What Does It Mean When Someone Puts Something In Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to What Does It Mean When Someone Puts Something In. Here they are! All 30 of them:

The idea tells you everything. Lots of times I get ideas, I fall in love with them. Those ones you fall in love with are really special ideas. And, in some ways, I always say, when something's abstract, the abstractions are hard to put into words unless you're a poet. These ideas you somehow know. And cinema is a language that can say abstractions. I love stories, but I love stories that hold abstractions--that can hold abstractions. And cinema can say these difficult-to-say-in-words things. A lot of times, I don't know the meaning of the idea, and it drives me crazy. I think we should know the meaning of the idea. I think about them, and I tell this story about my first feature Eraserhead. I did not know what these things meant to me--really meant. And on that particular film, I started reading the Bible. And I'm reading the Bible, going along, and suddenly--there was a sentence. And I said, forget it! That's it. That's this thing. And so, I should know the meaning for me, but when things get abstract, it does me no good to say what it is. All viewers on the surface are all different. And we see something, and that's another place where intuition kicks in: an inner-knowingness. And so, you see a thing, you think about it, and you feel it, and you go and you sort of know something inside. And you can rely on that. Another thing I say is, if you go--after a film, withholding abstractions--to a coffee place--having coffee with your friends, someone will say something, and immediately you'll say “No, no, no, no, that's not what that was about.” You know? “This is what it was about.” And so many things come out, it's surprising. So you do know. For yourself. And what you know is valid.
David Lynch
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later ... later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more back-tracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It's a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, the the log of your journey is much less clear. Or, to put it another way. Someone once said that his favourite times in history were when things were collapsing, because that means something new is being born. Does this makes any sense if we apply it to our individual lives? Even if that something new is our very own self? Because just as all political and historical change sooner or later disappoints, so does adulthood. So does life. Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
To treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping is, instead, to consider what would be truly good for you. This is not “what you want.” It is also not “what would make you happy.” Every time you give a child something sweet, you make that child happy. That does not mean that you should do nothing for children except feed them candy. “Happy” is by no means synonymous with “good.” You must get children to brush their teeth. They must put on their snowsuits when they go outside in the cold, even though they might object strenuously. You must help a child become a virtuous, responsible, awake being, capable of full reciprocity—able to take care of himself and others, and to thrive while doing so. Why would you think it acceptable to do anything less for yourself?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The doors burst open, startling me awake. I nearly jumped out of bed. Tove groaned next to me, since I did this weird mind-slap thing whenever I woke up scared, and it always hit him the worst. I'd forgotten about it because it had been a few months since the last time it happened. "Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes. "What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired as hell, and I was not happy. "I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newlyweds." "Oh, my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. "You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time." "A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenuous activities, like a long night of lovemaking, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you." "Yes, we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had poured for him. "What about you, Princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass. "I'm not hungry." I sighed and sat up. "Oh, really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-" "It means that last night is none of your business," I snapped. I got up and hobbled over to Elora's satin robe, which had been left on a nearby chair. My feet and ankles ached from all the dancing I'd done the night before. "Don't cover up on my account," Loki said as I put on the robe. "You don't have anything I haven't seen." "Oh, I have plenty you haven't seen," I said and pulled the robe around me. "You should get married more often," Loki teased. "It makes you feisty." I rolled my eyes and went over to the table. Loki had set it all up, complete with a flower in a vase in the center, and he'd pulled off the domed lids to reveal a plentiful breakfast. I took a seat across from Tove, only to realize that Loki had pulled up a third chair for himself. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Well, I went to all the trouble of having someone prepare it, so I might as well eat it." Loki sat down and handed me a flute filled with orange liquid. "I made mimosas." "Thanks," I said, and I exchanged a look with Tove to see if it was okay if Loki stayed. "He's a dick," Tove said over a mouthful of food, and shrugged. "But I don't care." In all honesty, I think we both preferred having Loki there. He was a buffer between the two of us so we didn't have to deal with any awkward morning-after conversations. And though I'd never admit it aloud, Loki made me laugh, and right now I needed a little levity in my life. "So, how did everyone sleep last night?" Loki asked. There was a quick knock at the bedroom doors, but they opened before I could answer. Finn strode inside, and my stomach dropped. He was the last person I'd expected to see. I didn't even think he would be here anymore. After the other night I assumed he'd left, especially when I didn't see him at the wedding. "Princess, I'm sorry-" Finn started to say as he hurried in, but then he saw Loki and stopped abruptly. "Finn?" I asked, stunned. Finn looked appalled and pointed at Loki. "What are you doing here?" "I'm drinking a mimosa." Loki leaned back in his chair. "What are you doing here?" "What is he doing here?" Finn asked, turning his attention to me. "Never mind him." I waved it off. "What's going on?" "See, Finn, you should've told me when I asked," Loki said between sips of his drink.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Don’t make me out to be something worth saving. We both know I’m a waste.” His voice was so quiet. “I wish I was better at telling you why you have to stay here. I wish I could put into words the part of my heart that has your name written on it. That part hurts right now. You have to be here. You love life too much. You’re so important. I wish I could make you understand this.” He tried to smile at her valiant efforts. “I would keep you if I could. You can sleep here, right on this couch. Beckett, I will let you hold this baby when it comes.” She touched her stomach. “Does that tell you how much you mean to me? It’s the only thing I can come up with.” He shrugged. “Mouse would be disappointed. He’d feel like he didn’t do his job if you died…Eve loves you. Wherever she is—in this strip club—is that what you’ve been wishing for?” Beckett shook his head. “No, right? She loves you. You can’t kill someone she loves. You just can’t.
Debra Anastasia (Return to Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #2))
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
I'm going to get lecture-y for a second and add that I think the entire idea of tops and bottems, especially when coming from straight people who fetishize gay people, is an attempt to place some sort of hetero world over gay people. "Oh your're a bottom, so you're the woman." Gay guys who are strictly tops or bottoms tend to embrace this idea, too. Being a top only means you're "manly" or whatever because not being manly is considered bad by like adults and TV and stuff. Gay guys can buy into that crap just as easy as straight people. Whenever you see masc for masc on Grindr or whatever, what you're seeing is someone saying," I don't want people to think I'm like a woman, and I don;t want people to think that you're like a woman because people will think less of us." Sure people have preference but these ideas of masculine and feminine are kind of meaningless. I wear make-up. I think I'm pretty manly! We're all told this crap all the time, but you can reject it. Instead you're enforcing the idea that there is masculine and there is feminine, and that masculine is, for some unexplained reason, better. Finally, and this should probably be clear after the last bit, but you cant tell a top or a bottom or what a person's preferences are just by looking at him! Big, harry, muscled men love taking it up the ass. Trust me, I know. And slim, make-up wearing types, we love to f@$%. And in my case, get f@$%ed, too. Like I said, versatility is the best. So, in summary, it's wrong to assume all gay guys are having anal sex all the time. And it's ridiculous and offensive and stereotyping and hurtful to think that those who are penetrated are girly and those who penetrate are manly, something you've been doing. ... You're email is more like a mean joke you tell your friends, and I think that is because secretly you hate the way you're always being told what a girl should be like. And when you see a gay guy blurring the gender lines a little, like me, you're jealous of him. You want to put him in his place. You want to say, "he's not a man." Because if you can't blur those gender lines without being told you're gross or wrong, then you want to make sure that anyone who does cross those gender lines gets punished the way you would. But you shouldn't be punishing gay guys. You should be braking down the barriers that keep you from being who YOU want to be!
