Wanted Dead Or Alive Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Wanted Dead Or Alive. Here they are! All 200 of them:

I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
When it was over, she gathered him in her arms. And told him the terrible irony of her life. That she had wanted to be dead all those years while her brother had been alive. That had been her sin. And this was her penance. Wanting to live when everyone else seemed dead.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
If we don’t make out of this alive, Sophie Price, I want you to know that I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. You’re it for me.
Fisher Amelie (Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1))
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE: RAPUNZEL For horse thieving, kidnapping, jail breaking, and using her hair in a manner other than nature intended! REWARD
Shannon Hale (Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunzel's Revenge, #1))
I wanted to be dead. No. That's not quite right. I didn't want to be dead, I just didn't want to be alive.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
I believe that we, that this planet, hasn't seen its Golden Age. Everybody says its finished ... art's finished, rock and roll is dead, God is dead. Fuck that! This is my chance in the world. I didn't live back there in Mesopotamia, I wasn't there in the Garden of Eden, I wasn't there with Emperor Han, I'm right here right now and I want now to be the Golden Age ...if only each generation would realise that the time for greatness is right now when they're alive ... the time to flower is now.
Patti Smith
I had carried on when all I wanted was to be dead. I had stayed alive for other people. I never stayed alive for myself. I cannot begin to describe the intensity of that effort.
Sally Brampton (Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
Can I be blamed for wanting a real body, to put my arms around? Without it I too am disembodied. I can listen to my own heartbeat against the bedsprings...but there’s something dead about it, something deserted.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
You! You tricked me! I never want to see you or that bottle of liquid arsenic again!” I chucked the empty moonshine jug at him. Or tried to. It missed him by a dozen feet. He picked it up in astonishment. “You drank the whole bloody thing? You were only supposed to have a few sips!” “Did you say that? Did you?” He reached me just as I felt the ground tip. “Didn’t say anything. I’ve got those names, so that’s all that matters, but you men…you’re all alike. Alive, dead, undead—all perverts! I had a drunken pervert in my pants! Do you know how unsanitary that is?” Bones held me upright. I would have protested, but I couldn’t remember how to. “What are you saying?” “Winston poltergeisted my panties, that’s what!” I announced with a loud hiccup. “Why, you scurvy, lecherous spook!” Bones yelled in the direction of the cemetery. “If my pipes still worked, I’d go right back there and piss on your grave!
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
After you're dead and buried and floating around whatever place we go to, what's going to be your best memory of earth? What one moment for you defines what it's like to be alive on this planet. What's your takeaway? Fake yuppie experiences that you had to spend money on, like white water rafting or elephant rides in Thailand don't count. I want to hear some small moment from your life that proves you're really alive.
Douglas Coupland (Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture)
You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they’re not living, breathing people any more. It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you, and makes you want to cry in the wrong places, and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become … a doughnut instead of a bun
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
If you love someone, you're not supposed to want them to come back. Better a peaceful sleep in the earth than the life of a zombie--not really dead but not really alive, either.
Cassandra Clare (Zombies Vs. Unicorns)
I felt like praying or something, when I was in bed, but I couldn't do it. I can't always pray when I feel like it. In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Laura looked up at him with dead blue eyes. I want to be alive again," she said. "Not in this half-life. I want to be really alive. I want to feel my heart pumping in my chest again. I want to feel blood moving through me — hot, and salty, and real. It's weird, you don't think you can feel it, the blood, but believe me, when it stops flowing, you'll know." She rubbed her eyes, smudging her face with red from the mess on her hands. Look, it's hard. You know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it's easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don't want to have to pass. I want to be alive.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I am one in a row of specimens. It's when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I'm meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive. but it's the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.
John Fowles (The Collector)
Jesus waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited one day, a lot of people wouldn't have even heard he died. They'd be all, "Hey Jesus, what up?" and Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday!" and they'd be all, "Uh, you look pretty alive to me, dude..." and then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and the dude'd be like "Uhh okay, whatever you say, bro..." And he's not gonna come back on a Saturday. Everybody's busy, doing chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' the beard, NO. He waited the perfect number of days, three. Plus it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already, and they're all in there like "Oh no, Jesus is dead", and then BAM! He bursts in the back door, runnin' up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched, and FYI, that's when he invented the high five. That's why we wait three days to call a woman, because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait.... True story.
Barney Stinson
You’re alive," she whispered. "Really alive." With a slow wonderment he reached to touch her face. "I was in the dark," he said softly. "There was nothing there but shadows, and I was a shadow, and I knew that I was dead, and that it was over, all of it. And then I heard your voice. I heard you say my name, and it brought me back." "Not me." Clary’s throat tightened. "The Angel brought you back." "Because you asked him to." Silently he traced the outline of her face with his fingers, as if reassuring himself that she was real. "You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me." She smiled up at him. Filthy as he was, covered in blood and dirt, he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. "But I don’t want anything else in the world.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life)
I have come to accept myself for what I am: human. I am not perfect. I am not immune to fate, but I am not automatically doomed for being alive. I feel temptations every second of every day and I am not controlled by them. I do what I want anyway, so who is to say I want anything else? When I want, I let these peculiarities run across me like dogs to their masters. When I do not, I keep them at bay with my will and my testimony. I do not cut myself off from what makes me feel; I just refuse to feel anything that cuts me off from what matters most. It is called will power. With a little practice, you can accomplish great things.
Corey Taylor (Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good)
But Harrowhark—Harrow, who was two hundred dead children; Harrow, who loved something that had not been alive for ten thousand years—Harrowhark Nonagesimus had always so badly wanted to live. She had cost too much to die.
Tamsyn Muir (Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2))
Isn’t it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn’t going to be room to bury anyone anymore? For my ninth birthday last year, Grandma gave me a subscription to National Geographic, which she calls “the National Geographic.” She also gave me a white blazer, because I only wear white clothes, and it’s too big to wear so it will last me a long time. She also gave me Grandpa’s camera, which I loved for two reasons. I asked why he didn’t take it with him when he left her. She said, “Maybe he wanted you to have it.” I said, “But I was negative-thirty years old.” She said, “Still.” Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!
Jonathan Safran Foer
Magrat wondered what it was like, spending your whole life doing something you didn’t want to do. Like being dead, she considered, only worse, the reason being, you were alive to suffer it.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2))
Landscape Isn't it plain the sheets of moss, except that they have no tongues, could lecture all day if they wanted about spiritual patience? Isn't it clear the black oaks along the path are standing as though they were the most fragile of flowers? Every morning I walk like this around the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart ever close, I am as good as dead. Every morning, so far, I'm alive. And now the crows break off from the rest of the darkness and burst up into the sky—as though all night they had thought of what they would like their lives to be, and imagined their strong, thick wings.
Mary Oliver (Dream Work)
When I am dead--I say it that way because from the things I know, I do not expect to live long enough to read this book in its finished form--I want you to just watch and see if I'm not right in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with "hate". He will make use of me dead, as he has made use of me alive, as a convenient symbol, of "hatred"--and that will help him escape facing the truth that all I have been doing is holding up a mirror to reflect, to show, the history of unspeakable crimes that his race has committed against my race.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
They want us dead,' said Bond calmly. 'So we have to stay alive.
Ian Fleming (Moonraker (James Bond, #3))
Imagine that you are more than nothing. Evil made you, but you are no more evil than a child unborn. If you want, if you seek, if you hope, who is to say that your hope might not be answered?
Dean Koontz (Dead and Alive (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #3))
Do you know what I thought when you tried to kill me? The first time? I thought, How can somebody want me dead when no one knows I'm alive?
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Nobody)
Ruin your fucking self before they do. Otherwise they'll screw you because you're a nobody. They'll keep you alive but you'll have to crawl and say "thank-you" for every bone they throw. You might as well stay drunk or shoot junk and be a crazy fucker. If the rich guys want to play with you, make them get their hands dirty. Send them away gagging, or sobbing if they're soft-hearted. You'll be left alone if you're frightening, and dead you're free!
Jenny Holzer
Everything dead and still inside of me came alive, and he did what he always did: ignited me. And, fuck yes, I wanted to burn. Let me burn with this man.
R.J. Lewis (Burn (Ignite, #2))
All the feelings Are dead inside me And I want them To be alive
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
He's out here, somewhere, and he wants you dead,' she said. 'Him as killed your family. Us in the graveyard, we wants you to stay alive. We wants you to surprise us and disappoint us and impress us and amaze us. Come home, Bod.
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
The longer a person has been dead the greater is the tradition ... If Buddha is alive you can barely tolerate him. ... You cannot believe this man has known the ultimate because he looks just like you ... Hungry he needs food, sleepy he wants a bed, ill, he has to rest – just like you ... That is why Jesus is worshiped now and yet he was crucified when he was alive. Alive, you crucify him; dead, you worship him.
Osho (When the Shoe Fits: Stories of the Taoist Mystic Chuang Tzu)
I was in jail 81 days, but after 20 days my brain became completely empty; you need information to stay alive. When there’s no information you’re already dead. It’s a very, very strong test – I think more severe than any physical punishment. All I wanted was a dictionary, even the simplest one.
Ai Weiwei (Ai Weiwei)
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What it is, Why it Happens, and How to Help)
You see, I want a lot. Maybe I want it all: the darkness of each endless fall, the shimmering light of each ascent. So many are alive who don't seem to care. Casual, easy, they move in the world as though untouched. But you take pleasure in the faces of those who know they thirst. You cherish those who grip you for survival. You are not dead yet, it's not too late to open your depths by plunging into them and drink in the life that reveals itself quietly there.
Rainer Maria Rilke
My dad is dead. And as I type this, by the window, on the rainy day, I am alive, yes. I am living. But sometimes it doesn't feel like I am doing it fast enough, or hard enough, or all the way. And it is times like that when I can understand wanting a cigarette in my hand, then my mouth, then my hand again. Holding the cigarette. Tending to the cigarette. Giving the cigarette what it needs. Tapping it in the ashtray. Sucking on it. Then flicking it in the street, like it meant nothing to me.
Amy Fusselman
Occasionally they would hear a harsh croak or a splash as some amphibian was disturbed, but the only creature they saw was a toad as big as Will's foot, which could only flop in a pain-filled sideways heave as if it were horribly injured. It lay across the path, trying to move out of the way and looking at them as if it knew they meant to hurt it. 'It would be merciful to kill it,' said Tialys. 'How do you know?' said Lyra. 'It might still like being alive, in spite of everything.' 'If we killed it, we'd be taking it with us,' said Will. 'It wants to stay here. I've killed enough living things. Even a filthy stagnant pool might be better than being dead.' 'But if it's in pain?' said Tialys. 'If it could tell us, we'd know. But since it can't, I'm not going to kill it. That would be considering our feelings rather than the toad's.' They moved on.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass)
I will keep you, until the day I choose not to. You have destroyed and harmed all that is dear to me. In return, I want you to know what that feels like. I will not kill you. I will keep you alive. I will torture you." My voice drops to a whisper. "Until your soul is dead.
Marie Lu (The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2))
To generalize about war is like generalizing about peace. Almost everything is true. Almost nothing is true. At its core, perhaps, war is just another name for death, and yet any soldier will tell you, if he tells the truth, that proximity to death brings with it a corresponding proximity to life. After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness. The trees are alive. The grass, the soil—everything. All around you things are purely living, and you among them, and the aliveness makes you tremble. You feel an intense, out-of-the-skin awareness of your living self—your truest self, the human being you want to be and then become by the force of wanting it. In the midst of evil you want to be a good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy and human concord, things you never knew you wanted. There is a kind of largeness to it, a kind of godliness. Though it’s odd, you’re never more alive than when you’re almost dead. You recognize what’s valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what’s best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river and go into the mountains and do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors on the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be, but now is not.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Most girls want love sonnets, and you want a song about a cowboy wanted dead of alive- Jax Stone
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
Look after each other. As a couple. When you have kids, you'll want to put them first. Don't. Marriage is like a plant. To keep it alive you've got to water it and feed it. If you don't, when the kids are gone, you'll look in the corner and it'll be dead.
Nicholas Evans (The Divide)
I used to think Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever written. But now that I’m middle-aged, I know better. Oh, Romeo certainly thinks he loves his Juliet. Driven by hormones, he unquestionably lusts for her. But if he loves her, it’s a shallow love. You want proof?” Cagney didn’t wait for Dr. Victor to say yay or nay. “Soon after meeting her for the first time, he realizes he forgot to ask her for her name. Can true love be founded upon such shallow acquaintance? I don’t think so. And at the end, when he thinks she’s dead, he finds no comfort in living out the remainder of his life within the paradigm of his love, at least keeping alive the memory of what they had briefly shared, even if it was no more than illusion, or more accurately, hormonal. “Those of us watching events unfold from the darkness know she merely lies in slumber. But does he seek the reason for her life-like appearance? No. Instead he accuses Death of amorousness, convinced that the ‘lean abhorred monster’ endeavors to keep Juliet in her present state, her cheeks flushed, so that she might cater to his own dissolute desires. But does Romeo hold her in his arms one last time and feel the warmth of her blood still coursing through her veins? Does he pinch her to see if she might awaken? Hold a mirror to her nose to see if her breath fogs it? Once, twice, three times a ‘no.’” Cagney sighed, listened to the leather creak as he shifted his weight in his chair. “No,” he repeated. “His alleged love is so superficial and selfish that he seeks to escape the pain of loss by taking his own life. That’s not love, but obsessive infatuation. Had they wed—Juliet bearing many children, bonding, growing together, the masks of the star-struck teens they once were long ago cast away, basking in the comforting campfire of a love born of a lifetime together, not devoured by the raging forest fire of youth that consumes everything and leaves behind nothing—and she died of natural causes, would Romeo have been so moved to take his own life, or would he have grieved properly, for her loss and not just his own?
J. Conrad Guest (The Cobb Legacy)
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth let's not speak in any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I'll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
Pablo Neruda
Toby Keith writes songs like 1993's "Should've Been a Cowboy," and what's compelling is that you can't deconstruct its message. "Should've Been a Cowboy" is not like Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive," where Jon Bon Jovi claimed to live like a cowboy; Toby Keith wants to be a cowboy for real.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
When Hades decided he loved this girl he built for her a duplicate of earth, everything the same, down to the meadow, but with a bed added. Everything the same, including sunlight, because it would be hard on a young girl to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night, first as the shadows of fluttering leaves. Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars. Let Persephone get used to it slowly. In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting. A replica of earth except there was love here. Doesn’t everyone want love? He waited many years, building a world, watching Persephone in the meadow. Persephone, a smeller, a taster. If you have one appetite, he thought, you have them all. Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night the beloved body, compass, polestar, to hear the quiet breathing that says I am alive, that means also you are alive, because you hear me, you are here with me. And when one turns, the other turns— That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness, looking at the world he had constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind that there’d be no more smelling here, certainly no more eating. Guilt? Terror? The fear of love? These things he couldn’t imagine; no lover ever imagines them. He dreams, he wonders what to call this place. First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden. In the end, he decides to name it Persephone’s Girlhood. A soft light rising above the level meadow, behind the bed. He takes her in his arms. He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you but he thinks this is a lie, so he says in the end you’re dead, nothing can hurt you which seems to him a more promising beginning, more true.
Louise Glück
It is two years since I emerged from depression and I no longer want myself dead. I want myself alive. I am no longer my own enemy. Depression is the enemy. The monster lives at my gate. My hope is that, with sufficient effort and luck, I can keep it there.
Sally Brampton (Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
He took her face in his bloody hands. 'I'll come and find you wherever you are. I'll not stop breathing until I do. So you're going to have to promise me that you won’t lose hope. That you will keep yourself alive.' He tried to wipe her tears, but there were too many. 'I heard your song the moment we were born," she sobbed. "And years later, it dragged me back from the lake of the half-dead when all I wanted to do was die. Each time someone tried to kill me, it sang its tune and gave me hope.' She pressed cold lips against his and they tasted the salt of each other's tears. 'Are you ready?' he asked. She nodded. 'Run!
