Trip With Friends Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Trip With Friends. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Your sense of humor needs some work, then,' Wesley suggested. 'Most girls find my jokes charming.' 'Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
A good friend will help you up when you fall. A best friend will laugh and try to trip you again. - I'm not sure
Tamora Pierce (The Immortals (Immortals, #1-4))
Talk to strangers when the family fails and friends lead you astray when Buddha laughs and Jesus weeps and it turns out God is gay. 'Cause angels and messiahs love can come in many forms: in the hallways of your projects, or the fat girl in your dorm, and when you finally take the time to see what they’re about perhaps you find them lonely or their wisdom trips you out.
Saul Williams
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
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)
Oh. My. God. You're Rose Hathaway aren't you?" "Yeah." I said with surprise. "Do you know me?" "Everyone knows you. I mean, everyone heard about you. You're the one who ran away. And then you came back and killed the Strigoi. That is so cool! Did you get molnija marks?" Her words came out in one long string. She hardly took a breath. "Yeah. I have two." Thinking about the tiny tattoos on the back of my neck made my skin itch. Her pale green eyes—if possible—grew wider. "Oh my God. Wow." I usually grew irate when people made a big deal about molnija marks. After all, the circumstances had not been cool. But this girl was young, and there was something appealing about her. "What's your name?" I asked. "Jillian—Jill. I mean, just Jill. Not both. Jillian's my full name. Jill's what everyone calls me." "Right." I said, hiding a smile. "I figured it out." "I heard Moroi used magic on that trip to fight. Is that true? I would love to do that. I wish someone would teach me. I use air. Do you think i could fight Strigoi with that? Everyone says I'm crazy!" For centuries, Moroi using magic to fight had been viewed as a sin. Everyone believed it should be used peacefully. Recently, some had started to question that, particularly after Christian had proved useful in the Spokane escape. "I don't know." I said. "You should talk to Christian Ozera." She gaped. "Would he talk to me?" "If you bring up fighting the establishment, yeah he'll talk to you." "Okay, cool. Was that Guardian Belikov?" she asked, switching subjects abruptly. "Yeah." I swore I thought she might faint then and there. "Really? He's even cuter then I heard. He's your teacher right? Like, your own personal teacher?" "Yeah." I wondered where he was. Talking to Jill was exhausting. "Wow. You know you guys don't even act like teacher and student. You seem like friends. Do you hang out when you're not training?" "Er, well, kind of. Sometimes." I remembered my earlier thoughts, about how I was one of the few people Dimitri was social with outside of his guardian duties. "I knew it! I can't even imagine that—I'd be freaking out all the time around him. I'd never get anything done, but your so cool about it all, kind of like, 'Yeah. I'm with this totally hot guy, but whatever it doesn't matter!'" I laughed in spite of myself. "I think you're giving me more credit than I deserve." "No way. And I don't believe any of those stories, you know." "Um, stories?" "Yeah about you beating up Christian Ozera." "Thanks." I said.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
I meet a third man he's an old man he trips in the street he falls and I help him up, walk him to the curb. He shakes my hand says keep the faith, young man. I ask him what he means, he says keep running and don't let them catch you.
James Frey (My Friend Leonard)
Road trips can either suck monkey balls or, with the right person, they can be awesomesauce with cheesy fries.
Penny Reid (Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City, #2))
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you've never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose — allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
For after all, what is there behind, except money? Money for the right kind of education, money for influential friends, money for leisure and peace of mind, money for trips to Italy. Money writes books, money sells them. Give me not righteousness, O lord, give me money, only money.
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.
Andy Rooney
I’d never met a woman like you before. You told me to go to hell and made me look forward to the trip.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
No Angie, it's instant. Like when someone trips in the cafeteria and you're laughing so hard milk comes out of your nose, the guy next to you is laughing so hard he accidentally farts. BOOM! Friends for life!
George Lopez
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
A photo frame with many pictures is the best present ever for a long trip. I can almost feel all those moments..
W.
On a good day, he was friend enough. On a bad day, running into his inadequacy was like tripping up the stairs. It hurt, but it felt like my own fault.
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
One desire, my friends, one: to kill yourself. You must desire this. You must feel that a voyage of discovery is more important than all the little trips which the normal consumer self wants to buy.
Luke Rhinehart (The Dice Man)
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)
And if they do, I hope heaven is a road trip. I hope it’s you and me and Renny and Ted with nothing but time on our hands. I hope it’s, I don’t know, crossing an immeasurable distance with your closest friends.
Madeleine Roux (Allison Hewitt Is Trapped (Zombie, #1))
A friend of ours, when she trips over some surprisingly intense emotional response, says, philosophically, “Oh well—AFOG,” which stands, she says, for Another Fucking Opportunity for Growth.
Dossie Easton (The Ethical Slut : A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures)
So… this business trip of yours?” “What about it?” “Are you and Coop sharing a room?” She raised her eyebrows, then said, “Right back at you, Cowboy.” “Liz and I are just friends.” “Uh-huh. I hope your shots are up-to-date.” “Meow.
Stephanie Bond (3 Men and a Body (Body Movers, #3))
A friend is the wax that keeps the flame lit, an enemy is the wind that blows it out.
Anthony Liccione
One of the secrets of life is to find joy in the journey." But Grandma, you weren't on *this* journey. It was just crazy--" Grandma held up her hand. "You have six brothers. You got to spend a whole day in the car with them. You're all healthy, well fed, happy... Someday, when you're a little older, I'll bet you'd give anything to be back in that van of yours with all of your brothers, smelly diapers and all." I mulled that over. Well what about Dad?" I pointed out. "He didn't find any joy in the journey. He was yelling at trees." Grandma sat back, "Your father and mother are masters at finding joy in the journey." I didn't understand. Grandma continued, "Do you really think your parents would have had seven kids if they couldn't find joy in the journey?... I would be willing to wager that he'll be laughing about this trip on Monday morning with his friends at work." Grandma took my hands into hers. "There are a lot of people in this life that will try to convince you that they're selling something that will bring you joy. The simple fact of the matter is that *things* don't bring you joy. You have to find joy in life experience. And if you take along somebody you love, then that journey is going to be all the more enjoyable. I can promise you right now that both good and bad things are going to happen to you in your life. Good and bad things happen to everybody. Some people are good at finding the miserable things in life, and some are good at finding the joy. No matter what happens to you, what you remember is up to you.
