means that I’m a weak person, that I bruise easily, don’t you think? And in the eyes of society at large, that world of mine is a puny little thing. It’s like a cardboard house: a puff of wind might carry it off somewhere.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
The world is full of people who all want the same thing, and you have to do a little something extra to make them remember you.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Only if the third necessary thing could be given us. Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
I know that things will only get better if good people fight for what's important.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
Should, is the worst word in the English language. People always think things "should" be a certain way, and when they're not, they're disappointed.
Candace Bushnell (Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2))
I can't believe this is happening to me. The weirdest thing is it was just a dream, and now it's actually real. It's hard to believe sometimes.
Carrie Underwood
A human being - what is a human being? Everything and nothing. Through the power of thought it can mirror everything it experiences. Through memory and knowledge it becomes a microcosm, carrying the world within itself. A mirror of things, a mirror of facts. Each human being becomes a little universe within the universe!
Guy de Maupassant
If a woman could take care of herself, would she still need a man? Would she even want one? And if she didn't want a man, what kind of woman would she be? Would she even be a woman? Because it seemed if you were a woman, the only thing you were really supposed to want was a man.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Making mistakes is part of learning to choose well. No way around it. Choices are thrust upon us, and we don't always get things right. Even postponing or avoiding a decision can become a choice that carries heavy consequences. Mistakes can be painful-sometimes they cause irrevocable harm-but welcome to Earth. Poor choices are part of growing up, and part of life. You will make bad choices, and you will be affected by the poor choices of others. We must rise above such things.
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda (If You Forget Me)
Happy is one of the many things I'm likely to be over the course of a day and certainly over the course of a lifetime. But I think if you have the expectation that you're going to be happy throughout your life--more to the point, if you have a need to be comfortable all the time--well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic.
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Death’s a funny thing. I used to think it was a big, sudden thing, like a huge owl that would swoop down out of the night and carry you off. I don’t anymore. I think it’s a slow thing. Like a thief who comes to your house day after day, taking a little thing here and a little thing there, and one day you walk round your house and there’s nothing there to keep you, nothing to make you want to stay. And then you lie down and shut up forever. Lots of little deaths until the last big one.
Neil Gaiman (The Wake (The Sandman, #10))
In a way, literature is true than life,' he said to himself. 'On paper, you say exactly and completely what you feel. How easy it is to break things off on paper! You hate, you shout, you kill, you commit suicide; you carry things to the very end. And that's why it's false. But it's damned satisfying. In life, you're constantly denying yourself, and others are always contradicting you. On paper, I make time stand still and I impose my convictions on the whole world; they become the only reality.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Mandarins)
Whatever negative things people think and say about you is enough to bring you down provided you belief that it carries a weight that can push you hard. Don't agree to accept what critics say; be prepared to silence them by doing what they think you can't do!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
All her life, she had learned that passion, like fire, was a dangerous thing. It so easily went out of control. It scaled walls and jumped over trenches. Sparks leapt like fleas and spread as rapidly; a breeze could carry embers for miles. Better to control that spark and pass it carefully from one generation to the next, like an Olympic torch. Or, perhaps, to tend it carefully like an eternal flame: a reminder of light and goodness that would never - could never - set anything ablaze. Carefully controlled. Domesticated. Happy in captivity. The key, she thought, was to avoid conflagration.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
Tell me what to wish for." Tell me what to ask the sea for." "To be happy. Happiness." "I don't think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don't know how you would keep it." "You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn't that what you said?" "That's what I said. What do I need to hear?" "That tomorrow we'll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I'll save the house and you'll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner." "That's what I needed to hear.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Together we understood what terror was: you're not human anymore. You're a shadow. You slip out of your own skin, like molting, shedding your own history and your own future, leaving behind everything you ever were or wanted to believed in. You know you're about to die. And it's not a movie and you aren't a hero and all you can do is whimper and wait.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Peace is the number one beautiful ornament you can wear, I really believe that. They say you should always wear a smile, but I don't believe that you should "always" wear a smile, seriously, you're going to look stupid! But peace, you should always carry peace within you, its the most beautifying thing you could ever have or do. Peace makes your heart beautiful and it makes you look beautiful, too. You want to have perfect physical posture when you stand, sit, and walk, and peace is the perfect posture of the soul, really. Try perfect posture outside as well as inside. Peace creates grace and grace gives peace.
