Thwart Quotes

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Cynics are simply thwarted romantics.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated. -Prisoner 24601
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
Let every evil spirit seeking to frustrate my day and my assignment be thwarted. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Once again, I've been thwarted by the massive difference between my vision of the successful me and the me I'm currently stuck with.
Lauren Graham (Someday, Someday, Maybe)
True love would look a second time. True love would not be thwarted. True love would not accept no for an answer.
Alex Flinn
The more the drive toward life is thwarted, the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life.
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
True love would look a second time. True love would not be thwarted. True love would not accept no for an answer. He would search the world and certainly look again and again in every cottage until he finds you.
Alex Flinn (A Kiss in Time)
I warn you, Kelsey, that I’m an extremely patient man. I’ve had extensive practice in waiting out the enemy. My life as a tiger has taught me that attentive persistence and focused diligence always pay off. Consider yourself forewarned, priyatama. I’m on the hunt. I’ve caught your scent, and I won’t be thwarted in my course.
Colleen Houck
The small hopes and plans and pleasures of children should be tenderly respected by grown-up people, and never rudely thwarted or ridiculed.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Men)
Thwart," I said. "To prevent someone from accomplishing something by means of visiting gratuitous violence upon his smarmy person." "I'm pretty sure that isn't the definition." Sarissa said. "It is today.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
Fate...may...be...thwarted.
Gail Carson Levine (Ever)
I think you must be some kind of a freak. Either that or you’re trying to convert me to your secret horse religion.” “Darn, you got me,” she says theatrically. “You thwarted my evil plan.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
There is nothing quite like the anger of someone very powerful, who has been thwarted by someone who was supposed to be weak.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
You are a terror, aren't you? Leave this yard alone. I know just where everything is in it, and I won't be able to find the things I need for my transport spells if you tidy them up.' So there was probably a bundle of souls or a box of chewed hearts somewhere out here, Sophie thought. She felt really thwarted. ‘Tidying up is what I’m here for!’ she shouted at Howl. ‘Then you must think of a new meaning for your life,’ Howl said.
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
...she had regained what I thought she had lost forever, the magical sadness which had drawn me to her, the thwarted look that had seemed to say, "Surely I was made for some other purpose than this?
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
From love arises hatred of those things which are contrary to what we love, or which oppose and thwart us in those things that we delight in.
Jonathan Edwards
Don't cross me Scooby-Doo. I'm not an old man in a mask waiting to be thwarted by you meddling kids.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
Back at home inside our garage, Ren opened the door for me. Instead of helping me out, he leaned over and growling softly. His lips brushed against the sensitive skin under my ear. His voice was seductive, dangerous. "I'm warning you, Kelsey. I'm an extremely patient man. I've had extensive practice in waiting out the enemy. My life as a tiger has taught me that persistence and diligence always pay off. Consider yourself forewarned, priyatama. I'm on the hunt. I've caught your scent, and I won't be thwarted in my course.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
The ordinary, utterly mundane reason behind the massacre makes it somehow more terrible, and far more depressing. The word 'senseless' springs to mind, and Idris thwarts it. It's what people always say. A senseless act of violence. A senseless murder. As if you could commit sensible murder.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
And watch two men washing clothes, one makes dry clothes wet. The other makes wet clothes dry. they seem to be thwarting each other, but their work is a perfect harmony. Every holy person seems to have a different doctrine and practice, but there's really only one work.
Rumi
It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.
Viktor E. Frankl
Power, true power, comes from the belief in true things, and the willingness to stand behind that belief, even if the universe itself conspires to thwart your plans. Chaos may settle; flames may die; worlds may rise and fall. But true things will remain so, and will never fail to guide you to your goals.
James A. Owen (Here, There Be Dragons (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #1))
His sister liked to think of herself as Lord Tywin with teats, but she was wrong. Their father had been as relentless and implacable as a glacier, where Cercei was all wildfire, especially when thwarted.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best laid plans.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted friendship - when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.
Oswald Chambers
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
It is absurd to expect the inclinations and wishes of two human beings to coincide, through any long period of time. To oblige them to act and live together is to subject them to some inevitable potion of thwarting, bickering, and unhappiness.
William Godwin
It’s hard to come up with a scheme to thwart some other scheme you don’t even know about.
Holly Black (Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3))
From your results I have determined that you are one of the strongest Divergent, which I say not to compliment you but to explain my purpose. If I am to develop a simulation that cannot be thwarted by the Divergent mind, I must study the strongest Divergent mind in order to shore up all weaknesses in the technology.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
My captain on the snowy horse He's coming back to take me home (He's coming back to take me home) He'll find me fighting back the terrible thwarts 'Cause I'm not afraid to die alone!
Owl City
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
If you want guarantees in life, then you don't want life. You want rehearsals for a script that's already been written. Life by its nature cannot have guarantees, or its whole purpose is thwarted.
Neale Donald Walsch
If dreams are thwarted, then yearning must take their place If reunion is impossible, then longing must take its place.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. 'Elendil!' he cried. 'I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
It has become necessary for me to have this woman, so as to save myself from the ridicule of being in love with her: for to what lengths will a man not be driven by thwarted desire?
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (Les Liaisons dangereuses)
You know you’re wearing pyjamas wrong, right?” He didn’t look up. “Oh?” “Yeah, you’re supposed to just wear the bottoms, and have them hanging low on your hips, displaying your perfectly chiselled V-cut.” “Maybe next time.” I thought about this for a moment. “Are you saying you have a perfectly chiselled v-cut?” “I’m not sure that’s any of your business.” “What if someone asks? I should know for verisimilitude.” The corners of his mouth twitched slightly. “You can say I’m a gentleman and we haven’t got that far.” “You” – I gave a thwarted sigh – “are a terrible fake boyfriend.” “I’m building fake anticipation.” “You’d better be fake worth it.” “I am.
Alexis Hall (Boyfriend Material (Boyfriend Material, #1))
He hath disgrac'd me and hind'red me half a million; laugh'd at my losses, mock'd at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated my enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew.
William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
The perfect life, the perfect lie, I realised after Christmas, is one which prevents you from doing that which you would ideally have done (painted, say, or written unpublishable poetry) but which, in fact, you have no wish to do. People need to feel that they have been thwarted by circumstances from pursuing the life which, had they led it, they would not have wanted; whereas the life they really want is precisely a compound of all those thwarting circumstances.
Geoff Dyer
What if loving something means you should mostly feel frustrated and thwarted? And then a little ruined, too, by the pursuit? But you keep coming back for more?
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
It is the greatest and the tallest of trees that the gods bring low with bolts and thunder. For the gods love to thwart whatever is greater than the rest. They do not suffer pride in anyone but themselves.
Herodotus
It is only by having desire thwarted, and thereby learning to control it — in other words, by becoming civilized — that men become fully human.
Theodore Dalrymple
A passion thwarted will often go astray.
Garth Nix (Clariel (Abhorsen, #4))
True love would look a second time. True love would not be thwarted. True love would not accept no for an answer. He would search the world and certainly look again and again in every cottage in Euphrasia until he finds you.
Alex Flinn (A Kiss in Time)
Cooperate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't thwart it. Allow it to fulfill itself.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Some things are worth the danger, aren’t they? I don’t believe anyone should be allowed to dictate what I read or who my friends are. It gives me pleasure t know that I can thwart the Brotherhood in some small way.
Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1))
The only way death is not meaningless is to see yourself as part of something greater: a family, a community, a society. If you don’t, mortality is only a horror. But if you do, it is not. Loyalty, said Royce, “solves the paradox of our ordinary existence by showing us outside of ourselves the cause which is to be served, and inside of ourselves the will which delights to do this service, and which is not thwarted but enriched and expressed in such service.” In more recent times, psychologists have used the term “transcendence” for a version of this idea. Above the level of self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they suggest the existence in people of a transcendent desire to see and help other beings achieve their potential.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Being loved back by the person he loved to the point where he couldn't cope anymore with the vulnerable reciprocity of giving and receiving, he ended the relationship to get it over with before he lost it
Anna Burns (Milkman)
Pity thwarts the whole law of evolution, which is the law of natural selection. It preserves whatever is ripe for destruction;
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Antichrist)
When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
In certain ways the lives of the poets and the lives of the saints are similar: the solitary travails, the epiphanic awakening and early actualisation, the thwarting and the mercy, the small rewards, the false starts, the workaday miracles, the joyous visions and fearful hallucinations, the flagellation of the flesh and the lonely difficult deaths.
Jeet Thayil (The Book of Chocolate Saints)
God has a purpose in every life, and when the soul is completely yielded and acquiescent, He will certainly realize it. Blessed is he who has never thwarted the working of the divine ideal.
F.B. Meyer
Ennui Tea leaves thwart those who court catastrophe, designing futures where nothing will occur: cross the gypsy’s palm and yawning she will still predict no perils left to conquer. Jeopardy is jejune now: naïve knight finds ogres out-of-date and dragons unheard of, while blasé princesses indict tilts at terror as downright absurd. The beast in Jamesian grove will never jump, compelling hero’s dull career to crisis; and when insouciant angels play God’s trump, while bored arena crowds for once look eager, hoping toward havoc, neither pleas nor prizes shall coax from doom’s blank door lady or tiger.
Sylvia Plath
I didn't totally fit in. I kind of disintegrated around people and became what they wanted me to be. But paradoxically, I felt an intensity inside me all the time. I didn't know what it was, but it kept building, like water behind a dam. Later, when I was properly depressed and anxious, I saw the illness as an accumulation of all that thwarted intensity. A kind of breaking through. As though, if you find it hard enough to let your self be free, your self breaks in, flooding your mind in an attempt to drown all those failed half-versions of you.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Welcome to My Super Secret Life, where people try to kill us on a regular basis, and we thwart bad-guy schemes for breakfast. We’re almost like a reality show, only without the alcohol and hot tubs.
Gini Koch (Alien Diplomacy (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #5))
I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar the Elfstone, Dunadan. The heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me, or thwart me? Choose swiftly!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
The only people out at this hour were ones who couldn't sleep, those haunted by one thing or another: love thwarted, love lost, love thrown away. They were the sort of people who didn't want to be noticed, who wanted to slip through shadows, be alone with their despair.
Alice Hoffman (The Story Sisters)
...we're also extremely sensitive to the difference between literacy and ideology. It is our belief that the first helps to thwart intolerance, challenge dogma, and reinforce our common humanity. The second does the opposite.
Greg Mortenson (Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan)
Thwart: to prevent someone from accomplishing something by means of visiting gratuitous violence upon his smarmy person.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
In truth, the degree of anyone's succes depends on how often they can say the word 'yes' and hear the word 'no.' Those many times you are thwarted yet persevere.
Chuck Palahniuk (Tell-All)
We don't know how to be women because we were taught it was not OK to be girls. Our most natural impulses were thwarted and distorted.