Matthew Buckley (Chickens in the Headlights)
One Day Syndrome. You live your life like there’ll always be one day to do all the things you put off. One day you’ll take the trip. One day you’ll have the family. One day you’ll try the thing. You’re all work and not enough play. Money can’t make you happy unless you know what you want,
Abby Jimenez (Life's Too Short (The Friend Zone, #3))
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
I'm crying for the little girl whose mother divorced her father, the girl who wanted to fall in love for the first time but wasn't ready for sex, the girl who dated a boy just because he wasn't the first one, the girl who fell hard for the guy with the easy smile and the green eyes, the girl who needed to prove she could hook up on a class trip, the girl who rand for student council just to impress a guy, the girl who lost her best friend, the girl whose father doesn't care anymore, the girl who doesn't have the money for college, the girl who just wants her grandma to fix everything, the girl who doesn't talk to anyone about anything, the girl who just can't fall in love again - even if a sweet guy folds a thousand paper cranes. Just for her.
Sydney Salter (Swoon at Your Own Risk)
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)
Sometimes an adventure is a mundane thing. A trip to the shore with your best friend. Learning you can laugh in unearthly ways.
Rose Christo (Unborn: Three Short Stories)
Kyle is my best friend. Why would I risk screwing that up?" "Mackenzie Catherine Dobson, have you learned nothing from romantic comedies? Do I need to make a trip to the video store?" Tess set her fork down and sighed. "'We're just friends' is the oldest plot device in the book. All it really means is that you're just friends until one of you get the balls to do something about all the unresolved tension.
Kathleen Peacock (Hemlock (Hemlock, #1))
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)
Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar, Dancing on the light from star to star. Far across the moonbeam I know that's who you are, I saw your brown eyes turning once to fire. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. I am just a dreamer, but you are just a dream, You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. You are just a dreamer, and I am just a dream. You could have been anyone to me. Before that moment you touched my lips That perfect feeling when time just slips Away between us on our foggy trip. You are like a hurricane There's calm in your eye. And I'm gettin' blown away To somewhere safer where the feeling stays. I want to love you but I'm getting blown away. The song was written in July 1975 after Young had just undergone an operation on his vocal chords after a cocaine-fueled night with friend. "We were all really high, fucked up. Been out partying. Wrote it sitting up at Vista Point on Skyline. Supposed to be the highest point in San Mateo County, which was appropriate. I wrote it when I couldn't sing. I was on voice rest. It was nuts - I was whistling it. I wrote a lot of songs when I couldn't talk.
Neil Young
It was only after my head started reeling and my body started weaving and I tumbled into bed that I'd hear that soothing voice singing...The reverbations of that voice wandered sweetly, softly, working like a massage on the area of my heart that was the most tightly clenched, helping those knots to loosen. It was like the rush of waves, and like the laughter of people I'd met in all kinds of places, people I'd become friendly with and then separated from, and like the kind words all those people had said to me, and like the mewing of a cat I had lost, and like the mixture of noises that rang in the background in a place that was dear to me, a place far away, a place that no longer existed, and like the rushing of trees that whisked past my ears as I breathed in a scent of fresh greenery on a trip someplace... the voice was like a combination of all this.
Banana Yoshimoto (Asleep)
a bad trip? this whole country, this whole world is on a bad trip, friend. but they'll arrest you for swallowing a tablet.
Charles Bukowski (Tales of Ordinary Madness)
Henry's recollections of the past, in contrast to Proust, are done while in movement. He may remember his first wife while making love to a whore, or he may remember his very first love while walking the streets, traveling to see a friend; and life does not stop while he remembers. Analysis in movement. No static vivisection. Henry's daily and continuous flow of life, his sexual activity, his talks with everyone, his cafe life, his conversations with people in the street, which I once considered an interruption to writing, I now believe to be a quality which distinguishes him from other writers. He never writes in cold blood: he is always writing in white heat. It is what I do with the journal, carrying it everywhere, writing on cafe tables while waiting for a friend, on the train, on the bus, in waiting rooms at the station, while my hair is washed, at the Sorbonne when the lectures get tedious, on journeys, trips, almost while people are talking. It is while cooking, gardening, walking, or love-making that I remember my childhood, and not while reading Freud's 'Preface to a Little Girl's Journal.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Jordan, Attached, please find a copy of the schedule for our trip. Best Courtney." I was really proud of it. The email i mean. Because it was so short and cold.Of course, it took me and my friend Jocelyn about two hours to come up with the perfect wording, but Jordan doesn't know that.
Lauren Barnholdt
Like the perfect beach vacation, where the routine is so blissfully uneventful that when you return home and friends ask how your trip was, you can’t really recall what exactly you did to fill up so many hours. That’s what being with Dex is like.
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
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
Ah,' said Zultan. 'I, too. I keep many books at my home.' He gestured to the books in the tent. 'These are only a few. Those I think might need on this trip, and those I have yet to read and might want, and those old friends that I cannot bear to leave behind.
T. Kingfisher (Summer in Orcus)
We stood there for a minute or two, with John swaying gently against my arm. 'I'm feeling better,' he announced. Then he looked up at the stars. 'Wow..' he intoned. 'Look at that! Isn't that amazing?". I followed his gaze. The stars did look good but they didn't look that good. It was very unlike John to be over the top in that way. I stared at him. He was wired-pin-sharp and quivering, resonating away like a human tuning fork. No sooner had John uttered his immortal words about the stars than George and Paul came bursting out on the roof. They had come tearing up from the studio as soon as they found out where we were. They knew why John was feeling unwell. Maybe everyone else did, too - everyone except for father-figure George Martin here! It was very simple. John was tripping on LSD. He had taken it by mistake, they said - he had meant to take an amphetamine tablet. That hardly made any difference, frankly; the fact was that John was only too likely to imagine he could fly, and launch himself off the low parapet that ran around the roof. They had been absolutely terrified that he might do so. I spoke to Paul about this night many years later, and he confirmed that he and George had been shaken rigid when they found out we were up on the roof. They knew John was having a what you might call a bad trip. John didn't go back to Weybridge that night; Paul took him home to his place, in nearby Cavendish Road. They were intensely close, remember, and Paul would do almost anything for John. So, once they were safe inside, Paul took a tablet of LSD for the first time, 'So I could get with John' as he put it- be with him in his misery and fear. What about that for friendship?
