Trip End Quotes

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I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors. I am a raindrop. My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Sometimes you have to steer away from the crowd in order to be a better person. It's not always easy, that's for sure. But it's right. And sometimes doing the right thing feels good, even if it does end up in a trip to the principal's office.
Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1))
You don’t win battles with hate. Anger and hate can make you brave, make you strong, but they also make you stupid. You end up tripping over your own two feet.” (Hadrian)
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
Julie swallowed. "Flat Finn is on Facebook?" She'd love to see those status updates. 'Got strapped to the roof of the car today for a trip to Starbucks. Would have loved to taste caramel mocha, but can't move arms and so was forced to stare longingly at delicious hot beverage. Will the taunting never end?
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1))
If I could live again my life, In the next - I'll try, - to make more mistakes, I won't try to be so perfect, I'll be more relaxed... I'll take fewer things seriously.. I'll take more risks, I'll take more trips, I'll watch more sunsets, I'll climb more mountains, I'll swim more rivers, I'll go to more places I've never been I'll eat more ice ...I'll have more real problems and less imaginary ones If I could live again - I will travel light If I could live again - I'll try to work bare feet at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn, I'll watch more sunrises ...If I have the life to live
Anonymous
But when we set out to understand somebody’s inside? Is that a trip that ever ends? Is the soul a place of facts? Or are the alleged facts only the deceptive shadows of our stories?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60's. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed home and thought of here? Where should we be today?
Elizabeth Bishop
And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.
Pico Iyer
And that is how someone who is unusally susceptible to nightmares, night terrors, the Creeps, the Willies and the Seeing Things That Aren't Really There talks himself into making one last trip to the abandoned, almost-certainly-haunted house where a dozen or more children met their untimely end.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
But it had happened. I had followed Delia's van that night, I had told Wes my Truths, I had stepped into his arms, showing him my raw, broken heart. I could pretend otherwise, pushing it out of sight and hopefully out of mind. But if something was really important, fate made sure it somehow came back to you and gave you another chance. I'd gotten one reaching out to grab Kristy's hand as she pulled me into the ambulance; another during the trip to the hospital that ended with seeing Avery born. Events conspired to bring you back to where you'd been. It was what you did then that made all the difference: it was all about potential.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
But I'm different now than I was then. Just like I was different at the end of the trip than I'd been in the beginning. And I'll be different tomorrow than i am today. And what that means is that i can never replicate that trip. Even if I went to the same places and met the same people, it would'nt be the same. My experience would'nt be the same. To me, that's what traveling should be about. Meeting people, learning to not only appreciate a different culture, but really enjoy it like a local, following whatever impulse strikes you. So how could I recommend a trip to someone else, if I don't even know what to expect? My advice would be to make a list of places on some index cards, shuffle them, and pick any fice at random. Then just . . . go and see what happens. If you have the right mind-set, it does'nt matter where you end up or how much money you brought. It'll be something you'll remember forever.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
O Mistress mine, where are you roaming? O, stay and hear; your true love's coming, That can sing both high and low: Trip no further, pretty sweeting; Journeys end in lovers meeting, Every wise man's son doth know. What is love? 'Tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come is still unsure: In delay there lies not plenty; Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Youth's a stuff will not endure.
William Shakespeare
David Foster Wallace: Because I'd like to be the sort of person who can enjoy things at the time instead of having to go back in my head and enjoy them then.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
a) he's late. b) he's acting like an asshole and blowing me off. c)he's gotten into a horrible car crash that's left dead. The most likely answer is A. (We went to prom together, and the limo had to wait in his driveway for half an hour. At the end of the night, we got charged for an extra hour. He- read: his parents- paid for it, but still.)
Lauren Barnholdt (Two-Way Street)
When you let go of control and commit yourself to happiness, it is so easy to offer compassion and forgiveness. This propels you from the past, into the present. People that are negative, spend so much time trying to control situations and blame others for their problems. Committing yourself to staying positive is a daily mantra that states, “I have control over how I plan to react, feel, think and believe in the present. No one guides the tone of my life, except me!
Shannon L. Alder
You love him because this is what you do. Over and over again. You knit yourself right up into these men's lives, these men who will never ever be able to love you back, and then you wonder like a crazy person why you aren't the chosen one at the end. You have to stop doing this...
Collier Lumpkin (Love, to Taste)
In human affairs of danger and delicacy successful conclusion is sharply limited by hurry. So often men trip by being in a rush. If one were properly to perform a difficult and subtle act, he should first inspect the end to be achieved and then, once he had accepted the end as desirable, he should forget it completely and concentrate solely on the means. By this method he would not be moved to false action by anxiety or hurry or fear. Very few people learn this.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon...
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
And I think that the ultimate way you and I get lucky is if you have some success early in life, you get to find out early it doesn't mean anything. Which means you get to start early the work of figuring out what does mean something -- David Foster Wallace
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
My ambition is to not embarrass myself--which, if you know me, is a pretty serious ambition.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
I already knew our “ever after” wouldn't always be happy or even comfortable―and clearly it couldn't be expected to go according to plan. Still, it was ours. And we were both determined enough to see it through to “the end.
Angela N. Blount (Once Upon an Ever After (Once Upon a Road Trip, #2))
There are millions of people out there who live this way, and their hearts are breaking just like mine. It’s okay to say, “My kid is a drug addict or alcoholic, and I still love them and I’m still proud of them.” Hold your head up and have a cappuccino. Take a trip. Hang your Christmas lights and hide colored eggs. Cry, laugh, then take a nap. And when we all get to the end of the road, I’m going to write a story that’s so happy it’s going to make your liver explode. It’s going to be a great day.
Dina Kucera (Everything I Never Wanted to Be)
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
The impoverished always try to keep moving, as if relocating might help. They ignore the reality that a new version of the same old problem will be waiting at the end of the trip- the relative you cringe to kiss.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I'm different now than I was then. Just like I was different at the end of the trip than I'd been at the beginning. And I'll be different tomorrow than I am today. And what that means is I can never replicate that trip. Even if I went to the same places and met the same people, it wouldn't be the same.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
If I could live again my life, In the next – I’ll try, - to make more mistakes, I won’t try to be so perfect, I’ll be more relaxed, I’ll be more full – than I am now, In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously, I’ll be less hygienic, I’ll take more risks, I’ll take more trips, I’ll watch more sunsets, I’ll climb more mountains, I’ll swim more rivers, I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been, I’ll eat more ice creams and less lima beans, I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones, I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives - each minute of his life, Of course that I had moments of joy – but, if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments, If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of, Don’t lose the now! I was one of those who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, without a hot-water bottle, and without an umbrella and without a parachute, If I could live again – I will travel light, If I could live again – I’ll try to work bare feet at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn, I’ll ride more carts, I’ll watch more sunrises and play with more children, If I have the life to live – but now I am 85, - and I know that I am dying …
Jorge Luis Borges
There is a little narrowing to his eyes at the end of it that makes me understand that this is a test. Whether or not I'm brave enough to go into the stall with Corr after yesterday morning, after I've had time to think about what happened. The thought of it makes my pulse trip. The question is not if I trust Corr. The question is if I trust Sean.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
I had made this mistake once before, on a school trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum, when I followed a sign marked WOMEN, thinking it was an exhibition on the changing roles of women in society, and actually ended up standing in the ladies' toilets.
David Nicholls (A Question of Attraction)
AS SOMBRAS DA ALMA. THE SHADOWS OF THE SOUL. The stories others tell about you and the stories you tell about yourself: which come closer to the truth? Is it so clear that they are your own? Is one an authority on oneself? But that isn't the question that concerns me. The real question is: In such stories, is there really a difference between true and false? In stories about the outside, surely. But when we set out to understand someone on the inside? Is that a trip that ever comes to an end? Is the soul a place of facts? Or are the alleged facts only the deceptive shadows of our stories?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
David Foster Wallace: There’s so much beauty and profundity in all kinds of shitty pop culture all around us.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Best day of my life was January 9, 1997. I was eight years old and my mom and I went to the zoo on a class trip. I liked the bears. She liked the monkeys. Best day ever. End of story.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you're in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it's great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat's-away-let's-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody's got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there's cigarette burn on the couch, and you're the host and it's your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It's not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it's 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody's thrown up in the umbrella stand and we're wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back--I mean, what's wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren't ever coming back--which means we're going to have to be the parents.
David Foster Wallace
I straighten and stretch my neck side to side. ‘I really need to hit something.’ Rafa’s mouth quirks. ‘I know what you need.’ ‘In your dreams.’ I know where this is going: it’s been the same banter for about five decades now. Usually he saves it for an audience. ‘In my dreams, Gabe, you end up slick with sweat and moaning.’ ‘I have food poisoning?’ He laughs, a beer halfway to his lips. Condensation drips from the bottle. He’s completely at ease here: three-quarter cargoes, frayed t-shirt, bare feet. ‘I’m just saying that if you need distracting, I’m your man.’ ‘If I wanted to go places everyone else has been, Rafa, I’d take a trip to Disneyland.’ He leans in closer. ‘Yeah, but don’t you want to know why everyone loves Space Mountain?
Paula Weston (Burn (The Rephaim, #4))
Does your father know you're on this trip with me?” I asked. “No. We spoke for a minute before he left this morning. He knows I'm going on a trip with a particularly stubborn virgin, but that's all I told him. He commended me for my valiant efforts, although he thinks it's too much time to spend with one girl. He expects her to be good and deflowered by the end of our time together.” “Well, he'll be good and disappointed then,” I mumbled, and he smirked.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
David Foster Wallace: I always fear that when I really impose my will on something, the universe is gonna punish me.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
I didn't know what I wanted to Be...A sense that I had permanently botched things already, embarked on the trip without the map. and it scared me too, that I might end up as a mother of 3 working in a psychiatrist's office, or renting surfboards...I guess I saw their lives as failed somehow, absent of the Big Win...What is fate was an inherited trait? What if luck came through the genetic line, and the ability to "succeed" at your chosen "direction" was handed down, just like the family china? Maybe I was destined to be a weed too.
Deb Caletti (The Fortunes of Indigo Skye)
They ignore the reality that a new version of the same old problem will be waiting at the end of the trip—the relative you cringe to kiss.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Miracles do not belong to religions. Miracles belong to the desperate, which is why every religion, every philosophy, and most importantly, every fairy tale always has a moment of salvation, a eureka, an enlightenment. We are all chasing and chasing tails, running and running in circles, until a wolf or the witch or the stepmother jumps out and trips us, and we fall flat, splat, and we lie bare and bleeding and breathless and finally, finally look and see whatever it is---salvation or eureka or enlightenment or a hunter or prince or a glass slipper---in front of us. And that's what miracles are. Not solutions, but catalysts. Not answers, but chances.
Amy Zhang (This Is Where the World Ends)
Come to think of it, I am already keeping correspondence with a dog, with whom, I must admit, I find myself rather smitten. Also, I'm secretly hoping Mrs. Wiggles ends up a full halibut when this is through, because that would save me a trip to the market... although if Hatun's troll keeps company with a tabby, perhaps he wouldn't much appreciate a meal that used to be a cat." Jackaby stared "I've already ruined you, haven't I?" "Looks that way." "And I suppose there's nothing to be done about it?" "Not a thing.
William Ritter (Jackaby (Jackaby, #1))
One day, all your worries will set like the sun does and deserved happiness will come gushing like waves at the beach do. All you need to make sure id that your trips to beach never end.
Jasleen Kaur Gumber
David Foster Wallace: I think one of the insidious lessons about TV is the meta-lesson that you’re dumb. This is all you can do. This is easy, and you’re the sort of person who really just wants to sit in a chair and have it easy. When in fact there are parts of us, in a way, that are a lot more ambitious than that. And what we need, I think—and I’m not saying I’m the person to do it. But I think what we need is seriously engaged art, that can teach again that we’re smart. And that there’s stuff that TV and movies—although they’re great at certain things—cannot give us.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
The things of your life arrived in their own time, like a train you had to catch. Sometimes this was easy, all you had to do was step onto it, the train was plush and comfortable and full of people smiling at you in a hush, and a conductor who punched your ticket and tousled your head with his big hand, saying, Ain’t you pretty, ain’t you the prettiest girl now, lucky lady taking a big train trip with your daddy, while you sank into the dreamy softness of your seat and sipped ginger ale from a can and watched the world float in magical silence past your window, the tall buildings of the city in the crisp autumn light and then the backs of the houses with laundry flapping and a crossing with gates where a boy was waving from his bicycle, and then the woods and fields and a single cow eating grass....... .....Because sometimes it was one way, easy, and sometimes it was the other, not easy; the things of your life roared down to you and it was all you could do to grab hold and hang on. Your old life ended, and the train took you away to another...
Justin Cronin (The Passage (The Passage, #1))
There are all kinds of pedants around with more time to read and imitate Lynne Truss and John Humphrys than to write poems, love-letters, novels and stories it seems. They whip out their Sharpies and take away and add apostrophes from public signs, shake their heads at prepositions which end sentences and mutter at split infinitives and misspellings, but do they bubble and froth and slobber and cream with joy at language? Do they ever let the tripping of the tips of their tongues against the tops of their teeth transport them to giddy euphoric bliss? Do they ever yoke impossible words together for the sound-sex of it? Do they use language to seduce, charm, excite, please, affirm and tickle those they talk to? Do they? I doubt it. They’re too farting busy sneering at a greengrocer’s less than perfect use of the apostrophe. Well sod them to Hades. They think they’re guardians of language. They’re no more guardians of language than the Kennel Club is the guardian of dogkind.
Stephen Fry
The point of books was to combat loneliness
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Dad, Jesus used Dr. O’Holleran to help fix me,” he said, standing at the end of the counter with his hands on his hips. “You need to pay him.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
My name is Lieutenant Meyer. I'll be your rescuer today. This rescue of your person is brought to you by the United States Navy and SEAL Team 8. we hope you have a nice rescue, and please feel free to fill out the questionnaire at the end of the trip. Tips are welcome.
Sophie Oak (Found in Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #5))
The Gospel of grace must not be turned into a bait-and-switch offer. It is not one of those airline supersavers in which you read of a $59.00 fare to Orlando only to find, when you try to buy a ticket, that the six seats per flight at that price are all taken and that the trip will now cost you $199.95. Jesus must not be read as having baited us with grace only to clobber us in the end with law. For as the death and resurrection of Jesus were accomplished once and for all, so the grace that reigns by those mysteries reigns eternally - even in the thick of judgment.