Melina Marchetta (Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2))
The Viscount stepped into the room. "Came to see if you was dead," he said. "Laid Pom odds you weren't." Lethbridge passed his hand across his eyes. "I'm not," he replied in a faint voice. "No. I'm sorry," said the Viscount simply. He wandered over to the table and sat down. "Horry said she killed you, Pom said So she might, I said No. Nonsense." Lethbridge still holding a hand to his aching head tried to pull himself together. "Did you?" he said. His eyes ran over his self invited guest. "I see. Let me assure you once more that I am very much alive." "Well I wish you'd put your wig on," complained the Viscount. "What I want to know is why did Horry hit you on the head with a poker?" Lethbridge gingerly felt his bruised scalp. "With a poker was it? Pray ask her, though I doubt if she will tell you." "You shouldn't keep the front door open," said the Viscount. "What's to stop people coming in and hitting you over the head? It's preposterous." "I wish you'd go home," said Lethbridge wearily. The Viscount surveyed the supper-table with a knowing eye. "Card-party?" he inquired.
Georgette Heyer (The Convenient Marriage)
No. Really. I’ve thought about it a lot. You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they’re not living, breathing people anymore. It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you and makes you want to cry in the wrong places and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become . . . a doughnut instead of a bun.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
You argued before that the dead don't want to be avenged, and that may be right, sometimes, but when you're the one left alive -" "We don't know that they're -" Karou broke in, but couldn't even finish the sentence. "Life feels stolen." "Given." "And the only response that makes sense to the heart is vengeance," he said. "I know. Believe me. But I'm hiding in a shower with you instead of trying to kill you, so it would seem that the heart can change its mind.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3))
You ought to know, you were my best friend. You were. I know you loved me. I loved you. No one should have gone through what we went through, but we did. And it kills me to think of it. But I didn't love you like you loved me. I don't hate you for that. It just makes me sorry, that there isn't someone else who could love you better. I know when you think about how I went, you'll get it. I was always uneasy about being alive. The idea of being dead makes me feel clear. When I think of it. It makes me think peace, peace, peace. It makes me happy. I am looking forward to it, to the absence of everything. And so I want you to be happy for me, that this is better for me. That I found what I needed. I know you won't be. But it's the last thing I want. You happy.
Alexander Chee (Edinburgh)
I had you pictured dead in a pool of blood in front of the fireplace. And now you show up alive, and I want to kill you myself. (Zack)
Jennifer Crusie (Getting Rid of Bradley)
The sky is fucking with me. It's one of those militantly perfect spring days, the kind that seems to be trying just a little too hard, the kind you want to smack in the face, and the sky is bluer than it has any right to be, really, an obnoxious, overbearing blue that implies that staying home is a crime against humanity. Like I've got anywhere to go. The neighborhood is alive with gardeners mowing lawns and trimming hedges, the mechanized hiss of twirling sprinklers and for those just joining us, it's a beautiful day and Hailey is dead and I have nothing to do, nowhere to be.
Jonathan Tropper (How to Talk to a Widower)
Because noir isn’t really a new thing at all. It’s just a fairy tale with guns. Your hardscrabble detective is nothing more than a noble knight with a cigarette and a disease where his heart should be. He talks prettier, that’s all. He’s no less idealistic—there’re good women and bad women, good jobs and bad jobs. Justice and truth are always worth seeking. He pulls his fedora down like the visor on a suit of armour. He serves his lord faithfully whether he wants to or not. And he is in thrall to the idea of a woman. It’s just that in detective stories, women are usually dead before the curtain goes up. In fairy tales, they’re usually alive.
Catherynne M. Valente (Radiance)
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?” They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey. “Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.” My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap. “See this shoe?” my father said. Buckley nodded his head. “I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?” “Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two. “Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.” I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do? “This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.” “Is that a dog?” “Yes, that’s a Scottie.” “Mine!” “Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?” “The shoe?” Buckley asked. “Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.” My brother concentrated very hard. “Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.” Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards. “Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?” “Like Nate?” “Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?” “They can’t play anymore?” “Right.” “Why?” Buckley asked. He looked up at my father; my father flinched. “Why?” my brother asked again. My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back. “Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?” Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right. My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand. Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Most girls want love sonnets, and you want a song about a cowboy wanted dead or alive. He hung the guitar back up on the wall
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
Listen, I know there were days you wanted to die when the sky was so clear you’d stand obnoxious underneath it begging for stars to shoot you just so you could feel at home. I know about the ways you misplaced all the right words, stockpiled every important social cue you ever missed from the first time you learned you were wrong, waited to make it right once everyone stopped watching. I know you let them beat up your beauty in bed because redemption was still alive in you, howling relentless, gathering strength. Felt like ecstasy when they pounded it out of you in the hard dark. Those days of dead weather got all strung together and they spoke for you, wore you down to telling everyone here it was a good life so you could run back into the wails of your windfight. I know the parts of your past that haunt you the most are the days you weren’t being yourself, and I know that’s why most of your past haunts you. There were so many who found you out, and they were right. You were good. So un- numb.
Buddy Wakefield
People say to you, ‘you’ve changed’, or something like that, well, I hope, for the sake of God that you have changed, because I don’t want to be the same person all my life. I want to be growing, I want to be expanding. I want to be changing. Because animate things change, inanimate things don’t change. Dead things don’t change. And the heart should be alive, it should be changing, it should be moving, it should be growing, its knowledge should be expanding.
Hamza Yusuf
Part of me knows that prayer is essential; another part of me would rather turn on the TV and check out. And that whole bit about being long-suffering-no way. Part of me wants to just get drunk.
John Eldredge (Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive)
They say that life is about balance. That it trades one sorrow for one joy and so forth until it finds some kind of harmony. Well, I want none of it. I've never been as dead as I was when I was balanced. I don't want life to be contained. I want it unbound, inspired. Alive.
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (The Two Krishnas: A Novel)
What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.
D.H. Lawrence
Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this.” His fingers laced with mine and then he pressed my hand against my own chest. “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours. Every beat you feel against your fingertips…
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
People say to you, 'you've changed', or something like that. Well, I hope, for the sake of God, that I have changed, because I don't want to be the same person all my life. I want to be growing, I want to be expanding. I want to be changing. Because animate things change, inanimate things don't change. Dead things don't change. And the heart should be alive, it should be changing, it should be moving, it should be growing and its knowledge should be expanding.
Hamza Yusuf
If suddenly you do not exist, if suddenly you no longer live, I shall live on. I do not dare, I do not dare to write it, if you die. I shall live on. For where a man has no voice, there, my voice. Where blacks are beaten, I cannot be dead. When my brothers go to prison I shall go with them. When victory, not my victory, but the great victory comes, even though I am mute I must speak; I shall see it come even though I am blind. No, forgive me. If you no longer live, if you, beloved, my love, if you have died, all the leaves will fall in my breast, it will rain on my soul night and day, the snow will burn my heart, I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow, my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but I shall stay alive, because above all things you wanted me indomitable, and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man but all mankind.
Pablo Neruda
I forgive. Cause nobody knows us : except our mothers, and they hardly do (and also tend disappointingly to die before they ought). Or our fathers, whose failings while they’re alive (and absences after they’re dead) infuriate. Or our siblings, who want us dead too cause what they know about us is that somehow we got away with not having to carry the bricks and stones like they did all those years. Cause nobody’s the slightest idea who we are, or who we were, not even we ourselves – except, that is, in the glimmer of a moment of fair business between strangers, or the nod of knowing and agreement between friends. Other than these, we go out anonymous into the insect air and all we are is the dust of colour, brief engineering of wings towards a glint of light on a blade of grass or a leaf in a summer dark.
Ali Smith (How to be Both)
I didn’t want to pretend anymore. Didn’t want to keep pretending she was dead when she’d been the only person who’d ever made me feel alive. Didn’t want to keep pretending she meant nothing when she meant everything.
A.L. Jackson (Come to Me Recklessly (Closer to You, #3))
In those months I thought often of what I was trying to do, of how hard it is to keep alive someone who doesn’t want to stay alive. That was what I thought: that I would rather have him suffering and alive—than dead.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Love can die. It can be killed, no matter how alive it was, it’s not invulnerable. Mine’s dead. It’s dead and it’s buried. I just want one thing more, and that’s the chance to look him in the face and tell him he’s nothing. If I can do that one thing, it’ll be enough.
J.D. Robb (Divided in Death (In Death, #18))
To not want to be alive is not the same thing as wanting to be dead.
Binnie Kirshenbaum (Rabbits for Food)
Truth has many facets. Choose the ones that make her happy to be alive instead of the ones that make her want to smack you.
Patricia Briggs (Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4))
In other words, that the discussion about what is good, what is beautiful, what is noble, what is pure, and what is true could always go on. Why is that important? Why would I like to do that? Because that’s the only conversation worth having. And whether it goes on or not after I die, I don’t know. But, I do know that it is the conversation I want to have while I am still alive. Which means that to me the offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way is an offer of something not worth having. I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet… that I haven’t understood enough… that I can’t know enough… that I am always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’d urge you to look at those who tell you, those people who tell you at your age, that you are dead until you believe as they do. What a terrible thing to be telling to children. …and that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don’t think of that as a gift. Think of it as a poisoned chalice. Push it aside however tempting it is. Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.
Christopher Hitchens
She’d look at me, and I’d stop dead in my tracks, never wanting to leave that moment. Do you know what that’s like?” I scanned the audience. “Day in and day out, you’re thrilled to be alive and experience a million moments of love and happiness that constantly compete with each other. Every day was better than the last.
Penelope Douglas (Until You (Fall Away, #1.5))
The problem with martyrs is that they’re all dead. What do they have to do with us that are simple enough to still be alive? Should we just give up and want to die because death is better than dishonor? But suicide is a sin too so we really are damned if we do and damned if we don't.
Rosamund Hodge (Crimson Bound)
Ted: Barney, the 3 days rule is insane. I mean, who even came up with that? Barney: Jesus. Marshall: Barney, don't do this, not with Jesus. Barney: Seriously, Jesus started the whole wait-three-days thing. He waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect. Barney: If he'd have only waited one day, a lotta people wouldn't have even heard that he died. They'd be all "Hey, Jesus. What up?" And Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday." Barney: Then they'd be all, "Uh, look pretty alive to me dude." And then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected and how it was a miracle. And then the dude would be like "Ah, oh-kay, whatever you say "bro"." Robin: Wow, ancient dialogue sounds so stilted now. Barney: And you're not gonna come back on a Saturday, everybody's busy! Doin' chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' their beards. No, he waits the exact, right number of days - three. Ted: Ok, I promise, I'll wait 3 days. Just please stop talking. Barney: Plus, it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already. They're all in there - "Oh no, Jesus is dead." Barney: Then BAM! He bursts through the back door, runs up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched and FYI, that's when he invented the high-five. Barney: Three days, Ted. We wait three days to call a woman because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait. True story.
Neil Patrick Harris
I’ve been half dead for ten years, Gris, but then you walked back into my life, and I came alive again. You make me want to live. You make me want to be a better man. “I love you, and when I said that, I mean that you’re my reason for breathing, for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, for living. I will never hurt you. I will never leave you. I will always protect you. There is no one more important to me than you, and as long as I live, there never will be.
Katy Regnery (Never Let You Go)
I feel like people are only really dead once you stop learning about them. This is why it is important to me to keep learning about my mother, and what she wanted, and what her life meant, what she meant by the life she led. Then she will be alive, somehow, and her wish for me will have come true. My vow is to learn more about her. To see her as she saw herself.
Liz Moore (Heft)
Kissing him was like standing on the edge of a cliff. Nice view, but you knew it was deadly. Still, a stupid, irrational, dangerously alive part of you still wanted to hurl yourself down to meet your own demise.
L.J. Shen (Angry God (All Saints High, #3))
You cannot do anything good for a dead man! Whatever goodness you want to do for him, do it when he is alive!
Mehmet Murat ildan
They all want to leave the Gray Space, Liv, she’d tell me. They don’t realise they’re dead until they remember what it sounds like to be alive.
Kate Ellison (Notes from Ghost Town)
Perhaps it is our fear of getting our hopes up; it seems too good to be true. Perhaps it’s been the almost total focus on sin and the Cross. But the Scripture is abundant and clear: Christ came not only to pardon us, but also to heal us. He wants the glory restored. So, put the book down for just a moment, and let this sink in: Jesus can, and wants to, heal your heart.
John Eldredge (Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive)
Because dead people are just like you and me, they still want things. They look at us all the time, and they miss being alive. We have taste and color and smell and feelings, and they don’t have any of those things. They stare at us, they don’t miss anything. They really see what’s going on, and we hardly ever really see that. We’re too busy thinking about things and getting everything wrong, so we miss ninety percent of what’s happening.
Peter Straub (The Throat)
Do you know, when I am with you I am not afraid at all. It is a magic altogether curious that happens inside the heart. I wish I could take it with me when I leave. It is sad, my Grey. We are constrained by the rules of this Game we play. There is not one little place under those rules for me to be with you happily. Or apart happily, which is what makes it so unfair. I have discovered a curious fact about myself. An hour ago I was sure you were dead, and it hurt very much. Now you are alive, and it is only that I must leave you, and I find that even more painful. That is not at all logical. Do you know the Symposium, Grey? The Symposium of Plato. [He] says that lovers are like two parts of an egg that fit together perfectly. Each half is made for the other, the single match to it. We are incomplete alone. Together, we are whole. All men are seeking that other half of themselves. Do you remember? I think you are the other half of me. It was a great mix-up in heaven. A scandal. For you there was meant to be a pretty English schoolgirl in the city of Bath and for me some fine Italian pastry cook in Palermo. But the cradles were switched somehow, and it all ended up like this…of an impossibility beyond words. I wish I had never met you. And in all my life I will not forget lying beside you, body to body, and wanting you.
Joanna Bourne (The Spymaster's Lady (Spymasters, #1))
Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this.” His fingers laced with mine and then he pressed my hand against my own chest. “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours. Every beat you feel against your fingertips…” His finger tapped against my chest, once, twice. “…is me calling out to you.
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
But, if you've decided to go out on a limb and kill one, for goodness' sake, be prepared. We all read, with dismay, the sad story of a good woman wronged in south Mississippi who took that option and made a complete mess of the entire thing. See, first she shot him. Well, she saw right off the bat that that was a mistake because then she had this enormous dead body to deal with. He was every bit as much trouble to her dead as he ever had been alive, and was getting more so all the time. So then, she made another snap decision to cut him up in pieces and dispose of him a hunk at a time. More poor planning. First, she didn't have the proper carving utensils on hand and hacking him up proved to be just a major chore, plus it made just this colossal mess on her off-white shag living room carpet. It's getting to be like the Cat in the Hat now, only Thing Two ain't showing up to help with the clean-up. She finally gets him into portable-size portions, and wouldn't you know it? Cheap trash bags. Can anything else possible go wrong for this poor woman? So, the lesson here is obvious--for want of a small chain saw, a roll of Visqueen and some genuine Hefty bags, she is in Parchman Penitentiary today instead of New Orleans, where she'd planned to go with her new boyfriend. Preparation is everything.
Jill Conner Browne (The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love)
I just think of people," she continued, "whether they seem right where they are and fit into the picture. I don't mind if they don't do anything. I don't see why they should; in fact it always astonishes me when anybody does anything." "You don't want to do anything?" "I want to sleep." -Gloria Gilbert "Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief--that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never meditated nor intended. So they said to one another: "'Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever to mock the credulity of man. Let's persuade our more erotic poets to write about the delights of the flesh, and induce some of our robust journalists to contribute stories of famous amours. We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, and yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over--and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world. "'Finally, let us take care that the book possesses all the virtues of style, so that it may last forever as a witness to our profound scepticism and our universal irony.' "So the men did, and they died. "But the book lived always, so beautifully had it been written, and so astounding the quality of imagination with which these men of mind and genius had endowed it. They had neglected to give it a name, but after they were dead it became known as the Bible." -Maury Noble
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
What I want to tell you is what I think he would tell you if he could. Living means taking chances. Risks. Playing it safe all the time is being dead inside, even if you happen to still be breathing. people expected Connor to play it safe all the time. And when he did, he felt dead inside. I saw him take risks, and then he was the most alive person I've ever known. he would ask you to take chances. Sometimes that means getting hurt. Getting an F. Losing a game. Losing someone you love. But if you always play it safe, you lose anyway.