C. JoyBell C.
Freedom's just a word today Freedom's just a word When someone takes your word away It's seldom ever heard So take a sentence full of things you're not supposed to say Carry on, but don't write them down or you'll be gone
Stone Sour
Where in the bloody hell did that come from?" asks the other person behind the counter. Or more precisely, on top of the counter, where her ridiculously attractive, English-accented boyfriend is perched. He's the other thing I like about Anna. Wherever she goes, he follows. He nods toward the baby wipe. "What else are you carrying in your pockets? Dust rags? Furniture polish?" "Watch it," she says. "Or I'll scrub your arms, Étienne." He grins. "As long as you do it in private.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
There are times when I wish I could go back and change the course of my life. Make different choices...But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on. Do you remember that I told you that at Spence?
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days, you can hear their chorus rushing past: IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon’tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglass-I’veneverlovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgiveme…. There was a time when it wasn’t uncommon to use a piece of string to guide words that otherwise might falter on the way to their destinations. Shy people carried a little bunch of string in their pockets, but people considered loudmouths had no less need for it, since those used to being overheard by everyone were often at a loss for how to make themselves heard by someone. The physical distance between two people using a string was often small; sometimes the smaller the distance, the greater the need for the string. The practice of attaching cups to the ends of string came much later. Some say it is related to the irrepressible urge to press shells to our ears, to hear the still-surviving echo of the world’s first expression. Others say it was started by a man who held the end of a string that was unraveled across the ocean by a girl who left for America. When the world grew bigger, and there wasn’t enough string to keep the things people wanted to say from disappearing into the vastness, the telephone was invented. Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person’s silence.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Well, right now I'm not dead. But when I am, it's like...I don't know, I guess it's like being inside a book that nobody's reading. [...] An old one. It's up on a library shelf, so you're safe and everything, but the book hasn't been checked out for a long, long time. All you can do is wait. Just hope somebody'll pick it up and start reading.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
The only thing that scares me now is me. The [person] I might become. The [person] I dont ever want to be. Everybody has fears, right? But how many have my fear? Enough, it seems. Because there's a name for it. Autophobia. Fear of oneself.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.
John Stuart Mill (Principles of Political Economy)
There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for--that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
I call people sometimes hoping not only that they’ll verify the fact that I’m alive but that they’ll also, however indirectly, convince me that being alive is an appropriate state for me to be in. Because sometimes I don’t think it’s such a bright idea. Is it worth the trouble it takes trying to live life so that someday you get something worthwhile out of it, instead of it almost always taking worthwhile things out of you?
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization.
Bruno Schulz (Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass)
She fit her head under his chin, and he could feel her weight settle into him. He held her tight and words spilled out of him without prior composition. And this time he made no effort to clamp them off. He told her about the first time he had looked on the back of her neck as she sat in the church pew. Of the feeling that had never let go of him since. He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse. There was no recovering them now. You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry your scars with you. Nevertheless, over all those wasted years, he had held in his mind the wish to kiss her on the back of her neck, and now he had done it. There was a redemption of some kind, he believed, in such complete fulfillment of a desire so long deferred.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
you look just like your mother i guess i do carry her tenderness well you both have the same eyes cause we are both exhausted and the hands we share the same wilting fingers but that rage your mother doesn't wear that rage you're right this rage is the one thing i get from my father
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
What if you could pick one day of your life, and everything would stop changing, every day would be similar and comparable to that one day, you'd always have the same people with you? If you could do that, would you do it? Would you pick that day and make that choice? We crave for things to stop changing, we wish that things would never change. But if we got what we wanted, there are so many things that are better, that we would never, ever know about. Sure, things would stay the same as that one wonderful day, but then there would be nothing else out there, ever. So can you remember the very first day when everything really did begin to change? Is there a thing that can remind you? Mine is a blue rose, and that's when everything began to change because that's the day I began to believe in things I never believed in before; the day I found three blue roses. Think about your first day of change, can you remember all the new heights you've soared since that day? All the new people? All the better things and times? Would you throw all of that time away? I wouldn't. Instead, I want to finally accept all the things that I couldn't change, which led to me being right here, right now. Maybe we all carry around inside us one day we wish we could keep forever, something we wished never did change. It's time to let go of that day, and soar.