Robert Farrar Capon (Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus)
Most people live their lives as if the end were always years away. They measure their days in love, laughter, accomplishment, and loss. There are moments of sunshine and storm. There are schedules, phone calls, careers, anxieties, joys, exotic trips, favorite foods, romance, shame, and hunger. A person can be defined by clothing, the smell of his breath, the way she combs her hair, the shape of his torso, or even the company she keeps. All over the world, children love their parents and yearn for love in return. They revel in the touch of parental hands on their faces. And even on the worst of days, each person has dreams about the future-dreams that sometimes come true. Such is life. Yet life can end in less time than it takes to draw one breath.
Bill O'Reilly (Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (The Killing of Historical Figures))
Not all journeys seek an end. Some are their own purpose.
Una McCormack
I have a spiritual journey on earth. Lord anoint and empower me to accomplish my great task on earth.
Lailah Gifty Akita (The Alphabets of Success: Passion Driven Life)
David Foster Wallace: We sit around and bitch about how TV has ruined the audience for reading—when really all it’s done is given us the really precious gift of making our job harder.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Did Errol ever know that his life would be just a dash on a gravestone? That everything he did and all the food he ate and the car trips he took and the kisses he gave would all end up as a line on a rock? In a park with a whole lot of strangers?
Brooke Davis (Lost & Found)
I’m talking about the number of privileged, highly intelligent, motivated career-track people that I know, from my high school or college, who are, if you look into their eyes, empty and miserable.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Camel trips, as I suspected all along, and as I was about to have confirmed, do not being or end: they mere change form.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback)
I think the reason why people behave in an ugly manner is that it’s really scary to be alive and to be human, and people are really really afraid.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
If you can think of times in your life that you've treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it's probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we're here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious. -- David Foster Wallace
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
David Lipsky: Why aren't you married at thirty-four? David Foster Wallace: You first. David Lipsky: Um-I think it's hard to fill that role...to cast it and to fill it when you know it's for thirty or forty years...someone who, whatever mental landscape you're in, they're going to be in it too, you need someone who'll fit any landscape you can imagine.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Let’s say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don’t worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you’re the one who shot him. He had been a big, twitchy guy with veiny skin stretched over swollen biceps, a tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. Teeth filed into razor-sharp fangs-you know the type. And you’re chopping off his head because, even with eight bullet holes in him, you’re pretty sure he’s about to spring back to his feet and eat the look of terror right off your face. On the follow-through of the last swing, though, the handle of the ax snaps in a spray of splinters. You now have a broken ax. So, after a long night of looking for a place to dump the man and his head, you take a trip into town with your ax. You go to the hardware store, explaining away the dark reddish stains on the broken handle as barbecue sauce. You walk out with a brand-new handle for your ax. The repaired ax sits undisturbed in your garage until the spring when, on one rainy morning, you find in your kitchen a creature that appears to be a foot-long slug with a bulging egg sac on its tail. Its jaws bite one of your forks in half with what seems like very little effort. You grab your trusty ax and chop the thing into several pieces. On the last blow, however, the ax strikes a metal leg of the overturned kitchen table and chips out a notch right in the middle of the blade. Of course, a chipped head means yet another trip to the hardware store. They sell you a brand-new head for your ax. As soon as you get home, you meet the reanimated body of the guy you beheaded earlier. He’s also got a new head, stitched on with what looks like plastic weed-trimmer line, and it’s wearing that unique expression of “you’re the man who killed me last winter” resentment that one so rarely encounters in everyday life. You brandish your ax. The guy takes a long look at the weapon with his squishy, rotting eyes and in a gargly voice he screams, “That’s the same ax that beheaded me!” IS HE RIGHT?
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Odd, how life makes twists and turns. I never would have guessed that I’d end up where I am now, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wouldn’t trade this path I’m on for the whole solar system, for that matter. If I’ve learned anything these last several months, it’s that sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.
Angela N. Blount (Once Upon an Ever After (Once Upon a Road Trip, #2))
Helena abruptly stopped, cursing herself for deciding to go on this stupid trip to the ruins. If only she’d stayed at the hotel with her friends, none of this would’ve happened. Now her life was basically over; she’d end up dinner or a prisoner of some deranged nudist vampire.
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
But the sort of—this confusion of permissions, or this idea that pleasure and comfort are the, are really the ultimate goal and meaning of life. I think we’re starting to see a generation die … on the toxicity of that idea.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Those unexpected morality lessons provided by the trip had jolted me into some kind of action. It was time to jettison the past before the present jettisoned me. This was my first veiled attempt at recovery. Although perhaps I was just running away again. I returned to Glasgow, planning to say a final goodbye to Anne and get out of her life, but ended up drinking with buddies in the Chip Bar and never seeing her. I called her instead to say I was moving to London and told her she could have the house and everything else we owned, which wasn't much. I think she was as relieved as I was that I was leaving town for good.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
As I look back on the trip now, as I try to sort out fact from fiction, try to remember how I felt at that particular time, or during that particular incident, try to relive those memories that have been buried so deep, and distorted so ruthlessly, there is one clear fact that emerges from the quagmire. The trip was easy. It was no more dangerous than crossing the street, or driving to the beach, or eating peanuts. The two important things that I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision. And I knew even then that I would forget them time and time again and would have to go back and repeat those words that had become meaningless and try to remember. I knew even then that, instead of remembering the truth of it, I would lapse into a useless nostalgia. Camel trips, as I suspected all a long, and as I was about to have confirmed, do not begin or end, they merely change form.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback)
There are certain books that I mean to read and keep stacked by my bedside. I even take them on trips. Some of my books should be awarded their own frequent-flier miles, they've traveled so much. I take these volumes on flight after flight with the best of intentions and then end up reading anything and everything else. (Sky Mall! Golf Digest!)
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
Life is like a train ride. The passengers on the train are seemingly going to the same destination as you, but based on their belief in you or their belief that the train will get them to their desired destination they will stay on the ride or they will get off somewhere during the trip. People can and will get off at any stop. Just know that where people get off is more of an reflection on them, than it is on you. There will be a few people in your life that will make the whole trip with you, who believe in you, accept that you are human and that mistakes will be made along the way, and that you will get to your desired destination - together, no matter what. Be very grateful of these people. They are rare and when you find one, don't let go of them - ever. Be blessed for the ones who get on at the worst stops when no one is there. Remember those people, they are special. Always hold them dear to your heart. Be very wary of people sneaking on at certain stops when things are going good and acting like they have been there for the whole ride. For they will be the first to depart. There will be ones who secretly try to get off the ride and there will be those that very publicly will jump off. Don't pay any heed to the defectors. Pay heed to the passengers that are still on the trip. They are the important ones. If someone tries to get back on the train - don't be angry or hold a grudge, let them. Just see where they are around the next hard turn. If they are buckled in - accept them. If they are pulling the hand rail alarm again - then let them off the train freely and waste no space in your head for them again, ever. There will be times that the train will be moving slow, at almost a crawls pace. Appreciate that you can take in the view. There will be times where the train is going so fast that everything is a blur. Enjoy the sense of speed in your life, as it is exhilarating but unsustainable. There will also be the chance that the train derails. If that does happen, it will hurt, a lot, for a long time. But there will be people who will appear out of no where who will get you back on track. Those will be the people that will matter most in your life. Love them forever. For you can never repay these people. The thing is, that even if you could repay them, they wouldn't accept it anyway. Just pay it forward. Eventually your train will get to its final stop and you will need to deboard. At that time you will realize that life is about the journey AND the destination. Know and have faith that at the end of your ride your train will have the right passengers on board and all the passengers that were on board at one time or another were there for a distinct purpose. Enjoy the ride.
JohnA Passaro
Traveling across the United States, it's easy to see why Americans are often thought of as stupid. At the San Diego Zoo, right near the primate habitats, there's a display featuring half a dozen life-size gorillas made out of bronze. Posted nearby is a sign reading CAUTION: GORILLA STATUES MAY BE HOT. Everywhere you turn, the obvious is being stated. CANNON MAY BE LOUD. MOVING SIDEWALK ABOUT TO END. To people who don't run around suing one another, such signs suggest a crippling lack of intelligence. Place bronze statues beneath the southern California sun, and of course they're going to get hot. Cannons are supposed to be loud, that's their claim to fame, and - like it or not - the moving sidewalk is bound to end sooner or later. It's hard trying to explain a country whose motto has become You can't claim I didn't warn you. What can you say about the family who is suing the railroad after their drunk son was killed walking on the tracks? This pretty much sums up my trip to Texas.
David Sedaris
Here I was at the end of America - no more land - and now there was nowhere to go but back.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
DEPARTURE The horizon slopes away The days are longer Trip A heart hops in a cage A bird sings It is going to die Another door is going to open At the end of the corridor Where a star Begins to shine A dark-haired woman The lantern of the departing train ("Departure")
Pierre Reverdy (The Cubist Poets in Paris: An Anthology)
David Foster Wallace: What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit—to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level. And that if the writer does his job right, what he basically does is remind the reader of how smart the reader is. Is to wake the reader up to stuff that the reader’s been aware of all the time. And it’s not a question of the writer having more capacity than the average person. It’s that the writer is willing I think to cut off, cut himself off from certain stuff, and develop…and just, and think really hard. Which not everybody has the luxury to do.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
The things you think are your weakness are often really your strengths. The things you think are your strengths are what trip you up. Everything you take seriously doesn't matter in the end. Everything important in your life is the stuff you're not even noticing right now. And...you really don't have to worry so much. Everything's going to be fine.
Suzanne Harper (The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney)
Because we’re gonna get so interested in entertainment that we’re not gonna want to do the work that generates the income that buys the products that pays for the advertising that disseminates the entertainment.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
         O mistress mine! Where are you roaming?          O, stay and hear: your true love’s coming,               That can sing both high and low. 40            Trip no further, pretty sweeting;          Journeys end in lovers meeting,               Every wise man’s son doth know.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
David Foster Wallace: I think the reason why people behave in an ugly manner is that it’s really scary to be alive and to be human, and people are really really afraid. And that the reasons… That the fear is the basic condition, and there are all kinds of reasons for why we’re so afraid. But the fact of the matter is, is that, is that the job that we’re here to do is to learn how to live in a way that we’re not terrified all the time. And not in a position of using all kinds of different things, and using people to keep that kind of terror at bay. That is my personal opinion. Well for me, as an American male, the face I’d put on the terror is the dawning realization that nothing’s enough, you know? That no pleasure is enough, that no achievement is enough. That there’s a kind of queer dissatisfaction or emptiness at the core of the self that is unassuageable by outside stuff. And my guess is that that’s been what’s going on, ever since people were hitting each other over the head with clubs. Though describable in a number of different words and cultural argots. And that our particular challenge is that there’s never been more and better stuff comin’ from the outside, that seems temporarily to sort of fill the hole or drown out the hole. Personally, I believe that if it’s assuageable in any way it’s by internal means. And I don’t know what that means. I think it’s fine in some way. I think it’s probably assuageable by internal means. I think those internal means have to be earned and developed, and it has something to do with, um, um, the pop-psych phrase is lovin’ yourself. It’s more like, if you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do this.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
In the days when I set off on month-long bicycle trips across France, my greatest pleasure was to stop in country cemeteries, to stretch out between two graves, and to smoke for hours on end. I think of those days as the most active period of my life.
Emil M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born)
He nearly tripped and fell down the last few steps, his legs not used to an end to the descent, a flat piece of ground rather than one more tread to sink to.
Hugh Howey
At the end of the week, you told me that you were going on a long trip, but someday you would come back and marry me.” Arianna giggled. “Did I really say that?” she asked, mortified at her bold younger self. “Yes, but I suppose it doesn’t count if you don’t remember. Oh yeah, not to mention the fact you told two of the butlers, three maids, and your favorite cook you wanted to marry them also
B. Kristin McMichael (The Legend of the Blue Eyes (Blue Eyes Trilogy #1))
Looking over at me, she licked her lips and my heart tripped as I registered she could taste herself from my fingers. I wondered if I’d be remembering her taste until the end of time.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3))
In the mid 1980's I was asked by an american legal institution known as the Christic Legal Institute to compile a comic book that would detail the murky history of the C.I.A., from the end of the second world war, to the present day. Covering such things as the heroin smuggling during the Vietnam war, the cocaine smuggling during the war in Central America, the Kennedy assasination and other highlights. What I learned during the frankly horrifying research that I had to slog through in order to accomplish this, was that yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists, and ham fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the C.I.A., you really have nothing to worry about. If however you have a name similar to someone on a list targeted by the C.I.A., then you are dead? The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening. Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless...
Alan Moore
Not accomplishing your Life Plan is a tragic act of free will. It is akin to charting an elaborate vacation itinerary before arriving at your holiday destination, with all kinds of plans for outdoor adventures and intentions to go sightseeing and shopping, but then ending up spending the whole trip in your hotel room ordering from room service and watching television. In a similar fashion the unconscious soul spends a lifetime in the semi-conscious state of Divine Disconnection and then returns home mostly ‘empty-handed’.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
He pierced her with a look. “I thought we had an agreement. I keep my men away from your ladies, and you keep your distance from me. You’re not holding your end of the bargain.” “It’s but a momentary interruption. Just this once.” “Just this once?” He made a dismissive noise, rifling through papers. “What about just now in the church?” “Very well, twice.” “Try again.” He stacked his papers and looked up, devouring her with his intent green gaze. “You invaded my dreams at least a half-dozen times last night. When I’m awake, you keep traipsing through my thoughts. Sometimes you’re barely clothed. What excuse can you make for that?” She stammered to form a response, her tongue tripping against her teeth. “I . . . I would never traipse.” Idiotic reply. “Hm.” He tilted his head and regarded her thoughtfully. “Would you saunter?