Marianne Williamson (A Woman's Worth)
how much I’d been thwarted into a carefully constructed nothingness by that man
Anna Burns (Milkman)
England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control - that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
George Orwell (Why I Write (Great Ideas #020))
Some of us are fated to live in a box from which there is only temporary release. We of the damned-up spirits, of the thwarted feelings, of the blocked hearts, and the pent-up thoughts, we who long to blast out, flood forth in a torrent of rage or joy or even madness, but there is nowhere for us to go, nowhere in the world because no one will have us as we are, and there is nothing to do except to embrace the secret pleasures of our sublimations, the arc of a sentence, the kiss of a rhyme, the image that forms on paper or canvas, the inner cantata, the cloistered embroidery, the dark and dreaming needlepoint from hell or heaven or purgatory or none of those three, but there must be some sound and fury from us, some clashing cymbals in the void.
Siri Hustvedt (The Summer Without Men)
...everything made by man's hands has a form, which must be either beautiful or ugly; beautiful if it is in accord with Nature, and helps her; ugly if it is discordant with Nature, and thwarts her; it cannot be indifferent...
William Morris
The challenge of good men is not to thwart change, but to mold it as it comes, so that it may benefit rather than destroy.
G. Norman Lippert (James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing (James Potter, #1))
Thwarted by technobabble.
Scott Hawkins (The Library at Mount Char)
As a scientist I rebelled against the disorder, and I had long since discovered that nothing thwarted the mental processes like clutter.
Deanna Raybourn (A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1))
And so you, like the others, would play your brains against mine. You would help these men to hunt me and frustrate me in my designs! You know now, and they know in part already, and will know in full before long, what it is to cross my path. They should have kept their energies for use closer to home. Whilst they played wits against me - against me who commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them, hundreds of years before they were born - I was countermining them. And you, their best beloved one, are now to me, flesh of my flesh; blood of my blood; kin of my kin; my bountiful wine-press for awhile; and shall later on be my companion and my helper. You shall be avenged in turn; for not one of them but shall minister to your needs. You have aided in thwarting me; now you shall come to my call.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
It is helpful to remember that the most strong-willed children tend to be the ones who identify the most strongly with their parents. So instead of viewing their seemingly constant challenges as defiance or attempts to thwart authority, work to parent from a place of understanding that your strong-willed child is actually on a discovery mission and is doing endless 'research' on you by testing and retesting and digging and chiseling to discover all of your quirks and foibles and ups and downs and strengths and weaknesses.
L.R. Knost (The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline (A Little Hearts Handbook))
Free is the person who lives as he wishes and cannot be coerced, impeded or compelled, whose impulses cannot be thwarted, who always gets what he desires and never has to experience what he would rather avoid.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings)
Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
When you are in the grips of low self-esteem, it’s painful, and it certainly doesn’t feel like pride. But I believe that this is the dark, quieter side of pride — thwarted pride.
Edward T. Welch (When People are Big and God is Small)
To be "in charge" is certainly not only to carry out the proper measures yourself but to see that every one else does so too; to see that no one either willfully or ignorantly thwarts or prevents such measures. It is neither to do everything yourself nor to appoint a number of people to each duty, but to ensure that each does that duty to which he is appointed.
Florence Nightingale (Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not)
Young, Chade suggested. Young and full of righteous fury. Hurt and heartbroken, I suggested. So tired of being thwarted. Tired of being bound by rules that no one else had to follow.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy, #1))
If a dream can tell the future it can also thwart that future. For God will not permit that we shall know what is to come. He is bound to no one that the world unfold just so upon its course and those who by some sorcery or by some dream might come to pierce the veil that lies so darkly over all that is before them may serve by just that vision to cause that God should wrench the world from its heading and set it upon another course altogether and then where stands the sorcerer? Where the dreamer and his dream?
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
I am unwilling to accord to some small−minded and jealous individuals the satisfaction of having thwarted my efforts. These men are to me nothing more than microbes of a nasty disease.
Nikola Tesla (Quotations by Nikola Tesla)
Human kindness is deeply subversive to totalitarian creeds, which seek to thwart all compassion toward those deemed unworthy of moral consideration, those branded as internal or external enemies.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
...and said with the softness of repressed violence, 'I am not one to stick his neck out; it is a bit of a reach. I was waiting for the smallest sign that you could love me... I never got it.
Rebecca Ashe
Our instinctive apparatus consists of two parts- the one tending to further our own life and that of our descendants, the other tending to thwart the lives of supposed rivals.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
You see a wile, you thwart. Am I right?
Terry Pratchett
Nothing thwarts happiness so much as the memory of happiness.
André Gide (The Immoralist)
One cannot be exploited or thwarted from nine to five, then come home and feel loving and lovable.
Daniel Berrigan (The Geography of Faith: Underground Conversations on Religious, Political & Social Change)
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it? The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film. This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I live in an unethical society that coarsens the sensibilities and thwarts the capacities for goodness of most people but makes available for minority consumption an astonishing array of intellectual and aesthetic pleasures. Those who don’t enjoy (in both senses) my pleasures have every right, from their side, to regard my consciousness as spoiled, corrupt, decadent. I, from my side, can’t deny the immense richness of these pleasures, or my addiction to them.
Susan Sontag (Styles of Radical Will)
He knew he lived in hell. He accepted it. He rarely complained. But truth be told, he desperately wished he could make his escape. His prayers went unanswered, and his plans for reform were almost always thwarted by something or other.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
APPROACH THIS DAY WITH AWARENESS OF WHO IS BOSS. As you make plans for the day, remember that it is I who orchestrate the events of your life. On days when things go smoothly, according to your plans, you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence. On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected. It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me, accepting My way as better than yours.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
To Have Without Holding: Learning to love differently is hard, love with the hands wide open, love with the doors banging on their hinges, the cupboard unlocked, the wind roaring and whimpering in the rooms rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds that thwack like rubber bands in an open palm. It hurts to love wide open stretching the muscles that feel as if they are made of wet plaster, then of blunt knives, then of sharp knives. It hurts to thwart the reflexes of grab, of clutch, to love and let go again and again. It pesters to remember the lover who is not in the bed, to hold back what is owed to the work that gutters like a candle in a cave without air, to love consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively. I can't do it, you say it's killing me, but you thrive, you glow on the street like a neon raspberry, You float and sail, a helium balloon bright bachelor's buttons blue and bobbing on the cold and hot winds of our breath, as we make and unmake in passionate diastole and systole the rhythm of our unbound bonding, to have and not to hold, to love with minimized malice, hunger and anger moment by moment balanced.
Marge Piercy
Boredom is essentially a thwarted desire for events, not necessarily pleasant ones, but just occurrences such as will enable the victim of ennui to know one day from another. The opposite of boredom, in a word, is not pleasure, but excitement.
Bertrand Russell
Yet genius of a sort must have existed among women as it must have existed among the working classes. Now and again an Emily Bronte or a Robert Burns blazes out and proves its presence. But certainly it never got itself on paper. When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. […]any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at. For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Judgement is so often a thwarted, frustrated expression of envy.
Elizabeth Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953)
She wished she had candy, but she hadn’t settled on a new hiding place to thwart the nefarious Candy Thief.
J.D. Robb (New York to Dallas (In Death, #33))
Funny how a nice ass, firm pecs, and a great smile could thwart a woman’s best plans.
Karina Halle (Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1))
Nationalism is the sworn enemy of civilization, whether past, present or future, its malodorous presence thwarting the development of intelligence,
Stefan Zweig (Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink)
We are going to be the best of friends," said Gilbert, jubilantly. "We were born to be good friends, Anne. You've thwarted destiny enough. I know we can help each other in many ways.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
Parents with dependents are somehow thought to count for more. If, for example, there is some scarce resource—a donor kidney perhaps—and of the two potential recipients one is a parent of young children and one is not, the parent, all things being equal, will likely be favoured. To let a parent die is not only to thwart that person’s preference to be saved, but also the preferences of his or her children that their parent be saved. It is quite true, of course, that the death of the parent will harm more people, but there is nonetheless something to be said against favouring parents. Increasing one’s value by having children might be like increasing one’s value by taking hostages.
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
Everywhere, Everywhere" amazing, how grimly we hold onto our misery, ever defensive, thwarted by the forces. amazing, the energy we burn fueling our anger. amazing, how one moment we can be snarling like a beast, then a few moments later, forgetting what or why. not hours of this or days or months or years of this but decades, lifetimes completely use up, given over to the prettiest rancor and hatred. finally there is nothing here for death to take away.
Charles Bukowski (What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire)
When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!
Paul David Tripp (Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy)
I was getting better at controlling my emotional reactions. When feelings overwhelmed me, I learned to thwart the burning temptation to act self-destructively and to sit with the feelings instead.
Rachel Reiland (Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
If each side had been frankly contending for its own real wish, they would all have kept within the bounds of reason and courtesy; but just because the contention is reversed and each side is fighting the other side’s battle, all the bitterness which really flows from thwarted self-righteousness and obstinacy and from the accumulated grudges of the last ten years is concealed from them by the nominal or official "Unselfishness" of what they are doing or, at least, held to be excused by it.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
I believed that it might be pulling these different impressions of itself from my mind and projecting them back at me, as a form of camouflage. To thwart the biologist in me, to frustrate the logic left in me.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation)
Something is missing: that's as close as I can come to naming the sensation, an awareness of missed or thwarted connections, or of a great hollowness left where something lovely and solid used to be. ...There is something fundamentally insatiable about being human, as though we come into the world with a kind of built-in tension between the experience of being hungry, which is a condition of striving and yearning, and the experience of being fed, which may offer temporary satisfaction but always gives way to new strivings, new yearnings.
Caroline Knapp
you know, Marie said it wouldn't happen that bad again, but just in case... if I do this and safely put the Remnants back, then all of a sudden start coming on to you, I don't mean it. It's just the aftereffects of being connected to the hungers of the dead. Not me suddenly having a crazed desire to jump on your jock." Vlad threw back his head and roared with laughter. Pink tears gleamed from his eyes before he reined himself in to just a few lingering chuckles. "I'll be sure to thwart any jock-jumping attempts you might make on me or anyone else," he replied at last, his lips still twitching.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
all living things are manipulated as long as there is a will, it is bent and twisted constantly. Only the dead are allowed the luxury of freedom, and then only because they want nothing, and therefore can't be thwarted.
Orson Scott Card (Songmaster)
Wrath springs only from thwarted desires. I do not expect anything from others, so their actions cannot be in opposition to wishes of mine. I would not use you for my own ends; I am happy only in your own true happiness.
Paramahansa Yogananda (The Autobiography of a Yogi ("Popular Life Stories"))
As long as government has the power to regulate business, business will control government by funding the candidate that legislates in their favor. A free-market thwarts lobbying by taking the power that corporations seek away from government! The only sure way to prevent the rich from buying unfair government influence is to stop allowing government to use physical force against peaceful people. Whenever government is allowed to favor one group over another, the rich will always win, since they can "buy" more favors, overtly or covertly, than the poor.
