Unexpected Kindness Quotes

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That’s how stories happen — with a turning point, an unexpected twist. There’s only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. (Don't Hesitate)
Mary Oliver (Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.
Mary Renault (The Charioteer)
It's only now that he's been corrupted that I can fully appreciate the real Peeta. Even more than I would've if he'd died. The kindness, the steadiness, the warmth that had an unexpected heat behind it. Outside of Prim, my mother and Gale, how many people in the world love me unconditionally? I think in my case, the answer may be none. Sometimes, when I'm alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena. To make myself put a name to the thing I've lost. But what's the use? It's gone. He's gone. Whatever existed between us is gone. All that's left is my promise to kill Snow. I tell myself this ten times a day.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
There are no absolutes in relationships. You can't take anything for granted. You can count on absolutely nothing but the unexpected. You only get in trouble when you start thinking that you're some kind of exception to the rule.
Emily Giffin (Baby Proof)
He was the kind of man everyone would fall in love with, even if they didn't want to.
Nicholas Sparks
I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures ...
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
For now, I had escaped. I was free. And I wanted to know what freedom really felt like, at least for a while.
Steven Decker (Child of Another Kind)
The world was becoming a very puzzling place for me. I didn’t understand why bad people were allowed to tell good people what to do. What kind of world would allow that to happen?  
Steven Decker (Child of Another Kind)
Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.
Bob Kerrey
I longed to have my mama come to me and sing me a song that settled me down while she rubbed my back, quieting my restless mind and pouting heart and helping me fall asleep, knowing I was loved.
Steven Decker (Child of Another Kind)
Is that kind of disrespect … normal?” Shahrzad lifted a shoulder. “It’s not normal. But it’s not unexpected. It’s the curse of being a woman,” she joked in a morose manner.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
There is kindness in so many unexpected places
Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls)
The erotic state – again, a mixture of concentration and spontaneity – is a hypnoidal state, probably the most powerful kind that we are capable of experiencing, and it is in this condition that unexpected regions of the self are revealed, as the majority of people know from experience.
Peter Redgrove (The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real: Our Uncommon Senses and Their Common Sense)
Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda." "Is that what it means to be a Christian?" It sounded kind of stupid as Mack said it, but it was how he was trying to sum everything up in his mind. "Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not a Christian." The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't." They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. "Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some were bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraquis, Jews and Palistinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved." "Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?" "Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.
Gary Snyder
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
The Internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other. The collapse had already been taking place for decades by then. The web arrived offering them a kind of parody of what they were losing—Facebook friends in place of neighbors, video games in place of meaningful work, status updates in place of status in the world. The comedian Marc Maron once wrote that “every status update is a just a variation on a single request: ‘Would someone please acknowledge me?
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions)
I really like the thing called friendship. And I think the most fulfilling kind of friendship is the one that you stumble quite randomly upon. Unexpected and unknown. You can learn a lot about yourself from these kinds of friendships, and some last a long time while others last only for the duration of time that you have together! But then I wonder, is the length of a friendship measured by the time you are given to spend within each others' company? Or is it measured by how long into the future you can look back at the photos you took, look back and replay the adventures and the laughter in your head; still feeling like it was one of the "bestest" times of your life? Because if it's the latter, I have a thousand friends!
C. JoyBell C.
Sleep is not a dead space, but a doorway to a different kind of consciousness—one that is reflective and restorative, full of tangential thought and unexpected insights. In winter, we are invited into a particular mode of sleep: not a regimented eight hours, but a slow, ambulatory process in which waking thoughts merge with dreams, and space is made in the blackest hours to repair the fragmented narratives of our days.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
You know, through pain, you learn a lot about yourself--things you thought you never knew you wanted to learn. And it's kind of like those animals that regrow a part of their body--like a starfish. You might not feel it. You might not even want to grow, but you will. You'll grow that part that broke off, and that growing, that blooming--cannot happen without the pain.
Kelle Hampton (Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir)
Stuart, who had just witnessed me go through an entire rainbow of emotions and experiences. There was parents-have-just-been-jailed me, stuck-in-a-strange-town me, insane-and-can't-shut-up me, kind-of-snarky-to-the-strange-guy-trying-to-be-helpful me, breakup me, and the extremely popular jump-on-top-of-you-unexpectedly me.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Time is a funny thing, it can give and it can take away; and a single moment in time can truly change one’s life forever! The best kind of love is unexpected, unexplainable, undeniable, and unimaginable. Your sweet scent will forever be with me, reminding me of the love we once shared. I will breathe in the memories until we meet again. Before you act on what you have been told, consider your source. It may simply be assumption on their part, and that can be far from fact. Why stand back and wait for someone to fail when you can stand up and offer your support? Love is when the sound of your partner’s snoring lulls you to sleep, and it acts as a reminder that they are there by your side. Building a wall around your heart is a voluntary imprisonment to which only you have the key. Open your heart to life’s possibilities!
Donna L. Jones
Is that kind of disrespect . . . normal?” Shahrzad lifted a shoulder. “It’s not normal. But it’s not unexpected. It’s the curse of being a woman,” she joked in a morose manner. “It’s obscene. He deserves to be flogged.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
She would find that love again—one day. And it would be deep and unrelenting and unexpected, the beginning and the end and eternity, the kind that could change history, change the world.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
DON’T HESITATE If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Mary Oliver (Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver)
He kept trying to be nice to me and, in an unexpected turn of events, his kindness left me angry and confused. I pushed him away because i was afraid to be even remotely close to someone who, i was certain, would one day hurt me. I trusted no one anymore. I was so raw from repeated exposure to cruelty that now even the most minor abrasions left a mark
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
Being with Josh is like being touched from the inside out. An unexpected blaze of sunshine on an otherwise bleak winter day. Wrapping your fingers around a mug of hot chocolate after walking home in that frigid lake-effect wind. A fire crackling softly beneath your outstretched hands. The perfect combination of cupcake and icing, the kind where you can’t quite identify all the secret ingredients, but you feel them melting together on your tongue, and you know that for as long you live, this will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted.
