Traveling Alone Quotes

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may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone.
E.E. Cummings
Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I'm tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that's been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by abscence?
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
The steward just asked me if I was not afraid to travel alone, and I said, "Why, it is life.
Emily Hahn (Congo Solo; Misadventures Two Degrees North)
The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.
Donna Tartt
Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.
Wendell Berry (A Place on Earth)
you are a horse running alone and he tries to tame you compares you to an impossible highway to a burning house says you are blinding him that he could never leave you forget you want anything but you you dizzy him, you are unbearable every woman before or after you is doused in your name you fill his mouth his teeth ache with memory of taste his body just a long shadow seeking yours but you are always too intense frightening in the way you want him unashamed and sacrificial he tells you that no man can live up to the one who lives in your head and you tried to change didn't you? closed your mouth more tried to be softer prettier less volatile, less awake but even when sleeping you could feel him travelling away from you in his dreams so what did you want to do love split his head open? you can't make homes out of human beings someone should have already told you that and if he wants to leave then let him leave you are terrifying and strange and beautiful something not everyone knows how to love.
Warsan Shire
All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
It doesn’t matter how many times you leave, it will always hurt to come back and remember what you once had and who you once were. Then it will hurt just as much to leave again, and so it goes over and over again. Once you’ve started to leave, you will run your whole life.
Charlotte Eriksson
One reads alone, even in another's presence.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
The Hero Path We have not even to risk the adventure alone for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known ... we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination we shall find a God. And where we had thought to slay another we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outwards we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone we shall be with all the world.
Joseph Campbell
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six. Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more." (Letter to John Banister, Jr., June 19, 1787)
Thomas Jefferson (The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 11: January 1787 to August 1787)
It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others...Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion's questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.
Erol Ozan
I would not suffer anyone to endure the path I walk. My road must always be traveled alone.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
My sleep wasn't peaceful, though. I have the sense of emerging from a world of dark, haunted places where I traveled alone.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.
Henry David Thoreau
Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.
Eric Hoffer
I thought that if I owned nothing, had nothing, was nothing, I would have nothing left to lose, and I wouldn't be scared anymore. Because my whole life I’ve been so damn scared. Scared to live because I was scared to die. But at the same I was so scared of living, so I wanted to die. Or maybe so scared of dying that I refused to live. You don't have to be afraid to fall, when you're already on the ground. You don't have to be scared to lose someone, when there's no one around to lose.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
You see, though we travel together, we travel alone.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1))
I was forced to wander, having no one, forced by my nature to keep wandering because wandering was the only thing that I believed in, and the only thing that believed in me.
Roman Payne
I know that each one of us travels to love alone, alone to faith and to death. I know it. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t help. Let me come with you.
Yiannis Ritsos (The Moonlight Sonata)
The thing about traveling alone, is that you run into your insecurities and fears times ten the normal! You run into all the good things and all the bad things about yourself on a daily basis, and are allowed the opportunity to truly become your own friend. Traveling alone is a learning process; some people travel for leisure, I travel to run into myself!
C. JoyBell C.
This is what you should know about losing someone you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
He travels the fastest who travels alone.
Rudyard Kipling
I wanted to come, and if I hadn’t, they would have been all alone, and nobody would have ever known how frightened and brave and irreplaceable they were.
Connie Willis (Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel, #1))
The hardest lesson is Clare’s solitude. Sometimes I come home and Clare seems kind of irritated; I’ve interrupted some train of thought, broken into the dreary silence of her day. Sometimes I see an expression on Clare’s face that is like a closed door. She has gone inside the room of her mind and is sitting there knitting or something. I’ve discovered that Clare likes to be alone. But when I return from time traveling she is always relieved to see me.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
I envision a world filled with women traveling alone and meeting each other on the path.
S.A.R.K. (Succulent Wild Woman)
I kept staring into the blackness of the woods, drawn into the darkness as I always had been. I suddenly realized how alone I was. (But this is how you travel, the wind whispered back, this is how you've always lived.)
Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park)
There are no guarantees with finally being honest and coming clean with people. Sometimes you don’t win love back. Sometimes you lose the love you had. Sometimes you crush people that cared. Sometimes you break apart families. Sometimes you lose your career. Sometimes you lose your way of life. Sometimes you end up worse off than you were before. However, you walk away with a heart free from lies, regret and you have closure. Within time, you find yourself in a life that is far from the prison you once lived in. This type of freedom is the scariest road you will ever travel. However, it is the road God will never let you travel alone.
Shannon L. Alder
The Word we study has to be the Word we pray. My personal experience of the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written Word. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of *knowing* Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday. Look around you - there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heart out because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
A girl who travels will need someone that questions her, not too little, and not too much. She’ll need someone to read her, but also really listen to her. Because she’ll want to do the same. She’ll want a person that shares an interest but at the same time stays genuine to who they are. Not drown in a puddle of narcissism. And not drown in a lake of fascination.
lauren klarfeld
Genuine love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually cultivates it, even at the risk of separation or loss. The ultimate goal of life remains the spiritual growth of the individual, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Some journeys in life can only be traveled alone.
Ken Poirot
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
Don't get so focused on where you're going that you forget the people you're travelling with. There's no point reaching a destination if you arrive alone.
Shaun David Hutchinson (At the Edge of the Universe)
Nostalgia - its delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.
Don Draper
We have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomonation, we shall find a God. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Joseph Campbell
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone.
Alfred Tennyson
With the need for the self in the time of another / I left my seaport grim and dear / knowing good work could be made / in the state governed by both Hope and Despair.
Roman Payne
Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.
John Muir
So I go. I travel farther and faster and harder than most, and I read, and I write, and I love cities. To be alone in a crowd, apart and belonging, to have distance between what I see and what I am.
Amal El-Mohtar (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone, but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching.
Theodore Roosevelt
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
When you're born a light is switched on, a light which shines up through your life. As you get older the light still reaches you, sparkling as it comes up through your memories. And if you're lucky as you travel forward through time, you'll bring the whole of yourself along with you, gathering your skirts and leaving nothing behind, nothing to obscure the light. But if a Bad Thing happens part of you is seared into place, and trapped for ever at that time. The rest of you moves onward, dealing with all the todays and tomorrows, but something, some part of you, is left behind. That part blocks the light, colours the rest of your life, but worse than that, it's alive. Trapped for ever at that moment, and alone in the dark, that part of you is still alive.
Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward)
Ô, the wine of a woman from heaven is sent, more perfect than all that a man can invent.
Roman Payne (The Love of Europa: Limited Time Edition (Only the First Chapters))
This part I will do alone, leaving you behind. Don’t follow. I’m well beyond you now, and traveling very fast.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Joseph Campbell
It may seem to you that your life is over now. Your future without the person you love is no future at all. Death is a head-on collision with your plans. But everything in life--the gold fillings of your teeth, the cotton of your sheets, the air you breathe, all the food you will ever eat--everything there is was born from a collision. Inside every single thing that lives is a debt to a distant star that died. Nothing new is ever created without one thing colliding into another. And something new is created when the person you love dies. Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are. This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
I, sometimes, fear that probably I'll just keep changing cities, and may be someday I'll also travel the world, but never find another soul who thinks exactly the way I do.
Sanhita Baruah
What? You mean to travel almost five hundred miles alone? No. I can’t let you do that. I . . . I forbid you.” It was Colin’s first attempt at forbidding anyone to do anything, and it worked about as well as he’d expected it to. Which was to say, not at all.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by whom we are with, we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others...Being closely observed by a companion can inhibit us from observing others; we become taken up with adjusting ourselves to the companion's questions and remarks, we have to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow- lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)
And in the flush of the first few days of joy I confidently tell myself (not expecting what I'll do in three weeks only) 'no more dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world, no booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks and junkies and everybody, no more I ask myself the question O why is God torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters, walk around, no more self-imposed agony...it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that after all this whole surface of the world as we know it now will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time...Yay, for this, more aloneness
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Women would be better off when they no longer needed men more than they needed their own independent identities...How long a time it took me after my divorce to understand that being alone is not the same as being lonely.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
You are a mischievous one. You will cause no end of trouble. You have to travel many roads before you find the river of your destiny. This life of yours will be full of riddles. You will be protected and you will never be alone.
Ben Okri
Her father had taught her about hands. About a dog's paws. Whenever her father was alone with a dog in a house he would lean over and smell the skin at the base of its paw. This, he would say, as if coming away from a brandy snifter, is the greatest smell in the world! A bouquet! Great rumours of travel! She would pretend disgust, but the dog's paw was a wonder: the smell of it never suggested dirt. It's a cathedral! her father had said, so-and-so's garden, that field of grasses, a walk through cyclamen--a concentration of hints of all the paths the animal had taken during the day.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded and loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
What an idiot Santa is for flying around alone. Because who would want to travel the world without another person's heartbeat beside him?
David Levithan (The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily, #2))
Reading is solitude. One reads alone, even in another's presence.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
...and I suddenly feel that Henry is there, incredible need for Henry to be there and to put his hand on me even while it seems to me that Henry is the rain and I am alone and wanting him - Clare
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
The true Christian can nurture a trustful optimism, because he is certain of not walking alone. In sending us Jesus, the eternal Son made man, God has drawn near to each of us. In Christ he has become our travelling companion.
Pope John Paul II
But just as we can all agree on what is red, even if we will never know if we each see it in the same way, so we can all agree - can’t we? - that no matter how confident we may appear to others, inside we are all sobbing, scared and uncertain for much of the time. Or perhaps it’s just me. Oh God, perhaps it really is just me. Actually it doesn’t really matter, when you come to think of it. If it is just me, then you are reading the story of some weird freak. You are free to treat this book like science fiction, fantasy or exotic travel literature. Are there really men like Stephen Fry on this planet? Goodness, how alien some people are. And if I am not alone, then neither are you, and hand in hand we can marvel together at the strangeness of the human condition.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
I’ll never understand why some people can’t just let others live their lives, you know,” Danial said. “You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to agree. Just leave people alone. When I look at the moon and planets and stars, all that narrow-mindedness and hate seem so petty. The universe is such a big place. One hundred thousand light years just from one end of the Milky Way to the other. One hundred. Thousand. Light years. In the time it’s taken for light to travel from one end of our galaxy to the other, thousands of generations have passed. It really makes you realize how small we are, doesn’t it? How short our time on earth is.
J.H. Trumble (Don't Let Me Go)
A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is a deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle and get out.