C. JoyBell C.
I become one of those people who walks alone in the dark at night while others sleep or watch Mary Tyler Moore reruns or pull all-nighters to finish up some paper that's due first thing tomorrow. I always carry lots of stuff with me wherever I roam, always weighted down with books, with cassettes, with pens and paper, just in case I get the urge to sit down somewhere, and oh, I don't know, read something or write my masterpiece. I want all my important possessions, my worldly goods, with me at all times. I want to hold what little sense of home I have left with me always.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
You are everything good and straight and fine and true—and I see that so clearly now, in the way you’ve carried yourself and listened to your own heart. You’ve changed me more than you know, and will always be a part of everything I am. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this. No one you love is ever truly lost.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
He has an armload of irises and daisies and tulips and he presents them to me. "I didn't know what kind of flowers you like." "I like them all." "Yeah?" "Yeah." He tries to hand them to me, but then remembers the cast. "I'll put them in water." Betty swoops in the room ridiculously fast and she grabs the flowers out of Nick's hands. "I'll take care of them. You lovebirds just sit on the couch and think swooning things at each other.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
So, imagine we’re all born with a set of feelings. Some are broader or deeper than others, but for everyone, there’s that ground floor, a bottom crust of the pie. That’s the maximum depth of feeling you’ve ever experienced. And then, the worst thing happens to you. The very worst thing that could have happened. The thing you had nightmares about as a child, and you thought, it’s all right because that thing will happen to me when I’m older and wiser, and I’ll have felt so many feelings by then that this one worst feeling, the worst possible feeling, won’t seem so terrible. “But it happens to you when you’re young. It happens when your brain isn’t even fully done cooking—when you’ve barely experienced anything, really. The worst thing is one of the first big things that ever happens to you in your life. It happens to you, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of what you know how to feel, and it rips it open and carves out this chasm down below to make room. And because you were so young, and because it was one of the first big things to happen in your life, you’ll always carry it inside you. Every time something terrible happens to you from then on, it doesn’t just stop at the bottom —it goes all the way down.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
There are things we never tell anyone. We want to but we can’t. So we write them down. Or we paint them. Or we sing about them. It’s our only option. To remember. To attempt to discover the truth. Sometimes we do it to stay alive. These things, they live inside of us. They are the secrets we stash in our pockets and the weapons we carry like guns across our backs. And in the end we have to decide for ourselves when these things are worth fighting for, and when it’s time to throw in the towel. Sometimes a person has to die in order to live. Deep down, I know you know this. You just can’t seem to do anything about it. I guess it’s a sad fact of life that some of us move on and some of us inevitably stay behind. Only in this case I’m not sure which one of us is doing which. You were right about one thing though. It’s not fate. It’s a choice. And who knows, maybe we’ll meet again someday, somewhere up above all the noise. Until then, when you think of me, try and remember the good stuff. Try and remember the love.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
You don't know. When I'm out there at night I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and fingernails, everything, it's like I'm full of electricity and I'm glowing in the dark - I'm on fire almost - I'm burning away into nothing - but it doesn't matter because I know exactly who I am.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Life has a way of going in circles. Ideally, it would be a straight path forward––we'd always know where we were going, we'd always be able to move on and leave everything else behind. There would be nothing but the present and the future. Instead, we always find ourselves where we started. When we try to move ahead, we end up taking a step back. We carry everything with us, the weight exhausting us until we want to collapse and give up. We forget things we try to remember. We remember things we'd rather forget. The most frightening thing about memory is that it leaves no choice. It has mastered an incomprehensible art of forgetting. It erases, it smudges, it fills in blank spaces with details that don't exist. But however we remember it––or choose to remember it––the past is the foundation that holds our lives in place. Without its support, we'd have nothing for guidance. We spend so much time focused on what lies ahead, when what has fallen behind is just as important. What defines us isn't where we're going, but where we've been. Although there are places and people we will never see again, and although we move on and let them go, they remain a part of who we are. There are things that will never change, things we will carry along with us always. But as we venture into the murky future, we must find our strength by learning to leave things behind.