Sarah Ockler (Bittersweet)
MOST OF LIFE’S defining moments happen unexpectedly; sometimes they slide past you completely unnoticed until afterward, if at all. The last time your child is small enough to carry on your hip. An eye roll exchanged with a stranger who becomes your life-long best friend. The summer job you apply for on impulse and stay at for the next twenty years. Those kinds of things.
Josie Silver (The Two Lives of Lydia Bird)
What I have learned from the year past is something about miracles--miracles of healing and answered prayer and unexpected happy endings. Each came quietly and simply, on tiptoe, so that I hardly knew it had occurred. All this makes me realize that miracles are everyday things. Not only the sudden, great good fortune, wafting in on a new wind from the sky. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same. Every time something hard becomes easier; every time you adjust to a situation which, last week, you didn't know existed; every time a kindness falls as softly as the dew; or someone you love who was ill grows better; every time a blessing comes, not with trumpet and fanfare, but silently as night, you have witnessed a miracle.
Faith Baldwin (Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart)
You know those little moments when an unexpected act or a spoken word affects your heart with sweet, satiating intensity―a simple gesture that possesses deep, personal meaning beyond what anyone realizes?  You know those tender moments?  That's God pressing his lips on your forehead and whispering, 'I love you.'
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Living did not mean one joy piled upon another. It was merely the hope for less pain, hope played like a playing card upon another hope, a wish for kindnesses and mercies to emerge like kings and queens in an unexpected change of the game. One could hold the cards oneself or not: they would land the same regardless.
Lorrie Moore (Bark)
Now there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful toward your enemy for providing you that precious opportunity. Because if you are ever to be successful in your practice of patience and tolerance, which are critical factors in counteracting negative emotions, it is due to your own efforts and also the opportunity provided by your enemy.
Dalai Lama XIV
I am thinking of those strange moments when unexpectedly a kind of second sight like a deceptive memory seems suddenly to give us glimpses of many earlier lives.
Erich Maria Remarque (The Black Obelisk)
That’s not something I do. I have morals. Kind of. Most of the time.
Cora Rose (Sem (Unexpected, #2))
Reading aloud is different from just following sentences with your eyes. Something quite unexpected wells up in your mind, a kind of indefinable resonance that I find impossible to resist.
Haruki Murakami (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman)
Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire. She
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
I have come to believe that kindness is repaid in unexpected ways and that if you are lonely or bone-tired or blue, you need only come down from your perch and step outside. New York—which is to say, New Yorkers—will take care of you.
Bill Hayes (Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me)
What were you chanting when you gave me your blood?” “More of my vampire magic. I cast a healing spell to aid the powers of my blood.” She sniffled, her nose stuffy. “It was better than Vicodin.” “Vicodin?” “A painkiller from my world.” “A killer of pain. Did you love him?” The words were growled.A burst of unexpected humor gave her strength. “No. In fact, he was hard to shake. He, uh, stalked me, that kind of thing. I had to pretend he didn’t exist.” Nicolai kissed her temple and relaxed against her.
Gena Showalter (Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows, #1))
A well-planned budget will save you from any kind of unexpected surprises.
Pooja Agnihotri (Market Research Like a Pro)
Generosity is, by definition, disinterested.” (p.157)
Piero Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life)
i've been reading whitman, you know what he says, cheer up slaves, and horrify foreign despots, he means that's the attitude for the bard, the zen lunacy bard of old desert paths, see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, dharma bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and there have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn't really want anyway such as refrigerators, tv sets, cars, at least new fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, i see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up into the mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em zen lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
James had thought he wanted a friend like himself, a parabatai who was shy and quiet and would enter in on James’s feelings about the terror of parties. Instead here was Matthew, who was the life and soul of every party, who made dreadful hairbrush decisions, who was unexpectedly and terribly kind. Who had tried to be his friend and kept trying, even though James did not know what trying to be a friend looked like. Who could see James, even when he was a shadow. “Yes,
Cassandra Clare (Nothing but Shadows (Tales from Shadowhunter Academy, #4))
Temporary Insanity had come a-knocking and I had shouted "Come on in the door is open." Luckily, Reality had come unexpectedly and found Temporary Insanity roaming the corridors of my mind unchecked, going into rooms, opening cupboards, reading my letters, looking in my underwear drawer, that kind of thing. Reality had run and got Sanity. And after a tussle, they both had managed to throw out Temporary Insanity and slam the door in his face. Temporary Insanity now lay on the gravel in the driveway of my mind, panting and furious, shouting, "She invited me in, you know. She asked me in. She wanted me there.
Marian Keyes (Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1))
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
it is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people.
Piero Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life--Tenth Anniversary Edition)
As for moral courage, it is very rare, he said, to find that kind found at 2 o'clock in the morning; that is to say, courage in the face of the unexpected.
Napoléon Bonaparte
so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, ‘I am guarding you—I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorsely beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow—this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Unexpected and pleasant surprises occur every day...random kindnesses from a stranger; would-be tragic accidents narrowly avoided; sicknesses healed.... We will notice if we look. We will see good sprinkled liberally over every day if we are open.
Steve Goodier
I used unexpectedly to experience a consciousness of the presence of God, or such a kind that I could not possibly doubt that He was within me or that I was wholly engulfed in Him. This was in no sense a vision: I believe it is called mystical theology. The soul is suspended in such a way that it seems to be completely outside itself. The will loves; the memory, I think, is almost lost; while the understanding, I believe, thought it is not lost, does not reason—I mean that it does not work, but is amazed at the extent of all it can understand; for God wills it to realize that it understands nothing of what His Majesty represents to it.
Teresa de Ávila (The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2–4)
Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
Life isn’t just about getting lemons out of it. An unexpected turn and a kind smile warms you up on the coldest of days.
Sijdah Hussain (Red Sugar, No More)
To be in the present with someone else is a gift. The gift of attention is perhaps the most precious and envied of all, even though we do not always realize it.
Piero Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life--Tenth Anniversary Edition)
All any feeling wants is be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell its story. It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope.