Isabelle Eberhardt
As an adult I have often known that peculiar legacy time brings to the traveler: the longing to seek out a place a second time, to find deliberately what we stumbled on once before, to recapture the feeling of discovery. Sometimes we search out again even a place that was not remarkable itself - we look for it simply because we remember it. If we do find it, of course, everything is different. The rough-hewn door is still there, but it's much smaller; the day is cloudy instead of brilliant; it's spring instead of autumn; we're alone instead of with three friends. Or worse, with three friends instead of alone.
Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian)
When you're (traveling) with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there's no other way to preserve it.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
To sing, to laugh, to dream, to walk in my own way and be alone, free, with an eye to see things as they are, a voice that means manhood—to cock my hat where I choose— At a word, a Yes, a No, to fight—or write. To travel any road under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt if fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne— Never to make a line I have not heard in my own heart; yet, with all modesty to say: "My soul, be satisfied with flowers, with fruit, with weeds even; but gather them in the one garden you may call your own.
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
When I travel, people say ‘Yet another place in this world’. But I see ‘Another world inside every place I go
Vivek Thangaswamy
We travel not for trafficking alone; By hotter winds our hearts are fanned: For lust of knowing what should not be known We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.
James Elroy Flecker
All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
It’s the beating of my heart. The way I lie awake, playing with shadows slowly climbing up my wall. The gentle moonlight slipping through my window and the sound of a lonely car somewhere far away, where I long to be too, I think. It’s the way I thought my restless wandering was over, that I’d found whatever I thought I had found, or wanted, or needed, and I started to collect my belongings. Build a home. Safe behind the comfort of these four walls and a closed door. Because as much as I tried or pretended or imagined myself as a part of all the people out there, I was still the one locking the door every night. Turning off the phone and blowing out the candles so no one knew I was home. ’cause I was never really well around the expectations of my personality and I wanted to keep to myself. and because I haven’t been very impressed lately. By people, or places. Or the way someone said he loved me and then slowly changed his mind.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
A girl who travels has relationships that are based not on security, but on sincerity
lauren klarfeld
Traveling in a third-world country is the closest thing there is to being married and raising kids. You have glorious hikes and perfect days on the beach. You go on adventures you would never try, or enjoy, alone. But you also can't get away from each other. Everything is unfamiliar. Money is tight or you get robbed. Someone gets sick or sunburned. You get bored. It is harder than you expected, but you are glad you didn't just sit home.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
For a long while I have believed – this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cama’s belief in a fourth function of outsideness – that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as “natural” a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers’ seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks. What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
The young all have the same dream: to save the world. Some quickly forget this dream, convinced that there are more important things to do, like having a family, earning money, traveling, and learning a foreign language. Others, though, decide that it really is possible to make a difference in society and to shape the world we will hand on to future generations.
Paulo Coelho (The Winner Stands Alone)
To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it. For this reason your customary thoughts, all except the rarest of your friends, even most of your luggage - everything, in fact, which belongs to your everyday life, is merely a hindrance. The tourist travels in his own atmosphere like a snail in his shell and stands, as it were, on his own perambulating doorstep to look at the continents of the world. But if you discard all this, and sally forth with a leisurely and blank mind, there is no knowing what may not happen to you.
Freya Stark (Baghdad Sketches (Travel))
Karen, her elbows folded on the deck-rail, wanted to share with someone her pleasure in being alone: this is the paradox of any happy solitude.
Elizabeth Bowen (The House in Paris)
I had chosen to leave, and live alone in a foreign country. And in fleeing thousands of miles across the Pacific, I chose myself, and a chance at a different future.
Alison Singh Gee (Where the Peacocks Sing: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home)
Karen, her elbows folded on the deck-rail, wanted to share with someone the pleasure in being alone: this is the paradox of any happy solitude. She had never landed at Cork, so this hill and that hill beyond were as unexpected as pictures at which you say "Oh look!" Nobody was beside her to share the moment, which would have been imperfect with anyone else there.
Elizabeth Bowen
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice -- they won't hear you otherwise -- "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything: just hope they'll leave you alone.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
As dew leaves the cobweb lightly Threaded with stars, Scattering jewels on the fence And the pasture bars; As dawn leaves the dry grass bright And the tangled weeds Bearing a rainbow gem On each of their seeds; So has your love, my lover, Fresh as the dawn, Made me a shining road To travel on, Set every common sight Of tree or stone Delicately alight For me alone.
Sara Teasdale
Real travel is not about the highlights with which you dazzle your friends once you're home. It's about the loneliness, the solitude, the evenings spent by yourself, pining to be somewhere else. Those are the moments of true value. You feel half proud of them and half ashamed and you hold them to your heart.
Tahir Shah (In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams)
I wanted you, nameless Woman of the South, No wraith, but utterly—as still more alone The Southern Cross takes night And lifts her girdles from her, one by one— High, cool, wide from the slowly smoldering fire Of lower heavens,— vaporous scars! Eve! Magdalene! or Mary, you? Whatever call—falls vainly on the wave. O simian Venus, homeless Eve, Unwedded, stumbling gardenless to grieve Windswept guitars on lonely decks forever; Finally to answer all within one grave! And this long wake of phosphor, iridescent Furrow of all our travel—trailed derision! Eyes crumble at its kiss. Its long-drawn spell Incites a yell. Slid on that backward vision The mind is churned to spittle, whispering hell. I wanted you . . . The embers of the Cross Climbed by aslant and huddling aromatically. It is blood to remember; it is fire To stammer back . . . It is God—your namelessness. And the wash— All night the water combed you with black Insolence. You crept out simmering, accomplished. Water rattled that stinging coil, your Rehearsed hair—docile, alas, from many arms. Yes, Eve—wraith of my unloved seed! The Cross, a phantom, buckled—dropped below the dawn. Light drowned the lithic trillions of your spawn.
Hart Crane (The Bridge)
Traveling alone, you get to be whoever you want. I don't mean lie. I mean you get to be a blank slate. You can't leave behind your skin color, or your height, or the handsomeness or homeliness of your face. But you can leave your story behind. If you've broken hearts, the new place doesn't know. If you've lost trust in people and yourself, the new place doesn't know. If everyone thinks you love Jesus, but you never really have figured out what you believe, the new place doesn't care. It may assume you have it all tied nicely in a bow. All your thoughts and histories. Just feeling like your past isn't a vice to hold you in place can be very freeing. Feeling like your family and the expectations and the traditions and the judgments are absent... it can fill your veins with possibility and fire.
Jedidiah Jenkins (To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret)
There must be a glowing light above such houses. The joy they contain must escape in light through the stones of the walls and shine dimly into the darkness. It is impossible that this sacred festival of destiny should not send a celestial radiation to the infinite. Love is the sublime crucible in which is consummated the fusion of man and woman; the one being, the triple being, the final being-- the human trinity springs from it. This birth of two souls into one space must be an emotion for space. The lover is priest; the apprehensive maiden submits. Something of this joy goes to God. Where there really is marriage, that is to say, where there is love, the ideal is mingled with it. A nuptial bed makes a halo in the darkness. Were it given to the eye of the flesh to perceive the fearful and enchanting sights of the superior life, it is likely that we should see the forms of night, the winged stranger, the blue travelers of the invisible, bending, a throng of shadowy heads, over the luminous house, pleased, blessing, showing to one another the sweetly startled maiden bride and wearing the reflection of the human felicity on their divine countenances. If at that supreme hour, the wedded pair, bewildered with pleasure, and believing themselves alone, were to listen, they would hear in their room a rustling of confused wings. Perfect happiness implies the solidarity of the angels. That obscure little alcove has for its ceiling the whole heavens. When two mouths, made sacred by love, draw near to each other to create, it is impossible, that above that ineffable kiss there should not be a thrill in the immense mystery of the stars.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
With winter the feeling had deepened. I would see a neighbor running along the sidewalk in front of the house, training, I imagined, for a climb up Kilimanjaro. Or a friend at my book club giving a blow-by-blow of her bungee jump from a bridge in Australia. Or - and this was the worst of all - a TV show about some intrepid woman traveling alone in the blueness of Greece, and I'd be overcome by the little sparks that seemed to run beneath all that, the blood/sap/wine, aliveness, whatever it was. It had made me feel bereft over the immensity of the world, the extraordinary things people did with their lives - though, really, I didn't want to do any of those particular things. I didn't know then what I wanted, but the ache for it was palpable.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
I had never traveled alone before and I discovered that I liked it. No one in the world knew where I was, no one had the ability to reach me. It was like being dead, my escape allowing me to taste that tremendous power my mother possessed forever.
Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth)
Down to Gehenna or up to the throne, / He who travels fastest who travels alone...
Jeffery Deaver (Carte Blanche)
You will only know the road, until you have travel on it.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
A man travels fastest who travels alone.
Agatha Christie (The Moving Finger (Miss Marple, #3))
The easiest thing in the world to do when you don't want to look inside yourself is to find escape hatches. You can always make it someone else's fault, it takes a lot of courage to admit that the fault -- or rather the responsibility -- is yours alone. And yet, as I've said before, this is the only way to go forward. If life's a road we travel, it's uphill all the way.
Susanna Tamaro (Follow Your Heart)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
And this is how we danced: with our mothers’ white dresses spilling from our feet, late August turning our hands dark red. And this is how we loved: a fifth of vodka and an afternoon in the attic, your fingers sweeping though my hair—my hair a wildfire. We covered our ears and your father’s tantrum turned into heartbeats. When our lips touched the day closed into a coffin. In the museum of the heart there are two headless people building a burning house. There was always the shotgun above the fireplace. Always another hour to kill—only to beg some god to give it back. If not the attic, the car. If not the car, the dream. If not the boy, his clothes. If not alive, put down the phone. Because the year is a distance we’ve traveled in circles. Which is to say: this is how we danced: alone in sleeping bodies. Which is to say: This is how we loved: a knife on the tongue turning into a tongue.
Ocean Vuong
It is through the light that we are born and through the night that we travel. The light is the love of our parents who greet us and welcome us into this world and it is with the love of our partner that we leave it. Wulf and Cassandra have chosen to be with each other, to ease their remaining journey and to comfort one another in the coming nights. And when the final night is upon them, they vow to stand together and ease the one who travels first. Soul to soul we have touched. Flesh to flesh we have breathed. And it is alone that we must leave this existence, until the night comes that the Fates decree we are reunited in Katoteros. (Apollite Marriage Vows)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
Some journeys can only be traveled alone.
Ken Poirot
I dare walk alone on my sacred path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
When coming back, we may notice we have changed because others haven’t.
lauren klarfeld
For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it's the Readers who keep pace. The journey may be long or short. Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path. Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude. To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed. Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness. And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end: the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man's memory. Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy.