Brigid Gorry-Hines
For I am—or I was—one of those people who pride themselves in on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. This is certainly what my decision, made so long ago in Joey’s bed, came to. I had decided to allow no room in the universe for something which shamed and frightened me. I succeeded very well—by not looking at the universe, by not looking at myself, by remaining, in effect, in constant motion.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, non-committed to a cause - but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it's a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they're preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can't be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism." [Interview with Ron Powers (Chicago Sun Times) for Playboy, 1973]
Walter Cronkite
That time I thought I could not go any closer to grief without dying I went closer, and I did not die. Surely God had his hand in this, as well as friends. Still, I was bent, and my laughter, as the poet said, was nowhere to be found. Then said my friend Daniel, (brave even among lions), “It’s not the weight you carry but how you carry it - books, bricks, grief - it’s all in the way you embrace it, balance it, carry it when you cannot, and would not, put it down.” So I went practicing. Have you noticed? Have you heard the laughter that comes, now and again, out of my startled mouth? How I linger to admire, admire, admire the things of this world that are kind, and maybe also troubled - roses in the wind, the sea geese on the steep waves, a love to which there is no reply?
Mary Oliver
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and lonliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thougts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!
Henry Van Dyke
You have been offered "the gift of crisis". As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is "to sift", as in, to shake out the excesses and leave only what's important. That's what crises do. They skae things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most. The rest falls away.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen. What seems to happen becomes its own happening and has to be told that way. The angles of vision are skewed. When a booby trap explodes, you close your eyes and duck and float outside yourself. .. The pictures get jumbled, you tend to miss a lot. And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
When forced to leave my house for an extended period of time, I take my typewriter with me, and together we endure the wretchedness of passing through the X-ray scanner. The laptops roll merrily down the belt, while I’m instructed to stand aside and open my bag. To me it seems like a normal enough thing to be carrying, but the typewriter’s declining popularity arouses suspicion and I wind up eliciting the sort of reaction one might expect when traveling with a cannon. It’s a typewriter,’ I say. ‘You use it to write angry letters to airport security.
David Sedaris
Hadley grabs the laminated safety instructions from the seat pocket in front of her and frowns at the cartoon men and women who seem weirdly delighted to be bailing out of a series of cartoon planes. Beside her, Oliver stifles a laugh, and she glances up again. “What?” “I’ve just never seen anyone actually read one of those things before,” “Well,” she says, “then you’re very lucky to be sitting next to me.” “Just in general?” She grins. “Well, particularly in case of an emergency.” “Right,” he says. “I feel incredibly safe. When I’m knocked unconscious by my tray table during some sort of emergency landing, I can’t wait to see all five-foot-nothing of you carry me out of here.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrence risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. and: No one can stop the river of your hands, your eyes and their sleepiness, my dearest. You are the trembling of time, which passes between the vertical light and the darkening sky. and: From the stormy archipelagoes I brought my windy accordian, waves of crazy rain, the habitual slowness of natural things: they made up my wild heart.
Pablo Neruda
God, I got lucky. If I'd hurt it, it would have put me out of practice for a while.” Smiling, he returned to his chair. "I know. You kept telling me that while I was carrying you. You were very upset.” "You...you carried me here?” "After we broke the bench apart and freed your foot.” Man. I'd missed out on a lot. The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
It’s a hard thing to explain to somebody who hasn’t felt it, but the presence of death and danger has a way of bringing you fully awake. It makes things vivid. When you’re afraid, really afraid, you see things you never saw before, you pay attention to the world. You make close friends. You become part of a tribe and you share the same blood- you give it together, you take it together.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. If you say how lovely she is, or how beautiful her art is, or compliment anything else her soul took part in, inspired, or suffused, something in her mind says she is undeserving and you, the complimentor, are an idiot for thinking such a thing to begin with. Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul-self, which thrives on being acknowledged." "I must admit, I sometimes find it useful in my practice to delineate the various typologies of personality as cats and hens and ducks and swans and so forth. If warranted, I might ask my client to assume for a moment that she is a swan who does not realzie it. Assume also for a moment that she has been brought up by or is currently surrounded by ducks. There is nothing wrong with ducks, I assure them, or with swans. But ducks are ducks and swans are swans. Sometimes to make the point I have to move to other animal metaphors. I like to use mice. What if you were raised by the mice people? But what if you're, say, a swan. Swans and mice hate each other's food for the most part. They each think the other smells funny. They are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, one would be constantly harassing the other. But what if you, being a swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be gray and furry and tiny? What you had no long snaky tail to carry in the air on tail-carrying day? What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse, but insteade out came a honk every time? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world? The answer is an inequivocal yes. So why, if this is all so and too true, do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn't know any better. She is unmothered.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.