Ellen Hopkins (Impulse (Impulse, #1))
Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it... Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced... And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool—for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful... And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line—unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive—even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources—not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self—struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence—you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself.
Ted Hughes (Letters of Ted Hughes)
I speak in cosmological terms because it seems to me that is the only possible way to think if one is truly alive. I think this way also because it is just the opposite of the way I thought a few years back when I had what is called hopes. Hope is a bad thing. It means that you are not what you want to be. It means that part of you is dead, if not all of you. It means that you entertain illusions.
Henry Miller (Henry Miller on Writing)
During those times, they'd stand there watching me watching them. I'd pray, please. Put a pillow to my face. Clench a hand around my throat. Stab me. Shoot me. Put me out of everyone's misery. Why did you give birth to such a loser? Why didn't you admit I was hopeless and fat and stop trying to make me fit in? This world wasn't meant for me. I was born too soon or too late. Too defective. I wish I could tell my parents, "If you want to help me, help me die." I wonder, Are they required to fill out a 24-hour suicide watch form? Is the Defect at home? Check. Is It alive? Check. Why did they bother with the constructive surgery on my throat anyway? Waste of money. They threw away or hid from me everything with sharp edges or breakables. Picture frames. Pottery. Did they think they could suicide-proof this place? I want to tell them, "Chip, Kim, there is no way to suicide-proof a person
Julie Anne Peters (By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead)
It is easy in a moment like this to want to speak over this woman, to tell Tía there is nothing more we can do, to say out loud the woman is lucky that her lungs still draw breath. But I learned young, you do not speak of the dying as if they are already dead. You do not call bad spirits into the room, & you do not smudge a person's dignity by pretending they are not still alive, & right in front of you, and perhaps about to receive a miracle. You do not let your words stunt unknown possibilities.
Elizabeth Acevedo (Clap When You Land)
We each want nothing more than to live for the moment. Nature hardwired us perpetually to follow the call of the wild, cull all the highs in life, and rejoice in life by dancing, singing, jumping, building nests, creating beauty, and playing with our young. We each find ourselves happiest when we are engaging in conduct that makes us feel alive.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Why are you doing this? I want you to be alive." "Because," he said, tracing a finger along my cheek. "Real love is selfless.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
Sometimes I think the dead have it easy. The difficult part is staying alive, and more than that, wanting to stay alive.
Andrea Busfield (Born Under a Million Shadows)
Do you know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it's easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don't want to have to pass. I want to be alive.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I don't want to talk about you, or to hear others talk about you. It's a cliche, of course: we talk about the dead in order to remember them, in order to keep them, in the only way we can, alive. But I have found that the more people say about you, for example those who spoke at the memorial - people who loved you, people who knew you well, people who were very good with words - the further you seem to slip away, the more like a hologram you become.
Sigrid Nunez (The Friend)
You don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “That’s why you don’t understand. You don’t know what I used to be like. You don’t know what it was like in my head. I lived in a really dark place,” I say to him. “I wasn’t safe in my own mind. I woke up every morning hoping to die and then spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe I was already dead because I couldn’t even tell the difference,” I say, more harshly than I mean to. “I had a small thread of hope and I clung to it, but the majority of my life was spent waiting around to see if someone would take pity on me.” Kenji is just staring at me, his eyes tight. “Don’t you think I’ve realized,” I say to him, angrier now, “that if I’d allowed myself to get mad a long time ago, I would’ve discovered I had the strength to break through that asylum with my own two hands?” Kenji flinches. “Don’t you think that I think about that, all the time?” I ask him, my voice shaking. “Don’t you think it kills me to know that it was my own unwillingness to recognize myself as a human being that kept me trapped for so long? For two hundred and sixty-four days, Kenji,” I say, swallowing hard. “Two hundred and sixty-four days I was in there and the whole time, I had the power to break myself out and I didn’t, because I had no idea I could. Because I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward,” I say, “who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself. “This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.
Tahereh Mafi
For every moment that is past, the angel of death keeps taking the part that is dead and we keeping living in the present. The parasite wants us to carry the past with us and that makes it so heavy to be alive.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
Russkie, promise me a simple thing?" Out of the blue when they had finished, after a mouthful from the mug. Dan seemed relaxed, leaning on his side. Resting back, savoring the taste, Vadim turned his head to look at Dan. Oh, that body. The effect it had on him, all the time, even when Dan wasn't there. Twelve months. "Promise what?" Sometimes, that kind of thing was about letters. Tell my girl I love her. Tell my mother I didn't suffer. Almost painful. Letters. Words that would hurt worse than the killing bullet. "Simple." Dan nodded, "if I'm unlucky, and if you find my body, will you bury it? Some rocks would do, I can't stand the thought of carrion's. As if that mattered, eh? I'd be fucking dead." Dan shrugged, tossed a grin towards the other, made light of an entirely far too heavy situation. He took the bottle once more, washing down the taste of death and decay, chasing away unbidden images. Vadim felt a shudder race over his skin. The thought of death chilled him to the bone, like a premonition. For a moment he saw himself stagger through enemy territory, looking for something that had been Dan. Minefields, snipers, fucking Hind hellfire. He might be able to track him. He might be able to guess where he had gone, where he had fallen. He had found the occasional pilot. But he had had help. Finding a dead man in a country full of dead people was more of a challenge. "I'll send you home," he murmured. Stay alive, he thought. Stay alive like you are now. I don't want to carry your rotting body to fucking Kabul and hand myself in to whatever bastard is your superior or handler there, but it must be Kabul. I can't hand myself over. But I will. Fuck you. He felt his face twitch, and turned away, breathing. "No, I have no home anymore." Dan's hand stopped Vadim from turning over fully. Fingers digging into the muscular thigh. "Not my brother's family. Nowhere to send the body to. Forget it." Grip tightening while he moved closer. Ignored the heat, the damned fan and its monotonous creaking, pressed his body behind the other. "You're as close to a fucking home as I get.
Marquesate (Special Forces - Soldiers (Special Forces, #1))
You killed the princess in the tower." "In some ways, she was already dead, wasn't she? Are you truly alive if you spend your entire life locked in a tower, hidden away for so long that you wouldn't even know to flee if the door opened for you?" His words rang deep in my chest, as true and clear as the music of him that had first called to me all those years ago. His irises were gold, hypnotizing me. *Are you alive, Nannerl?* they seemed to say to me. *Don't you want to be?*
Marie Lu (The Kingdom of Back)
Oh Mickey, it was wonderful, it was fun - the whole kitten and kaboozle. It was like living. And to be denied that whole part would be a great loss. You gave it to me. You gave me a double life. I couldn't have endured with just one." I'm proud of you and your double life." All I regret", she said, crying again, crying with him, the two of them in tears..."is that we couldn't sleep together too many nights. To commingle with you. Commingle?" Why not." I wish tonight you could spend the night." I do, too. But I'll be here tomorrow night." I meant it up at the Grotto. I didn't want to fuck any more men even without the cancer. I wouldn't do that even if I was alive." You are alive. It is here and now. It's tonight. You're alive." I wouldn't do it. You're the one I always loved fucking. But I don't regret that I have fucked many. It would have been a great loss to have had otherwise. Some of them, they were sort of wasted times. You must have that, too. Haven't you? With women you didn't enjoy?" Yes." Yes, I had experiences where the men would just want to fuck you whether they cared about you or not. That was always harder for me. I give my heart, I give my self, in my fucking." You do indeed." And then, after just a little drifting, she fell asleep and so he went home - "I'm leaving now" - and within two hours she threw a clot and was dead. So those were her last words, in English anyway. I give my heart, I give my self, in my fucking. Hard to top that. To commingle with you, Drenka, to commingle with you now.
Philip Roth (Sabbath's Theater)
There are so many ways to live and die, so many ways to tell that same story, over and over, but everyone keeps trying to find a better way to tell it, a more real way to look into someone else's face to say, I am alive like you, was born without my consent like you, will someday die and be dead in the same way you'll be dead. What did we want from this? What did we really want from it?
Catherine Lacey (The Answers)
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes …  … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Pablo Neruda, "Keeping Quiet.” Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earth let’s not speak in any language, let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves to be alive. Now I’ll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
Cards and boards, [Johnny] thought. And the dead. That's not dark forces. Making a fuss about cards and heavy metal and going on about Dungeons and Dragons stuff because it's got demon gods in it is like guarding to door when it is really coming up through the floorboards. Real dark forces... aren't dark. They're sort of gray, like Mr. Grimm. They take all the color out of life; they take a town like Blackbury and turn it into frightened streets and plastic signs and Bright New Futures and towers where no one wants to live and no one really does live. The dead seem more alive than us. And everyone becomes gray and turns into numbers and then, somewhere, someone starts to do arithmetic...
Terry Pratchett (Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell, #2))
For a long while- for many years, in fact- he had not thought of how it was before he came to the farm. His memory of those times was like a house where no one lives and where the furniture has rotted away. But tonight it was as if lamps had been lighted through all the gloomy dead rooms. It had begun to happen when he saw Tico Feo coming through the dusk with his splendid guitar. Until that moment he had not been lonesome. Now, recognizing his loneliness, he felt alive. He had not wanted to be alive. To be alive was to remember brown rivers where the fish run, and sunlight on a lady's hair.
Truman Capote (A Diamond Guitar)
If you’re not pursuing a dangerous quest with your life, well, then, you don’t need a Guide. If you haven’t found yourself in the midst of a ferocious war, then you won’t need a seasoned Captain. If you’ve settled in your mind to live as though this is a fairly neutral world and you are simply trying to live your life as best you can, then you can probably get by with the Christianity of tips and techniques. Maybe. I’ll give you about a fifty-fifty chance. But if you intend to live in the Story that God is telling, and if you want the life he offers, then you are going to need more than a handful of principles, however noble they may be. There are too many twists and turns in the road ahead, too many ambushes waiting only God knows where, too much at stake. You cannot possibly prepare yourself for every situation. Narrow is the way, said Jesus. How shall we be sure to find it? We need God intimately, and we need him desperately.
John Eldredge (Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive)
I am not dead. Death does not exist. I am alive! That is the purpose of this tale, to let everyone know that they do go on and that they don't need to be afraid, as I was afraid. Yet I also have a selfish reason for wanting my story told. I was young when I died. I didn't have a chance to make my mark in the world. I didn't do anything unique, nothing that will change the course of history. But I wasn't a bad girl. I don't want to be forgotten. I want people to remember me.
Christopher Pike (Remember Me (Remember Me, #1))
It is the simple things that are in the ocean. People think that simple things are on the seashore, like seashells. But seashells are just illusions of the things that once used to live inside of them, that are back in the sea! They are dead things, and dead things are not simple things. Living things are simple things, things like love. People think that love isn't simple, but that's because they are on the seashore; but when you are a mermaid, when you have gills, when you need to be in the ocean; love is simple. It's about being beside someone and staying there. And then sharing your souls. What's natural to a mermaid, isn't natural to a person. But I want everyone to be a mermaid. And if they can't, at least they can know what a mermaid is like. We live with the things that are alive.
C. JoyBell C.
It was the first time in my life that I had been aware of my own existence. It was the first time in my life I had realized that I was alive. And if I was alive, then I could die, and I mean forever. Forever dead. Not heaven, not eternal life on some other plane…just darkness, curtain, scene. Permanently. And that was the key to my new religion, I figured. That’s why life was so fucking great. I want that day back. I want to be nine again and be told, Nomi: someday you’ll be gone, you’ll be dust, and then even less than dust. Nothing. There’s no other place to be. This world is good enough for you because it has to be. Go ahead and love it.
Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness)
No,” Marla says. No, she wants it all. The cancers, the parasites. Marla’s eyes narrow. She never dreamed she could feel so marvelous. She actually felt alive. Her skin was clearing up. All her life, she never saw a dead person. There was no real sense of life because she had nothing to contrast it with. Oh, but now there was dying and death and loss and grief. Weeping and shuddering, terror and remorse. Now that she knows where we’re all going, Marla feels every moment of her life.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Dear Kai, The sun is probably streaming in through the big barn windows now, which means you're awake. And if you're awake, it means you're wondering where I went. I haven't run away from you, I promise. But I knew that today of all days, they'd need me in the house. Tatiana may be the head of our household now, but she's not the one our staff will look to in my mother's absence. And there is so much to do to prepare for the funeral. Also, I have to go tell my grandfather what has happened to his daughter. I don't want him to hear of her death from anyone but me. Thank you for last night. I wish I could say I don't know why you re the one I ran to,- you, Kai, not Tatiana or my father or even my grandfather. But I know why. And I have a confession to make. After you let me cry, after you let me sob and shout and choke on all that pain-after you did all that, and didn't say a word-I didn't fall asleep like you thought. Not right away. I lay there, wadded up into a ball, and you curved your body behind mine. You were barely touching me-your thigh against the edge of my hip, your arm draped lightly across my waist, your fingers entwined with mine. How many times have our hands touched, when we were passing each other tools or helping each other in and out of machines? Hundreds of times. Thousands. But last night was different. You cradled my hand in yours, palms up, our fingers curled in like a pair of fallen leaves. Fallen, maybe, but not dead. My hand never felt so alive. Every place you touched me sparked with energy. I couldn't sleep. Not like that. And so I bent my head, just the slightest bit, until my mouth reached our hands. I smelled the oil you never quite get off your fingers. I breathed in the scent of your skin. And then, as if that was all I was doing, just breathing, I let my bottom lip brush against your knuckle. Time stopped, I was sure you'd see through my ruse and pull away. I was sure you'd know that I was not asleep, that I was not just breathing. But you didn't move, so I did it again. And again. And in the third time, I let my top lip join my bottom. I kissed your hand, Kai. I didn't do it to thank you for letting me cry. For letting me sleep in your arms. I thought you should know. Yours, Elliot Dear Elliot, I know. When will I see you again? Yours, Kai
Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1))
Bean was tired of talking about this. She looked so happy when she talked about God, but he hadn't figured it out yet, what God even was. It was like, she wanted to give God credit for every good thing, but when it was bad, then she either didn't mention God or had some reason why it was a good thing after all. As far as bean could see, though, the dead kids would rather have been alive, just with more food. If God loved them so much and he could do whatever he wanted, then why wasn't there more food for these kids? And if God just wanted them dead, why didn't he let them die sooner or not even be born at all, so they didn't have to go to so much trouble and get all excited about trying to be alive when he was just going to take them to his heart. None of it made any sense to Bean, and the more Sister Carlotta explained it, the less he understood it. Because if there was somebody in charge, then he ought to be fair, and if he wasn't fair, then why should Sister Carlotta be so happy that he was in charge?
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1))
You don’t want me to fight? I won’t fight. You want me to break up with Gemma? She’s gone. You want me to quit my shit job, give up my apartment in Charles Town, and move to Maryland? Done. You want to go to college? I’ll make it happen. “I’ve been half d-dead for ten years, Gris, but then you walked back into my life, and I came alive again. You make me want to live. You make me want to be a better man. “I love you, and when I say that, I mean that you’re my reason for breathing, for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, for living. I will never hurt you. I will never leave you. I will always protect you. There is no one more important to me than you, and as long as I live, there never w-will be.
Katy Regnery (Never Let You Go (A Modern Fairytale, #2))
No. Really. I’ve thought about it a lot. You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they’re not living, breathing people any more. It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you, and makes you want to cry in the wrong places, and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become … a doughnut instead of a bun.
Jojo Moyes
Trying to figure out what dead people intended could drive you mad, especially when many people didn't really know what they wanted even when they were alive.
Sara J. Henry (A Cold and Lonely Place (Troy Chance, #2))
You know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it’s easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don’t want to have to pass. I want to be alive.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
Some men would not still be HIV negative or alive, if they had managed to sleep with some of the women with whom they want or wanted to have sex.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Many members of that early band of twentieth-century pilgrims must have yearned for the honesty of Southern landscapes where even if they were the targets of hate mongers who wanted them dead, they were at least credited with being alive. Northern whites with their public smiles of liberal acceptance and their private behavior of utter rejection wearied and angered the immigrants.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
Life is not meant to be hard so that you can be happy beyond it. The happy “ending,” therefore, comes with finally understanding those tricky areas you move through while you are alive. The key is that you do indeed need to move through them and not “stop reading at the scary parts”; you must prevail, hang on, and keep trucking to emerge on the other side of whatever the tricky area was.