Roberto Bolaño (The Savage Detectives)
I understand. There is the journey you make through the world—the one that aches and sings. We come together with others to make our way and survive its trials,” she said. “But we are, all of us, also wayfarers on a greater journey, this one without end, each of us searching for the answers to the unspoken questions of our hearts. Take comfort, as I have, in knowing that, while we must travel it alone, this journey rewards goodness, and will prove that the things which are denied to us in life will never create a cage for our souls.” Nicholas
Alexandra Bracken (Wayfarer (Passenger, #2))
This is the strange life of books that you enter along as a writer, mapping an unknown territory that arises as you travel. If you succeed in the voyage, others enter after, one at a time, also alone, but in communion with your imagination, traversing your route. Books are solitudes where we meet.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
3. Escape. Escape is the avoidance of feelings through diversion. This avoidance is the backbone of the entertainment and liquor industries, and also the route of the workaholic. Escapism and avoidance of inner awareness is a socially condoned mechanism. We can avoid our own inner selves and keep our feelings from emerging by an endless variety of pursuits, many of which eventually become addictions as our dependency upon them grows. People are desperate to stay unconscious. We observe how often people flick on the television set the minute they enter a room and then walk around in a dream-like state, constantly being programmed by the data poured into them. People are terrified of facing themselves. They dread even a moment of aloneness. Thus the constant frantic activities: the endless socializing, talking, texting, reading, music playing, working, traveling, sightseeing, shopping, overeating, gambling, movie-going, pill-taking, drug-using, and cocktail-partying. Many of the foregoing mechanisms of escape are faulty, stressful, and ineffective.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
I met an Australian who said he loved to travel alone. He talked about his job as we drank by the sea. When a student gets it, when it first breaks across his face, it’s so fucking beautiful, he told me. I nodded, moved, though I’d never taught anyone a single thing. What do you teach, I asked him. Rollerblading, he explained.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
It's a long ride home with nothing but me for company. I bore myself sometimes. Not often. Just now and again.
David Hewson (Macbeth)
Single girl survival tip 101: always let strange men know you’re not alone. This way they know not to try anything stupid like slipping roofies in your drink.
Claudia Lefeve (Parallel (Travelers, #1))
There seemed to be no cure for loneliness save only being alone.
John Steinbeck (Travels With Charley: In Search of America)
Any man who was a man could travel alone.
Jack London (To Build A Fire)
¨One who travels the fastest travels alone, but the one that travels the furthest travels with others.¨ -Vsauce-2017 Vsauce Michel here.
Vsauce
Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of KNOWING Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
That illusion of a world so shaped that it echoes every groan, of human beings so tied together by common needs and fears that a twitch at one wrist jerks another, where however strange your experience other people have had it too, where however far you travel in your own mind someone has been there before you - - is all an illusion. We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. Human beings do not go hand in hand the whole stretch of the way. There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds' feet is unknown. Here we go alone, and like it better so. Always to have sympathy, always to be accompanied, always to be understood would be intolerable.
Virginia Woolf (On Being Ill)
So now it’s this thing I do. I go away, ever so often, by myself, for myself, to new places with foreign streets I haven’t walked yet, and there I wander, up and down, watching people going places I don’t know and it always hits me that they’re never alone, always with someone, and I wonder how they would spend a day all on their own in a foreign city with nothing to do and no one to see, and I wonder if they’d be happy. Just simply being free, like I am trying to be. Happy. Just simply being me.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
As novelist Margaret Atwood wrote to explain women’s absence from quest-for-identity novels, “there’s probably a simple reason for this: send a woman out alone on a rambling nocturnal quest and she’s likely to end up a lot deader a lot sooner than a man would.”3 The irony here is that thanks to molecular archaeology—which includes the study of ancient DNA to trace human movement over time—we now know that men have been the stay-at-homes, and women have been the travelers. The rate of intercontinental migration for women is about eight times that for men.4
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
Oh, you know me.” Jean reached behind his neck, down behind the loose leather vest he wore over his simple cotton tunic. He withdrew a pair of matching hatchets, each a foot and a half in length, with leather-wrapped handles and straight black blades that narrowed like scalpels. These were balanced with balls of blackened steel, each as wide around as a silver solon. The Wicked Sisters—Jean’s weapons of choice. “I never travel alone. It’s always the three of us.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
Let's make no mistake about this: The American Dream starts with the neighborhoods. If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods. And to do that, we must understand that the quality of life is more important than the standard of living. To sit on the front steps--whether it's a veranda in a small town or a concrete stoop in a big city--and to talk to our neighborhoods is infinitely more important than to huddle on the living-room lounger and watch a make-believe world in not-quite living color. ... And I hardly need to tell you that in the 19- or 24-inch view of the world, cleanliness has long since eclipsed godliness. Soon we'll all smell, look, and actually be laboratory clean, as sterile on the inside as on the out. The perfect consumer, surrounded by the latest appliances. The perfect audience, with a ringside seat to almost any event in the world, without smell, without taste, without feel--alone and unhappy in the vast wasteland of our living rooms. I think that what we actually need, of course, is a little more dirt on the seat of our pants as we sit on the front stoop and talk to our neighbors once again, enjoying the type of summer day where the smell of garlic travels slightly faster than the speed of sound.
Harvey Milk
It is well known that the human mind very often makes decisions for reasons it clearly does not know, presumably because it does so after having travelled the paths of the mind at such speed that, afterwards, it cannot recognise those paths, let alone find them again.
José Saramago (All the Names)
It was only vanity and discouragement that sometimes made me feel alone with my endless love, but now that I was taking one of the risks my heart had urged upon me I could also feel I was not alone. If endless love was a dream, then it was a dream we all shared, even more than we all shared the dream of never dying or of traveling through time, and if anything set me apart it was not my impulses but my stubbornness, my willingness to take the dream past what had been agreed upon as the reasonable limits, to declare that this dream was not a feverish trick of the mind but was an actuality at least as real as that other, thinner, more unhappy illusion we call normal life. After all, the intimations of endless love were the same now as they were thousands of years before, while normal life had changed a thousand times and in a thousand different ways. Which then, was more real?
Scott Spencer (Endless Love)
People who pass their lives in reading and acquire their wisdom from books are like those who learn about a country from travel descriptions: they can impart information about a great number of things, but at bottom they possess no connected, clear, thorough knowledge of what the country is like. On the other hand, people who pass their lives in thinking are like those who have visited the country themselves: they alone are really familiar with it, possess connected knowledge of it and are truly at home in it.
Arthur Schopenhauer (On the Suffering of the World)
My spirit gets nourished in faraway places. Sometimes I wonder if it's a biological need, perhaps a biological flaw, that compels me to seek the excitement and challenge that comes of being in a place where nobody knows me. Other times I think that my compulsion to settle into communities that are different from the ones I know is related to my passion for experiential learning. I learn best and most happily by doing, touching, sharing, tasting. When I'm somewhere I've never been before, learning goes on all day, every day.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
But remember, my reader, whom I hope to have travel far with me through time and space remember, please, my reader, that I have thought much on these matters that through bloody nights and sweats of dark that lasted years long I have been alone with my many selves to consult and contemplate my many selves.
Jack London (The Star Rover)
Relationship Time to Aloneness. And I remember about that. Having a companion fixes you in time and that the present, but when the quality of aloneness settles down, past, present, and future all flow together. A memory, a present event, and a forecast all equally present.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
Sometimes at night, when I was alone, or when I was at the pool, in the quiet stillness underwater, my mind would go to that place. To the hospital, to the people there. It was as if my heart could travel, over the miles, over the months that had passed, and I was back with her. Olivia
Cylin Busby (Blink Once)
...what I'm getting at is like the distinction between tourist and a traveler. The tourist experience is superficial and glancing. The traveler develops a deeper connection with her surroundings. She is more invested in them -- the traveler stays longer, makes her own plans, chooses her own destination, and usually travels alone: solo travel and solo participation, although the most difficult emotionally, seem the most likely to produce a good story.
Ted Conover
We Japanese, on the other hand, know our egos are nothing. We bend our egos, all of the time, and that is where we differ. That is the fundamental difference, Hatsue. We bend our heads, we bow and are silent, because we understand that by ourselves alone, we are nothing at all, dust in a strong wind, while the 'hakujin' believes his aloneness is everything, his separateness is the foundation of his existence. He seeks and grasps, seeks and grasps for his separateness, while we seek union with the Greater Life--you must see that these are distinct paths we are travelling, Hatsue, the 'hakujin' and we Japanese" (p. 176).
David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars)
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees; all times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore and when Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea: I am become a name…
Alfred Tennyson (Ulysses)
Hugo and I yield entirely to each other. We cannot be without each other, we cannot endure discord, war, estrangement, we cannot take walks alone, we do not like to travel without each other. We have yielded in spite of our individualism, our hatred of intimacy. We have absorbed our egocentric selves into our love. Our love is our ego.
Anaïs Nin (Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love": The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1932)
All my life I had wanted to travel but what I discovered that year was that the things that you find out become the places that you go and sometimes you find them out by being jettisoned off alone and other times it is the people who choose to stand by your side who give you the clues. But the important things that happen to you will happen to you even in the smallest places...
Polly Horvath (Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1))
All these years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I've discovered since is that lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
When the wind is right and the cloud is gone, you can see down this road as far as Darjeeling," I told her. "But it is a long and difficult road, full of perils, and if a traveller on foot were to look at the length of it, his spirit would be overcome and he would sit down and refuse to go any further. You must not look to the end of the road, Portia. Look only to the step in front of you. That you can do. Just one step. And you will not make the journey alone.
Deanna Raybourn (Dark Road to Darjeeling (Lady Julia Grey, #4))
In a way it scared me, having a summer of experiences and feelings that belonged to me alone. What happened in front of my friends felt read. What happened to me by myself felt partly dreamed, partly imagined, definitely shifted and warped by own fears and wants. And who knows? Maybe there is more truth in how you feel than in what actually happens.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
...for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainty, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers' seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celbrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks. What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or movie theatre, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveller, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
He was dead; I needed to let his memory go, too. That was the first step for me, before discrimination. Yet my love was the ghost of a young girl's dream. It walked alone in the abyss, stubbornly, where only illusions prospered on tears and regrets. My love had a life of its own; it was perverted but nevertheless still vital. For that reason, I wanted to return to deep space. Honestly, I would have preferred it if we had traveled forever and never stopped at another star system. To fall into endless blackness, that was my new fantasy. The young girl with the ancient dream wept. I could hear her; I even saw her tears on the glass of the observation deck. It made me feel old. I didn't want to know her name. I couldn't forget Tem but I needed to forget her.