Brian Eno (A Year With Swollen Appendices)
Linda was nine then, as I was, but we were in love...it had all the shadings and complexities of mature adult love and maybe more, because there were not yet words for it, and because it was not yet fixed to comparisons or chronologies or the ways by which adults measure such things...I just loved her. Even then, at nine years old, I wanted to live inside her body. I wanted to melt into her bones -- that kind of love.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man's thought for the wonder of later years, and tell of happenings that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills.
Lord Dunsany (The King of Elfland's Daughter)
His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, 'God can.' It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
He’d spent his life being a perfect gentleman. He’d never been a flirt. He’d never been a rogue. He hated being the center of attention, but by God, he wanted to be the center of her attention. He wanted to do the wrong thing, the bad thing. He wanted to pull her into his arms and carry her to her bed. He wanted to peel every last inch of her clothing from her body, and then he wanted to worship her. He wanted to show her all the things he wasn’t sure he knew how to say.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz, or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as one loves certain obscure things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself, and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose from the earth lives dimly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you directly without problems or pride: I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love, except in this form in which I am not nor are you, so close that your hand upon my chest is mine, so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
Pablo Neruda (100 Love Sonnets)
They stared at each other for several long minutes hoping the other would give in. Finally she broke. “Fine, will you go in with me then?” “Will it make you feel better?” “Yes.” “Sure thing. The worse thing that could happen is people will think you are carrying my baby. I’m sure it’s perfectly normal for a female teacher to be with her male student at a pharmacy in the middle of the day buying a pregnancy test. What could go wrong?” he asked wryly.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
Lay down Your tired & weary head my friend. We have wept too long Night is falling And you are only sleeping We have come to this journey's end It's time for us to go To meet our friends Who beckon us To jump again From across a distant sky A C-130 comes to carry us Where we shall all wait For the final green light In the light of The pale moon rising I see far on the horizon Into the world of night and darkness Feet and knees together Time has ceased But cherished memories still linger This is the way of life and all things We shall meet again You are only sleeping.
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
Music makes me forget myself, my true condition, it carries me off into another state of being, one that isn't my own: under the influence of music I have the illusion of feeling things I don't really feel, of understanding things I don't understand, being able to do things I'm not able to do (...) Can it really be allowable for anyone who feels like it to hypnotize another person, or many other persons, and then do what he likes with them? Particularly if the hypnotist is the first unscrupulous individual who happens to come along?
Leo Tolstoy (The Kreutzer Sonata)
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. “So, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.” “Yeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. “What about you?” “Me?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy university—where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IV—but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. “To celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her. “Then, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.” “Ouch,” I said with a light laugh. “Sounds painful.” “Well, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and wit—and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on me—you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—” “—and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added. “Oh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. “And your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—” “—but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses, there are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think, The "sublime" object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be.
Julia Kristeva (Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection)
I spent my entire life waiting for you, Marianne, and I didn't even know it until you arrived. Being burned was the best thing that ever happened to me because it brought you. I wanted to die but you filled me with so much love that it overflowed and I couldn't help but love you back. It happened before I even knew it and now I can't imagine not loving you. You have said that it takes so much for me to believe anything, but I do believe. I believe in your love for me. I believe in my love for you. I believe that every remaining beat of my heart belongs to you, and I believe that when I finally leave this world, my last breath will carry your name. I believe that my final word--Marianne--will be all I need to know that my life was good and full and worthy, and I believe that our love will last forever.
Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Lor blows in like he was plastered to the other side of the door. "Escort the kid to clean the fuck up and get that stench off her." "Sure thing, boss." He scowls at me. I scowl right back. Lor points through the glass floor. "See that blonde down there with the big tits? I was about to get laid." "One, I'm too young to hear that kind of stuff, and two, I don't see you carrying a club to knock her over the head with, so how were you going to accomplish that?" Behind me, Ryodan laughs. "You're ruining my night, kid." "Ditto. Ain't life at Chester's grand.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
When you took me from the witch trial at Cranesmuir--you said then that you would have died with me, you would have gone to the stake with me, had it come to that!" He grasped my hands, fixing me with a steady blue gaze. "Aye, I would," he said. "But I wasna carrying your child." The wind had frozen me; it was the cold that made me shake, I told myself. The cold that took my breath away. "You can't tell," I said, at last. "It's much too soon to be sure." He snorted briefly, and a tiny flicker of amusement lit his eyes. "And me a farmer, too! Sassenach, ye havena been a day late in your courses, in all the time since ye first took me to your bed. Ye havena bled now in forty-six days." "You bastard!" I said, outraged. "You counted! In the middle of a bloody war, you counted!" "Didn't you?" "No!" I hadn't; I had been much too afraid to acknowledge the possibility of the thing I had hoped and prayed for so long, come now so horribly too late. "Besides," I went on, trying still to deny the possibility, "that doesn't mean anything. Starvation could cause that; it often does." He lifted one brow, and cupped a broad hand gently beneath my breast. "Aye, you're thin enough; but scrawny as ye are, your breasts are full--and the nipples of them gone the color of Champagne grapes. You forget," he said, "I've seen ye so before. I have no doubt--and neither have you." I tried to fight down the waves of nausea--so easily attributable to fright and starvation--but I felt the small heaviness, suddenly burning in my womb. I bit my lip hard, but the sickness washed over me. Jamie let go of my hands, and stood before me, hands at his sides, stark in silhouette against the fading sky. "Claire," he said quietly. "Tomorrow I will die. This child...is all that will be left of me--ever. I ask ye, Claire--I beg you--see it safe.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Then the best thing I can do is—" He froze. The brown eyes that had been narrowed with aggravation suddenly went wide with...what? Amazement? Awe? Or perhaps that stunned feeling I kept having when I saw him? Because suddenly, I was pretty sure he was experiencing the same thing I had earlier. He'd seen me plenty of times in Siberia. He'd seen me just the other night at the warehouse. But now...now he was truly viewing me with his own eyes. Now that he was no longer Strigoi, his whole world was different. His outlook and feelings were different. Even his soul was different. It was like one of those moments when people talked about their lives flashing before their eyes. Because as we stared at one another, every part of our relationship replayed in my mind's eye. I remembered how strong and invincible he'd been when we first met, when he'd come to bring Lissa and me back to the folds of Moroi society. I remembered the gentleness of his touch when he's bandaged my bloodies and bettered hands. I remembered him carrying me in his arms after Victor's daughter Natalie had attacked me. Most of all, I remembered the night we'd been together in the cabin, just before the Strigoi had taken him. A year. We'd known each other only a year but we'd lived a lifetime in it. And he was realizing that too, I knew as he studied me. His gaze was all-powerful, taking in every single one of my features and filing them away. Dimly, I tried to recall what I looked like today. I still wore the dress from the secret meeting and knew it looked good on me. My eyes were probably bloodshot from crying earlier, and I'd only had time for a quick brushing of my hair before heading off with Adrian. Somehow, I doubted any of it mattered. The way Dimitri was looking at me...it confirmed everything I'd suspected. The feelings he'd had for me before he'd been turned-the feelings that had become twisted while a Strigoi—were all still there. They had to be. Maybe Lissa was his savior. Maybe the rest of the Court thought she was a goddess. I knew, right then, that no matter how bedraggled I looked or how blank he tried to keep his face, I was a goddess to him.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of self-hood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany—when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web—can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover. Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell. I am One with the Universe and it hurts.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
Life is a performance, I thought. Perthaps the word "illusion" would have meant more or less the same thing, but to me "performance" seemed closed to the truth. Standing there in the midst of the crowd that evening, I felt this realization swirl dizzily through my body in a dazzling splendor of light, if only for an instant. Each one of us continues to carry the heart of each self we've ever been, at every stage along the way, and a chaos of everything good and rotten. And we have to carry this weight all alone, through each day that we live. We try to be as nice as we can to the people we love, but we alone support the weight of ourselves.
Banana Yoshimoto (Goodbye Tsugumi)
The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Abrahamic religion mixes explosively with (and gives strong sanction to) both. Only the willfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today. Without a doubt it is the prime aggravator of the Middle East. Those of us who have for years politely concealed our contempt for the dangerous collective delusion of religion need to stand up and speak out. Things are different now. ‘All is changed, changed utterly.