Lev A.C. Rosen (Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts))
emmersmacks: Hold on emmersmacks: Wait emmersmacks: So you stood up for him? MirkerLurker: Yeah. emmersmacks: . . . Im failing to see the issue here E emmersmacks: Did they hurt you?? MirkerLurker: No . . . not really. Just took my sketchbook and threw it around a little. MirkerLurker: Okay look I know it doesn’t sound that bad MirkerLurker: But, like, you don’t understand the way this guy looks at me. He’s one of those where it’s like, “Why are you even standing in front of me, you’re uglier than the stuff I crap out after eating too muchChipotle.” 3:19 p.m. (Apocalypse_Cow has joined the message) Apocalypse_Cow: i feel like i came in at a bad time. i’ll go. emmersmacks: E is having a crisis Apocalypse_Cow: crisis over what? MirkerLurker: Just this stupid new kid at school who may or may not be a fanficwriter for Monstrous Sea and who definitely thinks I am the scum of the earth. emmersmacks: Why would he think that?? You stood up for him MirkerLurker: I don’t know! Because I emasculated him, probably. Or something. Max, I need advice from someone who’s felt emasculated. Apocalypse_Cow: why would you immediately assume i’ve felt emasculated before? MirkerLurker: Because you’re the only male here. Apocalypse_Cow: if you want to know if some guys feel emasculated when a girl stands up to a bully for them, then unfortunately i must say that yes, that does happen. Apocalypse_Cow: BUT NOT ME. Apocalypse_Cow: LET IT BE KNOWN THAT MAX CHOPRA HAS NEVER FELT EMASCULATED. Apocalypse_Cow: but really, did this guy say something to you? why feel so bad about it? MirkerLurker: He didn’t say ANYTHING. That’s the problem! MirkerLurker: He just stood there and wouldn’t even look at me. emmersmacks: Did you say anything MirkerLurker: . . . No. emmersmacks: Well emmersmacks: E emmersmacks: There you might have a problem Apocalypse_Cow: you’re getting schooled in social skills by a twelve-year-old in college. how does that feel emmersmacks: Im fourteen not twelve emmersmacks: Asshole Apocalypse_Cow: wait, he left a note in your sketchbook? what did it say? MirkerLurker: It said thanks, and that the pictures were good. emmersmacks: OH MY GOD emmersmacks: THATS WHY HE DIDNT TALK MirkerLurker: What? emmersmacks: HE WAS TOO NERVOUS emmersmacks: AW HE LIKES YOU E MirkerLurker: I really really doubt that. MirkerLurker: Like, I mean, REALLY doubt it. MirkerLurker: He’s not exactly the kind of guy that’s usually interested in me. Apocalypse_Cow: what kind of guy is usually interested in you? MirkerLurker: The kind I make up in my head. Apocalypse_Cow: wooooooooooooooooooooooow Apocalypse_Cow: woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow Apocalypse_Cow: woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow Apocalypse_Cow: do you want me to go ahead and fill your house with cats right now, or do you want to put that off for a few years? MirkerLurker: Har har
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
Sam’s the man who’s come to chop us up to bits. No wonder I kicked him out. No wonder I changed the locks. If he cannot stop death, what good is he? ‘Open the door. Please. I’m so tired,’ he says. I look at the night that absorbed my life. How am I supposed to know what’s love, what’s fear? ‘If you’re Sam who am I?’ ‘I know who you are.’ ‘You do?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Who?’ Don’t say wife, I think. Don’t say mother. I put my face to the glass, but it’s dark. I don’t reflect. Sam and I watch each other through the window of the kitchen door. He coughs some more. ‘I want to come home,’ he says. ‘I want us to be okay. That’s it. Simple. I want to come home and be a family.’ ‘But I am not simple.’ My body’s coursing with secret genes and hormones and proteins. My body made eyeballs and I have no idea how. There’s nothing simple about eyeballs. My body made food to feed those eyeballs. How? And how can I not know or understand the things that happen inside my body? That seems very dangerous. There’s nothing simple here. I’m ruled by elixirs and compounds. I am a chemistry project conducted by a wild child. I am potentially explosive. Maybe I love Sam because hormones say I need a man to kill the coyotes at night, to bring my babies meat. But I don’t want caveman love. I want love that lives outside the body. I want love that lives. ‘In what ways are you not simple?’ I think of the women I collected upstairs. They’re inside me. And they are only a small fraction of the catalog. I think of molds, of the sea, the biodiversity of plankton. I think of my dad when he was a boy, when he was a tree bud. ‘It’s complicated,’ I say, and then the things I don’t say yet. Words aren’t going to be the best way here. How to explain something that’s coming into existence? ‘I get that now.’ His shoulders tremble some. They jerk. He coughs. I have infected him. ‘Sam.’ We see each other through the glass. We witness each other. That’s something, to be seen by another human, to be seen over all the years. That’s something, too. Love plus time. Love that’s movable, invisible as a liquid or gas, love that finds a way in. Love that leaks. ‘Unlock the door,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to love you because I’m scared.’ ‘So you imagine bad things about me. You imagine me doing things I’ve never done to get rid of me. Kick me out so you won’t have to worry about me leaving?’ ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘Right.’ And I’m glad he gets that. Sam cocks his head the same way a coyote might, a coyote who’s been temporarily confused by a question of biology versus mortality. What’s the difference between living and imagining? What’s the difference between love and security? Coyotes are not moral. ‘Unlock the door?’ he asks. This family is an experiment, the biggest I’ve ever been part of, an experiment called: How do you let someone in? ‘Unlock the door,’ he says again. ‘Please.’ I release the lock. I open the door. That’s the best definition of love. Sam comes inside. He turns to shut the door, then stops himself. He stares out into the darkness where he came from. What does he think is out there? What does he know? Or is he scared I’ll kick him out again? That is scary. ‘What if we just left the door open?’ he asks. ‘Open.’ And more, more things I don’ts say about the bodies of women. ‘Yeah.’ ‘What about skunks?’ I mean burglars, gangs, evil. We both peer out into the dark, looking for thees scary things. We watch a long while. The night does nothing. ‘We could let them in if they want in,’ he says, but seems uncertain still. ‘Really?’ He draws the door open wider and we leave it that way, looking out at what we can’t see. Unguarded, unafraid, love and loved. We keep the door open as if there are no doors, no walls, no skin, no houses, no difference between us and all the things we think of as the night.