Geneen Roth (Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
In scattering the seed, scattering your 'charity,' your kind deeds, you are giving away, in one form or antoher, part of your personality, and taking into yourself part of another; you are in mutual communion with one another, a little more attention and you will be rewarded with the knowledge of the most unexpected discoveries. You will come at last to look upon your work as a science; it will lay hold of all your life, and may fill up your whole life. On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds scattered by you, perhaps forgotten by you, will grow up and take form. He who has received them from you will hand them on to another. And how can you tell what part you may have in the future determination of the destinies of humanity?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
(Golden Globe acceptance speech in the style of Jane Austen's letters): "Four A.M. Having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding, was not without its pleasures. Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children. The gowns were middling. There was a good deal of shouting and behavior verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintances. Miss Lindsay Doran, of Mirage, wherever that might be, who is largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said. Mr. Ang Lee, of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly apppeared to understand me better than I undersand myself. Mr. James Schamus, a copiously erudite gentleman, and Miss Kate Winslet, beautiful in both countenance and spirit. Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and a Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behavior one has lernt to expect from that race. Mr. Mark Canton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a vast deal of money. Miss Lisa Henson -- a lovely girl, and Mr. Gareth Wigan -- a lovely boy. I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack, but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him. The room was full of interesting activitiy until eleven P.M. when it emptied rather suddenly. The lateness of the hour is due therefore not to the dance, but to the waiting, in a long line for horseless vehicles of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport. P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Tomkins who has purloined my creation and added things of her own. Nefarious creature." "With gratitude and apologies to Miss Austen, thank you.
Emma Thompson (The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film)
Daughter of a whore,” he muttered. Khalid froze, his knuckles turning a perilous shade of white. Shahrzad grabbed his arm and dragged him away. She could see the muscles ticking along his jaw. “You know, you have quite a temper,” she remarked after they had cleared some distance. He said nothing. “Khalid?” “Is that kind of disrespect . . . normal?” Shahrzad lifted a shoulder. “It’s not normal. But it’s not unexpected. It’s the curse of being a woman,” she joked in a morose manner. “It’s obscene. He deserves to be flogged.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
Tessa!” Magnus said again, marveling. “Aren’t you unexpected. And uninvited.” Tessa sat and sipped her tea, looking perfectly composed. Since she was one of Magnus’s dearest and oldest friends, he felt it would be nice if she looked even slightly apologetic. She did not. “You told me once that you would not forgive me if I didn’t drop by whenever I found myself in the same city as you.” “I would have forgiven you,” Magnus said with conviction. “I would have thanked you.” Tessa glanced Alec’s way. Alec was blushing. The ends of Tessa’s lips curled up, but she was kind and hid her smile behind her teacup. “Call it even,” said Tessa. “You once walked in on me in an embarrassing situation with a gentleman in a mountain fortress, after all.” Her half-concealed smile flickered. She looked again at Alec, who had inherited his coloring from Shadowhunters long gone. Shadowhunters Tessa had loved. “You should let that go,” Magnus advised. Tessa was a warlock like Magnus, and like Magnus, she was used to overcoming the memory of what had been loved and lost. They were in the longtime habit of comforting each other. She took another sip of tea, her smile restored as if it had never been gone. “I certainly have let it go,” she replied. “Now.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Sauruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small things... everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.
Fran Walsh Philippa Boyens Peter Jackson Guillermo del Toro
I am concerned with facts of quite unverifiable intrinsic value, but which, by their absolutely unexpected violently fortuitous character, and the kind of associations of suspect ideas they provoke.
André Breton (Nadja)
Jesus brings a kingdom ruled by the crucified one and populated by the unclean and always found in the unexpected. I'd expected to look at the past and see only mistakes that I'd moved on from, to see only damage and addiction and tragic self-delusion. But by thinking that way, I'd assumed that God was nowhere to be found back then. But that's kind of an insult to God. It's like saying, 'You only exist when I recognize you.' The kingdom of heaven, which Jesus talked about all the time, is, as he said, here. At hand. It's now. Wherever you are. In ways you'd never expect.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
There is something quite amazing and monstrous about the education of upper-class women. What could be more paradoxical? All the world is agreed that they are to be brought up as ignorant as possible of erotic matters, and that one has to imbue their souls with a profound sense of shame in such matters until the merest suggestion of such things triggers the most extreme impatience and flight. The "honor" of women really comes into play only here: what else would one not forgive them? But here they are supposed to remain ignorant even in their hearts: they are supposed to have neither eyes nor ears, nor words, nor thoughts for this -- their "evil;" and mere knowledge is considered evil. And then to be hurled as by a gruesome lightning bolt, into reality and knowledge, by marriage -- precisely by the man they love and esteem most! To catch love and shame in a contradiction and to be forced to experience at the same time delight, surrender, duty, pity, terror, and who knows what else, in the face of the unexpected neighborliness of god and beast! Thus a psychic knot has been tied that may have no equal. Even the compassionate curiosity of the wisest student of humanity is inadequate for guessing how this or that woman manages to accommodate herself to this solution of the riddle, and to the riddle of a solution, and what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must stir in her poor, unhinged soul -- and how the ultimate philosophy and skepsis of woman casts anchor at this point! Afterward, the same deep silence as before. Often a silence directed at herself, too. She closes her eyes to herself. Young women try hard to appear superficial and thoughtless. The most refined simulate a kind of impertinence. Women easily experience their husbands as a question mark concerning their honor, and their children as an apology or atonement. They need children and wish for them in a way that is altogether different from that in which a man may wish for children. In sum, one cannot be too kind about women.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
Human relations are becoming colder. Communications are becoming more hurried and impersonal. Values such as profit and efficiency are taking on greater importance at the expense of human warmth and genuine presence.
Piero Ferrucci (The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life--Tenth Anniversary Edition)
Those unexpected morality lessons provided by the trip had jolted me into some kind of action. It was time to jettison the past before the present jettisoned me. This was my first veiled attempt at recovery. Although perhaps I was just running away again. I returned to Glasgow, planning to say a final goodbye to Anne and get out of her life, but ended up drinking with buddies in the Chip Bar and never seeing her. I called her instead to say I was moving to London and told her she could have the house and everything else we owned, which wasn't much. I think she was as relieved as I was that I was leaving town for good.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
. . . you know who Polworth is?" "Your best mate," said Robin. "He's my oldest mate," Strike corrected her. "My best mate . . . " For a split second he wondered whether he was going to say it, but the whisky had lifted the guard he usually kept upon himself: why not say it, why not let go? " . . . is you." Robin was so amazed, she couldn't speak. Never, in four years, had Strike come close to telling her what she was to him. Fondness had had to be deduced from offhand comments, small kindnesses, awkward silences or gestures forced from him under stress. She'd only once before felt as she did now, and the unexpected gift that had engendered the feeling had been a sapphire and diamond ring, which she'd left behind when she walked out on the man who'd given it to her. She wanted to make some kind of return, but for a moment or two, her throat felt too constricted. "I . . . well, the feeling's mutual," she said, trying not to sound too happy.