Mike Dooley (The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell YOU)
We want to feel the pain of her loss, because at least it is something of her to feel. However, the result is that we don’t sleep. The nearest thing to sleep that I experience is blacking out, from which I emerge instantly awake, twitchy and unrefreshed. And always, I wake with the knowledge that she is dead. There are no vestiges of dreams where she is alive. I don’t seem to dream at all.
Linda Collins (Loss Adjustment)
Every tree, therefore, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover. Next time, perhaps it will be the other way round, and the supporting tree might be the one in need of assistance. When thick silver-gray beeches behave like this, they remind me of a herd of elephants. Like the herd, they, too, look after their own, and they help their sick and weak back up onto their feet. They are even reluctant to abandon their dead. Every tree is a member of this community, but there are different levels of membership. For example, most stumps rot away into humus and disappear within a couple of hundred years (which is not very long for a tree). Only a few individuals are kept alive over the centuries, like the mossy "stones" I've just described. What's the difference? Do tree societies have second-class citizens just like human societies? It seems they do, though the idea of "class" doesn't quite fit. It is rather the degree of connection-or maybe even affection-that decides how helpful a tree's colleagues will be. You can check this out for yourself simply by looking up into the forest canopy. The average tree grows its branches out until it encounters the branch tips of a neighboring tree of the same height. It doesn't grow any wider because the air and better light in this space are already taken. However, it heavily reinforces the branches it has extended, so you get the impression that there's quite a shoving match going on up there. But a pair of true friends is careful right from the outset not to grow overly thick branches in each other's direction. The trees don't want to take anything away from each other, and so they develop sturdy branches only at the outer edges of their crowns, that is to say, only in the direction of "non-friends." Such partners are often so tightly connected at the roots that sometimes they even die together.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
He wasn't supposed to feel this way. He didn't even want to feel the way he did for the dog, for Creampuff-- Goddamnit Goddamnit "Goddamnit!" he snarled. Ginger blinked. Incredulous he explained: "They took my dog, Ginger. They stole my terrier." He popped each of his knuckles. "They didn't just abandon me after I got them through, after I kept them alive. They rubbed salt on my wound while they pissed in my eyes. I can't believe they stole my dog." Coburn grabbed the kid by his all too-clean shirt and shook him like a baby. "Listen. You're going to drive me to go get Creampuff, my terrier...
Chuck Wendig (Double Dead (Tomes of The Dead, #1))
I looked around the garden, the sun feeling warm on my back. "So why are you here? I would think you'd want to be as far away from a hurricane as possible." She looked at me as if I'd just suggested streaking down the beach. It took her a moment to answer. "Because this is home." She wanted to see if the words registered with me, but I just looked back at her, not understanding at all. After a deep breath, she looked up at a tall oak tree beyond the garden, its leaves still green against the early October sky, the limbs now thick with foliage. "Because the water recedes, and the sun comes out, and the trees grow back. Because" -she spread her hands, indicated the garden and the trees and, I imagined, the entire peninsula of Biloxi- "because we've learned that great tragedy gives us opportunities for great kindness. It's like a needed reminder that the human spirit is alive and well despite all evidence to the contrary." She lowered her hands to her sides. "I figured I wasn't dead, so I must not be done
Karen White (The Beach Trees)
From personal experience, I know for sure that the number one thing that saddens the dead more than our grief — is not being conscious of their existence around us. They do want you to talk to them as if they were still in a physical body. They do want you to play their favorite music, keep their pictures out, and continue living as if they never went away. However, time and "corruption" have blurred the lines between the living and the dead, between man and Nature, and between the physical and the etheric. There was a time when man could communicate with animals, plants, the ether, and the dead. To do so requires one to access higher levels of consciousness, and this knowledge has been hidden from us. Why? Because then the plants would tell us how to cure ourselves. The animals would show us their feelings, and the dead would tell us that good acts do matter. In all, we would come to know that we are all one. And most importantly, we would be alerted of threats and opportunities, good and evil, truth vs. fiction. We would have eyes working for humanity from every angle, and this threatens "the corrupt". Secret societies exist to hide these truths, and to make sure lies are preserved from generation to generation.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Anger is a consuming thing, a burning takeover. It sets up shop in your heart and head and murders anything else attempting to makes it way in. Life becomes obsessed with it, clouded with it, engrossed in it. You justify feeling with delusions that you're owed retribution. You condone thoughts and vengeful acts, feeding yourself with the idea that it's warranted. But that nourishment comes at a price. It costs you pieces of your soul, your love, your worth. You disregard your beliefs, your conscience. You adopt apathy like it's salvation because you know in your heart of hearts that you would deteriorate into nothing without it. Because you don't want to let it go. It makes you feel powerful, that anger. It makes you feel important. So you will let it eat you alive, consume every part of you until all that's left is hollow revenge.
Fisher Amelie (Fury (The Seven Deadly, #3))
I feel dead inside anyway. Cara made me feel alive. Maybe that's why I can't let her go. I don't want to feel dead anymore. What I think is, I need a way to feel alive that doesn't require someone else to make it happen.
Ellen Hopkins (Perfect (Impulse, #2))
The trail gets a might steep through here. I'd advise you to start paying attention instead of daydreaming about your beau." His tone annoyed her and she couldn't resist answering in kind. "What's the matter, Mr. Langley, afraid I'll fall off a cliff, and you won't be able to collect your reward? That is what your after,isn't it? The reward. Just like in the posters:Wanted dead or alive,Julia Ashton,for unspeakable crimes of the heart.
Kat Martin (Magnificent Passage)
How can you be so cruel? Make me kill you personally, then leave me all alone. What do you want? You only need to say it. No matter right or wrong, I will also give you. I’ll give you my love. I’ll give you myself. What does the destruction of the six realms has anything to do with us? What does whether these people are alive or dead has anything to do with us? I will take you away, we can go anywhere, you can do as you please. Just do not leave me ……
Fresh Guo Guo
He wants to run, but where? However far he goes, he will not escape, cannot escape his own loathsome self. He will always be trapped within his own body, his own mind. The emotional pain that comes with this realization is so strong, it feels physical. He senses it knotting and twisting inside his body, ready to destroy him from within. He is losing his grip, he is losing his mind. Does anyone else know what it is to be dead yet still alive? This is it. This is it . A half-world of torment, where memories frozen into oblivion slowly begin to thaw. A place where everything hurts, where your conscious mind has neither the strength to let you function in the real world, nor the power to return you to hibernation.
Tabitha Suzuma (Hurt)
I grasp her cheeks, framing her face with my hands, and stare her straight in the eyes, dead serious, as I say, “If you’re going to start crying, I need you to not do it while you’re sitting on my lap.” She lets out a light laugh, grabbing my wrists, pulling my hands away from her face, forcing my arms around her. “I’m not going to cry,” she says, fumbling between us, undoing my pants. “I’m going to show you my appreciation instead.” “You don’t have to give pussy to show gratitude,” I tell her. “A simple ‘thanks’ will suffice.” “I know,” she whispers. “Thank you. But I want to give you pussy to show you I’m grateful, because the way I feel when you’re inside of me? There’s nothing else like it. You make me feel alive.
J.M. Darhower (Grievous (Scarlet Scars, #2))
Everything hurts. He can barely lie still. He feels caught. He wants to run, but where? He feels certain he will always remain like this - trapped within his own body, his own mind. The emotional pain is so strong, it becomes physical. He feels it knotting and twisting inside him, ready to crush him, suffocate him. He is losing his grip, he is losing his mind. He thought he had it all back under control, but suddenly nothing makes sense any more. Does anyone else know what it's like to be stuck somewhere between dead and alive? I't s a half-world of incoherent pain where emotions you put on ice start slowly thawing again. A place where everything hurts, where your mind is no longer strong enough to force your feelings back into hibernation.
Tabitha Suzuma (Hurt)
The nerd in me that needs to understand everything is dying to drive July to a lab and cut off pieces of her to look at under a microscope to see if I can figure out what’s keeping her alive, and the poet in me wants to ask her a million questions about being dead so that I can understand how she sees the world and what the stars look like through eyes that once saw what’s on the other side of life. But July doesn’t need a nerd or a poet. She needs a friend, and I suppose that unenviable job has fallen to me.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried)
I’ve only heard my clients whispering about it, every now and then. But there’s a group that’s formed, right here in Rifthold, and they want to put Aelin Galathynius back on Terrasen’s throne.” Her heart stopped beating. Aelin Galathynius, the lost heir of Terrasen. “Aelin Galathynius is dead,” she breathed. Archer shook his head. “They don’t think so. They say she’s alive, and that she’s raising an army against the king. She’s looking to reestablish her court, to find what’s left of King Orlon’s inner circle.
Sarah J. Maas
You scare me, Ryan Daley. Even more than those demons outside that scream for my death. How is it that I want what you want? I’ve spent an eternity feeling powerless. Love did that to me — robbed me of all control. I never expected to feel this way again. I don’t want to feel.’ ‘Neither did I,’ Ryan rasps, ‘because feeling anything at all was dangerous. If I let myself feel, then maybe I’d have to believe what everyone was saying — that Lauren was dead. But from the moment I laid eyes on “Carmen, you kept getting under my skin. At first, all you did was irritate the hell out of me, bailing me up that way outside my house, inviting yourself along for the ride when all I wanted was to be left alone. But that irritation turned into curiosity, which turned into something else, becoming this chain of, of … feeling that brought me here. I dropped everything for you. I veered left. And I’d do it again in a second. That’s what “feeling” does. It tells you you’re alive, it gives things … I don’t know, proper meaning. You’re still trying to maintain some veneer of independence? Toughness? Do words like that even apply to you? But I see through it, Mercy. I see through you. You’re not that different from me after all, under your armour. Crumbs, Mercy, that’s all I’m after. Just crumbs. It’s not a lot to ask for.
Rebecca Lim
Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this.” His fingers laced with mine and then he pressed my hand against my own chest. “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours.
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
Your entire being is like a tree. Your family and friends only touch specific parts of it - mostly the fruits, maybe some branches. A large part of you remains untouched. You feel like a machine, you feel dead inside. You shout, snap, and sulk at random things, or silently suffer. How to tell them that you want your entire being acknowledged? Or maybe you yourself have forgotten your entire being. That’s why you need a person or a deity, a mortal or immortal, who is like air, who doesn’t want anything specific from you, who touches every inch of your being, who makes you feel alive.
Shunya
SEE YOUR FUTURE I want you to imagine yourself a year from now. You know that in a year you are going to be different, whether you do nothing or something. And the choices you make between now and then will determine that difference. But for today, I want you to imagine owning all those other days. Visualize that you wake up with purpose and clarity. You push yourself against resistance. You take control of your diet and supplementation. You turn dead time into alive time. You work effectively and aren’t afraid to power down the engines to rest. You train your body into a durable, capable machine. You connect with yourself, your friends, and the universe. You turn sex into an adventure of pleasure. You go to sleep with a mission, and actually … sleep. Imagine what a year of living like that has done for you. Walk in the shoes of that new person. See yourself through that person’s eyes. Look in the mirror at that body. Maybe the circles under your eyes are gone, and that stubborn weight has lifted—mentally and physically. See what has happened in your career, and in your family. That person is you, on the other side of Resistance. If you see it clearly enough, it will be done.
Aubrey Marcus (Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimised practices for waking, working, learning, eating, training, playing, sleeping and sex)
...in the running of cities, virtually nothing is done by anyone that is conducive to political health, nor is there a single ally with whom one might go to the aid of justice and still remain alive; it would be a case of a solitary human among wild animals, neither wanting to join in their depredations nor able to stand alone against their collective savagery, dead before he'd done any good to his city or friends and useless both to himself and everybody else. Once a person has made all these calculations, he keeps his peace and minds his own business, like someone withdrawing from the prevailing wind into the shelter of a wall in a storm of dust or rain, and as he sees everyone else filling themselves full of lawlessness he is content if he himself can somehow live out life here untainted by injustice and impious actions, and leave it with fine hopes and in a spirit of kindness and good will.
Plato (The Republic)
I don't like these outdated traditions. I don't like this love for tombs, I don't like this kind of respect, I don't like it I don't want this untimely honor, I'd never change one moment of my life For thousands of golden deaths. I'd never change one ounce of respect while alive For thousands of tombs when I'm dead.
Jabir Novruz
How long do you think it takes to get over someone dying? Someone you really loved I mean? I'm not sure you ever do. That's cheery. No. Really I thought about it a lot. You learn to live with it, with then. Because they do stay with you, even if they're not living breathing people anymore. It's not the same crashing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you and makes you want to cry in the wrong places and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It's just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a whole. I don't know. It's like you become. . . . a doughnut instead of a bun.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down. I like almost anybody in the Bible better than the Disciples. If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones. I like him ten times as much as the Disciples, that poor bastard.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I want both the good and bad things in my past to serve as an example to others. But my wife is the one exception—I do not want her to know about any of this. My first wish is that her memory of me should be kept as unsullied as possible. So long as my wife is alive, I want you to keep everything I have told you a secret—even after I myself am dead.
Natsume Sōseki (Kokoro)
Look honey, I ain’t buying what you’re selling so get out!” “You prefer to be lying here or in the morgue?! Things got outta hand last night but at least you’re alive! If we wanted you dead, don’t you think I would have drained you by now, or dragged you outta here! We are trying to help you!” “And I’m sure Jaws was just trying to help Quint! Get out!
S.L.J. Shortt (Blood Heavy (Blood Heavy, #1))
It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you and makes you want to cry in the wrong places and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become . . . a doughnut instead of a bun.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
Heaven and hell,your hands are cold." "I never thought I'd prefer the dead silence of the Paths over anything,but it had to be better than listening to this idiot. And I didn't need any reminders that my hands were cold. Cold,mortal,dying hands. "Can we not talk?" "But you're such a charming conversationalist. Still,if you'd prefer to simply bask in the glory of my company, I understand. You're probably overwhelmed by holding my hand and want to enjoy the moment." I rolled my eyes. "It's all I can do not to swoon,but I'll try to contain myself." "I think swooning is highly underrated. You could bring it back into vogue." I turned my head to look at him rather than focus on the inky black around us. It was like people on the Paths existed outside anything else.Jack and I were the only two creatures alive,for all you could tell.What a horrible thought. "Where on earth did you come from?" I asked. He grinned,but there was a strange tightness to his face. "Telling that story would require talking,which I seem to recall you requested not happen.And here we are!" With a flourish he waved a hand-at nothing.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
October 17, 1946 D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that — but I don't only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you'll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together — or learn Chinese — or getting a movie projector. Can't I do something now? No. I am alone without you and you were the "idea-woman" and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else — but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish and that you want me to have full happiness and don't want to be in my way. I'll bet you are surprised that I don't even have a girlfriend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can't help it, darling, nor can I — I don't understand it, for I have met many girls and very nice ones and I don't want to remain alone — but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don't know your new address.
Richard P. Feynman
This life is back to front. It’s terrible, unendurable. . . . No one comes back from the dead, no one has come into the world without crying. No one asks when you want to enter the world, no one asks when you want to leave . . . How empty and meaningless life is. We bury a person; follow him to the grave, throw three shovels of dirt over him. We drive out in a coach and drive back in a coach, and console ourselves with the thought of our own long lives. But really, how long is three score and ten? Why not just get it over with straight away? Why not stay out there, hop down into the grave ourselves and draw lots to see who has the bad luck to be the last one alive, the one to throw the last three shovels of dirt over the last dead person? (Either/Or, 1843) In
Robert Ferguson (Life Lessons from Kierkegaard)
When you choose, you divide. Then you say, ”This is good, that is wrong.” And life is a unity. Existence remains undivided, existence remains in a deep unison. It is oneness. If you say, ”This is beautiful and that is ugly,” mind has entered, because life is both together. And the beautiful becomes ugly, and the ugly goes on becoming beautiful. There is no boundary; no watertight compartments are there. Life goes on flowing from this to that. Mind has fixed compartments. Fixedness is the nature of mind and fluidity is the nature of life. That’s why mind is obsession; it is always fixed, it has a solidness about it. And life is not solid; it is fluid, flexible, goes on moving to the opposite. Something is alive this moment, next moment is dead. Someone was young this moment, next moment he has become old. The eyes were so beautiful, now they are no more there – just ruins. The face was so rose-like, now nothing is there – not even a ghost of the past. Beautiful becomes ugly, life becomes death, and death goes on taking new birth. What to do with life? You cannot choose. If you want to be WITH life, with the whole, you have to be choiceless.