Christopher Pike (The Starlight Crystal)
As usual, Junko thought about Jack London's 'To Build a Fire.' It was the story of a man traveling alone through the snowy Alaskan interior and his attempts to light a fire. He would freeze to death unless he could make it catch. The sun was going down. Junko hadn't read much fiction, but that one short story she had read again and again, ever since her teacher had assigned it as an essay topic during summer vacation of her first year in high school. The scene of the story would always come vividly to mind as she read. She could feel the man's fear and hope and despair as if they were her own; she could sense the very pounding of his heart as he hovered on the brink of death. Most important of all, though, was the fact that the man was fundamentally longing for death. She knew that for sure. She couldn't explain how she knew, but she knew it from the start. Death was really what he wanted. He knew that it was the right ending for him. And yet he had to go on fighting with all his might. He had to fight against an overwhelming adversary in order to survive. What most shook Junko was this deep-rooted contradiction. The teacher ridiculed her view. 'Death is really what he wanted? That's a new one for me! And strange! Quite 'original,' I'd have to say.' He read her conclusion aloud before the class, and everybody laughed. But Junko knew. All of them were wrong. Otherwise how could the ending of the story be so quiet and beautiful?
Haruki Murakami (After the Quake)
Philosophy, then, is not a doctrine, not some simplistic scheme for orienting oneself in the world, certainly not an instrument or achievement of human Dasein. Rather, it is this Dasein itself insofar as it comes to be, in freedom, from out of its own ground. Whoever, by stint of research, arrives at this self-understanding of philosophy is granted the basic experience of all philosophizing, namely that the more fully and originally research comes into its own, the more surely is it "nothing but" the transformation of the same few simple questions. But those who wish to transform must bear within themselves the power of a fidelity that knows how to preserve. And one cannot feel this power growing within unless one is up in wonder. And no one can be caught up in wonder without travelling to the outermost limits of the possible. But no one will ever become the friend of the possible without remaining open to dialogue with the powers that operate in the whole of human existence. But that is the comportment of the philosopher: to listen attentively to what is already sung forth, which can still be perceived in each essential happening of world. And in such comportment the philosopher enters the core of what is truly at stake in the task he has been given to do. Plato knew of that and spoke of it in his Seventh Letter: 'In no way can it be uttered, as can other things, which one can learn. Rather, from out of a full, co-existential dwelling with the thing itself - as when a spark, leaping from the fire, flares into light - so it happens, suddenly, in the soul, there to grow, alone with itself.
Martin Heidegger
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour, ice-clad, outbound, a craft for a prince. They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear. I have never heard before of a ship so well furbished with battle tackle, bladed weapons and coats of mail. The massed treasure was loaded on top of him: it would travel far on out into the ocean's sway. They decked his body no less bountifully with offerings than those first ones did who cast him away when he was a child and launched him alone over the waves. And they set a gold standard up high above his head and let him drift to wind and tide, bewailing him and mourning their loss. No man can tell, no wise man in hall or weathered veteran knows for certain who salvaged that load.
Seamus Heaney (Beowulf)
Dreams and coffee and sunrises make up the rhythms of the road. Music is a part of it, too: the popular music on the jukeboxes and radio stations. You hear it constantly, in diners and on car radios. The music has a rhythm that fits the steady drumming of tires over pavement. It seeps into your bloodstream. After a while it ceases to make any difference whether or not you like the stuff. When you’re traveling alone, a nameless rider with a succession of strangers, it can give you a comforting sense of the familiar to hear the same music over and over. At any given time, a few current hits will be overplayed to exhaustion by the rock & roll stations. In hitching across the continent, you might hear the same song fifty or sixty times. Certain songs become connected in your mind with certain trips.
Kenn Kaufman (Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder)
Naruto… I now remember the words you once said to me. That when you're with me, you finally understand what it's like to have a brother… And when I think of it that way… That feeling… I finally get it now. I've been travelling around the world and I seem to recall these memories a lot. We were alone and starved of love. Kids that lived in a world full of hate. And from that point on, we went our separate ways… and fought. But time has passed and now I'm thinking… Could it be that… just like how the hope and and pain from my father, mother and my brother, Itachi flowed into me… I'd understand your pain and hopes too, Naruto? You never abandoned me, no matter what. And you never gave up on me, coming closer when I pulled away. It wouldn't have surprised me if you hated me, but you didn't… You kept insisting that we were friends. And even that, I nearly destroyed. You fought to stop me… to the point you lost an arm. All because you were my friend. You saved me. The us that quarrelled over the smallest things… are now able to share the pain in each other's hearts. On my journey around the world, I noticed… That all these feelings of mine aren't just about us, I'm sure it's the same for everything else. But… there aren't a lot of people like you. And things won't go as planned, look at us. It's especially true when it comes to bigger things. I think it's the same as praying. And until I can do it, I'll stay strong. The beings that have been entrusted with hope… that's us. That's what makes us shinobi.
Masashi Kishimoto
To travel in space you must leave the old verbal garbage behind: God talk, country talk, mother talk, love talk, party talk. You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence. Anyone who prays in space is not there. from “It Is Necessary to Travel…,
William S. Burroughs (The Adding Machine: Selected Essays)
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero With a Thousand Faces)
I respect people who have such passion. Emile was saying. "I don't. I have a lot of interests, some I'm passionate about, but not to the exclusion of everything else. I sometimes wonder if that's necessary for geniuses to accomplish what they must, a singularity of purpose. We mere mortals just get in the way. Relationships are messy, distracting. He travels the fastest who travels alone, quoted Gamache. You sound as though you don't believe it. It depends where you're going, but no, I don't. I think you might go far fast, but eventually you'll stall. We need other people. ... We all need help.
Louise Penny (Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6))
She said if good-hearted families travel to Night Vale only to find their subconsciouses besieged with unforgettable revelations, horrors buried so deep as to be completely indescribable, revealing wholly unbearable new truths, then we certainly can't expect these people to return, let alone leave good Yelp ratings for local businesses.
Joseph Fink (Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, #1))
At times I've struggled to feel seen, to have my history feel seen, to have where I come from feel seen because I 'turned out great.' But that doesn't meant that I Am Fine. I am working every day, tirelessly, like you wouldn't believe, on being fine, f**king finally, can we get this over with, I'm so tired and I just want to travel and eat and smile and move through the world with a semblance of peace.
Lane Moore (How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don't)
I thought that you would bring everything into my life. I thought you are my Jesus. You are my priest, my light. So I always believed you are my only home here. I feel so insecure because I am so scared of losing you. That's why I want to control you. I want you are in my view always and I want cut off your extension to the world and your extension to the others. I think of those days when I travelled in Europe on my own. I met many people and finally I wasn't so afraid of being alone. Maybe I should let my life open, like a flower; maybe I should fly, like a lonely bird. I shouldn't be blocked by a tree, and I shouldn't be scared about losing one tree, instead of seeing a whole forest.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
But Mrs. Brockington, old, alone, almost crippled by rheumatism, had faith and courage. She had more. She had a warm serenity, and when Ellen was with her, she almost had it too. For goodness is catching. Mrs. Brockington was further on the road Ellen wanted to travel, and because Mrs. Brockington had got there, Ellen felt she might get there too.
Dorothy Whipple (Someone at a Distance)
It seems simple to define what a library is—namely, it is a storeroom of books. But the more time I spent at Central, the more I realized that a library is an intricate machine, a contraption of whirring gears. There were days when I came to the library and planted myself near the center of the main corridor and simply watched the whirl and throb of the place. Sometimes people ambled by, with no apparent destination. Some people marched crisply, full of purpose. Many were alone, some were in pairs; occasionally they traveled in a gaggle. People think that libraries are quiet, but they really aren't. They rumble with voices and footsteps and a whole orchestral range of book-related noises—the snap of covers clapping shut; the breathy whisk of pages fanning open; the distinctive thunk of one book being stacked on another; the grumble of book carts in the corridors.
Susan Orlean (The Library Book)
On the flight to Phillidelphia, she sat alone in the middle of a row of three seats. She could not help but think of how, if she were a mother traveling, there would be two seats filled beside her. One for Lindsey. One for Buckley. But though she was, by definition a mother, she had at some point ceased to be one too. She couldn't claim that right and privilege after missing more than half a decade of their lives. She now knew that being a mother was a calling, something plenty of young girls dreamed of being. But my mother had never had that dream, and she had been punished in the most horrible and unimaginable way for never having wanted me.
Alice Sebold
Nobody knows. What good's an opinion if you don't know? My grandfather knew the number of whiskers in the Almighty's beard. I don't even know what happened yesterday, let alone tomorrow. He knew what it was that makes a rock or table. I don't even understand the formula that says nobody knows. We've got nothing to go on -- got no way to think about things.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
I understand. There is the journey you make through the world—the one that aches and stings. We come together with others to make our way and survive its trials," she said. "But we are, all of us, also wayfarers on a greater journey, this one without end, each of us searching for the answers to the unspoken questions of our hearts. Take comfort, as I have, in knowing that, while we must travel it alone, this journey rewards goodness, and will prove that the things which are denied to us in life will never create a cage for our souls.