Robert Galbraith (Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5))
Hauk laughed unexpectedly. “You know, Ryn, I keep thinking back to what my father used to say to me. There are two kinds of people in this world. Those like my mother who can walk into the most backwater dive hole with the worst riffraff in the universe and in ten minutes, she’ll have them baking cookies and singing love songs together. Then you have those like my father. The kind of man who could walk into an antiwar monastery and in ten minutes have the monks at each other’s throats.” - Dancer Hauk
Sherrilyn Kenyon
What’s your favorite word?” Startled, I looked up at him, unsure I’d heard him right. “My favorite word?” He nodded, slipping his glasses up his nose with a quick, practiced scrunch of his face that made him look angry and then surprised within a single second. “You have seven boxes of books up here. A wild guess tells me you like words.” I suppose I had never thought about having a favorite word, but now that he asked, I kind of liked the idea. I let my eyes lose focus as I thought. “Ranunculus,” I said after a moment. “What?” “Ranunculus. It’s a kind of flower. It’s such a weird word but the flowers are so pretty, I like how unexpected that is.” They were my Mom’s favorite, I didn’t say. “That’s a pretty girly answer.” “Well, I am a girl.” He kept his eyes on his feet but I knew I wasn’t imagining the gleam of interest I’d seen when I said ranunculus. I bet he had expected me to say unicorn or daisy or vampire. “What about you? What’s your favorite word? I bet it’s tungsten. Or, like, amphibian.” He quirked a smile, answering, “Regurgitate.” Scrunching my nose, I stared at him. “That is a gross word.” This made him smile even wider. “I like the hard consonant sounds in it. It kinda sounds like exactly what it means.” “An onomatopoeia?” I half expected trumpets to blast revelatory music from an invisible speaker in the wall from the way Elliot stared at me, lips parted and glasses slowly sliding down his nose. “Yeah,” he said. “I’m not a complete idiot, you know. You don’t have to look so surprised that I know some big words.” “I never thought you were an idiot,” he said quietly, looking toward the box and pulling out another book to hand to me. For a long time after we returned to our slow, inefficient method of unpacking the books, I could feel him looking up and watching me, tiny flashes of stolen glances. I pretended I didn’t notice.
Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words)
We cannot be truly peaceful unless we have the invincible quality of peace within us; a feeble or temporary peacefulness could always be disturbed. If we try to be kind and peaceful in a naive way, encountering a different or unexpected situation might interfere with our awareness of peace because that peace has no strength in it, has no character. So peace must be stable, deeprooted, and solid.
Chögyam Trungpa (Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism)
But before she could speak another word, he crushed his mouth against hers. It was so unexpected that she hadn't the chance to even think of pushing him away. His body pressed her firmly against the rough cave wall. His hands slid down to her waist to pull her closer to him. And just like that, with his proximity, with his kiss, he managed to fill her every sense. He was smoke from the campfire, he was leaves and moss and the night itself. There was nothing gentle in the rebel's kiss, nothing sweet or kind. It was like nothing she'd ever experience before, and so very dangerous—every bit as deadly as the kiss of an arrow. Finally, he pulled back just a little, his dark eyes glazed as if half drunk. "Princess..." He cupped her face between his hands, his breath ragged. Her lips felt bruised. "I suppose that's how Paelsians show their anger and frustration?
Morgan Rhodes (Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms, #2))
Mother Goose will show newcomers to this world how astonishing, beautiful, capricious, dancy, eccentric, funny, goluptious, haphazard, intertwingled, joyous, kindly, loving, melodious, naughty, outrageous, pomsidillious, querimonious, romantic, silly, tremendous, unexpected, vertiginous, wonderful, x-citing, yo-heave-ho-ish, and zany it is.
Iona Opie (My Very First Mother Goose)
We often look for kindness back in the same place we gave it, and mostly that is where we go wrong. Kindness does not work that way, you put your kind deeds into the universe and the universe reflects back that energy into your life, from unexpected avenues at most appropriate times.
Drishti Bablani, Wordions
Each moment of loss, she has come to believe, contains within it the possibility of a new life. When the unimaginable happens, and your life changes irrevocably, you may find along with the pain a kind of grace. And in the place of certainty and fear—the fear of losing what you had—you are left with something startling: a depth of empathy, a quivering sensitivity to the world around you, and the unexpected blessing of gratitude for what remains.
Christina Baker Kline (Bird in Hand)
Her mouth was on his with such ferocity, it knocked him back a step. He managed to haul her back so he could gasp for air and answers. "Not that I'm complaining." "Then don't. Shut up and put out Savoie." "You are so romantic, detective." She chained rough kisses about his neck. "What if I can't perform under this unexpected pressure?" Her hand dropped below his belt for an assessing fondle. "Just my luck. Appears to be high performance all the way." He chuckled and began to nuzzle and nip at her rather roughly, his attention supercharged by her aggression. "And what kind of handling are you looking for?" "Fast and reckless
Nancy Gideon (Chased by Moonlight (By Moonlight, #2))
What is a whore?" Unsurprisingly, that hadn't been one of the words we had shared over the last span of days. For half a moment I considered lying, but there was no way I could manage it. "He says your mother is a person men pay money to have sex with." Tempi turned back to the mercenary and nodded graciously. "You are very kind. I thank you.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Holly turned back towards me. ‘So, I guess this means you’re well and truly together?’ she asked. When I nodded, she gave an irritating little roll of the eyes, which Steve immediately intercepted. ‘Well, if you ask me,’ he said, ‘you could do a lot worse than Hannah.’ ‘Has done a lot worse,’ Dan corrected. ‘Did I say he hadn’t?’ Holly asked, at which point we all turned our heads to face her. This was unexpected. ‘What?’ Holly said. ‘Jesus, guys. I’m not saying I’ll ever be friends with the girl, but you have to hand it to her – James is finally smiling again for the first time in forever. I suppose she deserves at least some credit for that.’ ‘Wow,’ I said. ‘Thanks Holly.’ ‘Oh, don’t get all soppy, James,’ Holly grumbled. ‘I still think she’s a twat.’ I wished she hadn’t said that. It kind of ruined the moment.
