Well Spent Day With Friends Quotes

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To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend, I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t see you anymore. All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend. You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one. Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore. Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely. Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once? I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were. So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years! Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex. I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind. Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter. And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it? OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up. Your friend, Rosie
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
He wanted to warn these children that time was not their friend; that though today might seem special, there would be a tomorrow, and a day after that; that the best-case scenario of a well-spent life was the slow and steady unraveling of the heart’s knot.
Simon Jimenez (The Vanished Birds)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid! Have you conspired, have you with the contrived To bait me with this foul derision? Is all the counsel that we two have shared, The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent, When we have chid the hasty-footed time For parting us,-O, and is all forgot? All school=days' friendship, childhood innocence? We, Hermia, like two artificial gods, Have with our neelds created both one flower, Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, Both warbling of one song, both in one key; As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds, Had been incorporate. So we grew together, Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, But yet an union in partition; Two lovely berries moulded on one stem; So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart, Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, Due but to one, and crowned with one crest, And will you rent our ancient love asunder, To join with men in scorning your poor friend? It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly: Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it, Though I alone do feel the injury.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Joan, Thelma, and Mary, like thousands of others, spent day and night after day and night carrying on with their jobs in the most frightening of conditions. Every day they helped save strangers they didn't know and would never meet. But today it was their friend. Stiff upper lips and getting on with things were all very well, but sometimes there was nothing to do but admit that things were quite simply awful. War was foul and appalling and unfair.
A.J. Pearce (Dear Mrs. Bird (The Emmy Lake Chronicles, #1))
You know, hon, after Stephie died, we never really talked about her." she says, her hands tight around the cart handle. "There's a lot of pain there. Still. I guess we feel like we failed her. Like maybe if we were home instead of away at college, we could've done something to fix her. Something my patents and the doctors and her boyfriend missed. Sometimes I think I don't have the right to talk about her. Like at the end, I don't know her well enough to say anything. So much of her life became secret. She spent all of her time with her boyfriend, and when she was home, her nose was buried in her diary. I swear that diary was her best friend, even more than Megan." "Did you ever read it?" I ask. "No." "Not even after she died?" Aunt Rachel shakes her head, removing an eggplant from the middle row and pressing her fingers against its flesh. "To this day, I don't know if I would've, either. We never found it, Delilah. It's like she just…took it with her.
Sarah Ockler (Fixing Delilah)
And I am proud, but mostly, I’m angry. I’m angry, because when I look around, I’m still alone. I’m still the only black woman in the room. And when I look at what I’ve fought so hard to accomplish next to those who will never know that struggle I wonder, “How many were left behind?” I think about my first-grade class and wonder how many black and brown kids weren’t identified as “talented” because their parents were too busy trying to pay bills to pester the school the way my mom did. Surely there were more than two, me and the brown boy who sat next to me in the hall each day. I think about my brother and wonder how many black boys were similarly labeled as “trouble” and were unable to claw out of the dark abyss that my brother had spent so many years in. I think about the boys and girls playing at recess who were dragged to the principal’s office because their dark skin made their play look like fight. I think about my friend who became disillusioned with a budding teaching career, when she worked at the alternative school and found that it was almost entirely populated with black and brown kids who had been sent away from the general school population for minor infractions. From there would only be expulsions or juvenile detention. I think about every black and brown person, every queer person, every disabled person, who could be in the room with me, but isn’t, and I’m not proud. I’m heartbroken. We should not have a society where the value of marginalized people is determined by how well they can scale often impossible obstacles that others will never know. I have been exceptional, and I shouldn’t have to be exceptional to be just barely getting by. But we live in a society where if you are a person of color, a disabled person, a single mother, or an LGBT person you have to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional by the standards put forth by white supremacist patriarchy, and you are lucky, you will most likely just barely get by. There’s nothing inspirational about that.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
You going to the game tonight?" I was about to answer,but another voice rang out from just behind me. "She'd better," Jack said as he wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me back against him. I could smell the fresh leather on his letterman jacket as I crunched against it. "Why is that?" I asked,smiling and instantly warm in his arms.I still couldn't get over the fact that Jack Caputo and I were...together. It was hard to think the word. We had been friends for so long.To be honest, he had been friends with me and I had been secretly pining for him since...well, since forever. But now he was here. It was my waist he held. It didn't seem real. "I can't carry the team to victory without you," he said. "You're my rabbit's foot." I craned my neck around to look at him. "I've always dreamed of some guy saying that to me." He pressed his lips to the base of my neck, and heat rushed to my cheeks. "I love making you turn red," he whispered. "It doesn't take much. We're in the middle of the hallway." "You want to know what else I love?" His tone was playful. "No," I said, but he wasn't listening. He took his fingers and lightly railed them up my spine,to the back of my neck.Instant goose bumps sprang up all over my body,and I shuddered. "That." I could feel his smile against my ear. Jack was always smiling.It was what made him so likable. By this time,Jules had snaked her way through the throng of students. "Hello, Jack.I was in the middle of a conversation with Becks.Do you mind?" she said with a smirk. Right then a bunch of Jack's teammates rounded the corner at the end of the hallway,stampeding toward us. "Uh-oh," I said. Jack pushed me safely aside just before they tackled him, and Jules and I watched as what seemed like the entire football team heaped on top of their starting quarterback. "Dating Jack Caputo just might kill you one day." Jules laughed. "You sure it's worth it?" I didn't answer,but I was sure. In the weeks following my mother's death, I had spent nearly every morning sitting at her grave.Whispering to her, telling her about my day, like I used to each morning before she died. Jack came with me to the cemetary most days. He'd bring a book and read under a tree several headstones away,waiting quietly, as if what I was doing was totally normal. We hadn't even been together then. It had been only five months since my mom died. Five months since a drunk driver hit her during her evening jog. Five months since the one person who knew all my dreams disappeared forever. Jack was the reason I was still standing. Yeah,I was sure he was worth it.The only thing I wasn't sure about was why he was with me.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
I shall say that he is mistaken in supposing that I can regret the birth of my daughters, (who have been the pride of my life, and are likely to be the comfort of my old age), or the thirty years I have passed in the company of my best and dearest friend;–that, had our misfortunes been three times as great as they were, (unless they had been of my bringing on,) I should still the more rejoice to have shared them with your father, and administered what consolation I was able; and, had his sufferings in illness been ten times what they were, I could not regret having watched over and laboured to relieve them–that, if he had married a richer wife, misfortunes and trials would no doubt have come upon him still, while–I am egotist enough to imagine that no other woman could have cheered him through them so well–not that I am superior to the rest, but I was made for him, and he for me; and I can no more repent the hours–days–years of happiness we have spent together, and which neither could have had without the other, than I can the privilege of having been his nurse in sickness, and his comfort in affliction.
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
He remembered that Clive and he had only been together one day! And they had spent it careering about like fools—instead of in one another’s arms! Maurice did not know that they had thus spent it perfectly—he was too young to detect the triviality of contact for contact’s sake. Though restrained by his friend, he would have surfeited passion. Later on, when his love took second strength, he realized how well Fate had served him. The one embrace in the darkness, the one long day in the light and the wind, were twin columns, each useless without the other.
E.M. Forster (Maurice)
In my old age (smirk), I seem to have become a creature of habit. I have order, schedules, quirky little activities I dig that fill up my days. Even though I hang alone, I hang alone well. In the two years since I got back from my seven-month postcollegiate sojourn in gay paris, I have gotten used to spending most of my time alone, playing inside my head. All those solo walks along the Seine, nights spent reading in my apartment, and weekend lurking gin dark cafés conditioned me to like my own company. Sure, I was lonely not having anyone to gab with or laugh with, but somehow I found serenity in solitude. Now, even with friends around, I like being able to tune everything and everyone out. I have become selfish with my freedom, filling it with things I deem fit. This is how I deal with loneliness in my life: I learn to love it, and the it isn't loneliness, it's just lovely. 
Rebecca Bloom (Girl Anatomy: A Novel)
When I go musing all alone Thinking of divers things fore-known. When I build castles in the air, Void of sorrow and void of fear, Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet, Methinks the time runs very fleet. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I lie waking all alone, Recounting what I have ill done, My thoughts on me then tyrannise, Fear and sorrow me surprise, Whether I tarry still or go, Methinks the time moves very slow. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so mad as melancholy. When to myself I act and smile, With pleasing thoughts the time beguile, By a brook side or wood so green, Unheard, unsought for, or unseen, A thousand pleasures do me bless, And crown my soul with happiness. All my joys besides are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. When I lie, sit, or walk alone, I sigh, I grieve, making great moan, In a dark grove, or irksome den, With discontents and Furies then, A thousand miseries at once Mine heavy heart and soul ensconce, All my griefs to this are jolly, None so sour as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see, Sweet music, wondrous melody, Towns, palaces, and cities fine; Here now, then there; the world is mine, Rare beauties, gallant ladies shine, Whate'er is lovely or divine. All other joys to this are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see Ghosts, goblins, fiends; my phantasy Presents a thousand ugly shapes, Headless bears, black men, and apes, Doleful outcries, and fearful sights, My sad and dismal soul affrights. All my griefs to this are jolly, None so damn'd as melancholy. Methinks I court, methinks I kiss, Methinks I now embrace my mistress. O blessed days, O sweet content, In Paradise my time is spent. Such thoughts may still my fancy move, So may I ever be in love. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I recount love's many frights, My sighs and tears, my waking nights, My jealous fits; O mine hard fate I now repent, but 'tis too late. No torment is so bad as love, So bitter to my soul can prove. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so harsh as melancholy. Friends and companions get you gone, 'Tis my desire to be alone; Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I Do domineer in privacy. No Gem, no treasure like to this, 'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. 'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, Fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so fierce as melancholy. I'll not change life with any king, I ravisht am: can the world bring More joy, than still to laugh and smile, In pleasant toys time to beguile? Do not, O do not trouble me, So sweet content I feel and see. All my joys to this are folly, None so divine as melancholy. I'll change my state with any wretch, Thou canst from gaol or dunghill fetch; My pain's past cure, another hell, I may not in this torment dwell! Now desperate I hate my life, Lend me a halter or a knife; All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so damn'd as melancholy.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It ; in Three Partitions; With Their ... Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
I was raised in a world where I had thousands of friends, each one waiting for me on a shelf every day. While you practiced with the bow or sword, I read. The Imperial Library houses my confidants, and I spent nearly a decade hanging onto their every word. I know them well, and if you will stop questioning me, I will be so kind to impart their secrets to you.” Slack-jaws
Elise Kova (Earth's End (Air Awakens, #3))
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.” He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.” “Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?” Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.” “It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.” “Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word. “Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.” “You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“ “No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.” Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record. “What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.” “Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.” I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery. Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age? Apparently not. “What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
I thought of myself, in those days, as someone in disguise—beneath the obedient son, beneath the straight-A student, the agreeable well-brought-up boy with his friends and his ping-pong and his semiofficial girlfriend, there was another being, restless, elusive, mocking, disruptive, imperious, and this shadowy underself had nothing to do with that other one who laughed with his friends and went to school dances and spent summer afternoons at the beach.
Steven Millhauser (Dangerous Laughter)
Will: Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you never met your wife? Sean: What? Do I wonder if I'd be better off if I never met my wife? No, that's okay. It's an important question. 'Cause you'll have your bad times, which wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to. And you can fail, as long as you're trying hard. But there's nothing worse than regret. Will: You don't regret meetin' your wife? Sean: Why? Because of the pain I feel now? I have regrets Will, but I don't regret a single day I spent with her. Will: When did you know she was the one? Sean: October 21, 1975. Game six of the World Series. Biggest game in Red Sox history. Me and my friends slept out on the sidewalk all night to get tickets. We were sitting in a bar waiting for the game to start and in walks this girl. What a game that was. Tie game in the bottom of the tenth inning, in steps Carlton Fisk, hit a long fly ball down the left field line. Thirty-five thousand fans on their feet, screamin' at the ball to stay fair. Fisk is runnin' up the baseline, wavin' at the ball like a madman. It hits the foul pole, home run. Thirty-five thousand people went crazy. And I wasn't one of them. Will: Where were you? Sean: I was havin' a drink with my future wife. Will: You missed Pudge Fisk's home run to have a drink with a woman you had never met? Sean: That's right. Will: So wait a minute. The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since nineteen eighteen, you slept out for tickets, games gonna start in twenty minutes, in walks a girl you never seen before, and you give your ticket away? Sean: You should have seen this girl. She lit up the room. Will: I don't care if Helen of Troy walked into that bar! That's game six of the World Series! And what kind of friends are these? They let you get away with that? Sean: I just slid my ticket across the table and said "sorry fellas, I gotta go see about a girl." Will: "I gotta go see about a girl"? What did they say? Sean: They could see that I meant it. Will: You're kiddin' me. Sean: No Will, I'm not kiddin' you. If I had gone to see that game I'd be in here talkin' about a girl I saw at a bar twenty years ago. And how I always regretted not goin' over there and talkin' to her. I don't regret the eighteen years we were married. I don't regret givin' up counseling for six years when she got sick. I don't regret being by her side for the last two years when things got real bad. And I sure as Hell don't regret missing that damn game. Will: Would have been nice to catch that game though. Sean: Well hell, I didn't know Pudge was gonna hit the home run.
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2))
Let us remember this history, when we pray for ourselves. We are sometimes tempted to think that we get no good by our prayers, and that we may as well give them up altogether. Let us resist the temptation. It comes from the devil. Let us believe, and pray on. Against our besetting sins, against the spirit of the world, against the wiles of the devil, let us pray on, and not faint. For strength to do duty, for grace to bear our trials, for comfort in every trouble, let us continue in prayer. Let us be sure that no time is so well-spent in every day, as that which we spend upon our knees. Jesus hears us, and in his own good time will give an answer. Let us remember this history, when we intercede for others. Have we children, whose conversion we desire? Have we relatives and friends, about whose salvation we are anxious? Let us follow the example of this Canaanitish woman, and lay the state of their souls before Christ. Let us name their names before Him night and day, and never rest until we have an answer. We may have to wait many a long year. We may seem to pray in vain, and intercede without profit. But let us never give up. Let us believe that Jesus is not changed, and that He who heard the Canaanitish mother, and granted her request, will also hear us, and one day give us an answer of peace.