Alexandra Bracken (Wayfarer (Passenger, #2))
Men learn to regard rape as a moment in time; a discreet episode with a beginning, middle, and end. But for women, rape is thousands of moments that we fold into ourselves over a lifetime. Its' the day that you realize you can't walk to a friend's house anymore or the time when your aunt tells you to be nice because the boy was just 'stealing a kiss.' It's the evening you stop going to the corner store because, the night before, a stranger followed you home. It's the late hour that a father or stepfather or brother or uncle climbs into your bed. It's the time it takes you to write an email explaining that you're changing your major, even though you don't really want to, in order to avoid a particular professor. It's when you're racing to catch a bus, hear a person demand a blow job, and turn to see that it's a police officer. It's the second your teacher tells you to cover your shoulders because you'll 'distract the boys, and what will your male teachers do?' It's the minute you decide not to travel to a place you've always dreamed about visiting and are accused of being 'unadventurous.' It's the sting of knowing that exactly as the world starts expanding for most boys, it begins to shrink for you. All of this goes on all day, every day, without anyone really uttering the word rape in a way that grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, teachers, and friends will hear it, let alone seriously reflect on what it means.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
I see life as a roadside inn where I have to stay until the coach from the abyss pulls up. I don't know where it will take me, because I don't know anything. I could see this inn as a prison, for I'm compelled to wait in it; I could see it as a social center, for it's here that I meet others. But I'm neither impatient nor common. I leave who will to stay shut up in their rooms, sprawled out on beds where they sleeplessly wait, and I leave who will to chat in the parlors, from where their songs and voices conveniently drift out here to me. I'm sitting at the door, feasting my eyes and ears on the colors and sounds of the landscape, and I softly sing - for myself alone - wispy songs I compose while waiting. Night will fall on us all and the coach will pull up. I enjoy the breeze I'm given and the soul I'm given to enjoy it with, and I no longer question or seek. If what I write in the book of travellers can, when read by others at some future date, also entertain them on their journey, then fine. If they don't read it, or are not entertained, that's fine too.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
When we spoke about attempts to give a man in camp mental courage, we said that he had to be shown something to look forward to in the future. He had to be reminded that life still waited for him, that a human being waited for his return. But after liberation? There were some men who found that no one awaited them. Woe to him who found that the person whose memory alone had given him courage in camp did not exist any more! Woe to him who, when the day of his dreams finally came, found it so different from all he had longed for! Perhaps he boarded a trolley, traveled out to the home which he had seen for years in his mind, and only in his mind, and pressed the bell, just as he has longed to do in thousands of dreams, only to find that the person who should open the door was not there, and would never be there again.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Dear woman, look at yourself in the mirror and be your own favourite person. Every curve, every freckle, every hair on your skin. Because you are worth your tears, your laughter, your joys and your pains. You are worth the broken roads you've traveled, the nights you've spent alone with a bottle of champagne, the times you climbed out of graves. You are worth the smiles only you see, the ones you generously share, then all the others in between. You're worth the love that's meant for you and the pains you've broken through. Dear woman, look at yourself; you love you.
C. JoyBell C.
She alone is the happy woman who has learned to extract happiness, not from ideal conditions, but from the actual ones about her. The woman who has mastered the secret will not wait for ideal surroundings; she will not wait until next year, next decade, until she gets rich, until she can travel abroad … but she will make the most out of life today, where she is. Paradise is here or nowhere. You must take your joy with you or you will never find it.
Orison Swett Marden (Cheerfulness as a Life Power)
In those years before mobile phones, email and Skype, travelers depended on the rudimentary communications system known as the postcard. Other methods--the long-distance phone call, the telegram--were marked "For Emergency Use Only." So my parents waved me off into the unknown, and their news bulletins about me would have been restricted to "Yes, he's arrived safely,"and "Last time we heard he was in Oregon," and "We expect him back in a few weeks." I'm not saying this was necessarily better, let alone more character-forming; just that in my case it probably helped not to have my parents a button's touch away, spilling out anxieties and long-range weather forecasts, warning me against floods, epidemics and psychos who preyed on backpackers.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Over and over again I sail towards joy, which is never in the room with me, but always near me, across the way, like those rooms full of gayety one sees from the street, or the gayety in the street one sees from a window. Will I ever reach joy? It hides behind the turning merry-go-round of the traveling circus. As soon as I approach it, it is no longer joy. Joy is a foam, an illumination. I am poorer and hungrier for the want of it. When I am in the dance, joy is outside in the elusive garden. When I am in the garden, I hear it exploding from the house. When I am traveling, joy settles like an aurora borealis over the land I leave. When I stand on the shore I see it bloom on the flag of a departing ship. What joy? Have I not possessed it? I want the joy of simple colours, street organs, ribbons, flags, not a joy that takes my breath away and throws me into space alone where no one else can breathe with me, not the joy that comes from a lonely drunkenness. There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light.
Anaïs Nin (Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1939-1947))
French Louis Seymour of the West Canada Creek, who knew how to survive all alone in a treacherous wilderness, and Mr. Alfred G. Vanderbilt of New York City and Raquette Lake, who was richer than God and traveled in his very own Pullman car, and Emmie Hubbard of the Uncas Road, who painted the most beautiful pictures when she was drunk and burned them in her woodstove when she was sober, were all ten times more interesting to me than Milton's devil or Austen's boy-crazy girls or that twitchy fool of Poe's who couldn't think of any place better to bury a body than under his own damn floor.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
I see life as a roadside inn where I have to stay until the coach from the abyss pulls up. I don’t know where it will take me, because I don’t know anything. I could see this inn as a prison, for I’m compelled to wait in it; I could see it as a social centre, for it’s here that I meet others. But I’m neither impatient nor common. I leave who will to stay shut up in their rooms, sprawled out on beds where they sleeplessly wait, and I leave who will to chat in the parlours, from where their songs and voices conveniently drift out here to me. I’m sitting at the door, feasting my eyes and ears on the colours and sounds of the landscape, and I softly sing – for myself alone – wispy songs I compose while waiting. Night will fall on us all and the coach will pull up. I enjoy the breeze I’m given and the soul I was given to enjoy it with, and I no longer question or seek. If what I write in the book of travellers can, when read by others at some future date, also entertain them on their journey, then fine. If they don’t read it, or are not entertained, that’s fine too
Fernando Pessoa
Becoming free is learning about yourself; the scared and the insecure, the brilliant and the bold. Embrace both and the journey is yours and yours alone. No longer are you following another’s directions and your path and purpose will present themselves. Only then might you find another wandering soul doing the same thing, who can walk with you but on their own journey. All of a sudden you might find a shared passion and a wrinkled map on the trail that makes sense.
Riitta Klint
Sometimes, a person isn’t looking to increase their lifestyle, status or ego when they fall in love. Sometimes, they just want that special someone that is just like them. The one person that truly understands how they suffer because they have gone through it too. They want to wake up beside someone that knows their trials intimately. They want a teammate that doesn’t say they get it, but someone who knows it, lived it and survived it. They have been looking for that person their entire life because they feel alone and misunderstood. They are tired of people telling them not to care about other people, when that is not who God designed them to be. The depth of their soul can’t be reached by their partner standing at the top looking down. They want to come home to their “own kind”--the person that has run the same dark corridors they have traveled in their mind. They want to build a life with someone that would never break their heart, push them away or give up on them. They don’t want the person that has to win. They want the rescuer that has been to the fearful boundaries of their heart, but knows the way back to life. When they meet this person they will never forget them because they will come into their life with all the fire they possess and never leave their soul.
Shannon L. Alder
I thought that I must always search for the remarkable combinations, add unknowns, mix things that were clearly marked with things beyond marking. I would leave the simulated test and enter into forbidden territory. I would look for that moment when I would begin to pour alone and in wonder. I would always try to seize that moment and to accept its challenge. I wanted to become the seeker, the aroused and passionate explorer, and it was better to go at it knowing nothing at all, always choosing the unmarked bottle, always choosing your own unproven method, armed with nothing faith and a belief in astonishment. And if by accident, I could make a volcano in a single test tube, then what could I do with all the strange magnificent elements of the world with its infinity of unknowns, with the swarm of man, with civilization, with language?
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
This is where I find myself now on the journey that God and I have been on, at the station called hope, the one that comes right after gratitude and somewhere not far from journey's end. It has been "God and I" the whole way. Not so much because he has always been pleasant company. Not because I could always feel his presence when I got up in the morning or when I was afraid to sleep at night. It was because he did not trust me to travel alone. Personally I liked the last miles of the journey better than the first. But, since I could not have the ending without first having the beginning, I thank God for getting me going and bringing me home. And sticking with me all the way.
Lewis B. Smedes (My God and I: A Spiritual Memoir)
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the place of their self-content; There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament; There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths Where highways never ran- But let me live by the side of the road And be a friend to man. - Let me live in a house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go by- The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. - I see from my house by the side of the road, By the side of the highway of life, The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife. But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, Both parts of an infinite plan- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead And mountains of wearisome height; That the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night. But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice. And weep with the strangers that moan, Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone. - Let me live in my house by the side of the road- It's here the race of men go by. They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish- so am I; Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss
Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once. In the movement, we didn't know how history would play itself out. When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen. Use the words of the movement to pace yourself. We used to say that ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part. And if we believe in the change we seek, then it is easy to commit to doing all we can, because the responsibility is ours alone to build a better society and a more peaceful world.
John Lewis (Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America)
Nationalism emerged to agitate the world only after the war, and the first visible phenomenon which this intellectual epidemic of our century brought about was xenophobia; morbid dislike of the foreigner, or at least fear of the foreigner. The world was on the defensive against strangers, everywhere they got short shrift. The humiliations which once had been devised with criminals alone in mind now were imposed upon the traveler, before and during every journey. There had to be photographs from right and left, in profile and full face, one’s hair had to be cropped sufficiently to make the ears visible; fingerprints were taken, at first only the thumb but later all ten fingers; furthermore, certificates of health, of vaccination, police certificates of good standing, had to be shown; letters of recommendation were required, invitations to visit a country had to be procured; they asked for the addresses of relatives, for moral and financial guarantees, questionnaires, and forms in triplicate and quadruplicate needed to be filled out,
Stefan Zweig (The World of Yesterday)
I Have Walked Down Many Roads by Antonio Machado translated from the Spanish by Don Share I have walked down many roads and cleared many paths; I have navigated a hundred oceans and anchored off a hundred shores. All over, I have seen caravans of sadness, pompous and melancholy men drunk with black shadows, and defrocked pedants who stare, keep quiet, and think they know, because they don’t drink wine in the neighborhood bars. Bad people who go around polluting the earth . . . And all over, I have seen people who dance or play, when they can, and work their four handfuls of land. If they turn up someplace, they never ask where they are. When they travel, they ride on the backs of old mules, and don’t know how to hurry, not even on holidays. When there’s wine, they drink wine; when there’s no wine, they drink cool water. These are good people, who live, work, get by, and dream; and on a day like all the others they lie down under the earth.