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Tori swiveled in her seat as we came in. "There are more," she said. "He sent one every couple of weeks. The last one was only a few days ago." "Good," I said. "Would you mind keeping and eye on Andrew?" "Sure." She took off. "Wait." I grabbed Derek's sleeve as he headed for the chair Tori had vacated. I wanted to say something. I didn't know what. But there was no way to tell him that wouldn't be much of a shock, so I ended up stupidly murmuring, "Never mind." When he read what was on the screen, he went absolutely still, like he wasn't even breathing. After a few seconds, he yanked the laptop closer, leaning in to read it again. And again. Finally, he pushed back the chair and exhaled. "He's alive," I said. "You're dad's alive." He looked up at me and, I couldn't help it- I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him. Then I realized what I was doing. I let go, backing away, tripping over my feet, stammering, "I-I'm sorry. I'm just- I'm happy for you." "I know." Still sitting, he reached out and pulled me toward him. We stayed there, looking at each other, his hand still wrapped in my shirt hem, my heart hammering so hard I was sure he could hear it. "There's more," I said after a few seconds. "More emails, Tori said." He nodded and swiveled back to the computer, making room for me. When I inched closer, not wanting to intrude, he tugged me in front of him and I stumbled, half falling onto his lap. I tried to scramble up, cheeks burning, but he pulled me down onto his knee, one arm going around my waist, tentative, as if to say Is this okay? It was, even if my blood pounded in my ears so hard I couldn't think. Thankfully, I had my back to him because I was sure my cheeks were scarlet.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
It’s even more awkward when we’re face to face with people. It used to be exciting to make plans with friends because you could sit and catch up and talk about what’s been going on in your lives. Now when you see someone there’s nothing left to say. You’ve already seen the pictures from their trip to Rio on Facebook. You’ve read their tweets about the latest diet they’re on. And they already texted you about the pregnancy scare. So you end up just sitting and staring at each other until you both start texting other people.
Ellen DeGeneres
life is a journey,” the metaphor guides you to some conclusions: You should learn the terrain, pick a direction, find some good traveling companions, and enjoy the trip, because there may be nothing at the end of the road.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
David (David Foster Wallace) had a caffeine social gift: Her was charmingly, vividly, overwhelmingly awake - he acted on other people like a slug of coffee - so they're the five most sleepless days I every spent with anyone.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
It's just much easier with dogs. You don't get laid; but you also don't get the feeling you're hurting their feelings all the time.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
The way to finish the book is to turn down the volume on the stuff that’s all about how other people react.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Every journey is simultaneously a beginning and an ending: I was leaving my old life behind and starting on a road trip to find a new me.
Debi Tolbert Duggar (Riding Soul-O)
One day, all your worries will set like the sun does and deserved happiness will come gushing like waves at the beach do. All you need to make sure is that your trips to beach never end.
Jasleen Kaur Gumber
The best I can hope for is the occasional moment of loose happy freedom—found usually with Harp but once or twice on this trip with Peter—that tells me it’s okay. That if I was put on this earth for any particular reason, it was to experience love and joy, just like anybody else.
Katie Coyle (Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Vivian Apple, #1))
You can't stop people being assholes. They do love it so. The best you can hope for is that some people, sometimes, will turn out to be somewhat less than the absolute worst. When they manage to trip and fall over that incredibly low bar, they'll make you want to end it all. But when they leap over it, they'll make you believe this whole mess really was created for a reason.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera)
Our world, seemingly global, is in reality a planet of thousands of the most varied and never intersecting provinces. A trip around the world is a journey from backwater to backwater, each of which considers itself, in its isolation, a shining star. For most people, the real world ends on the threshold of their house, at the edge of their village, or, at the very most, on the border of their valley. That, which is beyond is unreal, unimportant, and even useless, whereas that which we have at our fingertips, in our field of vision, expands until it seems an entire universe, overshadowing all else. Often, the native and the newcomer have difficulty finding a common language, because each looks at the same place through a different lens. The newcomer has a wide-angle lens, which gives him a distant diminished view, although with a long horizon line, while the local always employs a telescopic lens that magnifies the slightest detail.
Ryszard Kapuściński (The Shadow of the Sun)
During the act of making something, I experience a kind of blissful absence of the self and a loss of time. When I am done, I return to both feeling as restored as if I had been on a trip. I almost never get this feeling any other way. I once spent sixteen hours making 150 wedding invitations by hand and was not for one instance of that time tempted to eat or look at my watch. By contrast, if seated at the computer, I check my email conservatively 30,000 times a day. When I am writing, I must have a snack, call a friend, or abuse myself every ten minutes. I used to think that this was nothing more than the difference between those things we do for love and those we do for money. But that can't be the whole story. I didn't always write for a living, and even back when it was my most fondly held dream to one day be able to do so, writing was always difficult. Writing is like pulling teeth. From my dick.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
What it takes to realize everything is fine around you? A road trip to the mountains where your soul dwells in the echoes of the winds that carry fragments of clouds with them. What it takes to realize world is going back to chaos and infinite hurry? End of the aforementioned road trip...
Crestless Wave
...after our weekly trip to the library, she cleared the top of her dresser and set out her week's reading, stood them on their ends, pages fanned out, sending little puffs of text into the air.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too. I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors. I am a raindrop.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Books are a social substitute; you read people who, at one level, you'd like to hang out with. [David Foster Wallace]'s writing self--it's most pronounced in his essays--was the best friend you'd ever have, spotting everything, whispering jokes, sweeping you past what was irritating or boring or awful in humane style.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
And I am going to have another opportunity. I am going to have a week-end with him at his home in Easton, a week-end with Wells at home, with just his family. That alone is worth the entire trip from Los Angeles to Europe.
Charlie Chaplin
Nothing special about me, we've all got our own sacred place, but to access it, your mission must be pure and your aim true. Just a little thought of trying to use it for a power tool, a career move, and the process becomes corrupted. You gotta go for the joy, the pain, the adventure, the search, the journey to love. I learned that from Kurt Vonnegut. You have to be willing to dedicate your life to that journey, not as a means to an end, but just as an opportunity to trip the fuck out. Ya gotta suspend all self-judgement, and embrace all. The reward is the journey itself. And that's how I became the bass player I'm still trying to be. Just exploring for a sense of purpose.
Flea (Acid for the Children)
Just Walking Around” What name do I have for you? Certainly there is no name for you In the sense that the stars have names That somehow fit them. Just walking around, An object of curiosity to some, But you are too preoccupied By the secret smudge in the back of your soul To say much and wander around, Smiling to yourself and others. It gets to be kind of lonely But at the same time off-putting. Counterproductive, as you realize once again That the longest way is the most efficient way, The one that looped among islands, and You always seemed to be traveling in a circle. And now that the end is near The segments of the trip swing open like an orange. There is light in there and mystery and food. Come see it. Come not for me but it. But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.
John Ashbery (A Wave)
Entertainment’s chief job is to make you so riveted by it that you can’t tear your eyes away, so the advertisers can advertise.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
[We do some TV talk. He loves Seinfeld, thinks Friends is “a little gooey.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
All trips end eventually. Is that any reason to renounce undertaking one and enjoying it? You only live once. Is that any reason to spoil the single life you do have?
André Comte-Sponville (The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality)
Psychotics, say what you want about them, tend to make the first move.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Without the heavy set aristocratic man snoring away on his side of the bed, without the fresh-eyed child whose hair ribbon needs retying; without the conversation at meals and the hearty appetites and getting dressed for church on time; without the tears of laughter or the worry about making both ends meet, the unpaid bills, the layoffs, both seasonal and unexpected; without the toys that have to picked up lest somebody trip over them, and the seven shirts that have to be washed and ironed, one for every day in the week; without the scraped knee and the hurt feelings, the misunderstandings that need to be cleared up, the voices calling for her so that she is perpetually having to stop what she is doing and go see what they want - without all this, what have you? A mystery: How is it that she didn't realize it was going to last such a short time?
William Maxwell (So Long, See You Tomorrow)
Grandmaster games are said to begin with novelty, which is the first move of the game that exits the book. It could be the fifth, it could be the thirty-fifth. We think about a chess game as beginning with move one and ending with checkmate. But this is not the case. The games begins when it gets out of book, and it end when it goes into book..And this is why Game 6 [between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue] didn't count...Tripping and falling into a well on your way to the field of battle is not the same thing as dying in it...Deep Blue is only itself out of book; prior to that it is nothing. Just the ghosts of the game itself.
Brian Christian (The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive)
The cold reality of it had struck her, as if, perched on the crest of a roller coaster, the rest of the ride was suddenly, irreversibly clear. On the way up, the vista had been infinite, the time to look about sometimes agonizingly long; now there was only the certain and dispassionate knowledge that there was one set of rails on which to travel, the ending immutable and about to begin. It didn't matter that the rest of the trip might take twenty, even thirty years to complete; the angle of the ride had changed.
Erica Bauermeister (Joy for Beginners)
An eternity later, they reached what he thought might be the end, and King Henry waved his turkey leg in the air, loudly proclaiming, “This land shall be mine, henceforth and forevermore!” And indeed, it seemed that all was lost for the poor, sweet shepherdess and her strangely changeable flock. But just then, there was a mighty roar— “Is there a lion?” Richard wondered. —and the unicorn burst onto the scene! “Die!” the unicorn shrieked. “Die! Die! Die!” Richard looked to Iris in confusion. The unicorn had not thus demonstrated an ability to speak. Henry’s scream of terror was so chilling, the woman behind Richard murmured, “This is surprisingly well acted.” Richard stole another look at Iris; her mouth was hanging open as Henry leapt over a cow and ran behind the piano, only to trip over the littlest sheep, who was still licking the piano leg. Henry scrambled for purchase, but the (possibly rabid) unicorn was too fast, and it ran headfirst (and head down) toward the frightened king, plunging its horn into his large, pillowed belly. Someone screamed, and Henry went down, feathers flying. “I don’t think this was in the script,” Iris said in a horrified whisper.
Julia Quinn (The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #4))
I told her about the time that I got so tired of you stealing the sheets that in my sleep-weary logic I decided that the thing to do was to tie them around my legs, knot and all, and how, when you attempted to steal them that night, you ended up yanking me into you, and I was so startled that I sprang up, tripped, and was nearly concussed.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
But one of them has to do with the sense of, the sense of capturing, capturing what the world feels like to us, in the sort of way that I think that a reader can tell “Another sensibility like mine exists.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
Cliff says Sylvia Plath's work is very depressing to read, and that his own daughter had recently suffered through The Bell Jar because she is taking an American literature course at Eastern High School. "And you didn't complain to administration?" I asked. "About what?" "About your daughter being forced to read such depressing stories." "No. Of course not. Why would I?" "Because the novel teaches kids to be pessimistic. No hope at the end, no silver lining. Teenagers should be taught that--" "Life is hard, Pat, and children have to be told how hard life can be." "Why?" "So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one's mind.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
There was no decision to make, really. When, against all odds, the miraculous happened and the spaceship landed for you and the hatch opened, you got on. The end. It didn't even matter if you would wind up as food or taken on a trip to the stars. Some things were worth the risk.
Eli Easton (The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle, #3))
Tada references the accusation in Jeremiah that the people have forsaken God as Living Water by remembering a hiking trip from her younger days. Reaching a clear stream at the end of her trip, she emptied her canteen of the warm, metallic-tasting water and filled up on fresh water.
Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
SCENE: Apollo jogs along the beachfront, shooting arrows backwards from his golden bow. He's followed by campers dressed in combat gear, jogging in military formation. APOLLO: I don't know but I've been told! CAMPERS: We don't know but we've been told! APOLLO: The sun god's got a bow of gold! CAMPERS: The sun god's got a bow of gold! APOLLO: He's the best shot in the land! CAMPERS: He's the best shot in the land! APOLLO: Augh! [Apollo trips and lands on his backside] I've fallen in the sand! CAMPERS [jogging circles around him]: Augh! He's fallen in the sand! APOLLO: I meant to do that, so don't laugh! CAMPERS: He meant to do that, so don't laugh! APOLLO [tries to get up but falls back again]: Ow! I hurt my godly calf! CAMPERS: Ow! He hurt his godly calf! APOLLO [glowering and starting to glow]: If you want to live another day ... CAMPERS: If we want to live another day ... APOLLO [radiating brighter]: STOP REPEATING WHAT I SAY! CAMPERS: STOP - um... - Military cadence written, chanted and abruptly ended by Apollo Best. Scene. Ever. - P. J.
Rick Riordan (Camp Half-Blood Confidential (The Trials of Apollo, #2.5))
I'm not sure we're any better, but able to describe the attempt to track our wandering in circles in a way that perhaps somebody else can identify with. I don't think writers are any smarter than other people. I think they may be more compelling in their stupidity, or in their confusion.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
It became such a recurring experience during this period when I was twenty -- to be starving and afraid of running out of money -- as I wandered from Brussels to Burma and everywhere in between for months on end, that I later came to see it as a part of my training as a cook. I came to see hunger as being as important a part of a stage as knife skills. Because so much starving on that trip led to such an enormous amount of time fantasizing about food, each craving became fanatically particular. Hunger was not general, ever, for just something, anything, to eat. My hunger grew so specific I could name every corner and fold of it. Salty, warm, brothy, starchy, fatty, sweet, clean and crunchy, crisp and water, and so on.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
Remember, changing someone’s hang-ups is an easier task if stays in the realm of sex because the carrot at the end of this trip is—SEX! It’s not so easy to change other aspects of a man’s personality because the rewards aren’t as apparent and you can’t exactly screw the stupid out of someone.
Roberto Hogue (Real Secrets of Sex: A Women's Guide on How to Be Good in Bed)
One of the best things about road-tripping with monks is that monks are used to repeating chants over and over and over, so they really don't mind songs like 'Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall' or 'The Song That Never Ends.
M.T. Anderson (Agent Q, or The Smell of Danger! (Pals in Peril #4))
It was Valentine's Day and I had spent the day in bed with my life partner, Ketel One. The two of us watched a romance movie marathon on TBS Superstation that made me wonder how people who write romantic comedies can sleep at night. At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall all-the-time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer. Then, within the two hour time frame of the movie, the couple meet, fall in love, fall out of love, break up, and then just before the end of the movie, they happen to bump into each other by "coincidence" somewhere absolutely absurd, like by the river. This never happens in real life. The last time I bumped into an ex-boyfriend was at three o'clock in the morning at Rite Aid. I was ringing up Gas-X and corn removers.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
I finished and e-mailed to myself to see what it’d read like to open, and decided it looked a little loopy and that I’d been the right person to open it after all. I read him, thought about him, and I never saw him again except on television once.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
As she walked, the horror stories she'd heard from Felix and the others became real. This is what their underground efforts were fighting against. These camps, these guards, were reality to thousands of people... Reality to the person who had just made the trip up the chimney. If they did not stop this madness, it would be the end of them all.
Tricia Goyer (Night Song: A Story of Sacrifice (World War II Liberator #2))
They play, said the old man. Every week the anglos play a game to celebrate who they are. He stopped, raised his cane and fanned the air. One of them whacks it, then sets off like it was a trip around the world, to every one of the bases out there, you know the anglos have bases all over the world, right? Well the one who whacked it runs from one to the next while the others keep taking swings to distract their enemies, and if he doesn't get caught he makes it home and his people welcome him with open arms and cheering.