Samantha Hunt (The Dark Dark)
Right,” he said, “As you well know, humans are biologically programmed to sleep twice a day—a siesta in the afternoon, then eight hours of sleep at night.” She nodded. “Except most of us skip the siesta because our jobs demand it. And when I say most of us, I really just mean Americans. Mexico doesn’t have this problem, nor does France or Italy or any of those other countries that drink even more than we do at lunch. Still, the fact remains: human productivity naturally drops in the afternoon. In TV, this is referred to as the Afternoon Depression Zone. Too late to get anything meaningful done; too early to go home. Doesn’t matter if you’re a homemaker, a fourth grader, a bricklayer, a businessman—no one is immune. Between the hours of one thirty-one and four forty-four p.m., productive life as we know it ceases to exist. It’s a virtual death zone.” Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. “And although I said it affects everyone,” he continued, “it’s an especially dangerous time for the homemaker. Because unlike a fourth grader who can put off her homework, or a businessman who can pretend to be listening, the homemaker must force herself to keep going. She has to get the kids down for a nap because if she doesn’t, the evening will be hell. She has to mop the floor because if she doesn’t, someone could slip on the spilled milk. She has to run to the store because if she doesn’t, there will be nothing to eat. By the way,” he said, pausing, “have you ever noticed how women always say they need to run to the store? Not walk, not go, not stop by. Run. That’s what I mean. The homemaker is operating at an insane level of hyperproductivity. And even though she’s in way over her head, she still has to make dinner. It’s not sustainable, Elizabeth. She’s going to have a heart attack or a stroke, or at the very least be in a foul mood. And it’s all because she can’t procrastinate like her fourth grader or pretend to be doing something like her husband. She’s forced to be productive despite the fact that she’s in a potentially fatal time zone—the Afternoon Depression Zone.” “It’s classic neurogenic deprivation,” Elizabeth said, nodding.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
He returned to the table with a pile of pastries and two coffees. “Hungry?” she asked. “Let’s figure out what you like.” He waved at the pastries. How thoughtful. She picked up a small biscuit cookie to nibble but shook her head. “Too crunchy.” “Try the scone,” he recommended. One bite. “Nope. No scones. Maybe I’m not a pastry person.” “I’m taking notes over here.” He almost spit out his sip of coffee from laughter when she had to empty her mouth into a small napkin after biting into a cheesy sweet concoction. “Sorry.” Her face went hot. “I’ll stick with croissants. What about you? What do you like?” He shrugged. “I’m not picky.” “Is it bad to be picky? Does it mean I’m high maintenance?” “Maybe you’re not into sweets.” “If I dribbled chocolate all over you, I’d lick it off and like it.” She slapped a hand over her mouth. “Did I just say that out loud? Forget I said that.” “No undoing that. It’s stuck in here.” He tapped his head. “Moon madness.” “It’s mid-morning. There’s no moon in the sky.” He peeked out the window. “Maybe not a full moon, but there’s one in the sky. This insanity is our bodies cranking up for the main event later today.” His eyes traveled down her body and back up; he wet his lips with his tongue. Her mind flashed back to the moment his lips were on hers, the way his fingers had dug into her, the desperation flowing from his fingertips. Things were about to get a lot more interesting as the day wore on. In silence, they ate for a while. She leaned back and stared at him. “You may have to answer to someone, but you like what you do most of the time. Why do you do it? Save humans against things that bump in the night?” “I’m cursed to follow orders.” “Sure, you’re forced into some things, but that only goes so far.” He wiped a few crumbs off the table. “Perhaps so. It’s a good cause. Most of the time. Occasionally, the missions we’re ordered on are based on erroneous information.” She reached out and put her hand over his. “I might be as bad as they made me out. I don’t remember. I appreciate you trying to help me figure it out, but if I start to show an inclination toward evil or world domination, do your job.” He rotated his hand to hold hers and stared at their connection. “The fact you considered it means you’re not someone I should kill.” “We don’t know.” She removed her hand from his. “Tell me something about yourself. What pastry do you like? Are you a scones person?” He shook his head. “I’m not into a lot of sweets, but I’ve realized I like chocolate.