Andy Marr (Hunger for Life)
I am made to think, not for the first time, that in my writing I have plunged ahead-head-on, heedlessly one might say-or 'fearlessly'- into my own future: this time of utter raw anguished loss. Though I may have had, since adolescence, a kind of intellectual/literary precocity, I had not experienced much;nor would I experience much until I was well into middle age-the illnesses and deaths of my parents, this unexpected death of my husband. We play at paste till qualified for pearl says Emily Dickinson. Playing at paste is much of our early lives. And then, with the violence of a door slammed shut by wind rushing through a house, life catches up with us.
Joyce Carol Oates (A Widow's Story)
See the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming... all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures...
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
Travel Tip: The term is in situ -- in the place of origin. We travel to put ourselves in situ , in a place where we belong. The feeling that one was born in the wrong place is an ancient an universal experience, such that I suspect (a) it is part of our human DNA; and (b) is why our kind are born wanderers. We travel to find the place where we can recognize ourselves for once. Be on the lookout for that jolt of unexpected familiarity in a foreign land: that's how you'll know you are in situ .
Vivian Swift (Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France)
A waiter came swiftly along the room, and then stopped dead. His stoppage was as silent as his tread; but all those vague and kindly gentlemen were so used to the utter smoothness of the unseen machinery which surrounded and supported their lives, that a waiter doing anything unexpected was a start and a jar. They felt as you and I would feel if the inanimate world disobeyed-- if a chair ran away from us.
G.K. Chesterton (The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown, #1))
When you decide that you need to lose twenty pounds because you are disgusting at this weight or that you need to meditate every day or go to church on Sundays because you will go to hell if you don’t, you are making life decisions while you are being whipped with chains. The Voice-induced decisions—those made from shame and force, guilt or deprivation, cannot be trusted. They do not last because they are based on fear of consequences instead of longing for truth. Instead, ask yourself what you love. Without fear of consequences, without force or shame or guilt. What motivates you to be kind, to take care of your body, your spirit, others, the earth? Trust the longing, trust the love that can be translated into action without the threat of punishment. Trust that you will not destroy what matters most. Give yourself that much.
Geneen Roth (Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
The truths Phaedrus began to pursue were lateral truths; no longer the frontal truths of science, those toward which the discipline pointed, but the kind of truth you see laterally, out of the corner of your eye. In a laboratory situation, when your whole procedure goes haywire, when everything goes wrong or is indeterminate or is so screwed up by unexpected results you can't make head or tail out of anything, you start looking laterally. That's a word he later used to describe a growth of knowledge that doesn't move forward like an arrow in flight, but expands sideways, like an arrow enlarging in flight, or like the archer, discovering that although he has hit the bull's-eye and won the prize, his head is on a pillow and the sun is coming in the window. Lateral knowledge is knowledge that's from a wholly unexpected direction, from a direction that's not even understood as a direction until the knowledge forces itself upon one. Lateral truths point to the falseness of axioms and postulates underlying one's existing system of getting at truth.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
I was unexpectedly, reluctantly, wholly in love, not just any love but a consuming love, an unwanted love, an inconvenient love, the kind of love that a man wants to be cured of, that makes a man feel ashamed of himself, only the more he denies it the more entangled he becomes, like one of those nautical knots that tightens with every pull. It felt like an infection, a sudden illness, in which everything is at once the same as it was before and yet transformed. Being in love is a kind of hypnosis and, as any hypnotist will tell you, to be hypnotized one must secretly want to be hypnotized, so secretly that one doesn’t even know it. Falling in love is an act of involuntary will.
Alex Landragin (Crossings)
At one time, I had been the type of boy who leaned at the window, forever watching out for unexpected events to come crowding in towards him. Though I might be unable to change the world myself, I could not but hope that the world would change of its own accord. As that kind of boy, with all the accompanying anxieties, the transformation of the world was an urgent necessity for me; it nourished me from day to day; it was something without which I could not have lived. The idea of the changing of the world was as much a necessity as sleep and three meals a day. It was the womb that nourished my imagination.
Yukio Mishima (Sun & Steel)
But old Christmas smiled as he laid this cruel-seeming spell on the out-door world, for he meant to light up the home with new brightness, to deepen all the richness of in-door colour, and give a keener edge of delight to the warm fragrance of food: he meant to prepare a sweet imprisonment that would strengthen the primitive fellowship of kindred,and make the sunshine of familiar human faces as welcome as the hidden day-star. His kindness fell but hardly on the homeless--fell but hardly on the homes where the hearth was not very warm, and where the food had little fragrance, where the human faces had no sunshine in them,but rather the leaden, blank-eyed gaze of unexpectant want. But the fine old season meant well; and if he has not learnt the secret how to bless men impartially, it is because his father Time, with unrelenting purpose, still hides that secret in his own mighty, slow-beating heart.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Her whole face changes when she smiles-this eyebrow-lifting, perfect-teeth-showing, eye-crinkling smile I've either never seen or never noticed. She becomes pretty so suddenly that it's almost like a magic trick - but it's not like I want her or anything. Not to sound like a jerk, but Jane isn't really my type. Her hair is kind of disastrously curly and she mostly hangs out with guys. My type's of little girlier. And honestly, I don't even like my type of girl that much, let alone other types. Not that I'm asexual - I just find Romance Drama unbearable.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
It was a casual, domestic scene. Nothing extraordinary. Yet it triggered a longing so fierce and unexpected I had to turn away. I firmly believed people didn't need a significant other to be happy. If someone wanted to be in a relationship, great. If they didn't, also great. The same went for children, marriage, etc. There were no universal barometers for happiness. A person's life could be just as fulfilling without a romantic partner as it was with one. But there were times, like now, when I yearned to experience that kind of unconditional love. To have someone care for me through the good, the bad, and the inevitable mistakes I made. What would it be like to be loved so deeply by someone that I wouldn't have to worry about every little move possibly driving them away?