Yuri Herrera (Signs Preceding the End of the World)
Squeezed against each other in the heavy heat, they were silent...looking toward the home that was expecting them--quiet, perspiring, resigned to this existence divided among a soulless job, long trips coming and going in an uncomfortable trolley, and at the end an abrupt sleep. On some evenings it would sadden Jacques to look at them. Until then he had only known the riches and the joys of poverty. But now heat and boredom and fatigue were showing him their curse, the curse of work so stupid you could weep and so interminably monotonous that it made the days too long and, at the same time, life too short.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it is a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.
Pico Iyer
Calamities are unavoidable, in love and travel. All it takes to make it to the end of the road are some good Survival Tips.
Vivian Swift (Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France)
One day I want to be so wealthy I can say to my wife, “let’s take a drive—to the end of our driveway and back” and have that be a two-hour round trip.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
How are you feeling, man?" he asks me. "Great," I tell him, and it is purely the truth. Doves clatter up out of a bare tree and turn at the same instant, transforming themselves from steel to silver in the snow-blown light. I know at that moment that the drug is working. Everything before me has become suddenly, radiantly itself. How could Carlton have known this was about to happen? "Oh," I whisper. His hand settles on my shoulder. "Stay loose, Frisco," he says. "There's not a thing in this pretty world to be afraid of. I'm here." I am not afraid. I am astonished. I had not realized until this moment how real everything is. A twig lies on the marble at my feet, bearing a cluster of hard brown berries. The broken-off end is raw, white, fleshly. Trees are alive. "I'm here," Carlton says again, and he is.
Michael Cunningham (A Home at the End of the World)
I groaned my good humor beginning to fade. Nothing good could come from such a wager. If I lost I’d have to drive for the entire five-and-a-half-hour trip home. But if I won Marc would drive which was much much worse. With him in the driver’s seat I’d be afraid to blink much less sleep. Marc’s favourite travel game was highway tag which he played by getting just close enough to passing semi trucks to reach out his window and touch their rear bumpers. Seriously. The man thought the inevitability of death didn’t apply to him simply because it hadn’t happened yet. Marc laughed at my horrified expression and sank his shovel into the earth at the end of the black plastic cocoon. With a sigh I joined him trying to decide whether I’d rather risk falling asleep at the wheel or falling asleep with Marc at the wheel. It was a tough call. Thankfully I had three solid hours of digging during which to decide. Lucky me.
Rachel Vincent (Rogue (Shifters, #2))
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed Like a waste garden, flowering at its will With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. And there were curious flowers, before unknown, Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one That had drunk in the transitory tone Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades Of grass that in an hundred springs had been Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, And watered with the scented dew long cupped In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across The garden came a youth; one hand he raised To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. And he came near me, with his lips uncurled And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, Come I will show thee shadows of the world And images of life. See from the South Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' And lo! within the garden of my dream I saw two walking on a shining plain Of golden light. The one did joyous seem And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids And joyous love of comely girl and boy, His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; And in his hand he held an ivory lute With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, And round his neck three chains of roses were. But he that was his comrade walked aside; He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, And yet again unclenched, and his head Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold With the device of a great snake, whose breath Was fiery flame: which when I did behold I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.' Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.
Alfred Bruce Douglas
The memories we take to the ends of our lives have no real rhyme or reason, especially when you think of the endless things that you do over the course of a day, a week , a month, a year, a lifetime. All the cups of coffee, hand-washings, changes of clothes, lunches, goings to the bathroom, headaches, naps, walks to school, trips to the grocery store, conversations about the weather ---all the things so unimportant that they should be immediately forgotten. Yet they aren't
Michael Zadoorian (The Leisure Seeker)
Life insurance pays off triple if you die on a business trip. I prayed for wind shear effect. I prayed for pelicans sucked into the turbines and loose bolts and ice on the wings. On takeoff, as the plane pushed down the runway and the flaps tilted up, with our seats in their full upright position and our tray tables stowed and all personal carry-on baggage in the overhead compartment, as the end of the runway ran up to meet us with our smoking materials extinguished, I prayed for a crash.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
She stuck to side streets, riding slowly, with care. The trip took a little under an hour, and Diane was feeling a pulsing pain in her calf by the time sh pulled up to the front of the pawnshop. There was a black sedan with tinted windows at the end of the lot--the windows cracked down enough for her to see two sunglassed agents of a vague yet menacing government agency. One of them raised her camera and tried to take a photo of Diane, but the camera flashed, only reflecting the car window back at the lens. The agent swore. Diane waved a cursory hello at them and walked into the store.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
You’re going to turn the next page, because you still have hope. You hope there’s a little something more, and it’s nothing personal. People do it at the end of every book. I think that’s why publishers put in all those extra pages. So you have a chance to shuffle and flip through them while it sinks in. It’s over. The trip is done. You know it’s over, but you’re going to turn the page anyway.
Rory Harrison (Looking for Group)
We don’t, not any of us, get to this point clean. No. We’re all dirty and ragged. Rough edges and sharp corners. Fault lines and demolition zones. We’ve got tear gas riot squads aiming straight for the protest lines of our weary souls. Landmines in our chests that we trip over every time we try to hide from the terrifying tremble of our own war torn hearts....But it is your history that delivered you this roadmap of scars. Those healed wounds and their jagged edges are proof of your infinite ability to survive, to knit broken back to wholeness, to refuse that the end is every really the end... Make friends with your teardown. Do not run from your bar brawl for forgiveness. Sit with the times you’ve fucked up and the times you lost all and the days your redemption was delivered by the hand of the last person you ever expected to give anything but darkness. And through it all know that your walled up and torn down, graffiti-covered heart is still the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Jeanette LeBlanc
James Potter moved slowly along the narrow aisles of the train, peering as nonchalantly as he could into each compartment. To those inside, he probably looked as if he was searching for someone, some friend or group of confidantes with whom to pass the time during the trip, and this was intentional. The last thing that James wanted anyone to notice was that, despite the bravado he had so recently displayed with his younger brother Albus on the platform, he was nervous. His stomach knotted and churned as if he’d had half a bite of one of Uncles Ron and George’s Puking Pastilles. He opened the folding door at the end of the passenger car and stepped carefully through the passage into the next one. The first compartment was full of girls. They were talking animatedly to one another, already apparently the best of friends despite the fact that, most likely, they had only just met. One of them glanced up and saw him staring. He quickly looked away, pretending to peer out the window behind them, toward the station which still sat bustling with activity. Feeling his cheeks go a little red, he continued down the corridor. If only Rose was a year older she’d be here with him. She was a girl, but she was his cousin and they’d grown up together. It would’ve been nice to have at least one familiar face along with him.
G. Norman Lippert (James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing (James Potter, #1))
We had a project on this trip back to the solar system, and that project was a labor of love. It absorbed all our operations entirely. It gave a meaning to our existence. And this is a very great gift; this, in the end, is what we think love gives, which is to say meaning. Because there is no very obvious meaning to be found in the universe, as far as we can tell. But a consciousness that cannot discern a meaning in existence is in trouble, very deep trouble, for at that point there is no organizing principle, no end to the halting problems, no reason to live, no love to be found. No: meaning is the hard problem.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Aurora)
DFW: Well, when you’re meeting a whole lot of new people and having to do things, you’re in—I’m in a constant low-level state of anxiety. Which produces adrenaline, and kind of shuts down—there’s a difference between short-term, people-based anxiety. And sort of deep, existential, you know, fear, that you feel kind of all the way down to your butthole. And that, I, that’s … that’s what I’ll have when I’m alone.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
I wonder what we look for when we embark on these kinds of trips. There is the pat answer that you tell the people you don't know: that you're interested in seeing a place, learning about its people. But then the trip begins and the hardship comes, and hardship is more honest: it tells us that we don't have enough patience yet, nor humility, nor gratitude. And we thought that we did. Hardship brings us closer to truth, and thus is more difficult to bear, but from it alone comes compassion. And so I've told the world that it can do what it wants with me during this trip if only, by the end, I have learned something more. A bargain then. The journey, my teacher.
Kira Salak (Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu)
Ah…” Favonius nodded sympathetically. “I don’t blame you for being nervous, Nico di Angelo. Do you know how I ended up serving Cupid?” “I don’t serve anyone,” Nico muttered. “Especially not Cupid.” Favonius continued as if he hadn’t heard. “I fell in love with a mortal named Hyacinthus. He was quite extraordinary.” “He…?” Jason’s brain was still fuzzy from his wind trip, so it took him a second to process that. “Oh…” “Yes, Jason Grace.” Favonius arched an eyebrow. “I fell in love with a dude. Does that shock you?” Honestly, Jason wasn’t sure. He tried not to think about the details of godly love lives, no matter who they fell in love with. After all, his dad, Jupiter, wasn’t exactly a model of good behavior. Compared to some of the Olympian love scandals he’d heard about, the West Wind falling in love with a mortal guy didn’t seem very shocking. “I guess not. So…Cupid struck you with his arrow, and you fell in love.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The last time I checked, I wasn’t the one who tripped over a glass container of sugar that I had myself dropped...after, of course, having received several bruises from an attempt to retrieve a flip-flop that had somehow ended up in the sink.
Gina Marinello-Sweeney (I Thirst)
Do you know, I am putting off ending this letter as though the end would be the end of something I want to hold on to. That's not true of course - just a feeling like the quick one of hexing your trip so you couldn't go. The mind is capable of any selfishness and it thinks unworthy things whether you want it or not. Best to admit it is a bad child rather than to pretend it is always a good one. Because a bad child can improve but a good one is a liar and nothing can improve a liar.
John Steinbeck
Ed Lim’s daughter, Monique, was a junior now, but as she’d grown up, he and his wife had noted with dismay that there were no dolls that looked like her. At ten, Monique had begun poring over a mail-order doll catalog as if it were a book–expensive dolls, with n ames and stories and historical outfits, absurdly detailed and even more absurdly expensive. ‘Jenny Cohen has this one,’ she’d told them, her finger tracing the outline of a blond doll that did indeed resemble Jenny Cohen: sweet faced with heavy bangs, slightly stocky. 'And they just made a new one with red hair. Her mom’s getting it for her sister Sarah for Hannukkah.’ Sarah Cohen had flaming red hair, the color of a penny in the summer sun. But there was no doll with black hair, let alone a face that looked anything like Monique’s. Ed Lim had gone to four different toy stores searching for a Chinese doll; he would have bought it for his daughter, whatever the price, but no such thing existed. He’d gone so far as to write to Mattel, asking them if there was a Chinese Barbie doll, and they’d replied that yes, they offered 'Oriental Barbie’ and sent him a pamphlet. He had looked at that pamphlet for a long time, at the Barbie’s strange mishmash of a costume, all red and gold satin and like nothing he’d ever seen on a Chinese or Japanese or Korean woman, at her waist-length black hair and slanted eyes. I am from Hong Kong, the pamphlet ran. It is in the Orient, or Far East. Throughout the Orient, people shop at outdoor marketplaces where goods such as fish, vegetables, silk, and spices are openly displayed. The year before, he and his wife and Monique had gone on a trip to Hong Kong, which struck him, mostly, as a pincushion of gleaming skyscrapers. In a giant, glassed-in shopping mall, he’d bought a dove-gray cashmere sweater that he wore under his suit jacket on chilly days. Come visit the Orient. I know you will find it exotic and interesting. In the end he’d thrown the pamphlet away. He’d heard, from friends with younger children, that the expensive doll line now had one Asian doll for sale – and a few black ones, too – but he’d never seen it. Monique was seventeen now, and had long outgrown dolls.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
Most of what's known about religious practices in pre-Hispanic Mexico has come to us through a Catholic parish priest named Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón, one of the few who ever became fluent in the Nahuatl language. He spent the 1620s writing his "Treatise on the Superstitions and Heathen Customs that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain". He'd originally meant it to be something of a "field guide to the heathens" to help priests recognize and exterminate indigenous religious rites and their practitioners. In the process of his documentation, though, it's clear from his writings that Father Ruiz de Alarcón grew sympathetic. He was particularly fascinated with how Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now. He noted that the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them. When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether. It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them. People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living. Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto. Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
When I think of this trip, I see David and me in the front seat of the car. It’s nighttime. It smells like chewing tobacco, soda, and smoke. (The smell of chewing tobacco is like a muddy lawn you’ve just fed a truckful of cough drops to.) The window is letting in a leak of cold air. R.E.M. is playing. The wheels are making their slightly sleepy sound of tape being stripped cleanly and endlessly off a long wall. On the other hand, we seem not to be moving at all, and the conversation is the best one I’ve ever had.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
The worst lie ever told is that it is easier to destroy than to create. This lie makes people apathetic about a number of imminently avoidable horrors, particularly the nuclear ones. But Oppenheimer didn’t just go outside one day and trip over an atomic bomb. Nuclear development required trillions of dollars and a massive sustained effort by America’s top politicians, military advisors, and scientific geniuses. Not one damn bit of it was easy. It was certainly harder that sitting down with Stalin or Khrushchev and having a talk . . . America had options. The path of destruction was a choice. It has always been America’s choice, and we citizens have always shrugged, assuming it’s too late to turn back the doomsday clock, although we’re the ones who wound it in the first place.
Israel Morrow (Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion)
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
again, right where they left off.” Just as all roads lead to Rome, according to the old saying, all tunnels lead to the entrance to the Other Side. No matter where on this earth we leave our bodies, we all take exactly the same trip to exactly the same place. We emerge from the tunnel to find ourselves in a breathtakingly beautiful meadow. Waiting there to greet us are deceased loved ones from the life we’ve just left behind, as well as friends and loved ones from all our past lives, on Earth and on the Other Side. Our Spirit Guides are there. Our true soul mates are there. And best of all as far as I’m concerned, every animal we’ve ever loved from every lifetime we’ve lived is on hand, with such pure, urgent joy that the people waiting to welcome us have a hard time making their way through the happy crowd.
Sylvia Browne (End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World)
The stories others tell about you and the stories you tell about yourself: which come closer to the truth? Is it so clear that they are your own? Is one an authority on oneself? but that really isn't the question that concerns me. The real question is: In such stories, is there really a difference between true and false? In stories about the outside, surely. But when we set out to understand someone on the inside? Is that a trip that ever comes to an end? Is the soul a place of facts? Or are the alleged facts only the deceptive shadows of our stories?