Antonio Machado (Times Alone: Selected Poems)
The more we live as 'free individuals' . . . the more we are effectively non-free, caught within the existing frame of possibilities--we have to be impelled or disturbed into freedom. . . . This paradox thoroughly pervades the form of subjectivity that characterizes 'permissive' liberal society. Since permissiveness and free choice are elevated into a supreme value, social control and domination can no longer appear as infringing on subjects' freedom: they have to appear as (and be sustained by) individuals experiencing themselves as free. There is a multitude of forms of this appearing of un-freedom in the guise of its opposite: in being deprived of universal healthcare, we are told that we are being given a new freedom of choice (to choose our healthcare provider); when we can no longer rely on long-term employment and are compelled to search for a new precarious job every couple of years, we are told that we are being given the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and discover our creative potential; when we have to pay for the education of our children, we are told that we are now able to become 'entrepreneurs of the self," acting like a capitalist freely choosing how to invest the resources he possesses (or has borrowed). In education, health, travel . . . we are constantly bombarded by imposed 'free choices'; forced to make decisions for which we are mostly not qualified (or do not possess enough information), we increasingly experience our freedom as a burden that causes unbearable anxiety. Unable to break out of this vicious cycle alone, as isolated individuals--since the more we act freely the more we become enslaved by the system--we need to be 'awakened' from this 'dogmatic slumber' of fake freedom.
Slavoj Žižek
I was a crazy creature with a head full of carnival spangles until I was thirty, and then the only man I ever really cared for stopped waiting and married someone else. So in spite, in anger at myself, I told myself I deserved my: fate for not having married when the best chance was at hand. I started traveling. My luggage was snowed under blizzards of travel stickers. I have been alone in Paris, alone in Vienna, alone in London, and all in all, it is very much like being alone in Green Town, Illinois. It is, in essence, being alone. Oh, you have plenty of time to think, improve your manners, sharpen your conversations. But I sometimes think I could easily trade a verb tense or a curtsy for some company that would stay over for a thirty-year weekend.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
Linger now with me, thou Beauty, On the sharp archaic shore. Surely 'tis a wastrel's duty And the gods could ask no more. If thou lingerest when I linger, If thou tread'st the stones I tread, Thou wilt stay my spirit's hunger And dispel the dreams I dread. Come thou, love, my own, my only, Through the battlements of Groan; Lingering becomes so lonely When one lingers on one's own. I have lingered in the cloisters Of the Northern Wing at night, As the sky unclasped its oysters On the midnight pearls of light; For the long remorseless shadows Chilled me with exquisite fear. I have lingered in cold meadows Through a month of rain, my dear. Come, my Love, my sweet, my Only, Through the parapets of Groan. Lingering can be very lonely When one lingers on one's own. In dark alcoves I have lingered Conscious of dead dynasties; I have lingered in blue cellars And in hollow trunks of trees. Many a traveler through moonlight Passing by a winding stair Or a cold and crumbling archway Has been shocked to see me there. I have longed for thee, my Only, Hark! the footsteps of the Groan! Lingering is so very lonely When one lingers all alone. Will thou come with me, and linger? And discourse with me of those Secret things the mystic finger Points to, but will not disclose? When I'm all alone, my glory Always fades, because I find Being lonely drives the splendour Of my vision from my mind. Come, oh, come, my own! my Only! Through the Gormenghast of Groan. Lingering has become so lonely As I linger all alone!
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
There is an Eastern fable, told long ago, of a traveller overtaken on a plain by an enraged beast. Escaping from the beast he gets into a dry well, but sees at the bottom of the well a dragon that has opened its jaws to swallow him. And the unfortunate man, not daring to climb out lest he should be destroyed by the enraged beast, and not daring to leap to the bottom of the well lest he should be eaten by the dragon, seizes s twig growing in a crack in the well and clings to it. His hands are growing weaker and he feels he will soon have to resign himself to the destruction that awaits him above or below, but still he clings on. Then he sees that two mice, a black one and a white one, go regularly round and round the stem of the twig to which he is clinging and gnaw at it. And soon the twig itself will snap and he will fall into the dragon's jaws. The traveller sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish; but while still hanging he looks around, sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the twig, reaches them with his tongue and licks them. So I too clung to the twig of life, knowing that the dragon of death was inevitably awaiting me, ready to tear me to pieces; and I could not understand why I had fallen into such torment. I tried to lick the honey which formerly consoled me, but the honey no longer gave me pleasure, and the white and black mice of day and night gnawed at the branch by which I hung. I saw the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tasted sweet. I only saw the unescapable dragon and mice, and I could not tear my gaze from them. and this is not a fable but the real unanswerable truth intelligible to all. The deception of the joys of life which formerly allayed my terror of the dragon now no longer deceived me. No matter how often I may be told, "You cannot understand the meaning of life so do not think about it, but live," I can no longer do it: I have already done it too long. I cannot now help seeing day and night going round and bringing me to death. That is all I see, for that alone is true. All else is false. The two drops of honey which diverted my eyes from the cruel truth longer than the rest: my love of family, and of writing -- art as I called it -- were no longer sweet to me. "Family"... said I to myself. But my family -- wife and children -- are also human. They are placed just as I am: they must either live in a lie or see the terrible truth. Why should they live? Why should I love them, guard them, bring them up, or watch them? That they may come to the despair that I feel, or else be stupid? Loving them, I cannot hide the truth from them: each step in knowledge leads them to the truth. And the truth is death.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
I have that old sinking feeling. I've been overly available, sickeningly sweet and forever enabling all in the name of being 'liked.' I've compromised myself. I've suffered fools, idiots and dullards. I've gone on far too many dates with men because I felt guilty that they liked me more than I liked them. I've fallen deeply and madly I'm love with men I've never met just because I thought they looked 'deep.' I've built whole futures with men I hardly knew; I've planned weddings and named invisible children based on a side glance. I've made chemistry where there was none. I've forced intimacy while building higher Walls. I've been alone in a two year relationship. I've faked more orgasms than I can count while being comfortable with no affection at all. I realise I have to make a decision right here and now. Do I go back to the sliver of a person I was before or do I, despite whatever bullshit happened tonight, hold on to this... This authenticity? If I go back to the the way I was before tonight, I'll have to compromise myself, follow rules with men who have none, hold my tongue, be quiet and laugh at shitty jokes. I have to never be challenged, yet be called challenging when I have an opinion or, really, speak at all. I'll never be torched by someone and get goosebumps again. I'll never be outside of myself. I'll never let go. I'll never lose myself. I'll never know what real love is - both for someone else and for me. I'll look back on this life and wish I could do it all over again. I finally see the consequences of that life. The path more travelled only led to someone else's life: an idealised, saturated world of White picket fences and gingham tablecloths. A life where the real me is locked away. Sure i had a plus-one but at what price? No. No matter how awkward and painful this gets, I can't go back.
Liza Palmer (More Like Her)
A number of years ago I had some experience with being alone. For two succeeding years I was alone each winter for eight months at a stretch in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Lake Tahoe. I was the caretaker on a summer estate during the winter months when it was snowed in. And I made some observations then. As time went on I found that my reactions thickened. Ordinarily I am a whistler. I stopped whistling. I stopped conversing with my dogs, and I believe that the subtleties of feeling began to disappear until finally I was on a pleasure-pain basis. Then it occurred to me that the delicate shades of feeling, of reaction, are the result of communication, and without such communication they tend to disappear. A man with nothing to say has no words. Can its reverse be true- a man who has no one to say anything to has no words as he has no need for words? ... Only through imitation do we develop toward originality.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe. Sometimes I thought of my apartment in San Francisco as only a winter camp and home as the whole circuit around the West I travel a few times a year and myself as something of a nomad (nomads, contrary to current popular imagination, have fixed circuits and stable relationships to places; they are far from beign the drifters and dharma bums that the word nomad often connotes nowadays). This meant that it was all home, and certainly the intense emotion that, for example, the sequence of mesas alongside the highway for perhaps fifty miles west of Gallup, N.M., and a hundred miles east has the power even as I write to move me deeply, as do dozens of other places, and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again. But if this was home, then I was both possessor of an enchanted vastness and profoundly alienated.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Usually by this time in the summer, we were as worn in to one another as pebbles in a riverbed. For three months we’d had complete togetherness and not much outside stimuli. What few stories we had, we’d considered, analyzed, celebrated, cursed, and joked into sand. Tonight was different. I felt like we were each separate and full to our edges with our own stories, mostly unshared. In a way it scared me, having a summer of experiences and feelings that belonged to me alone. What happened in front of my friends felt real. What happened to me by myself felt partly dreamed, partly imagined, definitely shifted and warped by my own fears and wants. But who knows? Maybe there is more truth in how you feel than in what actually happens.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes …  … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
If you didn’t already know this, the sun is going to die. When I think about the future, I don’t think about inescapable ends. But even if we solve global warming and destroy nuclear bombs and control population, ultimately the human race will annihilate itself if we stay here. Eventually, inevitably, we will no longer be able to live on Earth: we have a giant fireball clock ticking down twilight by twilight. In many ways, I think mortality is more manageable when we consider our eternal components, our genetics and otherwise that carry on after us. Still, soon enough, the books we write and the plants we grow will freeze up and rot in the darkness. But maybe there’s hope. What the universe really boils down to is whether a planet evolves a life-form intelligent enough to create technology capable of transporting and sustaining that life-form off the planet before the sun in that planet’s solar system explodes. I have a limited set of comparative data points, but I’d estimate that we’re actually doing okay at this point. We already have (intelligent) life, technology, and (primitive) space travel. And we still have some time before our sun runs out of hydrogen and goes nuclear. Yet none of that matters unless we can develop a sustainable means of living and traveling in space. Maybe we can. What I’ve concluded is that if we do reach this point, we have crossed a remarkable threshold—and will emerge into the (rare?) evolutionary status of having outlived the very life source that created us. It’s natural selection on a Universal scale. “The Origin of the Aliens,” one could say; a survival of the fittest planets. Planets capable of evolving life intelligent enough to leave before the lights go out. I suppose that without a God, NASA is my anti-nihilism. Alone and on my laptop, these ideas can humble me into apathy.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine. Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were Eight. Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven. Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six. Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five. Five little soldier boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were Four. Four little soldier boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three. Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were Two. Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was One. One little soldier boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were None.
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
We are the last generation that can experience true wilderness. Already the world has shrunk dramatically. To a Frenchman, the Pyrenees are “wild.” To a kid living in a New York City ghetto, Central Park is “wilderness,” the way Griffith Park in Burbank was to me when I was a kid. Even travelers in Patagonia forget that its giant, wild-looking estancias are really just overgrazed sheep farms. New Zealand and Scotland were once forested and populated with long-forgotten animals. The place in the lower forty-eight states that is farthest away from a road or habitation is at the headwaters of the Snake River in Wyoming, and it’s still only twenty-five miles. So if you define wilderness as a place that is more than a day’s walk from civilization, there is no true wilderness left in North America, except in parts of Alaska and Canada. In a true Earth-radical group, concern for wilderness preservation must be the keystone. The idea of wilderness, after all, is the most radical in human thought—more radical than Paine, than Marx, than Mao. Wilderness says: Human beings are not paramount, Earth is not for Homo sapiens alone, human life is but one life form on the planet and has no right to take exclusive possession. Yes, wilderness for its own sake, without any need to justify it for human benefit. Wilderness for wilderness. For bears and whales and titmice and rattlesnakes and stink bugs. And…wilderness for human beings…. Because it is home. —Dave Foreman, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior We need to protect these areas of unaltered wildness and diversity to have a baseline, so we never forget what the real world is like—in perfect balance, the way nature intended the earth to be. This is the model we need to keep in mind on our way toward sustainability.