J.C. Ryle (J.C. Ryle’s Commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
I thought of what Cameron said about the day I came across the yard to him to ask him to be in my club. About how I had guts. About how I was brave and strong. He was around to tell me these things now, to remind me, but I was going to have to learn to remember them myself, and believe them. I got up, crept to Alan's office, and went in. "Cameron? Cam?" He didn't move, and appeared to be fast asleep. I'm not sure what I wanted. To look at him, I guess, and talk. I sat on the floor by the sofa bed so that my face was level with his. His breath came in short, toothpaste-minty sighs. "Cameron Quick," I whispered, just wanting to hear his name. He still didn't move. I touched his face, following the curve of his jaw, the bow of his lips. This was the boy who made my childhood less lonely, who made me feel loved. And known. And accepted. Who had stared into my most terrifying moment right beside me, while my most terrifying moment was his everyday life. And I pictured him patting that baby doll by a cold window, showing it comfort by instinct. I felt overwhelmed with sadness for his life and what it could have been, even though I knew he wouldn't want me to feel that way. He'd say it was all right, that he'd get by, that he could take care of himself. That he didn't need anyone to fix it. But I still wanted to, to somehow make up for that infinite, infinite well of helplessness that I'd spent most of my life believing had swallowed us up. It hadn't, though, because we were here, weren't we? Wiser and braver and more ready for life than our friends or parents or anyone we knew, than even I had realized until he came back to show me. I touched his wrist lightly, his elbow. I tucked the blanket up around his shoulder. "I love you, Cameron," I whispered.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I've read every letter that you've sent me these past two years. In return, I've sent you many form letters, with the hope of one day being able to give you the proper response you deserve. But the more letters you wrote to me, and the more of yourself you gave, the more daunting my task became. I'm sitting beneath a pear tree as I dictate this to you, overlooking the orchards of a friend's estate. I've spent the past few days here, recovering from some medical treatment that has left me physically and emotionally depleted. As I moped about this morning, feeling sorry for myself, it occurred to me, like a simple solution to an impossible problem: today is the day I've been waiting for. You asked me in your first letter if you could be my protege. I don't know about that, but I would be happy to have you join me in Cambridge for a few days. I could introduce you to my colleagues, treat you to the best curry outside India, and show you just how boring the life of an astrophysicist can be. You can have a bright future in the sciences, Oskar. I would be happy to do anything possible to facilitate such a path. It's wonderful to think what would happen if you put your imagination toward scientific ends. But Oskar, intelligent people write to me all the time. In your fifth letter you asked, "What if I never stop inventing?" That question has stuck with me. I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers.But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, "Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open." I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on. What if you never stop inventing? Maybe you're not inventing at all. I'm being called in for breakfast, so I'll have to end this letter here. There's more I want to tell you, and more I want to hear from you. It's a shame we live on different continents. One shame of many. It's so beautiful at this hour. The sun is low, the shadows are long, the air is cold and clean. You won't be awake for another five hours, but I can't help feeling that we're sharing this clear and beautiful morning. Your friend, Stephen Hawking
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Well do I remember a friend of mine telling me once--he was then a labourer in the field of literature, who had not yet begun to earn his penny a day, though he worked hard--telling me how once, when a hope that had kept him active for months was suddenly quenched--a book refused on which he had spent a passion of labour--the weight of money that must be paid and could not be had, pressing him down like the coffin-lid that had lately covered the ONLY friend to whom he could have applied confidently for aid--telling me, I say, how he stood at the corner of a London street, with the rain, dripping black from the brim of his hat, the dreariest of atmospheres about him in the closing afternoon of the City, when the rich men were going home, and the poor men who worked for them were longing to follow; and how across this waste came energy and hope into his bosom, swelling thenceforth with courage to fight, and yield no ear to suggested failure. And
George MacDonald (The Complete Works of George MacDonald)
This is Roshana, the last queen of the Amulen Empire, back when my people ruled all the lands from the east to the west. She is something of a legend among us. Every queen aspires to learn from her mistakes.” “Her mistakes? Surely you mean her victories.” “What?” I frown at her. “Roshana was one of the greatest queens in the world. She ended the Mountain Wars, she routed Sanhezriyah the Mad, she—” “For a foreign serving girl, you are strangely well versed in Amulen history.” “I spent a lot of time in libraries as a girl.” “Were you there to dust the scrolls or read them?” “Surely Roshana’s victories outweigh her errors.” “The higher you rise, the farther you fall. For all her wisdom, Roshana was fooled by the jinni, believing it was her friend, and then it destroyed her. Ever since that day, my people have hunted the jinn. There is no creature more vicious and untrustworthy.” “This is not the story I heard,” I say softly. “My people tell it differently. That the jinni truly was a friend to Roshana but was forced to turn against her. That she had no choice.” “Surely I know how my own ancestress died,” returns the princess, a bit hotly. “Anyway, it was a long time ago, but we Amulens do not forget.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1))
was my first indication that the policies of Mamaw’s “party of the working man”—the Democrats—weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Political scientists have spent millions of words trying to explain how Appalachia and the South went from staunchly Democratic to staunchly Republican in less than a generation. Some blame race relations and the Democratic Party’s embrace of the civil rights movement. Others cite religious faith and the hold that social conservatism has on evangelicals in that region. A big part of the explanation lies in the fact that many in the white working class saw precisely what I did, working at Dillman’s. As far back as the 1970s, the white working class began to turn to Richard Nixon because of a perception that, as one man put it, government was “payin’ people who are on welfare today doin’ nothin’! They’re laughin’ at our society! And we’re all hardworkin’ people and we’re gettin’ laughed at for workin’ every day!”20 At around that time, our neighbor—one of Mamaw and Papaw’s oldest friends—registered the house next to ours for Section 8. Section 8 is a government program that offers low-income residents a voucher to rent housing. Mamaw’s friend had little luck renting his property, but when he qualified his house for the Section 8 voucher, he virtually assured that would change. Mamaw saw it as a betrayal, ensuring that “bad” people would move into the neighborhood and drive down property values. Despite our efforts to draw bright lines between the working and nonworking poor, Mamaw and I recognized that we shared a lot in common with those whom we thought gave our people a bad name. Those Section 8 recipients looked a lot like us. The matriarch of the first family to move in next door was born in Kentucky but moved north at a young age as her parents sought a better life. She’d gotten involved with a couple of men, each of whom had left her with a child but no support. She was nice, and so were her kids. But the drugs and the late-night fighting revealed troubles that too many hillbilly transplants knew too well. Confronted with such a realization of her own family’s struggle, Mamaw grew frustrated and angry. From that anger sprang Bonnie Vance the social policy expert: “She’s a lazy whore, but she wouldn’t be if she was forced to get a job”; “I hate those fuckers for giving these people the money to move into our neighborhood.” She’d rant against the people we’d see in the grocery store: “I can’t understand why people who’ve worked all their lives scrape by while these deadbeats buy liquor and cell phone coverage with our tax money.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Whatand why were never questions for me. How was the only question. When I look back now, I realize that I never thought about what I wanted to become in life. I only thought about how I wanted to live my life. And I knew that the “how” could only be determined within me and by me. There was a big boom in poultry farming at the time. I wanted to make some money to finance my desire for unrestrained, purposeless travel. So I got into it. My father said, “What am I going to tell people? That my son is rearing chickens?” But I built my poultry farm and I built it single-handedly, from scratch. The business took off. The profits started rolling in. I devoted four hours every morning to the business. The rest of the day was spent reading and writing poetry, swimming in the well, meditating, daydreaming on a huge banyan tree. Success made me adventurous. My father was always lamenting that everyone else’s sons had become engineers, industrialists, joined the civil service, or gone to America. And everywhere everyone I met—my friends, relatives, my old school and college teachers—said, “Oh, we thought you’d make something of your life, but you are just wasting it.” I took on the challenge. In partnership with a civil engineer friend, I entered the construction business. In five years, we became a major construction company, among the leading private
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy)
So I see you got to know Trish on a pretty intimate level tonight,” Max said, focusing her attention back on the present as they made their way down the deserted roads back to her house. “She was definitely…friendly.” What Landon casually defined as friendly was what Max more accurately described as molestation. Her hands had disappeared under the table, rubbing his leg or whatever she was doing, more times than she spent holding her damn cards. Landon’s indifference to the whole thing was entirely impossible to read. Was he enjoying the attention? Wouldn’t any man? Not that it was any of her business. Landon was just some guy that she’d let stay with her for a few days. The fact that he was good-looking was irrelevant. Trish could have him for all she cared as long as they kept the indecencies out of her house. “Well, don’t you worry about her. She’s a bit of a flirt when she’s drunk. I’m pretty sure she’d hit on a monkey.” “You just compared me to a monkey and you don’t want me to worry?” “You know what I mean.” “I’m sorry, I don’t.” “Don’t tell me that girls like that actually appeal to you.” “Jealous?” “Hardly,” Max shot back defensively. “I just pegged you for a man with higher standards that’s all.” She couldn’t really say why she’d chosen to share her opinion. No harm in giving the guy a little warning, right? “You’ve pegged me for a lot of things.
Shawn Maravel (The Wanderer)
Syn pulled his boxers on and quietly left the bedroom, walking angrily to the kitchen. He turned the corner and wanted to throw a shit-fit at the sight before him. Day was standing at his stove loading some type of egg dish onto a plate before turning and setting it in front of God. God folded down one side of his newspaper, peering at Syn from behind it. “Well good morning, sunshine,” Day said way too cheerily for five-fucking-a.m. “We brought breakfast.” Syn clenched his jaw, trying not to yell at his superior officers. “Have you two lost your fuckin’ minds? Come on. It’s, it’s ... early.” Syn turned his wrist, forgetting he didn’t have his watch on yet. “Damn, you guys are always at the office, or at a crime scene, or over fucking here at god-awful hours.” “Oh, it’s early?” Day said disbelievingly. God shrugged like he hadn’t realized either. “Seriously. When the fuck do you guys sleep?” “Never,” God said nonchalantly. “When do you fuck?” Syn snapped. “Always,” Day quipped. “Just did thirty minutes ago. Nice couch by the way, real comfy, sorry for the stain.” Syn tiredly flipped Day off. “Don’t be pissed,” Day sing-songed. “A dab of Shout will get that right out.” Syn rubbed angrily at his tired eyes, growling, “Day.” “He’s not in a joking mood, sweetheart,” God said from behind his paper. “You know we didn’t fuck on your couch so calm the hell down. Damn you’re moody in the morning. Unless ... We weren’t interrupting anything, were we? So, how’s porn boy?” God’s gruff voice filled the kitchen, making Syn cringe. “First of all. Don’t fucking call him that, ever, and damnit God. Lower your voice. Shit. He’s still asleep,” Syn berated his Lieutenant, who didn’t look the slightest bit fazed by Syn’s irritation. “You guys could let him sleep, he’s had a rough night, ya know.” Day leaned his chest against God’s large back, draping his arms over his shoulders. “Oh damn, what kind of friends are we? It was rough, huh?” Day looked apologetic. “Yes, it was, Day. He just–” “Try water-based lube next time,” Day interrupted, causing God to choke on his eggs. “Day, fuck.” Syn tried not to grin, but when he thought about it, it really was funny. “I knew I’d get you to smile. Have some breakfast Sarge, we gotta go question the crazy chicks. You know how much people feel like sharing when they’ve spent a night in jail.” “Damn. Alright, just let me–” “Wow. Something smells great.” Furi’s deep voice reached them from down the hall as he made his way to the kitchen. “You cook babe? Who knew? I’ll have the Gladiator portion.” Furi used his best Roman accent as he sauntered into the kitchen with his hands on hips and his head high. Syn turned just as Furi noticed God and Day. “Oh, fuck, shit, Jesus Christ!” Furi stumbled, his eyes darting wildly between all of them. “Damn, I’m so sorry.” Furi looked at Syn trying to gauge exactly how much he’d fucked up just now. Syn smiled at him and Furi immediately lost the horrified expression. Syn held his hand out and mouthed to him 'it's okay.
A.E. Via
If absolutely everything important is only happening on such a small screen, isn’t that a shame? Especially when the world is so overwhelmingly large and surprising? Are you missing too much? You can’t imagine it now, but you’ll look like me one day, even though you’ll feel just the same as you do now. You’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think how quickly it’s all gone, and I wonder if all the time you used watching those families whose lives are filmed for the television, and making those cartoons of yourselves with panting dog tongues, and chasing after that terrible Pokémon fellow…well, will it feel like time well spent? “Here lies Ms. Jackson, she took more steps than the other old biddies on her road”—is that the best I can leave behind? Is it all just designed to keep us looking down, or to give us the illusion that we have some sort of control over our chaotic lives? Will you do me a small favor, dears, and look up? Especially you New Yorkers and Londoners and other city dwellers who cross all those busy streets. How else will you take in the majesty of the buildings that have stood there for hundreds of years? How else will you run into an acquaintance on the street who might turn into a friend or a lover or even just recommend a good restaurant that no one has complained about on that app yet? If you never look out the window of the subway car, how will you see the boats gliding by on the East River, or have an idea that only you could have? Just look up for no reason, just for a moment here and there, or maybe for an entire day once in a while. Let the likes go unchecked and the quality of sleep go unnoticed. Que sera sera, my dears—whatever will be will be, whether we’re tracking it on our GPS devices or not.