Mary J. Ruwart
My prayer time alone with the Lord Jesus is more important than any other thing I do each day. There in the secret place, the devil's plans are shattered and God's victories are won, evil is thwarted and blessings are unleashed, sicknesses are overcome and sin is denied its sway over the lives of the weak. Our God is an answering God.
Lee Ann Rubsam
Will you live an empty and bitter life, a selfish and profane life, because something precious was denied you? Will you waste every chance for honor and happiness given you in this world simply because you have been thwarted?
Anne Rice (Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim, #1))
How I hated myself, thwarted, poisoned and tortured myself, made myself old and ugly. Never again, as I once fondly imagined, will I consider that Siddartha is clever. But one thing I have done well, which pleases me, which I must praise- I have now put an end to that self-detestation, to that foolish empty life. I commend you, Siddartha, that after so many years of folly, you have again a good idea, that you have accomplished something, that you have again heard the bird in your breast sing and followed it.
Hermann Hesse
Those ruffians, the Gods, shan't have it all their own way,-- her notion being that the Gods, who never lost a chance of hurting, thwarting and spoiling human lives were seriously put out if, all the same, you behaved like a lady.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
I'm going to use them to track him down and thwart him." "Thwart?" Sarissa asked. "Thwart." I said. "To prevent someone from accomplishing something by means of visiting gratuitous violence upon his smarmy person." "I'm pretty sure that isn't the definition," Sarissa said. "It is today.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
Our best intentions are often thwarted by external forces—forces that we ourselves set in motion long ago. Decisions, especially bad ones, create their own kind of momentum, and momentum can be a bitch to stop, as every athlete knows.
Andre Agassi (Open)
Throughout history, government has proved to be the chief instrument for thwarting man’s liberty. Government represents power in the hands of some men to control and regulate the lives of other men. And power, as Lord Acton said, corrupts men. “Absolute power,” he added, “corrupts absolutely.
Barry M. Goldwater (Conscience of a Conservative)
I like three fingers of Irish and it ain’t whiskey.
Erin R. Flynn (Thwarting Cheaters (Artemis University, #5))
If you die on me, Winston Lane, I shall kill you." His lips tilted. "Don't worry, sweeting. I live to thwart you.
Kristen Callihan (Winterblaze (Darkest London, #3))
…could not have understood what perverted shaped thwarted love can take.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne of Green Gables, #4))
Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.
Henri Matisse
He wants what he cannot have, and does not want what he can't refuse — and isn't aware of it. He doesn't know the difference between his own possessions and others'. Because, if he did, he would never be thwarted of disappointed. Or nervous.
Epictetus (Discourses and Selected Writings)
Your courage in the grove surprised me. Surprise is a reaction I had all but forgotten. I have seen enough that I alway know what to expect. I assess the odds of various outcomes, and me predictions are never thwarted. before you were finished confronting the revenant, the potion failed. I saw the artificial bravado leave you. Your demise was certain. Yet, despite my certainty, you removed the nail. Had you been full-grown, a seasoned hero of legendary renown, well-trained, armed with charms and talismans, I would have been deeply impressed. But for a mere boy to preform such a feat? I was truly surprised.
Brandon Mull (Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven, #3))
A man, at least, is free; he can explore every passion, every land, overcome obstacles, taste the most distant pleasures. But a woman is continually thwarted. Inert and pliant at the same time, she must struggle against both the softness of her flesh and subjection to the law. Her will, like the veil tied to her hat by a string, flutters with every breeze; there is always some desire luring her on, some convention holding her back.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
in heavenly realms of hellas dwelt two very different sons of zeus: one, handsome strong and born to dare --a fighter to his eyelashes-- the other,cunning ugly lame; but as you'll shortly comprehend a marvellous artificer now Ugly was the husband of (as happens every now and then upon a merely human plane) someone completely beautiful; and Beautiful,who(truth to sing) could never quite tell right from wrong, took brother Fearless by the eyes and did the deed of joy with him then Cunning forged a web so subtle air is comparatively crude; an indestructible occult supersnare of resistless metal: and(stealing toward the blissful pair) skilfully wafted over them- selves this implacable unthing next,our illustrious scientist petitions the celestial host to scrutinize his handiwork: they(summoned by that savage yell from shining realms of regions dark) laugh long at Beautiful and Brave --wildly who rage,vainly who strive; and being finally released flee one another like the pest thus did immortal jealousy quell divine generosity, thus reason vanquished instinct and matter became the slave of mind; thus virtue triumphed over vice and beauty bowed to ugliness and logic thwarted life:and thus-- but look around you,friends and foes my tragic tale concludes herewith: soldier,beware of mrs smith
E.E. Cummings
The body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn ossify into a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit-bound body thwarts the mind. If the master allows himself to be commanded by a servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting to bodily dictation.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Illustrated and Annotated Edition))
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
When cats don’t know something exists, it’s easy to keep them away. If they can’t get to something and it’s something they’ve made up their minds they want, it’s almost impossible. Cats aren’t lazy; they’ll put in the work to thwart even the best-laid plans.
Vicki Myron (Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World)
When the gap between the world of the city and the world my grandfather had presented to me as right and good became too wide and depressing to tolerate, I'd turn to my other great love, which was pulp adventure fiction. Despite the fact that [he] would have had nothing but scorn and loathing for all of those violent and garish magazines, there was a sort of prevailing morality in them that I'm sure he would have responded to. The world of Doc Savage and The Shadow was one of absolute values, where what was good was never in the slightest doubt and where what was evil inevitably suffered some fitting punishment. The notion of good and justice espoused by Lamont Cranston with his slouch hat and blazing automatics seemed a long way from that of the fierce and taciturn old man I remembered sitting up alone into the Montana night with no company save his bible, but I can't help feeling that if the two had ever met they'd have found something to talk about. For my part, all those brilliant and resourceful sleuths and heroes offered a glimpse of a perfect world where morality worked the way it was meant to. Nobody in Doc Savage's world ever killed themselves except thwarted kamikaze assassins or enemy spies with cyanide capsules. Which world would you rather live in, if you had the choice?
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead. The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.
Carl R. Rogers
All force strives forward to work far and wide To live and grow and ever to expand; Yet we are checked and thwarted on each side By the world's flux and swept along like sand: In this internal storm and outward tide We hear a promise, hard to understand: From the compulsion that all creatures binds, Who overcomes himself, his freedom finds.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rage and grief, thwarted desire, lust, self-pity: these are emotions gods know well. But guilt and shame, remorse, ambivalence, those are foreign countries to our kind, which must be learned stone by stone.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
We are in God’s hands. We can’t come up with a surprise big enough or a sin vile enough to thwart His plan. If we allow Him to refine us we will inevitably end up free from the impurities that separate us from Him.
Toni Sorenson
A Horrible thought: could this be the pattern of my life ahead? Every ambition thwarted, every dream stillborn? But a seconds reflection tells me that what I'm currently experiencing is shared by all sentient, suffering human beings, except for the very, very few: the genuinely talented - the odd, rare genius - and, of course, the exceptionally lucky swine.
William Boyd (Any Human Heart)
Fred didn’t groom Donald to succeed him; when he was in his right mind, he wouldn’t trust Trump Management to anybody. Instead, he used Donald, despite his failures and poor judgment, as the public face of his own thwarted ambition. Fred kept propping up Donald’s false sense of accomplishment until the only asset Donald had was the ease with which he could be duped by more powerful men.
Mary L. Trump (Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man)
Things — identifiable objects, products, goals with clear labels and price tags, men you've known for five minutes — make such a handy repository for hungers, such an easy mask for other desires, and such a ready cure for the feelings of edgy discontent that emerge when other desires are either thwarted or unnamed.
Caroline Knapp (Appetites: Why Women Want)
For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations, as in ancient Greece in the time of Homer, where there were gods of the sky and the Earth, the thunderstorm, the oceans and the underworld, fire and time and love and war; where every tree and meadow had its dryad and maenad.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Lo!" I said. "I arrived at Camp Half-Blood as Lester Papadopoulos!" "A pathetic mortal!" Calypso chorused. "Most worthless of teens!" I glared at her, but I didn't dare stop my performance again. "I overcame many challenges with my companion, Meg McCaffrey!" "He means his master!" Calypso added. "A twelve-year-old girl! Behold her pathetic slave, Lester, most worthless of teens!" The policeman huffed impatiently. "We know all this. The emperor told us." "Shh," said Nanette. "Be polite." I put my hand over my heart. "We secured the Grove of Dodona, an ancient Oracle, and thwarted the plans of Nero! But, alas, Meg McCaffrey fled from me. Her evil stepfather had poisoned her mind!" "Poison!" Calypso cried. "Like the breath of Lester Papadopoulos, most worthless of teens!" I resisted the urge to push Calypso into the flower bed. Meanwhile, Leo was making his way towards the bulldozer under the guise of an interpretive dance routine, spinning and gasping and pantomiming my words. He looked like a hallucinating ballerina in boxer shorts, but the blemmyae politely got out of his way. "Lo!" I shouted. "From the Oracle of Dodona we received a prophecy - a limerick most terrible!" "Terrible!" Calypso chorused. "Like the skills of Lester, most worthless of teens!" "Vary your adjectives," I grumbled, then continued for my audience: "We travelled west in search of another Oracle, along the way fighting many fearsome foes! The Cyclopes we brought low!
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
We are, almost all of us, descended from people who responded to the dangers of existence by inventing stories about unpredictable or disgruntled deities. For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations [...]. For thousands of years humans were oppressed - as some of us still are - by the notion that the universe is a marionette whose strings are pulled by a god or gods.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Hear, nature, hear; dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend To make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility! Dry up in her the organs of increase; And from her derogate body never spring A babe to honour her! If she must teem, Create her child of spleen; that it may live, And be a thwart disnatured torment to her! Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth; With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks; Turn all her mother's pains and benefits To laughter and contempt; that she may feel How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is To have a thankless child! Away, away!
William Shakespeare
As night goes round the Earth always there are hundreds of thousands of people who should be sleeping, lying awake, fearing a bully, fearing a cruel competition, dreading lest they cannot make good, ill of some illness they cannot comprehend, distressed by some irrational quarrel, maddened by some thwarted instinct or some suppressed perverted desire.
H.G. Wells (Men Like Gods)
You must build up your life action by action, and be content if each one achieves its goal as far as possible—and no one can keep you from this. But there will be some external obstacle! Perhaps, but no obstacle to acting with justice, self-control, and wisdom. But what if some other area of my action is thwarted? Well, gladly accept the obstacle for what it is and shift your attention to what is given, and another action will immediately take its place, one that better fits the life you are building.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.32
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius)
Rather, I plead with you to see a mode of life in our midst, a mode of life stunted and distorted, but possessing its own laws and claims, an existence of men growing out of the soil prepared by the collective but blind will of a hundred million people. I beg you to recognize human life draped in a form and guise alien to ours, but springing from a soil plowed and sown by our own hands. I ask you to recognize laws and processes flowing from such a condition, understand them, seek to change them. If we do none of these, then we should not pretend horror or surprise when thwarted life expresses itself in fear and hate and crime.
Richard Wright (Native Son)
I am Harry, son of Malcolm," I shouted back. "I have battled dark sorcerers and black knights! I have fought men and beasts in numbers too great for counting, invaded the heart of Winter, confronted necromancers and the living dead, vampires and ghouls and demons in their hordes endless! I have matched wits with the six Queens of Faerie and prevailed, and thwarted the combined will of the White Council! When they came for my child, I smote the Red Court of Vampires, and laid them in ruin for all the world to see. I am Harry, son of Malcolm, and I have entered the vaults of Tartarus, and stolen its treasures beneath the gaze of Hades himself! And I'm about to add giant slaying to my résumé.
Jim Butcher (Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17))
Sloane,” he said. “You know those stories that little kids read. The ones where the princess always falls in love with the handsome prince despite the bad guy’s effort to thwart it?” “Yeah,” I said wondering where he was going with this. “I’m not the handsome prince. I’m the bad guy.” Siva and Sloane
Micalea Smeltzer
No, Maximilien, I am not offended," answered she, "but do you not see what a poor, helpless being I am, almost a stranger and an outcast in my father's house, where even he is seldom seen; whose will has been thwarted, and spirits broken, from the age of ten years, beneath the iron rod so sternly held over me; oppressed, mortified, and persecuted, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, no person has cared for, even observed my sufferings, nor have I ever breathed one word on the subject save to yourself. Outwardly and in the eyes of the world, I am surrounded by kindness and affection; but the reverse is the case. The general remark is, `Oh, it cannot be expected that one of so stern a character as M. Villefort could lavish the tenderness some fathers do on their daughters. What though she has lost her own mother at a tender age, she has had the happiness to find a second mother in Madame de Villefort.' The world, however, is mistaken; my father abandons me from utter indifference, while my mother-in-law detests me with a hatred so much the more terrible because it is veiled beneath a continual smile.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Literary history and the present are dark with silences . . . I have had special need to learn all I could of this over the years, myself so nearly remaining mute and having to let writing die over and over again in me. These are not natural silences--what Keats called agonie ennuyeuse (the tedious agony)--that necessary time for renewal, lying fallow, gestation, in the natural cycle of creation. The silences I speak of here are unnatural: the unnatural thwarting of what struggles to come into being, but cannot.
Tillie Olsen
Origins Of Cptsd How do traumatically abused and/or abandoned children develop Cptsd? While the origin of Cptsd is most often associated with extended periods of physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood, my observations convince me that ongoing verbal and emotional abuse also causes it. Many dysfunctional parents react contemptuously to a baby or toddler’s plaintive call for connection and attachment. Contempt is extremely traumatizing to a child, and at best, extremely noxious to an adult. Contempt is a toxic cocktail of verbal and emotional abuse, a deadly amalgam of denigration, rage and disgust. Rage creates fear, and disgust creates shame in the child in a way that soon teaches her to refrain from crying out, from ever asking for attention. Before long, the child gives up on seeking any kind of help or connection at all. The child’s bid for bonding and acceptance is thwarted, and she is left to suffer in the frightened despair of abandonment. Particularly abusive parents deepen the abandonment trauma by linking corporal punishment with contempt. Slaveholders and prison guards typically use contempt and scorn to destroy their victims’ self-esteem. Slaves, prisoners, and children, who are made to feel worthless and powerless devolve into learned helplessness and can be controlled with far less energy and attention. Cult leaders also use contempt to shrink their followers into absolute submission after luring them in with brief phases of fake unconditional love.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
When we confine animals for food, destroying their family and community connections, obliterating their connection with the earth and with their habitats, and thwarting their intelligent drives, we commit extreme violence against not only these creatures, but against the whole interconnected system of intelligence that supports them and that they serve.
Will Tuttle (The World Peace Diet)
Holding a worn Bible, he read from Paul's letter to the Corinthians about the true nature of love - what it is, and what it is not. It is not boastful, not proud, not self-seeking, not easily angered. It does not hold a grudge. It is patient and kind. It protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, and never fails, even when we turn away from it. Love believes, and believes, and believes, even when it has been disappointed, and wounded, and thwarted by the weaknesses of the human soul.
Lisa Wingate (Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner (Texas Hill Country #3))
Love hurts. Think back over romance novels you’ve loved or the genre-defining books that drive our industry. The most unforgettable stories and characters spring from crushing opposition. What we remember about romance novels is the darkness that drives them. Three hundred pages of folks being happy together makes for a hefty sleeping pill, but three hundred pages of a couple finding a way to be happy in the face of impossible odds makes our hearts soar. In darkness, we are all alone. So don’t just make love, make anguish for your characters. As you structure a story, don’t satisfy your hero’s desires, thwart them. Make sure your solutions create new problems. Nurture your characters doubts and despair. Make them earn the happy ending they want, even better…make them deserve it. Delay and disappointment charge situations and validate character growth. Misery accompanies love. It’s no accident that many of the stories we think of as timeless romances in Western Literature are fiercely tragic: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Cupid and Psyche… the pain in them drags us back again and again, hoping that this time we’ll find a way out of the dark. Only if you let your characters get lost will we get lost in them. And that, more than anything else, is what romance can and should do for its protagonists and its readers: lead us through the labyrinth, skirt the monstrous despair roaming its halls, and find our way into daylight.
Damon Suede
There is yet another class that, having found that their own religion not only prevents free thinking but that some of its philosophies are also against some basic social, economic and scientific concepts of life as required by the progressive society, comes to the illogical conclusion that all religions similarly thwart the growth of progressive societies... Such people fall easy prey to materialism and denounce all religions without having any definite idea of any religion at all.
Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin (A Comparative Study of the Religions of Today)
Because she hated herself, she hated them all with the fury of the thwarted and humiliated love of sixteen. Only a little true tenderness had been mixed into her love. Mostly it had been compounded out of vanity and complacent confidence in her own charms. Now she had lost and, greater than her sense of loss, was the fear that she had made a public spectacle of herself.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!” said Dumbledore loudly. “The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort’s! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart’s desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Poetry can be more eloquent than the most eloquent sermons, and it becomes a weapon more formidable than the sharpest of swords; whenever such a poem--which finds its correct tune and conveys the excitement of the heart--rings out, all the miserable, heaped drifts of words fly for shelter and bury themselves in ashamed silence. Whenever such a sword of poetry is drawn from its scabbard, all the false princes of words, who have set their thrones on a void, are thwarted and retreat into seclusion.
M. Fethullah Gülen (Speech and Power of Expression: On Language, Esthetics, and Belief)
Shandy looked ahead. Blackbeard, apparently willing to get the explanation later, had picked up his oars and was rowing again. 'May I presume to suggest,' yelled Shandy giddily to Davies, 'that we preoceed the hell out of here with all due haste.' Davies pushed a stray lock of hair back from his forehead and sat down on the rower's thwart. 'My dear fellow consider it done.
Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides)
Computers thwart, contort, and befuddle us. We mess around with fonts, change screen backgrounds, slow down or increase mouse speed. We tweak and we piddle. We spend countless hours preparing PowerPoint slides that most people forget in seconds. We generate reports in duplicate and triplicate and then somw that end up serving only one function for most of the recipients - to collect dust.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
What do you think you’re doing?” she asked, her post-orgasmic lassitude evaporating quickly as she struggled.  Sean moved quickly and efficiently, thwarting every one of her attempts to free herself.  Apparently he’d had some training, too. “I’m going to fuck you, Nicki,” he told her huskily.  The pure heat in his glowing blue eyes made her squirm.  No man had ever looked at her like that before – like he worshipped her.  “I’ve made you come once by my hand and twice by my mouth.  Guess how many times I’m going to make you come with my cock, baby?” “Three?”  She tried to sound sarcastic, but her voice came out far too needy to be believable. “That’s right, baby.  A fucking trifecta.  And then, if you’re a good girl, I might let you rest a little before I do it all over again.
Abbie Zanders (Seeking Vengeance (Callaghan Brothers, #4))
The pure (libertarian) socialists' ideological anticipations remain untainted by existing practice. They do not explain how the manifold functions of a revolutionary society would be organized, how external attack and internal sabotage would be thwarted, how bureaucracy would be avoided, scarce resources allocated, policy differences settled, priorities set, and production and distribution conducted. Instead, they offer vague statements about how the workers themselves will directly own and control the means of production and will arrive at their own solutions through creative struggle. No surprise then that the pure socialists support every revolution except the ones that succeed.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
Someone with a fresh mind, one not conditioned by upbringing and environment, would doubtless look at science and the powerful reductionism that it inspires as overwhelmingly the better mode of understanding the world, and would doubtless scorn religion as sentimental wishful thinking. Would not that same uncluttered mind also see the attempts to reconcile science and religion by disparaging the reduction of the complex to the simple as attempts guided by muddle-headed sentiment and intellectually dishonest emotion? ...Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen, the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Renaissance. Science respects more deeply the potential of humanity than religion ever can.
Peter Atkins
By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remarkable person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!" "Of course I haven't!" said Harry indignantly. "He killed my mum and dad!" "You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dumbledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not!
J.K. Rowling
It is wrong to say that schoolmasters lack heart and are dried-up, soulless pedants! No, by no means. When a child's talent which he has sought to kindle suddenly bursts forth, when the boy puts aside his wooden sword, slingshot, bow-and-arrow and other childish games, when he begins to forge ahead, when the seriousness of the work begins to transform the rough-neck into a delicate, serious and an almost ascetic creature, when his face takes on an intelligent, deeper and more purposeful expression - then a teacher's heart laughs with happiness and pride. It is his duty and responsibility to control the raw energies and desires of his charges and replace them with calmer, more moderate ideals. What would many happy citizens and trustworthy officials have become but unruly, stormy innovators and dreamers of useless dreams, if not for the effort of their schools? In young beings there is something wild, ungovernable, uncultured which first has to be tamed. It is like a dangerous flame that has to be controlled or it will destroy. Natural man is unpredictable, opaque, dangerous, like a torrent cascading out of uncharted mountains. At the start, his soul is a jungle without paths or order. And, like a jungle, it must first be cleared and its growth thwarted. Thus it is the school's task to subdue and control man with force and make him a useful member of society, to kindle those qualities in him whose development will bring him to triumphant completion.
Hermann Hesse (Beneath the Wheel)
Woman, even more than man, is a fetich worshipper, and though her idols may change, she is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus woman has been the greatest supporter of all deities from time immemorial. Thus, too, she has had to pay the price that only gods can exact,—her freedom, her heart’s blood, her very life. Nietzsche’s memorable maxim, “When you go to woman, take the whip along,” is considered very brutal, yet Nietzsche expressed in one sentence the attitude of woman towards her gods. Religion, especially the Christian religion, has condemned woman to the life of an inferior, a slave. It has thwarted her nature and fettered her soul, yet the Christian religion has no greater supporter, none more devout, than woman. Indeed, it is safe to say that religion would have long ceased to be a factor in the lives of the people, if it were not for the support it receives from woman. The most ardent churchworkers, the most tireless missionaries the world over, are women, always sacrificing on the altar of the gods that have chained her spirit and enslaved her body.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
drive through hell the people are weary, unhappy and frustrated, the people are bitter and vengeful, the people are deluded and fearful, the people are angry and uninventive and I drive among them on the freeway and they project what is left of themselves in their manner of driving— some more hateful, more thwarted than others— some don’t like to be passed, some attempt to keep others from passing —some attempt to block lane changes —some hate cars of a newer, more expensive model —others in these cars hate the older cars. the freeway is a circus of cheap and petty emotions, it’s humanity on the move, most of them coming from some place they hated and going to another they hate just as much or more. the freeways are a lesson in what we have become and most of the crashes and deaths are the collision of incomplete beings, of pitiful and demented lives. when I drive the freeways I see the soul of humanity of my city and it’s ugly, ugly, ugly: the living have choked the heart away.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense)
All of us are working on the same project. Some consciously, with understanding; some without knowing it. (I think this is what Heraclitus meant when he said that “those who sleep are also hard at work”—that they too collaborate in what happens.) Some of us work in one way, and some in others. And those who complain and try to obstruct and thwart things—they help as much as anyone. The world needs them as well. So make up your mind who you’ll choose to work with. The force that directs all things will make good use of you regardless—will put you on its payroll and set you to work. But make sure it’s not the job Chrysippus speaks of: the bad line in the play, put there for laughs.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I found that when women were able to act in line with their natural inclinations and ambitions -- whether to work or stay at home -- they were generally happy, and generally felt that their children were happy too. Whereas those whose natural inclinations and ambitions had been thwarted -- whether they were working or stay-at-home moms -- were sure that they and their kids would be better off if they changed course, and either went to work or went home. The morality of the situation-- whether they felt it was good or bad for their chidlren-- derived, not from some external sense of the morality of their "choices," but from the amount of happiness generated by any given arrangement.
Judith Warner (Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety)
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves; and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. But as the liberties and restrictions vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon that principle.
Edmund Burke
Mind is the wielder of muscles. The force of a hammer blow depends on the energy applied; the power expressed by a man’s bodily instrument depends on his aggressive will and courage. The body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn ossify into a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit-bound body thwarts the mind. If the master allows himself to be commanded by a servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting to bodily dictation.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Illustrated and Annotated Edition))
To have without holding Learning to love differently is hard, love with the hands wide open, love with the doors banging on their hinges, the cupboard unlocked, the wind roaring and whimpering in the rooms rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds that thwack like rubber bands in an open palm. It hurts to love wide open stretching the muscles that feel as if they are made of wet plaster, then of blunt knives, then of sharp knives. It hurts to thwart the reflexes of grab, of clutch ; to love and let go again and again. It pesters to remember the lover who is not in the bed, to hold back what is owed to the work that gutters like a candle in a cave without air, to love consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively. I can’t do it, you say it’s killing me, but you thrive, you glow on the street like a neon raspberry, You float and sail, a helium balloon bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing on the cold and hot winds of our breath, as we make and unmake in passionate diastole and systole the rhythm of our unbound bonding, to have and not to hold, to love with minimized malice, hunger and anger moment by moment balanced.
Marge Piercy (The Moon Is Always Female: Poems)
In reality, the damned are in the same place as the saved—in reality! But they hate it; it is their Hell. The saved love it, and it is their Heaven. It is like two people sitting side by side at an opera or a rock concert: the very thing that is Heaven to one is Hell to the other. Dostoyevski says, 'We are all in paradise, but we won’t see it'…Hell is not literally the 'wrath of God.' The love of God is an objective fact; the 'wrath of God' is a human projection of our own wrath upon God, as the Lady Julian saw—a disastrous misinterpretation of God’s love as wrath. God really says to all His creatures, 'I know you and I love you' but they hear Him saying, 'I never knew you; depart from me.' It is like angry children misinterpreting their loving parents’ affectionate advances as threats. They project their own hate onto their parents’ love and experience love as an enemy—which it is: an enemy to their egotistic defenses against joy… Since God is love, since love is the essence of the divine life, the consequence of loss of this life is loss of love...Though the damned do not love God, God loves them, and this is their torture. The very fires of Hell are made of the love of God! Love received by one who only wants to hate and fight thwarts his deepest want and is therefore torture. If God could stop loving the damned, Hell would cease to be pure torture. If the sun could stop shining, lovers of the dark would no longer be tortured by it. But the sun could sooner cease to shine than God cease to be God...The lovelessness of the damned blinds them to the light of glory in which they stand, the glory of God’s fire. God is in the fire that to them is Hell. God is in Hell ('If I make my bed in Hell, Thou art there' [Ps 139:8]) but the damned do not know Him.
Peter Kreeft (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven-- But Never Dreamed of Asking)
No, it was simply that I was uninterested in making, as I saw it, a Xerox of some old emotional state. I was in my mid-thirties, with a marriage more or less behind me. I was no longer vulnerable to curiosity's enormous momentum. I had nothing new to murmur to another on the subject of myself and not the smallest eagerness about being briefed on Danielle's supposedly unique trajectory—a curve described under the action, one could safely guess, of the usual material and maternal and soulful longings, a few thwarting tics of character, and luck good and bad. A life seemed like an old story.
Joseph O'Neill (Netherland)
As the Christian world is celebrating the Nativity once again, the roar of the guns, the cries of the dying and the wails of innocent people are heard on the battlefields. And an even greater holocaust threatens. Twice before in our time we have seen tyranny and lust for power thwarted by those who believe in the freedom of all mankind, only to see them circumvented in a brief few years. In America, we have only one thought at this Christmastime, to pray that the world again be restored to a sanity that will insure all peoples the right to think and live as they choose, to respect the beliefs of all and to help humanity live a better life in the short span allotted to us on this earth. In this aim we feel we are joined by all peoples who believe in the Divine Spirit. It is my sincere wish, in which I know I am joined by 150,000,000 other Americans, that we will be guided by the Supreme Being in restoring peace to the world, that all may live in hope and happiness.To all peoples of good will, I extend greetings of the Season.
Walt Disney Company
but what is true in it, so it seemed to me, reviewing the story of Shakespeare’s sister as I had made it, is that any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at. For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
One sets off to investigate you see, to develop the facility to really notice things so that, over time, and with enough practice, one becomes attuned to the earth’s embedded logos and can experience the enriching joy of moving about in deep and direct accordance with things. Yet invariably this vital process is abruptly thwarted by an idiotic overlay of literal designations and inane alerts so that the whole terrain is obscured and inaccessible until eventually it is all quite formidable. As if the earth were a colossal and elaborate deathtrap. How will I ever make myself at home here if there are always these meddlesome scaremongering signs everywhere I go.
Claire-Louise Bennett (Pond)
But the man who, by dint of long study and sober reflection, has succeeded in training his mind not to detect evil in anything, to consider all human actions with the utmost indifference, to regard them all as the inevitable consequences of a power - however it's defined - which is sometimes good and sometimes perverse but always irresistible, and gives rise to both what men approve and to what they condemn and never allows anything to distract or thwart its operations, such a man, I say, as you will agree, sir, may be as happy behaving as I behave as you are in the career which you follow. Happiness is an abstraction, a product of the imagination. It is one manner of being moved and depends exclusively on our way of seeing and feeling. Apart from the satisfaction of our needs, there is no single thing which makes all men happy. Every day we observe one man made happy by the circumstance which makes his neighbour supremely miserable. There is therefore nothing which guarantees happiness. It can only exist for us in the form given to it by our physical constitution and our philosophical principles. [...] Nothing in the world is real, nothing which merits praise or blame, nothing deserving reward or punishment, nothing which is unlawful here and perfectly legal five hundred leagues away, in other words, there is no unchanging, universal good.
Marquis de Sade (The Crimes of Love)
Below the surface, the force driving noir stories is the urge to escape: from the past, from the law, from the ordinary, from poverty, from constricting relationships, from the limitations of the self. Noir found its fullest expression in America because the American psyche harbors a passion for independence . . . With this desire for autonomy comes a corresponding fear of loneliness and exile. The more we crave success, the more we dread failure; the more we crave freedom, the more we dread confinement. This is the shadow that spawns all of noir’s shadows: the anxiety imposed by living in a country that elevates opportunity above security; one that instills the compulsion to “make it big," but offers little sympathy to those who fall short. Film noir is about people who break the rules, pursuing their own interests outside the boundaries of decent society, and about how they are destroyed by society - or by themselves. Noir springs from a fundamental conflict between the values of individual freedom and communal safety: a fundamental doubt that the two can coexist. . . . Noir stories are powered by the need to escape, but they are structured around the impossibility of escape: their fierce, thwarted energy turns inward. The ultimate noir landscape, immeasurable as the ocean and confining as a jail cell, is the mind - the darkest city of all.
Imogen Sara Smith (In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City)
Hugo felt the world was hostile to his writing, he felt not only all its human inhabitants but its noises and diversions and ordinary clutter were linked against him, maliciously, purposefully, diabolically thwarting and maiming him and keeping him from his work. And I, whose business it was to throw myself between him and the world, was failing to do so, by choice perhaps as much as ineptitude for the job. I did not believe in him. I had not understood how it would be necessary to believe in him. I believed that he was clever and talented, whatever that might mean, but I was not sure he would turn out to be a writer. He did not have the authority I thought a writer should have. He was too nervous, too touchy with everybody, too much of a showoff. I believed that writers were calm, sad people, knowing too much. I believed that there was a difference about them, some hard and shining, rare intimidating quality they had from the beginning, and Hugo didn’t have it. I thought that someday he would recognize this. Meanwhile, he lived in a world whose rewards and punishments were as strange, as hidden from me, as if he had been a lunatic.
Alice Munro (Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You: 13 Stories)
[I]n other words, we should live with due knowledge of the course of things in the world. For whenever a man in any way loses self-control, or is struck down by a misfortune, grows angry, or loses heart, he shows in this way that he finds things different from what he expected, and consequently that he laboured under a mistake, did not know the world and life, did not know how at every step the will of the individual is crossed and thwarted by the chance of inanimate nature, by contrary aims and intentions, even by the malice inspired in others. Therefore either he has not used his reason to arrive at a general knowledge of this characteristic of life, or he lacks the power of judgement, when he does not again recognize in the particular what he knows in general, and when he is therefore surprised by it and loses his self-control. Thus every keen pleasure is an error, an illusion, since no attained wish can permanently satisfy, and also because every possession and every happiness is only lent by chance for an indefinite time, and can therefore be demanded back in the next hour. Thus both originate from defective knowledge. Therefore the wise man always holds himself aloof from jubilation and sorrow, and no event disturbs his ἀταραξία [ataraxia]." —from_The World as Will and Representation_. Translated from the German by E. F. J. Paye in two volumes: volume I, p. 88
Arthur Schopenhauer
the American Senate remained focused on domestic priorities and thwarted all expansionist projects. It kept the army small (25,000 men) and the navy weak. Until 1890, the American army ranked fourteenth in the world, after Bulgaria’s, and the American navy was smaller than Italy’s even though America’s industrial strength was thirteen times that of Italy. America did not participate in international conferences and was treated as a second-rank power. In 1880, when Turkey reduced its diplomatic establishment, it eliminated its embassies in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States. At the same time, a German diplomat in Madrid offered to take a cut in salary rather than be posted to Washington.18
Henry Kissinger (Diplomacy)
It's not important whether someone is a gourmet. Everyone wants to eat and knows that food is crucial to live. But everyone has his own special reaction toward food. One person can become so excited about a certain dish that his eyes sparkle and his muscles harden, while someone else shovels in the same dish without paying any thought to what he's eating. A gourmet appreciates beauty. Gourmets eat slowly and thoughtfully experience taste—they don't rush through a meal and leave the table as soon as they're done. People who are not gourmets don't see cooking as an art. Gourmandism is an interested in everything that can be eaten, and this deep affection for food birthed the art of cooking. Other animals have limited tastes, some eating only plants and others subsisting solely on but, but humans are omnivores. They can eat everything. Love for delicious food is the first emotion gourmets feel. Sometimes that love can't be thwarted, not by anything.
Kyung-ran Jo (Tongue)
My interest has always been in the place where sex and race are both obscenely conspicuous and yet consciously suppressed, largely because of the liminal place that the Asian man occupies in the midst of it: an “honorary white” person who will always be denied the full perquisites of whiteness; an entitled man who will never quite be regarded or treated as a man; a nominal minority whose claim to be a “person of color” deserving of the special regard reserved for victims is taken seriously by no one. In an age characterised by the politics of resentment, the Asian man knows something of the resentment of the embattled white man besieged on all sides by grievances and demands for reparation, and something of the resentments of the rising social justice warrior, who feels with every fibre of their being that all that stands in the way of the attainment of their thwarted ambitions is nothing so much as a white man. Tasting of the frustrations of both, he is denied the entitlements of either.
Wesley Yang (The Souls of Yellow Folk: Essays)
We are all of us exposed to grief: the people we love die, as we shall ourselves in due course; expectations are disappointed and ambitions are thwarted by circumstance. Finally, there are some who insist upon feeling guilty over the ill they have done or simply on account of the ugliness which they perceive in their own souls. A solution of a kind has been found to this problem in the form of sedatives and anti-depressant drugs, so that many human experiences which used to be accepted as an integral part of human life are now defined and dealt with as medical problems. The widow who grieves for a beloved husband becomes a 'case', as does the man saddened by the recollection of the napalm or high explosives he has dropped on civilian populations. One had thought that guilt was a way, however indirect, in which we might perceive the nature of reality and the laws which govern our human experience; but it is now an illness that can be cured. Death however, remains incurable. Though we might be embarrassed by Victorian death-bed scenes or the practices of mourning among people less sophisticated than ourselves, the fact of death tells us so much about the realities of our condition that to ignore it or try to forget it is to be unaware of the most important thing we need to know about our situation as living creatures. Equally, to witness and participate in the dying of our fellow men and women is to learn what we are and, if we have any wisdom at all, to draw conclusions which must in their way affect our every thought and our every act.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (King of the Castle: Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World)
Any writer or journalist who wants to retain his integrity finds himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution. The sort of things that are working against him are the concentration of the press in the hands of a few rich men, the grip of monopoly on radio and the films, the unwillingness of the public to spend money on books, making it necessary for nearly every writer to earn part of his living by hackwork… Everything in our age conspires to turn the writer, and every other kind of artist as well, into a minor official, working on themes handed down from above and never telling what seems to him the whole of the truth. But in struggling against this fate he gets no help from his own side: that is, there is no large body of opinion which will assure him that he’s in the right.
George Orwell
To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Ps. 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible. How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of a maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.[1]
Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
The creative side of the female operates imperceptibly: its province is the potential man. When its play is unrestricted the level of the race is raised. One can always gauge the level of a period by the status of its womankind. Something more than freedom and opportunity are here involved because Woman's true nature never expressed itself in demands. Like water, woman always finds her own level. And like water also, she mirrors faithfully all that passes in the soul of man. What is called truly feminine therefore is only the deceptive masquerade which the uncreative male blindly accepts as the real show. It is the flattering substitute which the thwarted female offers in self-defense. It is the homosexual game which Narcissus exacts. It is most flagrantly revealed when the partners are extremely masculine and feminine. It can be mimicked most successfully in the shadow play of the avowed homosexuals. It reaches its blind culmination in the Don Juan. Here the pursuit of the unattainable reaches the burlesk proportions of a Chaplinesque pursuit. The end is always the same: Narcissus drowning in his own image.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
With these thoughts came another: Was that unity of effort, that sense of common purpose, possible only when the goal involved killing a terrorist? The question nagged at me. For all the pride and satisfaction I took in the success of our mission in Abbottabad, the truth was that I hadn't felt the same exuberance as I had on the night the health care bill passed. I found myself imagining what America might look like if we could rally the country so that our government brought the same level of expertise and determination to educating our children or housing the homeless as it had to getting bin Laden; if we could apply the same persistence and resources to reducing poverty or curbing greenhouse gases or making sure every family had access to decent day care. I knew that even my own staff would dismiss these notions as utopian. And the fact that this was the case, the fact that we could no longer imagine uniting the country around anything other than thwarting attacks and defeating external enemies, I took as a measure of how far my presidency still fell short of what I wanted it to be - and how much work I had left to do.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Hurricane Katrina arrived without a confirmed weather category, or a name that adequately addressed anger summoned from a thousand leagues down. When the levees broke in New Orleans images escaped television screens to tattoo every skin with the shameful reality that America’s towers fell twice. There was no phoenix. Only mosquitoes escaped the ashes, promising to puncture any still unbloodied with the needle kiss of plague. Then, a great swarm of dragonflies, sent by some other to even the odds. They feasted on the thin-limbed vampires, devoured body and virus, and then hovered around the floating bloated bodies of forgotten grandmothers, armored escorts of the dead. Their wings hummed swamp sonnets while their mouths swallowed maggots, thwarting attempts to hurry death beyond spring sunsets and autumn graves. They kept up their holy procession until New Orleans rebirthed jazz and cut the bodies loose and let saints march in all over again. As I steer my bike through one puddle after the other, making the street music urban rainforest dwellers know, I ask the splash to summon the dragonfly. Call her from the swamp into my throat to name the lump that will never loose me. Be my escort, gobble the flies ever entering me before their children become my whole.
Amanda Sledz (Psychopomp Volume One: Cracked Plate)
I began this path with a sense that an individual should be able to live in freedom among his neighbors, and not as a host for parasites, even if those parasites were endowed with power by the state. I had a sense that the individual should not be at the mercy of the bully or the mob, even if the bully or the mob was sanctioned by the state. I had a sense that if an individual was the target of aggression and I stood with him, or her, or them, I would have the satisfaction of knowing I had opposed villainy, and if others who shared my beliefs would join in the fight, then perhaps a measure at a time, evil would not prosper. I believed that each time malevolence and iniquity were thwarted the chances were increased that I could live in freedom … that I would not be at the mercy of the aggression of others.” He captured them as he looked them in the eyes across the silent hall. “The measure of success from acting on these simple truths is all around us, hangs above us in the sky, pervades the system of our sun … and may now be found among the stars.”
William C. Samples (Fe Fi FOE Comes)
We fail to take responsibility, to act productively in the interest of ourselves and others. And in our attempts at a better life, we are often severely limited or thwarted by the immature and socially inept behavior of ourselves and others. There is a great fabric of relations, behaviors and emotions, reverberating with human and animal bliss and suffering, a web of intimate and formal relations, both direct and indirect. Nasty whirlwinds of feedback cycles blow through this great multidimensional web, pulsating with hurt and degradation. My lacking human development blocks your possible human development. My lack of understanding of you, your needs perspectives, hurts you in a million subtle ways. I become a bad lover, a bad colleague, a bad fellow citizen and human being. We are interconnected: You cannot get away from my hurt and wounds. They will follow you all of your life—I will be your daughter’s abusive boyfriend, your belligerent neighbor from hell. And you will never grow wings because there will always be mean bosses, misunderstanding families and envious friends. And you will tell yourself that is how life must be. But it is not how life has to be. Once you begin to be able to see the social-psychological fabric of everyday life, it becomes increasingly apparent that the fabric is relatively easy to change, to develop. Metamodern politics aims to make everyone secure at the deepest psychological level, so that we can live authentically; a byproduct of which is a sense of meaning in life and lasting happiness; a byproduct of which is kindness and an increased ability to cooperate with others; a byproduct of which is deeper freedom and better concrete results in the lives of everyone; a byproduct of which is a society less likely to collapse into a heap of atrocities.
Hanzi Freinacht (The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics, Book One (Metamodern Guides 1))
According to Melanie Klein, we develop moral responses in reaction to questions of survivability. My wager is that Klein is right about that, even as she thwarts her own insight by insisting that it is the ego's survivability that is finally at issue. Why the ego? After all, if my survivability depends on a relation to others, to a "you" or a set of "yous" without whom I cannot exist, then my existence is not mine alone, but is to be found outside myself, in this set of relations that precede and exceed the boundaries of who I am. If I have a boundary at all, or if a boundary can be said to belong to me, it is only because I have become separated from others, and it is only on condition of this separation that I can relate to them at all. So the boundary is a function of the relation, a brokering of difference, a negotiation in which I am bound to you in my separateness. If I seek to preserve your life, it is not only because I seek to preserve my own, but because who "I" am is nothing without your life, and life itself has to be rethought as this complex, passionate, antagonistic, and necessary set of relations to others. I may lose this "you" and any number of particular others, and I may well survive those losses. But that can happen only if I do not lose the possibility of any "you" at all. If I survive, it is only because my life is nothing without the life that exceeds me, that refers to some indexical you, without whom I cannot be.
Judith Butler (Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?)
A boat with an awning and containing four women came slowly downstream towards them. The woman at the oars was small, lean, and past her prime. She wore her hair pinned up inside an oilskin hat. Opposite her a big blonde dressed in a man's jacket was lying on her back at the bottom of the boat with a foot resting on the thwart on either side of the oarswoman. The blonde was smoking a cigarette and with each jerk of the oars her bosom and belly quivered. At the very stern of the boat under the awning two beautiful, tall, slender girls, one blonde and the other brunette, sat with their arms round each other's waists watching their two companions. A shout went up from La Grenouillere: "Aye-aye! Lesbos!" and suddenly a wild clamor broke out. In the terrifying scramble to see, glasses were knocked over and people started climbing on the tables. Everyone began to chant "Lesbos! Lesbos! Lesbos!" The words merged into a vague howl before suddenly starting up again, rising into the air, filling the plain beyond, resounding in the dense foliage of the tall surrounding trees and echoing in the distance as if aimed at the sun itself.
Guy de Maupassant (A Parisian Affair and Other Stories)
It is not enough for a population or a section of the population to have Christian faith and be docile to the ministers of religion in order to be in a position properly to judge political matters. If this population has no political experience, no taste for seeing clearly for itself nor a tradition of initiative and critical judgment, its position with respect to politics grows more complicated, for nothing is easier for political counterfeiters than to exploit good principles for purposes of deception, and nothing is more disastrous than good principles badly applied. And moreover nothing is easier for human weakness than to merge religion with prejudices of race, family or class, collective hatreds, passions of a clan and political phantoms which compensate for the rigors of individual discipline in a pious but insufficiently purified soul. Politics deal with matters and interests of the world and they depend upon passions natural to man and upon reason. But the point I wish to make here is that without goodness, love and charity, all that is best in us—even divine faith, but passions and reason much more so—turns in our hands to an unhappy use. The point is that right political experience cannot develop in people unless passions and reason are oriented by a solid basis of collective virtues, by faith and honor and thirst for justice. The point is that, without the evangelical instinct and the spiritual potential of a living Christianity, political judgment and political experience are ill protected against the illusions of selfishness and fear; without courage, compassion for mankind and the spirit of sacrifice, the ever-thwarted advance toward an historical ideal of generosity and fraternity is not conceivable.
Jacques Maritain (Christianity And Democracy)
You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dum-bledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mir-ror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not! But he knows it now. You have flitted into Lord Voldemort's mind without damage to yourself, but he cannot possess you with-out enduring mortal agony, as he discovered in the Ministry. I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then, he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole." "But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argu-mentative, "it all comes to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or —" "Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!" Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front ol him, and thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sinus. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat. "I'd want him finished," said Harry quietly. "And I'd want to do it." "Of course you would!" cried Dumbledore. "You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal. ... In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you . . . which makes it certain, really, that —" "That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry. "Yes." But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumble-dore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Depression goes through stages, but if left unchecked and not treated, this elevator ride will eventually go all the way to the bottom floor. And finally you find yourself bereft of choices, unable to figure out a way up or out, and pretty soon one overarching impulse begins winning the battle for your mind: “Kill yourself.” And once you get over the shock of those words in your head, the horror of it, it begins to start sounding appealing, even possessing a strange resolve, logic. In fact, it’s the only thing you have left that is logical. It becomes the only road to relief. As if just the planning of it provides the first solace you’ve felt that you can remember. And you become comfortable with it. You begin to plan it and contemplate the details of how best to do it, as if you were planning travel arrangements for a vacation. You just have to get out. O-U-T. You see the white space behind the letter O? You just want to crawl through that O and be out of this inescapable hurt that is this thing they call clinical depression. “How am I going to do this?” becomes the only tape playing. And if you are really, really, really depressed and you’re really there, you’re gonna find a way. I found a way. I had a way. And I did it. I made sure Opal was out of the house and on a business trip. My planning took a few weeks. I knew exactly how I was going to do it: I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. There was gonna be no blood, no drama. There was just going to be, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” That’s what it was going to be. So I did it. And it was over. Or so I thought. About twenty-four hours later I woke up. I was groggy; zoned out to the point at which I couldn’t put a sentence together for the next couple of days. But I was semifunctional, and as these drugs and shit that I took began to wear off slowly but surely, I realized, “Okay, I fucked up. I didn’t make it.” I thought I did all the right stuff, left no room for error, but something happened. And this perfect, flawless plan was thwarted. As if some force rebuked me and said, “Not yet. You’re not going anywhere.” The only reason I could have made it, after the amount of pills and alcohol and shit I took, was that somebody or something decided it wasn’t my time. It certainly wasn’t me making that call. It was something external. And when you’re infused with the presence of this positive external force, which is so much greater than all of your efforts to the contrary, that’s about as empowering a moment as you can have in your life. These days we have a plethora of drugs one can take to ameliorate the intensity of this lack of hope, lack of direction, lack of choice. So fuck it and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you can handle it yourself, because lemme tell ya something: you can’t. Get fuckin’ help. The negative demon is strong, and you may not be as fortunate as I was. My brother wasn’t. For me, despair eventually gave way to resolve, and resolve gave way to hope, and hope gave way to “Holy shit. I feel better than I’ve ever felt right now.” Having actually gone right up to the white light, looked right at it, and some force in the universe turned me around, I found, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, my direction home. I felt more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating when I say for the next six months I felt like Superman. Like I’m gonna fucking go through walls. That’s how strong I felt. I had this positive force in me. I was saved. I was protected. I was like the only guy who survived and walked away from a major plane crash. I was here to do something big. What started as the darkest moment in my life became this surge of focus, direction, energy, and empowerment.
Ron Perlman (Easy Street: The Hard Way)
Three miles from my adopted city lies a village where I came to peace. The world there was a calm place, even the great Danube no more than a pale ribbon tossed onto the landscape by a girl’s careless hand. Into this stillness I had been ordered to recover. The hills were gold with late summer; my rooms were two, plus a small kitchen, situated upstairs in the back of a cottage at the end of the Herrengasse. From my window I could see onto the courtyard where a linden tree twined skyward — leafy umbilicus canted toward light, warped in the very act of yearning — and I would feed on the sun as if that alone would dismantle the silence around me. At first I raged. Then music raged in me, rising so swiftly I could not write quickly enough to ease the roiling. I would stop to light a lamp, and whatever I’d missed — larks flying to nest, church bells, the shepherd’s home-toward-evening song — rushed in, and I would rage again. I am by nature a conflagration; I would rather leap than sit and be looked at. So when my proud city spread her gypsy skirts, I reentered, burning towards her greater, constant light. Call me rough, ill-tempered, slovenly— I tell you, every tenderness I have ever known has been nothing but thwarted violence, an ache so permanent and deep, the lightest touch awakens it. . . . It is impossible to care enough. I have returned with a second Symphony and 15 Piano Variations which I’ve named Prometheus, after the rogue Titan, the half-a-god who knew the worst sin is to take what cannot be given back. I smile and bow, and the world is loud. And though I dare not lean in to shout Can’t you see that I’m deaf? — I also cannot stop listening.
Rita Dove
You die because you think the gods are looking after you. That's ok for animals, but you should know better." "We should not trust the gods with our lives?" "Definitely not. You should trust *yourselves* with your lives. That's the human way to live." Ishmael shook his head ponderously. "This is sorry news indeed. From time out of mind we've lived in the hands of the gods, and it seemed to us we lived well. We left to the gods all the labor of sowing and growing and lived a carefree life, and it seemed there was always enough in the world for us, because--behold!--*we are here!*" "Yes," I told him sternly. "You are here, and look at you. You have nothing. You live without security, without comfort, without opportunity." "And this is because we live in the hands of the gods?" "Absolutely. In the hands of the gods you're no more important than lions or lizards or fleas--you're nothing special.... As I say, you've got to begin planting your own food.... The gods plant only what you *need*. You will plant *more* than you need." "To what end? What's the good of having more food than we need?" "That is the whole goddamned point! When you have more food than you need, then *the gods have no power over you!*" "We can thumb our noses at them." "Exactly." "All the same, what are we to *do* with this food if we don't need it?" "You *save* it! You save it to thwart the gods when they decide it's your turn to go hungry. You save it so that when they send a drought, you can say, 'Not *me* goddamn it! *I'm* not going hungry, and there's nothing you can do about it, because my life is in my own hands now!" ... "So this is what's at the root of your revolution. You wanted and still want to have your lives in your own hands." "Yes. Absolutely. To me, living any other way is almost inconceivable. I can only think that hunter-gatherers live in a state of utter and unending anxiety over what tomorrow's going to bring." "Yet they don't. Any anthropologist will tell you that. They are far less anxiety-ridden than you are. They have no jobs to lose. No one can say to them, 'Show me your money or you don't get fed, don't get clothed, don't get sheltered.' " "I believe you. Rationally speaking, I believe you. But I'm talking about my feelings, about my conditioning. My conditioning tells me -- Mother Culture tells me -- that living in the hands of the gods has got to be a never-ending nightmare of terror and anxiety.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
I caught a tremendous fish and held him beside the boat half out of water, with my hook fast in a corner of his mouth. He didn't fight. He hadn't fought at all. He hung a grunting weight, battered and venerable and homely. Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper, and its pattern of darker brown was like wallpaper: shapes like full-blown roses stained and lost through age. He was speckled with barnacles, fine rosettes of lime, and infested with tiny white sea-lice, and underneath two or three rags of green weed hung down. While his gills were breathing in the terrible oxygen —the frightening gills, fresh and crisp with blood, that can cut so badly— I thought of the coarse white flesh packed in like feathers, the big bones and the little bones, the dramatic reds and blacks of his shiny entrails, and the pink swim-bladder like a big peony. I looked into his eyes which were far larger than mine but shallower, and yellowed, the irises backed and packed with tarnished tinfoil seen through the lenses of old scratched isinglass. They shifted a little, but not to return my stare. —It was more like the tipping of an object toward the light. I admired his sullen face, the mechanism of his jaw, and then I saw that from his lower lip —if you could call it a lip— grim, wet, and weaponlike, hung five old pieces of fish-line, or four and a wire leader with the swivel still attached, with all their five big hooks grown firmly in his mouth. A green line, frayed at the end where he broke it, two heavier lines, and a fine black thread still crimped from the strain and snap when it broke and he got away. Like medals with their ribbons frayed and wavering, a five-haired beard of wisdom trailing from his aching jaw. I stared and stared and victory filled up the little rented boat, from the pool of bilge where oil had spread a rainbow around the rusted engine to the bailer rusted orange, the sun-cracked thwarts, the oarlocks on their strings, the gunnels—until everything was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow! And I let the fish go.
Elizabeth Bishop
It's only second period, and the whole school knows Emma broke up with him. So far, he's collected eight phone numbers, one kiss on the cheek, and one pinch to the back of his jeans. His attempts to talk to Emma between classes are thwarted by a hurricane of teenage females whose main goal seems to be keeping him and his ex-girlfriend separated. When the third period bell rings, Emma has already chosen a seat where she'll be barricaded from him by other students. Throughout class, she pays attention as if the teacher were giving instructions on how to survive a life-threatening catastrophe in the next twenty-four hours. About midway through class, he receives a text from a number he doesn't recognize. If you let me, I can do things to u to make u forget her. As soon as he clears it, another one pops up from a different number. Hit me back if u want to chat. I'll treat u better than E. How did they get my number? Tucking his phone back into his pocket, he hovers over his notebook protectively, as if it's the only thing left that hasn't been invaded. Then he notices the foreign handwriting scribbled on it by a girl named Shena who encircled her name and phone number with a heart. Not throwing it across the room takes almost as much effort as not kissing Emma. At lunch, Emma once again blocks his access to her by sitting between people at a full picnic table outside. He chooses the table directly across from her, but she seems oblivious, absently soaking up the grease from the pizza on her plate until she's got at least fifteen orange napkins in front of her. She won't acknowledge that he's staring at her, waiting to wave her over as soon as she looks up. Ignoring the text message explosion in his vibrating pocket, he opens the contain of tuna fish Rachel packed for him. Forking it violently, he heaves a mound into his mouth, chewing without savoring it. Mark with the Teeth is telling Emma something she thinks is funny, because she covers her mouth with a napkin and giggles. Galen almost launches from his bench when Mark brushes a strand of hair from her face. Now he knows what Rachel meant when she told him to mark his territory early on. But what can he do if his territory is unmarking herself? News of their breakup has spread like an oil spill, and it seems as though Emma is making a huge effort to help it along. With his thumb and index finger, Galen snaps his plastic fork in half as Emma gently wipes Mark's mouth with her napkin. He rolls his eyes as Mark "accidentally" gets another splotch of JELL-O on the corner of his lips. Emma wipes that clean too, smiling like she's tending to a child. It doesn't help that Galen's table is filling up with more of his admirers-touching him, giggling at him, smiling at him for no reason, and distracting him from his fantasy of breaking Mark's pretty jaw. But that would only give Emma a genuine reason to assist the idiot in managing his JELL-O.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Once again this unspeakable man had caused her to make a complete fool of herself, and the realization made her eyes blaze with renewed fury as she turned her head and looked at him. Despite Ian’s apparent nonchalance he had been watching her closely, and he stiffened, sensing instinctively that she was suddenly and inexplicably angrier than before. He nodded to the gun, and when he spoke there was no more mockery in his voice; instead it was carefully neutral. “I think there are a few things you ought to consider before you use that.” Though she had no intention of using it, Elizabeth listened attentively as he continued in that same helpful voice. “First of all, you’ll have to be very fast and very calm if you intend to shoot me and reload before Jake there gets to you. Second, I think it’s only fair to warn you that there’s going to be a great deal of blood all over the place. I’m not complaining, you understand, but I think it’s only right to warn you that you’re never again going to be able to wear that charming gown you have on.” Elizabeth felt her stomach lurch. “You’ll hang, of course,” he continued conversationally, “but that won’t be nearly as distressing as the scandal you’ll have to face first.” Too disgusted with herself and with him to react to that last mocking remark, Elizabeth put her chin up and managed to say with great dignity, “I’ve had enough of this, Mr. Thornton. I did not think anything could equal your swinish behavior at our prior meetings, but you’ve managed to do it. Unfortunately, I am not so ill-bred as you and therefore have scruples against assaulting someone who is weaker than I, which is what I would be doing if I were to shoot an unarmed man. Lucinda, we are leaving,” she said, then she glanced back at her silent adversary, who’d taken a threatening step, and she shook her head, saying with extreme, mocking civility, “No, please-do not bother to see us out, sir, there’s no need. Besides, I wish to remember you just as you are at this moment-helpless and thwarted.” It was odd, but now, at the low point of her life, Elizabeth felt almost exhilarated because she was finally doing something to avenge her pride instead of meekly accepting her fate. Lucinda had marched out onto the porch already, and Elizabeth tried to think of something to dissuade him from retrieving his gun when she threw it away outside. She decided to repeat his own advice, which she began to do as she backed away toward the door. “I know you’re loath to see us leave like this,” she said, her voice and her hand betraying a slight, fearful tremor. “However, before you consider coming after us, I beg you will take your own excellent advice and pause to consider if killing me is worth hanging for.” Whirling on her heel, Elizabeth took one running step, then cried out in pained surprise as she was jerked off her feet and a hard blow to her forearm sent the gun flying to the floor at the same time her arm was yanked up and twisted behind her back. “Yes,” he said in an awful voice near her ear, “I actually think it would be worth it.” Just when she thought her arm would surely snap, her captor gave her a hard shove that sent her stumbling headlong out into the yard, and the door slammed shut behind her. “Well! I never,” Lucinda said, her bosom heaving with rage as she glowered at the closed door. “Neither have I,” said Elizabeth, shaking dirt off her hem and deciding to retreat with as much dignity as possible. “We can talk about what a madman he is once we’re down the path, out of sight of the house. So if you’ll please take that end of the trunk?” With a black look Lucinda complied, and they marched down the path, both of them concentrating on keeping their backs as straight as possible.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
There is yet another reason why peer-oriented kids are insatiable. In order to reach the turning point, a child must not only be fulfilled, but this fulfillment must sink in. It has to register somehow in the child's brain that the longing for closeness and connectedness is being met. This registration is not cognitive or even conscious, but deeply emotional. It is emotion that moves the child and shifts the energy from one developmental agenda to another, from attachment to individuation. The problem is that, for fulfillment to sink in, the child must be able to feel deeply and vulnerably — an experience most peer-oriented kids will be defended against. Peer-oriented children cannot permit themselves to feel their vulnerability. It may seem strange that feelings of fulfillment would require openness to feelings of vulnerability. There is no hurt or pain in fulfillment — quite the opposite. Yet there is an underlying emotional logic to this phenomenon. For the child to feel full he must first feel empty, to feel helped the child must first feel in need of help, to feel complete he must have felt incomplete. To experience the joy of reunion one must first experience the ache of loss, to be comforted one must first have felt hurt. Satiation may be a very pleasant experience, but the prerequisite is to be able to feel vulnerability. When a child loses the ability to feel her attachment voids, the child also loses the ability to feel nurtured and fulfilled. One of the first things I check for in my assessment of children is the existence of feelings of missing and loss. It is indicative of emotional health for children to be able to sense what is missing and to know what the emptiness is about. As soon as they are able to articulate, they should be able to say things like “I miss daddy,” “It hurt me that grandma didn't notice me,” “It didn't seem like you were interested in my story,” “I don't think so and so likes me.” Many children today are too defended, too emotionally closed, to experience such vulnerable emotions. Children are affected by what is missing whether they feel it or not, but only when they can feel and know what is missing can they be released from their pursuit of attachment. Parents of such children are not able to take them to the turning point or bring them to a place of rest. If a child becomes defended against vulnerability as a result of peer orientation, he is made insatiable in relation to the parents as well. That is the tragedy of peer orientation — it renders our love and affection so useless and unfulfilling. For children who are insatiable, nothing is ever enough. No matter what one does, how much one tries to make things work, how much attention and approval is given, the turning point is never reached. For parents this is extremely discouraging and exhausting. Nothing is as satisfying to a parent as the sense of being the source of fulfillment for a child. Millions of parents are cheated of such an experience because their children are either looking elsewhere for nurturance or are too defended against vulnerability to be capable of satiation. Insatiability keeps our children stuck in first gear developmentally, stuck in immaturity, unable to transcend basic instincts. They are thwarted from ever finding rest and remain ever dependent on someone or something outside themselves for satisfaction. Neither the discipline imposed by parents nor the love felt by them can cure this condition. The only hope is to bring children back into the attachment fold where they belong and then soften them up to where our love can actually penetrate and nurture.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
Half inebriated, he vaulted up the stairs to find them lolling in chairs in the hall outside Maria’s door. Gabe clasped a bunch of violets in his hand while Jarret held a rolled-up piece of parchment in his. “What are you two louts doing here in the middle of the night?” he growled. “It’s nearly dawn,” Gabe said coolly. “Hardly the middle of the night. Not that you would have noticed, in your drunken state.” Scowling, Oliver took a step toward them. “It’s still earlier than you, at least, every rise.” Gabe glanced at Jarret. “Clearly, the old boy doesn’t remember what today is.” “I believe you’re right,” Jarret returned, a hint of condemnation in his tone. Oliver glared at them both as he sifted through his soggy brain for what they menat. When it came to him, he groaned. St. Valentine’s Day. That sobered him right up. “That doesn’t explain why you’re lurking outside Maria’s door.” Jarret cast him a scathing glance as he got to his feet. “Why do you care? You ran off to town to find your entertainment. Seems to me that you’re relinquishing the field.” “So you two intend to step in?” he snapped. “Why not?” Gabe rose to glower at him. “Since your plan to thwart Gran isn’t working, and it’s looking as if we’ll have to marry someone, we might as well have a go at Miss Butterfield. She’s an heiress and a very nice girl, too, in case you hadn’t noticed If you’re stupid enough to throw her over for a bunch of whores and opera dancers, we’re more than happy to take your place. We at least appreciate her finer qualities.” The very idea of his brothers appreciating anything of Maria’s made his blood boil. “In the first place, I didn’t throw her over for anyone. In the second, I am damned well not relinquishing the field. And I’m certainly not giving it over to a couple of fortune hunters like you.” The sound of footsteps coming down the hall from the servants’ stairs made them whirl in that direction. Betty walked slowly toward them, one hand shading her eyes. That’s when it hit him. His brothers were here because of that silly superstition about a maiden’s heart being joined to that of whoever was the first man she spotted on St. Valentine’s Day. “Good morning, gentlemen,” Betty murmured as she approached, carefully avoiding looking at any of them. A devilish grin lit Gabe’s face. “Betty, catch!” he cried and tossed a violet at her. She didn’t even move a finger to stop it from bouncing off her and falling to the floor. “If your lordships will excuse me,” she said in a decidedly snippy tone, “my mistress rang the bell for me.” With a sniff that conveyed her contempt for them, she slipped inside Maria’s rom and shut the door firmly behind her. “That was shameful,” Jarret told Gabe. “You know bloody well that Betty and John are sweethearts.” “It’s not my fault that John didn’t show up this morning so she could see him first,” Gabe said with a shrug.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
The Levellers . . . only change and pervert the natural order of things: they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground. . . . Far am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice (if I were of power to give or to withhold), the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. . . . In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things. . . . Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves, and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. . . . Society is, indeed, a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure; but the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. . . . You would not cure the evil by resolving that there should be no more monarchs, nor ministers of state, nor of the Gospel— no interpreters of law, no general officers, no public councils. You might change the names: the things in some shape must remain. A certain quantum of power must always exist in the community, in some hands, and under some appellation. Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names— to the causes of evil, which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear. Otherwise you will be wise historically, a fool in practice. . . . The effects of the incapacity shown by the popular leaders in all the great members of the commonwealth are to be covered with the 'all-atoning name' of Liberty. . . . But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths. . . . To make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power, teach obedience, and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government, that is to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind.
Edmund Burke