Ana Huang (Twisted Hate (Twisted, #3))
According to Proust, one proof that we are reading a major new writer is that his writing immediately strikes us as ugly. Only minor writers write beautifully, since they simply reflect back to us our preconceived notion of what beauty is; we have no problem understanding what they are up to, since we have seen it many times before. When a writer is truly original, his failure to be conventionally beautiful makes us see him, initially, as shapeless, awkward, or perverse. Only once we have learned how to read him do we realize that this ugliness is really a new, totally unexpected kind of beauty and that what seemed wrong in his writing is exactly what makes him great.
Adam Kirsch
MOCKINGBIRDS ARE THE TRUE ARTISTS of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they’re born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mockingbirds aren’t content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that served no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
Among the most beautiful things I've ever heard anyone say came from my student Bethany, talking about her pedagogical aspirations or ethos, how she wanted to be as a teacher, and what she wanted her classrooms to be: "What if we joined our wildernesses together?" Sit with that for a minute. That the body, the life, might carry a wilderness, an unexpected territory, and that yours and mine might somewhere, somehow, meet. Might, even, join. And what if the wilderness - perhaps the densest wild in there - thickets, bogs, swamps, uncrossable ravines and rivers (have I made the metaphor clear?) - is our sorrow? Or... the 'intolerable.' It astonishes me sometimes - no, often - how every person I get to know - everyone, regardless of everything, by which I mean everything - lives with some profound personal sorrow... Everyone, regardless, always, of everything. Not to mention the existential sorrow we all might be afflicted with, which is that we, and what we love, will soon be annihilated. Which sounds more dramatic than it might. Let me just say dead. Is this, sorrow, of which our impending being no more might be the foundation, the great wilderness? Is sorrow the true wild? And if it is - and if we join them - your wild to mine - what's that? For joining, too, is a kind of annihilation. What if we joined our sorrow, I'm saying. I'm saying: What if that is joy?
Ross Gay (The Book of Delights: Essays)
Levin was almost of the same age as Oblonsky; their intimacy did not rest merely on champagne. Levin had been the friend and companion of his early youth. They were fond of one another in spite of the difference of their characters and tastes, as friends are fond of one another who have been together in early youth. But in spite of this, each of them—as is often the way with men who have selected careers of different kinds—though in discussion he would even justify the other's career, in his heart despised it. It seemed to each of them that the life he led himself was the only real life, and the life led by his friend was a mere phantasm. Oblonsky could not restrain a slight mocking smile at the sight of Levin. How often he had seen him come up to Moscow from the country where he was doing something, but what precisely Stepan Arkadyevitch could never quite make out, and indeed he took no interest in the matter. Levin arrived in Moscow always excited and in a hurry, rather ill at ease and irritated by his own want of ease, and for the most part with a perfectly new, unexpected view of things. Stepan Arkadyevitch laughed at this, and liked it. In the same way Levin in his heart despised the town mode of life of his friend, and his official duties, which he laughed at, and regarded as trifling. But the difference was that Oblonsky, as he was doing the same as every one did, laughed complacently and good-humoredly, while Levin laughed without complacency and sometimes angrily.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Now it is very striking, and well worth investigating, that such trifling, nay, apparently childish, means as metre and rhyme produce so powerful an effect. I explain it to myself in the following manner: That which is given directly to the sense of hearing, thus the mere sound of the words, receives from rhythm and rhyme a certain completeness and significance in itself for it thereby becomes a kind of music; therefore it seems now to exist for its own sake, and no longer as a mere means, mere signs of something signified, the sense of the words. To please the ear with its sound seems to be its whole end, and therefore with this everything seems to be attained and all claims satisfied. But that it further contains a meaning, expresses a thought, presents itself now as an unexpected addition, like words to music - as an unexpected present which agreeably surprises us - and therefore, since we made no demands of this kind, very easily satisfies us; and if indeed this thought is such that, in itself, thus said in prose, it would be significant, then we are enchanted.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Volume II)
Like Nycteris, she thought, and cringed. There was an old fairy tale called The History of Photogen and Nycteris that she still carried a copy of. The main character in it was a young woman who had been raised by a cruel witch, inside a cave beneath a castle. The girl had grown up knowing only darkness, which at the time hadn’t seemed much of an issue to child-Devon. But the general idea was that Nycteris’s world was narrow: she thought the lamp in her cave was a sun, and that the universe was just a tiny series of rooms. She knew nothing of society and had very few books. A relatable situation, for a book eater woman. One day, Nycteris escaped her cave by following a stray firefly. She ended up in the castle garden. But her reactions in the story were strange and unexpected. Upon espying the moon for the first time, Nycteris decided that it must be a giant lamp, akin to the one in her cave. She saw the sky, and likewise decided it must be another kind of roof. And when she looked at the horizon, she saw not a limitless world, but merely another room, albeit with distant walls. The concept of outside didn’t exist for one such as Nycteris, nor could it ever. Her upbringing had given her such a fixed perspective that, even when encountering something new, she could only process it along the lines already drawn for her. The story’s complexity had baffled Devon as a child, but she understood it well enough now. The truth was, Nycteris never really escaped. Oh, she got a prince and a castle and the cruel witch died at the end. But Nycteris could not ever leave the cave, because the cave was a place in her mind; it was the entire way she thought about reality. Princesses like that couldn’t be rescued.