Lauren Graham (Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between))
O dear, soft people, full of meat and blood, with white beds and airy rooms waiting you each night, how can I make you know what it is to suffer as you would suffer if you spent a weary night on London's streets? Believe me, you would think a thousand centuries had come and gone before the east paled into dawn; you would shiver till you were ready to cry aloud with the pain of each aching muscle; and you would marvel that you could endure so much and live. Should you rest upon a bench, and your tired eyes close, depend upon it the policeman would rouse you and gruffly order you to 'move on.' You may rest upon the bench, and benches are few and far between; but if rest means sleep, on you must go, dragging your tired body through the endless streets. Should you, in desperate slyness, seek some forlorn alley or dark passageway and lie down, the omnipresent policeman will rout you out just the same. It is his business to rout you out. It is a law of the powers that be that you shall be routed out. But when the dawn came, the nightmare over, you would hale you home to refresh yourself, and until you died you would tell the story of your adventure to groups of admiring friends. It would grow into a mighty story. Your little eight-hour night would become an Odyssey and you a Homer. Not so with these homeless ones who walked Poplar Workhouse with me. And there are thirty-five thousand of them, men and women, in “London Town this night. Please don't remember it as you go to bed; if you are as soft as you ought to be, you may not rest so well as usual. But for old men of sixty, seventy, and eighty, ill-fed, with neither meat nor blood, to greet the dawn unrefreshed, and to stagger through the day in mad search for crusts, with relentless night rushing down upon them again, and to do this nights and days- O dear, soft people, full of meat and blood, how can you ever understand?
Jack London (The People of the Abyss)
Meanwhile, Trucker and I, through all of this, had been renting that cottage together, on a country estate six miles outside of Bristol. We were paying a tiny rent, as the place was so rundown, with no heating or modern conveniences. But I loved it. The cottage overlooked a huge green valley on one side and had beautiful woodland on the other. We had friends around most nights, held live music parties, and burned wood from the dilapidated shed as heating for the solid-fuel stove. Our newly found army pay was spent on a bar tab in the local pub. We were probably the tenants from hell, as we let the garden fall into disrepair, and burned our way steadily through the wood of the various rotting sheds in the garden. But heh, the landlord was a miserable old sod with a terrible reputation, anyway! When the grass got too long we tried trimming it--but broke both our string trimmers. Instead we torched the garden. This worked a little too well, and we narrowly avoided burning down the whole cottage as the fire spread wildly. What was great about the place was that we could get in and out of Bristol on our 100 cc motorbikes, riding almost all the way on little footpaths through the woods--without ever having to go on any roads. I remember one night, after a fun evening out in town, Trucker and I were riding our motorbikes back home. My exhaust started to malfunction--glowing red, then white hot--before letting out one massive backfire and grinding to a halt. We found some old fence wire in the dark and Trucker towed me all the way home, both of us crying with laughter. From then on my bike would only start by rolling it down the farm track that ran down the steep valley next to our house. If the motorbike hadn’t jump-started by the bottom I would have to push the damn thing two hundred yards up the hill and try again. It was ridiculous, but kept me fit--and Trucker amused. Fun days.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
We shall see one another some day, brother. I believe in that as in the multiplication-table. To my soul, all is clear. I see my whole future, and all that I shall accomplish, plainly before me. I am content with my life. I fear only men and tyranny. How easily might I come across a superior officer who did not like me (there are such folk !), who would torment me incessantly and destroy me with the rigours of service—for I am very frail and of course in no state to bear the full burden of a soldier's life. People try to console me: " They're quite simple sort of fellows there." But I dread simple men more than complex ones. For that matter, men everywhere are just— men. Even among the robber-murderers in the prison, I came to know some men in those four years. Believe me, there were among them deep, strong, beautiful natures, and it often gave me great joy to find gold under a rough exterior. And not in a single case, or even two, but in several cases. Some inspired respect; others were downright fine. I taught the Russian language and reading to a young Circassian—he had been transported to Siberia for robbery with murder. How grateful he was to me ! Another convict wept when I said good-bye to him. Certainly I had often given him money, but it was so little, and his gratitude so boundless. My character, though, was deteriorating; in my relations with others I was ill-tempered and impatient. They accounted for it by my mental condition, and bore all without grumbling. Apropos: what a number of national types and characters I became familiar with in the prison ! I lived into their lives, and so I believe I know them really well. Many tramps' and thieves' careers were laid bare to me, and, above all, the whole wretched existence of the common people. Decidedly I have not spent my time there in vain. I have learnt to know the Russian people as only a few know them. I am a little vain of it. I hope that such vanity is pa r donable. Brother
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoyevsky to his family and friends)
On the contrary, we absolutely mustn’t forget it. We mustn’t forget old people with their rotten bodies, old people who are so close to death, something that young people don’t want to think about (so it is to retirement homes that they entrust the care of accompanying their parents to the threshold, with no fuss or bother). And where’s the joy in these final hours that they ought to be making the most of? They’re spent in boredom and bitterness, endlessly revisiting memories. We mustn’t forget that our bodies decline, friends die, everyone forgets about us, and the end is solitude. Nor must we forget that these old people were young once, that a lifespan is pathetically short, that one day you’re twenty and the next day you’re eighty. Colombe thinks you can “hurry up and forget” because it all seems so very far away to her, the prospect of old age, as if it were never going to happen to her. But just by observing the adults around me I understood very early on that life goes by in no time at all, yet they’re always in such a hurry, so stressed out by deadlines, so eager for now that they needn’t think about tomorrow . . . But if you dread tomorrow, it’s because you don’t know how to build the present, and when you don’t know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it’s a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up becoming today, don’t you see? So, we mustn’t forget any of this, absolutely not. We have to live with the certainty that we’ll get old and that it won’t look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that it’s now that matters: to build something, now, at any price, using all our strength. Always remember that there’s a retirement home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity. That’s what the future is for: to build the present, with real plans, made by living people.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Knowing Chris was getting married, his fellow Team members decided that they had to send him off with a proper SEAL bachelor party. That meant getting him drunk, of course. It also meant writing all over him with permanent markers-an indelible celebration, to be sure. Fortunately, they liked him, so his face wasn’t marked up-not by them, at least; he’d torn his eyebrow and scratched his lip during training. Under his clothes, he looked quite the sight. And the words wouldn’t come off no matter how he, or I scrubbed. I pretended to be horrified, but honestly, that didn’t bother me much. I was just happy to have him with me, and very excited to be spending the rest of my life with the man I loved. It’s funny, the things you get obsessed about. Days before the wedding, I spent forty-five minutes picking out exactly the right shape of lipstick, splurging on expensive cosmetics-then forgot to take it with me the morning of the wedding. My poor sister and mom had to run to Walgreens for a substitute; they came back with five different shades, not one of which matched the one I’d picked out. Did it matter? Not at all, although I still remember the vivid marks the lipstick made when I kissed him on the cheek-marking my man. Lipstick, location, time of day-none of that mattered in the end. What did matter were our families and friends, who came in for the ceremony. Chris liked my parents, and vice versa. I truly loved his mom and dad. I have a photo from that day taped near my work area. My aunt took it. It’s become my favorite picture, an accidental shot that captured us perfectly. We stand together, beaming, with an American flag in the background. Chris is handsome and beaming; I’m beaming at him, practically glowing in my white gown. We look so young, happy, and unworried about what was to come. It’s that courage about facing the unknown, the unshakable confidence that we’d do it together, that makes the picture so precious to me. It’s a quality many wedding photos possess. Most couples struggle to make those visions realities. We would have our struggles as well.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Our story begins on a sweltering August night, in a sterile white room where a single fateful decision is made amid the mindless ravages of grief. But our story does not end there. It has not ended yet. Would I change the course of our lives if I could? Would I have spent my years plucking out tunes on a showboat, or turning the soil as a farmer’s wife, or waiting for a riverman to come home from work and settle in beside me at a cozy little fire? Would I trade the son I bore for a different son, for more children, for a daughter to comfort me in my old age? Would I give up the husbands I loved and buried, the music, the symphonies, the lights of Hollywood, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live far distant but have my eyes? I ponder this as I sit on the wooden bench, Judy’s hand in mine, the two of us quietly sharing yet another Sisters’ Day. Here in the gardens at Magnolia Manor, we’re able to have Sisters’ Day anytime we like. It is as easy as leaving my room, and walking to the next hall, and telling the attendant, “I believe I’ll take my dear friend Judy out for a little stroll. Oh yes, of course, I’ll be certain she’s delivered safely back to the Memory Care Unit. You know I always do.” Sometimes, my sister and I laugh over our clever ruse. “We’re really sisters, not friends,” I remind her. “But don’t tell them. It’s our secret.” “I won’t tell.” She smiles in her sweet way. “But sisters are friends as well. Sisters are special friends.” We recall our many Sisters’ Day adventures from years past, and she begs me to share what I remember of Queenie and Briny and our life on the river. I tell her of days and seasons with Camellia, and Lark, and Fern, and Gabion, and Silas, and Old Zede. I speak of quiet backwaters and rushing currents, the midsummer ballet of dragonflies and winter ice floes that allowed men to walk over water. Together, we travel the living river. We turn our faces to the sunlight and fly time and time again home to Kingdom Arcadia. Other days, my sister knows me not at all other than as a neighbor here in this old manor house. But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present as a pulse. “Aren’t they so very sweet?
Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours)
cotton wool, decided that it was not good to eat, ran all round the table, sat up and put his fur in order, scratched himself, and jumped on the small boy’s shoulder. “Don’t be frightened, Teddy,” said his father. “That’s his way of making friends.” “Ouch! He’s tickling under my chin,” said Teddy. Rikki-tikki looked down between the boy’s collar and neck, snuffed at his ear, and climbed down to the floor, where he sat rubbing his nose. “Good gracious,” said Teddy’s mother, “and that’s a wild creature! I suppose he’s so tame because we’ve been kind to him.” “All mongooses are like that,” said her husband. “If Teddy doesn’t pick him up by the tail, or try to put him in a cage, he’ll run in and out of the house all day long. Let’s give him something to eat.” They gave him a little piece of raw meat. Rikki-tikki liked it immensely, and when it was finished he went out into the veranda and sat in the sunshine and fluffed up his fur to make it dry to the roots. Then he felt better. “There are more things to find out about in this house,” he said to himself, “than all my family could find out in all their lives. I shall certainly stay and find out.” He spent all that day roaming over the house. He nearly drowned himself in the bathtubs, put his nose into the ink on a writing table, and burned it on the end of the big man’s cigar, for he climbed up in the big man’s lap to see how writing was done. At nightfall he ran into Teddy’s nursery to watch how kerosene lamps were lighted, and when Teddy went to bed Rikki-tikki climbed up too. But he was a restless companion, because he had to get up and attend to every noise all through the night, and find out what made it. Teddy’s mother and father came in, the last thing, to look at their boy, and Rikki-tikki was awake on the pillow. “I don’t like that,” said Teddy’s mother. “He may bite the child.” “He’ll do no such thing,” said the father. “Teddy’s safer with that little beast than if he had a bloodhound to watch him. If a snake came into the nursery now–” But Teddy’s mother wouldn’t think of anything so awful. · · · Early in the morning Rikki-tikki came to early breakfast in the veranda riding on Teddy’s shoulder, and they gave him banana and some boiled egg. He sat on all their laps one after the other, because every well-brought-up mongoose always hopes to be a house mongoose some day and have rooms to run about in; and Rikki-tikki’s mother (she used to live in the general’s house at Segowlee) had carefully told Rikki what to do if ever he came across white men.