Richard Dawkins (A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love)
When a man died, there had to be blame. Jimmy Cross understood this. You could blame the war, You could blame the idiots who made the war. You could blame Kiowa for going to it. You could blame the rain. You could blame the river. You could blame the field, the mud, the climate. You could blame the enemy. You could blame the mortar rounds. You could blame people who were too lazy to read a newspaper, who were bored by the daily body counts, who switched channels at the mention of politics. You could blame whole nations. You could blame God. You could blame the munitions makers or Karl Marx or a trick of fate of an old man in Omaha who forgot to vote.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera
When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.
Jessica Valenti (Full Frontal Feminism)
Here are a few important principles to remember with regard to the giving and receiving between males and females. When a male demands, a female reacts; she doesn’t respond. When a male gives, a female responds. When a male commits, a female submits. Nothing is more precious to a female than a committed male. Nothing is no more depressing to a female than an uncommitted male. Here’s the secret, guys: If you want a submitted female, be a committed male. It’s that simple. When a male abuses, a female refuses. Whenever a man abuses a woman, she refuses to respond. When a male shares, a female cares. If you find a man who is willing to share with the woman in his life, you will find a woman who is willing to care for her man. When a male leads, a female follows. When a man carries out his God-given responsibility for leadership, a woman responds by following his lead. Leadership does not mean being bossy, always telling others what to do. No, leadership means going ahead, not putting others in the front. Good leaders lead by example, not by decree. Jesus led by example, and so did Moses, Peter, Paul, and all the other great leaders in the Bible. Leading by example means doing ourselves the things we wish others to do.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. When there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your mortality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears - that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
It's amazing how good governments are, given their track records in almost every other field, at hushing up things like alien encounters. One reason may be that the aliens themselves are too embarrassed to talk about it. It's not known why most of the space-going races of the universe want to undertake rummaging in Earthling underwear as a prelude to formal contact. But representatives of several hundred races have taken to hanging out, unsuspected by one another, in rural corners of the planet and, as a result of this, keep on abducting other would-be abductees. Some have been in fact abducted while waiting to carry out an abduction on a couple of aliens trying to abduct the aliens who were, as a result of misunderstood instructions, trying to form cattle into circles and mutilate crops. The planet Earth is now banned to all alien races until they can compare notes and find out how many, if any, real humans they have actually got. It is gloomily suspected that there is only one - who is big, hairy, and has very large feet. The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes connot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee; more gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog. Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality... in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
I met a girl in a U-Haul. A beautiful girl And I fell for her. I fell hard. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way. Life definitely got in my way. It got all up in my damn way, Life blocked the door with a stack of wooden 2x4's nailed together and attached to a fifteen inch concrete wall behind a row of solid steel bars, bolted to a titanium frame that no matter how hard I shoved against it- It wouldn't budge. Sometimes life doesn't budge. It just gets all up in your damn way. It blocked my plans, my dreams, my desires, my wishes, my wants, my needs. It blocked out that beautiful girl That I fell so hard for. Life tries to tell you what's best for you What should be most important to you What should come in first Or second Or third. I tried so hard to keep it all organized, alphabetized, stacked in chronological order, everything in its perfect space, its perfect place. I thought that's what life wanted me to do. This is what life needed for me to do. Right? Keep it all in sequence? Sometimes, life gets in your way. It gets all up in your damn way. But it doesn't get all up in your damn way because it wants you to just give up and let it take control. Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along. Life wants you to fight it. It wants you to grab an axe and hack through the wood. It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through the concrete. It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it. Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together, stir it up, blend it. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your little brother should be the only thing that comes first. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your career and your education should be the only thing that comes in second. And life definitely doesn't want me To just let it tell me that the girl I met, The beautiful, strong, amazing, resilient girl That I fell so hard for Should only come in third. Life knows. Life is trying to tell me That the girl I love, The girl I fell So hard for? There's room for her in first. I'm putting her first.