George Martin (With A Little Help From My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper)
It was generally agreed that a coffin-size studio on Avenue D was preferable to living in one of the boroughs. Moving from one Brooklyn or Staten Island neighborhood to another was fine, but unless you had children to think about, even the homeless saw it as a step down to leave Manhattan. Customers quitting the island for Astoria or Cobble Hill would claim to welcome the change of pace, saying it would be nice to finally have a garden or live a little closer to the airport. They’d put a good face one it, but one could always detect an underlying sense of defeat. The apartments might be bigger and cheaper in other places, but one could never count on their old circle of friend making the long trip to attend a birthday party. Even Washington Heights was considered a stretch. People referred to it as Upstate New York, though it was right there in Manhattan.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
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)
But people don’t climb because it makes sense. You can come up with reasons—it gives direction to the lost, friends to the loner, honor to the reprobate, thrills to the bored—but, ultimately, the quest for a summit defies logic. So does passion. So does a trip to the moon. There are better things to do. Safer, cheaper, more practical. That’s not the point.
Peter Zuckerman (Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day)
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)
Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys bring a knapsack to work. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life in a duffel bag and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival. Boys don’t know how to adjust their conversation when they’re talking to their friends or to your parents. They put parents on the same level as their peers and roll their eyes when your dad makes a terrible pun. Boys let your parents pay for dinner when you all go out. It’s assumed.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
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)
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))
Are you coming with us?" Black Hawk laughed. "Are you insane, or do you think I am? One immortal and three Elders,heading onto an island of monsters. I know who's not coming back from that trip." Mars worked his head from side to side, easing the stiffness. "He's probably right-he'd slow us down." "I'll be right here," Black Hawk said, "so that when you all come screaming back here,I'll be able to get you off the island." Even Hel laughed. "We'll not come screaming to you." "Have it your way.I'll be here,though. For a while,anyway," he added with a grin. "I thought you would want to rescue your friend Billy," Mars said. Black Hawk laughed again. "Trust me, Billy never needs rescuing. Usually people need to be rescued from him.
Michael Scott (The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5))
How, then, to imagine, the expansive heart of this God—greater than God—who takes seven buses, just to arrive at us. We settle sometimes for less than intimacy with God when all God longs for is this solidarity with us. In Spanish, when you speak of your great friend, you describe the union and kinship as being de uña y mugre—our friendship is like the fingernail and the dirt under it. Our image of who God is and what’s on God’s mind is more tiny than it is troubled. It trips more on our puny sense of God than over conflicting creedal statements or theological considerations. The desire of God’s heart is immeasurably larger than our imaginations can conjure. This longing of God’s to give us peace and assurance and a sense of well-being only awaits our willingness to cooperate with God’s limitless magnanimity.
Gregory Boyle (Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion)
I can honestly say I could go two or three days without wondering what Savannah was doing or even thinking about her. Did this make my love less real? I asked myself that question dozens of times during that trip, but I always decided it didn't, for the simple reason that her image would ambush me when I least expected it, overwhelming me with the same ache I had the day I'd left. Anything might set it off: a friend talking about his wife, the sight of a couple holding hands, or even the way some of the villagers would smile as we passed.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
My point is that life is long, and parts of it can be immensely shitty. You shouldn't focus on the future because you've got little control over it. All you can do is make sure the steps you take now are going in the direction of the future you want and be prepared for trips and falls along the way. Why focus on the past when you cannot change it? Mistakes will always linger there, and all you can do is learn from them and use them as benchmarks for how much you've improved since then. Focus on the now...Life is a series of infinite Nows.
Daniel Sloss (Everyone You Hate is Going to Die: And Other Comforting Thoughts on Family, Friends, Sex, Love, and More Things That Ruin Your Life)
Why did popular songs always focus on romantic love? Why this preoccupation with first meetings, sad partings, honeyed kisses, heartbreak, when life was also full of children's births and trips to the shore and longtime jokes with friends? Once Maggie had seen on TV where archaeologists had just unearthed a fragment of music from who knows how many centuries B.C., and it was a boys lament for a girl who didn't love him back. Then besides the songs there were the magazine stories and the novels and the movies, even the hair-spray ads and the pantyhose ads. It struck Maggie as disproportionate. Misleading, in fact.
Anne Tyler (Breathing Lessons)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
God never meant us to be purely spiritual creatures. That is why He uses material things like conversations, shared meals and trips, hugs, small kindnesses, and gifts between friends to enrich the new life He’s given us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented human relationships. He likes friendship. He invented it.
Wesley Hill
Of course we will send postcards to Nutsawoo. And we shall bring him back a present as well. In fact,' she went on, with the instinctive knack every good governess has for turning something enjoyable into a lesson, and vice versa, 'I will expect all three of you to practice your writing by keeping a journal of our trip so that Nutsawoo may know how we spend our days. Why, by the time we return, he will think he has been to London himself! He will be the envy of all his little squirrel friends,' she declared. Penelope had no way of knowing if this last statement was true. Could squirrels feel envy? Would they give two figs about London? Did Nutsawoo even have friends?
Maryrose Wood (The Hidden Gallery (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #2))
I even have a welcoming speech prepared for fear, which I deliver right before embarking upon any new project or big adventure. It goes something like this: “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Becoming a parent doesn't make you less of a woman. You matter. Your happiness matters. Your health matters. Your dreams matter. Today do at least one thing for you. Take a walk in the rain. Meet a friend for coffee. Write in your journal. Read a book. Plan a trip. Hug a tree. Help a stranger. Create something. Grow something. Sing something. Learn something. Whatever it is that makes you smile, do a little of it each day. Your children are watching. Let them see you happy.
L.R. Knost
I was in Sarasota, Florida, on a spring-break trip with my friends Bruce and Karen Moore. Bruce and I were waiting on the beach for the rest of our crew when and a man and his grown kids came strolling up the sand. They looked at me for a minute, sort of hesitating, and then asked, "Would you mind taking a picture?" "Sure," I said, and quickly arranged all of us in a line, putting myself in the middle and motioning to Bruce to come snap the photo. Right about that time, the father said, "Actually, we were wondering if you could take a picture just of us." An understandable mistake on my part, but really embarrassing. Bruce has had a field day reminding me of that one ever since. Lesson learned: Never assume anything about your own importance. It's a great big world, and all of us are busy living our lives. None of us knows all the time and effort that another person puts into his or her passion.
