Went To Heaven Quotes

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If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
Will Rogers
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Mark Twain
What if you slept And what if In your sleep You dreamed And what if In your dream You went to heaven And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower And what if When you awoke You had that flower in you hand Ah, what then?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Complete Poems)
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
When I was little I bragged about my firefighting father: my father would go to heaven, because if he went to hell he would put out all the fires
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
So, I looked up, and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball, and Mark said that the amazing white stars were really only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing but a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anything but doesn't hurt your eyes. It was vast and open and thinly quiet, and I felt so small.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Once, in second grade, Kate drew a picture of a firefighter with a halo above his helmet. She told her class that I would only be allowed to go to Heaven, because if I went to Hell, I'd put out all the fires. ~Brian Fitzgerald
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Emma’s gaze went from Alec to Jace, curious. “Do you worry about him?” she asked Alec, surprising a laugh out of him. “All the time,” he said. “Jace could get himself killed putting his pants on in the morning. Being his parabatai is a full-time job.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Heaven would be Hell in no time if every cruel, selfish, vicious soul went to Heaven.
Anne Rice (Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles, #5))
Any sign of them yet? he asked. Will looked at him. 'Yes', he said. 'A party of fifty Scotti came though just twenty minutes ago'. Really? Horace looked startled. He wasn't fully awake yet. Will rolled his eyes to heaven. 'Oh, my word, yes', he said. 'They were riding on oxen and playing bagpipes and drums. Of course not,' he went on. 'If they had come past, I would have woken you-if only to stop your snoring'. I don't snore', Horace said, with dignity. Will raised his eyebrows. 'Is that so?' he said. 'Then in that case, you'd better chase out that colony of walruses who are in the tent with you...of course you snore.
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
Daemon snatched the yellow packages from my hands. “Oh! Books! You have books!” I laughed as several people waiting in line looked over their shoulders. “Hand them over.” He clutched them to his chest, making moony eyes. “My life is now complete.” “My life would be complete if I could actually post a review on something other than the school library computers.” I did that about twice a week since my latest laptop went to the big computer heaven in the sky.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
Suddenly reminded, she clapped a hand over her mouth. "Oh—Simon!" "No, I'm Jace," said Jace patiently. "Simon is the weaselly little one with the bad haircut and dismal fashion sense." "Oh, shut up," she replied, but it was more automatic than heartfelt. "I meant to call before I went to sleep. See if he got home okay." Shaking his head, Jace regarded the heavens as if they were about to open up and reveal the secrets of the universe. "With everything that's going on, you're worried about Weasel Face?" "Don't call him that. He doesn't look like a weasel." "You may be right," said Jace. "I've met an attractive weasel or two in my time. He looks more like a rat.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
What if you had faith and performed good works, what if you died and went to heaven, and what if all the people you met there were people you didn't like?
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
Reckless,” he said. “You know, when I first showed up at the Institute, Alec called me reckless so many times that I went and looked it up in the dictionary
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
At least you died and went to heaven
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
You went shopping with Rebecca?' 'Yep,' I said, pulling the shoes out of the box. His brows went to the heavens. 'Wow, those are like…Jenn shoes.' 'These are not hooker shoes,' I said defensively. 'Well played,' he said.
Karina Halle
To get back up to the shining world from there My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel, And Following its path, we took no care To rest, but climbed: he first, then I-so far, through a round aperture I saw appear Some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears, Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.
Dante Alighieri (Inferno)
I have loved in life and I have been loved. I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar, and have been raised above life's joy and sorrow. My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it. My heart has been rent and joined again; My heart has been broken and again made whole; My heart has been wounded and healed again; A thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet. I went through hell and saw there love's raging fire, and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love. I wept in love and made all weep with me; I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men; And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes. The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear; With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved, I shook the throne of God in heaven. I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of love, "Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret." She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear, "My dear one, thou thyself art love, art lover, and thyself art the beloved whom thou hast adored.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Dance of the Soul)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Had he known his death was imminent, he might have gone somewhere else. Instead, he did what we all do. He went about his dull routine as if all the days in the world were still to come.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distilate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, not the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
If we believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God and that He came into this world and went to the cross of Calvary and died for our sins and rose again in order to justify us and to give us life anew and prepare us for heaven-if you really believe that, there is only one inevitable deduction, namely that He is entitled to the whole of our lives, without any limit whatsoever.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)
Oh, for heaven's sake, Harper, I didn't just pee on the floor. My water broke.' 'What water?' He blinked, then went pale as a corpse. 'That water. Oh, God. Oh, Jesus. Oh, shit. Sit. Sit, or... I'll get-' An ambulance. The marines. 'My mother.
Nora Roberts (Blue Dahlia (In the Garden, #1))
Captain Roberts went to Heaven, which wasn't everything that he'd expected, and as the receding water gently marooned the wreck of the Sweet Judy on the forest floor, only one soul was left alive. Or possibly two, if you like parrots.
Terry Pratchett (Nation)
When the weather's nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie's grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I don't enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetery. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn't too bad when the sun was out, but twice—twice—we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetery started running like hell over to their cars. That's what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner—everybody except Allie. I couldn't stand it. I know it's only his body and all that's in the cemetery, and his soul's in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn't stand it anyway. I just wished he wasn't there.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I was surrounded by heaven. The sun, the moon, the earth, and all those living stars. They wen't static like in pictures taken from impossibly far away- they breathed, they glowed. They were future and past, possibility and memory. They were beautiful. "I never knew there were so many," I whispered. We are merely pieces of a grander design, even more insignificant than I imagined. When the earth ceases to be, all those stars will shine on. Out deaths will mean nothing to them. "I feel so small." No one replied. I wondered as I watched the stars, really seeing them for the fist time, whether they could see me, too.
Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants)
Heaven to be the first one up and to eat breakfast all alone.
Katharine Hepburn (The Making of The African Queen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind)
Saying that, he was suddenly himself again, despite his lunatic hair and eyes: a man whose personal dignity went so deep as to be nearly invisible... It was more than diginity. Integrity? Wholeness? Like a block of wood not carved. The infinite possibility, the unlimited and unqualified wholeness of being of the uncommitted, the nonacting, the uncarved: the being who, being nothing but himself, is everything.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Lathe of Heaven)
All right, sweetheart; here's your last question, and it's a real challenge, so don't let yourself get distracted by these jealous women. To make sure all twelve of our future children are going to be legitimate, what New York City football team did Joe Namath play for?" Gracie's face fell. Lord. Any fool should know the answer to this one. New York City... What football team was from New York City? Her expression brightened. "The New York City YANKEES!" A roar of laughter went up from the crowd, accompanied by more than a few loud groans. Bobby Tom silenced them all with a glare. At the same time, the glitter in his eyes dared any of them to contradict her. When he was certain everyone understood the message, he turned back to Gracie and gathered her into his arms. With a tender look and a gentle brush of his lips, he said "Exactly right, sweetheart. I had no idea you knew so much about football" And that was how every last person in Telarosa, Texas, came to understand that Bobby Tom Denton had finally and forever fallen head over heels in love.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2))
But the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell)
The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon, and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared. Soon, however, they too began to pale before a splendour in the east, and the advent of the dawn declared itself in the newborn blue of heaven. Quieter and yet more quiet grew the sea, quiet as the soft mist that brooded on her bosom, and covered up her troubling, as in our tempestuous life the transitory wreaths of sleep brook upon a pain-racked soul, causing it to forget its sorrow. From the east to the west sped those angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light from breast and wing. On they sped out of the darkness, perfect, glorious; on, over the quiet sea, over the low coast-line, and the swamps beyond, and the mountains above them; over those who slept in peace and those who woke in sorrow; over the evil and the good; over the living and the dead; over the wide world and all that breathes or as breathed thereon.
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
Let me guess, Jessie. You ran across some poor woman in the park who had the misfortune of wearing a gown that clashed with yours, so you slit her throat with that clever little parasol of yours. Do I have it right?” Jessamine bared her teeth at him. “You’re being ridiculous.” “You are, you know,” Charlotte told him. “I mean, I’m wearing blue. Blue goes with everything,” Jessamine went on. “Which, really, you ought to know. You’re vain enough about your own clothes.” “Blue does not go with everything,” Will told her. “It does not go with red, for instance.” “I have a red and blue striped waistcoat,” Henry interjected, reaching for the peas. “And if that isn’t proof that those two colors should never be seen together under Heaven, I don’t know what is.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Trouble didn’t just come in threes: it gathered passengers as it went, and crashed nastily into bystanders.
C.J. Cherryh (Forge of Heaven (The Gene Wars, #2))
Elli, don’t cry!” “I’m sorry,” she said, sniffing as she tried to stop crying, “You’re like a dream, Shea, no one does that anymore.” “Sure they do, come here.” She went into his arms willingly, rubbing her nose against his shirt, taking in his heavenly scent. “I meant every word, Elli. You’re amazing.” How in the world did she get so lucky? And why couldn’t she believe him?
Toni Aleo (Taking Shots (Assassins, #1))
We gather here today,” said Robert, reaching out his arms expansively, “to honor my son, Alexander Gideon Lightwood, who has single-handedly destroyed the forces of the Endarkened and who defeated in battle the son of Valentine Morgenstern. Alec saved the life of our third son, Max. Along with his parabatai, Jace Herondale, I am proud to say that my son is one of the greatest warriors I have ever known.” He turned and smiled at Alec and Magnus. “It takes more than a strong arm to make a great warrior,” he went on. “It takes a great mind and a great heart. My son has both. He is strong in courage, and strong in love. Which is why I also wanted to share our other good news with you. As of yesterday, my son became engaged to be married to his partner, Magnus Bane—” A chorus of cheers broke out. Magnus accepted them with a modest wave of his fork. Alec slid down in his chair, his cheeks burning. Jace looked at him meditatively. “Congratulations,” he said. “I kind of feel like I missed an opportunity.” “W-what?” Alec stammered. Jace shrugged. “I always knew you had a crush on me, and I kind of had a crush on you, too. I thought you should know.” “What?” Alec said again. Clary sat up straight. “You know,” she said, “do you think there’s any chance that you two could ...” She gestured between Jace and Alec. “It would be kind of hot.” “No,” Magnus said. “I am a very jealous warlock.” “We’re parabatai,” Alec said, regaining his voice. “The Clave would—I mean—it’s illegal.” “Oh, come on,” said Jace. “The Clave would let you do anything you wanted. Look, everyone loves you.” He gestured out at the room full of Shadowhunters. They were all cheering as Robert spoke, some of them wiping away tears. A girl at one of the smaller tables held up a sign that said, ALEC LIGHTWOOD, WE LOVE YOU.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I’d once heard a spiritual “riddle” that went like this: “What’s the only thing in heaven that’s the same as it was on earth?” The answer: the wounds in Jesus’ hands and feet.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
Julian,” said Jia, in the same gentle voice, “would you do something for us? Would you take up the Mortal Sword?” Clary sat up straight. She had held the Mortal Sword: she had felt the weight of it. The cold, like hooks in your skin, dragging the truth out of you. You couldn’t lie holding the Mortal Sword, but the truth, even a truth you wanted to tell, was agony. “They can’t,” she whispered. “He’s just a kid —” “He’s the oldest of the kids who escaped the Institute,” Jace said under his breath. “They don’t have a choice.” Julian nodded, his thin shoulders straight. “I’ll take it.” Robert Lightwood passed behind the podium then and went to the table. He took up the sword and returned to stand in front of Julian. The contrast between them was almost funny: the big, barrel-chested man and the lanky, wild-haired boy. Julian reached a hand up and took the sword. As his hand closed around the hilt, he shuddered, a ripple of pain that was quickly forced down. Emma, behind him, started forward, and Clary caught a glimpse of the look on her face — pure fury — before Helen caught at her and pulled her back.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
And then I stand in front of God's Throne squinting up at His blazing glory and He says, 'You had your opportunities, boy. But did you listen? No. You went on heedlesly reading that garbagey magazine with pictures of naked girls in it. How juvenile! I gave geese more sense than that.' Please, God. I'm only fourteen years old. A teenager. Have mercy. Be loving. I was,' says God. 'For eons. And look at what it got me. You.' God turns in disgust, just the way Daddy does. 'Sorry, but I'm the Creator. I take it personally. There are slugs and bugs and night-crawlers I feel better about having created - I mean, there are sparrows - I've got my eye on one right now. Is that sparrow consumed with lust? No. He mates in the spring and that's the end of it. Consider the lilies. Do they think about lily tits all the time? No. They look not and they lust not, and yet I say unto you that you will never be half as attractive as they. Therefore, I say unto you, think not about peckers and boobs and all that nonsense and your Heavenly Father will see that you meet a good woman and marry her, just as I do for the sparrow and walleye - yea verily, even the night-crawler and the eelpout. But I've told you this over and over for nineteen centuries. And now, verily, it's too late. Time's up, buster. Lights out! Game's over!
Garrison Keillor
That a good man may have his back to the wall is no more than we knew already, but that God could have His back to the wall is a boast for all insurgents forever. Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel as well as a king. Alone of all creeds, Christianity has added courage to the virtues of the Creator. For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point -- and does not break. In this indeed I approach a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss; and I apologize in advance if any of my phrases fall wrong or seem irreverent touching a matter which the greatest saints and thinkers have justly feared to approach. But in the terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt. It is written, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." No; but the Lord thy God may tempt Himself; and it seems as if this was what happened in Gethsemane. In a garden Satan tempted man: and in a garden God tempted God. He passed in some superhuman manner through our human horror of pessimism. When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
What if you slept And what if In your sleep You dreamed And what if In your dream You went to heaven And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower And what if When you awoke You had that flower in your hand Ah, what then? — SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
He gazed up at the blue sky and knew that heaven—at least in this life—was neither a time nor a place to be grasped and made into a possession. It came in fleeting moments and then went away again to leave one nostalgic and yearning and on the verge of tears. Very much on the verge of tears. And very frightened.
Mary Balogh (Thief of Dreams)
Her religious beliefs went first, for all she could ask of a god, or of immortality, was the gift of a place where daughters love their mothers; the other attributes of Heaven you could have for a song.
Thornton Wilder (The Bridge of San Luis Rey)
They were all on the volleyball team together and tall and fit as colts and when they went for runs it was what the track team might have looked like in terrorist heaven.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
Wherever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being 'disturbers of the peace' and 'outside agitators.' But they went on with the conviction that they were a 'colony of heaven' and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be 'astronomically intimidated.' They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest. Things are different now. The contemporary Church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the archsupporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
I had a dog who loved flowers. Briskly she went through the fields, yet paused for the honeysuckle or the rose, her dark head and her wet nose touching the face of every one with its petals of silk with its fragrance rising into the air where the bees, their bodies heavy with pollen hovered - and easily she adored every blossom not in the serious careful way that we choose this blossom or that blossom the way we praise or don't praise - the way we love or don't love - but the way we long to be - that happy in the heaven of earth - that wild, that loving.
Mary Oliver
He was not quite sure how to phrase it, so he finally went with, haltingly, “I don’t enjoy being at the center of attention.” Her head tilted to the side, she regarded him for a long moment before saying, “No. You don’t.” And then: “You were always a tree.” “I beg your pardon?” Her eyes grew sentimental. “When we performed our awful pantomimes as children. You were always a tree.” “I never had to say anything.” “And you always got to stand at the back.” He felt himself smile, lopsided and true. “I rather liked being a tree.” “You were a very good tree.” She smiled then, too—a radiant, wondrous thing. “The world needs more trees.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
This one kid Mark at the party that gave me this came out of nowhere looked at the sky and told me to see the stars. So, I looked up, and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball, and Mark said that the amazing white stars were really only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing of a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anyhting but doensn't hurt your eyes.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? —SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Wayne W. Dyer (Real Magic: Creating Miracles in Everyday Life)
You didn't get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father... Rabazzo didn't die for nothing, you know. He sacrificed for his country, and his family knew it, and his kid brother went on to become a good soldier and a great man because he was inspired by it. I didn't die for nothing, either. That night, we might have all driven over that land mine. Then the four of use would have been gone.' Eddie shook his head. 'But you...' He lowered his voice. 'You lost your life.' The Captain smacked his tongue on his teeth. 'That's the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it onto someone else... I shot you, all right... and you lost something, but you gained something as well. You just don't know that yet. I gained something, too... I got to keep my promise. I didn't leave you behind.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
People went up and down Sixth Avenue with the word motherfucker in their heads. They felt no emotions, had no sensation of life, love, or the pursuit of happiness, but only the knowledge of being stuck between a Thursday and a Saturday, air and things, this thought and the next, philosophy and action; birth, death, God, the devil, heaven, and hell. There was no escape, ever, was what people felt.
Tao Lin (Bed)
Vimes died. The sun dropped out of the sky, giant lizards took over the world, and the stars exploded and went out and all hope vanished and gurgled into the sinktrap of oblivion. And gas filled the firmament and combusted and behold! There was a new heaven - or possibly not. And Disc and Io and and possibly verily life crawled out of the sea - or possibly didn't because it had been made by the gods, and lizards turned to less scaly lizards - or possibly did not. And lizards turned into birds and bugs turned into butterflies and a species of apple turned into banana and a kind of monkey fell out of a tree and realised life was better when you didn't have to spend your time hanging onto something. And in only a few billion years evolved trousers and ornamental stripey hats. Lastly the game of Crocket. And there, magically reincarnated, was Vimes, a little dizzy, standing on the village green looking into the smiling countenance of an enthusiast.
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8))
I thought ... that I was carried in the will of Him I love, but now I see that I walk with it. I thought that the good things He sent drew me into them as the waves lift the islands; but now I see that it is I who plunge into them with my own legs and arms, as when we go swimming. I feel as if I were living in that roofless world of [Earth] where men walk undefended beneath naked heaven. It is a delight with terror in it! One's own self to be walking from one good to another, walking beside Him as Himself may walk, not even holding hands. How has He made me so separate from Himself? How did it enter His mind to conceive such a thing? The world is so much larger than I thought. I thought we went along paths--but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.
C.S. Lewis (Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2))
Honoria had a plan. It had come to her in church that morning. (The ladies went; the gentlemen somehow managed to get out of it.) It wasn’t terribly complicated; she needed only a sunny day, a halfway acceptable sense of direction, and a shovel.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Soon a gentle light stole over the heavens, and gave me a sensation of pleasure. I started up, and beheld a radiant form rise from among the trees.* I gazed with a kind of wonder. It moved slowly, but it enlightened my path ; and I again went out. * The moon.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
We were born between blood and gunpowder; and between blood and gunpowder we were raised. Every so often the powerful from other lands came to rob us of tomorrow. For this reason it was written in a war song that unites us: "If a foreigner with his step ever dares to profane your land, think, Oh beloved motherland, that heaven gave you a soldier in each son." For this reason we fought. With flags and different languages the foreigner came to conquer us. He came and he went.