Rudyard Kipling (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi)
She was the first close friend who I felt like I’d re­ally cho­sen. We weren’t in each other’s lives be­cause of any obli­ga­tion to the past or con­ve­nience of the present. We had no shared his­tory and we had no rea­son to spend all our time to­ gether. But we did. Our friend­ship in­ten­si­fied as all our friends had chil­dren – she, like me, was un­con­vinced about hav­ing kids. And she, like me, found her­self in a re­la­tion­ship in her early thir­ties where they weren’t specif­i­cally work­ing to­wards start­ing a fam­ily. By the time I was thirty-four, Sarah was my only good friend who hadn’t had a baby. Ev­ery time there was an­other preg­nancy an­nounce­ment from a friend, I’d just text the words ‘And an­other one!’ and she’d know what I meant. She be­came the per­son I spent most of my free time with other than Andy, be­cause she was the only friend who had any free time. She could meet me for a drink with­out plan­ning it a month in ad­vance. Our friend­ship made me feel lib­er­ated as well as safe. I looked at her life choices with no sym­pa­thy or con­cern for her. If I could ad­mire her de­ci­sion to re­main child-free, I felt en­cour­aged to ad­mire my own. She made me feel nor­mal. As long as I had our friend­ship, I wasn’t alone and I had rea­son to be­lieve I was on the right track. We ar­ranged to meet for din­ner in Soho af­ter work on a Fri­day. The waiter took our drinks or­der and I asked for our usual – two Dirty Vodka Mar­ti­nis. ‘Er, not for me,’ she said. ‘A sparkling wa­ter, thank you.’ I was ready to make a joke about her un­char­ac­ter­is­tic ab­sti­nence, which she sensed, so as soon as the waiter left she said: ‘I’m preg­nant.’ I didn’t know what to say. I can’t imag­ine the ex­pres­sion on my face was par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic, but I couldn’t help it – I was shocked and felt an un­war­ranted but in­tense sense of be­trayal. In a de­layed re­ac­tion, I stood up and went to her side of the ta­ble to hug her, un­able to find words of con­grat­u­la­tions. I asked what had made her change her mind and she spoke in va­garies about it ‘just be­ing the right time’ and wouldn’t elab­o­rate any fur­ther and give me an an­swer. And I needed an an­swer. I needed an an­swer more than any­thing that night. I needed to know whether she’d had a re­al­iza­tion that I hadn’t and, if so, I wanted to know how to get it. When I woke up the next day, I re­al­ized the feel­ing I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing was not anger or jeal­ousy or bit­ter­ness – it was grief. I had no one left. They’d all gone. Of course, they hadn’t re­ally gone, they were still my friends and I still loved them. But huge parts of them had dis­ap­peared and there was noth­ing they could do to change that. Un­less I joined them in their spa­ces, on their sched­ules, with their fam­i­lies, I would barely see them. And I started dream­ing of an­other life, one com­pletely re­moved from all of it. No more chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties, no more chris­ten­ings, no more bar­be­cues in the sub­urbs. A life I hadn’t ever se­ri­ously con­tem­plated be­fore. I started dream­ing of what it would be like to start all over again. Be­cause as long as I was here in the only Lon­don I knew – mid­dle-class Lon­don, cor­po­rate Lon­don, mid-thir­ties Lon­don, mar­ried Lon­don – I was in their world. And I knew there was a whole other world out there.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
In the entire endless evening his serenity received a jolt only a few times. The first was when someone who didn’t know who he was confided that only two months ago Lady Elizabeth’s uncle had sent out invitations to all her former suitors offering her hand in marriage. Suppressing his shock and loathing for her uncle, Ian had pinned an amused smile on his face and confided, “I’m acquainted with the lady’s uncle, and I regret to say he’s a little mad. As you know, that sort of thing runs,” Ian had finished smoothly, “in our finest families.” The reference to England’s hopeless King George was unmistakable, and the man had laughed uproariously at the joke. “True,” he agreed. “Lamentably true.” Then he went off to spread the word that Elizabeth’s uncle was a confirmed loose screw. Ian’s method of dealing with Sir Francis Belhaven-who, his grandfather had discovered, was boasting that Elizabeth had spent several days with him-was less subtle and even more effective. “Belhaven,” Ian said after spending a half hour searching for the repulsive knight. The stout man had whirled around in surprise, leaving his acquaintances straining to hear Ian’s low conversation with him. “I find your presence repugnant,” Ian had said in a dangerously quiet voice. “I dislike your coat, I dislike your shirt, and I dislike the knot in your neckcloth. In fact, I dislike you. Have I offended you enough yet, or shall I continue?” Belhaven’s mouth dropped open, his pasty face turning a deathly gray. “Are-are you trying to force a-duel?” “Normally one doesn’t bother shooting a repulsive toad, but in this instance I’m prepared to make an exception, since this toad doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut!” “A duel, with you?” he gasped. “Why, it would be no contest-none at all. Everyone knows what sort of marksman you are. It would be murder.” Ian leaned close, speaking between his clenched teeth. “It’s going to be murder, you miserable little opium-eater, unless you suddenly remember very vocally that you’ve been joking about Elizabeth Cameron’s visit.” At the mention of opium the glass slid from his fingers and crashed to the floor. “I have just realized I was joking.” “Good,” Ian said, restraining the urge to strangle him. “Now start remembering it all over this ballroom!” “Now that, Thornton,” said an amused voice from Ian’s shoulder as Belhaven scurried off to begin doing as bidden, “makes me hesitate to say that he is not lying.” Still angry with Belhaven, Ian turned in surprise to see John Marchman standing there. “She was with me as well,” Marchman sad. “All aboveboard, for God’s sake, so don’t look at me like I’m Belhaven. Her aunt Berta was there every moment.” “Her what?” Ian said, caught between fury and amusement. “Her Aunt Berta. Stout little woman who doesn’t say much.” “See that you follow her example,” Ian warned darkly. John Marchman, who had been privileged to fish at Ian’s marvelous stream in Scotland, gave his friend an offended look. “I daresay you’ve no business challenging my honor. I was considering marrying Elizabeth to keep her out of Belhaven’s clutches; you were only going to shoot him. It seems to me that my sacrifice was-“ “You were what?” Ian said, feeling as if he’d walked in on a play in the middle of the second act and couldn’t seem to hold onto the thread of the plot or the identity of the players. “Her uncle turned me down. Got a better offer.” “Your life will be more peaceful, believe me,” Ian said dryly, and he left to find a footman with a tray of drinks.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Reasons to keep books: To read them one day! If you hope to read the book one day, definitely keep it. It’s fine to be aspirational; no one else will keep score on what you have actually read. It’s great to dream and hope that one day you do have the time to read all your books. To tell your story. Some people give away every book they’ve read explaining, “What’s the point in keeping a book after I’ve read it if I’m not going to read it again? It’s someone else’s turn to read my copy now.” If that works for you, then only keep books on your shelves that you haven’t read yet. However you can probably understand that the books that you haven’t yet read only tell the story of your future, they don’t say much about where you’ve been and what made you who you are today. To make people think you’ve read the book! This one may be hard or easy for you to admit, but we don’t think there is any shame in it. Sometimes we hold on to books because they represent our aspirational selves, supporting the perception of how well read or intelligent we are. They are certainly the books our ideal selves would read, but in reality—if we had to admit it—we probably never will. We would argue that you should still have these books around. They are part of your story and who you want to be. To inspire someone else in your household to read those books one day. Perhaps it’s your kids or maybe your guests. Keeping books for the benefit of others is thoughtful and generous. At the very least, anyone who comes into your home will know that these are important books and will be exposed to the subjects and authors that you feel are important. Whether they actually read Charles Dickens or just know that he existed and was a prolific writer after seeing your books: mission accomplished! To retain sentimental value. People keep a lot of things that have sentimental value: photographs, concert ticket stubs, travel knickknacks. Books, we would argue, have deeper meaning as sentimental objects. That childhood book of your grandmother's— she may have spent hours and hours with it and perhaps it was instrumental in her education. That is much more impactful than a photograph or a ceramic figurine. You are holding in your hands what she held in her hands. This brings her into the present and into your home, taking up space on your shelves and acknowledging the thread of family and history that unites you. Books can do that in ways that other objects cannot. To prove to someone that you still have it! This may be a book that you are otherwise ready to give away, but because a friend gifted it, you want to make sure you have it on display when they visit. This I’ve found happens a lot with coffee table books. It can be a little frustrating when the biggest books are the ones you want to get rid of the most, yet, you are beholden to keeping them. This dilemma is probably better suited to “Dear Abby” than to our guidance here. You will know if it’s time to part ways with a book if you notice it frequently and agonize over the need to keep it to stay friends with your friend. You should probably donate it to a good organization and then tell your friend you spilled coffee all over it and had to give it away! To make your shelves look good! There is no shame in keeping books just because they look good. It’s great if your books all belong on your shelves for multiple reasons, but if it’s only one reason and that it is that it looks good, that is good enough for us. When you need room for new acquisitions, maybe cull some books that only look good and aren’t serving other purposes.
Thatcher Wine (For the Love of Books: Designing and Curating a Home Library)
British / Pakistani ISIS suspect, Zakaria Saqib Mahmood, is arrested in Bangladesh on suspicion of recruiting jihadists to fight in Syria • Local police named arrested Briton as Zakaria Saqib Mahmood, also known as Zak, living in 70 Eversleigh Road, Westham, E6 1HQ London • They suspect him of recruiting militants for ISIS in two Bangladeshi cities • He arrived in the country in February, having previously spent time in Syria and Pakistan • Suspected militant recruiter also recently visited Australia A forty year old Muslim British man has been arrested in Bangladesh on suspicion of recruiting would-be jihadists to fight for Islamic State terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The man, who police named as Zakaria Saqib Mahmood born 24th August 1977, also known as Zak, is understood to be of Pakistani origin and was arrested near the Kamalapur Railway area of the capital city Dhaka. He is also suspected of having attempted to recruit militants in the northern city of Sylhet - where he is understood to have friends he knows from living in Newham, London - having reportedly first arrived in the country about six months ago to scout for potential extremists. Militants: The British Pakistani man (sitting on the left) named as Zakaria Saqib Mahmood was arrested in Bangladesh. The arrested man has been identified as Zakaria Saqib Mahmood, sources at the media wing of Dhaka Metropolitan Police told local newspapers. He is believed to have arrived in Bangladesh in February and used social media websites including Facebook to sound out local men about their interest in joining ISIS, according Monirul Islam - joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police - who was speaking at a press briefing today. Zakaria has openly shared Islamist extremist materials on his Facebook and other social media links. An example of Zakaria Saqib Mahmood sharing Islamist materials on his Facebook profile He targeted Muslims from Pakistan as well as Bangladesh, Mr Islam added, before saying: 'He also went to Australia but we are yet to know the reason behind his trips'. Zakaria saqib Mahmood trip to Australia in order to recruit for militant extremist groups 'From his passport we came to know that he went to Pakistan where we believe he met a Jihadist named Rauf Salman, in addition to Australia during September last year to meet some of his links he recruited in London, mainly from his weekly charity food stand in East London, ' the DMP spokesperson went on to say. Police believes Zakaria Mahmood has met Jihadist member Rauf Salman in Pakistan Zakaria Saqib Mahmood was identified by the local police in Pakistan in the last September. The number of extremists he has met in this trip remains unknown yet. Zakaria Saqib Mahmood uses charity food stand as a cover to radicalise local people in Newham, London. Investigators: Dhaka Metropolitan Police believe Zakaria Saqib Mhamood arrived in Bangladesh in February and used social media websites including Facebook to sound out local men about their interest in joining ISIS The news comes just days after a 40-year-old East London bogus college owner called Sinclair Adamson - who also had links to the northern city of Sylhet - was arrested in Dhaka on suspicion of recruiting would-be fighters for ISIS. Zakaria Saqib Mahmood, who has studied at CASS Business School, was arrested in Dhaka on Thursday after being reported for recruiting militants. Just one day before Zakaria Mahmood's arrest, local police detained Asif Adnan, 26, and Fazle ElahiTanzil, 24, who were allegedly travelling to join ISIS militants in Syria, assisted by an unnamed Briton. It is understood the suspected would-be jihadists were planning to travel to a Turkish airport popular with tourists, before travelling by road to the Syrian border and then slipping across into the warzone.
Zakaria Zaqib Mahmood
I, Prayer (A Poem of Magnitudes and Vectors) I, Prayer, know no hour. No season, no day, no month nor year. No boundary, no barrier or limitation–no blockade hinders Me. There is no border or wall I cannot breach. I move inexorably forward; distance holds Me not. I span the cosmos in the twinkling of an eye. I knowest it all. I am the most powerful force in the Universe. Who then is My equal? Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook? None is so fierce that dare stir him up. Surely, I may’st with but a Word. Who then is able to stand before Me? I am the wind, the earth, the metal. I am the very empyrean vault of Heaven Herself. I span the known and the unknown beyond Eternity’s farthest of edges. And whatsoever under Her wings is Mine. I am a gentle stream, a fiery wrath penetrating; wearing down mountains –the hardest and softest of substances. I am a trickling brook to fools of want lost in the deserts of their own desires. I am a Niagara to those who drink in well. I seep through cracks. I inundate. I level forests kindleth unto a single burning bush. My hand moves the Universe by the mind of a child. I withhold treasures solid from the secret stores to they who would wrench at nothing. I do not sleep or eat, feel not fatigue, nor hunger. I do not feel the cold, nor rain or wind. I transcend the heat of the summer’s day. I commune. I petition. I intercede. My time is impeccable, by it worlds and destinies turn. I direct the fates of nations and humankind. My Words are Iron eternaled—rust not they away. No castle keep, nor towers of beaten brass, Nor the dankest of dungeon helks, Nor adamantine links of hand-wrought steel Can contain My Spirit–I shan’t turn back. The race is ne’er to the swift, nor battle to the strong, nor wisdom to the wise or wealth to the rich. For skills and wisdom, I give to the sons of man. I take wisdom and skills from the sons of man for they are ever Mine. Blessed is the one who finds it so, for in humility comes honor, For those who have fallen on the battlefield for My Name’s sake, I reach down to lift them up from On High. I am a rose with the thorn. I am the clawing Lion that pads her children. My kisses wound those whom I Love. My kisses are faithful. No occasion, moment in time, instances, epochs, ages or eras hold Me back. Time–past, present and future is to Me irrelevant. I span the millennia. I am the ever-present Now. My foolishness is wiser than man’s My weakness stronger than man’s. I am subtle to the point of formlessness yet formed. I have no discernible shape, no place into which the enemy may sink their claws. I AM wisdom and in length of days knowledge. Strength is Mine and counsel, and understanding. I break. I build. By Me, kings rise and fall. The weak are given strength; wisdom to those who seek and foolishness to both fooler and fool alike. I lead the crafty through their deceit. I set straight paths for those who will walk them. I am He who gives speech and sight - and confounds and removes them. When I cut, straight and true is my cut. I strike without fault. I am the razored edge of high destiny. I have no enemy, nor friend. My Zeal and Love and Mercy will not relent to track you down until you are spent– even unto the uttermost parts of the earth. I cull the proud and the weak out of the common herd. I hunt them in battles royale until their cries unto Heaven are heard. I break hearts–those whose are harder than granite. Beyond their atomic cores, I strike their atomic clock. Elect motions; not one more or less electron beyond electron’s orbit that has been ordained for you do I give–for His grace is sufficient for thee until He desires enough. Then I, Prayer, move on as a comet, Striking out of the black. I, His sword, kills to give Life. I am Living and Active, the Divider asunder of thoughts and intents. I Am the Light of Eternal Mind. And I, Prayer, AM Prayer Almighty.
Douglas M. Laurent
a serious contender for my book of year. I can't believe I only discovered Chris Carter a year ago and I now consider him to be one of my favourite crime authors of all time. For that reason this is a difficult review to write because I really want to show just how fantastic this book is. It's a huge departure from what we are used to from Chris, this book is very different from the books that came before. That said it could not have been more successful in my opinion. After five books of Hunter trying to capture a serial killer it makes sense to shake things up a bit and Chris has done that in best possible way. By allowing us to get inside the head of one of the most evil characters I've ever read about. It is also the first book based on real facts and events from Chris's criminal psychology days and that makes it all the more shocking and fascinating. Chris Carter's imagination knows no bounds and I love it. The scenes, the characters, whatever he comes up with is both original and mind blowing and that has never been more so than with this book. I feel like I can't even mention the plot even just a little bit. This is a book that should be read in the same way that I read it: with my heart in my mouth, my eyes unblinking and in a state of complete obliviousness to the world around me while I was well and truly hooked on this book. This is addictive reading at its absolute best and I was devastated when I turned the very last page. Robert Hunter, after the events of the last few books is looking forward to a much needed break in Hawaii. Before he can escape however his Captain calls him to her office. Arriving, Hunter recognises someone - one of the most senior members of the FBI who needs his help. They have in custody one of the strangest individuals they have ever come across, a man who is more machine than human and who for days has uttered not a single word. Until one morning he utters seven: 'I will only speak to Robert Hunter'. The man is Hunter's roommate and best friend from college, Lucien Folter, and found in the boot of his car are two severed and mutilated heads. Lucien cries innocence and Hunter, a man incredibly difficult to read or surprise is played just as much as the reader is by Lucien. There are a million and one things I want to say but I just can't. You really have to discover how this story unfolds for yourself. In this book we learn so much more about Hunter and get inside his head even further than we have before. There's a chapter that almost brought me to tears such is the talent of Chris to connect the reader with Hunter. This is a character like no other and he is now one of my favourite detectives of all time. We go back in time and learn more about Hunter when he was younger, and also when he was in college with Lucien. Lucien is evil. The scenes depicted in this book are some of the most graphic I've ever read and you know what, I loved it. After five books of some of the scariest and goriest scenes I've ever read I wondered whether Chris could come up with something even worse (in a good way), but trust me, he does. This book is horrifying, terrifying and near impossible to put down until you reach its conclusion. I spent my days like a zombie and my nights practically giving myself paper cuts turning the pages. If when reading this book you think you have an idea of where it will go, prepare to be wrong. I've learnt never to underestimate Chris, keeping readers on their toes he takes them on an absolute rollercoaster of a ride with the twistiest of turns and the biggest of drops you will finish this book reeling. I am on a serious book hangover, what book can I read next that can even compare to this? I have no idea but if you are planning on reading An Evil Mind I cannot reccommend it enough. Not only is this probably my book of the year it is probably the best crime fiction book I have ever read. An exaggeration you might say but my opinion is my own and this real
Ayaz mallah
It’s over between them.” “Seriously?” Jake shrugged. “She didn’t give me the details, but the ring’s gone, and she said it was over.” “Is she upset?” “Doesn’t seem to be.” That was good, right? “Hmm.” Wyatt handed him a plate. “You gonna make your move now?” Jake elbowed Wyatt in the ribs. “She just broke her engagement.” “Or he did.” Jake frowned. “I prefer to think of it the other way.” Wyatt shrugged. “Just saying. She doesn’t sound too distressed. Hey, maybe she broke up because she has the hots for you.” “Shut up.” The thought was too ludicrous to entertain. Meridith might be attracted to him, but that was a far cry from what Wyatt suggested. “It’s about the kids,” Jake said. “I’m sure of it. They spent the day together yesterday, and Max told me that Ben puked on Stephen.” Wyatt laughed. “Classic!” “Yeah, I enjoyed that little tidbit.” He was surprised the man hadn’t gone running home the day before. From what Max said, Stephen hadn’t been very friendly. They washed and dried in silence for a minute, and Jake’s thoughts turned to Meridith. She’d told him the engagement was broken so matter-of-factly. How could she love the guy and react so calmly? “You know,” Wyatt said, pulling him from his thoughts. “It’s pretty remarkable, what she’s doing. Not every chick would take on three kids at the expense of her engagement.” Wyatt was right, and it only deepened his feelings for Meridith. He hated that she was planning to take the children away, but there was no doubt she cared about them. And his suspicions about the bipolar illness had all but disappeared. He’d found no medications, seen no symptoms. “You guys would make a cute couple,” Wyatt said. “You could get married and have a ready-made family.” “You’re forgetting one little detail.” “Ah, yeah. You’re the uncle she called—what was it—self-absorbed and irresponsible?” Jake scowled and grabbed the plate from Wyatt. “So tell her the truth.” “Yeah, right. That’ll go over well.” She’d be furious. She’d kick him from Summer Place and might not let him see the kids anymore. His gut clenched. “Gotta tell her eventually.” “When the house is finished.” “The longer you wait, the worse it’ll be.” “Maybe not.” Maybe he could change her mind about staying. Maybe he could make her see that he cared for her. Maybe they really could be a family.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
By Thursday the news had leaked out and a group of photographers waited for her outside the hospital. “People thought Diana only came in at the end,” says Angela. “Of course it wasn’t like that at all, we shared it all.” In the early hours of Thursday, August 23 the end came. When Adrian died, Angela went next door to telephone Diana. Before she could speak Diana said: “I’m on my way.” Shortly after she arrived they said the Lord’s Prayer together and then Diana left her friends to be alone for one last time. “I don’t know of anybody else who would have thought of me first,” says Angela. Then the protective side of Diana took over. She made up a bed for her friend, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight. While she was asleep Diana knew that it would be best if Angela joined her family on holiday in France. She packed her suitcase for her and telephoned her husband in Montpellier to tell him that Angela was flying out as soon as she awoke. Then Diana walked upstairs to see the baby ward, the same unit where her own sons were born. She felt that it was important to see life as well as death, to try and balance her profound sense of loss with a feeling of rebirth. In those few months Diana had learned much about herself, reflecting the new start she had made in life. It was all the more satisfying because for once she had not bowed to the royal family’s pressure. She knew that she had left Balmoral without first seeking permission from the Queen and in the last days there was insistence that she return promptly. The family felt that a token visit would have sufficed and seemed uneasy about her display of loyalty and devotion which clearly went far beyond the traditional call of duty. Her husband had never known much regard for her interests and he was less than sympathetic to the amount of time she spent caring for her friend. They failed to appreciate that she had made a commitment to Adrian Ward-Jackson, a commitment she was determined to keep. It mattered not whether he was dying of AIDS, cancer or some other disease, she had given her word to be with him at the end. She was not about to breach his trust. At that critical time she felt that her loyalty to her friends mattered as much as her duty towards the royal family. As she recalled to Angela: “You both need me. It’s a strange feeling being wanted for myself. Why me?” While the Princess was Angela’s guardian angel at Adrian’s funeral, holding her hand throughout the service, it was at his memorial service where she needed her friend’s shoulder to cry on. It didn’t happen. They tried hard to sit together for the service but Buckingham Palace courtiers would not allow it. As the service at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge was a formal occasion, the royal family had to sit in pews on the right, the family and friends of the deceased on the left. In grief, as with so much in Diana’s life, the heavy hand of royal protocol prevented the Princess from fulfilling this very private moment in the way she would have wished. During the service Diana’s grief was apparent as she mourned the man whose road to death had given her such faith in herself. The Princess no longer felt that she had to disguise her true feelings from the world. She could be herself rather than hide behind a mask. Those months nurturing Adrian had reordered her priorities in life. As she wrote to Angela shortly afterwards: “I reached a depth inside which I never imagined was possible. My outlook on life has changed its course and become more positive and balanced.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
I'm not sure that anything has happened this week. I got out to London for an evening to have dinner with an old writer friend. I stared into space for a couple of days because An Idea was happening to me, and also because the temperature drop out here on the Delta has gotten into my gammy leg and I was mostly a beached manatee until everything in the knee stopped bending and changing shape. This is, of course, why it's just as well that the few friends I have live thousands of miles away: I can totally lose a couple of days to gazing into the middle distance and meditating on the most ridiculous of things. Naturally, this is also why I'm poor. "What did you do Monday and Tuesday?" "Replied to an interview, wrote some script, and spent seven thousand hours doing a psychological autopsy on Hercule Poirot." The Idea isn't cooked. It's bugging me. It's fuzzy and indistinct. I want to be able to hold the kernel of it in my hand (not every idea should be a logline, by any means, but this one should), and I can't yet. Also, it's clearly Long. It hasn't got an end yet, and what I have in my head is already at least a year, maybe eighteen months' worth of basic material. My particular writing process means that The Idea may have to cook down in my head for a year or two before it becomes something worth committing to manuscript. As I've said before, it's an absurd way to live. But it's all I've got. My head is a vast haunted house. I never run out of rooms to discover, and I hope I never will.
Warren Ellis
He’d stopped talking about bonding her to him forever and had apparently decided to concentrate on being charming instead. Liv never would have believed that such an intensely alpha male could be light and playful but she had been seeing an entirely different side of Baird lately. Aside from the sushi class, he’d also taken her to an alien petting zoo where she was able to see and touch animals that were native to the three home worlds of the Kindred and they’d been twice to the Kindred version of a movie theater where the seats were wired to make the viewer feel whatever was happening on the screen. He’d also taken her to a musical performance where the musicians played giant drums bigger than themselves and tiny flutes smaller than her pinky finger. The music had been surprisingly beautiful—the melodies sweet and haunting and Liv had been moved. But it was the evenings they spent alone together in the suite that made Liv really believe she was in danger of feeling too much. Baird cooked for her—sometimes strange but delicious alien dishes and once Earth food, when she’d taught him how to make cheeseburgers. They ate in the dim, romantic light of some candle-like glow sticks he’d placed on the table and there was always very good wine or the potent fireflower juice to go with the meal. Liv was very careful not to over-imbibe because she needed every ounce of willpower she had to remember why she was holding out. For dessert Baird always made sure there was some kind of chocolate because he’d learned from his dreams how much she loved it. Liv had been thinking lately that she might really be in trouble if she didn’t get away from him soon. If all he’d had going for him was his muscular good looks she could have resisted easily enough. But he was thoughtful too and endlessly interested in her—asking her all kinds of questions about her past and friends and family as well as people he’d seen while they were “dream-sharing” as he called it. Liv found herself talking to him like an old friend, actually feeling comfortable with him instead of being constantly on her guard. She knew that Baird was actively wooing her, doing everything he could to earn her affection, but even knowing that couldn’t stop her from liking him. She had never been so ardently pursued in her life and she was finding that she actually liked it. Baird had taken her more places and paid her more attention in the past week than Mitch had for their entire relationship. It was intoxicating to always be the center of the big warrior’s attention, to know that he was focused exclusively on her needs and wants. But attention and attraction aside, there was another factor that was making Liv desperate to get away. Just as he had predicted, the physical attraction she felt for Baird seemed to be growing exponentially. She only had to be in the same room with him for a minute or two, breathing in his warm, spicy scent, and she was instantly ready to jump his bones. The need was growing every day and Liv didn’t know how much longer she could fight it.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
My heart was pounding as I drove up the coast again a few days later. There was the familiar little sign, the modest entrance. And here he was again, as large as life--six feet tall, broad shoulders, a big grin, and a warm and welcome handshake. Our first real touch. “Well, I’m back,” I said lamely. “Good on you, mate,” Steve said. I thought, I’ve got what on me? Right away, I was extremely self-conscious about a hurdle I felt that we had to get over. I wasn’t entirely sure about Steve’s marital status. I looked for a ring, but he didn’t wear one. That doesn’t mean anything, I told myself. He probably can’t wear one because of his work. I think he figured out what I was hinting at as I started asking him questions about his friends and family. He lived right there at the zoo, he told me, with his parents and his sister Mandy. His sister Joy was married and had moved away. I was trying to figure out how to say, “So, do you have a girlfriend?” when suddenly he volunteered the information. “Would you like to meet my girlfriend?” he asked. Ah, I felt my whole spirit sink into the ground. I was devastated. But I didn’t want to show that to Steve. I stood up straight and tall, smiled, and said, “Yes, I’d love to.” “Sue,” he called out. “Hey, Sue.” Bounding around the corner came this little brindle girl, Sui, his dog. “Here’s my girlfriend,” he said with a smile. This is it, I thought. There’s no turning back. We spent a wonderful weekend together. I worked alongside him at the zoo from sunup to sunset. During the day it was raking the entire zoo, gathering up the leaves, cleaning up every last bit of kangaroo poo, washing out lizard enclosures, keeping the snakes clean. But it was the croc work that was most exciting. The first afternoon of that visit, Steve took me in with the alligators. They came out of their ponds like sweet little puppies--puppies with big, sharp teeth and frog eyes. I didn’t know what to expect, but with Steve there, I felt a sense of confidence and security. The next thing I knew, I was feeding the alligators big pieces of meat, as if I’d done it all my life.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
And then we went on vacation. Not just any vacation, but a monthlong, four-thousand-mile family road trip. We spent twenty-nine days touring the country — seeing some incredible sites and visiting with friends and family all along the way. It was the trip of a lifetime, one my husband and I had dreamed about taking for years. We created countless memories that I will cherish forever.
Ruth Soukup (Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life)
Is anybody happier because you passed his way? Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today? This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through; Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you? Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along? Or a churlish sort of "Howdy" and then vanish in the throng? Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way, Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today? Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that's slipping fast, That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed? Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said; Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent? Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say, You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?
Edgar A. Guest
L. Wilson, editor of the Chicago Evening Journal; and General Henry Eugene Davies, who wrote a pamphlet, Ten Days on the Plains, describing the hunt. Among the others rounding out the group were Leonard W. and Lawrence R. Jerome; General Anson Stager of the Western Union Telegraph Company; Colonel M. V. Sheridan, the general's brother; General Charles Fitzhugh; and Colonel Daniel H. Rucker, acting quartermaster general and soon to be Phil Sheridan's father-in-law. Leonard W. Jerome, a financier, later became the grandfather of Winston Churchill when his second daughter, jenny, married Lord Randolph Churchill. The party arrived at Fort McPherson on September 22, 1871. The New York Herald's first dispatch reported: "General Sheridan and party arrived at the North Platte River this morning, and were conducted to Fort McPherson by General Emery [sic], commanding. General Sheridan reviewed the troops, consisting of four companies of the Fifth Cavalry. The party start[s] across the country tomorrow, guided by the renowned Buffalo Bill and under the escort of Major Brown, Company F, Fifth Cavalry. The party expect[s] to reach Fort Hays in ten days." After Sheridan's review of the troops, the general introduced Buffalo Bill to the guests and assigned them to their quarters in large, comfortable tents just outside the post, a site christened Camp Rucker. The remainder of the day was spent entertaining the visitors at "dinner and supper parties, and music and dancing; at a late hour they retired to rest in their tents." The officers of the post and their ladies spared no expense in their effort to entertain their guests, to demonstrate, perhaps, that the West was not all that wild. The finest linens, glassware, and china the post afforded were brought out to grace the tables, and the ballroom glittered that night with gold braid, silks, velvets, and jewels. Buffalo Bill dressed for the hunt as he had never done before. Despite having retired late, "at five o'clock next morning . . . I rose fresh and eager for the trip, and as it was a nobby and high-toned outfit which I was to accompany, I determined to put on a little style myself. So I dressed in a new suit of buckskin, trimmed along the seams with fringes of the same material; and I put on a crimson shirt handsomely ornamented on the bosom, while on my head I wore a broad sombrero. Then mounting a snowy white horse-a gallant stepper, I rode down from the fort to the camp, rifle in hand. I felt first-rate that morning, and looked well." In all probability, Louisa Cody was responsible for the ornamentation on his shirt, for she was an expert with a needle. General Davies agreed with Will's estimation of his appearance that morning. "The most striking feature of the whole was ... our friend Buffalo Bill.... He realized to perfection the bold hunter and gallant sportsman of the plains." Here again Cody appeared as the
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
Simone Simmons Simone Simmons works as an energy healer, helping her patients through empowering them rather than creating a dependency on the healer. She specializes in absent healing, mainly with sufferers of cancer and AIDS. She met Diana four years before her death when the Princess came to her for healing, and they became close friends. In 2005, Simone wrote a book titled Diana: The Last Word. The most important thing I did with Diana over the four years I knew her well, when we met almost every day and spent hours on the telephone, was to teach her how to heal. This enabled her to bring real comfort to the many hundreds and thousands of seriously ill people she met. Nothing was too lowly or demanding for her to tackle. She embraced people suffering from leprosy and AIDS. She cuddled the wounded and the sick. Diana was so committed to her work that she learned to channel her remarkable gift as a healer to aid the afflicted. It was while I was teaching her to meditate that I started to train her to channel her energies toward those she was in contact with. She picked this up very quickly, and once she got the knack of it, she used to practice on her sons, William and Harry, her friends, and the people she met through her charity work. She was a tactile person and told me that when she was a child, she would always snuggle up to whoever was reading her a bedtime story, as she liked the feeling of human contact. On her visits to hospices and hospitals, she would hold the people’s hands and look directly into their eyes so they could feel her love and energy flowing forth. She explained, “Nothing gives me greater joy than trying to help the most vulnerable members of society. It’s my one real goal in life--a destiny.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, From Those Who Knew Her Best)
Now, little sister,” he said, allowing a teasing tone to enter his voice, “would you care to explain what exactly has happened between you and Blackmoor in the last few weeks?” Alex leveled him with a frank look. “Not particularly.” “Come now! It’s obvious you are…enamored of each other.” “Is it?” She attempted to appear bored, to little effect. Will laughed. “You forget I have known you your entire life, Scamp. I can tell when there is something of import in that lovely head of yours.” She stayed quiet, willing herself not to rise to her brother’s bait. “You also forget,” he said in a deceptively casual tone, “that I spent the day with Blackmoor.” Alex sat up straighter, causing Vivi to lose her headrest. She was unable to hide her eagerness. “Did he say something about me? What was it?” Will laughed, enjoying the power he held over his little sister. “My, my. Is this the same sister who spent much of her time prior to this season expounding on both the irrelevance of men to her future and her marked lack of interest in marriage and the trappings of romance?” “I didn’t say men were irrelevant to my future. That’s ridiculous. Nor did I show a lack of interest in romance.” She ignored the three sets of eyebrows that rose in a silent yet eloquent response to her statement. “What happened? Was Father difficult with him?” “I thought you weren’t interested in discussing Blackmoor?” “Oh, William, I do wish you would be quiet if you have nothing to say,” Alex growled in irritation, then sat back and said, “I’m not interested. I was merely being conversational.” All three of her companions snorted with laughter. “You cannot honestly think that he’d actually believe that, can you?” Vivi asked before turning to Will. “Take pity on her, my lord. Have you never wondered what a girl thought of you?” “Never.” He lied baldly, a broad smile on his face, then pressed on. “Well, I shall simply say that our father and he are currently having a serious conversation.” “What?!” She leaned forward, squashing Ella’s head on her lap, causing her friend to cry out and sit up. Alex’s “I beg your pardon, Ella” was followed immediately with, “William! What are they talking about?” “I haven’t any idea.” Will leaned back in his chair and stretched his long legs out in front of him. “It seems to me that it would likely have something to do with your inappropriate display this morning.” Alex stood. “Oh, no! Do you think Father is angry? Do you think Gavin is being lectured? Do you think I should go to him?” “In order: No, I don’t think Father is angry. Yes, I do think Gavin is being lectured—that’s what Father does, remember? And no, I definitely do not think you should go anywhere near the study while they are locked in there. I think you should sit down and attempt to relax,” Will said, finally sounding more like the brother she loved and less like the one she wanted to murder.
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
James was generous with his time to any friend who needed it—as well as to some, like Lawson, who did not! When one friend had eye trouble and could not read, James spent an hour each evening reading out his bookwork for the next day. He bucked up fellow students when they were depressed and on several occasions nursed others who were sick. He helped freshmen who were having trouble with their studies. He also found time to keep up a lively correspondence with his father, Aunt Jane, Lewis Campbell and others.
Basil Mahon (The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell)
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through any structure without detection by his prey. He was a flawless assassin. It was just before five local time when Steven settled into the plush leather seating of the first-class compartment. The Deutsche Bahn Intercity Express, or ICE, was a high-speed train connecting major cities across Germany with other major European destinations. The trip to Frankfurt would take about four hours, giving him time to spend some rare personal time with his team. Slash was the first to find him. The men shook hands and sat down. Typically, these two longtime friends would chest bump in a hearty bro-mance sort of way, but it would be out of place for Europe. “Hey, buddy,” said Steven. “Switzerland is our new home away from home.” “It appears so, although the terrain isn’t that different from our place in Tennessee,” said Slash. “I see lots of fishin’ and huntin’ opportunities out there.” Slash grew up on his parents’ farm atop the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville. His parents were retired and spent their days farming while raising ducks, rabbits and some livestock. While other kids spent their free time on PlayStation, Slash grew up in the woods, learning survival skills. During his time with the SEAL Teams, he earned a reputation as an expert in close-quarters combat, especially using a variety of knives—hence the nickname Slash. “Beats the heck out of the desert, doesn’t it?” asked Steven. After his service ended, Slash tried a few different security outfits like Blackwater, protecting the Saudi royal family or standing guard outside some safe house in Oman. “I’m not saying the desert won’t call us back someday, but I’ll take the Swiss cheese and German chocolate over shawarma and falafel every friggin’ day!” “Hell yeah,” said Slash. “When are you comin’ down for some ham and beans, along with some butter-soaked cornbread? My folks really wanna meet you.” “I need to, buddy,” replied Steven. “This summer will be nuts for me. Hey, when does deer hunting season open?” “Late September for crossbow and around Thanksgiving otherwise,” replied Slash. Before the guys could set a date, their partners Paul Hittle and Raymond Bower approached their seats. Hittle, code name Bugs, was a former medic with Army Special Forces who left the Green Berets for a well-paying job with DynCorp. DynCorp was a private
Bobby Akart (Cyber Attack (The Boston Brahmin #2))
It must be very consoling to take refuge in cynicism and to try and drown your own remorse in a consoling vision of universal swinishness, and you can always try whisky, when that fails. For centuries those people were hunters, and now hunting has been taken away from them, without anything taking its place. When you separate people from their past without giving them anything in its place, they live with their eyes on that past . . . They're not the ones to blame.” "I believe Morel was defending a certain idea of decency— the way we are treated on this earth filled him with indignation. At bottom, he was an Englishman without knowing it. To cut a long story short — I suppose you came here to ask me for an explanation — it seemed to me quite natural that a British officer should be associated with that business. After all, my country is well known for its love of animals." Perhaps one day I shall even get the Nobel Prize— if, one day, they have a Nobel Prize for humaneness . . They were all solid people who haven’t suffered enough, so they just couldn’t understand ... Thou art rich. Thy creature is poor. Thou art glorious and Thy creature is vile. Thou art measureless and Thy creature is contemptible. Thou art great and Thy creature is small. Thou art strong and Thy creature is weak. I thank Thee that Thou art Thou . . They would shrug and call you a maniac— or even a humanitarian, a thing even more outmoded, backward, outdated, done with and anachronistic than the elephants. They would not understand. They had spent a few years in Paris, but they had still to undergo a real education —one which no school, lycee or university could supply: they had still to undergo their education in suffering. Then they’d be ready to understand what this was all about. He was not effeminate, but like many youngsters in whom virility did not exclude gentleness, he must often have had to endure wounding jokes His was a stubborn, desperate and yet triumphant reverie. He saw the face of his friend Kaj Munk, the pastor whom the Nazis had shot because he defended one of the most tenacious roots heaven had ever planted in the hearts of men— the root they called liberty. We have no other aim than to stop the murder of animals that goes on in the African jungle and elsewhere whoever amputated your poor soul did a thorough job of it
Romain Gary
For two decades, our escape defined me. It dominated my personality and compelled my every decision. By college, half my life had led up to our escape and the other half was spent reliving it, in churches and retreats where my mother made it a hagiograpihc journey, on college applications where it was a plea, at sleepovers where it was entertainment, and in discussion groups after public viewings of xenophobic melodrama like China Cry and Not Without my Daughter, films about Christian women facing death and escaping to America. Our story was a sacred thread woven into my identity. Sometimes people asked, But don't a lot of Christians live there? or Couldn't your mother just say she was Muslim? It would take me a long time to get over those kinds of questions. They felt like a bad grade, like a criticism of my face and body...Once in an Oklahoma church, a woman said, "Well, I sure do get it. You came for a better life." I thought I'd pass out -- a better life? In Isfahan, we had yellow spray roses, a pool. A glass enclosure shot up through our living room, and inside that was a tree. I had a tree inside my house; I had the papery hand of Morvarid, my friend nanny, a ninety-year-old village woman; I had my grandmother's fruit leather and Hotel Koorosh schnitzels and sour cherries and orchards and a farm - life in Iran was a fairytale. In Oklahoma, we lived in an apartment complex for the destitute and disenfranchised. Life was a big gray parking lot with cigarette butts baking in oil puddles, slick children idling in the beating sun, teachers who couldn't do math. I dedicated my youth and every ounce of my magic to get out of there. A better life? The words lodged in my ear like grit. Gradually, all those retellings felt like pandering. The skeptics drew their conclusions based on details that I had provided them: my childhood dreams of Kit Kats and flawless bananas. My academic ambitions. I thought of how my first retelling was in an asylum office in Italy: how merciless that with the sweat and dust of escape still on our brows, we had to turn our ordeal into a good, persuasive story or risk being sent back. Then, after asylum was secured, we had to relive that story again and again, to earn our place, to calm casual skeptics. Every day of her new life, the refugee is asked to differentiate herself from the opportunist, the economic migrant... Why do the native-born perpetuate this distinction? Why harm the vulnerable with the threat of this stigma? ...To draw a line around a birthright, a privilege. Unlike economic migrants, refugees have no agency; they are no threat. Often, they are so broken, they beg to be remade into the image of the native. As recipients of magnanimity, they can be pitied. But if you are born in the Third World, and you dare to make a move before you are shattered, your dreams are suspicious. You are a carpetbagger, an opportunist, a thief. You are reaching above your station.
Dina Nayeri (The Ungrateful Refugee)
herself look perfect. Her long dark hair will be pulled into two tidy plaits and she will have tried on almost everything in her wardrobe before putting on her favourite floaty dress. I help Mum by laying the table. I get out the cereal and the milk and make everyone a glass of orange juice. Mum is in a rush as she needs to go to work soon. But Moz, Alice and I have all the time in the world. It’s the school holidays and the sun is shining. I have been up for hours. But unlike my sister, I haven't spent my time making myself look fancy. I'm wearing denim shorts and a faded t-shirt, my most comfy clothes. I've tied back my curly blond hair into a ponytail as best I can, but I know it’s still messy. Oh well. No, I've been up for hours using the computer, chatting to some of my friends on Facebook. I've got Facebook friends from all over the world. Whatever time of day it is there's always someone about for a chat. I can happily spend all day watching videos or playing games with my mates. Moz and Alice don't understand at all. That’s why my Facebook friends are so great. They really get me.
Abigail Hornsea (Summer of Spies)
On November 22nd, 2018, my mother Vernita Lee passed away. I was conflicted about our relationship up until the very end. The truth is, it wasn't until I became successful that my mother started to show more interest in me. I wrestled with the question of how to take care of her - what did I owe the woman who gave me life, The bible says 'honor thy father and mother', but what did that actually mean? I decided one of the ways I could honor her would be to help care for her financially ... but there was never any real connection. I would say that the audience who watched me on television knew me better than my mother did. When her health began to decline a few years ago, I knew I needed to prepare myself for her transition. Just a few days before Thanksgiving my sister Patricia called to tell me she thought it was time. I flew to Milwaukee ... I tried to think of something to say, at one point I even picked up the manual left by the hospice care people. I read their advice thinking the whole time, how sad it was that I, Oprah Winfrey, who had spoken to thousands of people one on one should have to read a hospice manual to figure out what to say to my mother. When it was finally time to leave, something told me it would be the last time I'd ever see her but as I turned to go, the words I needed to say still wouldn't come. All I could muster was 'bye, I'll be seeing you' and I left for, ironically, a speaking engagement. On the flight home the next morning a little voice in my head whispered what I knew in my heart to be true: "you are going to regret this, you haven't finished the work". ... I turned around and went back to Milwaukee. I spent another day in that hot room and still no words came. That night I prayed for help. In the morning I meditated, and as I prepared to leave the bedroom I picked up my phone and noticed the song that was playing - Mahalia Jackson's 'Precious Lord'. If ever there was a sign, this was it. I had no idea how Mahalia Jackson appeared on my playlist. As I listened to the words, Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand. I am tired, I'm weak, I am worn Lead me on to the light, Take my hand, precious Lord And lead me home. I suddenly knew what to do. When I walked into my mothers room I asked if she wanted to hear the song. She nodded, and then I had another idea. I called my friend Wintley Phipps, a preacher and gospel artist, and asked him to sing Precious Lord to my dying mother. Over FaceTime from his kitchen table he sang the song a cappella and then prayed that our family would have no fear, just peace. I could see that my mother was moved. The song and the prayer had created a sort of opening for both of us. I began to talk to her about her life, her dreams, and me. Finally the words were there. I said, "It must have been hard for you, not having an education, not having a skill, not knowing what the future held. When you became pregnant, I'm sure a lot of people told you to get rid of that baby." She nodded. "But you didn't", I said. "And I want to thank you for keeping this baby". I paused, "I know that many times you didn't know what to do. You did the best you knew how to do and that's okay with me. That is okay with me. So you can leave now, knowing that it is well. It is well with my soul. It's been well for a long time." It was a sacred, beautiful moment, one of the proudest of my life. As an adult I'd learned to see my mother through a different lens; not as the mother who didn't care for me, protect me, love me or understand anything about me, but as a young girl still just a child herself; scared, alone, and unequipped to be a loving parent. I had forgiven my mother years earlier for not being the mother I needed, but she didn't know that. And in our last moments together I believe I was able to release her from the shame and the guilt of our past. I came back and I finished the work that needed to be done.
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
I am absolutely heart broken. All my life energy completely sucked out. It is too painful to be awake. I love you. I really do. And it hurts so bad to not be able to share it or feel it. I needed a memory with you. I've had a bloody year full of isolation and loss. Lost contact with most of my extended family. Lost any chance of seeing old friends and hanging out with my coolest cousin. Why? For one, some guy planted the seed that I've been terrorizing women. It would all be worth it if I had just one day with you. I hit the sky whenever I think you're coming. This several times now. But then you never show and I crater into the dirt. I don't know what you know. Why do you think I've been trying to get in contact? I didn't even know for sure you were here. It is unthinkable to make that distance and not ask for help. There are phones everywhere. There are pay phones. There are stores with helpful employees. I spent nearly 24 hours, pacing between my PC and the porch, looking out for you. I showed you I have the money. I told you I have the money. I've done so many times. I went to you for help last year during a critical point. I was doing ok then. I'm not well now. I don't know what's real anymore. My brains turned to mush. I've not been eating. Don't know what to do anymore.
Anonymous
Lennon’s behaviour became ever more unpredictable. In the first week of May, with Cynthia on holiday abroad, he spent an evening with Shotton in his music room at Kenwood. Both took LSD, smoked cannabis and made some experimental recordings. Shortly before dawn they fell into silence, which was eventually punctuated by Lennon’s solemn announcement: ‘Pete, I think I’m Jesus Christ.’ Shotton was more than familiar with his friend’s bizarre flights of fancy, but this was a revelation too far. He attempted to pour cold water on Lennon’s sudden eagerness to tell the world of his new identity, perhaps mindful of the ‘More popular than Jesus’ controversy of 1966. ‘They’ll fucking kill you,’ he told Lennon. ‘They won’t accept that, John.’ Lennon grew agitated, telling Shotton that it was his destiny, and that he would inform the other Beatles at Apple. A board meeting was hastily convened that day, attended by the Beatles, Shotton, Taylor and Aspinall. Lennon opened the meeting by solemnly telling the others that he was the second coming of Jesus. ‘Paul, George, Ringo and their closest aides stared back, stunned,’ Shotton said. ‘Even after regaining their powers of speech, nobody presumed to cross-examine John Lennon, or to make light of his announcement. On the other hand, no specific plans were made for the new Messiah, as all agreed that they would need some time to ponder John’s announcement, and to decide upon appropriate further steps.’ The meeting came to an abrupt close, and all agreed to go to a restaurant. As they waited to be seated, a fellow diner recognised Lennon and exchanged pleasantries. ‘Actually,’ Lennon told him, ‘I’m Jesus Christ.’ ‘Oh, really,’ the man replied, seemingly unfazed by the news. ‘Well, I loved your last record. Thought it was great.’328
Joe Goodden (Riding So High: The Beatles and Drugs)
Dear Jon, A real Dear Jon let­ter, how per­fect is that?! Who knew you’d get dumped twice in the same amount of months. See, I’m one para­graph in and I’ve al­ready fucked this. I’m writ­ing this be­cause I can’t say any of this to you face-to-face. I’ve spent the last few months ques­tion­ing a lot of my friend­ships and won­der­ing what their pur­pose is, if not to work through big emo­tional things to­gether. But I now re­al­ize: I don’t want that. And I know you’ve all been there for me in other ways. Maybe not in the lit­eral sense, but I know you all would have done any­thing to fix me other than lis­ten­ing to me talk and al­low­ing me to be sad with­out so­lu­tions. And now I am writ­ing this let­ter rather than pick­ing up the phone and talk­ing to you be­cause, de­spite every thing I know, I just don’t want to, and I don’t think you want me to ei­ther. I lost my mind when Jen broke up with me. I’m pretty sure it’s been the sub­ject of a few of your What­sApp con­ver­sa­tions and more power to you, be­cause I would need to vent about me if I’d been friends with me for the last six months. I don’t want it to have been in vain, and I wanted to tell you what I’ve learnt. If you do a high-fat, high-pro­tein, low-carb diet and join a gym, it will be a good dis­trac­tion for a while and you will lose fat and gain mus­cle, but you will run out of steam and eat nor­mally again and put all the weight back on. So maybe don’t bother. Drunk­en­ness is an­other idea. I was in black­out for most of the first two months and I think that’s fine, it got me through the evenings (and the oc­ca­sional af­ter­noon). You’ll have to do a lot of it on your own, though, be­cause no one is free to meet up any more. I think that’s fine for a bit. It was for me un­til some­one walked past me drink­ing from a whisky minia­ture while I waited for a night bus, put five quid in my hand and told me to keep warm. You’re the only per­son I’ve ever told this story. None of your mates will be ex­cited that you’re sin­gle again. I’m prob­a­bly your only sin­gle mate and even I’m not that ex­cited. Gen­er­ally the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing sin­gle at thirty-five will feel dif­fer­ent to any other time you’ve been sin­gle and that’s no bad thing. When your ex moves on, you might be­come ob­sessed with the bloke in a way that is al­most sex­ual. Don’t worry, you don’t want to fuck him, even though it will feel a bit like you do some­times. If you open up to me or one of the other boys, it will feel good in the mo­ment and then you’ll get an emo­tional hang­over the next day. You’ll wish you could take it all back. You may even feel like we’ve en­joyed see­ing you so low. Or that we feel smug be­cause we’re win­ning at some­thing and you’re los­ing. Re­member that none of us feel that. You may be­come ob­sessed with work­ing out why ex­actly she broke up with you and you are likely to go fully, fully nuts in your bid to find a sat­is­fy­ing an­swer. I can save you a lot of time by let­ting you know that you may well never work it out. And even if you did work it out, what’s the pur­pose of it? Soon enough, some girl is go­ing to be crazy about you for some un­de­fin­able rea­son and you’re not go­ing to be in­ter­ested in her for some un­de­fin­able rea­son. It’s all so ran­dom and un­fair – the peo­ple we want to be with don’t want to be with us and the peo­ple who want to be with us are not the peo­ple we want to be with. Re­ally, the thing that’s go­ing to hurt a lot is the fact that some­one doesn’t want to be with you any more. Feel­ing the ab­sence of some­one’s com­pany and the ab­sence of their love are two dif­fer­ent things. I wish I’d known that ear­lier. I wish I’d known that it isn’t any­body’s job to stay in a re­la­tion­ship they don’t want to be in just so some­one else doesn’t feel bad about them­selves. Any­way. That’s all. You’re go­ing to be okay, mate. Andy
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
They used my name and permit to grow the weed and earn money to repay their debts and compensate their investors. To keep my girlfriend. To take her. I am uncertain if any of them have ever spent a minute in jail for any of these activities. Adam proudly showcases his new motorcycles on Instagram, posing on a hill above Barcelona. He also displays his brand new electric camper van, which they use to travel and transport drugs across Europe and Iberia, as well as his gigantic marijuana cultivation located in Portugal. People like Ruan and Martina admire his public images. I came across a picture of Ruan and Martina together in Berlin, where their mother Fernanda visited them. Martina became member of the Evil Eye Cult, and the custom made mafia group in Spain, which used her as a pawn in their porn and drug-related activities. She now operates as their representative in Berlin. Martina and I have lost the ability to genuinely smile. Her social media posts only show disinterest or a malicious demeanor. ‘A boot stomping on a human face.’ In a picture with her brother and mother, she puts on a forced fake “good vibe” and “happy” smile, revealing her flawless teeth and the subtle lines of aging. With each passing day, she bears a greater resemblance to her rich and so happy mother, the bad person. As far as I know, none of these individuals have faced consequences for their actions, such as having their teeth broken. As I had. Innocently. Taking care of business and their lives. With love. I find this to be incredibly unjust. In the 21st century. In Europe. On planet Earth. By non-EU criminals. “Matando – ganando” – “killing and gaining” like there were no Laws at all. Nowadays, you can observe Sabrina flaunting her fake lips and altered face, just like Martina her enhanced breasts. Guess who was paying for it? It seems that both girls now sustain themselves through their bodies and drug involvement, to this day, influencing criminals to gain friends in harming Tomas and having a lavish lifestyle filled with fun and mischief. Making a living. Enjoying Spain. Enjoying Life. My money. My tears. This is the situation as it stands. I was wondering what Salvador Dali was trying to tell me. I stood in front of the Lincoln portrait for a long time, but I couldn't grasp the point or the moral behind it. I can listen to Abraham Lincoln and ‘trust people. To see. If I can trust them.’ But he ultimately suffered a tragic fate, with his life being taken. (Got his head popped.) I believe there may have also been a female or two involved in that situation, too, possibly leading to his guards being let down. While he was watching: Acting performances, he was facing a: Stage. Theater. It is disheartening, considering he was a good person. Like Jesus, John Lennon and so on. Shows a pattern Machiavelli was talking about. Some individuals are too bright for those in darkness; they feel compelled to suppress those brighter minds simply because they think and act differently. Popping their heads. Reptilian lower brain-based culture, the concept of the Evil Eye, Homo erectus. He couldn't even stand up properly when I was shouting at him, urging him to stand up from the stairs. ‘Homo seditus reptilis.’ But what else was there in the Lincoln image that I didn't see? What was Dali trying to convey or express or tell me? Besides the fact that the woman is in his mind, on his mind, in the image, exactly, his head got popped open. Perhaps because he was focusing on a woman, trusting her for a split second, or turning his head away for a moment.
Tomas Adam Nyapi (BARCELONA MARIJUANA MAFIA)
Last night's harsh phone call seemed to be a distant memory as we spent the day in the snow with my new fake friends, going for one last turn on the mountain while I drank boiled wine at the bottom of the ski lift at the hutte. I honestly told Anette in the ski lift during the day what Sabrina had told me on the phone the night before, but she remained silent and didn't seem surprised for some reason. I didn't think Anette would conspire with Betty to test me or win me. I didn’t think they would conspire with Sabrina but perhaps I didn’t know her well enough to assume what she was capable of when jealous, mad, sad, confused or in love. Perhaps they did not. Everything I don't know. I try to write here all that I know and have managed to figure out, taking a long time. I try to share what I have been through because I am sure that others will find it useful to learn from my mistakes, faults, sins, virtues, and so on. Perhaps only my luck, good or bad, I don't know. I could not have figured out what happened if I had not written down exactly how things unfolded in order to be able to see through it all and comprehend what really happened since I bought that Roberto Saviano book and met Sabrina. Perhaps the women had been conspiring for one reason or another; perhaps they had not. Nonetheless, it was odd. „Water is wet, the sky is blue, women have secrets. Who gives a f..k?” – Joe Hallenbeck Do all men have to be natural-born and supernatural detectives like Bruce Willis in all his movies, or in The Last Boy Scout? I'm not sure how many coincidences can fit so strangely into reality by chance, or is it all manipulation? Is it all because of the story of Eve and the snake and the apple?
Tomas Adam Nyapi (BARCELONA MARIJUANA MAFIA)
Once upon a time, A fish lived in the pond. She was very happy because she had many friends, everything was beautiful and everyone loved her for having a good helping nature, she walked around happily everyday. People from far used to come to see her and admire her and say that I wish we had, we would have taken good care of her and said many more such kind words for her. In this way, her days keep going well. One day a bad fish comes in that pond which starts troubling that fish a lot. At first she tries hard to protect herself from the evil fish for a few days. But then she decides that she will leave the pond. Only then will she be able to live happily and live well. Her friends convinced her a lot, that don't go like this, this is your home, how many good times you have spent here. But the good fish had decided that she would go away with those people who praised her and used to say that they would take care of her and keep her happy. And finally she leaves, Some days those people keep the fish well, a day comes when they do not have anything to eat, they eat that good fish and that fish dies. Moral of the Story: You should fight with your bad situation at every second. If you run away from your bad situation like this, you will be killed by someone else like this good fish has died. If she had fought a little more, she might have been alive today.
Vandana Pradhan (The Magic Potion)
Beep, Beep, Buzz, Buzz My day begins with Jenny aka (Jenna) Talya- laying on the horn in her black 2003 ford focus with the paint peeling on the hood. And reading a text from my bestie Jenny saying- ‘Don’t forget b*tches, it's love-o-grams day!’ My mom yells out the door every day not to do that, yet it goes in one ear and out the other with Jenny. Jenny does what Jenny wants to do. Yet that horn has a way of like going through you… you know. Especially at five- fifty-five every single morning. ‘Hurry the hell up, I am not getting any younger over here!’ She yells out the window of the SUV. And my mom yells about that too, ‘stop cursing!’ Then I say something like ‘Keep your pants on… I am coming! I am ‘Cumming!’’ As the nosey neighbor lady peps- out one of the slats of their window blind at us. It always seems to be I am running to get where I am going, even from house door to car door. Most of the time passing up that one book up on the floor, which you need for class on the way out without thinking, in such a rush. I didn't even put on Ray's letterman jacket he gave me to wear, I balled it up in my arms. Just like my purse and backpack zippers were somewhat open, that was just a horn in my one right shoulder. Right before that my darling pain in the ass little sister Kellie, who is ten years old. She grabs one of my bookable handles and tugs me back off my footing. WHAT- is it! I spun around looking like a demon child just snarling at her. She said crying. I just wanted to hug you, Karly. And I said- forget it… I am late now, and can’t you see I am texting my ‘BF! -Boyfriend’ So stop wasting my time little girl. (No- I know I am not a very nice person. I know that now! Yet I did think! I thought I was going to see her letter that night. I would give anything to have going back and hugged her that last time… that day.) It seemed that I was always too busy to spend any time with her. As a teen girl, like I said. My time was mostly spent on boys- well mostly Ray, talking and getting together, and partying to be popular. I thought that was what living a good life was all about. It’s just as if she always picked the worst times to try to bother me. Um- I’m not perfect, and there is only some much time in the day to play, and she wanted to play all the time. Though, I can see her turning into a little me. I was the one she looked up to. Mom was certainly trying to get her some help for her impulsiveness; we all think she has ADHD or something for how clinging she is. She is mom and dad’s favorite though I feel that girl is not what I would call under-loved that’s for sure. Yet mom and dad don’t see anything wrong with her having all that energy, and to be like running around, sucking down the soda, and cramming down the junk food. She is picked on to like me; I was before I fell into Jenny's hand of friends. I hope she can do the same. All at the same time I hope she doesn’t, I don’t want to see her fall into the wrong as I did.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Falling too You)
The boy went to the well every day to meet with Fatima. He told her about his life as a shepherd, about the king, and about the crystal shop. They became friends, and except for the fifteen minutes he spent with her, each day seemed that it would never pass. When he had been at the oasis for almost a month, the leader of the caravan called a meeting of all of the people traveling with him.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
I frequently forward the message that our spirit people are quite all right where they are. They respond with eagerness when a guest recognizes them, and are happy to spend some time conversing back and forth, through me. Yet they also seem to know that this kind of communication is only temporary, so most are quick to point out before they leave that they will meet their physical friends one day in the future. A forty-ish woman came for an appointment one day with her friend. As I tuned in, I felt the presence of a young woman who’d passed before her time in a vehicle accident. My client acknowledged her daughter, who had died at the age of nineteen while traveling to a camping weekend with friends. The spirit conveyed her joy at her mother’s presence, and insistently repeated that she really was safe and happy. Her younger sister needed to hear this message in particular, and she urged her mother to pass it on. “Do you miss us?” the mother asked. “Do you think about us and miss us, are you counting the days till we can be together again, too?” With a feeling of frustration from the spirit, I had to translate, “I’m fine!” yet again. This spirit came across as being almost dismissive of her family’s grief. As her mother cried on my couch, the spirit came through very much like a teenaged girl, saying “Oh Mom, come on! I’m fine!” After we concluded, I spent some time in meditation asking for help. How could I translate a spirit’s genuine well-being, without sounding dismissive myself? How could I show my clients that the spirit people are so certain of meeting again, that they rarely spend much time trying to convince us?
Priscilla A. Keresey (It Will All Make Sense When You're Dead: Messages From Our Loved Ones in the Spirit World)
Even more interesting perhaps is the gallery of Roman ladies, whose portraits are limned with so fine and discriminating a touch. Juvenal again is responsible for much misconception as to the part the women of Rome played in Roman society. The appalling Sixth Satire, in which he unhesitatingly declares that most women — if not all — are bad, and that virtue and chastity are so rare as to be almost unknown, in which he roundly accuses them of all the vices known to human depravity, reads like a monstrous and disgraceful libel on the sex when one turns to Pliny and makes the acquaintance of Arria, Fannia, Corellia, and Calpurnia. The characters of Arria and Fannia are well known; they are among the heroines of history. But in Pliny there are numerous references to women whose names are not even known to us, but the terms in which they are referred to prove what sweet, womanly lives they led. For example, he writes to Geminus: “Our friend Macrinus has suffered a grievous wound. He has lost his wife, who would have been regarded as a model of all the virtues even if she had lived in the good old days. He lived with her for thirty-nine years, without so much as a single quarrel or disagreement.” “Vixit cum hac triginta novem annis sine jurgio, sine offensa. One is reminded of the fine line of Propertius, in which Cornelia boasts of the blameless union of herself and her husband, Paullus — “Viximus insignes inter utramque facem.” This is no isolated example. One of the most pathetic letters is that in which Pliny writes of the death of the younger daughter of his friend Fundanus, a girl in her fifteenth year, who had already “the prudence of age, the gravity of a matron, and all the maidenly modesty and sweetness of a girl.” Pliny tells us how it cut him to the quick to hear her father give directions that the money he had meant to lay out on dresses and pearls and jewels for her betrothal should be spent on incense, unguents, and spices for her bier. What a different picture from anything we find in Juvenal, who would fain have us believe that Messalina was the type of the average Roman matron of his day! Such
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus Pliny the Younger (Complete Works of Pliny the Younger)
My Everest story would be incomplete if I didn’t give final credit to the Sherpas who had risked their lives alongside us every day. Pasang and Ang-Sering still climb together as best friends, under the direction of their Sirdar boss--Kami. The Khumba Icefall specialist, Nima, still carries out his brave task in the jumbled ice maze at the foot of the mountain: repairing and fixing the route through. Babu Chiri, who so bravely helped Mick when he ran out of oxygen under the South Summit, was tragically killed in a crevasse in the Western Cwm several years later. He was a Sherpa of many years’ Everest experience, and was truly one of the mountain’s greats. It was a huge loss to the mountaineering fraternity. But if you play the odds long enough you will eventually lose. That is the harsh reality of high-altitude mountaineering. You can’t keep on top of the world forever. Geoffrey returned to the army, and Neil to his business. His toes never regained their feeling, but he avoided having them amputated. But as they say, Everest always charges some sort of a price, and in his own words--he got lucky. As for Mick, he describes his time on Everest well: “In the three months I was away, I was both happier than ever before, and more scared than I ever hope to be again.” Ha. That’s also high-altitude mountaineering for you. Thengba, my friend, with whom I spent so much time alone at camp two, was finally given a hearing aid by Henry. Now, for the first time, he can hear properly. Despite our different worlds, we shared a common bond with these wonderful Sherpa men--a friendship that was forged by an extraordinary mountain. Once, when the climber Julius Kugy was asked what sort of person a mountaineer should be, he replied: “Truthful, distinguished, and modest.” All these Sherpas epitomize this. I made the top with them, and because of their help, I owe them more than I can say. The great Everest writer Walt Unsworth, in his book Everest: The Mountaineering History, gives a vivid description of the characters of the men and women who pit their all on the mountain. I think it is bang on the money: But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric; at worst, mad… Three things they all had in common: faith in themselves, great determination, and endurance. If I had to sum up what happened on that journey for me, from the hospital bed to the summit of the world, I tend to think of it as a stumbling journey. Of losing my confidence and my strength--then refinding it. Of seeing my hope and my faith slip away--and then having them rekindled. Ultimately, if I had to pass on one message to my children it would be this: Fortune favors the brave. Most of the time.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Uncle Jarrod groaned. “What are you doing here?” “I came to have a word. Good thing I did, too, I see you’re up to your usual tyranny. Do me a favor and get that blade away from her throat.” “Gerda!” the duke barked. “Go home at once! This is not your concern!” “Not my concern, eh?” Miss Gerda approached Uncle Jarrod, her arms folded. “I assure you, what I have to say concerns every one of us. Jarrod, do you not recognize this child?” “Nothing you say is going to spare her. She is arrested for treason.” Miss Gerda watched him. Being much shorter, she had to look up to meet his eyes. Her plain dress and apron looked very drab beside the king, but she regarded him without embarrassment. “You’ve been friendly with the duke a long time, Jarrod. Came an awful lot in your younger days. And you liked me then, remember? Especially that summer when you came for a long stay. You like me… quite often. And I was stupid enough to think it would last.” “Silence, woman, your words are meaningless. Nobody wants to hear this.” A trace of dread lurked behind Uncle Jarrod’s eyes. “That fall, I left the duke’s manor and returned to my home kingdom of Clerlione. I had told the duke my mother was ill, but that wasn’t it. You see, Jarrod, something came of the time you and I spent together.” She raised a hand to the duke and his prisoner. “Briette.” Briette, still pinned against the duke, suffered a jolt so hard it nearly stopped her heart. She could not have moved even if the duke had let her. Uncle Jarrod’s face was pinched with contempt. “Don’t be a fool.” “Think about it, Jarrod. That summer. It was eighteen years ago. Briette is seventeen. Look at her face, you’ll see.” Uncle Jarrod cleared his throat and stared at the floor. He raised a hand and stroked his beard. It seemed a long time before he spoke. “Let the child come here.” The duke lowered his hands. Briette started walking, though she felt separated from herself, as if watching this happen to somebody else. She made the mistake of letting her eyes drift to her sisters. They stared at her with a mixture of wide-eyed horror and pale disbelief. Arialain had covered her face and was shaking. It seemed a very long walk though in truth it was only six or seven paces. Uncle Jarrod gripped her chin and lifted her face. Briette stared into his clear blue eyes and tried not to think. He looked deeply troubled. Shaken. He released her chin. “It is hard to say. There are little things…. But I’m not sure.” “Then you must take my word,” said Miss Gerda. “If she is what you say, then why didn’t you raise her? She came here as an orphan.” Miss Gerda grew somber. “I wasn’t ready to have a child. Without a husband to support me, how could I care for it? I had to work. I left the baby with my sister in Clerlione. She was married but had no children, and was happy to take Briette. I returned to work for the duke and for two years, all was well. And then came the Red Fever plague.” Briette hugged her sides, her eyes shut. This was too much to bear. She wanted Miss Gerda to stop talking. “By the time I reached Clerlione, my sister and her husband were dead. I was frantic, thinking Briette had died too. But I found a neighbor who told me that my sister had given the baby to the king of Runa Realm. I was shocked. And for a while, quite miserable. But in time, I came to be glad of it. As a princess, she would never know poverty or hardship. So I stayed at the duke’s and kept my silence. But occasionally, at a festival or in the market square, I’d see her. And I was proud.” She smiled at Briette. A short silence followed. Then Heidel spoke up. “Let me be quite clear on this. Briette is Uncle Jarrod’s daughter?” “And
Anita Valle (Briette (The Nine Princesses Book 4))
I had a wonderful book tour of the New England Coast and will write about some of my adventures during the remaining time of this week. The grip of winter refused to let go as I was welcomed to New England, however some of the trees already showed signs of budding. The weather swung between absolutely beautiful crisp sunny days and grim, cloudy skies with low hanging wet fog. Many of the stores and restaurants were still closed, however everyone was looking forward to nicer days ahead. Mainers treated me as the wayward son of Maine that lost his way and wound up in Florida. Since this frequently happens I was usually forgiven and made to feel at home in our countries most northeastern state. I left copies of my books at many libraries and bookstores and although I didn’t intend to sell books I did bring home many orders. Needless to say it didn’t take long before all the samples I had were gone. In my time on the road I distributed over 250 copies of “Salty & Saucy Maine” and 150 copies of “Suppressed I Rise.” I even sold my 2 samples of “The Exciting Story of Cuba” and “Seawater One.” Every one of my business cards went and I freely distributed over 1,000 bookmarks. Lucy flew with Ursula and I to Bradley Airport near Hartford, CT. From there we drove to her son’s home in Duxbury, MA. The next day we visited stores in Hyannis and Plymouth introducing my books. I couldn’t believe how nice the people were since I was now more a salesman than a writer. The following day Ursula and I headed north and Lucy went to Nantucket Island where she has family. For all of us the time was well spent. I drove as far as Bar Harbor meeting people and making new friends. Today I filled a large order and ordered more books. I haven’t figured out if it’s work or fun but it certainly keeps me busy. I hope that I can find the time to finish my next book “Seawater Two.
Hank Bracker
A SHAREHOLDER ONCE ASKED BUFFETT how he spent his days. Warren said he mostly read and talked on the telephone. "That's what I do. Charlie, what do you do?" "That [question] reminds me very much of a friend of mine in World War II in a group that had nothing to do," replied Munger. "A general once went up to my friend's boss, we'll call him Captain Glotz. He said, 'Captain Glotz, what do you do?' His boss said, 'Not a damn thing.' " "The General got madder and madder and turned to my friend and said, 'What do you do?' " "My friend said, 'I help Captain Glotz.' That's the best way to describe what I do at Berkshire.
Janet Lowe (Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger)
The fact that NSO sold Pegasus in 2017 to the Saudis barely registered any outrage until the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in December 2018. Israel has a long covert history of relations with Saudi Arabia, providing intelligence about threats to its royal family from as early as the 1970s.49 Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who became the country’s spy chief, spent decades meeting Israeli and Jewish leaders as well as Mossad chiefs.50 NSO was immediately blamed for being an accessory to the Khashoggi killing, giving the accused ring leader bin Salman and his team the ability to track Khashoggi’s movements before his death. NSO denied any responsibility but nonetheless reportedly briefly canceled its contract with the Kingdom. NSO’s denials of any complicity in the murder were bogus, with evidence emerging that his wife, fiancé, and associates had their phones compromised by Pegasus both before his death and in the days after, including by the United Arab Emirates, a close ally of Saudi Arabia that often tracks dissidents for its friend. Today, both Khashoggi’s wife and fiancé, Hanan Elatr and Hatice Cengiz, live in fear for their lives.51
Antony Loewenstein (The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World)