Sunyi Dean (The Book Eaters (International Edition))
Her hands warming on tea looked like chunks of knitting a child had felted in grubby palms. Enough decades, and a body slowly twists into one great cramp, but there was a time once, where she had been sexy, and if not sexy, at least odd-looking enough to compel. Through this clear window she could see how good it all had been. She had no regrets. That's not true, Mathilde. The whisper in the ear. Oh, Christ, yes, there was one. Solitary, gleaming, a regret. It was that all her life she had said no. From the beginning she had let so few people in. That first night, his young face glowing up a hers in the black light, bodies beating the air around them, and inside there was that unexpected sharp recognition, oh, this. A sudden peace arriving for her. She who hadn't been at peace since she was so little. Out of nowhere, out of this surprising night with its shatters of lightning and the stormy black campus outside, with the heat and song and sex and animal fear inside. He had seen her and made the leap and swung through the crowd and taken her hand, this bright boy who was giving her a place to rest. He offered not only his whole laughing self, the past that build him and the warm beating body that moved her with its beauty and the future she felt compressed and waiting, but also the torch he carried before him in the dark, his understanding, dazzling, instant, that there was goodness at her core. With the gift came the bitter seed of regret, the unbridgeable gap between the Mathilde she was and the Mathilde he had seen her to be. A question, in the end, of vision. She wished she'd been the kind Mathilde, the good one, his idea of her. She would have looked smiling down at him, she would've heard beyond marry me to the world that spun behind the words. There would have been no pause, no hesitation. She would've laughed, touched his face for the first time, felt his warmth in the palm of her hand. 'Yes,' she would've said. 'Sure.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
What one should add here is that self-consciousness is itself unconscious: we are not aware of the point of our self-consciousness. If ever there was a critic of the fetishizing effect of fascinating and dazzling "leitmotifs", it is Adorno: in his devastating analysis of Wagner, he tries to demonstrate how Wagnerian leitmotifs serve as fetishized elements of easy recognition and thus constitute a kind of inner-structural commodification of his music. It is then a supreme irony that traces of this same fetishizing procedure can be found in Adorno's own writings. Many of his provocative one-liners do effectively capture a profound insight or at least touch on a crucial point (for example: "Nothing is more true in pscyhoanalysis than its exaggeration"); however, more often than his partisans are ready to admit, Adorno gets caught up in his own game, infatuated with his own ability to produce dazzlingly "effective" paradoxical aphorisms at the expense of theoretical substance (recall the famous line from Dialectic of Englightment on how Hollywood's ideological maniuplation of social reality realized Kant's idea of the transcendental constitution of reality). In such cases where the dazzling "effect" of the unexpected short-circuit (here between Hollywood cinema and Kantian ontology) effectively overshadows the theoretical line of argumentation, the brilliant paradox works precisely in the same manner as the Wagnerian leitmotif: instead of serving as a nodal point in the complex network of structural mediation, it generates idiotic pleasure by focusing attention on itself. This unintended self-reflexivity is something of which Adorno undoubtedly was not aware: his critique of the Wagnerian leitmotif was an allegorical critique of his own writing. Is this not an exemplary case of his unconscious reflexivity of thinking? When criticizing his opponent Wagner, Adorno effectively deploys a critical allegory of his own writing - in Hegelese, the truth of his relation to the Other is a self-relation.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
Perhaps some wine will wash things clean,’ suggested Bugg. ‘Won’t hurt. Pour us some, please. You, guard, come and join us—standing there doing nothing must be a dreadful bore. No need to gape like that, I assure you. Doff that helm and relax—there’s another guard just like you on the other side of that door, after all. Let him bear the added burden of diligence. Tell us about yourself. Family, friends, hobbies, scandals—’ ‘Sire,’ warned Bugg. ‘Or just join us in a drink and feel under no pressure to say anything at all. This shall be one of those interludes swiftly glossed over in the portentous histories of great and mediocre kings. We sit in the desultory aftermath, oblivious to omens and whatever storm waits behind yonder horizon. Ah, thank you, Bugg—my Queen, accept that goblet and come sit on my knee—oh, don’t make that kind of face, we need to compose the proper scene. I insist and since I’m King I can do that, or so I read somewhere. Now, let’s see . . . yes, Bugg, stand right over there—oh, massaging your brow is the perfect pose. And you, dearest guard—how did you manage to hide all that hair? And how come I never knew you were a woman? Never mind, you’re an unexpected delight—ow, calm down, wife—oh, that’s me who needs to calm down. Sorry. Women in uniforms and all that. Guard, that dangling helm is exquisite by the way, take a mouthful and do pass judgement on the vintage, yes, like that, oh, most perfect! ‘Now, it’s just occurred to me that we’re missing something crucial. Ah, yes, an artist. Bugg, have we a court artist? We need an artist! Find us an artist! Nobody move!
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
The I Ching insists upon self-knowledge throughout. The method by which this is to be achieved is open to every kind of misuse, and is therefore not for the frivolous-minded and immature; nor is it for intellectualists and rationalists. It is appropriate only for thoughtful and reflective people who like to think about what they do and what happens to them -- a predilection not to be confused with the morbid brooding of the hypochondriac. As I have indicated above, I have no answer to the multitude of problems that arise when we seek to harmonize the oracle of the I Ching with our accepted scientific canons. But needless to say, nothing "occult" is to be inferred. My position in these matters is pragmatic, and the great disciplines that have taught me the practical usefulness of this viewpoint are psychotherapy and medical psychology. Probably in no other field do we have to reckon with so many unknown quantities, and nowhere else do we become more accustomed to adopting methods that work even though for a long time we may not know why they work. Unexpected cures may arise from questionable therapies and unexpected failures from allegedly reliable methods. In the exploration of the unconscious we come upon very strange things, from which a rationalist turns away with horror, claiming afterward that he did not see anything. The irrational fullness of life has taught me never to discard anything, even when it goes against all our theories (so short-lived at best) or otherwise admits of no immediate explanation. It is of course disquieting, and one is not certain whether the compass is pointing true or not; but security, certitude, and peace do not lead to discoveries.
C.G. Jung
9. Your Photo Album Many people have a photo album. In it they keep memories of the happiest of times. There may be a photo of them playing by the beach when they were very young. There may be the picture with their proud parents at their graduation ceremony. There will be many shots of their wedding that captures their love at one of its highest points. And there will be holiday snapshots too. But you will never find in your album any photographs of miserable moments of your life. Absent is the photo of you outside the principal’s office at school. Missing is any photo of you studying hard late into the night for your exams. No one that I know has a picture of their divorce in their album, nor one of them in a hospital bed terribly sick, nor stuck in busy traffic on the way to work on a Monday morning! Such depressing shots never find their way into anyone’s photo album. Yet there is another photo album that we keep in our heads called our memory. In that album, we include so many negative photographs. There you find so many snapshots of insulting arguments, many pictures of the times when you were so badly let down, and several montages of the occasions where you were treated cruelly. There are surprisingly few photos in that album of happy moments. This is crazy! So let’s do a purge of the photo album in our head. Delete the uninspiring memories. Trash them. They do not belong in this album. In their place, put the same sort of memories that you have in a real photo album. Paste in the happiness of when you made up with your partner, when there was that unexpected moment of real kindness, or whenever the clouds parted and the sun shone with extraordinary beauty. Keep those photos in your memory. Then when you have a few spare moments, you will find yourself turning its pages with a smile, or even with laughter.