Subcomandante Marcos
What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth--the filth, the war, the poverty--was that life could be capable of small beauties. He wasn't interested in a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
i was dead i came alive i was tears i became laughter all because of love when it arrived my temporal life from then on changed to eternal love said to me you are not crazy enough you don’t fit this house i went and became crazy crazy enough to be in chains love said you are not intoxicated enough you don’t fit the group i went and got drunk drunk enough to overflow with light-headedness love said you are still too clever filled with imagination and skepticism i went and became gullible and in fright pulled away from it all love said you are a candle attracting everyone gathering every one around you i am no more a candle spreading light i gather no more crowds and like smoke i am all scattered now love said you are a teacher you are a head and for everyone you are a leader i am no more not a teacher not a leader just a servant to your wishes love said you already have your own wings i will not give you more feathers and then my heart pulled itself apart and filled to the brim with a new light overflowed with fresh life now even the heavens are thankful that because of love i have become the giver of light
Rumi
She hoped that her baby was happy and would be waiting for her when she herself left Botswana and went to heaven. Would Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni get round to naming a wedding date before then? She hoped so, although he certainly seemed to be taking his time. Perhaps they could get married in heaven, if he left it too late. That would certainly be cheaper.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4))
Tortolita, let me tell you a story,” Estevan said. “This is a South American, wild Indian story about heaven and hell.” Mrs. Parsons made a prudish face, and Estevan went on. “If you go visit hell, you will see a room like this kitchen. There is a pot of delicious stew on the table, with the most delicate aroma you can imagine. All around, people sit, like us. Only they are dying of starvation. They are jibbering and jabbering,” he looked extra hard at Mrs. Parsons, “but they cannot get a bit of this wonderful stew God has made for them. Now, why is that?” “Because they’re choking? For all eternity?” Lou Ann asked. Hell, for Lou Ann, would naturally be a place filled with sharp objects and small round foods. “No,” he said. “Good guess, but no. They are starving because they only have spoons with very long handles. As long as that.” He pointed to the mop, which I had forgotten to put away. “With these ridiculous, terrible spoons, the people in hell can reach into the pot but they cannot put the food in their mouths. Oh, how hungry they are! Oh, how they swear and curse each other!” he said, looking again at Virgie. He was enjoying this. “Now,” he went on, “you can go and visit heaven. What? You see a room just like the first one, the same table, the same pot of stew, the same spoons as long as a sponge mop. But these people are all happy and fat.” “Real fat, or do you mean just well-fed?” Lou Ann asked. “Just well-fed,” he said. “Perfectly, magnificently well-fed, and very happy. Why do you think?” He pinched up a chunk of pineapple in his chopsticks, neat as you please, and reached all the way across the table to offer it to Turtle. She took it like a newborn bird.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1))
Lying on her side, the warm fire at her feet, Helen's laughter died away as Lucas suddenly went from tuning to playing. It was like an orchestra in an instrument. He played with both hands-not one hand picking and the other holding down strings-but with both hands so that it sounded like more than one guitar was playing. Sometimes he hit the strings to make them hum like a harp, and sometimes he hit the body of the guitar like a drum to add bass and keep time. It was the most fascinating thing Helen had ever watched, like Lucas had a dozen voices in his head, all singing the same song, and he'd figured a way to make them come out of ten fingers. Helen looked at his face and could tell why he loved it. It was like thinking for him, only this was a puzzle that he could share with her as he solved it. He'd walked into her head when he'd come to her world. And she'd walked into his when she finally heard him play. It was heaven.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
Instead, he did what we all do. He went about his dull routine as if all the days in the world were still to come.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
One of my favorite quotes is from humorist Will Rogers, who said, “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.
Jennifer Skiff (The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend)
Philosophy cannot be taught; it is the application of the sciences to truth; it is like the golden cloud in which the Messiah went up into heaven.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Normal Seven went to Heaven where he immediately tripped and fell! God said, ‘Gee you’re too Normal for me’ and sent him straight to hell!
T.J. Klune (Burn (Elementally Evolved, #1))
I went to heaven, - 'Twas a small town, Lit with a ruby, Lathed with down. Stiller than the fields At the full dew, Beautiful as pictures No man drew. People like the moth, Of mechlin, frames, Duties of gossamer, And eider names. Almost contented I could be 'Mong such unique Society.
Emily Dickinson (Selected Poems)
No, dear, but speaking of Father reminded me how much I miss him, how much I owe him, and how faithfully I should watch and work to keep his little daughters safe and good for him. Yet you told him to go, Mother, and didn’t cry when he went, and never complain now, or seem as if you needed any help, said Jo, wondering. I gave my best to the country I love, and kept my tears till he was gone. Why should I complain, when we both have merely done our duty and will surely be the happier for it in the end? If I don’t seem to need help, it is because I have a better friend, even than Father, to comfort and sustain me. My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but my become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
I was dead I came alive I was tears I became laughter All because of love when it arrived my temporal life from then on changed to eternal Love said to me you are not crazy enough you don’t fit this house I went and became crazy crazy enough to be in chains Love said you are not intoxicated enough you don’t fit the group I went and got drunk drunk enough to overflow with light-headedness Love said you are still too clever filled with imagination and skepticism I went and became gullible and in fright pulled away from it all Love said you are a candle attracting everyone gathering every one around you I am no more a candle spreading light I gather no more crowds and like smoke I am all scattered now Love said you are a teacher you are a head and for everyone you are a leader I am no more not a teacher not a leader just a servant to your wishes Love said you already have your own wings I will not give you more feathers And then my heart pulled itself apart and filled to the brim with a new light overflowed with fresh life Now even the heavens are thankful that because of love I have become the giver of light
Rumi
Her voice was trained, supple as leather, precise as a knife thrower's blade. Singing or talking, it had the same graceful quality, and an accent I thought at first was English, but then realized was the old-fashioned American of a thirties movie, a person who could get away with saying 'grand.' Too classic, they told her when she went out on auditions. It didn't mean old. It meant too beautiful for the times, when anything that lasted longer than six months was considered passe. I loved to listen to her sing, or tell me stories about her childhood in suburban Connecticut, it sounded like heaven.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Trouble fell like rain from the heavens, and we just couldn't get enough of it. We went around picking up the stuff and cramming our pockets full of it. Even now I can't figure out why we persisted in doing that. Maybe we mistook it for something else.
Haruki Murakami (Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2))
When I was a young man and very well thought of, I couldn't ask aught that the ladies denied. I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins, And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them know The secret I shelter and savor and save I wait for the one who will see through my seeming, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens; The ladies went by me like snow on the wind. I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled, And I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them see There's part of me pure as the whisk of a wave. My lady is late but she'll find I've been faithful, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' At last came a lady both knowing and tender, Saying, 'you're not at all what they take you to be.' I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking, And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea. And I say to myself when there's time for a word, As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved, 'Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Kit: Gone on where? Is he in Heaven? I mean, it seems so unlikely. Jessamine: Christopher! Kit: Seriously, You didn't know him. Jessamine: I don't know what comes after death. Tessa used to come and ask me too. She wanted to know where Will was. But he didn't linger - he died happy and at peace, and he went on. I am not like Charon. I am no ferryman. I cannot say what lies on the other side of the river. Kit: It could be awful. It could be torture forever. Jessamine: It could be. But I don't think so.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
The power-hungry wanter their followers to believe that heaven was a place to which some people - and only people - went after death, a place that could be reached by those who had the approval of their organizations. So not even the perfected spirits were able to restore the wholeness of truth, because of interference by the human ego.
Benjamin Hoff
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
We went up and up into the heavens until people were just dots below us. As we hung right at the top--the twinkling electric lights below mingling with the stars--Father said something I will never forget. He said, 'See here, Queenie. Look around. You've got the whole world at your feet, lass.
Andrea Levy
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," the long out-of-print science fiction writer went on.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Sometimes Holly seemed like she wasn't paying attention, and other times she was gone when I went looking for her. That was when she went to a part of heaven we didn't share. I missed her then, but it was and odd sort of missing because by then I knew the meaning of forever. I could not have what I wanted most: Mr. Harvey dead and me living. Heaven wasn't perfect. But I came to believe that if I watched closely, and desired, I might change the lives of those I loved on Earth.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
I told him God didn’t invent grocery stores. He told me that I had no proof of this, and wouldn’t I feel stupid when I died and went to heaven and saw God’s Food Mart? I told him that was a dumb name for a grocery store. He told me that I couldn’t do any better. I told him God’s grocery store was named God’s Amazing Food Emporium and that they had weekly specials on the Body Of Christ Sourdough bread loaves. He told me I was sacrilegious. I told him we weren’t any kind of religious.
T.J. Klune (Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1))
It’s one thing to explain to an eleven-year-old that there’s no way to know if Anne Frank went to heaven or hell, quite another to explain why such a question might have been an inappropriate one to pose at a bridal shower in front of the church ladies. But such was the nature of my small talk. Had I inherited more of my mother’s beauty and charm or shared some of my sister’s virtue, I might have gotten away with it, but instead I struggled through the trappings of Southern religious culture where a good Christian girl is expected to at least talk about the weather or football before getting to eternal damnation.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Where my soul went during that swoon I cannot tell. Whatever she saw, or wherever she travelled in her trance on that strange night she kept her own secret; never whispering a word to Memory, and baffling imagination by an indissoluble silence. She may have gone upward, and come in sight of her eternal home, hoping for leave to rest now, and deeming that her painful union with matter was at last dissolved. While she so deemed, an angel may have warned her away from heaven's threshold, and, guiding her weeping down, have bound her, once more, all shuddering and unwilling, to that poor frame, cold and wasted, of whose companionship she was grown more than weary. I know she re-entered her prison with pain, with reluctance, with a moan and a long shiver. The divorced mates, Spirit and Substance, were hard to re-unite: they greeted each other, not in an embrace, but a racking sort of struggle.
Charlotte Brontë
There’s no way out of this cycle, Daniel,” Cam went on. “She can’t break it, and neither can you. Pick Heaven, pick Hell, I don’t really care and you don’t, either. It won’t make any difference—
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
SATAN, n. One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. "There is one favor that I should like to ask," said he. "Name it." "Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws." "What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul—you ask for the right to make his laws?" "Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself." It was so ordered.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
...poor examples because of mechanical needs of typing, of the flow of river sounds, words, dark, leading to the future and attesting to the madness, hollowness, ring and roar of my mind which blessed or unblessed is where trees sing -- in a funny wind -- well-being believes he'll go to heaven -- a word to the wise is enough -- 'Smart went Crazy
Jack Kerouac (The Subterraneans)
I smoothed Colton’s blanket across his chest and tucked him in snug the way he liked—and for the first time since he started talking about heaven, I intentionally tried to trip him up. “I remember you saying you stayed with Pop,” I said. “So when it got dark and you went home with Pop, what did you two do?” Suddenly serious, Colton scowled at me. “It doesn’t get dark in heaven, Dad! Who told you that?” I held my ground. “What do you mean it doesn’t get dark?” “God and Jesus light up heaven. It never gets dark. It’s always bright.” The joke was on me. Not only had Colton not fallen for the “when it gets dark in heaven” trick, but he could tell me why it didn’t get dark: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
I was fading helplessly away with open eyes, staring straight at the ceiling. Finally I stuck my forefinger in my mouth and took to sucking on it. Something began stirring in my brain, some thought in there scrabbling to get out, a stark-staring mad idea: What if I get a bite? And without a moment’s hesitation I squeezed my eyes shut and clenched my teeth together. I jumped up. I was finally awake. A little blood trickled from my finger, and I licked it off as it came. It didn’t hurt, the wound was nothing really, but I was at once brought back to my sense. I shook my head, went over to the window and found a rag for the wound. While I was fiddling with this, my eyes filled with water --- I wept softly to myself. The skinny lacerated finger looked so sad. God in heaven, to what extremity I had come!
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
And this one kid Mark at the party who gave me this come out of nowhere and looked at the sky and told me to see the stars. So, I looked up, and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball and Mark said that the amazing white stars were really only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing but a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anything but doesn't hurt your eyes.
Stephen Chbosky
Speak, thou vast and venerable head,” muttered Ahab, “which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. Of all divers, thou hast dived the deepest. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams, has moved amid this world’s foundations. Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home. Thou hast been where bell or diver never went; hast slept by many a sailor’s side, where sleepless mothers would give their lives to lay them down. Thou saw’st the locked lovers when leaping from their flaming ship; heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting wave; true to each other, when heaven seemed false to them. Thou saw’st the murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck; for hours he fell into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw; and his murderers still sailed on unharmed — while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would have borne a righteous husband to outstretched, longing arms. O head! thou hast seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one syllable is thine!
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Long before silver bells jingled, Christmas lights twinkled, and horse-drawn sleighs went dashing through the snow, God reached down from heaven with the best gift of all. Love, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Hope, nestled in a manger.
Liz Curtis Higgs (The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna)
The old tree brooded over me silently, a living thing. I heard a mouse snoring in the garden weeds. The rooftops of Berkeley looked like pitiful living meat sheltering grieving phantoms from the enternality of the heavens which they feared to face. By the time I went to bed I wasn't taken in by no Princess or no desire for no Princess and nobody's disapproval and I felt glad and slept well.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
For about a whole month, at least, whenever anybody said anything that sounded campusy or phony, or that smelled to high heaven of ego or something like that, I at least kept quiet about it. I went to the movies or I stayed in the library all hours or I started writing papers like made on Restoration Comedy and stuff like that—but at least I had the pleasure of not hearing my own voice for a while.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Dante was standing near the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge that crosses the Arno River in Florence. It was just before 1300… Dante saw Beatrice standing on the bridge. He was a young man, she even younger, and that vision contained the whole of eternity for him. Dante did not speak to her and saw her very little. And then Beatrice died, carried off by plague. Dante was stricken with the loss of his vision. She was the connection between his soul and Heaven itself, and from it the Divine Comedy was born. Six hundred fifty years later, during World War II, the Americans were chasing the German army up the Italian peninsula. The Germans were blowing up everything of aid to the progression of the American army, including the bridges across the Arno River. But no one wanted to blow up the Ponte Vecchio, because Beatrice had stood on it and Dante had written about her. So the German commandant made radio contact with the Americans and, in plain language, said they would leave the Ponte Vecchio intact if the Americans would promise not to use it. The promise was held. The bridge was not blown up, and not one American soldier or piece of equipment went across it. We’re such hard bitten people that we need hard bitten proof of things, and this is the most hard bitten fact I know to present to you. The bridge was spared, in a modern, ruthless war, because Beatrice had stood upon it.
Robert A. Johnson (Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection)
Hope Was but a timid friend; She sat without the grated den, Watching how my fate would tend, Even as selfish-hearted men. She was cruel in her fear; Through the bars one dreary day, I looked out to see her there, And she turned her face away! Like a false guard, false watch keeping, Still, in strife, she whispered peace; She would sing while I was weeping; If I listened, she would cease. False she was, and unrelenting; When my last joys strewed the ground, Even Sorrow saw, repenting, Those sad relics scattered round; Hope, whose whisper would have given Balm to all my frenzied pain, Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven, Went, and ne'er returned again!
Emily Brontë (The Complete Poems)
The knowledge that she would never be loved in return acted upon her ideas as a tide acts upon cliffs. Her religious beliefs went first, for all she could ask of a god, or of immortality, was the gift of a place where daughters love their mothers; the other attributes of Heaven you could have for a song. Next she lost her belief in the sincerity of those about her. She secretly refused to believe that anyone (herself excepted) loved anyone. All families lived in a wasteful atmosphere of custom and kissed one another with secret indifference. She saw that the people of this world moved about in an armor of egotism, drunk with self-gazing, athirst for compliments, hearing little of what was said to them, unmoved by the accidents that befell their closest friends, in dread of all appeals that might interrupt their long communion with their own desires. These were the sons and daughters of Adam from Cathay to Peru. And when on the balcony her thoughts reached this turn, her mouth would contract with shame for she knew that she too sinned and that though her love for her daughter was vast enough to include all the colors of love, it was not without a shade of tyranny: she loved her daughter not for her daughter's sake, but for her own. She longed to free herself from this ignoble bond; but the passion was too fierce to cope with.
Thornton Wilder (The Bridge of San Luis Rey)
I kind of grew up, not in, but sort of believing in a fairy tale world. I went from place to place all my life looking for it but not finding it; at least not for me. But here, this is it! This is the best anyone could hope for. I know it’s not always sunshine and roses for you but this is like heaven to someone like me. Please don’t ever take it for granted. The love you all have for each other, it just blows my mind.
Pam Logan (How Do You Say Goodbye)
Once upon a time there was a poor child with no father and no mother everything was dead and no one was left in the whole world. Everything was dead and it went and searched day and night And since nobody was left on the earth it wanted to go up to the heavens and the moon was looking at it so friendly and when it finally got to the moon the moon was a piece of rotten wood and then it went to the sun and when it got there the sun was a wilted sunflower and when it got to the stars they were little golden flies stuck up there like the shrike sticks 'em on the blackthorn and when it wanted to go back down to earth the earth was an overturned piss pot! and was all alone.
Georg Büchner (Woyzeck)
Imagine a very long time passing - and I find my way out, following someone who already knows how to leave Hell. And God says to me on Earth for the first time, "Xas!" in a tone of discovery, as if I'm a misplaced pair of spectacles or a stray dog. And he puts it to me that he wants me in Heaven. But Lucifer has doubled back - it was him I followed - to find me, where I am, in a forest, smitten, because the Lord has noticed me, and I'm overcome, as hopeless as your dog Josie whom you got rid of because she loved me.' Xas glared at Sobran. Then he drew a breath - all had been said on only three. He went on: 'Lucifer says to God the He can't have me. And at this I sit up and tell Lucifer that I didn't even think he knew my name, then say to God no thank you - very insolent this - and that Hell is endurable so long as the books keep appearing.
Elizabeth Knox (The Vintner's Luck (Vintner's Luck, #1))
What New York City football team did Joe Namath play for?" "The New York City Yankees!" A roar of laughter went up from the crowd, accompanied by more than a few loud groans. Bobby Tom silenced them all with a glare. At the same time, the glitter in his eyes dared any of them to contradict her. When he was certain every person there understood his message, he turned back to Gracie and gathered her into his arms. With a tender look and a gentle brush of his lips, he said, "Exactly right, sweetheart. I had no idea you knew so much about football." And that was how every last person in Telarosa, Texas, came to understand that Bobby Tom Denton had finally and forever fallen head over heels in love.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2))
All night the earth and the heavens followed their usual arrangements. Stars passed: an immense tide hung over them. A silent sea raced back with the sun, its wave turn-over small, delicate and comfortless. The most glorious of all stars hung above the sun's threshold and went out. An hour later the sun governed the earth again, mist-chasing, flower-opening, bird-rousing, ghost-driving, spirit-shepherding back out the various gates of sleep.
Mary Butts (The Taverner Novels: Armed with Madness and Death of Felicity Taverner)
Jake ignored him and went on. “If I ever do hook up with anybody again - and I sincerely doubt that I will, so wipe that hopeful look off your face - it will be with someone who thinks that being with somebody who mows lawns is her idea of heaven on earth and who will do exactly what I tell her to do and love it." "I think Donna Reed is dead," Will said.
Jennifer Crusie (Manhunting)
Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared . . . and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. – 2 Kings 2:11
Robert J. Morgan (Near To The Heart Of God)
When the women went to the tomb they met someone else and in the half light they thought it was Jesus himself. Answer: they would have noticed soon enough.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
Now any King who wants to call himself my equal wherever I went let him go." Sargon the Great / Enheduanna from Heaven Earth and Time by D P BUCKLEY
Daniel Peter Buckley (Heaven Earth and Time)
This couldn’t be...did women really...? She must be wearing it wrong, because good God in heaven! It was horrible! Was the little string supposed to... She took it off, went to her laptop and Google searched “how to wear a thong.” No, she hadn’t put it on wrong. She tried again. Ow. Fantastic. This was just a twenty-five dollar version of a severe wedgie. She picked up her phone and called Allison. “Hey, Allison, I—” “You’ll get used to it,” Allison said
Kristan Higgins (In Your Dreams (Blue Heron, #4))
Inside the room it was dark now, the florescent light behind my father flickering so slightly it lit only the most obvious masses in the room. My sister was in a chair pulled up alongside the bed, her head resting on the side of it with her hand extended out to touch my father. My father, deep under, was lying on his back. My mother could not know that I was there with them, that here were the four of us, so changed now from the days when she tucked Lindsey and me into bed and went to make love to her husband, our father. Now she saw the pieces. She saw that my sister and father, together, had become a piece. She was glad of it. I had played a hide-and-seek game of love with my mother as I grew up, courting her attention and approval in a way that I had never had to with my father. I didn't have to play hide-and-seek anymore. As she stood in the darkened room and watched my sister and father, I knew one of the things that heaven meant. I had a choice, and it was not to divide my family in my heart. ~pg 154; Susie's family and heaven
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
When I was 15, I sat in despair one day in a creaky old bus that was winding its way through central Mexico (that’s another story), trying to decide if I truly believed in God. Not necessarily God with a big white beard looking down from a Biblical heaven, but some kind of sacred spirit above, beneath, and within all things. I’d always had a deep, instinctive faith (even as a small child) in a sacred dimension to life, a Mystery I didn’t need to fully define in order to know it, feel it, experience it. But recent grueling events had shaken my faith and closed that connection. Now, I realize that sitting and railing at God is practically a cliche of teenage angst; that doesn’t make the experience any less urgent at age 15, and I was in a dark place. “Okay,” I said, throwing the gauntlet down to whatever out there might be listening, “if there is something more than this, then prove it. Just prove it. Or I quit.” The bus turned a corner on the narrow, dusty road, and a gasp went up from the people around me. Above us, a rainbow arched through a bright blue, cloudless, rainless desert sky. Rainbows have been special to me ever since. I know the scientific explanation, of course, water and air and angles of sunlight and all that. But to me, they are always a message. They say: “The universe is a Mystery and you’re part of it.” And sometimes that’s all I need to hear; that’s all the answer I need, no matter what the prayer.
Terri Windling
THE FLOOD One day, there was a big flood and an old woman was trapped on her roof as the waters rose. A boat with two young men approached her and the men yelled out to her, "Lady, get off that roof and climb in this boat!" "No, it’s alright! God is going to save me!" She replied. The men thought she was crazy, but the boat left and the waters rose. A second boat came. The water was at the edge of the rooftop - same thing, "I put my faith in the Lord! God is going to save me!" And so, they left too. A third boat came, the water was up to her neck- same thing, "God is going to save me!!!!" They too left, shaking there heads. After she drowned and went to heaven, the old woman was very upset. She stood before God angrily, "My Lord, I put all my faith in you. I knew you'd save me But you didn’t!!! Why not???" God replied back- "But lady... I sent you three boats!!!" MORAL: God still works miracles today. But if you are praying for a miracle, he is not going to send you down a box wrapped in shiny, silver, foil paper with ribbon and a fancy bow wrapped around it to solve your problems. Most of the time, today, God works His miracles through people.
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
THE DEVIL. As far as I went, yes. But I will now go further, and confess to you that men get tired of everything, of heaven no less than of hell; and that all history is nothing but a record of the oscillations of the world between these two extremes. An epoch is but a swing of the pendulum; and each generation thinks the world is progressing because it is always moving. But when you are as old as I am; when you have a thousand times wearied of heaven, like myself and the Commander, and a thousand times wearied of hell, as you are wearied now, you will no longer imagine that every swing from heaven to hell is an emancipation, every swing from hell to heaven an evolution. Where you now see reform, progress, fulfilment of upward tendency, continual ascent by Man on the stepping stones of his dead selves to higher things, you will see nothing but an infinite comedy of illusion....
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
She said, "Well, that's right, she's going to heaven very soon. And now it's time for us to say good-bye to her and tell her how much we love her." Mary martha nodded and looked at the needlepoint in her hands. "Will her brain still be hurt, in heaven?" she asked. [Rebecca]....said, "Do you remember that time at the beach, when you went into the water with Gran-Gran and the waves were too big and she lifted you up over them? And you two were laughing so much and you said she was the coolest grandmother in the world?" Mary Martha smiled. "Yes" "That is how she will be in heaven," Rebecca said.
Tim Farrington (The Monk Upstairs)
For The Fallen" With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,  England mourns for her dead across the sea.  Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,  Fallen in the cause of the free.  Solemn the drums thrill;  Death august and royal  Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,  There is music in the midst of desolation  And a glory that shines upon our tears.  They went with songs to the battle, they were young,  Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.  They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;  They fell with their faces to the foe.  They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning  We will remember them.  They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;  They sit no more at familiar tables of home;  They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; They sleep beyond England's foam.  But where our desires are and our hopes profound,  Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,  To the innermost heart of their own land they are known  As the stars are known to the Night;  As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,  Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;  As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,  To the end, to the end, they remain. 
Laurence Binyon
I watched him as he lined up the ships in bottles on his deck, bringing them over from the shelves where they usually sat. He used an old shirt of my mother's that had been ripped into rags and began dusting the shelves. Under his desk there were empty bottles- rows and rows of them we had collected for our future shipbuilding. In the closet were more ships- the ships he had built with his own father, ships he had built alone, and then those we had made together. Some were perfect, but their sails browned; some had sagged or toppled over the years. Then there was the one that had burst into flames in the week before my death. He smashed that one first. My heart seized up. He turned and saw all the others, all the years they marked and the hands that had held them. His dead father's, his dead child's. I watched his as he smashed the rest. He christened the walls and wooden chair with the news of my death, and afterward he stood in the guest room/den surrounded by green glass. The bottle, all of them, lay broken on the floor, the sails and boat bodies strewn among them. He stood in the wreckage. It was then that, without knowing how, I revealed myself. In every piece of glass, in every shard and sliver, I cast my face. My father glanced down and around him, his eyes roving across the room. Wild. It was just for a second, and then I was gone. He was quiet for a moment, and then he laughed- a howl coming up from the bottom of his stomach. He laughed so loud and deep, I shook with it in my heaven. He left the room and went down two doors to my beadroom. The hallway was tiny, my door like all the others, hollow enough to easily punch a fist through. He was about to smash the mirror over my dresser, rip the wallpaper down with his nails, but instead he fell against my bed, sobbing, and balled the lavender sheets up in his hands. 'Daddy?' Buckley said. My brother held the doorknob with his hand. My father turned but was unable to stop his tears. He slid to the floor with his fists, and then he opened up his arms. He had to ask my brother twice, which he had never to do do before, but Buckley came to him. My father wrapped my brother inside the sheets that smelled of me. He remembered the day I'd begged him to paint and paper my room purple. Remembered moving in the old National Geographics to the bottom shelves of my bookcases. (I had wanted to steep myself in wildlife photography.) Remembered when there was just one child in the house for the briefest of time until Lindsey arrived. 'You are so special to me, little man,' my father said, clinging to him. Buckley drew back and stared at my father's creased face, the fine bright spots of tears at the corners of his eyes. He nodded seriously and kissed my father's cheek. Something so divine that no one up in heaven could have made it up; the care a child took with an adult. 'Hold still,' my father would say, while I held the ship in the bottle and he burned away the strings he'd raised the mast with and set the clipper ship free on its blue putty sea. And I would wait for him, recognizing the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
James Brown went to the pearly gates and met St. Peter who took him to a room where Jerry Garcia was playing and Jimi Hendricks and Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. James Brown says, “I was worried maybe I was going to hell, but I guess not.” Jerry Garcia says “You think this is heaven?” Just then Lawrence Welk walked in and says “All right, one more time. ‘The Anniversary Waltz.’ And a one and a two and a one, two, three…
Garrison Keillor (Pretty Good Joke Book: 5th Edition)
He makes up the most remarkable yarns - and then his mother shuts him up in the closet for telling stories. And he sits down and makes up another one, and has it ready to relate to her when she lets him out. He had one for me when he came down tonight. 'Uncle Jim,' says he, solemn as a tombstone, 'I had a 'venture in the Glen today.' 'Yes, what was it?' says I, expecting something quite startling, but no-wise prepared for what I really got. 'I met a wolf in th street,' says he, 'a 'normous wolf with a big red mouf and awful long teeth, Uncle Jim.' 'I didn't know there was any wolves at the Glen,' says I. 'Oh, he comed there from far, far away,' says Joe, 'and I fought he was going to eat me up, Uncle Jim.' 'Were you scared?' says I. 'No, 'cause I had a gun,' says Joe, 'and I shot the wolf dead, Uncle Jim - solid dead - and then he went up to heaven and bit God,' says he.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5))
This beautiful thought, of 'dying close by that which one loves', expressed in a hundred different ways, was followed by a sonnet in which it was found that the soul, separated, after atrocious torments, from the frail body in which it dwelt for twenty-three years, and impelled by that instinct for happiness natural to all that has once existed, would not reascend to heaven to mingle with angelic choirs as soon as it was set free, and in the event of the awful judgment according it forgiveness for its sins, but, happier after death than it had been in life, it would go a few steps from the prison where it had lamented for so long, to be reunited with all that it had loved in the world. And thus, the sonnet's last line went. I shall have found my paradise on earth.
Stendhal (The Charterhouse of Parma)
Along the open road on winter nights, homeless, cold, and hungry, one voice gripped my frozen heart: 'Weakness or strength: you exist, that is strength. You don't know where you are going or why you are going, go in everywhere, answer everyone. No one will kill you, any more than if you were a corpse.' In the morning my eyes were so vacant and my face so dead, that the people I met may not even have seen me. In cities, mud went suddenly red and black, like a mirror when a lamp in the next room moves, like treasure in the forest! Good luck, I cried, and I saw a sea of flames and smoke rise to heaven; and left and right, all wealth exploded like a billion thunderbolts.
Arthur Rimbaud
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea." "It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3))
I had a dog who loved flowers. Briskly she went through the fields, yet paused for the honeysuckle or the rose, her dark head and her wet nose touching the face of every one with its petals of silk, with its fragrance rising into the air where the bees, their bodies heavy with pollen, hovered— and easily she adored every blossom, not in the serious, careful way that we choose this blossom or that blossom— the way we praise or don’t praise— the way we love or don’t love— but the way we long to be— that happy in the heaven of earth— that wild, that loving.
Mary Oliver (Dog Songs)
4. The whole Icarus-flying-too-near-the-sun-and-plummeting-out-of-the-sky thing? That's real. Same with the Sirens who lure you to death with their irresistible song, and the odalisque so beautiful anyone who looks at her dies. And remember: as badass as Grendel was, Beowulf hadn't seen anything until he went up against Grendel's mother. I know, I know - I thought they were just myths too. But the fact is, sometimes, if you don't want to meet a tragic end, your only option is to avert your gaze, tie yourself to the mast with cotton in your ears, or ascend a little less close to the Vault of Heaven.
Todd Hanson (Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me)
We fell in love. We pursued that love sexually and emotionally. I don't think he's as comfortable or as open with his sexuality as I am with mine, so he ended the relationship. It was a beautiful thing, like the most perfect healthy colorful blooming flower, while it lasted, it was like a flower from heaven. Now it's like a bomb went off in my heart. I'll probably never be the same.
James Frey (Bright Shiny Morning)
The religious faith that we are born into is largely determined by the region where we live and the ethnic background of our family. In my case, I was born to an African American family in the southern region of the United States. Like most families of our description, we embraced the Baptist religious tradition. Although I went from Baptist to Buddhist, I’ve honored my family’s heritage and cherish the similarities between these two paths. Baptist teachings encouraged me to work toward attaining admission into a heavenly paradise, while Buddhism inspires me to attain the enduring and enlightened life condition of Buddhahood. Although the goals of these two spiritual paths may sound somewhat different, both focus on creating a state of indestructible, eternal happiness. To me, that is an important similarity. I’ve met people from all over the world, from many cultures and faiths, and I believe that all religious traditions share the same basic aspirations at their core—to experience everlasting joy by aligning with the positive forces of the universe. We may describe this ultimate reality as Jehovah, God, Allah, Jesus, Hashem, Tao, Brahma, the Creator, the Mystic Law, the Universe, the Force, Buddha nature, Christ consciousness, or any number of other expressions.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good (Kindle edition))
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)
It will be dark in a few hours," she said at last, anxiously. "Suppose you don't finnish it in time?" "I have finnished!" he snapped, irritated. "I've finnished a dozen times already, but I'm not happy with it." He lowered his voice to a wisper brfore he went on. "There are so many questions. Suppose the Shadow turns on you or me or the prisners once he's killed Capricorn? And is killing Capricorn really the only solution? What's going to happen to his men afterward? What do I do with them?" "What do you think? The Shadow must kill them all!" Meggie whispered back. "How else are we ever going to get back home or rescue my mother?" "Good heavens, what a heartless creature you are!" he wispered . "Kill them all! Haven't you seen how young some of them are?" He shook his head. "No! I'm not a mass murderer, I'm a writer! I'm sure I can think of some less bloodthirsty ending." And he began writing again . . . and crossing out words . . . and writing more, while outside the sun sank lower and lower until its rays were gliding the hilltops.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
After twenty-two years of marriage, we had outgrown the challenge of making something out of nothing. The nesting instincts just weren't there anymore. I no longer hyperventilated over a melon keeper that I bought at a Tupperware party. I now worshipped at the shrine of convenience and Sara Lee. Bill no longer rushed home to make bird houses in the basement. He wanted to sleep in his BarcaLounger so he wouldn't be so tired when he went to bed. It was as if we were closing the door on the years of struggle. It wasn't fun anymore.
Erma Bombeck (A Marriage Made in Heaven: Or Too Tired for an Affair)
Shortly after I started hitting some notable milestones on my Spiritual journey, I went into a thrift store that benefits veterans, My eyes were quickly drawn to a dusty and tattered image of Christ laying mixed in with some other things on a shelf. I picked it up, And on it was written these words: "If you accept it... I would give you the gift of seeing yourself as I see you..." The truth and love of that image and simple words stopped me in my tracks and opened my heart. Since then I have received a wonderful gift, to know myself as an Eternal Spiritual Being, a Child of our Loving Father in Heaven. ...And no I didn't buy it, I received the message loud and clear, So I left it there, in hopes that the image and words would speak to someone else's Soul in the same way they had spoken to mine.
Raymond D. Longoria Jr.
Life in God should be a daring adventure of love—a continuous journey of putting aside our securities to enter more profoundly into the uncharted depths of God. Too often, however, we settle for mediocrity. We follow the rules and practices of prayer but we are unwilling or, for various reasons, unable to give ourselves totally to God. To settle on the plain of mediocrity is really to settle for something less than God that leaves the heart restless and unfulfilled. A story from the desert fathers reminds us that giving oneself wholly to God can make a difference: Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”15
Ilia Delio (Franciscan Prayer)
But you do believe, don’t you," Rose implored him, "you think it’s true?" "Of course it’s true," the Boy said. "What else could there be?" he went scornfully on. "Why," he said, "it’s the only thing that fits. These atheists, they don’t know nothing. Of course there’s Hell. Flames and damnation," he said with his eyes on the dark shifting water and the lightning and the lamps going out above the black struts of the Palace Pier, "torments." "And Heaven too," Rose said with anxiety, while the rain fell interminably on. "Oh, maybe," the Boy said, "maybe.
Graham Greene (Brighton Rock)
A feeling struck me one fine day that people call ‘love’, Before that my life was empty, all I had was loneliness and sorrow… I loved the way it felt being with him, for I felt up above, Now everything was complete and nothing remained hollow… That person who cupid made me fall for, was a God descended from heavens, I loved him with all I had, a true heart and a pure soul… I thought I achieved the meaning of life, never did I felt so glad, But when he left me amidst a chaos, I had no one with me to console… I cried, it hurt, I wept and screamed, everyone called me ‘mad’, And still I wonder if in my life, that actually was his role… But a string still binds me to my past of untold vow, Some unsaid promises that linger between us even now, Although I don’t know where he went after that fateful day… I still try to convince myself every day, I know how, Each moment has been tough, each day a new challenge… Each hour passed as if it was my heart that always allowed, One more day to live without him, one more day to cherish… One more day to spend without the love of my life somehow, But he doesn’t know that one day, the girl herself would perish… Who loved him and lived each day of her life in his wait, For the man who never returned, for the man who wasn’t in her fate…
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
God created the world in seven days, but those days weren't necessarily twenty-four-hour days. Each one of His days might have been a million years long. Human time means nothing in the realm of Heaven, where clocks probably don't have hands, but golden arms, and the arms belong to God. On which day did the mammoth get created? It wasn't on the seventh day, since that was the day of rest. Quite possibly it came on the morning of the fifth an d went back out again the same afternoon. Thinking of creations come and gone in such a short amount of time makes Mawmaw sad.
Thomas Pierce (Shirley Temple Three)
She still said nothing and I purposely did not look at her because I did not wish either to press her or to embarrass her. I was in love with her, and my heart went out to her as she tried to fathom her own feelings. I felt like saying: Don't bother to explain, darling. I know it all. Instead, the calculating side of my mind was at work: the side that plotted carefully, planned to get what it wanted and nearly always succeeded.
John Bingham (Five Roundabouts to Heaven)
At home I have a blue piano. But I can’t play a note. It’s been in the shadow of the cellar door Ever since the world went rotten. Four starry hands play harmonies, The Woman in the Moon sang in her boat. Now only rats dance to the clanks. The keyboard is in bits. I wept for what is blue. Is dead. Sweet angels, I have eaten Such bitter bread. Push open The door of heaven. For me, for now- Although I am still alive- Although it is not allowed
Else Lasker-Schüler
I believed, from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song, that she was alone. And I went softly into the room. She was sitting by the fire, suckling an infant, whose tiny hand she held against her neck. Her eyes were looking down upon its face, and she sat singing to it. I was so far right, that she had no other companion. I spoke to her, and she started, and cried out. But seeing me, she called me her dear Davy, her own boy! and coming half across the room to meet me, kneeled down upon the ground and kissed me, and laid my head down on her bosom near the little creature that was nestling there, and put its hand up to my lips. I wish I had died. I wish I had died then, with that feeling in my Heart! I should have been more fit for Heaven than I ever have been since.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Facebook, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through photo slideshows at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connections of their youth through the machinery of night, who clicking and poking and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural brightness of tiny screens floating across the tops of cities contemplating likes, who bared their brains to the network and saw who got pregnant and who got fat and who’s living the life best lived by posting Instagrams of themselves staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, who passed through newly cropped profile pics with radiant cool eyes obsessing over whose ex’s new lover is the best looking ex-lover’s lover, who breaking their backs falling out of ergonomic chairs while shouting into the icy streets, Everybody look how clever I am, Look how much fun I am having, Look at this amazing party I went to, Look at how well-liked I am, Look at my effortless carefully constructed casual desperate thrown together fun, Everybody look, This is fun, Look, Look, I swear to God I am having so much fun.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Language as a Prison The Philippines did have a written language before the Spanish colonists arrived, contrary to what many of those colonists subsequently claimed. However, it was a language that some theorists believe was mainly used as a mnemonic device for epic poems. There was simply no need for a European-style written language in a decentralized land of small seaside fishing villages that were largely self-sufficient. One theory regarding language is that it is primarily a useful tool born out of a need for control. In this theory written language was needed once top-down administration of small towns and villages came into being. Once there were bosses there arose a need for written language. The rise of the great metropolises of Ur and Babylon made a common written language an absolute necessity—but it was only a tool for the administrators. Administrators and rulers needed to keep records and know names— who had rented which plot of land, how many crops did they sell, how many fish did they catch, how many children do they have, how many water buffalo? More important, how much then do they owe me? In this account of the rise of written language, naming and accounting seem to be language's primary "civilizing" function. Language and number are also handy for keeping track of the movement of heavenly bodies, crop yields, and flood cycles. Naturally, a version of local oral languages was eventually translated into symbols as well, and nonadministrative words, the words of epic oral poets, sort of went along for the ride, according to this version. What's amazing to me is that if we accept this idea, then what may have begun as an instrument of social and economic control has now been internalized by us as a mark of being civilized. As if being controlled were, by inference, seen as a good thing, and to proudly wear the badge of this agent of control—to be able to read and write—makes us better, superior, more advanced. We have turned an object of our own oppression into something we now think of as virtuous. Perfect! We accept written language as something so essential to how we live and get along in the world that we feel and recognize its presence as an exclusively positive thing, a sign of enlightenment. We've come to love the chains that bind us, that control us, for we believe that they are us (161-2).
David Byrne (Bicycle Diaries)
I once went to report on a village in Russia, a community of artists who were forced to flee the cities! I'd heard that paintings hung everywhere! I heard you couldn't see the walls through all of the paintings! They'd painted the ceilings, the 82 plates, the windows, the lampshades! Was it an act of rebellion! An act of expression! Were the paintings good, or was that beside the point! I needed to see it for myself, and I needed to tell the world about it! I used to live for reporting like that! Stalin found out about the community and sent his thugs in, just a few days before I got there, to break all of their arms! That was worse than killing them! It was a horrible sight, Oskar: their arms in crude splints, straight in front of them like zombies! They couldn't feed themselves, because they couldn't get their hands to their mouths! So you know what they did!' 'They starved?' 'They fed each other! That's the difference between heaven and hell! In hell we starve! In heaven we feed each other!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
At the first light of the dawn the loner knight asked: "Do you happen to know- the abode of The Beloved?" The skies went silent, save their mournful clouds, save their falling stars. The pilgrim gave up his glowing twig- to the gloom of the sands- and replied: “Don’t you see that poplar tree? Well, right before the tree, There is a lane that you’ll reckon, I deem. For it is greener than a heavenly dream, For it is generously shaded- with the deep blue’s of love. Well, if you See! So walk down that lane, You’ll arrive to the garden of sense; Turn to the direction of the loner lake; Listen to the genial hymn of leaves; Watch the eternal fountain- that flows from the spring of ancient myths- till you fade away- In a plain fear. When a rigid noise- Clatters into the fluid intimacy of the space, you'll find a child- on the top of a tree- next to the nest of owls- in hope of a golden egg. Well, if you See. You may be sure: The Child will show you the way. Well, If you just ask about- The Abode of The Beloved.
Sohrab Sepehri
By the time I reached the coffee-shop door, however, my self-confidence had collapsed. Panic had taken its place. I believed that I was the ugliest, dirtiest little old bum in Manhattan. If I went into the coffee shop everybody would be nauseated. They would throw me out and tell me to go to the Bowery, where I belonged. But I somehow found the courage to go in anyway - and imagine my surprise! It was a though I had died and gone to heaven! A waitress said to me, "Honeybunch, you sit right own, and I'll bring you your coffee right away." I hadn't said anything to her. So I did sit down, and everywhere I looked I saw customers of every description being received with love. To the waitress everybody was "honeybunch" and "darling" and "dear". It was like an emergency ward after a great catastrophe. It did not matter what race or class the victims belonged to. They were all given the same miracle drug, which was coffee. The catastrophe in this case, of course, was that the sun had come up again. I had the feeling that if Frankenstein's monster crashed into the coffee shop through a brick wall, all anybody would say to him was, "You sit down here, Lambchop, and I'll bring your coffee right away.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Jailbird)
She thumped her weapon (others might call it a cane, but he knew better) against the floor. “Fell off your horse?” “No, I—” “Tripped down the stairs? Dropped a bottle on your foot?” Her expression grew sly. “Or does it involve a woman?” He fought the urge to cross his arms. She was looking up at him with a bit of a smirk. She liked poking fun at her companions; she’d once told him that the best part of growing old was that she could say anything she wanted with impunity. He leaned down and said with great gravity, “Actually, I was stabbed by my valet.” It was, perhaps, the only time in his life he’d managed to stun her into silence. Her mouth fell open, her eyes grew wide, and he would have liked to have thought that she even went pale, but her skin had such an odd tone to begin with that it was hard to say. Then, after a moment of shock, she let out a bark of laughter and said, “No, really. What happened?” “Exactly as I said. I was stabbed.” He waited a moment, then added, “If we weren’t in the middle of a ballroom, I’d show you.” “You don’t say?” Now she was really interested. She leaned in, eyes alight with macabre curiosity. “Is it gruesome?” “It was,” he confirmed. She pressed her lips together, and her eyes narrowed as she asked, “And where is your valet now?” “At Chatteris House, likely nicking a glass of my best brandy.” She let out another one of her staccato barks of laughter.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
I don’t get it,” Clarence whispered to me. “We’re the only ones in the place. When are your friends supposed to get here?” “Why, bab?” asked the cream pitcher, its top opening and closing like a tiny silver mouth. “Are you thinking about asking one of the waitresses out instead?” The chuckle that followed was a little coarser than the silvery-bell variety one usually expects from invisible spirits. Clarence let out a yelp like a dog whose tail has just found its way under a foot and was halfway to the front door before I could convince him to come back. At the other end of the long room the waitresses looked up without interest, then went back to discussing particle physics or whatever else was keeping them from bringing me a glass of water
Tad Williams (The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar, #1))
There were no religious images in the churches or synagogues of our childhood that celebrated the birthing powers of women. According to religion's myths, the world was brought into being by a male God, and woman was created from man. This reversal of biological process went unchallenged. Most of us didn't even notice the absence of the mother. Although we may not have been consciously aware of her absence in bible stories and sermons, her absence was absorbed into our being. And its painful influence was intensified as we observed the design of our parents' relationship and the treatment of our mothers by our fathers and brothers. Our families mirrored the hierarchical reality of the heavens. In a society that worships a male God, the father's life is more valuable than the mother's. The activities of a man's life are more vital and necessary than the mother's intimate connections with the origins of life. The father is God.
Patricia Lynn Reilly
Having to amuse myself during those earlier years, I read voraciously and widely. Mythic matter and folklore made up much of that reading—retellings of the old stories (Mallory, White, Briggs), anecdotal collections and historical investigations of the stories' backgrounds—and then I stumbled upon the Tolkien books which took me back to Lord Dunsany, William Morris, James Branch Cabell, E.R. Eddison, Mervyn Peake and the like. I was in heaven when Lin Carter began the Unicorn imprint for Ballantine and scoured the other publishers for similar good finds, delighting when I discovered someone like Thomas Burnett Swann, who still remains a favourite. This was before there was such a thing as a fantasy genre, when you'd be lucky to have one fantasy book published in a month, little say the hundreds per year we have now. I also found myself reading Robert E. Howard (the Cormac and Bran mac Morn books were my favourites), Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and finally started reading science fiction after coming across Andre Norton's Huon of the Horn. That book wasn't sf, but when I went to read more by her, I discovered everything else was. So I tried a few and that led me to Clifford Simak, Roger Zelazny and any number of other fine sf writers. These days my reading tastes remain eclectic, as you might know if you've been following my monthly book review column in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I'm as likely to read Basil Johnston as Stephen King, Jeanette Winterson as Harlan Ellison, Barbara Kingsolver as Patricia McKillip, Andrew Vachss as Parke Godwin—in short, my criteria is that the book must be good; what publisher's slot it fits into makes absolutely no difference to me.
Charles de Lint
I’m Still Here Your heart has been heavy since that day— The day you thought I went away— I haven’t left you I never would— You just can’t see me, though I wish that you could. It might ease the pain that you feel in your heart— The pain that you’ve felt since you’ve believed us to part. Try and think of it this way, it might help you see— That I am right here with you and always will be. Remember the times we were out in the yard, You could not always see me yet I hadn’t gone far. That’s how it is now when you look for my face I’m still right beside you still filling my place. I find it to be so very sad, That seeing and believing seem to go hand in hand, The love and the loyalty the warmth that I gave, You felt them, did not see them, but you believed just the same. I walk with you now like I walked with you then— My pain is now gone and I lead once again. My eyes always following you wherever you roam— Making sure you’re okay and you’re never alone. Our time was too short yet for me it goes on— I won’t ever leave you, I’ll never be gone. I live in your heart as you live in mine— An endearing love that continues to shine. The day will come and together we’ll be, And you’ll say take me home boy, and once again I will lead. Until that day comes don’t think that I’ve gone— I’m right here beside you, and my love it lives on.
Sylvia Browne (All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love)
Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do... Perhaps the strongest case of all is this: that only one great English poet went mad, Cowper. And he was definitely driven mad by logic, by the ugly and alien logic of predestination. Poetry was not the disease, but the medicine... He was damned by John Calvin... Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion... The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits... The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason... Materialists and madmen never have doubts... Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have the mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
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 a 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 now then 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. "l'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)
One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate. I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Iris was interrupted by a resounding crash. Or not exactly a crash. More like a splintering sound. With a few pops. And twangs. “What was that?” Iris asked. “I don’t know.” Honoria craned her neck. “It sounded like—” “Oh, Honoria!” they heard Daisy shriek. “Your violin!” “What?” Honoria walked slowly toward the commotion, not quite able to put two and two together. “Oh, my heavens,” Iris said abruptly, her hand coming to her mouth. She lay a restraining hand on Honoria, as if to say—It’s better if you don’t look. “What is going on? I—” Honoria’s jaw went slack. “Lady Honoria!” Lady Danbury barked. “So sorry about your violin.” Honoria only blinked, staring down at the mangled remains of her instrument. “What? How . . . ?” Lady Danbury shook her head with what Honoria suspected was exaggerated regret. “I have no idea. The cane, you know. I must have knocked it off the table.” Honoria felt her mouth opening and closing, but no sound was emerging. Her violin didn’t look as if it had been knocked off a table. Honestly, Honoria was at a loss as to how it could have got into such a state. It was absolutely wrecked. Every string had snapped, pieces of wood were completely detached, and the chin rest was nowhere to be seen. Clearly, it had been trampled by an elephant.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Oh, how awful is truth on earth! That exquisite creature, that gentle spirit, that heaven - she was a tyrant, she was the insufferable tyrant and torture of my soul! I should be unfair to myself if I didn't say so! You imagine I didn't love her? Who can say that I did not love her! Do you see, it was a case of irony, the malignant irony of fate and nature! We were under a curse, the life of men in general is under a curse! (mine in particular). Of course, I understand now that I made some mistake! Something went wrong. Everything was clear, my plan was clear as daylight: "Austere and proud, asking for no moral comfort, but suffering in silence." And that was how it was. I was not lying, I was not lying! "She will see for herself, later on, that it was heroic, only that she had not known how to see it, and when, some day, she divines, it she will prize me ten times more and will abase herself in the dust and fold her hands in homage" - that was my plan. But I forgot something or lost sight of it. There was something I failed to manage. But, enough, enough! And whose forgiveness am I to ask now? What is done is done. By bolder, man, and have some pride! It is not your fault!... Well, I will tell the truth, I am not afraid to face the truth; it was her fault, her fault!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Gentle Spirit)
A rabbi had a conversation with the Lord about Heaven and Hell. “I will show you Hell,” said the Lord, and he led the rabbi into a room containing a large round table. The people sitting around the table were famished and desperate. In the middle of the table was an enormous pot of stew that smelled so delicious that the rabbi’s mouth watered. Each person around the table held a spoon with a very long handle. Although the long spoons just reached the pot, their handles were longer than the would-be diners’ arms: thus, unable to bring food to their lips, no one could eat. The rabbi saw that their suffering was terrible indeed. “Now I will show you Heaven,” said the Lord, and they went into another room, exactly the same as the first. There was the same large round table, the same pot of stew. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons—but here everyone was well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The rabbi could not understand. “It is simple, but it requires a certain skill,” said the Lord. “In this room, you see, they have learned to feed each other.
Irving Yalom
Meet Chester,” Katie said, holding out a plastic bag with a nervous-looking goldfish darting about in the three inches of water. “What happened to Rudy?” Christy asked. Katie had insisted they buy a goldfish on their way home from Bargain Barn last Saturday. She had situated the fish in his new, twenty-five-cent fishbowl and had named him Rudy. She talked to him every day and fed him way too much. “Rudy went to fish heaven this morning,” Katie said sadly. “Chester wants to live with us now.” “You better get him in the bowl pretty soon,” Christy said. “He looks like he’s drowning in that bag.” “Drowning, ha-ha. Very funny.” “Okay, then, he’s suffocating.
Robin Jones Gunn (As You Wish (Christy and Todd: College Years #2))
At first Christ was a man – nothing more. Mary was his mother, Joseph his father. The genealogy of his father, Joseph, was given to show that he was of the blood of David. Then the claim was made that he was the son of God, and that his mother was a virgin, and that she remained a virgin until her death. The claim was made that Christ rose from the dead and ascended bodily to heaven. It required many years for these absurdities to take possession of the minds of men. If he really ascended, why did he not do so in public, in the presence of his persecutors? Why should this, the greatest of miracles, be done in secret, in a corner? Is Christ our example? He never said a word in favor of education. He never even hinted at the existence of any science. He never uttered a word in favor of industry, economy or of any effort to better our condition in this world. He was the enemy of the successful, of the wealthy. Dives was sent to hell, not because he was bad, but because he was rich. Lazarus went to heaven, not because he was good, but because he was poor. Christ cared nothing for painting, for sculpture, for music – nothing for any art. He said nothing about the duties of nation to nation, of king to subject; nothing about the rights of man; nothing about intellectual liberty or the freedom of speech. He said nothing about the sacredness of home; not one word for the fireside; not a word in favor of marriage, in honor of maternity. He never married. He wandered homeless from place to place with a few disciples. None of them seem to have been engaged in any useful business, and they seem to have lived on alms. All human ties were held in contempt; this world was sacrificed for the next; all human effort was discouraged. God would support and protect. At last, in the dusk of death, Christ, finding that he was mistaken, cried out: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? We have found that man must depend on himself. He must clear the land; he must build the home; he must plow and plant; he must invent; he must work with hand and brain; he must overcome the difficulties and obstructions; he must conquer and enslave the forces of nature to the end that they may do the work of the world.
Robert G. Ingersoll
O where are you going with your love-locks flowing On the west wind bellowing along this valley track?” “The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye, We shall escape the uphill by never turning back.” So they two went together in glowing August weather, The honey-breathing heather lay to their left and right; And dear she was to doat on, her swift feet seemed to float on The air like soft twin pigeons too sportive to alight. “Oh, what is that in heaven where grey cloud-flakes are seven, Where blackest clouds hang riven just at the rainy skirt?” “Oh, that’s a meteor sent us, a message dumb, portentous, An undeciphered solemn signal of help or hurt>” “Oh, what is that glides quickly where velvet flowers grow thickly, Their scent comes rich and sickly?” “A scaled and hooded worm.” ”Oh, what’s that in the hollow, so pale I quake to follow?” “Oh, that’s a thin dead body which waits the eternal term.” “Turn again, O my sweetest,--turn again, false and fleetest: This beaten way thou beatest, I fear is hell’s own track.” “Nay, too steep for hill mounting; nay, too late for cost counting: This downhill path is easy, but there’s no turning back.
Christina Rossetti (Goblin Market, the Prince's Progress and Other Poems)
She huddled next to Daniel in the Meadow, basking in the warmth of a burgeoning love that was pure and sustaining, as Daniel’s name rang out across the Meadow. He had been called. He rose above the riot of angelic light and said with calm self-possession, “With respect, I will not do this. I will not choose Lucifer’s side, nor will I choose the side of Heaven.” A roar went up from the vast camps of angels, from those who stood beside the Throne, from Lucifer most of all. Lucinda had been stunned. “Instead, I choose love,” Daniel went on. “I choose love and leave you to your war. You’re wrong to bring this upon us,” Daniel said to Lucifer. Then, to the Throne: “All that is good in Heaven and on Earth is made of love. Maybe that wasn’t your plan when you created the universe-maybe love was just one aspect of a complicated and brutal world. But love was the best thing you made, and it has become the only thing worth saving. This war is not just. This war is not good. Love is the only thing worth fighting for.” The Meadow fell silent after Daniel’s words. Most of the angels looked dumbfounded, as if they did not understand what Daniel meant. It had not been Lucinda’s turn. The angels’ names were called by the celestial secretaries according to their rank, and Lucinda was one of a handful of angels higher than Daniel. It didn’t matter. They were a team. She rose to his side in the Meadow. “There should never have to be a choice between love and You,” Lucinda declared to the Throne. “Maybe one day You will find a way to reconcile adoration and the true love You have made us capable of. But if forced to choose, I must stand beside my love. I choose Daniel and will choose him forevermore.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
But can't you even imagine what it must feel like to have a true home? I don't mean heaven. I mean a real earthly home. Not some fortress you bought and built up and have to keep everybody locked in or out. A real home. Not some place you went to and invaded and slaughtered people to get. Not some place you claimed, snatched because you got the guns. Not some place you stole from the people living there, but your own home, where if you go back past your great-great-grandparents, past theirs, and theirs, past the whole of Western history, past the beginning of organized knowledge, past pyramids and poison bows, on back to when rain was new, before plants forgot they could sing and birds thought they were fish, back when God said Good! Good!-- there, right there where you know your own people were born and lived and died. Imagine that, Pat. That place. Who was God talking to if not to my people living in my home?" "You preaching, Reverend." "No, I'm talking to you, Pat. I'm talking to you.
Toni Morrison (Paradise)
This afternoon, being on Fair Haven Hill, I heard the sound of a saw, and soon after from the Cliff saw two men sawing down a noble pine beneath, about forty rods off. I resolved to watch it till it fell, the last of a dozen or more which were left when the forest was cut and for fifteen years have waved in solitary majesty over the sprout-land. I saw them like beavers or insects gnawing at the trunk of this noble tree, the diminutive manikins with their cross-cut saw which could scarcely span it. It towered up a hundred feet as I afterward found by measurement, one of the tallest probably in the township and straight as an arrow, but slanting a little toward the hillside, its top seen against the frozen river and the hills of Conantum. I watch closely to see when it begins to move. Now the sawers stop, and with an axe open it a little on the side toward which it leans, that it may break the faster. And now their saw goes again. Now surely it is going; it is inclined one quarter of the quadrant, and, breathless, I expect its crashing fall. But no, I was mistaken; it has not moved an inch; it stands at the same angle as at first. It is fifteen minutes yet to its fall. Still its branches wave in the wind, as it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree, the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid. The silvery sheen of the sunlight is reflected from its needles; it still affords an inaccessible crotch for the squirrel’s nest; not a lichen has forsaken its mast-like stem, its raking mast,—the hill is the hulk. Now, now’s the moment! The manikins at its base are fleeing from their crime. They have dropped the guilty saw and axe. How slowly and majestic it starts! as it were only swayed by a summer breeze, and would return without a sigh to its location in the air. And now it fans the hillside with its fall, and it lies down to its bed in the valley, from which it is never to rise, as softly as a feather, folding its green mantle about it like a warrior, as if, tired of standing, it embraced the earth with silent joy, returning its elements to the dust again. But hark! there you only saw, but did not hear. There now comes up a deafening crash to these rocks , advertising you that even trees do not die without a groan. It rushes to embrace the earth, and mingle its elements with the dust. And now all is still once more and forever, both to eye and ear. I went down and measured it. It was about four feet in diameter where it was sawed, about one hundred feet long. Before I had reached it the axemen had already divested it of its branches. Its gracefully spreading top was a perfect wreck on the hillside as if it had been made of glass, and the tender cones of one year’s growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper. Already he has measured it with his axe, and marked off the mill-logs it will make. And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries. It is lumber. He has laid waste the air. When the fish hawk in the spring revisits the banks of the Musketaquid, he will circle in vain to find his accustomed perch, and the hen-hawk will mourn for the pines lofty enough to protect her brood. A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect, rising by slow stages into the heavens, has this afternoon ceased to exist. Its sapling top had expanded to this January thaw as the forerunner of summers to come. Why does not the village bell sound a knell? I hear no knell tolled. I see no procession of mourners in the streets, or the woodland aisles. The squirrel has leaped to another tree; the hawk has circled further off, and has now settled upon a new eyrie, but the woodman is preparing [to] lay his axe at the root of that also.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
Oh well,' said Jack: and then, 'Did you ever meet Bach?' 'Which Bach?' 'London Bach.' 'Not I.' 'I did. He wrote some pieces for my uncle Fisher, and his young man copied them out fair. But they were lost years and years ago, so last time I was in town I went to see whether I could find the originals: the young man has set up on his own, having inherited his master's music-library. We searched through the papers — such a disorder you would hardly credit, and I had always supposed publishers were as neat as bees — we searched for hours, and no uncle's pieces did we find. But the whole point is this: Bach had a father.' 'Heavens, Jack, what things you tell me. Yet upon recollection I seem to have known other men in much the same case.' 'And this father, this old Bach, you understand me, had written piles and piles of musical scores in the pantry.' 'A whimsical place to compose in, perhaps; but then birds sing in trees, do they not? Why not antediluvian Germans in a pantry?' 'I mean the piles were kept in the pantry. Mice and blackbeetles and cook-maids had played Old Harry with some cantatas and a vast great passion according to St Mark, in High Dutch; but lower down all was well, and I brought away several pieces, 'cello for you, fiddle for me, and some for both together. It is strange stuff, fugues and suites of the last age, crabbed and knotted sometimes and not at all in the modern taste, but I do assure you, Stephen, there is meat in it. I have tried this partita in C a good many times, and the argument goes so deep, so close and deep, that I scarcely follow it yet, let alone make it sing. How I should love to hear it played really well — to hear Viotti dashing away.
Patrick O'Brian (The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8))
Sadly the only thorough and accurate account of the Michael Jackson trial. Considering its place in legal (and pop culture) history - not to mention the millions it cost California taxpayers - this is a breath of fresh air amongst all the uninformed commentary and ruthless joking about the darkest period in the life of Michael Jackson. However, since Jones sets out to paint a factual picture of the full trial for readers - writing from the perspective of one of the hundreds of journalists assigned to cover the five month trial - she was relegated to self-publication, because heaven forbid there be an accurate and thorough book related to Michael Jackson on the market! Jones spent more than a year researching all available evidence and trial footage (as well as studying the slew of coverage that surfaced during the media circus that resulted from it); reading and rereading the full transcripts, evidence lists and exhibits... all with only one goal in mind: figuring out for herself how Jackson came to be acquitted on every charge leveled against him. If you're at all curious about what exactly went on in that courtroom (not to mention how irresponsibly it was reported on), look no further, because I doubt a more thorough record exists apart from the court transcripts themselves. 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp 텔레그램 혹은 위커메신저 아이디: HighHemp
"하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,
Those boots were almost all he owned in this world. They were his home. An anecdote: One time a recruit was watching him bone and wax those golden boots, and he held one up to the recruit and said, 'If you look in there deeply enough, you'll see Adam and Eve.' Billy Pilgrim had not heard this anecdote. But, lying on the black ice there, Billy stared into the patina of the corporal's boots, saw Adam and Eve in the golden depths. They were naked. They were so innocent, so vulnerable, so eager to behave decently. Billy Pilgrim loved them. Next to the golden boots were a pair of feet which were swaddled in rags. They were crisscrossed by canvas straps, were shod with hinged wooden clogs. Billy looked up at the face that went with the clogs. It was the face of a blond angel of fifteen-year-old boy. The boy was as beautiful as Eve. Billy was helped to his feet by the lovely boy, by the heavenly androgyne.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Q (Quiller-Couch) was all by himself my college education. I went down to the public library one day when I was seventeen looking for books on the art of writing, and found five books of lectures which Q had delivered to his students of writing at Cambridge. "Just what I need!" I congratulated myself. I hurried home with the first volume and started reading and got to page 3 and hit a snag: Q was lecturing to young men educated at Eton and Harrow. He therefore assumed his students − including me − had read Paradise Lost as a matter of course and would understand his analysis of the "Invocation to Light" in Book 9. So I said, "Wait here," and went down to the library and got Paradise Lost and took it home and started reading it and got to page 3, when I hit a snag: Milton assumed I'd read the Christian version of Isaiah and the New Testament and had learned all about Lucifer and the War in Heaven, and since I'd been reared in Judaism I hadn't. So I said, "Wait here," and borrowed a Christian Bible and read about Lucifer and so forth, and then went back to Milton and read Paradise Lost, and then finally got back to Q, page 3. On page 4 or 5, I discovered that the point of the sentence at the top of the page was in Latin and the long quotation at the bottom of the page was in Greek. So I advertised in the Saturday Review for somebody to teach me Latin and Greek, and went back to Q meanwhile, and discovered he assumed I not only knew all the plays by Shakespeare, and Boswell's Johnson, but also the Second books of Esdras, which is not in the Old Testament and not in the New Testament, it's in the Apocrypha, which is a set of books nobody had ever thought to tell me existed. So what with one thing and another and an average of three "Wait here's" a week, it took me eleven years to get through Q's five books of lectures.
Helene Hanff
Consider this account from the Ojibwa, a Native American people: The star with the long, wide tail is going to destroy the world some day when it comes low again. That’s the comet called Long-Tailed Heavenly Climbing Star. It came down here once, thousands of years ago. Just like the sun. It had radiation and burning heat in its tail. The comet burned everything to the ground. There wasn’t a thing left. Indian people were here before that happened, living on the earth. But things were wrong; a lot of people had abandoned the spiritual path. The holy spirit warned them a long time before the comet came. Medicine men told everyone to prepare. Things were wrong with nature on the earth … Then that comet went through here. It had a long, wide tail and it burned up everything. It flew so low the tail scorched the earth … The comet made a different world. After that survival was hard work. The weather was colder than before
Graham Hancock (Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization)
Want to know the coolest thing about the coming? Not that the One who played marbles with the stars gave it up to play marbles with marbles. Or that the One who hung the galaxies gave it up to hang doorjambs to the displeasure of a cranky client who wanted everything yesterday but couldn't pay until tomorrow. Not that he, in an instant, went from needing nothing to needing air, food, a tub of hot water and salts for his tired feet, and, more than anything, needing somebody - anybody - who was more concerned about where he would spend eternity rather than where he would spend Friday's paycheck. Or that he resisted the urge to fry the two=bit, self-appointed hall monitors of holiness who dared suggest that he was doing the work of the devil. Not that he kept his cool while the dozen best friends he ever had felt the heat and got out of the kitchen. Or that he gave no command to the angels who begged, "Just give us the nod, Lord. One word and these demons will be deviled eggs." Not that he refused to defend himself when blamed for every sin of every slut and sailor since Adam. Or that he stood silent as a million guilty verdicts echoed in the tribunal of heaven and the giver of light was left in the chill of a sinner's night. Not even that after three days in a dark hole he stepped into the Easter sunrise with a smile and a swagger and a question for lowly Lucifer - "Is that your best punch?" That was cool, incredibly cool. But want to know the coolest thing about the One who gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns? He did it for you. Just for you.
Max Lucado (He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart)
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Emmet Fox (The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life)
MR. BONES KNEW THAT WILLY WASN'T LONG FOR THIS WORLD. The cough had been inside him for over six months, and by now there wasn't a chance in hell that he would ever get rid of it. Slowly and inexorably, without once taking a turn for the better, the thing had assumed a life of its own, advancing from a faint, phlegm-filled rattle in the lungs on February third to the wheezy sputum-jigs and gobby convulsions of high summer. All that was bad enough, but in the past two weeks a new tonality had crept into the bronchial music - something tight and flinty and percussive - and the attacks came now so often as to be almost constant. Every time one of them started, Mr. Bones half expected Willy's body to explode from the rockets of pressure bursting agaisnt his rib cage. He figured that blood would be the next step and when that fatal moment finally occurred on Saturday afternoon, it was as if all the angels in heaven had opened their mouths and started to sing. Mr. Bones saw it happen with his own eyes, standing by the edge of the road between Washington and Baltimore as Willy hawked up a few miserable clots of red matter into his handkerchief, and right then and there he knew that every ounce of hope was gone. The smell of death had settled upon Willy G. Christmas, and as surely as the sun was a lamp in the clouds that went off and on everyday, the end was drawing near. What was a poor dog to do? Mr. Bones had been with Willy since his earliest days as a pup, and by now it was next to impossible to imagine a world that did not have his master in it. Every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy's presence. Habits die hard, and no doubt there's some truth to the adage about old dogs and new tricks, but it was more than just love or devotion that caused Mr. Bones to dread what was coming. It was pure ontological terror. Substract Willy from the world, and the odds were that the world itself would cease to exist.
Paul Auster (Timbuktu)
They were the cars at the fair that were whirling around her; no, they were the planets, while the sun stood, burning and spinning and guttering in the centre; here they came again, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto; but they were not planets, for it was not the merry-go-round at all, but the Ferris wheel, they were constellations, in the hub of which, like a great cold eye, burned Polaris, and round and round it here they went: Cassiopeia, Cepheus, the Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and the Dragon; yet they were not constellations, but, somehow, myriads of beautiful butterflies, she was sailing into Acapulco harbour through a hurricane of beautiful butterflies, zigzagging overhead and endlessly vanishing astern over the sea, the sea, rough and pure, the long dawn rollers advancing, rising, and crashing down to glide in colourless ellipses over the sand, sinking, sinking, someone was calling her name far away and she remembered, they were in a dark wood, she heard the wind and the rain rushing through the forest and saw the tremours of lightning shuddering through the heavens and the horse—great God, the horse—and would this scene repeat itself endlessly and forever?—the horse, rearing, poised over her, petrified in midair, a statue, somebody was sitting on the statue, it was Yvonne Griffaton, no, it was the statue of Huerta, the drunkard, the murderer, it was the Consul, or it was a mechanical horse on the merry-go-round, the carrousel, but the carrousel had stopped and she was in a ravine down which a million horses were thundering towards her, and she must escape, through the friendly forest to their house, their little home by the sea.
Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano)
Death appears as the harsh victory of the law of our ancestors of the dimension of our becoming. It is a fact that, as productivity increases, each succeeding generation becomes smaller in stature. The defeat of our fathers is revisited upon us as the limits of our world. Yes, structure is human, it is the monumentalization of congealed sweat, sweat squeezed from old exploitation and represented as nature, the world we inhabit, the objective ground. We do not, in our insect-like comings and going, make the immediate world in which we live, we do not make a contribution, on the contrary we are set in motion by it; a generation will pass before what we have done, as an exploited class, will seep through as an effect of objectivity. (Our wealth is laid down in heaven.) The structure of the world has been built by the dead, they were paid in wages, and when the wages were spent and they were in the ground, what they had made continued to exist, these cities, roads and factories are their calcified bones. They had nothing but their wages to show for what they had done, who they were and what they did has been cancelled out. But what they made has continued into our present, their burial and decay is our present. This is the definition of class hatred. We are no closer now to rest, to freedom, to communism than they were, their sacrifice has brought us nothing, what they did counted for nothing, we have inherited nothing, but they did produce value, they did make the world in which we now live, the world that now oppresses us is constructed from the wealth they made, wealth that was taken from them as soon as they were paid a wage, taken and owned by someone else, owned and used to define the nature of class domination. We too must work, and the value we produce leaks away from us, from each only a trickle but in all a sea of it and that, for the next generation, will thicken into wealth for others to own and as a congealed structure it will be used to frame new enterprises in different directions. The violence of what they produced becomes the structure that dominates our existence. Our lives begin amidst the desecration of our ancestors, millions of people who went to their graves as failures, and forever denied experiences of a full human existence, their simply being canceled out; as our parents die, we can say truly that their lives were for nothing, that the black earth that is thrown down onto them blacks out our sky.
frére dupont
The door opened, and it was like an apparition materializing before me, some sort of heavenly messenger descended from above. I’d never been away from her for this long, and after all this time, part of me wondered if I was imagining this. Her hand went to her mouth, and she stared at me wide-eyed. I think she felt the same way-and she hadn’t even had warning of my visit. She’d just been told I was coming “soon.” No doubt I seemed like a phantom to her, too. And with that reunion… it was like I was emerging from a cave-one I’d been in for almost five weeks-into the bright light of day. When Dimitri had turned, I’d felt like I’d lost part of my soul. When I’d left Lissa, another piece had gone. Now, seeing her… I began to think maybe my soul might be able to heal. Maybe I could go on after all. I didn’t feel 100 percent whole yet, but her presence filled up that missing part of me. I felt more like myself than I had in ages. A world of questions and confusion hung in the silence between us. In spite of everything we’d been through with Avery, there was still a lot of unresolved business from when I had first left the school. For the first time since I’d set foot on the Academy’s grounds, I felt afraid. Afraid that Lissa would reject me or scream at me for what I’d done. Instead, she drew me into a giant hug. “I knew it,” she said. She was already choking on her sobs. “I knew you’d come back.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
After watching—with a twinge of satisfaction—the letters burn to ashes in the fireplace, Evie felt sleepy. She went to the master bedroom for a nap. In spite of her weariness, it was difficult to relax while she was worried about Sebastian. Her thoughts chased round and round, until her tired brain put an end to the useless fretting and she dropped off to sleep. When she awakened an hour or so later, Sebastian was sitting on the bed beside her, a lock of her bright hair clasped loosely between a thumb and forefinger. He was watching her closely, his eyes the color of heaven at daybreak. She sat up and smiled self-consciously. Gently Sebastian stroked back her tumbled hair. “You look like a little girl when you sleep,” he murmured. “It makes me want to guard you every minute.” “Did you find Mr. Bullard?” “Yes, and no. First tell me what you did while I was gone.” “I helped Cam to arrange things in the office. And I burned all your letters from lovelorn ladies. The blaze was so large, I’m surprised no one sent for a fire brigade.” His lips curved in a smile, but his gaze probed hers carefully. “Did you read any of them?” Evie lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant half shrug. “A few. There were inquiries as to whether or not you’ve yet tired of your wife.” “No.” Sebastian drew his palm along the line of her thigh. “I’m tired of countless evenings of repetitive gossip and tepid flirtation. I’m tired of meaningless encounters with women who bore me senseless. They’re all the same to me, you know. I’ve never given a damn about anyone but you.” “I don’t blame them for wanting you,” Evie said, looping her arms around his neck. “But I’m not willing to share.” “You won’t have to.” He cupped her face in his hands and pressed a swift kiss to her lips.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
He imagined her upstairs in her room, lying in bed with her hair spread across the pillow, that nightgown with the pearl buttons down the front tangled around her legs, nothing beneath the delicate fabric but her softness and warmth. Desire pulsed through his body, hungry and hot and needy. It was unbearable to want her with such intensity, unthinkable to need her with such desperate longing, dangerous to believe that she could somehow keep the demons away. He did not want to need her, for in need, there was dependence. He could not trust, for in trust, there was betrayal. Better never to see heaven at all than to catch a glimpse of it, grab for it, and lose it. He went to his room. He slept with his demons, and he woke alone.
Laura Lee Guhrke (Conor's Way)
This is just a form letter,” Jules pointed out. “And as for the test, maybe she went in for a checkup. Women are supposed to do that once a year, right? She’d been in Kenya, and suddenly here she was going to this health clinic with Molly, so she figured, what the heck. Maybe this place gives pregnancy tests as part of their regular annual exam.” “Yeah,” Max said. “Maybe.” He didn’t sound convinced. “Okay. Let’s run with the worst-case scenario. She is pregnant. I know it’s not like her to have a one-night stand, but . . .” Jules said, but then stopped. His words were meant to help, but, Hey, good news—the woman you love may have gotten knocked up from a night of casual sex with a stranger were not going to provide a whole hell of a lot of comfort. It didn’t matter that the idea was less awful than the terrible alternative—that Paul Jimmo had continued to pressure Gina. And he hadn’t taken no for an answer. Which was obviously what Max was thinking, considering the way he was working to grind down his few remaining back teeth. “So,” Jules said. “Looks like our little talk didn’t exactly succeed at putting you in a better place.” It was clear, when Max didn’t respond, that he was concentrating on not leaping through the window and flying—using his rage as a form of propulsion, across the street and blasting a body-shaped hole in the wall of that building where Gina and Molly were being held prisoner—please, heavenly father, let them be in there. And Jules knew that if it turned out that Paul Jimmo had so much as touched Gina without her consent, Max would find his grave, dig up his body, bring him back to life, and then kill the son of a bitch all over again.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
When Elizabeth finally descended the stairs on her way to the dining room she was two hours late. Deliberately. “Good heavens, you’re tardy, my dear!” Sir Francis said, shoving back his chair and rushing to the doorway where Elizabeth had been standing, trying to gather her courage to do what needed to be done. “Come and meet my guests,” he said, drawing her forward after a swift, disappointed look at her drab attire and severe coiffure. “We did as you suggested in your note and went ahead with supper. What kept you abovestairs so long?” “I was at prayer,” Elizabeth said, managing to look him straight in the eye. Sir Francis recovered from his surprise in time to introduce her to the three other people at the table-two men who resembled him in age and features and two women of perhaps five and thirty who were both attired in the most shockingly revealing gowns Elizabeth had ever seen. Elizabeth accepted a helping of cold meat to silence her protesting stomach while both women studied her with unhidden scorn. “That is a most unusual ensemble you’re wearing, I must say,” remarked the woman named Eloise. “Is it the custom where you come from to dress so…simply?” Elizabeth took a dainty bite of meat. “Not really. I disapprove of too much personal adornment.” She turned to Sir Francis with an innocent stare. “Gowns are expensive. I consider them a great waste of money.” Sir Francis was suddenly inclined to agree, particularly since he intended to keep her naked as much as possible. “Quite right!” he beamed, eyeing the other ladies with pointed disapproval. “No sense in spending all that money on gowns. No point in spending money at all.” “My sentiments exactly,” Elizabeth said, nodding. “I prefer to give every shilling I can find to charity instead.” “Give it away?” he said in a muted roar, half rising out of his chair. Then he forced himself to sit back down and reconsider the wisdom of wedding her. She was lovely-her face more mature then he remembered it, but not even the black veil and scraped-back hair could detract from the beauty of her emerald-green eyes with their long, sooty lashes. Her eyes had dark circles beneath them-shadows he didn’t recall seeing there earlier in the day. He put the shadows down to her far-too-serious nature. Her dowry was creditable, and her body beneath that shapeless black gown…he wished he could see her shape. Perhaps it, too, had changed, and not for the better, in the past few years. “I had hoped, my dear,” Sir Francis said, covering her hand with his and squeezing it affectionately, “that you might wear something else down to supper, as I suggested you should.” Elizabeth gave him an innocent stare. “This is all I brought.” “All you brought?” he uttered. “B-But I definitely saw my footmen carrying several trunks upstairs.” “They belong to my aunt-only one of them is mine,” she fabricated hastily, already anticipating his next question and thinking madly for some satisfactory answer. “Really?” He continued to eye her gown with great dissatisfaction, and then he asked exactly the question she’d expected: “What, may I ask, does your one truck contain if not gowns?” Inspiration struck, and Elizabeth smiled radiantly. “Something of great value. Priceless value,” she confided. All faces at the table watched her with alert fascination-particularly the greedy Sir Francis. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, love. What’s in it?” “The mortal remains of Saint Jacob.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
We Let the Boat Drift I set out for the pond, crossing the ravine where seedling pines start up like sparks between the disused rails of the Boston and Maine. The grass in the field would make a second crop if early autumn rains hadn't washed the goodness out. After the night's hard frost it makes a brittle rustling as I walk. The water is utterly still. Here and there a black twig sticks up. It's five years today, and even now I can't accept what cancer did to him -- not death so much as the annihilation of the whole man, sense by sense, thought by thought, hope by hope. Once we talked about the life to come. I took the Bible from the nightstand and offered John 14: "I go to prepare a place for you.""Fine. Good," he said. "But what about Matthew? 'You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'" And he wept. My neighbor honks and waves driving by. She counsels troubled students; keeps bees; her goats follow her to the mailbox. Last Sunday afternoon we went canoeing on the pond. Something terrible at school had shaken her. We talked quietly far from shore. The paddles rested across our laps; glittering drops fell randomly from their tips. The light around us seemed alive. A loon-itinerant- let us get quite close before it dove, coming up after a long time, and well away from humankind
Jane Kenyon (Otherwise: New and Selected Poems)
The Valley Weeps Weep softly o mother, the walls have ears you know... The streets are awash o mother! I cannot go searching for him any more. The streets are awash o mother with blood and tears, pellets and screams. that silently remain locked in the air, while they lock us souless inside. The guns are out o mother, while our boys go armed with stones, I cannot go looking for him o mother, I have no courage to face what i will find. They fill the air o mother, The fragrance of plastic flowers I will place them beside your grave if i ever do survive, flowers that have no soul. and would never fade with time, The sun shines glorious o mother The water sparkles so fine The buds are closed in terror and birds have gone silent with fear There is poison in our heaven o mother I dread for what more is in store. They came for him o mother, yesterday as you slept inside, He went marching o mother with all the others beside. I never told you o mother, I do not know if he would ever return. The streets are awash o mother! I cannot go searching for him any more. Weep softly o mother, the walls have ears you know... If your old blind eyes can see, You will want to see again no more. Our men have lost their spirit Our women have lost their smile, Our children have lost their laughter, The valley has lost its shine, Weep softly O mother For, we still have our pride. 17/07/2016
Srividya Srinivasan
Jesus is the true and better Adam, who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15). Jesus is the true and better Abel, who, though innocently slain, has blood that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24). Jesus is the true and better Abraham, who answered the call of God to leave the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing whither he went” to create a new people of God. Jesus is the true and better Isaac, who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us all. God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me.” Now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love us, because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from us.” Jesus is the true and better Jacob, who wrestled with God and took the blow of justice we deserved so that we, like Jacob, receive only the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us. Jesus is the true and better Joseph, who at the right hand of the King forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them. Jesus is the true and better Moses, who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3). Jesus is the true and better rock of Moses, who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert. Jesus is the true and better Job—the truly innocent sufferer—who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42). Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves. Jesus is the true and better Esther, who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life but gave his life—to save his people. Jesus is the true and better Jonah, who was cast out into the storm so we could be brought in.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism)
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully. "Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how. I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them." "Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake." He smiled. "You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?" "It only embarrasses me." "That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
There is one in this tribe too often miserable - a child bereaved of both parents. None cares for this child: she is fed sometimes, but oftener forgotten: a hut rarely receives her: the hollow tree and chill cavern are her home. Forsaken, lost, and wandering, she lives more with the wild beast and bird than with her own kind. Hunger and cold are her comrades: sadness hovers over, and solitude besets her round. Unheeded and unvalued, she should die: but she both lives and grows: the green wilderness nurses her, and becomes to her a mother: feeds her on juicy berry, on saccharine root and nut. There is something in the air of this clime which fosters life kindly: there must be something, too, in its dews, which heals with sovereign balm. Its gentle seasons exaggerate no passion, no sense; its temperature tends to harmony; its breezes, you would say, bring down from heaven the germ of pure thought, and purer feeling. Not grotesquely fantastic are the forms of cliff and foliage; not violently vivid the colouring of flower and bird: in all the grandeur of these forests there is repose; in all their freshness there is tenderness. The gentle charm vouchsafed to flower and tree, - bestowed on deer and dove, - has not been denied to the human nursling. All solitary, she has sprung up straight and graceful. Nature cast her features in a fine mould; they have matured in their pure, accurate first lines, unaltered by the shocks of disease. No fierce dry blast has dealt rudely with the surface of her frame; no burning sun has crisped or withered her tresses: her form gleams ivory-white through the trees; her hair flows plenteous, long, and glossy; her eyes, not dazzled by vertical fires, beam in the shade large and open, and full and dewy: above those eyes, when the breeze bares her forehead, shines an expanse fair and ample, - a clear, candid page, whereon knowledge, should knowledge ever come, might write a golden record. You see in the desolate young savage nothing vicious or vacant; she haunts the wood harmless and thoughtful: though of what one so untaught can think, it is not easy to divine. On the evening of one summer day, before the Flood, being utterly alone - for she had lost all trace of her tribe, who had wandered leagues away, she knew not where, - she went up from the vale, to watch Day take leave and Night arrive. A crag, overspread by a tree, was her station: the oak-roots, turfed and mossed, gave a seat: the oak-boughs, thick-leaved, wove a canopy. Slow and grand the Day withdrew, passing in purple fire, and parting to the farewell of a wild, low chorus from the woodlands. Then Night entered, quiet as death: the wind fell, the birds ceased singing. Now every nest held happy mates, and hart and hind slumbered blissfully safe in their lair. The girl sat, her body still, her soul astir; occupied, however, rather in feeling than in thinking, - in wishing, than hoping, - in imagining, than projecting. She felt the world, the sky, the night, boundlessly mighty. Of all things, herself seemed to herself the centre, - a small, forgotten atom of life, a spark of soul, emitted inadvertent from the great creative source, and now burning unmarked to waste in the heart of a black hollow. She asked, was she thus to burn out and perish, her living light doing no good, never seen, never needed, - a star in an else starless firmament, - which nor shepherd, nor wanderer, nor sage, nor priest, tracked as a guide, or read as a prophecy? Could this be, she demanded, when the flame of her intelligence burned so vivid; when her life beat so true, and real, and potent; when something within her stirred disquieted, and restlessly asserted a God-given strength, for which it insisted she should find exercise?
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
FRIAR LAURENCE: Hold thy desperate hand: Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art: Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote The unreasonable fury of a beast: Unseemly woman in a seeming man! Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both! Thou hast amazed me: by my holy order, I thought thy disposition better temper’d. Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself? And stay thy lady too that lives in thee, By doing damned hate upon thyself? Why rail’st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and earth? Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three do meet In thee at once; which thou at once wouldst lose. Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit; Which, like a usurer, abound’st in all, And usest none in that true use indeed Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit: Thy noble shape is but a form of wax, Digressing from the valour of a man; Thy dear love sworn but hollow perjury, Killing that love which thou hast vow’d to cherish; Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love, Misshapen in the conduct of them both, Like powder in a skitless soldier’s flask, Is set afire by thine own ignorance, And thou dismember’d with thine own defence. What, rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive, For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead; There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee, But thou slew’st Tybalt; there are thou happy too: The law that threaten’d death becomes thy friend And turns it to exile; there art thou happy: A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back; Happiness courts thee in her best array; But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench, Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love: Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable. Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed, Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her: But look thou stay not till the watch be set, For then thou canst not pass to Mantua; Where thou shalt live, till we can find a time To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, Beg pardon of the prince, and call thee back With twenty hundred thousand times more joy Than thou went’st forth in lamentation. Go before, nurse: commend me to thy lady; And bid her hasten all the house to bed, Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto: Romeo is coming.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
The Three-Decker "The three-volume novel is extinct." Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail. It cost a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail; But, spite all modern notions, I found her first and best— The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest. Fair held the breeze behind us—’twas warm with lovers’ prayers. We’d stolen wills for ballast and a crew of missing heirs. They shipped as Able Bastards till the Wicked Nurse confessed, And they worked the old three-decker to the Islands of the Blest. By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of Cook, Per Fancy, fleetest in man, our titled berths we took With maids of matchless beauty and parentage unguessed, And a Church of England parson for the Islands of the Blest. We asked no social questions—we pumped no hidden shame— We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came: We left the Lord in Heaven, we left the fiends in Hell. We weren’t exactly Yussufs, but—Zuleika didn’t tell. No moral doubt assailed us, so when the port we neared, The villain had his flogging at the gangway, and we cheered. ’Twas fiddle in the forc’s’le—’twas garlands on the mast, For every one got married, and I went ashore at last. I left ’em all in couples a-kissing on the decks. I left the lovers loving and the parents signing cheques. In endless English comfort by county-folk caressed, I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest! That route is barred to steamers: you’ll never lift again Our purple-painted headlands or the lordly keeps of Spain. They’re just beyond your skyline, howe’er so far you cruise In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws. Swing round your aching search-light—’twill show no haven’s peace. Ay, blow your shrieking sirens to the deaf, gray-bearded seas! Boom out the dripping oil-bags to skin the deep’s unrest— And you aren’t one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest! But when you’re threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail, At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale, Calm as the Flying Dutchman, from truck to taffrail dressed, You’ll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest. You’ll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread; You’ll hear the long-drawn thunder ’neath her leaping figure-head; While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine! Hull down—hull down and under—she dwindles to a speck, With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck. All’s well—all’s well aboard her—she’s left you far behind, With a scent of old-world roses through the fog that ties you blind. Her crew are babes or madmen? Her port is all to make? You’re manned by Truth and Science, and you steam for steaming’s sake? Well, tinker up your engines—you know your business best— She’s taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!
Rudyard Kipling
Epistle to Miss Blount, On Her Leaving the Town, After the Coronation" As some fond virgin, whom her mother’s care Drags from the town to wholesome country air, Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh; From the dear man unwillingly she must sever, Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever: Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew, Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew; Not that their pleasures caused her discontent, She sighed not that They stayed, but that She went. She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashioned halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks, She went from Opera, park, assembly, play, To morning walks, and prayers three hours a day; To pass her time ‘twixt reading and Bohea, To muse, and spill her solitary tea, Or o’er cold coffee trifle with the spoon, Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon; Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire, Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire; Up to her godly garret after seven, There starve and pray, for that’s the way to heaven. Some Squire, perhaps, you take a delight to rack; Whose game is Whisk, whose treat a toast in sack, Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, Then gives a smacking buss, and cries – No words! Or with his hound comes hollowing from the stable, Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, tho’ his jests are coarse, And loves you best of all things – but his horse. In some fair evening, on your elbow laid, Your dream of triumphs in the rural shade; In pensive thought recall the fancied scene, See Coronations rise on every green; Before you pass th’ imaginary sights Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and gartered Knights; While the spread fan o’ershades your closing eyes; Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies. Thus vanish scepters, coronets, and balls, And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls. So when your slave, at some dear, idle time, (Not plagued with headaches, or the want of rhyme) Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew, And while he seems to study, thinks of you: Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes, Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise, Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite; Streets, chairs, and coxcombs rush upon my sight; Vexed to be still in town, I knit my brow, Look sour, and hum a tune – as you may now.
Alexander Pope
I’m supposed to believe you sold your emeralds out of some freakish start-out of a frivolous desire to go off with a man you claim was your brother?” “Goodness, I don’t know what you are supposed to believe. I only know I did it.” “Madam!” he snapped. “You were on the verge of tears, according to the jeweler to whom you sold them. If you were in a frivolous mood, why were you on the verge of tears?” Elizabeth gave him a vacuous look. “I liked my emeralds.” Guffaws erupted from the floor to the rafters. Elizabeth waited until they were finished before she leaned forward and said in a proud, confiding tone, “My husband often says that emeralds match my eyes. Isn’t that sweet?” Sutherland was beginning to grind his teeth, Elizabeth noted. Afraid to look at Ian, she cast a quick glance at Peterson Delham and saw him watching her alertly with something that might well have been admiration. “So!” Sutherland boomed in a voice that was nearly a rant. “We are now supposed to believe that you weren’t really afraid of your husband?” “Of course I was. Didn’t I just explain how very cruel he can be?” she asked with another vacuous look. “Naturally, when Bobby showed me his back I couldn’t help thinking that a man who would threaten to cut off his wife’s allowance would be capable of anything-“ Loud guffaws lasted much longer this time, and even after they died down, Elizabeth noticed derisive grins where before there had been condemnation and disbelief. “And,” Sutherland boomed, when he could be heard again, “we are also supposed to believe that you ran off with a man you claim is your brother and have been cozily in England somewhere-“ Elizabeth nodded emphatically and helpfully provided, “In Helmshead-it is the sweetest village by the sea. I was having a very pleas-very practical time until I read the paper and realized my husband was on trial. Bobby didn’t think I should come back at all, because he was still provoked about being put on one of my husband’s ships. But I thought I ought.” “And what,” Sutherland gritted, “do you claim is the reason you decided you ought?” “I didn’t think Lord Thornton would like being hanged-“ More mirth exploded through the House, and Elizabeth had to wait for a full minute before she could continue. “And so I gave Bobby my money, and he went on to have his own agreeable life, as I said earlier.” “Lady Thornton,” Sutherland said in an awful, silky voice that made Elizabeth shake inside, “does the word ‘perjury’ have any meaning to you?” “I believe,” Elizabeth said, “it means to tell a lie in a place like this.” “Do you know how the Crown punishes perjurers? They are sentenced to gaol, and they live their lives in a dark, dank cell. Would you want that to happen to you?” “It certainly doesn’t sound very agreeable,” Elizabeth said. “Would I be able to take my jewels and gowns?” Shouts of laughter shook the chandeliers that hung from the vaulted ceilings. “No, you would not!” “Then I’m certainly happy I haven’t lied.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I fell back against the wall and he came up to me, grinding his teeth, and, as I fell upon my knees, he hissed mad, incoherent words and curses at me. Leaning over me, he cried, ‘Look! You want to see! See! Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik’s face! Now you know the face of the voice! You were not content to hear me, eh? You wanted to know what I looked like! Oh, you women are so inquisitive! Well, are you satisfied? I’m a very good-looking fellow, eh? … When a woman has seen me, as you have, she belongs to me. She loves me for ever. I am a kind of Don Juan, you know!’ And, drawing himself up to his full height, with his hand on his hip, wagging the hideous thing that was his head on his shoulders, he roared, ‘Look at me! I AM DON JUAN TRIUMPHANT!’ And, when I turned away my head and begged for mercy, he drew it to him, brutally, twisting his dead fingers into my hair.” “Enough! Enough!” cried Raoul. “I will kill him. In Heaven’s name, Christine, tell me where the dining-room on the lake is! I must kill him!” “Oh, be quiet, Raoul, if you want to know!” “Yes, I want to know how and why you went back; I must know! … But, in any case, I will kill him!” “Oh, Raoul, listen, listen! … He dragged me by my hair and then … and then … Oh, it is too horrible!” “Well, what? Out with it!” exclaimed Raoul fiercely. “Out with it, quick!” “Then he hissed at me. 'Ah, I frighten you, do I? … I dare say! … Perhaps you think that I have another mask, eh, and that this … this … my head is a mask? Well,’ he roared, 'tear it off as you did the other! Come! Come along! I insist! Your hands! Your hands! Give me your hands!’ And he seized my hands and dug them into his awful face. He tore his flesh with my nails, tore his terrible dead flesh with my nails! … 'Know,’ he shouted, while his throat throbbed and panted like a furnace, 'know that I am built up of death from head to foot and that it is a corpse that loves you and adores you and will never, never leave you! … Look, I am not laughing now, I am crying, crying for you, Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again! … As long as you thought me handsome, you could have come back, I know you would have come back … but, now that you know my hideousness, you would run away for good… So I shall keep you here! … Why did you want to see me? Oh, mad Christine, who wanted to see me! … When my own father never saw me and when my mother, so as not to see me, made me a present of my first mask!’ - Chapter 12: Apollo’s Lyre
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Her pretty name of Adina seemed to me to have somehow a mystic fitness to her personality. Behind a cold shyness, there seemed to lurk a tremulous promise to be franker when she knew you better. Adina is a strange child; she is fanciful without being capricious. She was stout and fresh-coloured, she laughed and talked rather loud, and generally, in galleries and temples, caused a good many stiff British necks to turn round. She had a mania for excursions, and at Frascati and Tivoli she inflicted her good-humoured ponderosity on diminutive donkeys with a relish which seemed to prove that a passion for scenery, like all our passions, is capable of making the best of us pitiless. Adina may not have the shoulders of the Venus of Milo...but I hope it will take more than a bauble like this to make her stoop. Adina espied the first violet of the year glimmering at the root of a cypress. She made haste to rise and gather it, and then wandered further, in the hope of giving it a few companions. Scrope sat and watched her as she moved slowly away, trailing her long shadow on the grass and drooping her head from side to side in her charming quest. It was not, I know, that he felt no impulse to join her; but that he was in love, for the moment, with looking at her from where he sat. Her search carried her some distance and at last she passed out of sight behind a bend in the villa wall. I don't pretend to be sure that I was particularly struck, from this time forward, with something strange in our quiet Adina. She had always seemed to me vaguely, innocently strange; it was part of her charm that in the daily noiseless movement of her life a mystic undertone seemed to murmur "You don't half know me! Perhaps we three prosaic mortals were not quite worthy to know her: yet I believe that if a practised man of the world had whispered to me, one day, over his wine, after Miss Waddington had rustled away from the table, that there was a young lady who, sooner or later, would treat her friends to a first class surprise, I should have laid my finger on his sleeve and told him with a smile that he phrased my own thought. .."That beautiful girl," I said, "seems to me agitated and preoccupied." "That beautiful girl is a puzzle. I don't know what's the matter with her; it's all very painful; she's a very strange creature. I never dreamed there was an obstacle to our happiness--to our union. She has never protested and promised; it's not her way, nor her nature; she is always humble, passive, gentle; but always extremely grateful for every sign of tenderness. Till within three or four days ago, she seemed to me more so than ever; her habitual gentleness took the form of a sort of shrinking, almost suffering, deprecation of my attentions, my petits soins, my lovers nonsense. It was as if they oppressed and mortified her--and she would have liked me to bear more lightly. I did not see directly that it was not the excess of my devotion, but my devotion itself--the very fact of my love and her engagement that pained her. When I did it was a blow in the face. I don't know what under heaven I've done! Women are fathomless creatures. And yet Adina is not capricious, in the common sense... .So these are peines d'amour?" he went on, after brooding a moment. "I didn't know how fiercely I was in love!" Scrope stood staring at her as she thrust out the crumpled note: that she meant that Adina--that Adina had left us in the night--was too large a horror for his unprepared sense...."Good-bye to everything! Think me crazy if you will. I could never explain. Only forget me and believe that I am happy, happy, happy! Adina Beati."... Love is said to be par excellence the egotistical passion; if so Adina was far gone. "I can't promise to forget you," I said; "you and my friend here deserve to be remembered!
Henry James (Adina)
Because it wasn’t enough to be accompanied by the beast who scared the crap out of every god in Heaven, Xuanzang was assigned a few more traveling companions. The gluttonous pig-man Zhu Baijie. Sha Wujing, the repentant sand demon. And the Dragon Prince of the West Sea, who took the form of a horse for Xuanzang to ride. The five adventurers, thusly gathered, set off on their— “Holy ballsacks!” I yelped. I dropped the book like I’d been bitten. “How far did you get?” Quentin said. He was leaning against the end of the nearest shelf, as casually as if he’d been there the whole time, waiting for this moment. I ignored that he’d snuck up on me again, just this once. There was a bigger issue at play. In the book was an illustration of the group done up in bold lines and bright colors. There was Sun Wukong at the front, dressed in a beggar’s cassock, holding his Ruyi Jingu Bang in one hand and the reins of the Dragon Horse in the other. A scary-looking pig-faced man and a wide-eyed demon monk followed, carrying the luggage. And perched on top of the horse was . . . me. The artist had tried to give Xuanzang delicate, beatific features and ended up with a rather girly face. By whatever coincidence, the drawing of Sun Wukong’s old master could have been a rough caricature of sixteen-year-old Eugenia Lo from Santa Firenza, California. “That’s who you think I am?” I said to Quentin. “That’s who I know you are,” he answered. “My dearest friend. My boon companion. You’ve reincarnated into such a different form, but I’d recognize you anywhere. Your spiritual energies are unmistakable.” “Are you sure? If you’re from a long time ago, maybe your memory’s a little fuzzy.” “The realms beyond Earth exist on a different time scale,” Quentin said. “Only one day among the gods passes for every human year. To me, you haven’t been gone long. Months, not centuries.” “This is just . . . I don’t know.” I took a moment to assemble my words. “You can’t walk up to me and expect me to believe right away that I’m the reincarnation of some legendary monk from a folk tale.” “Wait, what?” Quentin squinted at me in confusion. “I said you can’t expect me to go, ‘okay, I’m Xuanzang,’ just because you tell me so.” Quentin’s mouth opened slowly like the dawning of the sun. His face went from confusion to understanding to horror and then finally to laughter. “mmmmphhhhghAHAHAHAHA!” he roared. He nearly toppled over, trying to hold his sides in. “HAHAHAHA!” “What the hell is so funny?” “You,” Quentin said through his giggles. “You’re not Xuanzang. Xuanzang was meek and mild. A friend to all living things. You think that sounds like you?” It did not. But then again I wasn’t the one trying to make a case here. “Xuanzang was delicate like a chrysanthemum.” Quentin was getting a kick out of this. “You are so tough you snapped the battleaxe of the Mighty Miracle God like a twig. Xuanzang cried over squashing a mosquito. You, on the other hand, have killed more demons than the Catholic Church.” I was starting to get annoyed. “Okay, then who the hell am I supposed to be?” If he thought I was the pig, then this whole deal was off. “You’re my weapon,” he said. “You’re the Ruyi Jingu Bang.” I punched Quentin as hard as I could in the face.
F.C. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1))
Was it a moment of indecision or was it a moment of redemption. Redemption long overdue and long unacknowledged? They didn’t know. He suddenly went at her mouth and she claimed it as if it was never supposed to be elsewhere. It was stormy. It was fierce. His manhood shafted through his loose night pajamas challenging her even beyond the thickness of her bath robe, which was cast aside in one unsparing sweep of his hand, revealing the quavering ripeness of her fulsome breasts. After a moment of awe, he went at them with unquenched ferocity. First he devoured her there itself, against the wall, on the carpet. Within moments their frenzied hands tore away each other’s underpants with unapologetic fury and then in one smooth motion of a dancer’s lucidity, he lifted her and like a great performer of an opera, placed her on the bed. The inviting altar of desire and passion and longing. Now as they claimed each other, there was unhurried fluidity in their motion. Tears of pain and love in their eyes. Ecstasy of carnal compatibility in their fusion. Symphony of sensuality in their strokes and when he finally exploded inside her, she had gone aflame with matching uncontrollability. It was a heavenly union which in one go had robbed them of their beings, their earth, their universe, their past, their present, their future. In one instant, they had undone what was done and had done what was ‘not done’.
Vinod Pande
It was a black and hooded head; and hanging there in the midst of so intense a calm, it seemed the Sphynx’s in the desert. “Speak, thou vast and venerable head,” muttered Ahab, “which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. Of all divers, thou hast dived the deepest. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams, has moved amid this world’s foundations. Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home. Thou hast been where bell or diver never went; hast slept by many a sailor’s side, where sleepless mothers would give their lives to lay them down. Thou saw’st the locked lovers when leaping from their flaming ship; heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting wave; true to each other, when heaven seemed false to them. Thou saw’st the murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck; for hours he fell into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw; and his murderers still sailed on unharmed—while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would have borne a righteous husband to outstretched, longing arms. O head! thou hast seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one syllable is thine!
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
MELITO OF SARDIS Melito, bishop of Sardis, died around the year A.D. 180. Until recently, few students of church history paid much attention to him. One of the reasons might be that he ended up on the “wrong side” of the ancient debate over how to determine the date of Easter. Only recently a sermon on the Passover was found, penned by Melito. It provides us with a tremendous insight into the theology of the late second century. I reproduce here just one section, which requires no commentary, only a hearty “Amen!”: And so he was lifted up upon a tree and an inscription was attached indicating who was being killed. Who was it? It is a grievous thing to tell, but a most fearful thing to refrain from telling. But listen, as you tremble before him on whose account the earth trembled! He who hung the earth in place is hanged. He who fixed the heavens in place is fixed in place. He who made all things fast is made fast on a tree. The Sovereign is insulted. God is murdered. The King of Israel is destroyed by an Israelite hand. This is the One who made the heavens and the earth, and formed mankind in the beginning, The One proclaimed by the Law and the Prophets, The One enfleshed in a virgin, The One hanged on a tree, The One buried in the earth, The One raised from the dead and who went up into the heights of heaven, The One sitting at the right hand of the Father, The One having all authority to judge and save, Through Whom the Father made the things which exist from the beginning of time. This One is “the Alpha and the Omega,” This One is “the beginning and the end” . . . the beginning indescribable and the end incomprehensible. This One is the Christ. This One is the King. This One is Jesus. This One is the Leader. This One is the Lord. This One is the One who rose from the dead. This One is the One sitting on the right hand of the Father. He bears the Father and is borne by the Father. “To him be the glory and the power forever. Amen.” The deity of Christ, His two natures, His virgin birth, His being the Creator, His distinction from the Father—all part and parcel of the preaching of the bishop of Sardis near the end of the second century.
James R. White (The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief)
If Paul brought the first generation of Christians the useful skills of a trained theologian, Origen was the first great philosopher to rethink the new religion from first principles. As his philosophical enemy, the anti-Christian Porphyry, summed it up, he 'introduced Greek ideas to foreign fables' -- that is, gave a barbarous eastern religion the intellectual respectability of a philosophical defense. Origen was also a phenomenon. As Eusebius put it admiringly, 'even the facts from his cradle are worth mentioning'. Origen came from Alexandria, the second city of the empire and then it's intellectual centre; his father's martyrdom left him an orphan at seventeen with six younger brothers. He was a hard working prodigy, at eighteen head of the Catechetical School, and already trained as a literary scholar and teacher. But at this point, probably in 203, he became a religious fanatic and remained one for the next fifty years. He gave up his job and sold his books to concentrate on religion. he slept on the floor, ate no meat, drank no wine, had only one coat and no shoes. He almost certainly castrated himself, in obedience to the notorious text, Matthew 19:12, 'there are some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.' Origen's learning was massive and it was of a highly original kind: he always went back to the sources and thought through the whole process himself. This he learned Hebrew and, according to Eusebius, 'got into his possession the original writings extant among the Jews in the actual Hebrew character'. These included the discovery of lost texts; in the case of the psalms, Origen collected not only the four known texts but three others unearthed, including 'one he found at Jericho in a jar'. The result was an enormous tome, the Hexapla, which probably existed in only one manuscript now lost, setting out the seven alternative texts in parallel columns. He applied the same principles of original research to every aspect of Christianity and sacred literature. He seems to have worked all day and though most of the night, and was a compulsive writer. Even the hardy Jerome later complained: 'Has anyone read everything Origen wrote?'
Paul Johnson (A History of Christianity)
It got crowded in Heaven, so Saint Peter decided to accept only people who’d had a really bad day on the day they died. On the first morning of the new policy, Saint Peter said to the first man in line, “Tell me about the day you died.” The man said,“Oh, it was awful. I was sure my wife was having an affair, so I came home early from work to catch her in the act. I searched all over the apartment and couldn’t find her lover anywhere. So finally I went out on the balcony, where I found this man hanging over the edge by his fingertips. So I went inside, got a hammer, and started hitting his hands. He fell, but landed in some bushes and survived. So I went inside, picked up the refrigerator, and pushed it out over the balcony. It crushed him, but the strain of hefting the fridge gave me a heart attack and I died.” Saint Peter couldn’t deny this was an awful day and that it was a crime of passion, so he let the man enter Heaven. He then asked the next man in line about the day he died. “Well, sir, it was terrible. I was doing aerobics on the balcony of my apartment when I slipped over the edge. I managed to grab the balcony of the apartment below me but then some maniac came out and started pounding my fingers with a hammer! I fell, but I landed in some bushes and lived! But then this guy came out again and dropped a refrigerator on me! That did it!” Saint Peter chuckled a bit, and let him into Heaven. “Tell me about the day you died,” he said to the third man. “Okay, picture this. I’m naked, hiding in a refrigerator . . .
Thomas Cathcart (Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through the Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explain Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between)
We’re in a period right now where nobody asks any questions about psychology. No one has any feeling for human motivation. No one talks about sexuality in terms of emotional needs and symbolism and the legacy of childhood. Sexuality has been politicized--“Don’t ask any questions!” "No discussion!" “Gay is exactly equivalent to straight!” And thus in this period of psychological blindness or inertness, our art has become dull. There’s nothing interesting being written--in fiction or plays or movies. Everything is boring because of our failure to ask psychological questions. So I say there is a big parallel between Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton--aside from their initials! Young feminists need to understand that this abusive behavior by powerful men signifies their sense that female power is much bigger than they are! These two people, Clinton and Cosby, are emotionally infantile--they're engaged in a war with female power. It has something to do with their early sense of being smothered by female power--and this pathetic, abusive and criminal behavior is the result of their sense of inadequacy. Now, in order to understand that, people would have to read my first book, "Sexual Personae"--which of course is far too complex for the ordinary feminist or academic mind! It’s too complex because it requires a sense of the ambivalence of human life. Everything is not black and white, for heaven's sake! We are formed by all kinds of strange or vague memories from childhood. That kind of understanding is needed to see that Cosby was involved in a symbiotic, push-pull thing with his wife, where he went out and did these awful things to assert his own independence. But for that, he required the women to be inert. He needed them to be dead! Cosby is actually a necrophiliac--a style that was popular in the late Victorian period in the nineteenth-century. It's hard to believe now, but you had men digging up corpses from graveyards, stealing the bodies, hiding them under their beds, and then having sex with them. So that’s exactly what’s happening here: to give a woman a drug, to make her inert, to make her dead is the man saying that I need her to be dead for me to function. She’s too powerful for me as a living woman. And this is what is also going on in those barbaric fraternity orgies, where women are sexually assaulted while lying unconscious. And women don’t understand this! They have no idea why any men would find it arousing to have sex with a young woman who’s passed out at a fraternity house. But it’s necrophilia--this fear and envy of a woman’s power. And it’s the same thing with Bill Clinton: to find the answer, you have to look at his relationship to his flamboyant mother. He felt smothered by her in some way. But let's be clear--I’m not trying to blame the mother! What I’m saying is that male sexuality is extremely complicated, and the formation of male identity is very tentative and sensitive--but feminist rhetoric doesn’t allow for it. This is why women are having so much trouble dealing with men in the feminist era. They don’t understand men, and they demonize men.
Camille Paglia
The explosion was deafening; a huge cloud of fire rolled out the window after us, its immense heat brushing my face as we tumbled into the snow. We hit the ground and rolled. Flaming debris from the house came down around us; Griffin shoved me flat on my back, covering us both with his heavy coat. The echoes of the explosion reflected back across the river, then slowly dwindled away, like dying thunder. The leaping flames threw warm light onto the falling snow, turning it into a storm of sparks pouring down from the heavens. Griffin started to push himself off of me, then stoped. His hands were braced on either side of my shoulders, his legs twined with mine. Mt heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I was suddenly, acutely aware of how close his face was to mine. "You're a madman," he whispered. "An utter madman." "Perhaps," I allowed. "But it worked." The leaping light from the burning house painted his features in gold, highlighting his patrician nose and finding threads of brown and blue in his green eyes. His pupils widened, the irises contracting to silver. "Whatever am I going to do with you?" he murmured. The warmth of his breath feathered over my skin. Heat collected in my groin, my lips. My mouth was dry, my voice hoarse, and perhaps he was right and it was madness when I whispered, "Whatever you want." A shiver went through his body, perhaps because we were lying on the cold ground. But instead of getting up, he leaned closer, his overlong hair tumbling over his forehead. He paused, his mouth almost touching mine, his eyes seeming to ask a question. It was madness; it was folly; it was sheer selfishness. I was delusional, misguided, wrong, out of control. I needed to pull back, to say something sane, to re-establish mastery over myself. I could not do this. I could not take the risk. Later tonight, I'd relive this moment in my lonely bed and wonder if I'd done the right thing. But at least that would be familiar, would be something I knew how to cope with. And yet the very thought felt like dying. I surged forward, crossing the final, tiny gap and pressing my lips to his. It was awkward and desperate and frantic, but the feel of his mouth against mine sent a bolt of electricity straight down my spine. Just a moment, just this one kiss, surely that would be enough... Then he kissed me back, and it would never be enough, a thousand years of this would not be enough. His mouth was hungry and insistent, his tongue probing my lips, asking for greater intimacy. I granted it, tongues swirling together, mine followed his when it retreated and tasting him in return. There came the clanging of bells in the distance, the fire company alerted to the explosion. Griffin drew back a fraction. His breath was as raged as mine, which left me dazed with wonder. "My dear," he whispered against my lips. Then he swallowed convulsively. "We should leave, before the fire companies come." "Y-Yes." It was amazing I managed that much coherence. He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine, our breaths mingling. "Will you come home with me?" Was he asking...? "Yes." Oh, God, yes. His lips curved into a smile.
Jordan L. Hawk (Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1))
Well, she would marry a man who didn't need or want her fortune. Mr. Pinter didn't fall into that category. And given how blank his expression became as his gaze met hers, she'd been right to be skeptical. he would never be interested in her in that way. He confirmed it by saying, with his usual formality, "I doubt any man would consider your ladyship unacceptable as a wife." Oh, when he turned all hoity-toity, she could just murder him. "Then we agree that the gentlemen in question would find me satisfactory," she said, matching his cold tone. "So I don't see why you assume they'd be unfaithful." "Some men are unfaithful no matter how beautiful their wives are," Mr. Pinter growled. He thought her beautiful? There she went again, reading too much into his words. He was only making a point. "But you have no reason to believe that these gentleman would be. Unless there's some dark secret you already know about them that I do not?" Glancing away, he muttered a curse under his breath. "No." "Then here's your chance to find out the truth about their characters. Because I prefer facts to opinions. And I was under the impression that you do, too." Take that, Mr. Pinter! Hoist by your own petard. The man always insisted on sticking to the facts. And he was well aware that she'd caught him out, for he scowled, then crossed his arms over his chest. His rather impressive chest, from what she could tell beneath his black coat and plain buff waistcoat. "I can't believe I'm the only person who would object to these gentlemen," he said. "What about your grandmother? Have you consulted her?" She lifted her eyes heavenward. He was being surprisingly resistant to her plans. "I don't need to. Every time one of them asks to dance with me, she beams. She's forever urging me to smile at them or attempt flirtation. And if they so much as press my hand or take my for a stroll, she quizzes me with great glee on what was said and done." "She's been letting you go out on private strolls with these scoundrels?" Mr. Pinter said in sheer outrage. "They aren't scoundrels." "I swear to God, you're a lamb among the wolves," he muttered. That image of her, so unlike how she saw herself, made her laugh. "I've spent half my life in the company of my brothers. Every time Gabe went to shoot, I went with him. At every house party that involved his friends, I was urged to show off my abilities with a rifle. I think I know how to handle a man, Mr. Pinter." His glittering gaze bored into her. "There's a vast difference between gamboling about in your brother's company with a group of his friends and letting a rakehell like Devonmont or a devilish foreigner like Basto stroll alone with you down some dark garden path." A blush heated her cheeks. "I didn't mean strolls of that sort, sir. I meant daytime walks about our gardens and such, with servants in plain view. All perfectly innocent." He snorted. "I doubt it will stay that way." "Oh, for heaven's sake, why are you being so stubborn? You know I must marry. Why do you even care whom I choose?" "I don't care," he protested. "I'm merely thinking of how much of my time will be wasted investigating suitors I already know are unacceptable." She let out an exasperated breath. Of course. With him, it was always about money. Heaven forbid he should waste his time helping her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Well, what happened to your scruples in the woodcutter’s cottage? You knew I thought you’d already left when I went inside.” “Why did you stay,” he countered smoothly, “when you realized I was still there?” In confused distress Elizabeth raked her hair off her forehead. “I knew I shouldn’t do it,” she admitted. “I don’t know why I remained.” “You stayed for the same reason I did,” he informed her bluntly. “We wanted each other.” “I was wrong,” she protested a little wildly. “Dangerous and-foolish!” “Foolish or not,” he said grimly, “I wanted you. I want you now.” Elizabeth made the mistake of looking at him, and his amber eyes captured hers against her will, holding them imprisoned. The shawl she’d been clutching as if it was a lifeline to safety slid from her nerveless hand and dangled at her side, but Elizabeth didn’t notice. “Neither of us has anything to gain by continuing this pretense that the weekend in England is over and forgotten,” he said bluntly. “Yesterday proved that it wasn’t over, if it proved nothing else, and it’s never been forgotten-I’ve remembered you all this time, and I know damn well you’ve remembered me.” Elizabeth wanted to deny it; she sensed that if she did, he’d be so disgusted with her deceit that he’d turn on his heel and leave her. She lifted her chin, unable to tear her gaze from his, but she was too affected by the things he’d just admitted to her to lie to him. “All right,” she said shakily, “you win. I’ve never forgotten you or that weekend. How could I?” she added defensively. He smiled at her angry retort, and his voice gentled to the timbre of rough velvet. “Come here, Elizabeth.” “Why?” she whispered shakily. “So that we can finish what we began that weekend.” Elizabeth stared at him in paralyzed terror mixed with violet excitement and shook her head in a jerky refusal. “I’ll not force you,” he said quietly, “nor will I force you to do anything you don’t want to do once you’re in my arms. Think carefully about that,” he warned, “because if you come to me now, you won’t be able to tell yourself in the morning that I made you do this against your will-or that you didn’t know what was going to happen. Yesterday neither of us knew what was going to happen. Now we do.” Some small, insidious voice in her mind urged her to obey, reminded her that after the public punishment she’d taken for the last time they were together she was entitled to some stolen passionate kisses, if she wanted them. Another voice warned her not to break the rules again. “I-I can’t,” she said in a soft cry. “There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?” The sweetness of the question was almost Ian’s undoing, but he managed to shake his head. “Not this time. I want you, but I’ll not have you looking at me like a monster in the morning. If you want me, all you have to do is walk into my arms.” “I don’t know what I want,” Elizabeth cried, looking a little wildly at the valley below, as if she were thinking of leaping off the path. “Come here,” he invited huskily, “and I’ll show you.” It was his tone, not his words, that conquered her. As if drawn by a will stronger than her own, Elizabeth walked forward and straight into his arms that closed around her with stunning force. “I didn’t think you were going to do it,” he whispered gruffly against her hair.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
What I cannot understand is how your uncle could consider these two men suitable when they aren’t. Not one whit!” “We know that,” Elizabeth said wryly, bending down to pull a blade of grass from between the flagstones beneath the bench, “but evidently my ‘suitors’ do not, and that’s the problem.” As she said the words a thought began to form in her mind; her fingers touched the blade, and she went perfectly still. Beside her on the bench Alex drew a breath as if to speak, then stopped short, and in that pulsebeat of still silence the same idea was born in both their fertile minds. “Alex,” Elizabeth breathed, “all I have to-“ “Elizabeth,” Alex whispered, “it’s not as bad as it seems. All you have to-“ Elizabeth straightened slowly and turned. In that prolonged moment of silence two longtime friends sat in a rose garden, looking raptly at each other while time rolled back and they were girls again-lying awake in the dark, confiding their dreams and troubles and inventing schemes to solve them that always began with “If only…” “If only,” Elizabeth said as a smile dawned across her face and was matched by the one on Alex’s, “I could convince them that we don’t suit-“ “Which shouldn’t be hard to do,” Alex cried enthusiastically, “because it’s true!” The joyous relief of having a plan, of being able to take control of a situation that minutes before had threatened her entire life, sent Elizabeth to her feet, her face aglow with laughter. “Poor Sir Francis,” she chuckled, looking delightedly from Bentner to Alex as both grinned at her. “I greatly fear he’s in for the most disagreeable surprise when he realizes what a-a” she hesitated, thinking of everything an old roué would most dislike in his future wife-“a complete prude I am!” “And,” Alex added, “what a shocking spendthrift you are!” “Exactly!” Elizabeth agreed, almost twirling around in her glee. Sunlight danced off her gilded hair and lit her green eyes as she looked delightedly at her friends. “I shall make perfectly certain to give him glaring evidence I am both. Now then, as to the Earl of Canford…” “What a pity,” Alex said in a voice of exaggerated gloom, “you won’t be able to show him what a capital hand you are with a fishing pole. “Fish?” Elizabeth returned with a mock shudder. “Why, the mere thought of those scaly creatures positively makes me swoon!” “Except for that prime one you caught yesterday,” Bentner put in wryly. “You’re right,” she returned with an affectionate grin at the man who’d taught her to fish. “Will you find Berta and break the news to her about going with me? By the time we come back to the house she ought to be over her hysterics, and I’ll reason with her.” Bentner trotted off, his threadbare black coattails flapping behind him.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Since we’ve ruled out another man as the explanation for all this, I can only assume something has gone wrong at Havenhurst. Is that it?” Elizabeth seized on that excuse as if it were manna from heaven. “Yes,” she whispered, nodding vigorously. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss on her forehead and said teasingly, “Let me guess-you discovered the mill overcharged you?” Elizabeth thought she would die of the sweet torment when he continued tenderly teasing her about being thrifty. “Not the mill? Then it was the baker, and he refused to give you a better price for buying two loaves instead of one.” Tears swelled behind her eyes, treacherously close to the surface, and Ian saw them. “That bad?” he joked, looking at the suspicious sheen in her eyes. “Then it must be that you’ve overspent your allowance.” When she didn’t respond to his light probing, Ian smiled reassuringly and said, “Whatever it is, we’ll work it out together tomorrow.” It sounded as though he planned to stay, and that shook Elizabeth out of her mute misery enough to say chokingly, “No-it’s the-the masons. They’re costing much more than I-I expected. I’ve spent part of my personal allowance on them besides the loan you made me for Havenhurst.” “Oh, so it’s the masons,” he grinned, chuckling. “You have to keep your eye on them, to be sure. They’ll put you in the poorhouse if you don’t keep an eye on the mortar they charge you for. I’ll have to talk with them in the morning.” “No!” she burst out, fabricating wildly. “That’s just what has me so upset. I didn’t want you to have to intercede. I wanted to do it all myself. I have it all settled now, but it’s been exhausting. And so I went to the doctor to see why I felt so tired. He-he said there’s nothing in the world wrong with me. I’ll come home to Montmayne the day after tomorrow. Don’t wait here for me. I know how busy you are right now. Please,” she implored desperately, “let me do this, I beg you!” Ian straightened and shook his head in baffled disbelief, “I’d give you my life for the price of your smile, Elizabeth. You don’t have to beg me for anything. I do not want you spending your personal allowance on this place, however. If you do,” he lied teasingly, “I may be forced to cut it off.” Then, more seriously, he said, “If you need more money for Havenhurst, just tell me, but your allowance is to be spent exclusively on yourself. Finish your brandy,” he ordered gently, and when she had, he pressed another kiss on her forehead. “Stay here as long as you must. I have business in Devon that I’ve been putting off because I didn’t want to leave you. I’ll go there and return to London on Tuesday. Would you like to join me there instead of at Montmayne?” Elizabeth nodded. “There’s just one thing more,” he finished, studying her pale face and strained features. “Will you give me your word the doctor didn’t find anything at all to be alarmed about?” “Yes,” Elizabeth said. “I give you my word.” She watched him walk back into his own bed chamber. The moment his door clicked into its latch Elizabeth turned over and buried her face in the pillows. She wept until she thought there couldn’t possibly be any more tears left in her, and then she wept harder. Across the room the door leading out into the hall was opened a crack, and Berta peeked in, then quickly closed it. Turning to Bentner-who’d sought her counsel when Ian slammed the door in his face and ripped into Elizabeth-Berta said miserably, “She’s crying like her heart will break, but he’s not in there anymore.” “He ought to be shot!” Bentner said with blazing contempt. Berta nodded timidly and clutched her dressing robe closer about her. “He’s a frightening man, to be sure, Mr. Bentner.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Remember how those who bent on denying the truth plotted against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you: they schemed—but God also schemed. God is the best of schemers. 31 Whenever Our revelations are recited to them, they say, ‘We have heard them. If we wished, we could produce the like. They are nothing but the fables of the ancients.’ 32 They also said, ‘God, if this really is the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from heaven, or send us some other painful punishment.’ 33 But God would not punish them while you [Prophet] were in their midst, nor would He punish them so long as they sought forgiveness. 34 Yet why should God not punish them when they debar people from the Sacred Mosque, although they are not its guardians? Its rightful guardians are those who fear God, though most of them do not realize it. 35 Their prayers at the Sacred House are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands. ‘So taste the punishment because of your denial.’ 36 Those who are bent on denying the truth are spending their wealth in debarring others from the path of God. They will continue to spend it in this way till, in the end, this spending will become a source of intense regret for them, and then they will be overcome. And those who denied the truth will be gathered together in Hell. 37 So that God may separate the bad from the good, He will heap the wicked one upon another and then cast them into Hell. These will surely be the losers. 38 Tell those who are bent on denying the truth that if they desist, their past shall be forgiven, but if they persist in sin, they have an example in the fate of those who went before.b 39 Fight them until there is no more [religious] persecution,c and religion belongs wholly to God: if they desist, then surely God is watchful of what they do, 40 but if they turn away, know that God is your Protector; the Best of Protectors and the Best of Helpers!
Anonymous (The Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword))
Oft had I heard of Lucy Gray, And when I crossed the Wild, I chanced to see at break of day The solitary Child. No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wide Moor, The sweetest Thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the Fawn at play, The Hare upon the Green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. 'To-night will be a stormy night, You to the Town must go, And take a lantern, Child, to light Your Mother thro' the snow.' 'That, Father! will I gladly do; 'Tis scarcely afternoon -- The Minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the Moon.' At this the Father raised his hook And snapped a faggot-band; He plied his work, and Lucy took The lantern in her hand. Not blither is the mountain roe, With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse the powd'ry snow That rises up like smoke. The storm came on before its time, She wandered up and down, And many a hill did Lucy climb But never reached the Town. The wretched Parents all that night Went shouting far and wide; But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide. At day-break on a hill they stood That overlooked the Moor; And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood A furlong from their door. And now they homeward turned, and cried 'In Heaven we all shall meet!' When in the snow the Mother spied The print of Lucy's feet. Then downward from the steep hill's edge They tracked the footmarks small; And through the broken hawthorn-hedge, And by the long stone-wall; And then an open field they crossed, The marks were still the same; They tracked them on, nor ever lost, And to the Bridge they came. They followed from the snowy bank The footmarks, one by one, Into the middle of the plank, And further there were none. Yet some maintain that to this day She is a living Child, That you may see sweet Lucy Gray Upon the lonesome Wild. O'er rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind; And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind.
William Wordsworth (AmblesideOnline Poetry, Year 4, Terms 1, 2, and 3: Tennyson, Dickinson, and Wordsworth)
Elizabeth snapped awake in a terrified instant as the door to her bed chamber was flung open near dawn, and Ian stalked into the darkened room. “Do you want to go first, or shall I?” he said tightly, coming to stand at the side of her bed. “What do you mean?” she asked in a trembling voice. “I mean,” he said, “that either you go first and tell me why in hell you suddenly find my company repugnant, or I’ll go first and tell you how I feel when I don’t know where you are or why you want to be there!” “I’ve sent word to you both nights.” “You sent a damned note that arrived long after nightfall both times, informing me that you intended to sleep somewhere else. I want to know why!” He has men beaten like animals, she reminded herself. “Stop shouting at me,” Elizabeth said shakily, getting out of bed and dragging the covers with her to hide herself from him. His brows snapped together in an ominous frown. “Elizabeth?” he asked, reaching for her. “Don’t touch me!” she cried. Bentner’s voice came from the doorway. “Is aught amiss, my lady?” he asked, glaring bravely at Ian. “Get out of here and close that damned door behind you!” Ian snapped furiously. “Leave it open,” Elizabeth said nervously, and the brave butler did exactly as she said. In six long strides Ian was at the door, shoving it closed with a force that sent it crashing into its frame, and Elizabeth began to vibrate with terror. When he turned around and started toward her Elizabeth tried to back away, but she tripped on the coverlet and had to stay where she was. Ian saw the fear in her eyes and stopped short only inches in front of her. His hand lifted, and she winced, but it came to rest on her cheek. “Darling, what is it?” he asked. It was his voice that made her want to weep at his feet, that beautiful baritone voice; and his face-that harsh, handsome face she’d adored. She wanted to beg him to tell her what Robert and Wordsworth had said were lies-all lies. “My life depends on this, Elizabeth. So does yours. Don’t fail us,” Robert had pleaded. Yet, in that moment of weakness she actually considered telling Ian everything she knew and letting him kill her if he wanted to; she would have preferred death to the torment of living with the memory of the lie that had been their lives-to the torment of living without him. “Are you ill?” he asked, frowning and minutely studying her face. Snatching at the excuse he’d offered, she nodded hastily. “Yes. I haven’t been feeling well.” “Is that why you went to London? To see a physician?” She nodded a little wildly, and to her bewildered horror he started to smile-that lazy, tender smile that always made her senses leap. “Are you with child, darling? Is that why you’re acting so strangely?” Elizabeth was silent, trying to debate the wisdom of saying yes or no-she should say no, she realized. He’d hunt her to the ends of the earth if he believed she was carrying his babe. “No! He-the doctor said it is just-just-nerves.” “You’ve been working and playing too hard,” Ian said, looking like the picture of a worried, devoted husband. “You need more rest.” Elizabeth couldn’t bear any more of this-not his feigned tenderness or his concern or the memory of Robert’s battered back. “I’m going to sleep now,” she said in a strangled voice. “Alone,” she added, and his face whitened as if she had slapped him. During his entire adult life Ian had relied almost as much on his intuition as on his intellect, and at that moment he didn’t want to believe in the explanation they were both offering. His wife did not want him in her bed; she recoiled from his touch; she had been away for two consecutive nights; and-more alarming than any of that-guilt and fear were written all over her pale face. “Do you know what a man thinks,” he said in a calm voice that belied the pain streaking through him, “when his wife stays away at night and doesn’t want him in her bed when she does return?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi (Heidi, #1-2))
It was as she remembered, a haven of comfort and serenity. With a glad sigh, she kicked off her shoes and sat down on the side of the bed.Smiling, she patted the mattress beside her. Her husband scowled. It seemed to have become his habit. "We aren't here to relax." "Wolscroft may not even be in the area. It could take days for this to be settled." "He's here," Dragon said with certainty. "He will know what happened at Winchester, and he will be looking for a way to stop us before we can threaten him further." Privately, Rycca believed the same but she saw no reason to stress it. Nothing would happen until dark. Of that she was confident. Which meant... "We have hours to fill.Any ideas?" When he realized her meaning,he looked startled. With a laugh,she scrambled off the bed and went to him. "Oh,Dragon,for heaven's sake, do you really want to mope around here all day? I certainly don't. I still haven't gotten over being afraid Magnus was going to kill you,and I simply don't want to think about death anymore. I want to celebrate life." "There are three hundred men out there-" "Which is why we're in here." She raised herself on tiptoe, bit the lobe of his ear, and whispered, "I promise not to yell too loudly." A shudder ran through him. Even as his big hands stroked her back,he said, "Warriors don't mope." "No,of course they don't.It was a poor choice of words.But you'll be pacing back and forth, looking out the windows, or you'll go get that whetstone I noticed in the stable and sharpen your sword endlessly, or you'll be staring off into space with that dangerous look you get when you're contemplating mayhem. You'll be totally oblivious to me and-" He laughed despite himself and drew her closer. "Enough! Heaven forbid I behave so churlishly." "Speaking of heaven..." With the covers kicked back,the bed was smooth and cool.They undressed each other slowly, relishing the wonder of discovery that still came to them fresh and pure as their very first time. "Remember?" Rycca murmured as she trailed her lips along his broad, powerfully muscled shoulder and down the solid wall of his chest. "I was so nervous..." "Really?" Fooled me....Ah..." "I'd never seen anything so beautiful as you." "Not...beautiful...you are..." "I can't believe how strong you are. Why am I never afraid with you?" "Know I'd die 'fore hurting you? Sweetheart..." "Ohhh! Dragon...please..." His hands and lips moved over her, sweetly tormenting. She clutched his shoulders, her hips rising, and welcomed him deep within her. Still he tantalized her, making her writhe and laughing when she squeezed him hard with her powerful inner muscles. But the laughter turned quickly to a moan of delight. She looked up into his perfectly formed face,more handsome than any man had a right to be, and into his tawny eyes that were the windows of a soul more beautiful than any physical form. A piercing sense of blessedness filled her that she should be so fortunate as to love and be loved by such a man. Her cresting cry was caught by him, hismouth hard against hers, the spur to his own completion that went on and on,seemingly without end.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
There is no silence upon the earth or under the earth like the silence under the sea; No cries announcing birth, No sounds declaring death. There is silence when the milt is laid on the spawn in the weeds and fungus of the rock-clefts; And silence in the growth and struggle for life. The bonitoes pounce upon the mackerel, And are themselves caught by the barracudas, The sharks kill the barracudas And the great molluscs rend the sharks, And all noiselessly-- Though swift be the action and final the conflict, The drama is silent. There is no fury upon the earth like the fury under the sea. For growl and cough and snarl are the tokens of spendthrifts who know not the ultimate economy of rage. Moreover, the pace of the blood is too fast. But under the waves the blood is sluggard and has the same temperature as that of the sea. There is something pre-reptilian about a silent kill. Two men may end their hostilities just with their battle-cries, 'The devil take you,' says one. 'I'll see you in hell,' says the other. And these introductory salutes followed by a hail of gutturals and sibilants are often the beginning of friendship, for who would not prefer to be lustily damned than to be half-heartedly blessed? No one need fear oaths that are properly enunciated, for they belong to the inheritance of just men made perfect, and, for all we know, of such may be the Kingdom of Heaven. But let silent hate be put away for it feeds upon the heart of the hater. Today I watched two pairs of eyes. One pair was black and the other grey. And while the owners thereof, for the space of five seconds, walked past each other, the grey snapped at the black and the black riddled the grey. One looked to say--'The cat,' And the other--'The cur.' But no words were spoken; Not so much as a hiss or a murmur came through the perfect enamel of the teeth; not so much as a gesture of enmity. If the right upper lip curled over the canine, it went unnoticed. The lashes veiled the eyes not for an instant in the passing. And as between the two in respect to candour of intention or eternity of wish, there was no choice, for the stare was mutual and absolute. A word would have dulled the exquisite edge of the feeling. An oath would have flawed the crystallization of the hate. For only such culture could grow in a climate of silence-- Away back before emergence of fur or feather, back to the unvocal sea and down deep where the darkness spills its wash on the threshold of light, where the lids never close upon the eyes, where the inhabitants slay in silence and are as silently slain.
E.J. Pratt