Colleen Hoover
Despair, or folly?' said Gandalf. 'It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he is very wise, and weighs all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.' 'At least for a while,' said Elrond. 'The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strenght nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
To generalize about war is like generalizing about peace. Almost everything is true. Almost nothing is true. At its core, perhaps, war is just another name for death, and yet any soldier will tell you, if he tells the truth, that proximity to death brings with it a corresponding proximity to life. After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness. The trees are alive. The grass, the soil—everything. All around you things are purely living, and you among them, and the aliveness makes you tremble. You feel an intense, out-of-the-skin awareness of your living self—your truest self, the human being you want to be and then become by the force of wanting it. In the midst of evil you want to be a good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy and human concord, things you never knew you wanted. There is a kind of largeness to it, a kind of godliness. Though it’s odd, you’re never more alive than when you’re almost dead. You recognize what’s valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what’s best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river and go into the mountains and do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors on the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be, but now is not.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Her death the dividing mark: Before and After. And though it’s a bleak thing to admit all these years later, still I’ve never met anyone who made me feel loved the way she did. Everything came alive in her company; she cast a charmed theatrical light about her so that to see anything through her eyes was to see it in brighter colours than ordinary – I remember a few weeks before she died, eating a late supper with her in an Italian restaurant down in the Village, and how she grasped my sleeve at the sudden, almost painful loveliness of a birthday cake with lit candles being carried in procession from the kitchen, faint circle of light wavering in across the dark ceiling and then the cake set down to blaze amidst the family, beatifying an old lady’s face, smiles all round, waiters stepping away with their hands behind their backs – just an ordinary birthday dinner you might see anywhere in an inexpensive downtown restaurant, and I’m sure I wouldn’t even remember it had she not died so soon after, but I thought about it again and again after her death and indeed I’ll probably think about it all my life: that candlelit circle, a tableau vivant of the daily, commonplace happiness that was lost when I lost her
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible. Adulthood brings limitations like gravity and linear space and the idea that bedtime is a real thing, and not an artificially imposed curfew. Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious. Childhood melts, and flights of fancy are replaced by rules. Tornados kill people: they don’t carry them off to magical worlds. Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure. But children, ah, children. Children follow the foxes, and open the wardrobes, and peek beneath the bridge. Children climb the walls and fall down the wells and run the razor’s edge of possibility until sometimes, just sometimes, the possible surrenders and shows them the way to go home.
Seanan McGuire (Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3))
Anyone can say 'I love you', however so many other sayings carry more weight in a relationship: “I understand what you went through because I went through it too.” “I believe you and in you.” “I see the pain you are going through and we will conquer this together.” “I don’t want to change you. I just want to help you become the best version of yourself.” “You matter to me, therefore I will be there for you always.” "I will never keep things from you because you have my respect and friendship. If I find out someone is putting you down, I will stand up for you. ” “Your character will always shine when I speak about you because to damage your name is to damage ours.” “I will go to the ends of the earth to save you from yourself or others.” “What you have to say is important to me because I see you’re hurting and that hurts me, so I am going to listen. Together we will solve this problem.” “I don’t care about your past. That was yesterday. Today, we are going to start over because people make mistakes, but they don’t have to pay for them for the rest of their life.” "How can I help you get through this?" “In sickness or in health...I meant it and I will search the world to find a way to keep you in it because you mean that much to me.” “I don’t want to be your parent. I want to be your best friend, lover, cheering section, playmate and fill all the important parts of your soul. Together we will fill the rest as equals.
Shannon L. Alder
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did. These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world. So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect. When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them. Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
R.D. Ronald
The Pomegranate The only legend I have ever loved is the story of a daughter lost in hell. And found and rescued there. Love and blackmail are the gist of it. Ceres and Persephone the names. And the best thing about the legend is I can enter it anywhere. And have. As a child in exile in a city of fogs and strange consonants, I read it first and at first I was an exiled child in the crackling dusk of the underworld, the stars blighted. Later I walked out in a summer twilight searching for my daughter at bed-time. When she came running I was ready to make any bargain to keep her. I carried her back past whitebeams and wasps and honey-scented buddleias. But I was Ceres then and I knew winter was in store for every leaf on every tree on that road. Was inescapable for each one we passed. And for me. It is winter and the stars are hidden. I climb the stairs and stand where I can see my child asleep beside her teen magazines, her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit. The pomegranate! How did I forget it? She could have come home and been safe and ended the story and all our heart-broken searching but she reached out a hand and plucked a pomegranate. She put out her hand and pulled down the French sound for apple and the noise of stone and the proof that even in the place of death, at the heart of legend, in the midst of rocks full of unshed tears ready to be diamonds by the time the story was told, a child can be hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance. The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured. The suburb has cars and cable television. The veiled stars are above ground. It is another world. But what else can a mother give her daughter but such beautiful rifts in time? If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift. The legend will be hers as well as mine. She will enter it. As I have. She will wake up. She will hold the papery flushed skin in her hand. And to her lips. I will say nothing.
Eavan Boland
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas