Well Spent Time Quotes

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There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.
Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Essays)
Sam laughed, a funny, self-deprecating laugh. "You did read a lot. And spent too much time just inside the kitchen window, where I couldn't see you very well." "And not enough time mostly naked in front of my bedroom window?" I teased. Sam turned bright red. "That," he said, "is so not the point of this conversation.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Witches are naturally nosy,” said Miss Tick, standing up. “Well, I must go. I hope we shall meet again. I will give you some free advice, though.” “Will it cost me anything?” “What? I just said it was free!” said Miss Tick. “Yes, but my father said that free advice often turns out to be expensive,” said Tiffany. Miss Tick sniffed. “You could say this advice is priceless,” she said, “Are you listening?” “Yes,” said Tiffany. “Good. Now...if you trust in yourself...” “Yes?” “...and believe in your dreams...” “Yes?” “...and follow your star...” Miss Tick went on. “Yes?” “...you’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Goodbye.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger-- If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early-- If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless-- If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
You are beautiful like demolition. Just the thought of you draws my knuckles white. I don’t need a god. I have you and your beautiful mouth, your hands holding onto me, the nails leaving unfelt wounds, your hot breath on my neck. The taste of your saliva. The darkness is ours. The nights belong to us. Everything we do is secret. Nothing we do will ever be understood; we will be feared and kept well away from. It will be the stuff of legend, endless discussion and limitless inspiration for the brave of heart. It’s you and me in this room, on this floor. Beyond life, beyond morality. We are gleaming animals painted in moonlit sweat glow. Our eyes turn to jewels and everything we do is an example of spontaneous perfection. I have been waiting all my life to be with you. My heart slams against my ribs when I think of the slaughtered nights I spent all over the world waiting to feel your touch. The time I annihilated while I waited like a man doing a life sentence. Now you’re here and everything we touch explodes, bursts into bloom or burns to ash. History atomizes and negates itself with our every shared breath. I need you like life needs life. I want you bad like a natural disaster. You are all I see. You are the only one I want to know.
Henry Rollins
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
Indeed, the ratio of time spent reading versus writing is well over 10 to 1. We are constantly reading old code as part of the effort to write new code. ...[Therefore,] making it easy to read makes it easier to write.
Robert C. Martin (Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship)
I spent centuries I your arms. This time our joining will be controlled by me, and you will revel in the pleasure I can bring you. Throw off the shackles of your distant goddess and come to me. Be my love, truly, in body as well as soul and I will give you the world!
P.C. Cast (Hunted (House of Night, #5))
When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.
James C. Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't)
Me: Oh! One time in high school, I spent the night at a girl's house who I didn't know very well. We made out. I wasn't into it, and it was really gross, but I was seventeen and curious. Ridge: No. That does NOT count as a flaw, Sydney. Jesus Christ, work with me here.
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present. Life, if well spent, is long.
Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo's Notebooks)
Does it matter?" Halt asked. Horace shrugged. "Not really, I suppose. I just wondered why you'd gone to the kitchen and why you took the trouble to remain unseen. Were you hiding from Master Chubb yourself? And Will just turned up by coincidence?" "And why would I be hiding from Master Chubb in his own kitchen?" Halt challenged. Again. Horace shrugged innocently. "Well,there was a tray of freshly made pies airing on the windowsill, wasn't there? And you're quite fond of pies, aren't you, Halt?" Halt drew himself up very straight in the saddle. "Are you accusing me of sneaking into that kitchen to steal the pies for myself? Is that it?" His voice and body language simply reeked of injured dignity. "Of course not, Halt!" Horace hurried to assure him, and Halt's stiff-shouldered form relaxed a little. "I just thought I'd give you the opportunity to confess," Horace added. This time, Malcolm couldn't conceal his sudden explosion of laughter. Halt gave them both a withering glance. "You know, Horace," he said at length, "you used to be a most agreeable young man. Whatever happened to you?" Horace turned a wide grin on him. "I've spent too much time around you, I suppose," he said. And Halt had to admit that was probably true.
John Flanagan (Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9))
The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward is no so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won't have very much. But if we add up the spaces *between* the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards *and* the spaces, then we'll have everything - every minute of the time that we spent.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
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.
Jonathan Safran Foer
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)
The stars are brilliant at this time of night and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break for darling, the times are quite glorious. I left him by the water’s edge, still waving long after the ship was gone and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn’t have heard for I’ve said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I’ve taught them well. There’s a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew. I used to go there to say goodbye. I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them, one way or the other, leaving sin on my body scrubbing tears off with salt and I built my rituals in farewells. Endings I still cling to. So I go to the ocean to say goodbye. He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head and though he said he’d come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one for I have used them myself and there is no coming back. Minds like ours are can’t be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay. I turned away from the ocean as not to fall for its plea for it used to seduce and consume me and there was this one night a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone. But I was younger then and easily fooled and the ocean was deep and dark and blue and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones. I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival. Then days passed by and I spent them with my work and now I’m writing letters I will never dare to send. But there is this one day every year or so when the burden gets too heavy and I collect my belongings I no longer need and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they’re all gone. Nothing left to hold me back. You kissed me that morning as if you’d never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss like chains wrapped around my veins, and if you see a fire from the shore tonight it’s my chains going up in flames. The time of moon i quite glorious. We could have been so glorious.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
Franz Winkler
You've known him how long?" Malcolm asked. "Since he was a small boy. I firs noticed him when he slipped into Master Chubb's kitchen to steal some pies." "So, what did you have to say to Will when you caught him stealing these pies? "Oh, I didn't let on I was there. We rangers can be very unobtrusive when we choose. I remained out of sight and watched him. I thought he might have potential to be a ranger." Halt said. Horace joined in "Why?" Halt answered carefully. "Because he was excellent at moving from cover to cover. Chubb entered 3 times and never noticed him. So i thought that if he could acheive that with no training, he would make a good ranger." "No" Horace spoke. "Thats not what I meant. Why were you hiding in the kitchen in the first place?" "I told you. I was watching Will to see if he had the potential to be a ranger." "Thats not what you said. You said that was the first time you noticed Will." "Does it matter?" "Not really. Were you hiding from chub yourself and Will just turned up by coincidence?" "And why would I be hiding from master Chubb in his own kitchen?" "Well, there were freshly made pies on the windowsill, and you like pies, don't you?" "Are you acusing me of trying to steal those pies?!?!" "No, of course not. I just thought i'd give you the opportunity to confess." After a pause, Halt continued. "You know, Horace, you used to be a most agreeable young man. Whatever happened to you?" "I've spent to much time around you, I suppose." And Halt had to admit that was probably true.
John Flanagan
I've spent so much time making sure I don't underestimate my opponents that I've forgotten it's just as dangerous to overestimate them as well.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Armies have spent a lot of time and effort training their soldiers not to think of the enemy as human beings. It’s so much easier to kill them if you think of them as dangerous animals. The trouble is, war isn’t about killing. It’s about getting the enemy to stop resisting your will. Like training a dog not to bite. Punishing him leaves you with a beaten dog. Killing him is a permanent solution, but you’ve got no dog. If you can understand why he’s biting and remove the conditions that make him bite, sometimes that can solve the problem as well. The dog isn’t dead. He isn’t even your enemy.
Orson Scott Card (Empire (Empire, #1))
I propose that if you want a simple step to a higher form of life, as distant from the animal as you can get, then you may have to denarrate, that is, shut down the television set, minimize time spent reading newspapers, ignore the blogs. Train your reasoning abilities to control your decisions; nudge System 1 (the heuristic or experiential system) out of the important ones. Train yourself to spot the difference between the sensational and the empirical. This insulation from the toxicity of the world will have an additional benefit: it will improve your well-being.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Are you reading?" I say. It's not that I don't think Finn can read or anything, but it's just - well, not what I expected to see. I figured Finn spent his time doing whatever it is guys who aren't Josh do when they aren't in school. Burping, or something. "Try not to look so surprised," Finn says. "I read. I can count to ten. Sometimes I can even spell my own name.
Elizabeth Scott (Something, Maybe)
What with your phone and the Xbox and the taxi TV and that music player you wear on your arm and the headphones that look like donuts on your ears, doesn’t it make life so much smaller? 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?
Lauren Graham (Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between)
I remember it so well. Dying. It was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. I couldn't scream because my lungs were torn apart or full of blood. I don't know. I just had to lie there, trying to breathe, hoping to drop dead as quickly as possible. And the whole time, the whole time I kept thinking about how I'd spent my entire life being a coward, and how it got me nowhere. And I knew that if I had the chance to do it all again, I'd do it differently. I promised myself I'd finally stop being afraid.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
You attract poverty when you lack value for time
Sunday Adelaja
Those who think money can't buy happiness just don't know where to shop … People would be happier and healthier if they took more time off and spent it with their family and friends, yet America has long been heading in the opposite direction. People would be happier if they reduced their commuting time, even if it meant living in smaller houses, yet American trends are toward even larger houses and ever longer commutes. People would be happier and healthier if they took longer vacations even if that meant earning less, yet vacation times are shrinking in the United States, and in Europe as well. People would be happier, and in the long run and wealthier, if they bought basic functional appliances, automobiles, and wristwatches, and invested the money they saved for future consumption; yet, Americans and in particular spend almost everything they have – and sometimes more – on goods for present consumption, often paying a large premium for designer names and superfluous features.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Well, I've spent a lot of time in your libraries at night," said Ripred. "You come up and read books?" asked Gregor. "Read them, eat them, whatever mood strikes me," he said.
Suzanne Collins
Time cannot be saved, it can only be spent, and if not spent wisely and well, it is wasted.
Henrietta C. Mears
I recognized winter. I saw it coming (a mile off, since you ask), and I looked it in the eye. I greeted it and let it in. I had some tricks up my sleeve, you see. I've learned them the hard way. When I started feeling the drag of winter, I began to treat myself like a favored child: with kindness and love. I assumed my needs were reasonable and that my feelings were signals of something important. I kept myself well fed and made sure I was getting enough sleep. I took myself for walks in the fresh air and spent time doing things that soothed me. I asked myself: What is this winter all about? I asked myself: What change is coming?
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Let’s not travel to tick things off lists, or collect half-hearted semi-treasures to be placed in dusty drawers in empty rooms. Rather, we’ll travel to find grounds and rooftops and tiny hidden parks, where we’ll sit and dismiss the passing time, spun in the city’s web, ‘til we’ve surrendered, content to be spent and consumed. I need to feel a place while I’m in it.
Victoria Erickson (EDGE OF WONDER: Notes From The Wildness Of Being)
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us. What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.
Barack Obama
What do zombies chant at a riot?” “Grrarphsnarg?” he asked, in a surprisingly well-done bit of mindless zombie imitating. “No, but that was really good. Disconcertingly good.” “I was deceased for a time.” “True. But anyway, the rioters get all riled up, and they chant: ‘What do we want? Brains! When do we want them? Brains!’” I fell into a wave of appropriately boisterous laughter; Ethan seemed less impressed. “I truly hope the stipend we pay you doesn’t get spent on the development of jokes like that.
Chloe Neill (House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires, #7))
I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the institution “schools” very well, but it does not “educate”; that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling to be the same thing.
John Taylor Gatto
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d seen it coming or not. Adrian was totally unsuitable for me, and it had nothing to do with his many vices or potential descent into insanity. Adrian was a vampire. True, he was a Moroi—one of the good, living vampires—but it made no difference. Humans and vampires couldn’t be together. This was one point the Moroi and Alchemists stood firmly together on. It was still amazing to me that Adrian had voiced those feelings to me. It was amazing that he could even have them or that he’d had the nerve to kiss me, even if it was a kiss that had left me dizzy and breathless. I’d had to reject him, of course. My training would allow nothing less. Our situation here in Palm Springs forced the two us to constantly be together in social situations, and it had been rough since his declaration. For me, it wasn’t just the awkwardness of our new relationship. I…well, I missed him. Before this debacle, he and I had been friends and spent a lot of time together. I’d gotten used to his smirky smile and the quick banter that always flowed between us. Until those things were gone, I hadn’t realized how much I relied on them. How much I needed them. I felt empty inside...which was ridiculous, of course. Why should I care so much about one vampire? Sometimes it made me angry. Why had he ruined such a good thing between us? Why had he made me miss him so much? And what had he expected me to do? He had to have known it was impossible for us to be together. I couldn’t have feelings for him. I couldn’t. If we’d lived among the Keepers—a group of uncivilized vampires, humans, and dhampirs—maybe he and I could have…no. Even if I had feelings for him—and I firmly told myself I didn’t—it was wrong for us to even consider such a relationship. Now, Adrian spoke to me as little as possible. And always, always, he watched me with a haunted look in his green eyes, one that made my heart ache and—
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Pretty When You Cry" All the pretty stars shine for you, my love. Am I that girl that you dream of? All those little times you said that I'm your girl. You make me feel like your whole world. I'll wait for you, babe, It's all I do, babe, Don't come through, babe, You never do. Because I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. All those special times I spent with you, my love, They don't mean shit compared to all your drugs. But I don't really mind I've got much more than that. Like my memories, I don't need that. I'll wait for you, babe, You don't come through, babe, You never do, babe, That's just what you do. Because I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. Don't say you need me when You leave and you leave again. I'm stronger than all my men, Except for you. Don't say you need me here, You leave us, you're leaving, I can't do it, I can't do it, But you do it well. 'Cause I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. Pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. Pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry. I'm pretty when I cry.
Lana Del Rey
For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do. As megatons of water shape organisms on the ocean floor. As tides polish stones. As winds hollow cliffs. The beautiful supermachinery opening a new life for innumerable mankind. Would you deny them the right to exist? Would you ask them to labor and go hungry while you yourself enjoyed old-fashioned Values? You—you yourself are a child of this mass and a brother to all the rest. or else an ingrate, dilettante, idiot. There, Herzog, thought Herzog, since you ask for the instance, is the way it runs.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
She said she’d often wondered why she wanted to do some things and not do other things at all. Well, it was obvious with some things, but for others, there was no reason there. She’d spent a long time puzzling it out, then she thought that what you’d done in a past life you didn’t need to do again, and what you had to do in the future, you wouldn’t be ready to do now.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
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
When I started feeling the drag of winter, I began to treat myself like a favoured child: with kindness and love. I assumed my needs were reasonable and that my feelings were signals of something important. I kept myself well fed and made sure I was getting enough sleep. I took myself for walks in the fresh air and spent time doing things that soothed me. I asked myself: What is this winter all about? I asked myself: What change is coming?
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
If my twelve-year-old self, of whom I had grown rather fond, thinking about him, were to reproach me: 'Why have you grown up such a dull dog, when I gave you such a good start? Why have you spent your time in dusty libraries, catologuing other people's books instead of writing your own? What had become of the Ram, the Bull and the Lion, the example I gave you to emulate? Where above all is the Virgin, with her shining face and curling tresses, whom I entrusted to you'- what should I say? I should have an answer ready. 'Well, it was you who let me down, and I will tell you how. You flew too near to the sun, and you were scorched. This cindery creature is what you made me.' To which he might reply: 'But you have had half a century to get over it! Half a century, half the twentieth century, that glorious epoch, that golden age that I bequeathed to you!' 'Has the twentieth century,' I should ask, 'done so much better than I have? When you leave this room, which I admit is dull and cheerless, and take the last bus to your home in the past, if you haven't missed it - ask yourself whether you found everything so radiant as you imagined it. Ask yourself whether it has fulfilled your hopes. You were vanquished, Colston, you were vanquished, and so was your century, your precious century that you hoped so much of.
L.P. Hartley (The Go-Between)
Analyzing data from 79 men and women who wore inconspicuous devices that recorded some of their conversations over the course of four days, researchers from Washington University and the University of Arizona found a correlation between feelings of well-being and the amount of time spent talking every day. Moreover, the more substantive your conversations, the happier you're likely to be. In other words, heart-to-hearts trump small talk. (LA Times, "A lof of happy talk", March 11, 2010, A21.)
Meghan Daum
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
You told me mornings were the best time to break your own heart. So here I am, smoking your brand of cigarettes for the scent. I wonder if you still sing Beatles songs as you make coffee. You said your mother used to sing them to you when you couldn’t sleep, nineteen years before we met, twenty before you moved your clothes out of our closet while I was at work. By the way, I hate you for leaving all the photographs on the fridge. Taking them down felt like peeling off new scabs, like slapping a sunburn. I spent so many nights carving your body into pillows, I can promise you nothing feels like sleeping with your arm around me and your breath in my ear. Still, it’s comforting to know we sleep under the same moon, even if she’s so much older when she gets to me. I like to imagine she’s seen you sleeping and wants me to know you’re doing well.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
Wisdom can be gathered on your downtime. Wisdom that can change the very course of your life will come from the people you are around, the books you read, and the things you listen to or watch on radio or television. Of course, bad information is gathered in your downtime too. Bad information that can change the very course of your life will come from the people you are around, the books you read, and the things you listen to or watch on radio or television. One of wisdom's greatest benefits, is accurate discernment- the learned ability to immediately tell right from wrong. Good from evil. Acceptable from unacceptable. Time well spent from time wasted. The right decision from the wrong decision. And many times this is simply a matter of having the correct perspective. One way to define wisdom is THE ABILITY TO SEE, INTO THE FUTURE, THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES IN THE PRESENT. That ability can give you a completely different perspective on what the future might look like... with a degree of intelligence and a hint of wisdom, most people can tell the difference between good and bad. However, it takes a truly wise person to discern the oh-so-thin line between good and best. And that line...[gives you the] perspective that allows you to see clearly the long-term consequences of your choices.
Andy Andrews (The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective)
From time to time I meet people who live among riches I cannot even imagine. I still have to make an effort to realize that others can feel envious of such wealth. A long time ago, I once lived a whole week luxuriating in all the goods of this world: we slept without a roof, on a beach, I lived on fruit, and spent half my days alone in the water. I learned something then that has always made me react to the signs of comfort or of a well-appointed house with irony, impatience, and sometimes anger. Although I live without worrying about tomorrow now, and therefore count myself among the privileged, I don't know how to own things. What I do have, which always comes to me without my asking for it, I can't seem to keep. Less from extravagance, I think, than from another kind of parsimony: I cling like a miser to the freedom that disappears as soon as there is an excess of things.