Osho (Hsin Hsin Ming, the Book of Nothing: Discourses on the Faith Mind of Sosan)
One of my favorite “deep thoughts” on the topic occurred when one of my other bands, Loaded, was opening for Alice Cooper a number of years back. After one particularly successful show, we got to talking about Bon Jovi. In the song “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” the claim is made that “I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all.” All? Let’s ponder. I have no doubt that Bon Jovi had played to a million people by the time “Dead or Alive” was released on Slippery When Wet in 1986. But did they rock them all? Couldn’t it be that some dudes brought their girlfriends to the show and weren’t necessarily into their music? What about some parents? Or maybe some people just didn’t get rocked? Hey, it’s happened to me. I’ve gone to gigs properly prepared to get rocked and it just didn’t happen.
Duff McKagan (How to Be a Man: (and other illusions))
But, - and there it is, - we want to live and move, though we have no reason to, because it happens that it is the nature of life to live and move, to want to live and move. If it were not for this, life would be dead. It is because of this life that is in you that you dream of your immortality. The life that is in you is alive and wants to go on being alive forever. Bah! An eternity of piggishness!
Jack London
No man is an island—” Much as we may feel and act as individuals, our race is a single organism, always growing and branching—which must be pruned regularly to be healthy. This necessity need not be argued; anyone with eyes can see that any organism which grows without limit always dies in its own poisons. The only rational question is whether pruning is best done before or after birth. Being an incurable sentimentalist I favor the former of these methods—killing makes me queasy, even when it’s a case of “He’s dead and I’m alive and that’s the way I wanted it to be.” But this may be a matter of taste. Some shamans think that it is better to be killed in a war, or to die in childbirth, or to starve in misery, than never to have lived at all. They may be right. But I don’t have to like it—and I don’t.
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
Villain Foulon taken, my sister! Old Foulon taken, my mother! Miscreant Foulon taken, my daughter! Then, a score of others ran into the midst of these, beating their breasts, tearing their hair, and screaming, Foulon alive! Foulon who told the starving people they might eat grass! Foulon who told my old father that he might eat grass, when I had no bread to give him! Foulon who told my baby it might suck grass, when these breasts were dry with want! O mother of God, this Foulon! O Heaven our suffering! Hear me, my dead baby and my withered father: I swear on my knees, on these stones, to avenge you on Foulon! Husbands, and brothers, and young men, Give us the blood of Foulon, Give us the head of Foulon, Give us the heart of Foulon, Give us the body and soul of Foulon, Rend Foulon to pieces, and dig him into the ground, that grass may grow from him!
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I saw her reflection behind me, in the mirror. I was speechless. Somehow I knew I wasn’t allowed to turn around—it was against the rules, whatever the rules of the place were—but we could see each other, our eyes could meet in the mirror, and she was just as glad to see me as I was to see her. She was herself. An embodied presence. There was psychic reality to her, there was depth and information. She was between me and whatever place she had stepped from, what landscape beyond. And it was all about the moment when our eyes touched in the glass, surprise and amusement, her beautiful blue eyes with the dark rings around the irises, pale blue eyes with a lot of light in them: hello! Fondness, intelligence, sadness, humor. There was motion and stillness, stillness and modulation, and all the charge and magic of a great painting. Ten seconds, eternity. It was all a circle back to her. You could grasp it in an instant, you could live in it forever: she existed only in the mirror, inside the space of the frame, and though she wasn’t alive, not exactly, she wasn’t dead either because she wasn’t yet born, and yet never not born—as somehow, oddly, neither was I. And I knew that she could tell me anything I wanted to know (life, death, past, future) even though it was already there, in her smile, the answer to all questions
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Our lives were short, and we never would have wanted them to be shorter. Sometimes perspective comes far too late. You cannot trust yourself. You think you can, but you can't. Not because you are selfish. You cannot live for anyone else's sake. As much as you may want to, you can't stay alive just because other people want you alive. You cannot stay alive for your parents. You cannot stay alive for your friends. And you have no responsibility to stay alive for them. You have no responsibility to anyone but yourself to live. But I'm dead, he would tell us. I am already dead. No, we'd argue. No, you are not. We know what it is like to be alive in the present but dead in the future. But you are the opposite. Your future self is still alive. You have a responsibility to your future self, who is someone you might not even know, might not even understand yet. Because until you die, that future self has as much of a life as you do.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
Don't you want to preserve old things? But you can't, Anthony. Beautiful things grow to a certain height and then they fail and fade off, breathing out memories as they decay. And just as any period decays in our minds, the things of that period should decay too, and in that way they're preserved for a while in the few hearts like mine that react to them. That graveyard at Tarrytown, for instance. The asses who give money to preserve things have spoiled that too. Sleepy Hollow's gone; Washington Irving's dead and his books are rotting in our estimation year by year - then let the graveyard rot too, as it should, as all things should. Trying to preserve a century by keeping its relics up to date is like keeping a dying man alive by stimulants. So you think that just as time goes to pieces its houses ought to go too? Of course! Would you value your Keats letter if the signature was traced over to make it last longer? It's just because I love the past that I want this house to look back on its glamorous moment of youth and beauty, and I want its stars to creak as if to the footsteps of women with hoop-skirts and men in boots and spurs. But they've made it into a blondined, rouged-up old woman of sixty. It hasn't any right to look so prosperous. It might care enough for Lee to drop a brick now and then. How many of these - these animals - get anything from this, for all the histories and guide-books and restorations in existence? How many of them who think that, at best, appreciation is talking in undertones and walking on tiptoes would even come here if it was any trouble? I want it to smell of magnolias instead of peanuts and I want my shoes to crunch on the same gravel that Lee's boots crunched on. There's no beauty without poignancy and there's no poignancy without the feeling that it's going, men, names, books, houses - bound for dust - mortal-
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Playing and fun are not the same thing, though when we grow up we may forget that and find ourselves mixing up playing with happiness. There can be a kind of amnesia about the seriousness of playing, especially when we played by ourselves or looked like we were playing by ourselves. I believe a kid who is playing is not alone. There is something brought alive during play, and this something, when played, seems to play back. If playing isn't happiness or fun, if it is something which may lead to those things or to something else entirely, not being able to play is a misery. No one stopped me from playing when I was alone, but there were times when I wasn't able to, though I wanted to--there were times when nothing played back. Writers call it 'writer's block'. For kids there are other names for that feeling, though kids don't usually know them. Fairy tales and myths are often about this very thing. They begin sometimes with this very situation: a dead kingdom. Its residents all turned to stone. It's a good way to say it, that something alive is gone. The television eased the problem by presenting channels to an ever-lively world I could watch, though it couldn't watch me back, not that it would see much if it could. A girl made of stone facing a flickering light, 45 years later a woman made of stone doing the same thing. In a myth or a fairy tale one doesn't restore the kingdom by passivity, nor can it be done by force. It can't be done by logic or thought. It can't be done by logic or thought. So how can it be done? Monsters and dangerous tasks seem to be part of it. Courage and terror and failure or what seems like failure, and then hopelessness and the approach of death convincingly. The happy ending is hardly important, though we may be glad it's there. The real joy is knowing that if you felt the trouble in the story, your kingdom isn't dead.
Lynda Barry (What It Is)
Why is it that we claim to want certainty? Only fools and cowards seek certainty. Certainty is a dead end; it’s a rich old widow living out the rest of her days on the Upper East Side with a little dog and big memories. Unless you are a senior citizen, you’ll go nuts after a few weeks of knowing what the rest of your life will bring. You’ll die of boredom. But uncertainty is what keeps us alive. It is that flip of a coin, that brief moment when it’s in the air or spinning on its side, that snaps us out of our daily stasis. Some invisible Odds Gods are giving you a chance to become better, smarter, richer. What fun it is to get paid if you earned it by the skin of your teeth, by the close call. And how dreadful it is to shoot fish in a barrel. Exposure to uncertainty earns you membership in a select tribe: You are a Padawan mastering the Force. Once the trade is on, once the die has been cast, you’re in a parallel, auspicious universe.
Katya G. Cohen
Even with the way you usually carry on over children, I wouldn't have expected this. Actually bringing him to your home- what will Lord Hunter say?" "I don't know. I'm sure Hunter won't approve, but there's something about this boy that makes me want to keep him safe." "Lara, you feel that way about every child you encounter." "Yes, but this one is special." Lara felt awkward and tongue-tied as she fumbled for a rational explanation. "When I first saw him, he had a mouse in his pocket. He had brought it from prison." "A mouse," Rachel repeated, shivering suddenly. "Dead or alive?" "Alive and kicking," Lara said ruefully. "Johnny was taking care of it. Isn't that remarkable? Locked away in that prison, facing horrors you and I could never imagine... and he found a little creature to love and care for." Rachel shook her head and smiled as she stared at Lara. "So that's the attraction. The two of you share a habit of collecting strays. You're kindred spirits.
Lisa Kleypas (Stranger in My Arms)
wrapped-in-cloth kind, but a human female body shriveled to a husk. She wore a tie-dyed sundress, lots of beaded necklaces, and a headband over long black hair. The skin of her face was thin and leathery over her skull, and her eyes were glassy white slits, as if the real eyes had been replaced by marbles; she’d been dead a long, long time. Looking at her sent chills up my back. And that was before she sat up on her stool and opened her mouth. A green mist poured from the mummy’s mouth, coiling over the floor in thick tendrils, hissing like twenty thousand snakes. I stumbled over myself trying to get to the trapdoor, but it slammed shut. Inside my head, I heard a voice, slithering into one ear and coiling around my brain: I am the spirit of Delphi, speaker of the prophecies of Phoebus Apollo, slayer of the mighty Python. Approach, seeker, and ask. I wanted to say, No thanks, wrong door, just looking for the bathroom. But I forced myself to take a deep breath. The mummy wasn’t alive. She
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Then the true name for religion,' Fat said, 'is death.' 'The secret name,' I agreed. 'You got it. Jesus died; Asklepios died - they killed Mani worse than they killef jesus, but nobody even cares; nobody even remembers. They killed the Catharist in southern France by the tens of thousands. In the Thirty Years War, hundreds of people died. Protestants and Catholics - manual slaughter. Death is the real name for it; not God, not the Savior, not love - death. Kevin is rights about his cat. It's all there in his dead cat. The Great Judge can't answer Kevin: "Why did my cat die?" Answer: "Damned i I knoe." There is no answer; there is only a dead animal that just wanted to cross the street. We're all animals that want to cross the street only something mows us down half-way across that we never saw. Go ask Kevin. "Your cat was stupid." "Who made the cat? Why did he make the cat stupid? Did the cat learn by being killed, and if so, what did he learn? Did Sherri learn anything from dying of cancer? did gloria learn anything-' 'Okay, enough,' Fat said. 'Kevin is right,' I said. 'Go out and get laid.' 'By who? they're all dead.' I said, 'There's more. Still alive. Lay one of them before she dies or you die or somebody dies, some person or animal. You said it yourself: the universe is irrational because the mind behind it is irrational. You are irrational and you know it. We all are and we know it, on some level. I'd write a book about it but no one would believe a group of human being could be as irrational as we are, as we've acted.
Philip K. Dick
A place for the newly weds and nearly deads I'm counting the stones I hope you know I love you. Got a lot of friends 6 feet under us. Counting down the days till we join the party. Thoughts of your nightmare projected through mine... Breathing in these lies is no surprise These evil things are all we know Lets take these lives where we want to go. The future is our prize, when the stars align. Ghouls and ghosts will haunt my soul but they will never take me. Before I go, I want to show that we can make a difference. We've got some dumb perceptions. But I've got the death connection... All the hate that you have... Just throw it away Life is meant for more, But we're too distracted.. Too caught up in the anger and judgment.. Caught up in the web of lies I've heard these things keep our blood boiling, Keeps us alive, and moving forward... If that's the case I was born a dead man. And I'm forever a ghost. Hatred is something that we're brought up to see. Now everybody's looking at me I hope they know... They won't get their satisfaction.
Ghost Town
In the years since the disaster, I often think of my friend Arturo Nogueira, and the conversations we had in the mountains about God. Many of my fellow survivors say they felt the personal presence of God in the mountains. He mercifully allowed us to survive, they believe, in answer to our prayers, and they are certain it was His hand that led us home. I deeply respect the faith of my friends, but, to be honest, as hard as I prayed for a miracle in the Andes, I never felt the personal presence of God. At least, I did not feel God as most people see Him. I did feel something larger than myself, something in the mountains and the glaciers and the glowing sky that, in rare moments, reassured me, and made me feel that the world was orderly and loving and good. If this was God, it was not God as a being or a spirit or some omnipotent, superhuman mind. It was not a God who would choose to save us or abandon us, or change in any way. It was simply a silence, a wholeness, an awe-inspiring simplicity. It seemed to reach me through my own feelings of love, and I have often thought that when we feel what we call love, we are really feeling our connection to this awesome presence. I feel this presence still when my mind quiets and I really pay attention. I don’t pretend to understand what it is or what it wants from me. I don’t want to understand these things. I have no interest in any God who can be understood, who speaks to us in one holy book or another, and who tinkers with our lives according to some divine plan, as if we were characters in a play. How can I make sense of a God who sets one religion above the rest, who answers one prayer and ignores another, who sends sixteen young men home and leaves twenty-nine others dead on a mountain? There was a time when I wanted to know that god, but I realize now that what I really wanted was the comfort of certainty, the knowledge that my God was the true God, and that in the end He would reward me for my faithfulness. Now I understand that to be certain–-about God, about anything–-is impossible. I have lost my need to know. In those unforgettable conversations I had with Arturo as he lay dying, he told me the best way to find faith was by having the courage to doubt. I remember those words every day, and I doubt, and I hope, and in this crude way I try to grope my way toward truth. I still pray the prayers I learned as a child–-Hail Marys, Our Fathers–-but I don’t imagine a wise, heavenly father listening patiently on the other end of the line. Instead, I imagine love, an ocean of love, the very source of love, and I imagine myself merging with it. I open myself to it, I try to direct that tide of love toward the people who are close to me, hoping to protect them and bind them to me forever and connect us all to whatever there is in the world that is eternal. …When I pray this way, I feel as if I am connected to something good and whole and powerful. In the mountains, it was love that kept me connected to the world of the living. Courage or cleverness wouldn’t have saved me. I had no expertise to draw on, so I relied upon the trust I felt in my love for my father and my future, and that trust led me home. Since then, it has led me to a deeper understanding of who I am and what it means to be human. Now I am convinced that if there is something divine in the universe, the only way I will find it is through the love I feel for my family and my friends, and through the simple wonder of being alive. I don’t need any other wisdom or philosophy than this: My duty is to fill my time on earth with as much life as possible, to become a little more human every day, and to understand that we only become human when we love. …For me, this is enough.
Nando Parrado
I understood that to live is to be free ... that to have friends is necessary ... that to fight is to stay alive ... that to be happy you just need to want ... I learned that time heals ... that the grudge disappears ... that disappointment does not kill ... that today is a reflection of yesterday. I understood that we can cry without shedding tears ... that true friends remain ... what a pain strengthens ... what to win magnifies... I learned that dreaming is not fantasize ... that to smile you have to make someone smile ... that beauty is not what we see, but what we feel ... that the value is in the strength of achievement ... I realized that words have power ... that to accomplish is better than to talk ... that the look does not lie ... that living is learning from mistakes ... I learned that everything depends on the will ... that the best is to be ourselves ... that the SECRET of life is LIVE! " "And one of the things I learned is that one should live though. Although, one must eat. Although, we must love. Although, it must die. Even it is often the very although that pushes us forward. It was the despite of that gave me an anguish that unsatisfied was breeder my own life.
Pedro Bial
For the first time the Don showed annoyance. He poured another glass of anisette and drank it down. He pointed a finger at his son. "You want to learn," he said. "Now listen to me. A man's first duty is to keep himself alive. Then comes what everyone else calls honor. This dishonor, as you call it, I willingly take upon myself. I did it to save your life as you once took on dishonor to save mine. You would have never left Sicily alive without Don Croce's protection. So be it. Do you want to be a hero like Guiliano, a legend? And dead? I love him as the son of my dear friends, but I do not envy him his fame. You are alive and he is dead. Always remember that and live your life not be be a hero but to remain alive. With time, heroes seem a little foolish." Michael sighed. "Guiliano had no choice," he said. "We are more fortunate," the Don said. It was the first lesson Michael received from his father and the one he learned best. It was to color his future life, persuade him to make terrible decisions he could never have dreamed of making before. It changed his perception of honor and heroism. It helped him survive, but it made him unhappy. For despite the fact that his father did not envy Guiliano, Michael did.
Mario Puzo (The Sicilian)
Lately he's consumed by a sense that he is in fact two separate people, and soon he will have to choose which person to be on a full-time basis, and leave the other person behind. He has a life in Carricklea, he has friends. If he went to college in Galway he could stay with the same social group, really, and live the life he has always planned on, getting a good degree, having a nice girlfriend. People would say he had done well for himself. On the other hand, he could go to Trinity like Marianne. Life would be different then. He would start going to dinner parties and having conversations about the Greek bailout. He could fuck some weird-looking girls who turn out to be bisexual. I've read The Golden Notebook, he could tell them. It's true, he has read it. After that he would never come back to Carricklea, he would go somewhere else, London, or Barcelona. People would not necessarily think he had done well; some people might think he had gone very bad, while others would forget about him entirely. What would Lorraine think? She would want him to be happy, and not care what others said. But the old Connell, the one all his friends know, that person would be dead in a way, or worse, buried alive, and screaming under the earth. (26-27)
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
I stopped, realizing what Truska wanted me to see. My eyes didn't just look sad — they were completely empty of life and hope. Even Mr Crepsley's eyes, as he died, hadn't looked that lost. I knew now what Truska meant when she said the living could be dead too. "Larten not want this," she murmured in my ear as I stared at the hollow eyes in the mirror. "He love life. He want you to love it too. What would he say if he saw this alive-but-dead gaze that will get worse if you not stop?" "He...he..." I gulped deeply. "Empty is no good," Truska said. "You must fill eyes, if not with joy, then with sadness and pain. Even hate is better than empty.
Darren Shan (The Lake of Souls (Cirque du Freak #10))
I think in the ever growing diversity of the distinct and person-centred presentations of autism it is important to know and acknowledge the crucial differences between Autism & Asperger's Syndrome. Both are which are forms of autism but have different "mechanics" that drive them. I have Autism (as opposed to Asperger's Syndrome) I live in a world before the literal, words tumble in my mind into sounds I love tone, melody and beats they brings my world alive. I live in world world where visuals hold no significance fragmented and not in my "mind's eye" and need to be touched in order to be "seen". I like elevated gesture and tone when people speak dead words wander alive into my mind and give them meaning and circumstance. Where a sense of "self" is not wanting to be exposed by the directness of people but at the same time I want to understand "other" even if I struggle to at times. I am empathic young man and this not through lack of care nor wanting. I care deeply. Logic and literalism are not the name of the game for me to "decode" the word around me it's sensing, patterning and feeling to gain an "understanding". I am using a different part of my brain. So as with AS Autism has many different presentations too this is mine. I think it is important to know differences it has helped me so much to know that.
Paul Isaacs (Living Through the Haze)
Are you persuaded of what you do or not? Do you need something to happen or not in order to do what you do? Do you need the correlations to coincide always, because the end is never in what you do, even if what you do is vast and distant but is always in your continuation? Do you say you are persuaded of what you do, no matter what? Yes? Then I tell you: tomorrow you will certainly be dead. It doesn't matter? Are you thinking about fame? About your family? But your memory dies with you,with you your family is dead. Are you thinking about your ideals? You want to make a will? You want a headstone? But tomorrow those too are dead, dead. All men die with you. Your death is an unwavering comet. Do you turn to god? There is no god, god dies with you. The kingdom of heaven crumbles with you, tomorrow you are dead, dead. Tomorrow everything is finished—your body, family, friends, country, what you’re doing now, what you might do in the future, the good, the bad, the true, the false, your ideas, your little part, god and his kingdom, paradise, hell, everything, everything, everything. Tomorrow everything is over—in twenty four hours is death. Well, then the god of today is no longer yesterday’s, no longer the country, the good, the bad, friends, or family. You want to eat? No, you cannot. The taste of food is no longer the same; honey is bitter, milk is sour, meat nauseating, and the odor, the odor sickens you: it reeks of the dead. You want a woman to comfort you in your last moments? No, worse: it is dead flesh. You want to enjoy the sun, air, light, sky? Enjoy?! The sun is a rotten orange, the light extinguished, the air suffocating. The sky is a low, oppressive arc. . . .No, everything is closed and dark now. But the sun shines, the air is pure, everything is like before, and yet you speak like a man buried alive, describing his tomb. And persuasion? You are not even persuaded of the sunlight; you cannot move a finger, cannot remain standing. The god who kept you standing,made your day clear and your food sweet, gave you family, country, paradise—he betrays you now and abandons you because the thread of your philopsychia is broken. The meaning of things, the taste of the world, is only for continuation’s sake. Being born is nothing but wanting to go on on: men live in order to live, in order not to die. Their persuasion is the fear of death. Being born is nothing but fearing death, so that, if death becomes certain in a certain future, they are already dead in the present. All that they do and say with fixed persuasion, a clear purpose, and evident reason is nothing but fear of death– ‘indeed, believing one is wise without being wise is nothing but fearing death.
Carlo Michelstaedter (Persuasion and Rhetoric)
I too, weary of pleading an incomprehensible cause, at six and eight the thousand flowers of rhetoric, let myself drop among the contumacious, nice image that, telescoping space, it must be the Pulitzer Prize, they want to bore me to sleep, at long range, for fear I might defend myself, they want to catch me alive, so as to be able to kill me, thus I shall have lived, they think I’m alive, what a business, were there but a cadaver it would smack of body-snatching, not in a womb either, the slut has yet to menstruate capable of whelping me, that should singularly narrow the field of research, a sperm dying, of cold, in the sheets, feebly wagging its little tail, perhaps I’m a drying sperm, in the sheets of an innocent boy, even that takes time, no stone must be left unturned, one mustn’t be afraid of making a howler, how can one know it is one before it’s made, and one it most certainly is, now that it’s irrevocable, for the good reason, here’s another, here comes another, unless it escapes them in time, what a hope, the bright boy is there, for the excellent reason that counts as living too, counts as murder, it’s notorious, ah you can’t deny it, some people are lucky, born of a wet dream and dead before morning, I must say I’m tempted, no, the testis has yet to descend that would want any truck with me, it’s mutual, another gleam down the drain.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (Everyman's Library))
[O]ur segment of the picture consists only of tired and dirty soldiers who are alive and don't want to die; of long darkened convoys in the middle of the night; of shocked silent men wandering back down the hill from battle; of chow lines and atabrine tablets and foxholes and burning tanks and Arabs holding up eggs and the rustle of high-flown shells; of jeeps and petrol dumps and smelly bedding rolls and C rations and cactus patches and blown bridges and dead mules and hospital tenets and shirt collars greasy-black from months of wearing; and of laughter too, and anger and wine and lovely flowers and constant cussing. All these it is composed of; and of graves and graves and graves.
Ernie Pyle (Here is Your War)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
We’re reminded of a story we heard about a wise old man who lived high in the Himalayan mountains. Periodically he ventured down into the local town to entertain the villagers with his special knowledge and talents. One of his skills was to psychically tell them the contents in their pockets, boxes, or minds. A few young boys decided to play a joke on the old man and discredit his special abilities. One came up with the idea to capture a bird and hide it in his hands. He knew, of course, the man would know the object in his hands was a bird. The boy devised a plan. Knowing the wise old man would correctly state the object in his hands was a bird, the boy would ask the old man if the bird was dead or alive. If the wise man said the bird was alive, the boy would crush the bird in his hands, so that when he opened his hands the bird would be dead. But if the man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and let the bird fly free. No matter what the man said, the boy would prove the old man a fraud. The following week, the man came down from the mountain into the village. The boy quickly caught a bird, cupped it out of sight behind his back, walked up to the wise old man, and asked, “What is it that I have in my hands?” The man said, “You have a bird, my son.” The boy then asked, “Tell me, is the bird alive or dead?” The wise old man looked at the boy and said, “The bird is as you choose it to be.” So it is with your life.
Michael Hyatt (Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want)
I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen—I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theatres from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, life is a cruel joke and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
Why does the theory of evolution provoke such objections, whereas nobody seems to care about the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics? How come politicians don’t ask that kids be exposed to alternative theories about matter, energy, space and time? After all, Darwin’s ideas seem at first sight far less threatening than the monstrosities of Einstein and Werner Heisenberg. The theory of evolution rests on the principle of the survival of the fittest, which is a clear and simple – not to say humdrum – idea. In contrast, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics argue that you can twist time and space, that something can appear out of nothing, and that a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time. This makes a mockery of our common sense, yet nobody seeks to protect innocent schoolchildren from these scandalous ideas. Why? The theory of relativity makes nobody angry, because it doesn’t contradict any of our cherished beliefs. Most people don’t care an iota whether space and time are absolute or relative. If you think it is possible to bend space and time, well, be my guest. Go ahead and bend them. What do I care? In contrast, Darwin has deprived us of our souls. If you really understand the theory of evolution, you understand that there is no soul. This is a terrifying thought not only to devout Christians and Muslims, but also to many secular people who don’t hold any clear religious dogma, but nevertheless want to believe that each human possesses an eternal individual essence that remains unchanged throughout life, and can survive even death intact.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Poor fool! If he had only left that shutter alone. He had no restraint, no restraint—just like Kurtz—a tree swayed by the wind. As soon as I had put on a dry pair of slippers, I dragged him out, after first jerking the spear out of his side, which operation I confess I performed with my eyes shut tight. His heels leaped together over the little doorstep; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever. All the pilgrims and the manager were then congregated on the awning–deck about the pilot–house, chattering at each other like a flock of excited magpies, and there was a scandalized murmur at my heartless promptitude. What they wanted to keep that body hanging about for I can’t guess. Embalm it, maybe. But I had also heard another, and a very ominous, murmur on the deck below. My friends the wood–cutters were likewise scandalized, and with a better show of reason—though I admit that the reason itself was quite inadmissible. Oh, quite! I had made up my mind that if my late helmsman was to be eaten, the fishes alone should have him. He had been a very second–rate helmsman while alive, but now he was dead he might have become a first–class temptation, and possibly cause some startling trouble. Besides, I was anxious to take the wheel, the man in pink pyjamas showing himself a hopeless duffer at the business.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
At home, she loved the movies. She loved sitting in the dark, waiting for something wonderful to begin. Especially, the tragic and frightening movies in which ladies fainted dead away and monsters roared up out of the dark. Like in that cartoon her mother had taken her to see when she was very small, in which the dark-haired princess ran away into the terrible forest and the owls flew at her and pecked at her hands. That was wonderful--because the world was suddenly alive and excited and wanted things just the way September herself sometimes wanted things. Even if the world seemed mainly not to want a princess bothering it. September had not liked the princess so much, either, as she had a high, breathy voice she found deeply annoying. But the owls and the mines and the flashing eyes in the wood--that she had liked.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
He spent two years running a hospital for Chai.” Molly put her arm around the younger woman. “Which was the equivalent of working the ER in a city like New York or Chicago. He saved a lot of lives.” She made sure Max was paying attention, too. “And before you say, ‘Yeah, of drug runners, killers, and thieves,’ you should also know that his patients were just regular people who worked for Chai because he was the only steady employer in the area. Or because they knew they’d end up in some mass grave if they refused his offer of employment. Before Grady came in, if they were injured in some battle with a rival gang, they were just left for dead.” Jones looked up to find Max watching him as he sterilized a particularly sharp knife. “Me and Jesus,” he said. “So much alike, people often get us confused.” “Mock me all you want—I’m just saying.” Molly had on her Hurt Feelings Face. It may have fooled Max, but Jones knew it was only there to mask her Relentless Crusader. She was lobbying hard for Max to be on Jones’s side if they made it out of here alive. And she wasn’t done. “Yes, Grady Morant worked for Chair for a few years—after the U.S. left him to die in some torture chamber. He’s so evil, except what was he doing during those two years? Oh, he was saving lives . . .?” “I was practicing medicine without a license,” Jones pointed out. “You just gave Max something else to charge me with when we get home.” When, not if. Even though he wasn’t convinced that they weren’t in if territory, he’d used the word on purpose. The look Molly shot him was filled with gratitude. He gave her a smoldering blast of his best “Yeah, you can thank me later in private, baby” look, and, as he’d hoped she would, she laughed.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
December 8, 1986 Hello John: Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place. You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.” And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?” They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds. Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: “I put in 35 years…” “It ain’t right…” “I don’t know what to do…” They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system. I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!” One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life. So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself. Your boy, Hank
Charles Bukowski
HOW DO THEY RECEIVE ME? They call me “little girl,” “dear daughter,” “dear child.” Probably if I was of their generation they would behave differently with me. Calmly and as equals. Without joy and amazement, which are the gifts of the meeting between youth and age. It is a very important point, that then they were young and now, as they remember, they are old. They remember across their life—across forty years. They open their world to me cautiously, to spare me: “I got married right after the war. I hid behind my husband. Behind the humdrum, behind baby diapers. I wanted to hide. My mother also begged: ‘Be quiet! Be quiet! Don’t tell.’ I fulfilled my duty to the Motherland, but it makes me sad that I was there. That I know about it…And you are very young. I feel sorry for you…” I often see how they sit and listen to themselves. To the sound of their own soul. They check it against the words. After long years a person understands that this was life, but now it’s time to resign yourself and get ready to go. You don’t want to, and it’s too bad to vanish just like that. Casually. In passing. And when you look back you feel a wish not only to tell about your life, but also to fathom the mystery of life itself. To answer your own question: Why did all this happen to me? You gaze at everything with a parting and slightly sorrowful look…Almost from the other side…No longer any need to deceive anyone or yourself. It’s already clear to you that without the thought of death it is impossible to make out anything in a human being. Its mystery hangs over everything. War is an all too intimate experience. And as boundless as human life… Once a woman (a pilot) refused to meet with me. She explained on the phone: “I can’t…I don’t want to remember. I spent three years at war…And for three years I didn’t feel myself a woman. My organism was dead. I had no periods, almost no woman’s desires. And I was beautiful…When my future husband proposed to me…that was already in Berlin, by the Reichstag…He said: ‘The war’s over. We’re still alive. We’re lucky. Let’s get married.’ I wanted to cry. To shout. To hit him! What do you mean, married? Now? In the midst of all this—married? In the midst of black soot and black bricks…Look at me…Look how I am! Begin by making me a woman: give me flowers, court me, say beautiful words. I want it so much! I wait for it! I almost hit him…I was about to…He had one cheek burned, purple, and I see: he understood everything, tears are running down that cheek. On the still-fresh scars…And I myself can’t believe I’m saying to him: ‘Yes, I’ll marry you.’ “Forgive me…I can’t…” I understood her.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
Okay. Well. Here’s a real question. How long do you think it takes to get over someone dying? Someone you really loved, I mean.” I’m not entirely sure why I asked him. It was almost cruelly direct, given his circumstances. Perhaps I was afraid that the compulsive shagger was about to come out to play. Sam’s eyes widened just a little. “Whoa. Well”—he looked down at his mug, and then out at the shadowy fields—“I’m not sure you ever do.” “That’s cheery.” “No. Really. I’ve thought about it a lot. You learn to live with it, with them. Because they do stay with you, even if they’re not living, breathing people anymore. It’s not the same crushing grief you felt at first, the kind that swamps you and makes you want to cry in the wrong places and get irrationally angry with all the idiots who are still alive when the person you love is dead. It’s just something you learn to accommodate. Like adapting around a hole. I don’t know. It’s like you become . . . a doughnut instead of a bun.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
Heidi began to read of the son when he was happily at home, and went out into the fields with his father's flocks, and was dressed in a fine cloak, and stood leaning on his shepherd's staff watching as the sun went down, just as he was to be seen in the picture. But then all at once he wanted to have his own goods and money and to be his own master, and so he asked his father to give him his portion, and he left his home and went and wasted all his substance. And when he had nothing left he hired himself out to a master who had no flocks and fields like his father, but only swine to keep; and so he was obliged to watch these, and he only had rags to wear and a few husks to eat such as the swine fed upon. And then he thought of his old happy life at home and of how kindly his father had treated him and how ungrateful he had been, and he wept for sorrow and longing. And he thought to himself, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I am not worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.' " And when he was yet a great way off his father saw him . . . Here Heidi paused in her reading. "What do you think happens now, grandfather?" she said. "Do you think the father is still angry and will say to him, 'I told you so!' Well, listen now to what comes next." His father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry." "Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi (Heidi, #1-2))
But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase “sanctity of life”. You’ve heard that. Sanctity of life. You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well, I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians all taking turns killing each other ‘cause God told them it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the land, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead motherfuckers. Millions of dead motherfuckers all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. “You believe in God?” “No.” Boom. Dead. “You believe in God?” “Yes.” “You believe in my God? “No.” Boom. Dead. “My God has a bigger dick than your God!” Thousands of years. Thousands of years, and all the best wars, too. The bloodiest, most brutal wars fought, all based on religious hatred. Which is fine with me. Hey, any time a bunch of holy people want to kill each other I’m a happy guy. But don’t be giving me all this shit about the sanctity of life. I mean, even if there were such a thing, I don’t think it’s something you can blame on God. No, you know where the sanctity of life came from? We made it up. You know why? ‘Cause we’re alive. Self-interest. Living people have a strong interest in promoting the idea that somehow life is sacred. You don’t see Abbott and Costello running around, talking about this shit, do you? We’re not hearing a whole lot from Mussolini on the subject. What’s the latest from JFK? Not a goddamn thing. ‘Cause JFK, Mussolini and Abbott and Costello are fucking dead. They’re fucking dead. And dead people give less than a shit about the sanctity of life. Only living people care about it so the whole thing grows out of a completely biased point of view. It’s a self serving, man-made bullshit story. It’s one of these things we tell ourselves so we’ll feel noble. Life is sacred. Makes you feel noble. Well let me ask you this: if everything that ever lived is dead, and everything alive is gonna die, where does the sacred part come in? I’m having trouble with that. ‘Cuz, I mean, even with all this stuff we preach about the sanctity of life, we don’t practice it. We don’t practice it. Look at what we’d kill: Mosquitoes and flies. ‘Cause they’re pests. Lions and tigers. ‘Cause it’s fun! Chickens and pigs. ‘Cause we’re hungry. Pheasants and quails. ‘Cause it’s fun. And we’re hungry. And people. We kill people… ‘Cause they’re pests. And it’s fun! And you might have noticed something else. The sanctity of life doesn’t seem to apply to cancer cells, does it? You rarely see a bumper sticker that says “Save the tumors.”. Or “I brake for advanced melanoma.”. No, viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, E. Coli bacteria, the crabs. Nothing sacred about those things. So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up! Made it up!
George Carlin (More Napalm and Silly Putty)
Most people I meet are stupid. Now, nobody likes to be labeled as stupid because they don’t want to know the truth about themselves, that they’re more useful dead than alive. The vast majority of those that meet me for the first time don’t believe that I’ve worked as a College Professor, or that I make a living as a writer. In fact, many have stopped talking to me because they believe I make a living doing something illegal, something criminal. It’s easier for them to believe that I’m just a criminal, than to accept that I’m one of the most famous bestselling writers in the entire planet. The ones that reach the next level, will ask me if I belong to any secret organization, if I speak to demons or if I channel the dead, or even if I steal information from the internet and other authors. Now, what they can’t see, is that the more they talk such things, the more they show me their real nature. They are very, really very, stupid. They can’t see an elephant in front of their nose; they can’t see an intelligent human being in front of their face; they are indeed very stupid and that’s a fact, not an assumption.
Robin Sacredfire
In this one life, this one life that you have to live, you must embrace every moment that creeps into your existence. You must feel every possible emotion to realize you’re really alive, you’re really living. If you build walls and you hide behind them in fear, you’re not embracing moments, you’re not actually living. And if you’re not living, then you’re dead. Maybe not physically, but mentally and emotionally, you are non-existent. Why would you want to waste such precious time, non-existing, especially behind a crumby wall? Fear? Fear of what? Fear of something great? Fear of something amazing? Hurt? Fear of pain? Isn’t pain what makes us appreciate feelings of absolute happiness and love? Who doesn’t want happiness? Let me be the one to tell you that this life is short, it’s damn short. So, let go of your grudges, your past, your stupid walls and feel reality. Avoidance is not life. Pain is life, happiness is life, emotion is life. Live your damn life. Stop being dead. Embrace every good feeling in your heart and soul and act on it without the fear of hurt, because undoubtedly hurt will happen, but hurt will also disappear and lead to the most valuable feelings in this world. Regret is not something you want to live with in this short, short life. So follow that tiny fist sized drum in your chest because it is honest and it is true. Take those fucking chances, take them knowing this world is full of opportunity, opportunity for great things, absolutely amazing fucking things. Take chance because that is living and no one wants to be dead. No one really wants to hide behind these crumby walls. Walls are built for protection, but guess what? You’re not protecting yourself, you are limiting yourself. You’re limiting your existence. You are the source of your suffering. You’re missing out on the best opportunities by hiding behind these shit walls. So you8 want to play it safe? Why? Life is for taking the risks, for closing your eyes and taking that damn leap of faith. This, this is living; this is your one shot. So take the risk, find opportunity, break down walls, fell the hurt, feel the happiness, live in the now, embrace what your heart is telling you and love EVERY damn moment of your existence. And please keep living, really, whole-heartedly keep living.
Anonymous
Then there is the butterfly-or is it a moth? Humbert's inability to differentiate between the two,his indifference, implies a moral carelessness. This blind indifference echoes his callous attitude towards Lolita's nightly sobs. Those who tell us Lolita is a little vixen who deserved what she got should remember her nightly sobs in the arms of her rapist and jailer, because you see, as Humbert reminds us with a mixture of relish and pathos, "she had absolutely nowhere else to go." This came to mind when we were discussing in our class Humbert's confiscation of Lolita's life. The first thing that struck us in reading Lolita-in fact it was on the very first page-was how Lolita was given to us as Humbert's creature. We only see her in passing glimpses. "What I had madly possessed," he informs us, "was not she, but my own creation, another fanciful Lolita-perhaps, more real than Lolita . . . having no will, no consciousness-indeed no real life of her own." Humbert pins Lolita by first naming her, a name that becomes the echo of his desires. To reinvent her, Humbert must take from Lolita her own real history and replace it with his own, turning Lolita into a reincarnation of his lost, unfulfilled young love. Humbert's solipsization of Lolita. Yet she does have a past. Despite Humbert's attempts to orphan Lolita by robbing her of her history. Lolita has a tragic past, with a dead father and a dead two-year-old brother. And now also a dead mother. Like my students, Lolita's past comes to her not so much as a loss but as a lack, and like my students, she becomes a figment in someone else's dream. When I think of Lolita, I think of that half-alive butterfly pinned to the wall. The butterfly is not an obvious symbol, but it does suggest that Humbert fixes Lolita in the same manner that the butterfly is fixed; he wants her, a living breathing human being, to become stationary, to give up her life for the still life he offers her in return. Lolita's image is forever associated in the minds of her readers with that of her jailer. Lolita on her own has no meaning; she can only come to life through her prison bars. This is how I read Lolita. Again and again as we discussed Lolita in that class. And more and more I thought of that butterfly; what linked us so closely was this perverse intimacy of victim and jailer.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
The Dying Man" in memoriam W.B. Yeats 1. His words I heard a dying man Say to his gathered kin, “My soul’s hung out to dry, Like a fresh salted skin; I doubt I’ll use it again. “What’s done is yet to come; The flesh deserts the bone, But a kiss widens the rose I know, as the dying know Eternity is Now. “A man sees, as he dies, Death’s possibilities; My heart sways with the world. I am that final thing, A man learning to sing. 2. What Now? Caught in the dying light, I thought myself reborn. My hand turn into hooves. I wear the leaden weight Of what I did not do. Places great with their dead, The mire, the sodden wood, Remind me to stay alive. I am the clumsy man The instant ages on. I burned the flesh away, In love, in lively May. I turn my look upon Another shape than hers Now, as the casement blurs. In the worst night of my will, I dared to question all, And would the same again. What’s beating at the gate? Who’s come can wait. 3. The Wall A ghost comes out of the unconscious mind To grope my sill: It moans to be reborn! The figure at my back is not my friend; The hand upon my shoulder turns to horn. I found my father when I did my work, Only to lose myself in this small dark. Though it reject dry borders of the seen, What sensual eye can keep and image pure, Leaning across a sill to greet the dawn? A slow growth is a hard thing to endure. When figures our of obscure shadow rave, All sensual love’s but dancing on a grave. The wall has entered: I must love the wall, A madman staring at perpetual night, A spirit raging at the visible. I breathe alone until my dark is bright. Dawn’s where the white is. Who would know the dawn When there’s a dazzling dark behind the sun. 4. The Exulting Once I delighted in a single tree; The loose air sent me running like a child– I love the world; I want more than the world, Or after image of the inner eye. Flesh cries to flesh, and bone cries out to bone; I die into this life, alone yet not alone. Was it a god his suffering renewed?– I saw my father shrinking in his skin; He turned his face: there was another man, Walking the edge, loquacious, unafraid. He quivered like a bird in birdless air, Yet dared to fix his vision anywhere. Fish feed on fish, according to their need: My enemies renew me, and my blood Beats slower in my careless solitude. I bare a wound, and dare myself to bleed. I think a bird, and it begins to fly. By dying daily, I have come to be. All exultation is a dangerous thing. I see you, love, I see you in a dream; I hear a noise of bees, a trellis hum, And that slow humming rises into song. A breath is but a breath: I have the earth; I shall undo all dying with my death. 5. They Sing, They Sing All women loved dance in a dying light– The moon’s my mother: how I love the moon! Out of her place she comes, a dolphin one, Then settles back to shade and the long night. A beast cries out as if its flesh were torn, And that cry takes me back where I was born. Who thought love but a motion in the mind? Am I but nothing, leaning towards a thing? I scare myself with sighing, or I’ll sing; Descend O gentlest light, descend, descend. I sweet field far ahead, I hear your birds, They sing, they sing, but still in minor thirds. I’ve the lark’s word for it, who sings alone: What’s seen recededs; Forever’s what we know!– Eternity defined, and strewn with straw, The fury of the slug beneath the stone. The vision moves, and yet remains the same. In heaven’s praise, I dread the thing I am. The edges of the summit still appall When we brood on the dead or the beloved; Nor can imagination do it all In this last place of light: he dares to live Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things.
Theodore Roethke (The Collected Poems)
Meanwhile, all I wanted to say is that there are certain states of consciousness known to ascetics that are unknown to people who aren't ascetics.' 'No doubt. And if you treat your body in the way nature meant you to, as an equal, you attain to states of consciousness unknown to the vivisecting ascetics.' 'But the states of the vivisectors are better than the states of the indulgers.' 'In other words, lunatics are better than sane men. Which I deny. The sane, harmonious, Greek man gets as much as he can of both sets of states. He's not such a fool as to want to kill part of himself. He strikes a balance. It isn't easy of course; it's even damnably difficult. The forces to be reconciled are intrinsically hostile. The conscious soul resents the activities of the unconscious, physical, instinctive part of the total being The life of the one is the other's death and vice versa. But the sane man at least tries to strike a balance. The Christians, who weren't sane, told people that they'd got to throw half of themselves in the waste-paper basket. And now the scientists and business men come and tell us that we must throw away half of what the Christians left us. But I don't want to be three-quarters dead. I prefer to be alive, entirely alive. It's time there was a revolt in favour of life and wholeness.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
RICHARD FEYNMAN LETTER TO ARLINE FEYNMAN, 1946 Richard Feynman (1918–1988) shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. Unrivaled in his generation for his brilliance and innovation, he was also known for being witty, warm, and unconventional. Those last three qualities were particularly evident in this letter, which he wrote to his wife Arline nearly two years after her death from tuberculosis. Feynman and Arline had been high school sweethearts and married in their twenties. Feynman’s second marriage, in 1952, ended in divorce two years later. His third marriage, in 1960, lasted until his death. D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that—but I don’t only write it because you like it—I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you—almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; & I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead—but I still want to comfort and take care of you—and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you—I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that together. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together—or learn Chinese—or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now. No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to & thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true—you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else—but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish & that you want me to have full happiness & don’t want to be in my way. I’ll bet you are surprised that I don’t even have a girl friend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can’t help it, darling, nor can I—I don’t understand it, for I have met many girls & very nice ones and I don’t want to remain alone—but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. P.S. Please excuse my not mailing this—but I don’t know your new address.
Lisa Grunwald (The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft)
By contrast, condemnation will never call you to come into God’s presence. It will convince you that you have nowhere to go because of where you’ve been. One of my friends told me that the most prominent feature of depression is the unremitting belief that things will never get any better than they are right now. In the same way, one of the most prominent features of condemnation is the unshakable sensation that I’ll never change from who I am right now. I’ve always struggled with this; therefore, I’ll never conquer it. Condemnation is the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son. He wrongly believes—and wants to make you believe—that because you went to the pigpen, the pigpen should be your permanent mailing address. But it’s not his house we’re returning to or his rules we’re abiding by. The Father makes a different proclamation: This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:24, emphasis added) Now that’s more like it. The past is buried (he was dead); the present is resurrected (he is alive). That’s the way the Father speaks. He understands the correct usage of tenses. What was does not determine what will be, because God is in every moment, redeeming it for His glory. And it gets even better than that. Not only does the Spirit set us free from chains that have bound us to our past, but He actually unleashes the Father’s vision of our future into our present reality. That
Steven Furtick (Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others)
How did you find me?" "I've followed you for a long time." He must have mistaken the look on my face for alarm or fear, and said, "Not literally. I just mean I never lost track." But it wasn't fear, or anything like that. It was an instant of realization I'd have a lot in the coming days: I'd been thinking of him as coming back from the dead, but the fact was he'd been there all along. He'd been alive when I cried in my room over him being gone. He'd been alive when I started a new school without him, the day I made my first friend a Jones Hall, the time I ran into Ethan at the library. Cameron Quick and I had existed simultaneously on the planet during all of those moments. It didn't seem possible that we could have been leading separate lives, not after everything we'd been through together. "...then I looked you up online," he was saying, "and found your mom's wedding announcement from before you changed your name. I didn't even need to do that. It's easy to find someone you never lost." I struggled to understand what he was saying. "You mean...you could have written to me, or seen me, sooner?" "I wanted to. Almost did, a bunch of times." "Why didn't you? I wish you had." And I did, I wished it so much, imagined how it would have been to know all those years that he was there, thinking of me. "Things seemed different for you," he said, matter-of-fact. "Better. I could tell that from the bits of information I found...like an interview with the parents who were putting their kids in your school when it first started. Or an article about that essay contest you won a couple years ago." "You knew about that?" He nodded. "That one had a picture. I could see just from looking at you that you had a good thing going. Didn't need me coming along and messing it up." "Don't say that," I said quickly. Then: "You were never part of what I wanted to forget." "Nice of you to say, but I know it's not true." I knew what he was thinking, could see that he'd been carrying around the same burden all those years as me. "You didn't do anything wrong." It was getting cold on the porch, and late, and the looming topic scared me. I got up. "Let's go in. I can make coffee or hot chocolate or something?" "I have to go." "No! Already?" I didn't want to let him out of my sight. "Don't worry," he said. "Just have to go to work. I'll be around." "Give me your number. I'll call you." "I don't have a phone right now." "Find me at school," I said, "or anytime. Eat lunch with us tomorrow." He didn't answer. "Really," I continued, "you should meet my friends and stuff." "You have a boyfriend," he finally said. "I saw you guys holding hands." I nodded. "Ethan." "For how long?" "Three months, almost." I couldn't picture Cameron Quick dating anyone, though he must have at some point. If I'd found Ethan, I was sure Cameron had some Ashley or Becca or Caitlin along the way. I didn't ask. "He's nice," I added. "He's..." I don't know what I'd planned to say, but whatever it was it seemed insignificant so I finished that sentence with a shrug. "You lost your lisp." And about twenty-five pounds, I thought. "I guess speech therapy worked for both of us." He smiled. "I always liked that, you know. Your lisp. It was...you." He started down the porch steps. "See you tomorrow, okay?" "Yeah," I said, unable to take my eyes off of him. "Tomorrow.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
If people have no respect for God, no love for their Maker, I would ask the question another way: Why not pillage, rape, persecute and murder? If it feels good, and they can get away with it, why not? If God is dead or does not exist, as these people believe, why are not all things permitted? Why should they restrain themselves? Because it’s just wrong? Because it’s not the way civilized people behave? Because what goes around comes around? Because they’ll end up feeling terrible inside? Within tidy circles of properly socialized and reasonable people, such appeals can seem like they actually have the power to restrain people from doing what they otherwise feel like doing. But in the real world outside the philosophy seminar room, oppressors frankly don’t care that you think it’s just wrong. Who are you, they ask, to foist your random moral intuition on them? Who are you to tell them or the lords of the Third Reich what civilized people should and should not do? If what goes around tends to come around, then there’s no moral problem, only a practical problem of making sure it doesn’t come around to you. They think, Fine, if being brutal makes you feel terrible inside, then don’t do it. But it makes me feel powerful, alive, exhilarated and masterful, so quit whining — unless you want to try to stop me. This description of a dark Nietzschean world of self-will — a vacuum devoid of moral authority or spiritual resources for good — used to sen excessively melodramatic to me. But then I got out more. The world is truly full of brutal oppression because humans have rejected their Maker, the source of all goodness, mercy, compassion, truth, justice, and love.
Gary A. Haugen (Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World)
I…I still--” “Can’t believe it?” Rafe shrugged. “I’m guessing a regular person wouldn’t have survived. But we’re part cat so maybe falls aren’t so bad. I think I lost one of my nine lives though.” He twisted to look at the stab wound. “Maybe two.” I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him, and when I did, I knew he was real--the heat of him, the smell of him, the feel of him, the taste of him so incredibly real that it surpassed anything my memory could conjure up. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back, and it was like every other amazing kiss he’d given me, multiplied ten-fold. I kissed him until I couldn’t breathe, and then I kissed him a little more, until I had to pull back, gasping. “I have got to die more often,” he said. And he grinned, that incredible blaze of a grin that made me kiss him again. When we finally pulled apart, he brushed his palm over my still-damp cheeks. “Your parents are okay, Maya,” he murmured. “They’ve just left. The whole town left.” “I know. That’s not…” I stepped back, out of his arms, and looked over at the fallen tree. “I came out here and I saw that, and I remembered us…You…” He looked startled and…something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but definitely startled, like he hadn’t ever thought I’d be crying over him. “I dreamed you were alive,” I said. “You were calling me and you needed help, and I wanted to go but…” I swallowed. “It didn’t make sense. I told myself you couldn’t be, so I didn’t, and I’m sorry if--” “You wouldn’t have found me, Maya. If I called you, it was only in my dreams, when I was out cold. I never expected you to come after me. I should be dead.” He tugged me into his arms. “I’m just really, really glad I’m not.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
Urgent Story" When the oracle said, ‘If you keep pigeons you will never lose home.’ I kept pigeons. They flicked their red eyes over me, a deft trampling of that humanly proud distance by which remaining aloof in it’s own fullness. I administered crumbs, broke sky with them like breaking the lemon-light of the soul's amnesia for what It wants but will neither take nor truh let go. How it revived me, to release them! And at that moment of flight to disavow the imprint, to tear their compass, out by the roots of some green meadow they might fly over on the way to an immaculate freedom, meadow in which a woman has taken off her blouse, then taken off the man's flannel shirt in their sky-drenched arc of one, then the other above each other's eyelids is a branding of daylight, the interior of its black ambush in which two joys lame the earth a while with heat and cloudwork under wing-beats. Then she was quiet with him. And he with her. The world hummed with crickets, with bees nudging the lupins. It is like that when the earth counts its riches—noisy with desire even when desire has strengthened our bodies and moved us into the soak of harmony. Her nipples in sunlight have crossed his palm wind-sweet with savor and the rest is so knelt before that when they stand upright the flight-cloud of my tamed birds shapes an arm too short for praise. Oracle, my dovecot is an over and over nearer to myself when its black eyes are empty. But by nightfall I am dark before dark if one bird is missing. Dove left open by love in a meadow, Dove commanding me not to know where it sank into the almost-night—for you I will learn to play the concertina, to write poems full of hateful jasmine and longing, to keep the dead alive, to sicken at the least separation. Dove, for whose sake I will never reach home.
Tess Gallagher (My Black Horse: New & Selected Poems)
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Another woman catches sight of Fischerle's hump on the ground and runs screaming into the street: 'Murder! Murder!' She takes the hump for a corpse. Further details - she knows none. The murderer is very thin, a poor sap, how he came to do it, you shouldn't have thought it of him. Shot may be, someone suggests. Of course, everyone heard the shot. Three streets off, the shot had been heard. Not a bit of it, that was a motor tyre. No, it was a shot! The crowd won't be done out of its shot. A threatening attitude is assumed towards the doubters. Don't let him go. An accessory. Trying to confuse the trail! Out of the building comes more news. The woman's statements are revised. The thin man has been murdered. And the corpse on the floor? It's alive. It's the murderer, he had hidden himself. He was tring to creep away between the corpse's legs when he was caught. The more recent information is more detailed. The little man is a dwarf. What do you expect, a cripple! The blow was actually struck by another. A redheaded man. Ah, those redheads. The dwarf put him up to it. Lynch him! The woman gave the alarm. Cheers for the woman! She screamed and screamed. A Woman! Doesn't know what fear is. The murderer had threatened her. The redhead. It's always the Reds. He tore her collar off. No shooting. Of course not. What did he say? Someone must have invented the shot. The dwarf. Where is he? Inside. Rush the doors! No one else can get in. It's full up. What a murder! The woman had a plateful. Thrashed her every day. Half dead, she was. What did she marry a dwarf for? I wouldn't marry a dwarf. And you with a big man to yourself. All she could find. Too few men, that's what it is. The war! Young people to-day...Quite young he was too. Not eighteen. And a dwarf already. Clever! He was born that way. I know that. I've seen him. Went in there. Couldn't stand it. Too much blood. That's why he's so thin. An hour ago he was a great, fat man. Loss of blood, horrible! I tell you corpses swell. That's drowned ones. What do you know about corpses? Took all the jewellery off the corpse he did. Did it for the jewellery. Just outside the jewellery department it was. A pearl necklace. A baroness. He was her footman. No, the baron. Ten thousand pounds. Twenty thousand! A peer of the realm! Handsome too. Why did she send him? Should he have let his wife? It's for her to let him. Ah, men. She's alive though. He's the corpse. Fancy dying like that! A peer of the realm too Serve him right. The unemployed are starving. What's he want with a pearl necklace. String 'em up I say! Mean it too. The whole lot of them. And the Theresianum too. Burn it! Make a nice blaze.
Elias Canetti (Auto-da-Fé)
That drawer was full of photographs of her. She showed me any number, old and recent. "All dead," I told her. She turned her head and glanced at me quickly: "Dead?" "Yes, for all they appear to be alive." "Even this one with the smile?" "Yes. And this pensive one: and the one with the eyes drooped." "But how can they be dead, if I here am alive?" "Ah, you, yes; because you do not see yourself now. But when you are in front of a mirror, the moment you look at yourself again, you are no longer alive." "And why not?" "Because, in order to behold yourself, you must for a moment halt life within you. Excuse me, but seeing that you go to the photographer's so often—when the photographer, in front of you with his camera, tells you to be sure not to move, you must have noticed—life is suspended in you—and you feel that such suspension cannot last more than a second—it is like turning into a statue—For life is constant motion, and one can never really see one's self." "You mean to say that I, while living, have never seen myself?" "Never; not as I can see you. But I see a likeness of you that is mine and mine alone; it is assuredly not yours. You, while living, have possibly been able to catch no more than a bare glimpse of your own in some snapshot or other that has been made of you; and it has come as an unpleasant surprise; it may even have pained you to recognize yourself, in helter-skelter motion like that." "That's true." "For you can only know yourself when you strike an attitude: a statue: not alive. When one is alive, one lives and does not see himself. To know one's self is to die. The reason you spend so much time looking at yourself in that mirror, in all mirrors, is that you are not alive; you do not know how to live, you cannot or you do not want to live. You want too much to know yourself; and meanwhile, you are not living." "Why, nothing of the sort! I never can succeed in keeping still a moment." "But you want to see yourself always. In every act of your life. It is as if you had before you always the likeness of yourself, in every action, in every gesture. It is from this that your intolerance comes. You do not want the feeling in you to be blind. You compel it to open its eyes and look at itself in a mirror which you are forever holding up in front of it. And feeling, the moment it sees itself, turns ice within you. You cannot go on living before a mirror. One's aim should be never to see one's self. For the reason that, however much you may try, you can never know yourself as others see you. And of what use is it, then, to know one's self for one's self's sake? You may even come to the point where you will no longer be able to understand why you must have that likeness which the mirror gives you back.
Luigi Pirandello (One, No One and One Hundred Thousand)
I stared through the front door at Barrons Books and Baubles, uncertain what surprised me more: that the front seating cozy was intact or that Barrons was sitting there, boots propped on a table, surrounded by piles of books, hand-drawn maps tacked to the walls. I couldn’t count how many nights I’d sat in exactly the same place and position, digging through books for answers, occasionally staring out the windows at the Dublin night, and waiting for him to appear. I liked to think he was waiting for me to show. I leaned closer, staring in through the glass. He’d refurnished the bookstore. How long had I been gone? There was my magazine rack, my cashier’s counter, a new old-fashioned cash register, a small flat-screen TV/DVD player that was actually from this decade, and a sound dock for my iPod. There was a new sleek black iPod Nano in the dock. He’d done more than refurnish the place. He might as well have put a mat out that said WELCOME HOME, MAC. A bell tinkled as I stepped inside. His head whipped around and he half-stood, books sliding to the floor. The last time I’d seen him, he was dead. I stood in the doorway, forgetting to breathe, watching him unfold from the couch in a ripple of animal grace. He crammed the four-story room full, dwarfed it with his presence. For a moment neither of us spoke. Leave it to Barrons—the world melts down and he’s still dressed like a wealthy business tycoon. His suit was exquisite, his shirt crisp, tie intricately patterned and tastefully muted. Silver glinted at his wrist, that familiar wide cuff decorated with ancient Celtic designs he and Ryodan both wore. Even with all my problems, my knees still went weak. I was suddenly back in that basement. My hands were tied to the bed. He was between my legs but wouldn’t give me what I wanted. He used his mouth, then rubbed himself against my clitoris and barely pushed inside me before pulling out, then his mouth, then him, over and over, watching my eyes the whole time, staring down at me. What am I, Mac? he’d say. My world, I’d purr, and mean it. And I was afraid that, even now that I wasn’t Pri-ya, I’d be just as out of control in bed with him as I was then. I’d melt, I’d purr, I’d hand him my heart. And I would have no excuse, nothing to blame it on. And if he got up and walked away from me and never came back to my bed, I would never recover. I’d keeping waiting for a man like him, and there were no other men like him. I’d have to die old and alone, with the greatest sex of my life a painful memory. So, you’re alive, his dark eyes said. Pisses me off, the wondering. Do something about that. Like what? Can’t all be like you, Barrons. His eyes suddenly rushed with shadows and I couldn’t make out a single word. Impatience, anger, something ancient and ruthless. Cold eyes regarded me with calculation, as if weighing things against each other, meditating—a word Daddy used to point out was the larger part of premeditation. He’d say, Baby, once you start thinking about it, you’re working your way toward it. Was there something Barrons was working his way toward doing? I shivered.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
She tilts her head to the side after taking a sip of her tea, studying us. “You know, I can’t get over how beautiful you two are together. One of those couples you love to follow on Instagram, you know, the really cute ones that are so sickening in love that you can’t get enough of them.” Way to drop the love bomb, Mom. Jesus. Thankfully Emory doesn’t show any kind of hatred for the term but instead says, “Like Jennifer Lopez and A-Rod?” “Yes,” my mom answers with excitement. “Oh my gosh, I’m obsessed with watching their stories. The little videos they do together, I just can’t get enough of them. J-Rod,” my mom says dreamily. “Oh gosh, what would your couple name be?” She thinks about it for a second. “Emox . . . or Knemory. Oh I love Knemory. Sounds so poetic.” “Knemory does have a nice ring to it,” I add. “I don’t know, what about Emorox?” “Ohhh, that sounds like a name that belongs in The Game of Thrones.” Taking on a more masculine voice, my mom says, “Look out, Jon, Emorox is coming over the hill, with her fire-spitting dragons, Knemory and George.” “George?” Emory laughs out loud, covering her mouth. “Why George?” “Well, look at the names they have in that show? They’re all exotic names you’ve never heard before—Cersei, Gregor, Arya—and then in waltzes good old Jon Snow. It’s only fair that the dragons have a lemon in the bunch as well.” “Uh, Jon is anything but a lemon, Mom,” I defend. “He was raised from the dead.” My mom’s mouth drops, pure and utter shock in her face. “Jon Snow dies?” Shit. Emory elbows my stomach. “Where the hell is your GOT etiquette? You never talk about the facts of the show until the air is cleared about how far someone is in watching. You are one of those people who spoils everything for someone just catching up to the trend.” *Ahem* “I mean . . . uh . . . he doesn’t die.” “You just said he is raised from the dead,” my mom says. Feeling guilty, I reply, “Well, at least he’s still alive, right?” She slumps against the cushion of the couch and mutters, “Unbelievable.” “I’m sorry, Mrs. Gentry, that your son is a barbarian and broke your GOT trust.” Pressing her hand against her forehead, my mom says, “You know, I blame myself. I thought I taught him a shred of decorum, I guess not.” “Don’t blame yourself,” Emory coos. “You did everything right. It comes down to the hooligans he hangs out with. There’s only so much you can control after they leave the nest.” “You’re absolutely right,” my mom agrees and leans across the couch to smack me in the back of the head. “Hey,” I complain while rubbing the sore spot. I look between the two women in my life and I say, “I don’t like this ganging up on me shit.” “You wanted us to get along, right?” Emory asks. “Well, I happen to like your mom, especially since she complimented my bosom.” “Ah, I see.” I continue to look between the two of them. “You’re okay with my mom catching you with your shirt off now, moved past the embarrassment?” Emory’s eyes narrow. “With that kind of attitude, it might be the very last time you see me topless.” My mom raises her fist to the air, as if to say, “Girl Power.” And then she says, “You tell him, Emory. Don’t let him push you around.” “I wasn’t pushing her around—” “You keep that beautiful bosom under lock and key, and if you have a temptation to show anyone, just flash me.” “Mom, do you realize how wrong that is?” “Want to go to the bathroom right now, Mrs. Gentry?” “I would be delighted to.” They both stand but before they can make a move, I pull on Emory’s hand, bringing her back down to my lap. “No way in hell is that happening. Jesus, what is wrong with you?
Meghan Quinn (The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys, #1))