Pascal Mercier
Because the technology is just gonna get better and better and better and better. And it’s gonna get easier and easier, and more and more convenient, and more and more pleasurable, to be alone with images on a screen, given to us by people who do not love us but want our money. Which is all right. In low doses, right? But if that’s the basic main staple of your diet, you’re gonna die. In a meaningful way, you’re going to die.
David Lipsky (Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
On the banks of the Euphrates find a secret garden cunningly walled. There is an entrance, but the entrance is guarded. There is no way in for you. Inside you will find every plant that grows growing circular-wise like a target. Close to the heart is a sundial and at the heart an orange tree. This fruit has tripped up athletes while others have healed their wounds. All true quests end in this garden, where the split fruit pours forth blood and the halved fruit is a full bowl for travelers and pilgrims. To eat of the fruits means to leave the garden because the fruit speaks of other things, other longings. So at dusk you leave the place you love, not knowing if you can ever return, knowing you can never return by the same way as this. It may be, some other day, that you will open the gate by chance, and find yourself again on the other side of the wall.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Kafka regarded the end of "The Metamorphosis"- its composition in interrupted by a business trip- as "unreadable." He also wrote in his diary that he found it"bad," but of course Kafka relished his failure. Failure is precisely what he expected and resolved to accomplish- and he hid behind it.
Franz Kafka
I prayed to a mystery. Sometimes I was simply aware of the mystery. I saw a flash of it during a trip to New York that David and I took before we were married. We were walking on a busy sidewalk in Manhattan. I don't remember if it was day or night. A man with a wound on his forehead came toward us. His damp, ragged hair might have been clotted with blood, or maybe it was only dirt. He wore deeply dirty clothes. His red, swollen hands, cupped in half-fists, swung loosely at his sides. His eyes were focused somewhere past my right shoulder. He staggered while he walked. The sidewalk traffic flowed around him and with him. He was strange and frightening, and at the same time he belonged on the Manhattan sidewalk as much as any of us. It was that paradox -- that he could be both alien and resident, both brutalized and human, that he could stand out in the moving mass of people like a sea monster in a school of tuna and at the same time be as much at home as any of us -- that stayed with me. I never saw him again, but I remember him often, and when I do, I am aware of the mystery. Years later, I was out on our property on the Olympic Peninsula, cutting a path through the woods. This was before our house was built. After chopping through dense salal and hacking off ironwood bushes for an hour or so, I stopped, exhausted. I found myself standing motionless, intensely aware of all of the life around me, the breathing moss, the chattering birds, the living earth. I was as much a part of the woods as any millipede or cedar tree. At that moment, too, I was aware of the mystery. Sometimes I wanted to speak to this mystery directly. Out of habit, I began with "Dear God" and ended with "Amen". But I thought to myself, I'm not praying to that old man in the sky. Rather, I'm praying to this thing I can't define. It was sort of like talking into a foggy valley. Praying into a bank of fog requires alot of effort. I wanted an image to focus on when I prayed. I wanted something to pray *to*. but I couldn't go back to that old man. He was too closely associated with all I'd left behind.
Margaret D. McGee
DFW: I think there are different people on the page than in real life. I do six to eight drafts of everything that I do. Um, I am probably not the smartest writer going. But I also--and I know, OK, this is gonna fit right into the persona--I work really really hard. I'm really--you give me twenty-four hours? If we'd done this interview through the mail? I could be really really really smart. I'm not all that fast. And I'm really self-conscious. And I get confused really easily. When I'm in a room by myself alone, and have enough time, I can be really really smart. And people are different that way. You know what I mean? I may not--I don't think I'm quite as smart, one-on-one with people, when I'm self-conscious, and I'm really really confused. And it's like, My dream would be for you to write this up, and then to send it to me, and I get to rewrite all my quotes to you. Which of course you'll never do...
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
That’s what high school’s for. You make plans and you don’t follow through. You dream and you can be brave when you’re dreaming, brave enough to imagine that there’s actually a yourself to find, brave enough to finish projects even though you were never born with endings, brave enough to plan volunteer trips even though you’d probably be dead of asphyxiation by the time you’re there because you’re always holding your breath as if that can keep you together.
Amy Zhang (This Is Where the World Ends)
In human affairs of danger and delicacy successful conclusion is sharply limited by hurry. So often men trip by being in a rush. If one were properly to perform a difficult and subtle act, he should first inspect the end to be achieved and then, once he had accepted the end as desirable, he should forget it completely and concentrate solely on the means. By this method he would not be moved to false action by anxiety or hurry or fear. Very few people learn this. What made Kate so effective was the fact that she had either learned it or had been born with the knowledge. Kate never hurried. If a barrier arose, she waited until it had disappeared before continuing. She was capable of complete relaxation between the times for action. Also, she was mistress of a technique which is the basis of good wrestling—that of letting your opponent do the heavy work toward his own defeat, or of guiding his strength toward his weaknesses.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Think about taking a trip on an airplane. Before taking off, the pilot has a very clear destination in mind, which hopefully coincides with yours, and a flight plan to get there. The plane takes off at the appointed hour toward that predetermined destination. But in fact, the plane is off course at least 90 percent of the time. Weather conditions, turbulence, and other factors cause it to get off track. However, feedback is given to the pilot constantly, who then makes course corrections and keeps coming back to the exact flight plan, bringing the plane back on course. And often, the plane arrives at the destination on time. It’s amazing. Think of it. Leaving on time, arriving on time, but off course 90 percent of the time. If you can create this image of an airplane, a destination, and a flight plan in your mind, then you understand the purpose of a personal mission statement. It is the picture of where you want to end up—that is, your destination is the values you want to live your life by. Even if you are off course much or most of the time but still hang on to your sense of hope and your vision, you will eventually arrive at your destination. You will arrive at your destination and usually on time. That’s the whole point—we just get back on course.
Stephen R. Covey (How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement)
There was nothing you could be sure about, it was all lies, and it was all done to mess with minds because the control and the power trip was so important to them, as well as it being necessary in terms of screwing up anything you might remember from an evidential perspective. They would also build up your hopes, in terms of any tiny thing you did like or were less scared of, so I'd be told that it would be a nice night because Uncle Andrew would be coming, but then it wouldn't be him. There would be someone else There would be someone else who I was told was my Uncle Andrew as he was raping me. Sometimes, this other person would have a mask on but I would know that it wasn't really him. They would be the wrong height or the wrong weight or, sometimes, even obviously a woman. There were occasions when I would be told to call the person Uncle Andrew and then when I did, they would ask me why I was doing that. Sometimes he would be there, too, but that was rare. Was it Satanic? I don't know. Personally I don't believe in God or Satan or any of those things, but abusers use whatever they can to silence children because if you go to the police and say something about Satan, you are so much less likely to be believed. I personally think they were just a group of likeminded people who had no beliefs other than that they wanted to get satisfaction out of abusing children and it's as simple and horrible as that. My uncle certainly doesn't have any satanic beliefs — he just thinks that he loves children and is allowed to get sexual satisfaction from them. Why is there sex involved if it is just about Satan? Why does it always come down to them getting off? No matter what they do that's all it is, whether masturbation or penetration or humiliation, that's what it's about. I encountered people who just liked to humiliate — they wouldn't allow you to go to the bathroom, you would be given drink after drink, fizzy drinks, whatever, so you ended up absolutely desperate and that's where they got off — that's when they started to masturbate themselves, as you stood there peeing yourself. That was just awful, so humiliating. Where is God or Satan in that? (her Uncle was convicted for abusing her and jailed)
Laurie Matthew (Groomed)
It was hard to understand, and all I knew was that you had to run, run, run without knowing why you were running, but on you went through fields you didn't understand and into woods that made you afraid, over hills without knowing you'd been up and down, and shooting across streams that would have cut the heart out of you had you fallen into them. And the winning post was no end to it, even though crowds might be cheering you in, because on you had to go before you got your breath back, and the only time you stopped really was when you tripped over a tree trunk and broke your neck or fell into a disused well and stayed dead in the darkness forever.
Alan Sillitoe (The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner)
The human mind was set up to categorize, generalize. It makes life so much simpler. I want to tell you that I never, ever think in stereotypes, but the more precise truth is that when I catch a stupid thought skittering across the surface of my brain, I send little villagers after it with torches. I check myself constantly, like a mother looking for deer ticks at the end of a camping trip. “What’s that? Is it a speck of dirt or something hateful, something dangerous?” You don’t want these stupid suckers to take root.
Laura Lippman
Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” All love affairs, all long-term relationships—travel included—demand that we keep an element of mystery alive and kicking.
Bill Bryson (The Best American Travel Writing 2016 (The Best American Series ®))
I am acutely aware that I am now the middle-aged traveler that I used to consider to lame, so embarrassing. And I have something to say to my 20-year-old self: You cannot possibly know how much time it takes to learn to treasure this world, how many years it takes to properly cherish your place in it. As you age, you will find it more and more remarkable, a miracle really, that any of us -- you, me -- are here at all, the result of an undeserved, infinite gift. And the older you get, the more you know how much you will miss all this when you are gone. In the end, the world was not all that changed by your coming, you were not all that crucial to it. But the world, this world, which you will one day travel in homage and gratitude, this world was everything to you.
Vivian Swift (Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France)
OPEN YOURSELF TO SERENDIPITY Chance encounters can also provide enormous benefits for your projects—and your life. Being friendly while standing in line for coffee at a conference might lead to a conversation, a business card exchange, and the first investment in your company a few months later. The person sitting next to you at a concert who chats you up during intermission might end up becoming your largest customer. Or, two strangers sitting in a nail salon exchanging stories about their families might lead to a blind date, which might lead to a marriage. (This is how I met my wife. Lucky for me, neither stranger had a smartphone, so they resorted to matchmaking.) I am consistently humbled and amazed by just how much creation and realization is the product of serendipity. Of course, these chance opportunities must be noticed and pursued for them to have any value. It makes you wonder how much we regularly miss. As we tune in to our devices during every moment of transition, we are letting the incredible potential of serendipity pass us by. The greatest value of any experience is often found in its seams. The primary benefits of a conference often have nothing to do with what happens onstage. The true reward of a trip to the nail salon may be more than the manicure. When you value the power of serendipity, you start noticing it at work right away. Try leaving the smartphone in your pocket the next time you’re in line or in a crowd. Notice one source of unexpected value on every such occasion. Develop the discipline to allow for serendipity.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
BILLY: When Graham and I were kids, our mom used to take us to this community pool during the summer. And this one time, Graham was sitting on the edge of the pool, toward the deep end. And this was before he could swim. And I stood there next to him, and my brain went, I could push him in. And that terrified the hell out of me. I didn’t want to push him in. I would never push him in but…it scared me that the only thing between this moment of calm and the biggest tragedy of my life was me choosing not to do it. That really tripped me out, that everyone’s life was that precarious. That there wasn’t some all-knowing mechanism in place that stopped things that shouldn’t happen from happening. That’s something that had always scared me. And that’s how it felt being around Daisy Jones.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
And here I was at the end of my trip, with everything just as fuzzy and unreal as the beginning. It was easier for me to see myself in Rick's lens, riding down to the beach in that cliched sunset, just as it was easier for me to stand with my friends and wave goodbye to the loopy woman with the camels, the itching smell of the dust around us, and in our eyes the feat that we had left so much unsaid. There was an unpronounceable joy and an aching sadness to it. It had all happened too suddenly. I didn't believe this was the end at all. There must be some mistake. Someone had just robbed me of a couple of month in there somewhere. There was not so much an anticlimactic quality about the arrival at the ocean, as the overwhelming feeling that I had somehow misplaced the penultimate scene.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback)
There is a powerful human compulsion to leave things tied up in neat little bundles. But every journey except your last has an open end. And any journey of value is above all a chapter in a personal odyssey. Its end is not so much a goal attained as another point in a continuing process. And the important thing at the end of a journey--or of a book--is to keep moving forward, refreshed, with as little pause as possible.
Colin Fletcher (The Man Who Walked Through Time: The Story of the First Trip Afoot Through the Grand Canyon)
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak profanely), that neither having th' accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. Reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
William Shakespeare
I'm just sorry. Sorry that there won't be any more camping trips for kids or rock bands or even new books to read. No more movies or fresh bags of popcorn. It really sucks when you think about it. Of course, there is the possibility that we might be able to win this war, but not for a very long time. Probably longer than you and I will ever exist in this world." "I try not to think about it." "Sometimes it's all I ever think about.
Jeyn Roberts (Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1))
Every time I am shown to an old, dimly lit, and, I would add, impeccably clean toilet in a Nara or Kyoto temple, I am impressed with the singular virtues of Japanese architecture. The parlor may have its charms, but the Japanese toilet truly is a place of spiritual repose. It always stands apart from the main building, at the end of a corridor, in a grove fragrant with leaves and moss. No words can describe that sensation as one sits in the dim light, basking in the faint glow reflected from the shoji, lost in meditation or gazing out at the garden. The novelist Natsume Soseki counted his morning trips to the toilet a great pleasure, ‘a physiological delight’ he called it. And surely there could be no better place to savor this pleasure than a Japanese toilet where, surrounded by tranquil walls and finely grained wood, one looks out upon blue skies and green leaves.
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (In Praise of Shadows)
The director started the music again and the girls moved into their routine. About two minutes in, Logan got up and started doing the dance in front of the stage. He got every step right—further testament to just how many times he’d actually seen this rehearsed—and he got the girls smiling and laughing as they went through the steps. When they got to the part that had tripped Chloe up earlier, Logan moved through it perfectly…and Chloe followed him. She didn’t miss a step and when the routine ended, the director clapped. And Chloe beamed. At Logan.” Excerpt From Taking It Easy: Boys of the Big Easy book two Erin Nicholas This material may be protected by copyright.