Amy Grant (Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far)
We’re all good when we want to be, otherwise we’re fucking animals. There’s no VIP room in reality, and there is no reality in this city. You can’t Google the answers. People talke about being on the ride of your life—THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Whatever you need to know, you already know. Imagine what it is to be in another country, another landscape—heat, insects, fear. Imagine watching someone right in front of you trip on a wire, step on a mine, blow their body to shreds, in mid-sentences, mid-cigarette. Imagine yourself splattered with human flesh. Imagine talking to that boy for the five minutes when he is profoundly conscious of the fact that he is not goingt to make it home. Imagine the difference between that and being in upstate New York, drinking beer, trying to get laid, and spending the summer as lifeguard at Lake George. Imagine zipping your friends into body bags. Tell me why anyone ever thought this was a good idea. How could anyone not be angry? You’d have to be insane.” --Nic Thompson
A.M. Homes (This Book Will Save Your Life)
Several months ago there was a somewhat, in some people's eyes, relatively normal Cal--or by and large normal--the best he was able to be as half Auphe. Occasionally he did lose his shit, attacked and ate deer while on road trips through the woods, created massive holes in between dimensions to shove through malevolently murderous pucks, and once in a while ripped out an Auphe's throat with his teeth. He also opened a gate or two to save his friends, blew up an antihealer from the inside out to save the world, cleaned his guns while watching porn, and generally was a smart-ass to everyone. Normal.
Rob Thurman (Doubletake (Cal Leandros, #7))
She’d been hunting for an indescribable thrill, a feeling she remembered from nights out with her friends, but she’d misunderstood where the feeling came from. It wasn’t about drinking and partying in some dingy club. It had been about the people. The constant laughter they shared, too high on each other to care that they were being obnoxious. Group trips to the bathroom like a small army unit, where the mission objective was helping each other squat over filthy toilets without their dresses touching the seat. Belonging.
Talia Hibbert (Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1))
Richard had met Jessica in France, on a weekend trip to Paris two years earlier; had in fact discovered her in the Louvre, trying to find the group of his office friends who had organized the trip. Staring up at an immense sculpture, he had stepped backwards into Jessica, who was admiring an extremely large and historically important diamond. He tried to apologize to her in French, which he did not speak, gave up, and began to apologize in English, then tried to apologize in French for having to apologize in English, until he noticed that Jessica was about as English as it was possible for any one person to be.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
See, I couldn’t control her. No matter how many times I called her, or screamed at her, or begged her to take me back, or made surprise visits to her place, or did other creepy and irrational ex-boyfriend things, I could never control her emotions or her actions. Ultimately, while she was to blame for how I felt, she was never responsible for how I felt. I was. At some point, after enough tears and alcohol, my thinking began to shift and I began to understand that although she had done something horrible to me and she could be blamed for that, it was now my own responsibility to make myself happy again. She was never going to pop up and fix things for me. I had to fix them for myself. When I took that approach, a few things happened. First, I began to improve myself. I started exercising and spending more time with my friends (whom I had been neglecting). I started deliberately meeting new people. I took a big study-abroad trip and did some volunteer work. And slowly, I started to feel better. I
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
New Mexico is my favorite state,” I declared as we pulled onto I-40. “I'm waiting to see it all before I decide. And by the way, your driving isn't half bad. I expected to be terrified.” “Why?” “I imagined a timid, overly cautious little angel, but you've got an impressive lead foot.” Whoops. “Your car drives so quietly,” I said, "I don't realize how fast I'm going. I'll set the cruise control from now on.” “Don't worry. I'll keep an ear out for cops,” he told me. “Will we be passing the Grand Canyon?” I asked. “I've always wanted to see it.” Kaidan pulled out the map and studied it. “It's a bit out of the way, more than an hour. But how about this? We can go on the way back, since we won't have a time crunch.” I didn't know if it was the desert air or what, but I felt at ease. I still had a thousand questions for Kaidan, but I wasn't in the mood for another heavy conversation just yet. I liked talking to him. We were still guarded, and it wasn't nearly as carefree as talking with Jay, but I was beginning to imagine keeping Kaidan in my life as a friend after this trip. Time would help us forget the kiss. My crush on him would fade. If I could stop analyzing every touch and every look, then maybe it could work. I vowed to myself at that moment: No more jealousy. No more flirting. No more lustful longing for the elusive Kaidan Rowe.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
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))
The thought occurred to me that I was in danger of becoming a slave to a tiger as well. Hah! I’d probably like it too. I rolled my eyes at the thought. I disgust myself. I’m so darn weak! I hated the idea that all he’d have to do was crook his finger at me, beckon me to come to him, and I probably would. The fiercely independent side of me flared up. That’s it! No more! I’m going to talk it all out with him when we get back and hope that we can still be friends. This was pretty much my line of thought for the entire trip home. I’d daydream and then stop, lecture myself, and repeat my stubborn mantra. I tried to read, but I kept rereading the same paragraph over and over. Eventually, I gave up and napped a little.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
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
Aleks opened his mouth to reassure his friend when he heard something that chilled him to the bone. “Aleksander Aaron Arkadion! What in the hell is wrong with you! Why are you dragging that mangled corpse through town? You traumatized an entire first-grade class on a field trip to the town center,” Ma said, striding up to them pointing down to the body that Aleks still had a hold of. He looked down at the ankle he was holding. “Fuck my life.” Aleks looked behind his ma at the trail of blood heading back to the ice cream parlor. Liam laughed, his arms wrapped around his waist holding his sides.
Alanea Alder (Fated for Forever (Kindred of Arkadia, #3))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
So now, not only did my best friend leave, but the cheerleaders and their mindless followers assumed I was personally responsible for the petition (which, yeah, I was) and started being openly rude to me - shutting doors in my face, leaving nasty notes on my desk and in my locker, making fun of me when I could obviously hear them. That's when I started keeping really quiet in class, and finding ways to show the other kids I wasn't afraid of them - like staring them straight in the eye when they looked at me, taking a step toward them when they talked to me, or walking right up to them and getting their personal space if I heard them say my name. Saying the meanest things I could think of whenever I had the chance - repeating rumors, embellishing them. I found out Kira Conroy had been arrested for shoplifting at the mall, and made sure everyone knew about it. The girl who burped in a boy's face during her first kiss, the girl who tripped and fell off the stage at the Miss Teen California pageant - I shared those stories the moment I heard them. All's fair in war, right? Suddenly I wasn't a nobody anymore. I was a somebody. Somebody everyone was afraid of.
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1))
Isn't it nice how we actually enjoy talking to each other now?" I said to her once on a trip home from college, after the bulk of the damage done in my teenage years had been allayed. "It is," she said. "You know what I realised? I've just never met someone like you." I've just never met someone like you, as if I were a stranger from another town or an eccentric guest accompanying a mutual friend to a dinner party. It was a strange thought to hear from the mouth of the woman who had birthed and raised me, with whom I shared a home for eighteen years, someone who was half me. My mother had struggled to understand me just as I struggled to understand her. Thrown as we were on opposite sides of a fault like—generational, cultural, linguistic—we wandered lost without a reference point, each of us unintelligible to the other's expectations, until these past few years when we had just begun to unlock the mystery, carve the psychic space to accommodate each other, appreciate the differences between us, linger in our refracted commonalities.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
Stand in front of this fantastic machine, my friend, and for just 99¢ your likeness will appear, two hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas. Ninety-nine cents more for a voice message. “Say whatever you want, fella. They’ll hear you, don’t worry about that. Remember you’ll be two hundred feet tall.” Jesus Christ. I could see myself lying in bed in the Mint Hotel, half-asleep and staring idly out the window, when suddenly a vicious nazi drunkard appears two hundred feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: “Woodstock Über Alles!” We will close the drapes tonight. A thing like that could send a drug person careening around the room like a ping-pong ball. Hallucinations are bad enough. But after a while you learn to cope with things like seeing your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife in her teeth. Most acid fanciers can handle this sort of thing. But nobody can handle that other trip—the possibility that any freak with $1.98 can walk into the Circus-Circus and suddenly appear in the sky over downtown Las Vegas twelve times the size of God, howling anything that comes into his head. No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs. Reality itself is too twisted.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Despite your best efforts and intentions, there's a limited reservoir to fellowship before you begin to rely solely on the vapors of nostalgia. Eventually, you move on, latch on to another group of friends. Once in a while, though, you remember something, a remark or a gesture, and it takes you back. You think how close all of you were, the laughs and commiserations, the fondness and affection and support. You recall the parties, the trips, the dinners and late, late nights. Even the arguments and small betrayals have a revisionist charm in retrospect. You're astonished and enlivened by the memories. You wonder why and how it ever stopped. You have the urge to pick up the phone, fire off an email, suggesting reunion, resumption, and you start to act, but then don't, because it would be awkward talking after such a long lag, and, really, what would be the point? Your lives are different now. Whatever was there before is gone. And it saddens you, it makes you feel old and vanquished--not only over this group that disbanded, but also over all the others before and after it, the friends you had in grade and high school, in college, in your twenties and thirties, your kinship to them (never mind to all your old lovers) ephemeral and, quite possibly, illusory to begin with.
Don Lee (The Collective)
I have a friend dying of AIDS. Before I was leaving for a trip, we were talking. He said, “I didn’t want this, and I hated this, and I was terrified of this. But it turns out that this illness has been my greatest gift.” He said, “Now every moment is so precious to me. All the people in my life are so precious to me. My whole life means so much to me.” Something had really changed, and he felt ready for his death. Something that was horrifying and scary had turned into a gift. Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
Mr. Severin, may I ask something personal?" "Of course." "Why did you offer to be my oyster?" A hot blush climbed her face. "Is it because I'm pretty?" His head lifted. "Partly," he admitted without a hint of shame. "But I also liked what you said- that you never nag or slam doors, and you're not looking for love. I'm not either." He paused, his vibrant gaze holding hers. "I think we would be a good match." "I didn't mean I don't want love," Cassandra protested. "I only meant I'd be willing to let love grow in time. To be clear, I want a husband who could also love me back." Mr. Severin took his time about replying. "What if you had a husband who, although not handsome, was not altogether bad-looking and happened to be very rich? What if he were kind and considerate, and gave you whatever you asked for- mansions, jewels, trips abroad, your own private yacht and luxury railway carriage? What if he were exceptionally good at..." He paused, appearing to think better of what he'd been about to say. "What if he were your protector and friend? Would it really matter so much if he couldn't love you?" "Why couldn't he?" Cassandra asked, intrigued and perturbed. "Is he missing a heart altogether?" "No, he has one, but it's never worked that way.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
People who have never canoed a wild river, or who have done so only with a guide in the stern, are apt to assume that novelty, plus healthful exercise, account for the value of the trip. I thought so too, until I met the two college boys on the Flambeau. Supper dishes washed, we sat on the bank watching a buck dunking for water plants on the far shore. Soon the buck raised his head, cocked his ears upstream, and then bounded for cover. Around the bend now came the cause of his alarm: two boys in a canoe. Spying us, they edged in to pass the time of day. ‘What time is it?’ was their first question. They explained that their watches had run down, and for the first time in their lives there was no clock, whistle, or radio to set watches by. For two days they had lived by ‘sun-time,’ and were getting a thrill out of it. No servant brought them meals: they got their meat out of the river, or went without. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed whether or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a nightlong breeze, and which a nightlong misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clean coals, and which only smoke. Before our young adventurers pushed off downstream, we learned that both were slated for the Army upon the conclusion of their trip. Now the motif was clear. This trip was their first and last taste of freedom, an interlude between two regimentations: the campus and the barracks. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. These boys were ‘on their own’ in this particular sense. Perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip, in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from Round River)
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)
Not long ago, after my last trip to Russia, I had a conversation with an American very eminent in the field of politics. I asked what he read, and he replied that he studied history, sociology, politics and law. "How about fiction - novels, plays poetry?" I asked. "No," he said, "I have never had time for them. There's so much else I have to read." I said, "Sir, I have recently visited Russia for the third time and don't know how well I understand Russians; but I do know that if I only read Russian history I could not have had the access to Russian thinking I have had from reading Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pushkin, Turgenev, Sholokhov, and Ehrenburg. History only recounts, with some inaccuracy, what they did. The fiction tells, or tries to tell, why they did it and what they felt and were like when they did it." My friend nodded gravely. "I hadn't though of that," he said. "Yes, that might be so; I had always thought of fiction as opposed to fact." But in considering the American past, how poor we would be in information without Huckleberry Fin, An American Tragedy, Winesburg, Ohio, Main Street, The Great Gatsby, and As I Lay Dying.
John Steinbeck (America and Americans)
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
His cellphone alarm beeped. Now. Who would he nail? A single target tonight. So, a single bullet in the gun. David put the crosshairs on one of the guys walking out of the Quick Trip. Tall man, longish hair, scruffy beard. The guy pulled keys from his pocket and the crosshairs settled on his face. What was next? David pulled the trigger. The back of the guy’s head exploded. A massive wound. The guy’s friend looked around. The pregnant woman screamed. The black guy ran. The girls hugged each other. David pulled the trunk lid back down. Clicked and locked. A gentle walkway wound around the mall. Sol slowly drove away. David’s breaths came fast, almost pants. He then took his black pants off and removed his soiled underwear. He reached in the plastic bag for the fresh pair. Changing in the trunk of a dark and hot and moving car was difficult. Just part of the job now. When he pulled the trigger, he orgasmed. Always did. David slowed his breathing. Taylor series for ex = 1 + x + X2 / 2! + X3 / 3! etc. Yes, that was better. He closed his eyes and let go of the rope and let the rifle roll to one side. That guy’s head exploded. They drove away, below the speed limit. Didn’t want to attract attention. No need to, in no hurry.
Michael Grigsby
I’ve watched it time and time again—a woman always slots into a man’s life better than he slots into hers. She will be the one who spends the most time at his flat, she will be the one who makes friends with all his friends and their girlfriends. She will be the one who sends his mother a bunch of flowers on her birthday. Women don’t like this rigmarole any more than men do, but they’re better at it—they just get on with it. This means that when a woman my age falls in love with a man, the list of priorities goes from this: Family Friends To this: Family Boyfriend Boyfriend’s family Boyfriend’s friends Girlfriends of the boyfriend’s friends Friends Which means, on average, you go from seeing your friend every weekend to once every six weekends. She becomes a baton and you’re the one at the very end of the track. You get your go for, say, your birthday or a brunch, then you have to pass her back round to the boyfriend to start the long, boring rotation again. These gaps in each other’s lives slowly but surely form a gap in the middle of your friendship. The love is still there, but the familiarity is not. Before you know it, you’re not living life together anymore. You’re living life separately with respective boyfriends then meeting up for dinner every six weekends to tell each other what living is like. I now understand why our mums cleaned the house before their best friend came round and asked them “What’s the news, then?” in a jolly, stilted way. I get how that happens. So don’t tell me when you move in with your boyfriend that nothing will change. There will be no road trip. The cycle works when it comes to holidays as well—I’ll get my buddy back for every sixth summer, unless she has a baby in which case I’ll get my road trip in eighteen years’ time. It never stops happening. Everything will change.
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love: A Memoir)
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
But later, just as we're turning the corner into my road, and I'm beginning to panic about the pain and difficulty of the impending conversation, I see a woman on her own, Saturday-night-smart, off to meet somebody somewhere, friends, or a lover. And when I was living with Laura, I missed... what? Maybe I missed somebody traveling on a bus or tube or cab, *going out of her way*, to meet me, maybe dressed up a little, wearing more makeup than usual, maybe even slightly nervous; when I was younger, the knowledge that I was responsible for any of this, even the bus ride, made me feel pathetically grateful. When you're with someone permanently, you don't get that: if Laura wanted to see me, she only had to turn her head, or walk from the bathroom to the bedroom, and she never bothered to dress up for the trip. And when she came home, she came home because she lived in my flat, not because we were lovers, and when we went out, she sometimes dressed up and sometimes didn't, depending on where we were going, but again, it was nothing whatsoever to do with me. Anyway, all this is by way of saying that the woman I saw out of the cab window inspired me and consoled me, momentarily: maybe I am not too old to provoke a trip from one part of London to another, and if I ever do have another date, and I arrange to meet that date in, say, Islington, and she has to come all the way from Stoke Newington, a journey of some three to four miles, I will thank her from the bottom of my wretched thirty-five-year-old heart.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
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)
Rallick will kill you,” Murillio said levelly. “Nonsense.” Kruppe placed the mask over his face. “How will the lad ever recognize Kruppe?” Murillio studied the man’s round body, the faded red waistcoat, gathered cuffs, and the short oily curls atop his head. “Never mind.” He sighed. “Excellent,” Kruppe said. “Now, please accept these two masks, gifts from your friend Kruppe. A trip is saved, and Baruk need not wait any longer for a secret message that must not be mentioned.” He replaced his mask in its box, then spun round to study the eastern skyline. “Off to yon alchemist’s abode, then. Good evening, friend—” “Wait a minute,” Murillio said, grasping Kruppe’s arm and turning him round. “Have you seen Coll?” “Why, of course. The man sleeps a deep, recovering sleep from his ordeals.’Twas healed magically, Sulty said. By some stranger, yet. Coll himself was brought in by yet a second stranger, who found a third stranger, who in turn brought a fifth stranger in the company of the stranger who healed Coll. And so it goes, friend Murillio. Strange doings, indeed. Now, Kruppe must be off. Goodbye, friend—” “Not yet,” Murillio snarled. He glanced around. The street was still empty. He leaned close. “I’ve worked some things out, Kruppe. Circle Breaker contacting me put everything into order in my mind. I know who you are.” “Aaai!” Kruppe cried, withdrawing. “I’ll not deny it, then! It’s true, Murillio, Kruppe is Lady Simtal connivingly disguised.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
1 The summer our marriage failed we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car. We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea, talking about which seeds to sow when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt, downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers, and there was a joke, you said, about old florists who were forced to make other arrangements. Delphiniums flared along the back fence. All summer it hurt to look at you. 2 I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going in different directions.” As if it had something to do with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down how love empties itself from a house, how a view changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks, it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings? You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles. 3 On our last trip we drove through rain to a town lit with vacancies. We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met five other couples—all of us fluorescent, waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency of the motor that would lure these great mammals near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long, creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker: In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves. Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me? His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening. The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates. Again and again you patiently wiped the spray from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good troopers used to disappointment. On the way back you pointed at cormorants riding the waves— you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic, the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure whales were swimming under us by the dozens. 4 Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument, the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning, washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved sitting with our friends under the plum trees, in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time, how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying to describe the ways sex darkens and dies, how two bodies can lie together, entwined, out of habit. Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire, on an old couch that no longer reassures. The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest and found ourselves in fog so thick our lights were useless. There’s no choice, you said, we must have faith in our blindness. How I believed you. Trying to imagine the road beneath us, we inched forward, honking, gently, again and again.