Ajahn Brahm (Don't Worry, Be Grumpy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment)
Christ, I’m tired. I need sleep. I need peace. I need for my balls to not be so blue they’re practically purple. As purple as Sarah Von Titebottum’s— My mind comes to a screeching halt with the unexpected thought. And the image that accompanies it—the odd, blushing lass with her glasses and her books and very tight bottom. Sarah’s not a contestant on the show, so I’m willing to bet both my indigo balls that there’s not a camera in her room. And, I can’t believe I’m fucking thinking this, but, even better—none of the other girls will know where to find me—including Elizabeth. I let the cameras noisily track me to the lavatory, but then, like an elite operative of the Secret Intelligence Service, I plaster myself to the wall beneath their range and slide my way out the door. Less than five minutes later, I’m in my sleeping pants and a white T-shirt, barefoot with my guitar in hand, knocking on Sarah’s bedroom door. I checked the map Vanessa gave me earlier. Her room is on the third floor, in the corner of the east wing, removed from the main part of the castle. The door opens just a crack and dark brown eyes peer out. “Sanctuary,” I plead. Her brow crinkles and the door opens just a bit wider. “I beg your pardon?” “I haven’t slept in almost forty-eight hours. My best friend’s girlfriend is trying to praying-mantis me and the sound of the cameras following me around my room is literally driving me mad. I’m asking you to take me in.” And she blushes. Great. “You want to sleep in here? With me?” I scoff. “No, not with you—just in your room, love.” I don’t think about how callous the words sound—insulting—until they’re out of my mouth. Could I be any more of a dick? Thankfully, Sarah doesn’t look offended. “Why here?” she asks. “Back in the day, the religious orders used to give sanctuary to anyone who asked. And since you dress like a nun, it seemed like the logical choice.” I don’t know why I said that. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Somebody just fucking shoot me and be done with it. Sarah’s lips tighten, her head tilts, and her eyes take on a dangerous glint. I think Scooby-Doo put it best when he said, Ruh-roh. “Let me make sure I’ve got this right—you need my help?” “Correct.” “You need shelter, protection, sanctuary that only I can give?” “Yes.” “And you think teasing me about my clothes is a wise strategy?” I hold up my palms. “I never said I was wise. Exhausted, defenseless, and desperate.” I pout . . . but in a manly kind of way. “Pity me.” A smile tugs at her lips. And that’s when I know she’s done for. With a sigh, she opens the door wide. “Well, it is your castle. Come in.” Huh. She’s right—it is my castle. I really need to start remembering that
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
I pulled at the knot again and heard threads begin to pop. “Allow me, Miss Jones,” said Armand, right at my back. There was no gracious way to refuse him. Not with Mrs. Westcliffe there, too. I exhaled and dropped my arms. I stared at the lotus petals in my painting as the new small twists and tugs of Armand’s hands rocked me back and forth. Jesse’s music began to reverberate somewhat more sharply than before. “There,” Armand said, soft near my ear. “Nearly got it.” “Most kind of you, my lord.” Mrs. Westcliffe’s voice was far more carrying. “Do you not agree, Miss Jones?” Her tone said I’d better. “Most kind,” I repeated. For some reason I felt him as a solid warmth behind me, behind all of me, even though only his knuckles made a gentle bumping against my spine. How blasted long could it take to unravel a knot? “Yes,” said Chloe unexpectedly. “Lord Armand is always a perfect gentleman, no matter who or what demands his attention.” “There,” the gentleman said, and at last his hands fell away. The front of the smock sagged loose. I shrugged out of it as fast as I could, wadding it up into a ball. “Excuse me.” I ducked a curtsy and began my escape to the hamper, but Mrs. Westcliffe cut me short. “A moment, Miss Jones. We require your presence.” I turned to face them. Armand was smiling his faint, cool smile. Mrs. Westcliffe looked as if she wished to fix me in some way. I raised a hand instinctively to my hair, trying to press it properly into place. “You have the honor of being invited to tea at the manor house,” the headmistress said. “To formally meet His Grace.” “Oh,” I said. “How marvelous.” I’d rather have a tooth pulled out. “Indeed. Lord Armand came himself to deliver the invitation.” “Least I could do,” said Armand. “It wasn’t far. This Saturday, if that’s all right.” “Um…” “I am certain Miss Jones will be pleased to cancel any other plans,” said Mrs. Westcliffe. “This Saturday?” Unlike me, Chloe had not concealed an inch of ground. “Why, Mandy! That’s the day you promised we’d play lawn tennis.” He cocked a brow at her, and I knew right then that she was lying and that she knew that he knew. She sent him a melting smile. “Isn’t it, my lord?” “I must have forgotten,” he said. “Well, but we cannot disappoint the duke, can we?” “No, indeed,” interjected Mrs. Westcliffe. “So I suppose you’ll have to come along to the tea instead, Chloe.” “Very well. If you insist.” He didn’t insist. He did, however, sweep her a very deep bow and then another to the headmistress. “And you, too, Mrs. Westcliffe. Naturally. The duke always remarks upon your excellent company.” “Most kind,” she said again, and actually blushed. Armand looked dead at me. There was that challenge behind his gaze, that one I’d first glimpsed at the train station. “We find ourselves in harmony, then. I shall see you in a few days, Miss Jones.” I tightened my fingers into the wad of the smock and forced my lips into an upward curve. He smiled back at me, that cold smile that said plainly he wasn’t duped for a moment. I did not get a bow. Jesse was at the hamper when I went to toss in the smock. Before I could, he took it from me, eyes cast downward, no words. Our fingers brushed beneath the cloth. That fleeting glide of his skin against mine. The sensation of hardened calluses stroking me, tender and rough at once. The sweet, strong pleasure that spiked through me, brief as it was. That had been on purpose. I was sure of it.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))