Yvon Chouinard (Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman)
Donna to the policewoman: Don't you touch this car! The Doctor watching: She's not changed. Wilfred: Oh. There he is. Shawn Temple. They're engaged. Getting married in the Spring. The Doctor: Another wedding. Wilfred: Yeah. The Doctor: Hold on, she's not going to be called Noble-Temple. It sounds like a tourist spot. Wilfred: No it's Temple-Noble. The Doctor: Right. Is she happy? Is he nice? Wilfred: Yeah, he's sweet enough. He's a bit of a dreamer. Mind you he's on minimum wage. She's earning tuppence so all they can afford is a tiny little flat. And then sometimes I see this look on her face. Like she's so sad. And she can't remember why. The Doctor: She's got him. Wilfred: She's making do. The Doctor: Aren't we all. Wilfred: How 'bout you? Who've you got now? The Doctor: No one. Travelling alone. I thought it would be better. But I did some things, it went wrong. I need— {he starts to cry} Wilfred: Oh my word. I— The Doctor: Mm. Merry Christmas. Wilfred: Yeah. And you. The Doctor: Look at us. Wilfred: Don't you see? You need her, Doctor. I mean, look, wouldn't she make you laugh again? Good ol' Donna. -Doctor Who
Russell T. Davies
He (Lafcadio) was sitting all alone in a compartment of the train which was carrying him away from Rome, & contemplating–not without satisfaction–his hands in their grey doeskin gloves, as they lay on the rich fawn-colored plaid, which, in spite of the heat, he had spread negligently over his knees. Through the soft woolen material of his traveling-suit he breathed ease and comfort at every pore; his neck was unconfined in its collar which without being low was unstarched, & from beneath which the narrow line of a bronze silk necktie ran, slender as a grass snake, over his pleated shirt. He was at ease in his skin, at ease in his shoes, which were cut out of the same doeskin as his gloves; his foot in its elastic prison could stretch, could bend, could feel itself alive. His beaver hat was pulled down over his eyes & kept out the landscape; he was smoking dried juniper, after the Algerian fashion, in a little clay pipe & letting his thoughts wander at their will …
André Gide
Not caring about our own pain and the pain of others is not working. How much longer are we willing to keep pulling drowning people out of the river one by one, rather than walking to the headwaters of the river to find the source of the pain? What will it take for us to let go of that earned self-righteousness and travel together to the cradle of the pain that is throwing all of us in at such a rate that we couldn’t possibly save everyone? Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying. Most of us were not taught how to recognize pain, name it, and be with it. Our families and culture believed that the vulnerability that it takes to acknowledge pain was weakness, so we were taught anger, rage, and denial instead. But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Sometimes owning our pain and bearing witness to struggle means getting angry. When we deny ourselves the right to be angry, we deny our pain. There are a lot of coded shame messages in the rhetoric of “Why so hostile?” “Don’t get hysterical,” “I’m sensing so much anger!” and “Don’t take it so personally.” All of these responses are normally code for Your emotion or opinion is making me uncomfortable or Suck it up and stay quiet. One response to this is “Get angry and stay angry!” I haven’t seen that advice borne out in the research. What I’ve found is that, yes, we all have the right and need to feel and own our anger. It’s an important human experience.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
There was religion, then there was God. Lianne wanted to disbelieve. Disbelief was the line of travel that led to clarity of thought and purpose. Or was this simply another form of superstition? She wanted to trust in the forces and processes of the natural world, this only, perceptible reality and scientific endeavor, men and women alone on earth. She knew there was no conflict between science and God. Take one with the other. But she didn't want to. There were the scholars and philosophers she'd studied in school, books she'd read at thrilling dispatches, personal, making her shake at times, and there was the sacred art she'd always loved. Doubters created this work, and ardent believers, and those who'd doubted and then believed, and she was free to think about doubt and believe simultaneously. But she didn't want to. God would crowd her, make her weaker. God would be a presence that remained unimaginable. She wanted this only, to snuff out the pulse of the shaky faith she'd held for much of her life.
Don DeLillo (Falling Man)
Now, in my readings and in my travels I have heard, like you, about men of a superior type, possessing the keys to all our mysteries. Somehow I could not regard this as a simple allegory, this idea of an invisible humanity within visible humanity. Experience has proven, I told myself, that a man can reach truth neither directly nor alone; an intermediary must exist—still human in certain respects yet surpassing humanity in others. Somewhere on our Earth this superior humanity must exist, and it cannot be absolutely inaccessible. And so shouldn’t all my efforts be devoted to discovering it? Even if, in spite of my certainty, I were the victim of a monstrous illusion, I would have nothing to lose in making the effort, for in any case, without this hope, all life is meaningless. “But where to look? Where to begin? I had already traveled the world, stuck my nose everywhere, into all sorts of religious sects and mystical cults, but to each one it was always: maybe yes, maybe no. Why should I stake my life on this one rather than that one? You see, I had no touchstone.
René Daumal (Mount Analogue (Tusk Ivories))
Making your own T-shirts? Don't you have people for that?" I asked. "Like professionals?" "Well,I usually travel with an army of professional T-shirt makers, but today I thought I'd go it alone." Jack didn't take his eyes off me as Cole spoke. I wasn't sure he was even listening,or aware Cole was there. "What are the screens for?" I asked. "Elvis Presley as a corpse.You wanna come look?" Cole gave me a grin as if he'd just asked if I wanted to see rainbows being made. "You had me at 'corpse.'" Jack chuckled. "Saying good-bye here. Remember?" I turned to Jack, rose up on my tiptoes, and kissed his lips lightly. "Two weeks,Jack. It'll fly by." I started to back up,but Jack grabbed my hand and pulled me close. "No you don't," he said. "The corpse can wait." He gave me a kiss that was not quite appropriate for public view,and I would've been embarrassed if I hadn't lost the ability to think straight. His arms reached around my back,and he pulled me in tight against him so that my feet were barely touching the ground. And things started disappearing around us,just like they did every time Jack kissed me. He pulled back. "What were you saying about two weeks?" "That it will feel like forever," I said, breathless. "That's better." Jack lowered his head so his forehead was touching mine. "Miss you." "Miss you too," I whispered.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Always lost, always striking out in the wrong direction, always going around in circles. You have suffered from a life-long inability to orient yourself in space, and even in New York, the easiest of cities to negotiate, the city where you have spent the better part of your adulthood, you often run into trouble. Whenever you take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan (assuming you have boarded the correct train and are not traveling deeper into Brooklyn), you make a special point to stop for a moment to get your bearings once you have climbed the stairs to the street, and still you will head north instead of south, go east instead of west, and even when you try to outsmart yourself, knowing that your handicap will set you going the wrong way and therefore, to rectify the error, you do the opposite of what you were intending to do, go left instead of right, go right instead of left, and still you find yourself moving in the wrong direction, no matter how many adjustments you have made. Forget tramping alone in the woods. You are hopelessly lost within minutes, and even indoors, whenever you find yourself in an unfamiliar building, you will walk down the wrong corridor or take the wrong elevator, not to speak of smaller enclosed spaces such as restaurants, for whenever you go to the men’s room in a restaurant that has more than one dining area, you will inevitably make a wrong turn on your way back and wind up spending several minutes searching for your table. Most other people, your wife included, with her unerring inner compass, seem to be able to get around without difficulty. They know where they are, where they have been, and where they are going, but you know nothing, you are forever lost in the moment, in the void of each successive moment that engulfs you, with no idea where true north is, since the four cardinal points do not exist for you, have never existed for you. A minor infirmity until now, with no dramatic consequences to speak of, but that doesn’t mean a day won’t come when you accidentally walk off the edge of a cliff.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
Own nothing! Possess nothing! Buddha and Christ taught us this, and the Stoics and the Cynics. Greedy though we are, why can't we seem to grasp that simple teaching? Can't we understand that with property we destroy our soul? So let the herring keep warm in your pocket until you get to the transit prison rather than beg for something to drink here. And did they give us a two-day supply of bread and sugar? In that case, eat it in one sitting. Then no one will steal it from you, and you won't have to worry about it. And you'll be free as a bird in heaven! Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday. Look around you-there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heartout because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear. Thin strands of human lives stretch from island to island of the Archipelago. They intertwine, touch one another for one night only in just such a clickety-clacking half-dark car as this and then separate once and for all. Put your ear to their quiet humming and the steady clickety-clack beneath the car. After all, it is the spinning wheel of life that is clicking and clacking away there. What strange stories you can hear! What things you will laugh at!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known---cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honored of them all--- And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end. To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains; but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. This is my son, my own Telemachus, To whom I leave the scepter and the isle--- Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill This labor, by slow prudence to make mild A rugged people, and through soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me--- That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads---you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are--- One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson
Second hand books had so much life in them. They'd lived, sometimes in many homes, or maybe just one. They'd been on airplanes, traveled to sunny beaches, or crowded into a backpack and taken high up a mountain where the air thinned. "Some had been held aloft tepid rose-scented baths, and thickened and warped with moisture. Others had child-like scrawls on the acknowledgement page, little fingers looking for a blank space to leave their mark. Then there were the pristine novels, ones that had been read carefully, bookmarks used, almost like their owner barely pried the pages open so loathe were they to damage their treasure. I loved them all. And I found it hard to part with them. Though years of book selling had steeled me. I had to let them go, and each time made a fervent wish they'd be read well, and often. Missy, my best friend, said I was completely cuckoo, and that I spent too much time alone in my shadowy shop, because I believed my books communicated with me. A soft sigh here, as they stretched their bindings when dawn broke, or a hum, as they anticipated a customer hovering close who might run a hand along their cover, tempting them to flutter their pages hello. Books were fussy when it came to their owners, and gave off a type of sound, an almost imperceptible whirr, when the right person was near. Most people weren't aware that books chose us, at the time when we needed them.