Dina Ben-Lev
As we were wrapping up the book, I sat down and thought about all the lessons I’d learned over the past two years. I couldn’t list them all, but here are a few: Never complain about the price of a gift from your spouse--accept it with love and gratitude. You can’t put a price on romance. Take lots of videos, even of the mundane. You will forget the sound of your children’s voices and you will miss your youth as much as theirs. Celebrate every wedding anniversary. Make time for dates. Hug your spouse every single morning. And always, ALWAYS, say “I love you.” Believe in your partner. When you hit hard times as a couple, take a weekend away or at least a night out. The times that you least feel like doing it are likely the times that you need it the most. Write love notes to your spouse, your children, and keep the ones they give you. Don’t expect a miniature pig to be an “easy” pet. Live life looking forward with a goal of no regrets, so you can look back without them. Be the friend you will need some day. Often the most important thing you can do for another person is just showing up. Question less and listen more. Don’t get too tied up in your plans for the future. No one really knows their future anyway. Laugh at yourself, and with life. People don’t change their core character. Be humble, genuine, and gracious. Before you get into business with someone, look at their history. Expect them to be with you for the long haul, even if you don’t think they will be. If they aren’t someone you could take a road trip across the country with, don’t do business with them in the first place. Real families and real sacrifices live in the fabric of the Red, White, and Blue; stand for the national anthem.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
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)
Just let me grab my thinking cap,” she told him, heading for her locker. The long floppy hat was required during midterms, designed to restrict Telepaths and preserve the integrity of the tests—not that anything could block Sophie’s enhanced abilities. But after the exams, the hats became present sacks, and everyone filled them with treats and trinkets and treasures. “I’ll need to inspect your presents before you open them,” Sandor warned as he helped Sophie lift her overstuffed hat. “That’s perfect,” Fitz said. “While he does that, you can open mine.” He pulled a small box from the pocket of his waist-length cape and handed it to Sophie. The opalescent wrapping paper had flecks of teal glitter dusted across it, and he’d tied it with a silky teal bow, making her wonder if he’d guessed her favorite color. She really hoped he couldn’t guess why. . . . “Hopefully I did better this year,” Fitz said. “Biana claimed the riddler was a total fail.” The riddle-writing pen he’d given her last time had been a disappointment, but . . . “I’m sure I’ll love it,” Sophie promised. “Besides. My gift is boring.” Sandor had declared an Atlantis shopping trip to be far too risky, so Sophie had spent the previous day baking her friends’ presents. She handed Fitz a round silver tin and he popped the lid off immediately. “Ripplefluffs?” he asked, smiling his first real smile in days. The silver-wrapped treats were what might happen if a brownie and a cupcake had a fudgey, buttery baby, with a candy surprise sunken into the center. Sophie’s adoptive mother, Edaline, had taught her the recipe
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
My parents constantly drummed into me the importance of judging people as individuals. There was no more grievous sin at our household than a racial slur or other evidence of religious or racial intolerance. A lot of it, I think, was because my dad had learned what discrimination was like firsthand. He’d grown up in an era when some stores still had signs at their door saying, NO DOGS OR IRISHMEN ALLOWED. When my brother and I were growing up, there were still ugly tumors of racial bigotry in much of America, including the corner of Illinois where we lived. At our one local movie theater, blacks and whites had to sit apart—the blacks in the balcony. My mother and father urged my brother and me to bring home our black playmates, to consider them equals, and to respect the religious views of our friends, whatever they were. My brother’s best friend was black, and when they went to the movies, Neil sat with him in the balcony. My mother always taught us: “Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you,” and “Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are.” Once my father checked into a hotel during a shoe-selling trip and a clerk told him: “You’ll like it here, Mr. Reagan, we don’t permit a Jew in the place.” My father, who told us the story later, said he looked at the clerk angrily and picked up his suitcase and left. “I’m a Catholic,” he said. “If it’s come to the point where you won’t take Jews, then some day you won’t take me either.” Because it was the only hotel in town, he spent the night in his car during a winter blizzard and I think it may have led to his first heart attack.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life: The Autobiography)
In a now famous thought experiment, the philosopher Derek Parfit asks us to imagine a teleportation device that can beam a person from Earth to Mars. Rather than travel for many months on a spaceship, you need only enter a small chamber close to home and push a green button, and all the information in your brain and body will be sent to a similar station on Mars, where you will be reassembled down to the last atom. Imagine that several of your friends have already traveled to Mars this way and seem none the worse for it. They describe the experience as being one of instantaneous relocation: You push the green button and find yourself standing on Mars—where your most recent memory is of pushing the green button on Earth and wondering if anything would happen. So you decide to travel to Mars yourself. However, in the process of arranging your trip, you learn a troubling fact about the mechanics of teleportation: It turns out that the technicians wait for a person’s replica to be built on Mars before obliterating his original body on Earth. This has the benefit of leaving nothing to chance; if something goes wrong in the replication process, no harm has been done. However, it raises the following concern: While your double is beginning his day on Mars with all your memories, goals, and prejudices intact, you will be standing in the teleportation chamber on Earth, just staring at the green button. Imagine a voice coming over the intercom to congratulate you for arriving safely at your destination; in a few moments, you are told, your Earth body will be smashed to atoms. How would this be any different from simply being killed? To
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
When it came to my turn in the super spelling bee everyone had already been given really easy words. “Ryan,” Mr H said, “I want you to spell the word icup.” “Icup?” I thought.  I clammed up and my face went all warm and prickly, that feeling you get when you know you’re going to get the answer wrong. It’s a bit like the feeling you get when you walk up on stage to collect an award and you trip going up the stairs in front of everyone, or worse still, your pants fall down. It’s called embarrassment and I was feeling it big time. Actually it was worse than big time. It was humongous, mammoth, big time. All those long, boring afternoons sitting with Mom on the couch spelling word after word meant nothing anymore. I’d never heard of the word ‘icup’. “Oh no,” I thought. If I got this wrong I might not make the necessary criteria to get a raffle ticket before the big draw. Panic stations set in. This was going to be disastrous. ​Mom always said that if you get nervous or frightened, just imagine everyone around you is only in their underwear. It will make you laugh and you’ll forget your nerves. So I did, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. ​ “Ok get a grip of yourself Rino,” I said in my head. “Think about it and just sound the word out.” I could hear my Mom’s words bleating in my head as she so often did when I got stuck on a word. I began slowly, deep in thought and not willing to put one foot wrong sounding out each letter, “I … c.. u .. pee.”  There was silence and then the whole class erupted into hysterics, laughing their heads off, followed by Mr Higginbottom. Then I realised what I had just said when I sounded out the word; “I see you pee,” and I burst out into an embarrassed sort of laughter too. Mr Higginbottom came over and gave me a friendly pat on my head and ruffled my hair. It didn’t worry me that I’d combed it just the right way and put gel in it that morning. It was ok for Mr H to mess it up, but if my sister ever did it, she’d be dead meat. “Well
Kate Cullen (Game On Boys! The Play Station Play-offs: A Hilarious adventure for children 9-12 with illustrations)
She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he’d just stayed the same old Jay he’d always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she’d just never imagined that he’d grow up so well. Instead she accused him: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t pushed me I wouldn’t have fallen.” She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. “You’ll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses—it’s just your word against mine.” She giggled and hopped down. “Yeah, well, who’s gonna believe you over me? Weren’t you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?” She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. “Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn’t it?” He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and the temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubbles from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn’t even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. “Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn’t done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you got both of us grounded for stealing.” He didn’t miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. “And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime.” She hung the towel over the oven’s door handle. “Maybe it saved me, but the jury’s still out on you. I always thought you were kind of a bad seed.” He gave her a questioning look. “Seriously, a ‘bad seed’, Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?” She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn’t in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, “Don’t make me trip you again.” Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just friends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long—and painful—year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
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)
Catarina hooked her hand around Magnus’s elbow and hauled him away, like a schoolteacher with a misbehaving student. They entered a narrow alcove around the corner, where the music and noise of the party was muffled. She rounded on him. “I recently treated Tessa for wounds she said were inflicted on her by members of a demon-worshipping cult,” Catarina said. “She told me you were, and I quote, ‘handling’ the cult. What’s going on? Explain.” Magnus made a face. “I may have had a hand in founding it.” “How much of a hand?” “Well, both.” Catarina bristled. “I specifically told you not to do that!” “You did?” Magnus said. A bubble of hope grew within him. “You remember what happened?” She gave him a look of distress. “You don’t?” “Someone took all my memories around the subject of this cult,” said Magnus. “I don’t know who, or why.” He sounded more desperate than he would’ve liked, more desperate than he wanted to be. His old friend’s face was full of sympathy. “I don’t know anything about it,” she said. “I met up with you and Ragnor for a brief vacation. You seemed troubled, but you were trying to laugh it off, the way you always do. You and Ragnor said you had a brilliant idea to start a joke cult. I told you not to do it. That’s it.” He, Catarina, and Ragnor had taken many trips together, over the centuries. One memorable trip had gotten Magnus banished from Peru. He had always enjoyed those adventures more than any others. Being with his friends almost felt like having a home. He did not know if there would ever be another trip. Ragnor was dead, and Magnus might have done something terrible. “Why didn’t you stop me?” he asked. “You usually stop me!” “I had to take an orphan child across an ocean to save his life.” “Right,” said Magnus. “That’s a good reason.” Catarina shook her head. “I took my eyes off you for one second.” She had worked in mundane hospitals in New York for decades. She saved orphans. She healed the sick. She’d always been the voice of reason in the trio that was Ragnor, Catarina, and Magnus. “So I planned with Ragnor to start a joke cult, and I guess I did it. Now the joke cult is a real cult, and they have a new leader. It sounds like they’re mixed up with a Greater Demon.” Even to Catarina, he wouldn’t say the name of his father. “Sounds like the joke has gotten a little out of hand,” Catarina said dryly. “Sounds like I’m the punch line.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was not the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa. I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received—this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile—a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had also been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in chic little uranium-rich Niger… well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained,' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Parnet: I want you to talk about desire. What is desire, exactly? Let's consider the question as simply as possible. When Anti-Oedipus... Deleuze: It's not what they thought it was, in any case, not what they thought it was, even back then. Even, I mean, the most charming people who were... It was a big ambiguity, it was a big misunderstanding, or rather a little one, a little misunderstanding. I believe that we wanted to say something very simple. In fact, we had an enormous ambition, notably when one writes a book, we thought that we would say something new, specifically that one way or another, people who wrote before us didn't understand what desire meant. That is, in undertaking our task as philosophers, we were hoping to propose a new concept of desire. But, regarding concepts, people who don't do philosophy mustn't think that they are so abstract... On the contrary, they refer to things that are extremely simple, extremely concrete, we'll see this later... There are no philosophical concepts that do not refer to non-philosophical coordinates. It's very simple, very concrete. What we wanted to express was the simplest thing in the world. We wanted to say: up until now, you speak abstractly about desire because you extract an object that's presumed to be the object of your desire. So, one could say, I desire a woman, I desire to leave on a trip, I desire this, that. And we were saying something really very simple, simple, simple: You never desire someone or something, you always desire an aggregate. It's not complicated. Our question was: what is the nature of relations between elements in order for there to be desire, for these elements to become desirable? I mean, I don't desire a woman - I'm ashamed to say things like that since Proust already said it, and it's beautiful in Proust: I don't desire a woman, I also desire a landscape that is enveloped in this woman, a landscape that, if needs be - I don't know - but that I can feel. As long as I haven't yet unfolded the landscape that envelops her, I will not be happy, that is, my desire will not have been attained, my desire will remain unsatisfied. I believe in an aggregate with two terms: woman/landscape, and it's something completely different. If a woman says, "I desire a dress," or "I desire (some) thing" or "(some) blouse," it's obvious that she does not desire this dress or that blouse in the abstract. She desires it in an entire context, a context of her own life that she is going to organize, the desire in relation not only with a landscape, but with people who are her friends, with people who are not her friends, with her profession, etc. I never desire some thing all by itself, I don't desire an aggregate either, I desire from within an aggregate.
Gilles Deleuze
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