Albert Camus (Lyrical and Critical Essays)
She’d ceased spying upon him, that was true, but the damage was done. Every time he sat at his desk, he could feel her eyes upon him, even though he knew very well she’d shut her curtains tight. But clearly, reality had very little to do with the matter, because all he had to do, it seemed, was glance at her window, and he lost an entire hour’s work. It happened thus: He looked at the window, because it was there, and he couldn’t very well never happen to glance upon it unless he also shut his curtains tight, which he was not willing to do, given the amount of time he spent in his office. So he saw the window, and he thought of her, because, really, what else would he think of upon seeing her bedroom window? At that point, annoyance set in, because A) she wasn’t worth the energy, B) she wasn’t even there, and C) he wasn’t getting any work done because of her. C always led into a bout of even deeper irritation, this time directed at himself, because D) he really ought to have better powers of concentration, E) it was just a stupid window, and F) if he was going to get agitated about a female, it ought to be one he at least liked. F was where he generally let out a loud growl and forced himself to get back to his translation. It usually worked for a minute or two, and then he’d look back up, and happen to see the window, and the whole bloody nonsense cycled back to the beginning.
Julia Quinn (What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2))
It could have been so beautiful. The way our elbows always collide and not a single word was needed to make each other laugh. I laughed at your existence, I said, and you laughed even harder and that’s how we spent our time. It could have been so beautiful the way the first hit felt good and something to deserve because I’ve read every psychology book you can find on human behaviour and know for a fact that anger grows from caring too much and so it was a privilege to be in the war zone with someone like you. How much you must have cared to hit that well and that hard and I remember saying thank you and I’m sorry at the same time because what else is there to say.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
The hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know. He felt even tireder than when he went to bed, and here it was -- another day which would go on until evening and then there would be another one and another one which would be the same as all days are when they are lived by a hemulen. He crept under the bedcover and buried his nose in the pillow, then he shifted his stomach to the edge of the bed where the sheets were cool. He took possession of the whole bed with outstretched arms and legs he was waiting for a nice dream that wouldn't come. He curled up and made himself small but it didn't help a bit. He tried being the hemulen that everybody like, he tried being the hemulen that no one liked. But however hard he tried he remained a hemulen doing his best without anything really coming off. In the end he got up and pulled on his trousers. The Hemulen didn't like getting dressed and undressed, it gave him a feeling that the days passed without anything of importance happening. Even so, he spent the whole day arranging, organising and directing things from morning till night! All around him there were people living slipshod and aimless lives, wherever he looked there was something to be put to rights and he worked his fingers to the bone trying to get them to see how they ought to live. It's as though they don't want to live well, the Hemulen thought sadly as he brushed his teeth. He looked at the photograph of himself with his boat which was been taken when the boat was launched. It was a beautiful picture but it made him feel even sadder. I ought to learn how to sail, the Hemulen thought. But I've never got enough time... Moominvalley in November Chapter 5, THE HEMULEN
Tove Jansson (Moominvalley in November (The Moomins, #9))
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
Sorry I overheard that, but I'm glad he's staying," Luke's sister said. "Not just because he'll be near me but because it gives him a chance to get over you." Jocelyn sounded defensive. "Amatis-" "It's been a long time, Jocelyn," Amatis said. "If you don't love him, you ought to let him go." Jocelyn was silent. Clary wished she could see her mother's expression- did she looked sad? Angry? Resigned? Amatis gave a little gasp. "Unless- you do love him?" "Amatis, I can't-" "You do! you do!" There was a sharp sound, as if Amatis had clapped her hands together. "I knew you did! I always knew it!" "It doesn't matter." Jocelyn sounded tired. "It wouldn't be fair to Luke." "I don't want to hear it." There was a rustling noise, and Jocelyn made a sound of protest. Clary wondered if Amatis had actually grabbed hold of her mother. "If you love him, you go right now and tell him. Right now, before he goes to the Council." "But they want him to be their Council member! And he wants to-" "All Lucian wants," said Amatis firmly, "is you. You and Clary. That's all he ever wanted. Now go." Before Clary had a chance to move, Jocelyn dashed out into the hallway. She headed toward the door- and saw Clary, flattened against the wall. Halting, she opened her mouth in surprise. "Clary!" She sounded as if she were trying to make her voice bright and cheerful, and failed miserably. "I didn't realize you were here." Clary stepped away from the wall, grabbed hold of the doorknob, and threw the door wide open. Bright sunlight poured into the hall. Jocelyn stood blinking in the harsh illumination, her eyes on her daughter. "If you don't go after Luke," Clary said, enunciating very clearly, "I, personally, will kill you." For a moment Jocelyn looked astonished. Then she smiled. "Well," she said, "if you put it like that." A moment later she was out of the house, hurrying down the canal path toward the Accords Hall. Clary shut the door behind her and leaned against it. Amatis, emerging from the living room, darted past her to lean on the window sill, glancing aniously out through the pane. "Do you think she'll catch him before he gets to the Hall?" "My mom's spent her whole life chasing me around," Clary said. "She moves fast.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
In recent years I had begun to be interested in fashion, to educate my taste under Adele's guidance, and now I enjoyed dressing up. But sometimes - especially when I had dressed not only to make a good impression in general, but for a man - preparing myself (this was the word) seemed to me to have something ridiculous about it. All that struggle, all that time spent camouflaging myself when I could be doing something else. The colors that suited me, the ones that didn't, the styles that made me look thinner, those that made me fatter, the cut that flattered me, the one that didn't. A lengthy, costly preparation. Reducing myself to a table set for the sexual appetite of the male, to a well-cooked dish to make his mouth water.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3))
Fat Charlie blew his nose. "I never knew I had a brother," he said. "I did," said Spider. "I always meant to look you up, but I got distracted. You know how it is." "Not really." "Things came up." "What kind of things?" "Things. They came up. That's what things do. They come up. I can't be expected to keep track of them all." "Well, give me a f'rinstance." Spider drank more wine. "Okay. The last time I decided that you and I should meet, I, well, I spent days planning it. Wanted it to go perfectly. I had to choose my wardrobe. Then I had to decide what I'd say to you when we met. I knew that the meeting of two brothers, well, it's the subject of epics, isn't it? I decided that the only way to treat it with the appropriate gravity would be to do it in verse. But what kind of verse? Am I going to rap it? Declaim it? I mean, I'm not going to greet you with a limerick. So. It had to be something dark, something powerful, rhythmic, epic. And then I had it. The perfect line: Blood calls to blood like sirens in the night. It says so much. I knew I'd be able to get everything in there - people dying in alleys, sweat and nightmares, the power of free spirits uncrushable. Everything was going to be there. And then I had to come up with a second line, and the whole thing completely fell apart. The best I could come up with was Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty got a fright." Fat Charlie blinked. "Who exactly is Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty?" "It's not anybody. It's just there to show you where the words ought to be. But I never really got any futher on it than that, and I couldn't turn up with just a first line, some tumpties and three words of an epic poem, could I? That would have been disrespecting you." "Well...." "Exactly. So I went to Hawaii for the week instead. Like I said, something came up.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
Love is not a forest fire that burns intensely, hotly and out of control for a brief moment until, its expendable fuel spent, it sputters, seeking in vain for something else to consume, to sustain itself before, finally, it dies: cold, black ash the only evidence of its passing. Love is, instead, a campfire: it provides ample heat and comfort to the twosome who sit before it, and although its flames may at times wane, a well-tended campfire’s embers can be nurtured and fanned until the flames once again dance brightly and cheerfully, providing comfort to the couple who cherish the gentle warmth it ministers.
J. Conrad Guest (January's Paradigm)
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to? But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to? And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more. But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we-- But then he was abruptly halted.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had much more than balanced the evils of his rise. I was on a ship when he died. The news was posted on the bulletin board, and nearly everyone recieved the news with pleasure. Several said, "Thank God that son of a bitch is dead." Then there was a man, smart as Satan, who, lacking some perception of human dignity and knowing all too well every aspect of human weakness and wickedness, used his special knowledge to warp men, to buy men, to bribe and threaten and seduce until he found himself in a position of great power. He clothed his motives in the names of virtue, and I have wondered whether he ever knew that no gift will ever buy back a man's love when you have removed his self-love. A bribed man can only hate his briber. When this man died the nation rang with praise... There was a third man, who perhaps made many errors in performance but whose effective life was devoted to making men brave and dignified and good in a time when they were poor and frightened and when ugly forces were loose in the world to utilize their fears. This man was hated by few. When he died the people burst into tears in the streets and their minds wailed, "What can we do now?" How can we go on without him?" In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, mo matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror....we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Shakespeare 'never owned a book,' a writer for the New York Times gravely informed readers in one doubting article in 2002. The statement cannot actually be refuted, for we know nothing about his incidental possessions. But the writer might just as well have suggested that Shakespeare never owned a pair of shoes or pants. For all the evidence tells us, he spent his life naked from the waist down, as well as bookless, but it is probably that what is lacking is the evidence, not the apparel or the books.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
Oh,Mercer," he murmured against my temple once we'd come up for air, "we are so screwed." I pressed my face against his neck, breathing him in. "I know." "So what do we do?" Reluctantly, I tried to move away. It was hard to think when he was so close to me. "If we were good people, we'd never see each other again." His arms locked around my waist, pulling me back. "Okay,well, that's not happening. Plan B?" I smiled up at him, feeling ridiculously giddy for someone on the verge of ruining her life. "I don't have one.You?" He shook his head. "Nothing.But...look. I've spent basically my whole life pretending to be someone I'm not, faking some feelings, hiding others." Reaching down, he clasped my hand and lifted it so that our joined hands were trapped between our chests. "This thing with us is the only real thing I've had in a long time.You're the only real thing." He raised our hands and kissed my knuckles. "And I'm done pretending I don't want you." I had read a lot about swooning in the romance novels Mom had tried to hide from me,but I'd never felt in danger of doing it until now. Which was why a snarky comment was definitely called for. "Wow,Cross.I think you missed your calling.Screw demon hunting: you should clearly be writing Hallmark cards." His face broke into that crooked grin that was maybe my favorite sight in the whole world. "Shut up," he muttered before lowering his head and kissing me again. "Why is it," I said against his lips several moments later, "that we're always kissing in gross, dirty places like cellars and abandoned mills?" He laughed, pressing kisses to my jaw, then my neck. "Next time it'll be a castle, I promise.This is England, after all. Can't be too hard to find one.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
I walked past Malison, up Lower Main to Main and across the road. I didn’t need to look to know he was behind me. I entered Royal Wood, went a short way along a path and waited. It was cool and dim beneath the trees. When Malison entered the Wood, I continued eastward.  I wanted to place his body in hallowed ground. He was born a Mearan. The least I could do was send him to Loric. The distance between us closed until he was on my heels. He chose to come, I told myself, as if that lessened the crime I planned. He chose what I have to offer. We were almost to the cemetery before he asked where we were going. I answered with another question. “Do you like living in the High Lord’s kitchens?” He, of course, replied, “No.” “Well, we’re going to a better place.” When we reached the edge of the Wood, I pushed aside a branch to see the Temple of Loric and Calec’s cottage. No smoke was coming from the chimney, and I assumed the old man was yet abed. His pony was grazing in the field of graves. The sun hid behind a bank of clouds. Malison moved beside me. “It’s a graveyard.” “Are you afraid of ghosts?” I asked. “My father’s a ghost,” he whispered. I asked if he wanted to learn how to throw a knife. He said, “Yes,” as I knew he would.  He untucked his shirt, withdrew the knife he had stolen and gave it to me. It was a thick-bladed, single-edged knife, better suited for dicing celery than slitting a young throat. But it would serve my purpose. That I also knew. I’d spent all night projecting how the morning would unfold and, except for indulging in the tea, it had happened as I had imagined.  Damut kissed her son farewell. Malison followed me of his own free will. Without fear, he placed the instrument of his death into my hand. We were at the appointed place, at the appointed time. The stolen knife was warm from the heat of his body. I had only to use it. Yet I hesitated, and again prayed for Sythene to show me a different path. “Aren’t you going to show me?” Malison prompted, as if to echo my prayer.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
I'm angry because you think everything happened by chance but there are billions of people on this planet and I found you so if you're saying I could just as well have found someone else then I can't bear your bloody mathematics!" Her fists had been clenched. He stood there looking at her for several minutes. Then he said that he loved her. It was the first time. They never stopped arguing and they never slept apart; he spent an entire working life calculating probabilities and she was the most improbable person he ever met. She turned him upside-down.
Fredrik Backman (And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer)
Pico Iyer: “And at some point, I thought, well, I’ve been really lucky to see many, many places. Now, the great adventure is the inner world, now that I’ve spent a lot of time gathering emotions, impressions, and experiences. Now, I just want to sit still for years on end, really, charting that inner landscape because I think anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around—you’re traveling in order to be moved. And really what you’re seeing is not just the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall but some moods or intimations or places inside yourself that you never ordinarily see when you’re sleepwalking through your daily life. I thought, there’s this great undiscovered terrain that Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Merton and Emily Dickinson fearlessly investigated, and I want to follow in their footsteps.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
And waiting means hurrying on ahead, it means regarding time and the present moment not as a boon, but an obstruction; it means making their actual content null and void, by mentally overleaping them. Waiting, we say, is long. We might just as well—or more accurately—say it is short, since it consumes whole spaces of time without our living them or making any use of them as such. We may compare him who lives on expectation to a greedy man, whose digestive apparatus works through quantities of food without converting it into anything of value or nourishment to his system. We might almost go so far as to say that, as undigested food makes man no stronger, so time spent in waiting makes him no older. But in practice, of course, there is hardly such a thing as pure and unadulterated waiting.
Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain)
I spent the afternoon musing on Life. If you come to think of it, what a queer thing Life is! So unlike anything else, don't you know, if you see what I mean. At any moment you may be strolling peacefully along, and all the time Life's waiting around the corner to fetch you one. You can't tell when you may be going to get it. It's all dashed puzzling. Here was poor old George, as well-meaning a fellow as every stepped, getting swatted all over the ring by the hand of Fate. Why? That's what I asked myself. Just Life, don't you know. That's all there was about it.
P.G. Wodehouse (My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1))
I'm sorry!" I blurted out. "I told you, I suck at this. It's like any time I try to do a spell, it goes all big and scary and explodey,and-" Dad rubbed his forehead. "No,Sophie, it's all right. That's what I'd hoped you would do." "You hoped I'd commit mirrorcide?" He laughed, but it sounded a little breathless. "No,I'd hoped to see just how powerful you really are." His eyes were bright, and there was something that might have been pride in them. "You exceeded my expectations." "Well,yay," I said. "So glad my skill at blowing crap up impresses you, Dad." "Your sarcasm is-" "I know,I know, 'an unattractive quality in a young lady.'" But Dad grinned and suddenly looked much younger and less like a guy who ironed his ties. "Actually, I was going to say it's something you must've gotten from me. Grace always hated sarcastic comments." "Oh,I know," I replied without thinking. "I spent most of the seventh grade grounded because of it." He snorted. "She once put me out by the side of the road in Scotland because I made a completely harmless joke about her map-reaking skills." "Really?" "Mm-hmm.Had to walk nearly five bloody kilometers before she stopped to let me back in." "Dude.Mom is hard-core." For a moment we smiled at each other. Then Dad cleared his throat and looked away. "Anyway,your powers are definitely impressive, but what you lack is control." "Yeah, I kind of picked up on that.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
While people in today’s affluent societies work an average of forty to forty-five hours a week, and people in the developing world work sixty and even eighty hours a week, hunter-gatherers living today in the most inhospitable of habitats – such as the Kalahari Desert – work on average for just thirty-five to forty-five hours a week. They hunt only one day out of three, and gathering takes up just three to six hours daily. In normal times, this is enough to feed the band. It may well be that ancient hunter-gatherers living in zones more fertile than the Kalahari spent even less time obtaining food and raw materials. On top of that, foragers enjoyed a lighter load of household chores. They had no dishes to wash, no carpets to vacuum, no floors to polish, no nappies to change and no bills to pay.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
You are beautiful like demolition. Just the thought of you draws my knuckles white. I don’t need a god. I have you and your beautiful mouth, your hands holding onto me, the nails leaving unfelt wounds, your hot breath on my neck. The taste of your saliva. The darkness is ours. The nights belong to us. Everything we do is secret. Nothing we do will ever be understood; we will be feared and kept well away from. ..It’s you and me in this room, on this floor. Beyond life, beyond morality. We are gleaming animals painted in moonlit sweat glow. Our eyes turn to jewels and everything we do is an example of spontaneous perfection. I have been waiting all my life to be with you. My heart slams against my ribs when I think of the slaughtered nights I spent all over the world waiting to feel your touch. The time I annihilated while I waited like a man doing a life sentence. Now you’re here and everything we touch explodes, bursts into bloom or burns to ash. History atomizes and negates itself with our every shared breath. I need you like life needs life. I want you bad like a natural disaster. You are all I see. You are the only one I want to know.
Henry Rollins
INTERVIEWER You’re self-educated, aren’t you? BRADBURY Yes, I am. I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books? I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.
Ray Bradbury
He tried to measure his day by tallying the hours on his wrist. I wiped it off and called him a prisoner. He placed the hours on a scale with hours from former days to compare. I took a hammer and broke it all. He bent down and picked up the shards of minutes first then swept the seconds. I told him he’d missed a spot; there were some sparkling specks left. 'What are they?' he asked. 'Those are moments,' I said. 'What are they made of?' he asked. They are times, I thought, when you win a race or win a heart. They are times when you give birth or lay something, someone to rest. When you wake up in the morning with a smile because anything is possible. When someone compliments the thing you hate most about yourself. Times when you are embarrassed. Times when you are hurtful. Times when you relish in a hearty meal. Times when you service others and are content with a well-spent day. 'What are they made of?' he asked again. 'They are made up of times when we are fully present.' I picked up one of the specks with the tip of my finger. 'Do you remember this?' I asked. 'Of course,' he said, 'I was whistling in the kitchen that morning.' 'Why?' I asked. 'Because of the knowledge that I was loved.
Kamand Kojouri
The sliding door opened, and then Michael was clomping across the porch. Gabriel didn’t look at him, just kept his gaze on the tree line. Michael dropped into the chair beside him. “Here." Gabriel looked over. His brother was holding out a bottle of Corona. Shock almost knocked him out of the chair. They never had alcohol of any kind in the house. When Michael had turned twenty-one, they’d all spent about thirty seconds entertaining thoughts of wild parties supplied by their older brother. Then they’d remembered it was Michael, a guy who said if he ever caught them drinking, he’d call the cops himself. Really, he’d driven the point home so thoroughly that by the time he and Nick started going to parties, they rarely touched the stuff. Gabriel took the bottle from his hand. "Who are you, and what have you done with my brother?” Michael tilted the botle back and took a long draw. "I thought you could use one. I sure can." Gabriel took a sip, but tentatively, like Michael was going to slap it out of his hand and say Just kidding. "Where did this even come from?" "Liquor store." Well, that was typical Michael. "No, jackass, I meant-" "I know what you meant." Michael paused to take another drink. "There's a mini-fridge in the back corner of the garage, under the old tool bench.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spark (Elemental, #2))
So will your father object to me? Because I'm not American? I mean, not fully American? He's not one of those mad, patriotic nuts,is he?" "No.He'll love you,because you make me happy.He's not always so bad." St. Clair raises his dark eyebrows. "I know! But I said not always. He still is the majority of the time.It's just...he means well. He thought he was doing good,sending me here." "And was it? Good?" "Look at you,fishing for compliments." "I wouldn't object to a compliment." I play with a strand of his hair. "I like how you pronounce 'banana.' Ba-nah-na. And sometimes you trill your r's. I love that." "Brilliant," he whispers in my ear. "Because I've spent loads of time practicing." My room is dark,and Etienne wraps his arms back around me.We listen to the opera singer in a peaceful silence.I'm surprised by how much I'll miss France. Atlanta was home for almost eighteen years,and though I've only know Paris for the last nine months,it's changed me.I have a new city to learn next year,but I'm not scared. Because I was right.For the two of us, home isn't a place.It's a person. And we're finally home.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #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)
The sail unfurled on its own. The oars unlocked, pushed into the water and began to row by themselves. We sailed under starry skies, the waves calm and glittering, no land to be seen in any direction. "The ship ... is self-driving." I noted. Next to me, Njord popped into existence, looking no worse for being caught in the collapse of Aegir's hall. He chuckled. "Well, yes, Magnus, of course the ship is self-driving. Were you trying to row it the old-fashioned way?" I ignored my friends glaring at me. "Um, maybe." "All you have to do is will the ship to take you where you want to go," Njord told me. "Nothing else is required." I thought about all that time I'd spent with Percy Jackson learning bowlines and mizzenmasts, only to find out that the Viking gods had invented Google-boats. I bet the ship would even magically assist me if I needed to fall off the mast.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
I stood as she straightened and snaked my arms around her, pulling her close to me, savoring the feel of every delicate curve. For three weeks, I spent my time convincing myself that our breakup was the right choice. But being this close to her, hearing her laugh, listening to her voice, I knew I had been telling myself lies. Her eyes widened when I lowered my head to hers. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find a way to make us work.” She tilted her head and licked her lips, whispering through shallow breaths, “You’re not playing fair.” “No, I’m not.” Echo thought too much. I threaded my fingers into her hair and kissed her, leaving her no opportunity to think about what we were doing. I wanted her to feel what I felt. To revel in the pull, the attraction. Dammit, I wanted her to undeniably love me. Her pack hit the floor with a resounding thud and her magical fingers explored my back, neck and head. Echo’s tongue danced manically with mine, hungry and excited. Her muscles stiffened when her mind caught up. I held her tighter to me, refusing to let her leave so easily again. Echo pulled her lips away, but was unable to step back from my body. “We can’t, Noah.” “Why not?” I shook her without meaning to, but if it snapped something into place, I’d shake her again. “Because everything has changed. Because nothing has changed. You have a family to save. I …” She looked away, shaking her head. “I can’t live here anymore. When I leave town, I can sleep. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I did. I understood all too well, as much as I hated it. This was why we ignored each other. When she walked away the first time, my damn heart ruptured and I swore I’d never let it happen again. Like an idiot, here I was setting off explosives. Both of my hands wove into her hair again and clutched at the soft curls. No matter how I tightened my grip, the strands kept falling from my fingers, a shower of water from the sky. I rested my forehead against hers. “I want you to be happy.” “You, too,” she whispered. I let go of her and left the main office. When I first connected with Echo, I’d promised her I would help her find her answers. I was a man of my word and Echo would soon know that.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
People had always amazed him, he began. But they amazed him more since the sickness. For as long as the two of them had been together, he said, Gary’s mother had accepted him as her son’s lover, had given them her blessing. Then, at the funeral, she’d barely acknowledged him. Later, when she drove to the house to retrieve some personal things, she’d hunted through her son’s drawers with plastic bags twist-tied around her wrists. “…And yet,” he whispered, “The janitor at school--remember him? Mr. Feeney? --he’d openly disapproved of me for nineteen years. One of the nastiest people I knew. Then when the news about me got out, after I resigned, he started showing up at the front door every Sunday with a coffee milkshake. In his church clothes, with his wife waiting out in the car. People have sent me hate mail, condoms, Xeroxed prayers…” What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he’d become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks. I sat on the bed, massaging his temples, pretending that just the right rubbing might draw out the disease. In the mirror I watched us both--Mr. Pucci, frail and wasted, a talking dead man. And myself with the surgical mask over my mouth, to protect him from me. “The irony,” he said, “… is that now that I’m this blind man, it’s clearer to me than it’s ever been before. What’s the line? ‘Was blind but now I see…’” He stopped and put his lips to the plastic straw. Juice went halfway up the shaft, then back down again. He motioned the drink away. “You accused me of being a saint a while back, pal, but you were wrong. Gary and I were no different. We fought…said terrible things to each other. Spent one whole weekend not speaking to each other because of a messed up phone message… That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I’m fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness--That’s what makes me sad. Everyone’s so scared to be happy.” “I know what you mean,” I said. His eyes opened wider. For a second he seemed to see me. “No you don’t,” he said. “You mustn’t. He keeps wanting to give you his love, a gift out and out, and you dismiss it. Shrug it off because you’re afraid.” “I’m not afraid. It’s more like…” I watched myself in the mirror above the sink. The mask was suddenly a gag. I listened. “I’ll give you what I learned from all this,” he said. “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
I don't like kissing." "I suppose it is a matter of taste."[...]"I wondered, did anyone ever," shrug, "you know, hurt you so you don't like kissing? love?" "Nope."[...] "I thought maybe someone had been bad to you in the past, and that was why you don't like people touching or holding you." "Ah damn it to hell," she bangs the lamp down on the desk and the flame jumps wildly. "I said no. I haven't been raped or jilted or abused in any fashion. There is nothing in my background to explain the way I am." She steadies her voice, taking the impatience out of it. "I'm the odd one out, the peculiarity in my family, because they are all normal and demonstrative physically. But ever since I can remember, I've disliked close contact...charge contact, emotional contact, as well as any overtly sexual contact. I veer away from it, because it always feels like the other person is draining something out of me. I know that's irrational, but that's the way I feel." She touches the lamp and the flaring light stills. "I spent a considerable amount of time when I was, o, adolescent, wondering why I was different, whether there were other people like me. Why, when everyone else was facinated by their developing sexual nature, I couldn't give a damn. I've never been attracted to men. Or women. Or anything else. It's difficult to explain, and nobody has ever believed it when I have tried to explain, but while I have an apparently normal female body, I don't have any sexual urge or appetite. I think I am a neuter.
Keri Hulme (The Bone People)
I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books? I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.
Ray Bradbury
It is not the dead rather the ones who lives through war have seen the dreadful end of the war, you might have been victorious, unwounded but deep within you, you carry the mark of the war, you carry the memories of war, the time you have spend with your comrades, the times when you had to dug in to foxholes to avoid shelling, the times when you hate to see your comrade down on the ground, feeling of despair, atrocities of the war, missing families, home. They live through hell and often the most wounded, they live with the guilt, despair, of being in the war, they may be happy but deep down they are a different person. Not everyone is a hero. You live with the moments, time when you were unsuccessful, when your actions would have helped your comrades, when your actions get your comrades killed, you live with regret, joyous in the victory can never help you forget the time you have spent. You are victorious for the people you have lost, the decisions you have made, the courage you have shown but being victorious in the war has a price to pay, irrevocable. You can't take a memory back from a person, even if you lose your memory your imagination haunts you as deep down your sub conscious mind you know who you are, who you were. Close you eyes and you can very well see your past, you cant change your past, time you have spent, you live through all and hence you are a hero not for the glorious war for the times you have faced. Decoration with medals is not going to give your life back. the more you know, more experiences doesn't make it easy rather make its worse. Arms and ammunition kills you once and free you from the misery but the experiences of war kills you everyday, makes you cherish the times everyday through the life. You may forgot that you cant walk anymore, you may forget you cant use your right hand, you may forgot the scars on your face but you can never forgot war. Life without war is never easy and only the ones how survived through it can understand. Soldiers are taught to fight but the actual combat starts after war which you are not even trained for. You rely on your weapon, leaders, comrades, god, luck in the war but here you rely on your self to beat the horrors,they have seen hell, heaven, they have felt the mixed emotions of hope, despair, courage, victory, defeat, scared.
Pushpa Rana (Just the Way I Feel)
Well. Um. The thing is…” I inhale, then continue with rapid-fire speed. “Imnotahockeyfan.” A wrinkle appears in his forehead. “What?” I repeat myself, slowly this time, with actual pauses between each word. “I’m not a hockey fan.” Then I hold my breath and await his reaction. He blinks. Blinks again. And again. His expression is a mixture of shock and horror. “You don’t like hockey?” I regretfully shake my head. “Not even a little bit?” Now I shrug. “I don’t mind it as background noise—” “Background noise?” “—but I won’t pay attention to it if it’s on.” I bite my lip. I’m already in this deep—might as well deliver the final blow. “I come from a football family.” “Football,” he says dully. “Yeah, my dad and I are huge Pats fans. And my grandfather was an offensive lineman for the Bears back in the day.” “Football.” He grabs his water and takes a deep swig, as if he needs to rehydrate after that bombshell. I smother a laugh. “I think it’s awesome that you’re so good at it, though. And congrats on the Frozen Four win.” Logan stares at me. “You couldn’t have told me this before I asked you out? What are we even doing here, Grace? I can never marry you now—it would be blasphemous.” His twitching lips make it clear that he’s joking, and the laughter I’ve been fighting spills over. “Hey, don’t go canceling the wedding just yet. The success rate for inter-sport marriages is a lot higher than you think. We could be a Pats-Bruins family.” I pause. “But no Celtics. I hate basketball.” “Well, at least we have that in common.” He shuffles closer and presses a kiss to my cheek. “It’s all right. We’ll work through this, gorgeous. Might need couples counseling at some point, but once I teach you to love hockey, it’ll be smooth sailing for us.” “You won’t succeed,” I warn him. “Ramona spent years trying to force me to like it. Didn’t work.” “She gave up too easily then. I, on the other hand, never give up
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Your grandparents are English?" "Grandfather is,but Grandmere is French. And my other grandparents are American,of course." "Wow.You really are a mutt." St. Clair smiles. "I'm told I take after my English grandfather the most, but it's only because of the accent." "I don't know.I think of you as more English than anything else.And you don't just sound like it,you look like it,too." "I do?" He surprised. I smile. "Yeah,it's that...pasty complexion. I mean it in the best possible way," I add,at his alarmed expression. "Honestly." "Huh." St. Clair looks at me sideways. "Anyway.Last summer I couldn't bear to face my father, so it was the first time I spent the whole holiday with me mum." "And how was it? I bet the girls don't tease you about your accent anymore." He laughs. "No,they don't.But I can't help my height.I'll always be short." "And I'll always be a freak,just like my dad. Everyone tells me I take after him.He's sort of...neat,like me." He seems genuinely surprised. "What's wrong with being neat? I wish I were more organized.And,Anna,I've never met your father,but I guarantee you that you're nothing like him." "How would you know?" "Well,for one thing,he looks like a Ken doll.And you're beautiful." I trip and fall down on the sidewalk. "Are you all right?" His eyes fill with worry. I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. "I'm fine.Fine!" I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak. "You've seen the way men look at you,right?" he continues. "If they're looking, it's because I keep making a fool of myself." I hold up my scraped hands. "That guy over there is checking you out right now." "Wha-?" I turn to find a young man with long dark hair staring. "Why is he looking at me?" "I expect he likes what he sees." I flush,and he keeps talking. "In Paris, it's common to acknowledge someone attractive.The French don't avert their gaze like other cultures do. Haven't you noticed?" St. Clair thinks I'm attractive. He called me beautiful. "Um,no," I say. "I hadn't noticed." "Well.Open your eyes." But I stare at the bare tree branches, at the children with balloons, at the Japanese tour group. Anywhere but at him. We've stopped in front of Notre-Dame again.I point at the familiar star and clear my throat. "Wanna make another wish?" "You go first." He's watching me, puzzled, like he's trying to figure something out. He bites his thumbnail. This time I can't help it.All day long, I've thought about it.Him.Our secret. I wish St. Clair would spend the night again.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
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 was acutely aware of him, and the thought that he was walking me back to my room and would most likely try to kiss me again sent shivers down my spine. For self-preservation purposes, I had to get away. Every minute I spent with him just made me want him more. Since merely annoying him wasn’t working, I’d have to up the ante. Apparently, I needed him not only to fall out-of-like with me, but to hate me as well. I’d frequently been told that I was an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If I were going to push him away, it was going to be so far away that there would be absolutely no change of him ever coming back. I tried to wrench my elbow out of his grasp, but he just held on more tightly. I grumbled at him, “Stop using your tiger strength on me, Superman.” “Am I hurting you?” “No, but I’m not a puppet to be dragged around.” He trailed his fingers down my arm and took my hand instead. “Then you play nice, and I will too.” “Fine.” He grinned. “Fine.” I hissed back. “Fine!” We walked to the elevator, and he pushed the button to my floor. “My room is on the same floor,” Ren edxplained. I scowled and then grinned lopsidedly and just a little bit evilly, “And umm, how exactly is that going to work for you in the morning, Tiger? You really shouldn’t get Mr. Kadam in trouble for having a rather large…pet.” Ren returned my sarcasm as he walked me to my door. “Are you worried about me, Kells? Well, don’t. I’ll be fine.” “I guess there’s no point in asking how you knew which door belong to me, huh, Tiger Nose?” He looked at me in a way that turned my insides to jelly. I spun around but awareness of him shot through my limbs, and I could feel him standing close behind me watching, waiting. I put my key in the lock, and he moved closer. My hand started shaking, and I couldn’t twist the key the right way. He took my hand and gently turned me around. He then put both hands on the door on either side of my head and leaned in close, pinning me against it. I trembled like a downy rabbit caught in the clutches of a wolf. The wolf came closer. He bent his head and began nuzzling my cheek. The problem was…I wanted the wolf to devour me. I began to get lost in the thick sultry fog that overtook me every time Ren put his hands on me. So much for asking for permission…and so much for sticking to my guns, I thought as I felt all my defenses slip away. He whispered warmly, “I can always tell where you are, Kelsey. You smell like peaches and cream.” I shivered and put my hands on his chest to push him away, but I ended up grabbing fistfuls of shirt and held on for dear life. He trailed kisses from my ear down my cheek and then pressed soft kisses along the arch of my neck. I pulled him closer and turned my head so he could really kiss me. He smiled and ignored my invitation, moving instead to the other ear. He bit my earlobe lightly, moved from there to my collarbone, and trailed kisses out to my shoulder. Then he lifted his head and brought his lips about one inch from mine and the only thought in my head was…more. With a devastating smile, he reluctantly pulled away and lightly ran his fingers through the strands of my hair. “By the way, I forgot to mention that you look beautiful tonight.” He smiled again then turned and strolled off down the hall.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Gustavo Tiberius speaking." “It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.” “It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.” “Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?” Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.” “Really.” “Yes.” “Gus.” “Casey.” “I miss you.” “I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely. “Yeah? How much?” Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.” “I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.” Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.” “Completely. You have no idea.” “They’re going to get you packed up this week?” “Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.” “Casey.” “Yes, Gustavo.” “You’re being cagey.” “I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.” Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?” There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up. Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen. Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.” “Hi,” Gus croaked. “Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?” Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal. Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile. He said, “Hi.” Gus said, “Hi.” “So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?” “I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close. The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.” Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.” “Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.” “What did?” Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?” “Yeah?” “I’m going to ask you a question, okay?” Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.” “What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?” Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to— And then he could barely breathe. Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?” Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could. And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.” Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
FLEISCHMANN: Since the days of Sigmund Freud and the advent of psychoanalysis the interpretation of dreams has played a big role in Austria[n life]. What is your attitude to all that? BERNHARD: I’ve never spent enough time reading Freud to say anything intelligent about him. Freud has had no effect whatsoever on dreams, or on the interpretation of dreams. Of course psychoanalysis is nothing new. Freud didn’t discover it; it had of course always been around before. It just wasn’t practiced on such a fashionably huge scale, and in such million-fold, money-grubbing forms, as it has been now for decades, and as it won’t be for much longer. Because even in America, as I know, it’s fallen so far out of fashion that they just lay people out on the celebrated couch and scoop their psychological guts out with a spoon. FLEISCHMANN: I take it then that psychoanalysis is not a means gaining knowledge for you? BERNHARD: Well, no; for me it’s never been that kind of thing. I think of Freud simply as a good writer, and whenever I’ve read something of his, I’ve always gotten the feeling of having read the work of an extraordinary, magnificent writer. I’m no competent judge of his medical qualifications, and as for what’s known as psychoanalysis, I’ve personally always tended to think of it as nonsense or as a middle-aged man’s hobby-horse that turned into an old man’s hobby-horse. But Freud’s fame is well-deserved, because of course he was a genuinely great, extraordinary personality. There’s no denying that. One of the few great personalities who had a beard and was great despite his beardiness. FLEISCHMANN: Do you have something against beards? BERNHARD: No. But the majority of people call people who have a long beard or the longest possible beard great personalities and suppose that the longer one’s beard is, the greater the personality one is. Freud’s beard was relatively long, but too pointy; that was typical of him. Perhaps it was the typical Freudian trait, the pointy beard. It’s possible.
Thomas Bernhard
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
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))
—so much more opportunity now." Her voice trails off. "Hurrah for women's lib, eh?" "The lib?" Impatiently she leans forward and tugs the serape straight. "Oh, that's doomed." The apocalyptic word jars my attention. "What do you mean, doomed?" She glances at me as if I weren't hanging straight either and says vaguely, "Oh …" "Come on, why doomed? Didn't they get that equal rights bill?" Long hesitation. When she speaks again her voice is different. "Women have no rights, Don, except what men allow us. Men are more aggressive and powerful, and they run the world. When the next real crisis upsets them, our so-called rights will vanish like—like that smoke. We'll be back where we always were: property. And whatever has gone wrong will be blamed on our freedom, like the fall of Rome was. You'll see." Now all this is delivered in a gray tone of total conviction. The last time I heard that tone, the speaker was explaining why he had to keep his file drawers full of dead pigeons. "Oh, come on. You and your friends are the backbone of the system; if you quit, the country would come to a screeching halt before lunch." No answering smile. "That's fantasy." Her voice is still quiet. "Women don't work that way. We're a—a toothless world." She looks around as if she wanted to stop talking. "What women do is survive. We live by ones and twos in the chinks of your world-machine." "Sounds like a guerrilla operation." I'm not really joking, here in the 'gator den. In fact, I'm wondering if I spent too much thought on mahogany logs. "Guerrillas have something to hope for." Suddenly she switches on a jolly smile. "Think of us as opossums, Don. Did you know there are opossums living all over? Even in New York City." I smile back with my neck prickling. I thought I was the paranoid one. "Men and women aren't different species, Ruth. Women do everything men do." "Do they?" Our eyes meet, but she seems to be seeing ghosts between us in the rain. She mutters something that could be "My Lai" and looks away. "All the endless wars …" Her voice is a whisper. "All the huge authoritarian organizations for doing unreal things. Men live to struggle against each other; we're just part of the battlefield. It'll never change unless you change the whole world. I dream sometimes of—of going away—" She checks and abruptly changes voice. "Forgive me, Don, it's so stupid saying all this." "Men hate wars too, Ruth," I say as gently as I can. "I know." She shrugs and climbs to her feet. "But that's your problem, isn't it?" End of communication. Mrs. Ruth Parsons isn't even living in the same world with me.
James Tiptree Jr.
Say!” Benedict exclaimed. “Why don’t you save her, Hastings?” Simon took one look at Lady Bridgerton (who at that point had her hand firmly wrapped around Macclesfield’s forearm) and decided he’d rather be branded an eternal coward. “Since we haven’t been introduced, I’m sure it would be most improper,” he improvised. “I’m sure it wouldn’t,” Anthony returned. “You’re a duke.” “So?” “So?” Anthony echoed. “Mother would forgive any impropriety if it meant gaining an audience for Daphne with a duke.” “Now look here,” Simon said hotly, “I’m not some sacrificial lamb to be slaughtered on the altar of your mother.” “You have spent a lot of time in Africa, haven’t you?” Colin quipped. Simon ignored him. “Besides, your sister said—” All three Bridgerton heads swung round in his direction. Simon immediately realized he’d blundered. Badly. “You’ve met Daphne?” Anthony queried, his voice just a touch too polite for Simon’s comfort. Before Simon could even reply, Benedict leaned in ever-so-slightly closer, and asked, “Why didn’t you mention this?” “Yes,” Colin said, his mouth utterly serious for the first time that evening. “Why?” Simon glanced from brother to brother and it became perfectly clear why Daphne must still be unmarried. This belligerent trio would scare off all but the most determined— or stupid— of suitors. Which would probably explain Nigel Berbrooke. “Actually,” Simon said, “I bumped into her in the hall as I was making my way into the ballroom. It was”— he glanced rather pointedly at the Bridgertons—“ rather obvious that she was a member of your family, so I introduced myself.” Anthony turned to Benedict. “Must have been when she was fleeing Berbrooke.” Benedict turned to Colin. “What did happen to Berbrooke? Do you know?” Colin shrugged. “Haven’t the faintest. Probably left to nurse his broken heart.” Or broken head, Simon thought acerbically. “Well, that explains everything, I’m sure,” Anthony said, losing his overbearing big-brother expression and looking once again like a fellow rake and best friend. “Except,” Benedict said suspiciously, “why he didn’t mention it.” “Because I didn’t have the chance,” Simon bit off, about ready to throw his arms up in exasperation. “In case you hadn’t noticed, Anthony, you have a ridiculous number of siblings, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to be introduced to all of them.” “There are only two of us present,” Colin pointed out. “I’m going home,” Simon announced. “The three of you are mad.” Benedict, who had seemed to be the most protective of the brothers, suddenly grinned. “You don’t have a sister, do you?” “No, thank God.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
of the problem was that Chaos got a little creation-happy. It thought to its misty, gloomy self: Hey, Earth and Sky. That was fun! I wonder what else I can make. Soon it created all sorts of other problems—and by that I mean gods. Water collected out of the mist of Chaos, pooled in the deepest parts of the earth, and formed the first seas, which naturally developed a consciousness—the god Pontus. Then Chaos really went nuts and thought: I know! How about a dome like the sky, but at the bottom of the earth! That would be awesome! So another dome came into being beneath the earth, but it was dark and murky and generally not very nice, since it was always hidden from the light of the sky. This was Tartarus, the Pit of Evil; and as you can guess from the name, when he developed a godly personality, he didn't win any popularity contests. The problem was, both Pontus and Tartarus liked Gaea, which put some pressure on her relationship with Ouranos. A bunch of other primordial gods popped up, but if I tried to name them all we’d be here for weeks. Chaos and Tartarus had a kid together (don’t ask how; I don’t know) called Nyx, who was the embodiment of night. Then Nyx, somehow all by herself, had a daughter named Hemera, who was Day. Those two never got along because they were as different as…well, you know. According to some stories, Chaos also created Eros, the god of procreation... in other words, mommy gods and daddy gods having lots of little baby gods. Other stories claim Eros was the son of Aphrodite. We’ll get to her later. I don’t know which version is true, but I do know Gaea and Ouranos started having kids—with very mixed results. First, they had a batch of twelve—six girls and six boys called the Titans. These kids looked human, but they were much taller and more powerful. You’d figure twelve kids would be enough for anybody, right? I mean, with a family that big, you’ve basically got your own reality TV show. Plus, once the Titans were born, things started to go sour with Ouranos and Gaea’s marriage. Ouranos spent a lot more time hanging out in the sky. He didn't visit. He didn't help with the kids. Gaea got resentful. The two of them started fighting. As the kids grew older, Ouranos would yell at them and basically act like a horrible dad. A few times, Gaea and Ouranos tried to patch things up. Gaea decided maybe if they had another set of kids, it would bring them closer…. I know, right? Bad idea. She gave birth to triplets. The problem: these new kids defined the word UGLY. They were as big and strong as Titans, except hulking and brutish and in desperate need of a body wax. Worst of all, each kid had a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Talk about a face only a mother could love. Well, Gaea loved these guys. She named them the Elder Cyclopes, and eventually they would spawn a whole race of other, lesser Cyclopes. But that was much later. When Ouranos saw the Cyclops triplets, he freaked. “These cannot be my kids! They don’t even look like me!” “They are your children, you deadbeat!” Gaea screamed back. “Don’t you dare leave me to raise them on my own!
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
From a very early age Edison became used to doing things for himself, by necessity. His family was poor, and by the age of twelve he had to earn money to help his parents. He sold newspapers on trains, and traveling around his native Michigan for his job, he developed an ardent curiosity about everything he saw. He wanted to know how things worked—machines, gadgets, anything with moving parts. With no schools or teachers in his life, he turned to books, particularly anything he could find on science. He began to conduct his own experiments in the basement of his family home, and he taught himself how to take apart and fix any kind of watch. At the age of fifteen he apprenticed as a telegraph operator, then spent years traveling across the country plying his trade. He had no chance for a formal education, and nobody crossed his path who could serve as a teacher or mentor. And so in lieu of that, in every city he spent time in, he frequented the public library. One book that crossed his path played a decisive role in his life: Michael Faraday’s two-volume Experimental Researches in Electricity. This book became for Edison what The Improvement of the Mind had been for Faraday. It gave him a systematic approach to science and a program for how to educate himself in the field that now obsessed him—electricity. He could follow the experiments laid out by the great Master of the field and absorb as well his philosophical approach to science. For the rest of his life, Faraday would remain his role model. Through books, experiments, and practical experience at various jobs, Edison gave himself a rigorous education that lasted about ten years, up until the time he became an inventor. What made this successful was his relentless desire to learn through whatever crossed his path, as well as his self-discipline. He had developed the habit of overcoming his lack of an organized education by sheer determination and persistence. He worked harder than anyone else. Because he was a consummate outsider and his mind had not been indoctrinated in any school of thought, he brought a fresh perspective to every problem he tackled. He turned his lack of formal direction into an advantage. If you are forced onto this path, you must follow Edison’s example by developing extreme self-reliance. Under these circumstances, you become your own teacher and mentor. You push yourself to learn from every possible source. You read more books than those who have a formal education, developing this into a lifelong habit. As much as possible, you try to apply your knowledge in some form of experiment or practice. You find for yourself second-degree mentors in the form of public figures who can serve as role models. Reading and reflecting on their experiences, you can gain some guidance. You try to make their ideas come to life, internalizing their voice. As someone self-taught, you will maintain a pristine vision, completely distilled through your own experiences—giving you a distinctive power and path to mastery.
Robert Greene (Mastery (The Modern Machiavellian Robert Greene Book 1))
I know you,” he added, helping to arrange the blanket over my shoulders. “You won’t drop the subject until I agree to check on your cousin, so I’ll do it. But only under one condition.” “John,” I said, whirling around to clutch his arm again. “Don’t get too excited,” he warned. “You haven’t heard the condition.” “Oh,” I said, eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. Thank you. Alex has never had a very good life-his mother ran away when he was a baby, and his dad spent most of his life in jail…But, John, what is all this?” I swept my free hand out to indicate the people remaining on the dock, waiting for the boat John had said was arriving soon. I’d noticed some of them had blankets like the one he’d wrapped around me. “A new customer service initiative?” John looked surprised at my change of topic…then uncomfortable. He stooped to reach for the driftwood Typhon had dashed up to drop at his feet. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, stiffly. “You’re giving blankets away to keep them warm while they wait. When did this start happening?” “You mentioned some things when you were here the last time….” He avoided meeting my gaze by tossing the stick for his dog. “They stayed with me.” My eyes widened. “Things I said?” “About how I should treat the people who end up here.” He paused at the approach of a wave-though it was yards off-and made quite a production of moving me, and my delicate slippers, out of its path. “So I decided to make a few changes.” It felt as if one of the kind of flowers I liked-a wild daisy, perhaps-had suddenly blossomed inside my heart. “Oh, John,” I said, and rose onto my toes to kiss his cheek. He looked more than a little surprised by the kiss. I thought I might actually have seen some color come into his cheeks. “What was that for?” he asked. “Henry said nothing was the same after I left. I assumed he meant everything was much worse. I couldn’t imagine it was the opposite, that things were better.” John’s discomfort at having been caught doing something kind-instead of reckless or violet-was sweet. “Henry talks too much,” he muttered. “But I’m glad you like it. Not that it hasn’t been a lot of added work. I’ll admit it’s cut down on the complaints, though, and even the fighting amongst our rowdier passengers. So you were right. Your suggestions helped.” I beamed up at him. Keeper of the dead. That’s how Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton, had referred to John once, and that’s what he was. Although the title “protector of the dead” seemed more applicable. It was totally silly how much hope I was filled with by the fact that he’d remembered something I’d said so long ago-like maybe this whole consort thing might work out after all. I gasped a moment later when there was a sudden rush of white feathers, and the bird he’d given me emerged from the grizzly gray fog seeming to engulf the whole beach, plopping down onto the sand beside us with a disgruntled little humph. “Oh, Hope,” I said, dashing tears of laughter from my eyes. Apparently I had only to feel the emotion, and she showed up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you behind. It was his fault, you know.” I pointed at John. The bird ignored us both, poking around in the flotsam washed ashore by the waves, looking, as always, for something to eat. “Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards. “No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
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)
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… “Ready for-?” He broke off, and then frowned as if it had all become clear. “Wait.” He dropped his arms from around my waist and took a step away from me. “You think I spent the night wit you?” “Didn’t you?” I blinked back at him. “There’s only the one bed. And…well, you were in it when I woke up.” Thunder boomed overhead. It wasn’t as loud as the violent cracks that had occurred in my dream. Although the rumbles were long enough-and intense enough-that the silverware on the table began to make an eerie tinkling sound. And my bird, who’d been calmly cleaning herself on the back of my chair, suddenly took off, seeing shelter on the highest bookshelf against the far wall. I realized I’d just insulted my host, and no joke was going to get me out of it this time. “For your information, Pierce,” John said, his tone almost disturbingly calm-but his eyes flashed the same shade as the stone around my neck, which had gone the color of the metal studs at his wrists-“I spent most of last night on the couch. Until one point early this morning, when I heard you call my name. You were crying in your sleep.” The salt water I’d tasted on my lips. Not due to rain from a violent hurricane, but from the tears I’d shed, watching him die in front of me. “Oh,” I said uncomfortably. “John, I’m so-“ It turned out he wasn’t finished. “I put my arms around you to try to comfort you, because I know what this place can be like, at least at first. It’s not exactly hell, but it’s the next closest place to it. You wouldn’t let go of me. You held on to me like you were drowning, and I was your only lifeline.” I swallowed, astonished at how close he’d come to describing my dream…except it had been the other way around. I’d been his lifeline; only he’d let go of me, sacrificing himself so that I could live. “Right,” I said. “Of course. I’m sorry.” I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been, especially since my mother had always worried so much about my talking in my sleep. On the other hand, I had been upfront with him about my lack of experience when it came to men. “But this is good, see?” I reached out to take his hand. “I told you I could never hate you-“ He pulled his hand away, exactly like in my dream. Well, not exactly, because he wasn’t being sucked from my grasp by a giant ocean swell. Instead, he’d dropped my fingers because he was leaving to go sort the souls of the dead. “You will,” he assured me, bitterly. “You’re already regretting your decision to-what was it you called it? Oh, right-cohabitate with me.” “No,” I insisted. “I’m not. All I said was that I want to take things more slowly-“ That had nothing to do with him-it had to do with me and my fear of not being able to control myself when he was kissing me. It was too humiliating to admit that out loud, however.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
She locked herself in her room. She needed time to get used to her maimed consciousness, her poor lopped life, before she could walk steadily to the place allotted her. A new searching light had fallen on her husband's character, and she could not judge him leniently: the twenty years in which she had believed in him and venerated him by virtue of his concealments came back with particulars that made them seem an odious deceit. He had married her with that bad past life hidden behind him, and she had no faith left to protest his innocence of the worst that was imputed to him. Her honest ostentatious nature made the sharing of a merited dishonor as bitter as it could be to any mortal. But this imperfectly taught woman, whose phrases and habits were an odd patchwork, had a loyal spirit within her. The man whose prosperity she had shared through nearly half a life, and who had unvaryingly cherished her—now that punishment had befallen him it was not possible to her in any sense to forsake him. There is a forsaking which still sits at the same board and lies on the same couch with the forsaken soul, withering it the more by unloving proximity. She knew, when she locked her door, that she should unlock it ready to go down to her unhappy husband and espouse his sorrow, and say of his guilt, I will mourn and not reproach. But she needed time to gather up her strength; she needed to sob out her farewell to all the gladness and pride of her life. When she had resolved to go down, she prepared herself by some little acts which might seem mere folly to a hard onlooker; they were her way of expressing to all spectators visible or invisible that she had begun a new life in which she embraced humiliation. She took off all her ornaments and put on a plain black gown, and instead of wearing her much-adorned cap and large bows of hair, she brushed her hair down and put on a plain bonnet-cap, which made her look suddenly like an early Methodist. Bulstrode, who knew that his wife had been out and had come in saying that she was not well, had spent the time in an agitation equal to hers. He had looked forward to her learning the truth from others, and had acquiesced in that probability, as something easier to him than any confession. But now that he imagined the moment of her knowledge come, he awaited the result in anguish. His daughters had been obliged to consent to leave him, and though he had allowed some food to be brought to him, he had not touched it. He felt himself perishing slowly in unpitied misery. Perhaps he should never see his wife's face with affection in it again. And if he turned to God there seemed to be no answer but the pressure of retribution. It was eight o'clock in the evening before the door opened and his wife entered. He dared not look up at her. He sat with his eyes bent down, and as she went towards him she thought he looked smaller—he seemed so withered and shrunken. A movement of new compassion and old tenderness went through her like a great wave, and putting one hand on his which rested on the arm of the chair, and the other on his shoulder, she said, solemnly but kindly— "Look up, Nicholas." He raised his eyes with a little start and looked at her half amazed for a moment: her pale face, her changed, mourning dress, the trembling about her mouth, all said, "I know;" and her hands and eyes rested gently on him. He burst out crying and they cried together, she sitting at his side. They could not yet speak to each other of the shame which she was bearing with him, or of the acts which had brought it down on them. His confession was silent, and her promise of faithfulness was silent. Open-minded as she was, she nevertheless shrank from the words which would have expressed their mutual consciousness, as she would have shrunk from flakes of fire. She could not say, "How much is only slander and false suspicion?" and he did not say, "I am innocent.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
The Heiligenstadt Testament" Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable). Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men, — a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like art exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that any
Ludwig van Beethoven
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))
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))