Rebecca Raisin (The Little Bookshop on the Seine (The Little Paris Collection, #1; The Bookshop, #2))
Ruby?” His hair was pale silver in this light, curled and tangled in its usual way. I couldn’t hide from him. I had never been able to. “Mike came and got me,” he said, taking a careful step toward me. His hands were out in front of him, as if trying to coax a wild animal into letting him approach. “What are you doing out here? What’s going on?” “Please just go,” I begged. “I need to be alone.” He kept coming straight at me. “Please,” I shouted, “go away!” “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Liam said. He got a better look at me and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Where were you this morning? Did something happen? Chubs told me you’ve been gone all day, and now you’re out here like…this…did he do something to you?” I looked away. “Nothing I didn’t ask for.” Liam’s only response was to move back a few paces back. Giving me space. “I don’t believe you for a second,” he said, calmly. “Not one damn second. If you want to get rid of me, you’re going to have to try harder than that.” “I don’t want you here.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I’m leaving you here alone. You can take all the time you want, as long as you need, but you and me? We’re having this out tonight. Right now.” Liam pulled his black sweater over his head and threw it toward me. “Put it on, or you’ll catch a cold.” I caught it with one hand and pressed it to my chest. It was still warm. He began to pace, his hands on his hips. “Is it me? Is it that you can’t talk to me about it? Do you want me to get Chubs?” I couldn’t bring myself to answer. “Ruby, you’re scaring the hell out of me.” “Good.” I balled up his sweater and threw it into the darkness as hard as I could. He blew out a shaky sigh, bracing a hand against the nearest tree. “Good? What’s good about it?” I hadn’t really understood what Clancy had been trying to tell me that night, not until right then, when Liam looked up and his eyes met mine. The trickle of blood in my ears turned into a roar. I squeezed my eyes shut, digging the heels of my palms against my forehead. “I can’t do this anymore,” I cried. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?” “Because you would never leave me.” His feet shuffled through the underbrush as he took a few steps closer. The air around me heated, taking on a charge I recognized. I gritted my teeth, furious with him for coming so close when he knew I couldn’t handle it. When he knew I could hurt him. His hands came up to pull mine away from my face, but I wasn’t about to let him be gentle. I shoved him back, throwing my full weight into it. Liam stumbled. “Ruby—” I pushed him again and again, harder each time, because it was the only way I could tell him what I was desperate to say. I saw bursts of his glossy memories. I saw all of his brilliant dreams. It wasn’t until I knocked his back into a tree that I realized I was crying. Up this close, I saw a new cut under his left eye and the bruise forming around it. Liam’s lips parted. His hands were no longer out in front of him, but hovering over my hips. “Ruby…” I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
My Dearest, Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny. I was wrong, so wrong, to ignore what was obvious, and I beg your forgiveness. Like a cautious traveler, I tried to protect myself from the wind and lost my soul instead. I was a fool to ignore my destiny, but even fools have feelings, and I’ve come to realize that you are the most important thing that I have in this world. I know I am not perfect. I’ve made more mistakes in the past few months than some make in a lifetime. I was wrong to deny what was obvious in my heart: that I can’t go on without you. You were right about everything. I tried to deny the things you were saying, even though I knew they were true. Like one who gazes only backward on a trip across the country, I ignored what lay ahead. I missed the beauty of a coming sunrise, the wonder of anticipation that makes life worthwhile. It was wrong of me to do that, a product of my confusion, and I wish I had come to understand that sooner. Now, though, with my gaze fixed toward the future, I see your face and hear your voice, certain that this is the path I must follow. It is my deepest wish that you give me one more chance. For the first few days after you left, I wanted to believe that I could go on as I always had. But I couldn’t. I knew in my heart that my life would never be the same again. I wanted you back, more than I imagined possible, yet whenever I conjured you up, I kept hearing your words in our last conversation. No matter how much I loved you, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible unless we—both of us—were sure I would devote myself fully to the path that lay ahead. I continued to be troubled by these thoughts until late last night when the answer finally came to me. Oh, I am sorry, so very sorry, that I ever hurt you. Maybe I’m too late now. I don’t know. I love you and always will. I am tired of being alone. I see children crying and laughing as they play in the sand, and I realize I want to have children with you. I am sick and sad without you. As I sit here in the kitchen, I am praying that you will let me come back to you, this time forever.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Forever, Tom thought. Maybe he’d never go back to the States. It was not so much Europe itself as the evenings he had spent alone, here and in Rome, that made him feel that way. Evenings by himself simply looking at maps, or lying around on sofas thumbing through guidebooks. Evenings looking at his clothes - his clothes and Dickie’s - and feeling Dickie’s rings between his palms, and running his fingers over the antelope suitcase he had bought at Gucci’s. He had polished the suitcase with a special English leather dressing, not that it needed polishing because he took such good care of it, but for its protection. He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take money, masses of money, it took a certain security. He had been on the road to it, even with Marc Priminger. He had appreciated Marc’s possessions, and they were what had attracted him to the house, but they were not his own, and it had been impossible to make a beginning at acquiring anything of his own on forty dollars a week. It would have taken him the best years of his life, even if he had economised stringently, to buy the things he wanted. Dickie’s money had given him only an added momentum on the road he had been travelling. The money gave him the leisure to see Greece, to collect Etruscan pottery if he wanted (he had recently read an interesting book on that subject by an American living in Rome), to join art societies if he cared to and to donate to their work. It gave him the leisure, for instance, to read his Malraux tonight as late as he pleased, because he did not have to go to a job in the morning. He had just bought a two-volume edition of Malraux’s Psychologic de I’art which he was now reading, with great pleasure, in French with the aid of a dictionary.
Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1))
I skipped between the dancers, twirling my skirts. The seated, masked musicians didn’t look up at me as I leaped before them, dancing in place. No chains, no boundaries—just me and the music, dancing and dancing. I wasn’t faerie, but I was a part of this earth, and the earth was a part of me, and I would be content to dance upon it for the rest of my life. One of the musicians looked up from his fiddling, and I halted. Sweat gleamed on the strong column of his neck as he rested his chin upon the dark wood of the fiddle. He’d rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, revealing the cords of muscle along his forearms. He had once mentioned that he would have liked to be a traveling minstrel if not a warrior or a High Lord—now, hearing him play, I knew he could have made a fortune from it. “I’m sorry, Tam,” Lucien panted, appearing from nowhere. “I left her alone for a little at one of the food tables, and when I caught up to her, she was drinking the wine, and—” Tamlin didn’t pause in his playing. His golden hair damp with sweat, he looked marvelously handsome—even though I couldn’t see most of his face. He gave me a feral smile as I began to dance in place before him. “I’ll look after her,” Tamlin murmured above the music, and I glowed, my dancing becoming faster. “Go enjoy yourself.” Lucien fled. I shouted over the music, “I don’t need a keeper!” I wanted to spin and spin and spin. “No, you don’t,” Tamlin said, never once stumbling over his playing. How his bow did dance upon the strings, his fingers sturdy and strong, no signs of those claws that I had come to stop fearing … “Dance, Feyre,” he whispered. So I did. I was loosened, a top whirling around and around, and I didn’t know who I danced with or what they looked like, only that I had become the music and the fire and the night, and there was nothing that could slow me down. Through it all, Tamlin and his musicians played such joyous music that I didn’t think the world could contain it all. I sashayed over to him, my faerie lord, my protector and warrior, my friend, and danced before him. He grinned at me, and I didn’t break my dancing as he rose from his seat and knelt before me in the grass, offering up a solo on his fiddle to me.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Part of what kept him standing in the restive group of men awaiting authorization to enter the airport was a kind of paralysis that resulted from Sylvanshine’s reflecting on the logistics of getting to the Peoria 047 REC—the issue of whether the REC sent a van for transfers or whether Sylvanshine would have to take a cab from the little airport had not been conclusively resolved—and then how to arrive and check in and where to store his three bags while he checked in and filled out his arrival and Post-code payroll and withholding forms and orientational materials then somehow get directions and proceed to the apartment that Systems had rented for him at government rates and get there in time to find someplace to eat that was either in walking distance or would require getting another cab—except the telephone in the alleged apartment wasn’t connected yet and he considered the prospects of being able to hail a cab from outside an apartment complex were at best iffy, and if he told the original cab he’d taken to the apartment to wait for him, there would be difficulties because how exactly would he reassure the cabbie that he really was coming right back out after dropping his bags and doing a quick spot check of the apartment’s condition and suitability instead of it being a ruse designed to defraud the driver of his fare, Sylvanshine ducking out the back of the Angler’s Cove apartment complex or even conceivably barricading himself in the apartment and not responding to the driver’s knock, or his ring if the apartment had a doorbell, which his and Reynolds’s current apartment in Martinsburg most assuredly did not, or the driver’s queries/threats through the apartment door, a scam that resided in Claude Sylvanshine’s awareness only because a number of independent Philadelphia commercial carriage operators had proposed heavy Schedule C losses under the proviso ‘Losses Through Theft of Service’ and detailed this type of scam as prevalent on the poorly typed or sometimes even handwritten attachments required to explain unusual or specific C-deductions like this, whereas were Sylvanshine to pay the fare and the tip and perhaps even a certain amount in advance on account so as to help assure the driver of his honorable intentions re the second leg of the sojourn there was no tangible guarantee that the average taxi driver—a cynical and ethically marginal species, hustlers, as even their smudged returns’ very low tip-income-vs.-number-of-fares-in-an-average-shift ratios in Philly had indicated—wouldn’t simply speed away with Sylvanshine’s money, creating enormous hassles in terms of filling out the internal forms for getting a percentage of his travel per diem reimbursed and also leaving Sylvanshine alone, famished (he was unable to eat before travel), phoneless, devoid of Reynolds’s counsel and logistical savvy in the sterile new unfurnished apartment, his stomach roiling in on itself in such a way that it would be all Sylvanshine could do to unpack in any kind of half-organized fashion and get to sleep on the nylon travel pallet on the unfinished floor in the possible presence of exotic Midwest bugs, to say nothing of putting in the hour of CPA exam review he’d promised himself this morning when he’d overslept slightly and then encountered last-minute packing problems that had canceled out the firmly scheduled hour of morning CPA review before one of the unmarked Systems vans arrived to take him and his bags out through Harpers Ferry and Ball’s Bluff to the airport, to say even less about any kind of systematic organization and mastery of the voluminous Post, Duty, Personnel, and Systems Protocols materials he should be receiving promptly after check-in and forms processing at the Post, which any reasonable Personnel Director would expect a new examiner to have thoroughly internalized before reporting for the first actual day interacting with REC examiners, and which there was no way in any real world that Sylvanshine could expect
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)