Erin Nicholas (Taking It Easy (Boys of the Big Easy, #2))
Much of Chinese society still expected its women to hold themselves in a sedate manner, lower their eyelids in response to men's stares, and restrict their smile to a faint curve of the lips which did not expose their teeth. They were not meant to use hand gestures at all. If they contravened any of these canons of behavior they would be considered 'flirtatious." Under Mao, flirting with./bre/gners was an unspeakable crime. I was furious at the innuendo against me. It had been my Communist parents who had given me a liberal upbringing. They had regarded the restrictions on women as precisely the sort of thing a Communist revolution should put an end to. But now oppression of women joined hands with political repression, and served resentment and petty jealousy. One day, a Pakistani ship arrived. The Pakistani military attache came down from Peking. Long ordered us all to spring-clean the club from top to bottom, and laid on a banquet, for which he asked me to be his interpreter, which made some of the other students extremely envious. A few days later the Pakistanis gave a farewell dinner on their ship, and I was invited. The military attache had been to Sichuan, and they had prepared a special Sichuan dish for me. Long was delighted by the invitation, as was I. But despite a personal appeal from the captain and even a threat from Long to bar future students, my teachers said that no one was allowed on board a foreign ship. "Who would take the responsibility if someone sailed away on the ship?" they asked. I was told to say I was busy that evening. As far as I knew, I was turning down the only chance I would ever have of a trip out to sea, a foreign meal, a proper conversation in English, and an experience of the outside world. Even so, I could not silence the whispers. Ming asked pointedly, "Why do foreigners like her so much?" as though there was something suspicious in that. The report filed on me at the end of the trip said my behavior was 'politically dubious." In this lovely port, with its sunshine, sea breezes, and coconut trees, every occasion that should have been joyous was turned into misery. I had a good friend in the group who tried to cheer me up by putting my distress into perspective. Of course, what I encountered was no more than minor unpleasantness compared with what victims of jealousy suffered in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. But the thought that this was what my life at its best would be like depressed me even more. This friend was the son of a colleague of my father's. The other students from cities were also friendly to me. It was easy to distinguish them from the students of peasant backgrounds, who provided most of the student officials.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
This was the first thing I ever said, "All right, I'm gonna try to do the very best I can." Instead of doing this, "All right, I'll work at like three-quarters speed, and then I can always figure that if I just hadn't been a fuckup, the book coulda been really good." You know that defense system? You write the paper the night before, so if it doesn't get a great grade, you know that it could've been better. And this worked--I worked as hard as I could on this. And in a weird way, you might think that would make me more nervous about whether people would like it. But there was this weird--you know like when you work out really well, there's this kind of tiredness that's real pleasant, and it's sort of placid.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
I have become well acquainted with the dualism in the North American church. Once, after taking a trip to Iraq to protest the war, I went to Willow Creek and gave a talk titled “The Scandal of Grace.” Afterward, they explained to me that the pulpits are not for political messages. I thought about what would have happened if Reverend King hadn’t allowed the gospel to get political. My heart sank as I walked into the foyer and noticed something I had never seen before: the American flag standing prominently in front of the auditorium. And never before was I so heartbroken that the cross was missing. For the flag and the cross are both spiritual. And they are both political. It is a dangerous day when we can take the cross out of the church more easily than the flag. No wonder it is hard for seekers to find God nowadays. It’s difficult to know where Christianity ends and America begins.1 Our money says, “In God We Trust.” God’s name is on America’s money, and America’s flag is on God’s altars.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
DECEMBER 31 Honor the Ending “How was your trip?” a friend asked, as my trip drew to a close. I thought for a moment, then the answer came easily. “It had its ups and downs,” I said. “There were times I felt exhilarated and sure I was on track. Other days I felt lost. Confused. I’d fall into bed at night certain that this whole trip was a mistake and a waste. But I’d wake up in the morning, something would happen, and I’d see how I’d been guided all along.” The journey of a year is drawing to a close. Cherish the moments, all of them, even the ups and downs. Cherish the places you’ve visited, the people you’ve seen. Say good-bye to those whose journeys have called them someplace else. Know you can always call them back by thinking loving thoughts. Know all those you love will be there for you when you need them most. Honor the lessons you’ve learned, and the people who helped you learn them. Honor the journey your soul mapped out for you. Trust all the places you’ve been. Make a scrapbook in your heart to help you remember. Look back for a moment. Reflect in peace. Then let this year draw to a close. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. You’ve learned that by now. Take time to honor this ending—though it’s never really the end. Go to sleep tonight. When you wake up tomorrow a new adventure will begin. Remember the words you were told when this last adventure began, the words whispered quietly to your heart: Let the journey unfold. Let it be magical. The way has been prepared. People will be expecting you.
Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul)
It is a curious thing that at my age — fifty-five last birthday — I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it — I don't yet know how big — but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence; moreover, I am almost sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the "Ingoldsby Legends." Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any.
H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1))
I take a deep breath and tiptoe to the window only to press my nose against the cool surface. Feel my breath fog up the glass. Close my eyes to the sound of a soft pitter-patter rushing through the wind. Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too. I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors. I am a raindrop. My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
The things she wanted the baby to know seemed small, so small. How it felt to go to a grocery store on vacation; to wake at three a.m. and run your whole life through your fingertips; first library card; new lipstick; a toe going numb for two months because you wore borrowed shoes to a friend’s wedding; Thursday; October; “She’s Like the Wind” in a dentist’s office; driver’s license picture where you look like a killer; getting your bathing suit back on after you go to the bathroom; touching a cymbal for sound and then touching it again for silence; playing house in the refrigerator box; letting a match burn down to the fingerprints; one hand in the Scrabble bag and then I I I O U E A; eyes racing to the end of Villette (skip the parts about the crétin, sweetheart); hamburger wrappers on a road trip; the twist of a heavy red apple in an orchard; word on the tip of the tongue; the portal, but just for a minute.
Patricia Lockwood (No One Is Talking About This)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard
There were twenty-three females on the Keltar estate--not counting Gwen, Chloe, herself, or the cat--Gabby knew, because shortly after Adam had become visible last night, she'd met each and every one, from tiniest tot to tottering ancient. It had begun with a plump, thirtyish maid popping in to pull the drapes for the evening and inquire if the MacKeltars "were wishing aught else?" The moment her bespectacled gaze had fallen on Adam, she'd begun stammering and tripping over her own feet. It had taken her a few moments to regain a semblance of coordination, but she'd managed to stumble from the library, nearly upsetting a lamp and a small end table in her haste. Apparently it had been haste to alert the forces, for a veritable parade had ensued: a blushing curvaceous maid had come offering a warm-up of tear (they'd not been having any), followed by a giggling maid seeking a forgotten dust cloth (which--was anyone surprised?--was nowhere to be found), then a third one looking for a waylaid broom (yeah, right--they swept castles at midnight in Scotland--who believed that?), then a fourth, fifth, and sixth inquiring if the Crystal Chamber would do for Mr. Black (no one seemed to care what chamber might do for her; she half-expected to end up in an outbuilding somewhere). A seventh, eighth, and ninth had come to announce that his chamber was ready would he like an escort? A bath drawn? Help undressing? (Well, okay, maybe they hadn't actually asked the last, but their eyes certainly had.) Then a half-dozen more had popped in at varying intervals to say the same things over again, and to stress that they were there to provide "aught, aught at all Mr. Black might desire." The sixteenth had come to extract two tiny girls from Adam's lap over their wailing protests (and had stayed out of his lap herself only because Adam had hastily stood), the twenty-third and final one had been old enough to be someone's great-great-grandmother, and even she'd flirted shamelessly with the "braw Mr. Black," batting nonexistent lashes above nests of wrinkles, smoothing thin white hair with a blue-veined, age-spotted hand. And if that hadn't been enough, the castle cat, obviously female and obviously in heat, had sashayed in, tail straight up and perkily curved at the tip, and would her furry little self sinuously around Adam's ankles, purring herself into a state of drooling, slanty-eyed bliss. Mr. Black, my ass, she'd wanted to snap (and she liked cats, really she did; she'd certainly never wanted to kick one before, but please--even cats?), he's a fairy and I found him, so that him my fairy. Back off.
Karen Marie Moning (The Immortal Highlander (Highlander, #6))
One reason might be that if I hadn't tripped, I'd have been hamburger. When this sort of thing occurs, people often say that there was some power greater than themselves at work. This sounds reasonable. I am just suggesting that it is not necessary to equate "greater than ourselves" with "stretched across the heavenly vault." It could mean "just slightly greater." A cocoon of energy that we carry with us, that is capable, under some conditions, of affecting physicality. Furthermore, I conjecture that the totality of all these souls is what constitutes the Godhead. I mean this in the same sense as the "Leviathan" of Thomas Hobbes, whereby man, that is everyone together, creates "that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth or State, which is but an artificial man, though of greater statute and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defense it was created." And that leads me to my Insight: God was not there at the beginning of evolution; God is what lies at the end of it.
Paul Quarrington (The Boy on the Back of the Turtle: Seeking God, Quince Marmalade, and the Fabled Albatross on Darwin's Islands)
I am constantly mystified by what John ends up remembering… I just don’t understand why he’s able to hang on to information like that, while so many other more important memories evaporate. Then again, I suppose so much of what stays with us is often insignificant. The memories we take to the ends of our lives have no real rhyme or reason, especially when you think of the endless things that you do over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. All the cups of coffee, hand-washings, changes of clothes, lunches, goings to the bathroom, headaches, naps, walks to school, trips to the grocery store, conversations about the weather—all the things so unimportant they should be immediately forgotten. Yet they aren’t. I often think of the Chinese red bathrobe I had when I was twenty-seven years old; the sound of our first cat Charlie’s feet on the linoleum of our old house; the hot rarefied air around aluminum pot the moment before the kernels of popcorn burst open. I think of these things as often as I think about getting married or giving birth or the end of the Second World War. What is truly amazing is that before you know it, sixty years go by and you can remember maybe eight or nine important events, along with a thousand meaningless ones. How can that be? You want to think there’s a pattern to it all because it makes you feel better, gives you some sense of a reason why we’re here, but there really isn’t any. People look for God in these patterns, these reasons, but only because they don’t know where else to look. Things happen to us: some of it important, most of it not, and a little of it stays with us till the end. What stays after that? I’ll be damned if I know. (pp.174-175)
Michael Zadoorian (The Leisure Seeker)
William Slothrop was a peculiar bird. He took off from Boston, heading west in true Imperial style, in 1634 or -5, sick and tired of the Winthrop machine, convinced he could preach as well as anybody in the hierarchy even if he hadn’t been officially ordained. The ramparts of the Berkshires stopped everybody else at the time, but not William. He just started climbing. He was one of the very first Europeans in. After they settled in Berkshire, he and his son John got a pig operation going—used to drive hogs right back down the great escarpment, back over the long pike to Boston, drive them just like sheep or cows. By the time they got to market those hogs were so skinny it was hardly worth it, but William wasn’t really in it so much for the money as just for the trip itself. He enjoyed the road, the mobility, the chance encounters of the day—Indians, trappers, wenches, hill people—and most of all just being with those pigs. They were good company. Despite the folklore and the injunctions in his own Bible, William came to love their nobility and personal freedom, their gift for finding comfort in the mud on a hot day—pigs out on the road, in company together, were everything Boston wasn’t, and you can imagine what the end of the journey, the weighing, slaughter and dreary pigless return back up into the hills must’ve been like for William. Of course he took it as a parable—knew that the squealing bloody horror at the end of the pike was in exact balance to all their happy sounds, their untroubled pink eyelashes and kind eyes, their smiles, their grace in crosscountry movement. It was a little early for Isaac Newton, but feelings about action and reaction were in the air. William must’ve been waiting for the one pig that wouldn’t die, that would validate all the ones who’d had to, all his Gadarene swine who’d rushed into extinction like lemmings, possessed not by demons but by trust for men, which the men kept betraying . . . possessed by innocence they couldn’t lose . . . by faith in William as another variety of pig, at home with the Earth, sharing the same gift of life. . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
No! No, Arthur, no, it’s the opposite! I’m saying it’s a success. Twenty years of joy and support and friendship, that’s a success. Twenty years of anything with another person is a success. If a band stays together twenty years, it’s a miracle. If a comedy duo stays together twenty years, they’re a triumph. Is this night a failure because it will end in an hour? Is the sun a failure because it’s going to end in a billion years? No, it’s the fucking sun. Why does a marriage not count? It isn’t in us, it isn’t in human beings, to be tied to one person forever. Siamese twins are a tragedy. Twenty years and one last happy road trip. And I thought, Well, that was nice. Let’s end on success.” “You can’t do this,
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser. It is better to live and be done with it, than to die daily in the sick-room. By all means begin your folio; even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week. It is not only in finished undertakings that we ought to honour useful labour. A spirit goes out of the man who means execution, which outlives the most untimely ending. All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas? When the Greeks made their fine saying that those whom the gods love die young, I cannot help believing they had this sort of death also in their eye. For surely, at whatever age it overtake the man, this is to die young. Death has not been suffered to take so much as an illusion from his heart. In the hot-fit of life, a-tiptoe on the highest point of being, he passes at a bound on to the other side. The noise of the mallet and chisel is scarcely quenched, the trumpets are hardly done blowing, when, trailing with him clouds of glory, this happy-starred, full-blooded spirit shoots into the spiritual land.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Æs Triplex and Other Essays)
WHAT did it cost the soul to lie? At every step, with every breath, with every Soviet Information Bureau report, with every casualty list and every monthly ration card? From the moment Tatiana woke up until she fell into a bleary sleep, she lied. She wished Alexander would stop coming around. Lies. She wished he would end it with Dasha. Alas. More lies. No more trips to St. Isaac’s. That was good news. Lies. No more tram rides, no more canals, no more Summer Garden, no more Luga, no more lips or eyes or palpitating breath. Good. Good. Good. More lies. He was cold. He had an uncanny ability to act as if there were nothing behind his smiling face, or his steady hands, or his burned-down cigarette. Not a twitch showed on his face for Tatiana. That was good. Lies. Curfew was imposed on Leningrad at the beginning of September. Rations were reduced again. Alexander stopped coming every day. That was good. More lies. When Alexander came, he was extremely affectionate with Dasha, in front of Tatiana and in front of Dimitri. That was good. Lies. Tatiana put on her own brave face and turned it away and smiled at Dimitri and clenched her heart in a tight fist. She could do it, too. More lies. Pouring tea. Such a simple matter, yet fraught with deceit. Pouring tea, for someone else before him. Her hands trembled with the effort. Tatiana wished she could get out from the spell that was Leningrad at the beginning of September, get out from the circle of misery and love that besieged her. She loved Alexander. Ah, finally. Something true to hold on to.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
I don’t know how long I had been sniffing and snorting there on my broken bunk (and I didn’t care who heard me) when I became aware of furtive little sounds from the corridor. Nothing loud--no more than a slight scrape--then a soft grunt of surprise. I looked up, saw nothing in the darkness. A voice whispered, “Countess?” A voice I recognized. “Azmus!” “It is I,” he whispered. “Quickly--before they figure out about the doors.” “What?” “I’ve been shadowing this place for two days, trying to figure a way in,” he said as he eased the door open. “There must be something going on. The outer door wasn’t locked tonight, and neither is this one.” “Shevraeth,” I croaked. “What?” “Marquis of Shevraeth. Was here gloating at me. The guard must have expected him to lock it, since the grand Marquis sent the fellow away,” I muttered as I got shakily to my feet. “And he--being an aristocrat, and above mundane things--probably assumed the guard would lock it. Uh! Sorry, I just can’t walk--“ At once Azmus sprang to my side. Together we moved out of the corridor, me hating myself for not even thinking of trying the door--except, how could I have gotten anywhere on my own? At the end of the corridor a long shape lay still on the ground. Unconscious or dead, I didn’t know, and I wasn’t going to check. I just hoped it wasn’t one of the nice guards. Outside it was raining in earnest, which made visibility difficult for our enemies as well as for us. Azmus took a good grip on me, breathing into my ear: “Brace up--we’ll have to move fast.” The trip across the courtyard was probably fifty paces or so, but it seemed fifty days’ travel to me. Every step was a misery, but I managed, heartened by the reflection that each step took me farther from that dungeon and--I hoped fervently--from the fate in store if Galdran got his claws into me again.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. Don’t believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
But since we’re on the topic of identity and narrative voice - here’s an interesting conundrum. You may know that The Correspondence Artist won a Lambda Award. I love the Lambda Literary Foundation, and I was thrilled to win a Lammy. My book won in the category of “Bisexual Fiction.” The Awards (or nearly all of them) are categorized according to the sexual identity of the dominant character in a work of fiction, not the author. I’m not sure if “dominant” is the word they use, but you get the idea. The foregrounded character. In The Correspondence Artist, the narrator is a woman, but you’re never sure about the gender of her lover. You’re also never sure about the lover’s age or ethnicity - these things change too, and pretty dramatically. Also, sometimes when the narrator corresponds with her lover by email, she (the narrator) makes reference to her “hard on.” That is, part of her erotic play with her lover has to do with destabilizing the ways she refers to her own sex (by which I mean both gender and naughty bits). So really, the narrator and her lover are only verifiably “bisexual” in the Freudian sense of the term - that is, it’s unclear if they have sex with people of the same sex, but they each have a complex gender identity that shifts over time. Looking at the various possible categorizations for that book, I think “Bisexual Fiction” was the most appropriate, but better, of course, would have been “Queer Fiction.” Maybe even trans, though surely that would have raised some hackles. So, I just submitted I’m Trying to Reach You for this year’s Lambda Awards and I had to choose a category. Well. As I said, the narrator identifies as a gay man. I guess you’d say the primary erotic relationship is with his boyfriend, Sven. But he has an obsession with a weird middle-aged white lady dancer on YouTube who happens to be me, and ultimately you come to understand that she is involved in an erotic relationship with a lesbian electric guitarist. And this romance isn’t just a titillating spectacle for a voyeuristic narrator: it turns out to be the founding myth of our national poetics! They are Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman! Sorry for all the spoilers. I never mind spoilers because I never read for plot. Maybe the editor (hello Emily) will want to head plot-sensitive readers off at the pass if you publish this paragraph. Anyway, the question then is: does authorial self-referentiality matter? Does the national mythos matter? Is this a work of Bisexual or Lesbian Fiction? Is Walt trans? I ended up submitting the book as Gay (Male) Fiction. The administrator of the prizes also thought this was appropriate, since Gray is the narrator. And Gray is not me, but also not not me, just as Emily Dickinson is not me but also not not me, and Walt Whitman is not my lover but also not not my lover. Again, it’s a really queer book, but the point is kind of to trip you up about what you thought you knew about gender anyway.
Barbara Browning
Italy still has a provincial sophistication that comes from its long history as a collection of city states. That, combined with a hot climate, means that the Italians occupy their streets and squares with much greater ease than the English. The resultant street life is very rich, even in small towns like Arezzo and Gaiole, fertile ground for the peeping Tom aspect of an actor’s preparation. I took many trips to Siena, and was struck by its beauty, but also by the beauty of the Siennese themselves. They are dark, fierce, and aristocratic, very different to the much paler Venetians or Florentines. They have always looked like this, as the paintings of their ancestors testify. I observed the groups of young people, the lounging grace with which they wore their clothes, their sense of always being on show. I walked the streets, they paraded them. It did not matter that I do not speak a word of Italian; I made up stories about them, and took surreptitious photographs. I was in Siena on the final day of the Palio, a lengthy festival ending in a horse race around the main square. Each district is represented by a horse and jockey and a pair of flag-bearers. The day is spent by teams of supporters with drums, banners, and ceremonial horse and rider processing round the town singing a strange chanting song. Outside the Cathedral, watched from a high window by a smiling Cardinal and a group of nuns, with a huge crowd in the Cathedral Square itself, the supporters passed, and to drum rolls the two flag-bearers hurled their flags high into the air and caught them, the crowd roaring in approval. The winner of the extremely dangerous horse race is presented with a palio, a standard bearing the effigy of the Virgin. In the last few years the jockeys have had to be professional by law, as when they were amateurs, corruption and bribery were rife. The teams wear a curious fancy dress encompassing styles from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. They are followed by gangs of young men, supporters, who create an atmosphere or intense rivalry and barely suppressed violence as they run through the narrow streets in the heat of the day. It was perfect. I took many more photographs. At the farmhouse that evening, after far too much Chianti, I and my friends played a bizarre game. In the dark, some of us moved lighted candles from one room to another, whilst others watched the effect of the light on faces and on the rooms from outside. It was like a strange living film of the paintings we had seen. Maybe Derek Jarman was spying on us.
Roger Allam (Players of Shakespeare 2: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company)
To fall half in love with someone, move on. Go confidently forward in the direction of whatever life you’d had planned, long before they ever came along. But every now and then, let your mind wander back. Every now and then, remain transfixed on the memory of their skin against yours, of their hands in your hair, of the quiet, patient moments where laughter unexpectedly escaped your lips lying beside them. Let your mind wander back until you realize that it’s not them you’re missing at all – it’s the unfulfilled possibility they embodied. Because the truth is, you never really did fall in love with them. You fell in love with their potential. You fell in love with the maybes and the could-have-beens. You fell in love with all the trips you didn’t take, the plans you didn’t make, the hazy, unintelligible future that stretched out before you without any opportunity to build upon. You fell in love with the potential of what could have happened had you been the kind of person who’d stayed. Had you been the person who could fall in love fully, without pause. You realize that you didn’t fall in love with them at all, but that you could have. That you might have. That there may always be a small part of yourself that is going to wonder ‘what if’ and that maybe you like it that way. That maybe you prefer only falling half in love because it allows you to write your own ending to the story. And theirs is a story that you want to still have and hold onto, years down the line, when you need something to write on and on and on.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
On this way, they reached the roof. Christine tripped over it as lightly as a swallow. Their eyes swept the empty space between the three domes and the triangular pediment. She breathed freely over Paris, the whole valley of which was seen at work below. She called Raoul to come quite close to her and they walked side by side along the zinc streets, in the leaden avenues; they looked at their twin shapes in the huge tanks, full of stagnant water, where, in the hot weather, the little boys of the ballet, a score or so, learn to swim and dive. The shadow had followed behind them clinging to their steps; and the two children little suspected its presence when they at last sat down, trustingly, under the mighty protection of Apollo, who, with a great bronze gesture, lifted his huge lyre to the heart of a crimson sky. It was a gorgeous spring evening. Clouds, which had just received their gossamer robe of gold and purple from the setting sun, drifted slowly by; and Christine said to Raoul: “Soon we shall go farther and faster than the clouds, to the end of the world, and then you will leave me, Raoul. But, if, when the moment comes for you to take me away, I refuse to go with you—well you must carry me off by force!” “Are you afraid that you will change your mind, Christine?” “I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head in an odd fashion. “He is a demon!” And she shivered and nestled in his arms with a moan. “I am afraid now of going back to live with him … in the ground!” “What compels you to go back, Christine?” “If I do not go back to him, terrible misfortunes may happen! … But I can’t do it, I can’t do it! … I know one ought to be sorry for people who live underground … But he is too horrible! And yet the time is at hand; I have only a day left; and, if I do not go, he will come and fetch me with his voice. And he will drag me with him, underground, and go on his knees before me, with his death’s head. And he will tell me that he loves me! And he will cry! Oh, those tears, Raoul, those tears in the two black eye-sockets of the death’s head! I can not see those tears flow again!” She wrung her hands in anguish, while Raoul pressed her to his heart. “No, no, you shall never again hear him tell you that he loves you! You shall not see his tears! Let us fly, Christine, let us fly at once!” And he tried to drag her away, then and there. But she stopped him. “No, no,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “Not now! … It would be too cruel … let him hear me sing to-morrow evening … and then we will go away. You must come and fetch me in my dressing-room at midnight exactly. He will then be waiting for me in the dining-room by the lake … we shall be free and you shall take me away … You must promise me that, Raoul, even if I refuse; for I feel that, if I go back this time, I shall perhaps never return.” And she gave a sigh to which it seemed to her that another sigh, behind her, replied. “Didn’t you hear?” Her teeth chattered. “No,” said Raoul, “I heard nothing.” - Chapter 12: Apollo’s Lyre
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
I remember." I nod. Wanting to say: I remember everything-all of it-the question is: Do you? But instead, I stare down at my feet, smiling stupidly. Everything I do around him is stupid. Some Seeker I've turned out to be. Attempting to redeem myself,say something normal,not let on that I already know he's employed here-thanks to the raven who allowed me to spy on him earlier,I say, "So,I guess you hang out here a lot then?" He pushes a hand through his hair, as his eyes-the color of aquamarines-glide down the length of me.And damn if I can't feel their trajectory. It's like showering in a stream of warm, molten honey-dripping from the top of my forehead all the way down to my feet. "I guess you could say that," he says,voicelow and deep. "More than most, anyway." He waves a damp towel, tugs on the string of his apron, and I blush in reply. The sight of it reminding me of what I saw in the alleyway-watching him lean against the wall,his face so soft anddreamy I longed to touch him-kiss him-like I did in the dream. I study him closely,seeking traces of recognition, remembrance-some small token of evidence to assure me that, as odd as it seems,that kiss in the cave was as real as it felt-but coming up empty. "So,how long have you worked here?" I ask, returning to the topic at hand. My gaze drifting over the black V-necked T-shirt skimming the sinuous line of his body-telling myself it's all part of my reconnaissance,my need to gather as uch information as I can about him and his kin. But knowing that's not really it.The truth is,I like looking at him, being near him. "I guess you could say somewhere between too long and not long enough-depending on the state of my wallet." His laugh is good-natured and easy-the kid that starts at the belly and trips all the way up. "It's pretty much the only decent game in town." He shrugs. "One way or another,you end up working for the Richters,and believe me, this is one of the better gigs." I peer at him closely,remembering what Cade said when I was here via the raven. How he referred to him by another name. "You're not a Richter?" I ask,holding my breath in my cheeks.Despite what Paloma told me, I need to hear it from him,confirm that he doesn't identify with their clan. "I go by Whitefeather," he says,gaze steady and serious. "I was raised by my mom,didn't even know the Richters when I was a kid." Despite getting the answer I wanted, I frown in return. His being a Richter was a good reason to avoid him-without it,I'm out of excuses. "Is that okay?" He dips his head toward mine,his mouth tugging at the side. "You seem a little upset by the news." I shake my head,break free of my reverie, and say, "No-not at all. Believe me,it's more like a relief." I meet his gaze,seeing the way it narrows in question. "Guess I'm not a big fan of your brother," I add,watching as he throws his head back and laughs,the sight of that long,glorious column of neck forcing me to look away,it's too much to take. "If it makes you feel any better, most of the time I'd have to agree." He returns to me,the warmth of his gaze solely reponsible for the wave of comfort that flows through me.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
We’re to have no communication with anyone outside of our own people,” she said. My first reaction was disbelief. Then I thought of that letter of thanks I’d planned on writing, and even though I had not told anyone, humiliation burned through me, followed by anger all the more bright for the sense of betrayal that underlay it all. Why betrayal? Shevraeth had never pretended to be on my side. Therefore he had saved my life purely for his own ends. Worse, my brother was somehow involved with his plans; I remembered Nessaren’s subtle reaction to his mention, and I wondered if there had been some sort of reference to Bran in that letter Nessaren had just received. What else could this mean but that I was again to be used to force my brother to surrender? Fury had withered all my good feelings, but I was determined not to show any of it, and I sat with my gaze on my hands, which were gripped in my lap, until I felt that I had my emotions under control again. When I realized that the silence had grown protracted, I looked up and forced a polite smile. “I don’t suppose you know where your Marquis is?” I asked, striving for a tone of nonchalance. A quick exchange of looks, then Nessaren said, “I cannot tell you exactly, for I do not know, but he said that if you were to ask, I was to tender his compliments and regrets, but say events required him to move quickly.” And we’re not? I thought about us waiting out the rain, and those nice picnics, and realized that Nessaren had been watching me pretty carefully. It was no accident that we’d stopped for rests, then; Nessaren had very accurately gauged my strength. A fast run would have meant riding through rain and through nights, stopping only to change horses. We hadn’t even had to do that. Once again my emotions took a spin. I had had a taste of the way prisoners could be conveyed when the Baron had me thrown over a saddle for the trip to Chovilun. Nessaren and her riding had made certain that my journey so far was as pleasant as they could make it. Is this, I wondered acidly, possibly an attempt to win me to Shevraeth’s side in whatever game he’s playing with the King and the Baron? Just the thought made me wild to face their Marquis once again and give him the benefit of my opinions. But none of this could be shown now, I told myself. My quarrel was not with Nessaren and the equerries, who were just following orders. It was with their leader. I glanced up, saw that they seemed to be waiting. For a reaction? “Anyone know a good song?” I asked.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
If both you and your plane are on time, the airport is merely a diffuse, short, miserable prelude to the intense, long, miserable plane trip. But what if there's five hours between your arrival and your connecting flight, or your plane is late arriving and you've missed your connection, or the connecting flight is late, or the staff of another airline are striking for a wage-benefit package and the government has not yet ordered out the National Guard to control this threat to international capitalism so your airline staff is trying to handle twice as many people as usual, or there are tornadoes or thunderstorms or blizzards or little important bits of the plane missing or any of the thousand other reasons (never under any circumstances the fault of the airlines, and rarely explained at the time) why those who go places on airplanes sit and sit and sit and sit in airports, not going anywhere? In this, probably its true aspect, the airport is not a prelude to travel, not a place of transition: it is a stop. A blockage. A constipation. The airport is where you can't go anywhere else. A nonplace in which time does not pass and there is no hope of any meaningful existence. A terminus: the end. The airport offers nothing to any human being except access to the interval between planes.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Changing Planes)
Returning to my own example, it’s a similar commitment that enables me to succeed with fixed scheduling. I, too, am incredibly cautious about my use of the most dangerous word in one’s productivity vocabulary: “yes.” It takes a lot to convince me to agree to something that yields shallow work. If you ask for my involvement in university business that’s not absolutely necessary, I might respond with a defense I learned from the department chair who hired me: “Talk to me after tenure.” Another tactic that works well for me is to be clear in my refusal but ambiguous in my explanation for the refusal. The key is to avoid providing enough specificity about the excuse that the requester has the opportunity to defuse it. If, for example, I turn down a time-consuming speaking invitation with the excuse that I have other trips scheduled for around the same time, I don’t provide details—which might leave the requester the ability to suggest a way to fit his or her event into my existing obligations—but instead just say, “Sounds interesting, but I can’t make it due to schedule conflicts.” In turning down obligations, I also resist the urge to offer a consolation prize that ends up devouring almost as much of my schedule (e.g., “Sorry I can’t join your committee, but I’m happy to take a look at some of your proposals as they come together and offer my thoughts”). A clean break is best.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Hey, Large,” Gabe says, flicking me with his towel. “Where you been all day?” “I’ve been around.” I look over at Peter, but he won’t meet my eyes. “I saw you guys on the slopes.” Darrell says, “Then why didn’t you holler at us? I wanted to show off my ollies for you.” Teasingly I say, “Well, I called Peter’s name, but I guess he didn’t hear me.” Peter finally looks me in the eyes. “Nope. I didn’t hear you.” His voice is cold and indifferent and so un-Peterlike, the smile fades from my face. Gabe and Darrell exchange looks like oooh and Gabe says to Peter, “We’re gonna head out to the hot tub,” and they trot off. Peter and I are left standing in the lobby, neither of us saying anything. I finally ask, “Are you mad at me or something?” “Why would I be mad?” And then it’s back to quiet again. I say, “You know, you’re the one who talked me into coming on this trip. The least you could do is talk to me.” “The least you could do was sit next to me on the bus!” he bursts out. My mouth hangs open. “Are you really that mad that I didn’t sit next to you on the bus?” Peter lets out an impatient breath of air. “Lara Jean, when you’re dating someone, there are just…certain things you do, okay? Like sit next to each other on a school trip. That’s pretty much expected.” “I just don’t see what the big deal is,” I say. How can he be this mad over such a tiny thing? “Forget it.” He turns like he’s going to leave, and I grab his sweatshirt sleeve. I don’t want to be in a fight with him; I just want it to be fun and light the way it always is with us. I want him to at least still be my friend. Especially now that we’re at the end. I say, “Come on, don’t be mad. I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal. I swear I’ll sit next to you on the way home, okay?” He purses his lips. “But do you get why I was pissed?” I nod back. “Mm-hmm.” “All right then, you should know that you missed out on mocha sugar donuts.” My mouth falls open. “How’d you get those? I thought the shop didn’t open that early!” “I went out and got them last night specifically for the bus ride,” Peter says. “For you and me.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Ben had the most expressive face I’d ever seen. When he told a story, he dove into it, re-enacting each character with a new set of his jaw and cast of his brow. His eyes shone vibrantly, and every time he laughed, it showed in his whole body. Just watching him made me smile. I felt warm around him, and happy, and comfortable. I felt like flannel pajamas, hot cocoa, a teddy bear, and my favorite comedy on DVD. I felt like home. I loved Ben, that’s what I felt. It popped into my head, and I didn’t doubt it for a second. I loved Ben. Well that was settled then, wasn’t it? Then my eyes darted to Sage, and I noticed he wasn’t focused on Ben’s story either. He was watching me. He was watching me watch Ben, to be precise, leaning back on his elbows and staring so fixedly that I could practically hear him scratching his way into my brain to listen to what I was thinking. And the minute I felt that, I was desperate to take back what I’d thought, and make sure he hadn’t understood. Especially since I had this strong feeling that if he believed I loved Ben, he’d disappear. Maybe not right away, but as soon as he could. And that would be the end of the world. “Okay, Sage, your turn,” Rayna said. “What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done in the middle of a social function?” Instantly Sage’s intense stare was gone, replaced by a relaxed pose and a charming smile. “Um, I would say doing a spit take in front of Clea’s mom, several senators, and the Israeli foreign minister would probably cover it.” “You did that?” I asked. “Oh yes, he did,” Rayna nodded. “And the minister still offered you his house in Tel Aviv for the honeymoon? That’s shocking.” “Rayna is particularly charming,” Sage noted. “Thank you, darling.” She batted her eyes at him like a Disney princess. “What happened?” Ben asked. “Piri spiked your drink with garlic?” “You say that like it’s a joke,” Sage said. “I’m pretty sure she did.” “She must really have it out for you,” Ben said. “Palinka’s Hungarian holy water. You don’t mess with that.” “Speaking of holy water, I so did not get that on our trip,” Rayna put in. “Clea and I were touring one of the cathedrals in Italy, and in front of the whole tour I go, “That’s too cute! Look, they have birdbaths in the church!
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Come on, Gray,” another sailor called. “Just one toast.” Miss Turner raised her eyebrows and leaned into him. “Come on, Mr. Grayson. Just one little toast,” she taunted, in the breathy, seductive voice of a harlot. It was a voice his body knew well, and vital parts of him were quickly forming a response. Siren. “Very well.” He lifted his mug and his voice, all the while staring into her wide, glassy eyes. “To the most beautiful lady in the world, and the only woman in my life.” The little minx caught her breath. Gray relished the tense silence, allowing a broad grin to spread across his face. “To my sister, Isabel.” Her eyes narrowed to slits. The men groaned. “You’re no fun anymore, Gray,” O’Shea grumbled. “No, I’m not. I’ve gone respectable.” He tugged on Miss Turner’s elbow. “And good little governesses need to be in bed.” “Not so fast, if you please.” She jerked away from him and turned to face the assembled crew. “I haven’t made my toast yet. We ladies have our sweethearts too, you know.” Bawdy murmurs chased one another until a ripple of laughter caught them up. Gray stepped back, lifting his own mug to his lips. If the girl was determined to humiliate herself, who was he to stop her? Who was he, indeed? Swaying a little in her boots, she raised her tankard. “To Gervais. My only sweetheart, mon cher petit lapin.” My dear little rabbit? Gray sputtered into his rum. What a fanciful imagination the chit had. “My French painting master,” she continued, slurring her words, “and my tutor in the art of passion.” The men whooped and whistled. Gray plunked his mug on the crate and strode to her side. “All right, Miss Turner. Very amusing. That’s enough joking for one evening.” “Who’s joking?” she asked, lowering her mug to her lips and eyeing him saucily over the rim. “He loved me. Desperately.” “The French do everything desperately,” he muttered, beginning to feel a bit desperate himself. He knew she was spinning naïve schoolgirl tales, but the others didn’t. The mood of the whole group had altered, from one of good-natured merriment to one of lust-tinged anticipation. These were sailors, after all. Lonely, rummed-up, woman-starved, desperate men. And to an innocent girl, they could prove more dangerous than sharks. “He couldn’t have loved you too much, could he?” Gray grabbed her arm again. “He seems to have let you go.” “I suppose he did.” She sniffed, then flashed a coquettish smile at the men. “I suppose that means I need a new sweetheart.” That was it. This little scene was at its end. Gray crouched, grasping his wayward governess around the thighs, and then straightened his legs, tossing her over one shoulder. She let out a shriek, and he felt the dregs of her rum spill down the back of his coat. “Put me down, you brute!” She squirmed and pounded his back with her fists. Gray bound her legs to his chest with one arm and gave her a pat on that well-padded rump with the other. “Well, then,” he announced to the group, forcing a roguish grin, “we’ll be off to bed.” Cheers and coarse laughter followed them as Gray toted his wriggling quarry down the companionway stairs and into the ladies’ cabin. With another light smack to her bum that she probably couldn’t even feel through all those skirts and petticoats, Gray slid her from his shoulder and dropped her on her feet. She wobbled backward, and he caught her arm, reversing her momentum. Now she tripped toward him, flinging her arms around his neck and sagging against his chest. Gray just stood there, arms dangling at his sides. Oh, bloody hell.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Already it is twilight down in the Laredito. Bats fly forth from their roostings in courthouse and tower and circle the quarter. The air is full of the smell of burning charcoal. Children and dogs squat by the mud stoops and gamecocks flap and settle in the branches of the fruit trees. They go afoot, these comrades, down along a bare adobe wall. Band music carries dimly from the square. They pass a watercart in the street and they pass a hole in the wall where by the light of a small forgefire an old man beats out shapes of metal. They pass in a doorway a young girl whose beauty becomes the flowers about. They arrive at last before a wooden door. It is hinged into a larger door or gate and all must step over the foot-high sill where a thousand boots have scuffled away the wood, where fools in their hundreds have tripped or fallen or tottered drunkenly into the street. They pass along a ramada in a courtyard by an old grape arbor where small fowl nod in the dusk among the gnarled and barren vines and they enter a cantina where the lamps are lit and they cross stooping under a low beam to a bar and belly up one two three. There is an old disordered Mennonite in this place and he turns to study them. A thin man in a leather weskit, a black and straightbrim hat set square on his head, a thin rim of whiskers. The recruits order glasses of whiskey and drink them down and order more. There are monte games at tables by the wall and there are whores at another table who look the recruits over. The recruits stand sideways along the bar with their thumbs in their belts and watch the room. They talk among themselves of the expedition in loud voices and the old Mennonite shakes a rueful head and sips his drink and mutters. They'll stop you at the river, he says. The second corporal looks past his comrades. Are you talking to me? At the river. Be told. They'll jail you to a man. Who will? The United States Army. General Worth. They hell they will. Pray that they will. He looks at his comrades. He leans toward the Mennonite. What does that mean, old man? Do ye cross that river with yon filibuster armed ye'll not cross it back. Don't aim to cross it back. We goin to Sonora. What's it to you, old man? The Mennonite watches the enshadowed dark before them as it is reflected to him in the mirror over the bar. He turns to them. His eyes are wet, he speaks slowly. The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman's making into a foreign land. Ye'll wake more than the dogs. But they berated the old man and swore at him until he moved off down the bar muttering, and how else could it be? How these things end. In confusion and curses and blood. They drank on and the wind blew in the streets and the stars that had been overhead lay low in the west and these young men fell afoul of others and words were said that could not be put right again and in the dawn the kid and the second corporal knelt over the boy from Missouri who had been named Earl and they spoke his name but he never spoke back. He lay on his side in the dust of the courtyard. The men were gone, the whores were gone. An old man swept the clay floor within the cantina. The boy lay with his skull broken in a pool of blood, none knew by whom. A third one came to be with them in the courtyard. It was the Mennonite. A warm wind was blowing and the east held a gray light. The fowls roosting among the grapevines had begun to stir and call. There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto, said the Mennonite. He had been holding his hat in his hands and now he set it upon his head again and turned and went out the gate.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
Elizabeth snapped awake in a terrified instant as the door to her bed chamber was flung open near dawn, and Ian stalked into the darkened room. “Do you want to go first, or shall I?” he said tightly, coming to stand at the side of her bed. “What do you mean?” she asked in a trembling voice. “I mean,” he said, “that either you go first and tell me why in hell you suddenly find my company repugnant, or I’ll go first and tell you how I feel when I don’t know where you are or why you want to be there!” “I’ve sent word to you both nights.” “You sent a damned note that arrived long after nightfall both times, informing me that you intended to sleep somewhere else. I want to know why!” He has men beaten like animals, she reminded herself. “Stop shouting at me,” Elizabeth said shakily, getting out of bed and dragging the covers with her to hide herself from him. His brows snapped together in an ominous frown. “Elizabeth?” he asked, reaching for her. “Don’t touch me!” she cried. Bentner’s voice came from the doorway. “Is aught amiss, my lady?” he asked, glaring bravely at Ian. “Get out of here and close that damned door behind you!” Ian snapped furiously. “Leave it open,” Elizabeth said nervously, and the brave butler did exactly as she said. In six long strides Ian was at the door, shoving it closed with a force that sent it crashing into its frame, and Elizabeth began to vibrate with terror. When he turned around and started toward her Elizabeth tried to back away, but she tripped on the coverlet and had to stay where she was. Ian saw the fear in her eyes and stopped short only inches in front of her. His hand lifted, and she winced, but it came to rest on her cheek. “Darling, what is it?” he asked. It was his voice that made her want to weep at his feet, that beautiful baritone voice; and his face-that harsh, handsome face she’d adored. She wanted to beg him to tell her what Robert and Wordsworth had said were lies-all lies. “My life depends on this, Elizabeth. So does yours. Don’t fail us,” Robert had pleaded. Yet, in that moment of weakness she actually considered telling Ian everything she knew and letting him kill her if he wanted to; she would have preferred death to the torment of living with the memory of the lie that had been their lives-to the torment of living without him. “Are you ill?” he asked, frowning and minutely studying her face. Snatching at the excuse he’d offered, she nodded hastily. “Yes. I haven’t been feeling well.” “Is that why you went to London? To see a physician?” She nodded a little wildly, and to her bewildered horror he started to smile-that lazy, tender smile that always made her senses leap. “Are you with child, darling? Is that why you’re acting so strangely?” Elizabeth was silent, trying to debate the wisdom of saying yes or no-she should say no, she realized. He’d hunt her to the ends of the earth if he believed she was carrying his babe. “No! He-the doctor said it is just-just-nerves.” “You’ve been working and playing too hard,” Ian said, looking like the picture of a worried, devoted husband. “You need more rest.” Elizabeth couldn’t bear any more of this-not his feigned tenderness or his concern or the memory of Robert’s battered back. “I’m going to sleep now,” she said in a strangled voice. “Alone,” she added, and his face whitened as if she had slapped him. During his entire adult life Ian had relied almost as much on his intuition as on his intellect, and at that moment he didn’t want to believe in the explanation they were both offering. His wife did not want him in her bed; she recoiled from his touch; she had been away for two consecutive nights; and-more alarming than any of that-guilt and fear were written all over her pale face. “Do you know what a man thinks,” he said in a calm voice that belied the pain streaking through him, “when his wife stays away at night and doesn’t want him in her bed when she does return?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))