Zoe Forward (Bad Moon Rising (Crown's Wolves, #1))
Dear Dex, We’ve been meaning to write you this letter for months, and I’m sorry it took us so long. We could never quite figure out the right words to say to you, because words are simply not enough to express to you just how grateful we are to you. Not many people are lucky enough to experience the kind of friendship that you and Teddy had. You were only little kids when you met, but the bond you formed was something special. From then on, it was you and Teddy against the world. The greatest kind of friends are the ones who bring out the best in one another, and that’s what you and Teddy did every day. You made each other stronger, wiser and braver, and you learned from each other. Most importantly, you stood by each other, right until the very end. We are eternally grateful to you for being there by his side in his final moments. For holding his hand and letting him know that he wasn’t alone and that, even in death, someone he loved was there with him. We take comfort in knowing that he didn’t leave this world alone. There’s no doubt in our minds that you did everything you could to try and save him, Dex. We know that there’s nothing you could have done differently, and we can only hope that you know it too. Not everyone can be saved – sometimes God has a greater purpose for the ones we love, and we must fight through the pain and learn to accept that they are somewhere far better than here. We know that you miss him, and we miss him too… every single day. But with each day that passes, it becomes a little bit easier. Some days are harder than others, but our frowns no longer outweigh our smiles. We no longer cry when we see his pictures around the house, and memories of him no longer bring pain to our hearts, but instead put a smile on our faces as we remember who he was. We all must honor his memory by focusing on what we gained by having him in our lives, rather than on what we lost when he passed. It’s what he would have wanted for all of us. Teddy loved life. He reveled in the simple things, and he saw a positive light in even the worst situations. He would never want his death to bring you sadness or to rob you of the joys of life. He would want you to remember the good times and focus on the memories of him that make you smile – because he is someone who could make anyone smile! You have such a big heart, Dex, and because of that you’ve always felt things a little bit stronger and more deeply than everyone else. Don’t let your grief weigh you down. Don’t carry the burden of your loss with you forever. Our scars become a part of us, but you cannot let them define you. We will carry him with us in our hearts forever, and moving on does not mean that we’re forgetting him or leaving him behind. It means choosing to live. Thank you for being a part of our son’s life. Of our lives. You brought so much joy and laughter to his time here on this earth, and we will forever cherish those moments. Take solace in your memories of him, do not let them bring you pain. Teddy loved you so much, and he always will. So will we.
Ellie Grace (Break Away)
But won’t political involvement distract us from the main task of preaching the Gospel? At this point someone may object that while political involvement may have some benefits and may do some good, it can so easily distract us, turn unbelievers away from the church, and cause us to neglect the main task of pointing people toward personal trust in Christ. John MacArthur writes, “When the church takes a stance that emphasizes political activism and social moralizing, it always diverts energy and resources away from evangelization.”83 Yet the proper question is not, “Does political influence take resources away from evangelism?” but, “Is political influence something God has called us to do?” If God has called some of us to some political influence, then those resources would not be blessed if we diverted them to evangelism—or to the choir, or to teaching Sunday School to children, or to any other use. In this matter, as in everything else the church does, it would be healthy for Christians to realize that God may call individual Christians to different emphases in their lives. This is because God has placed in the church “varieties of gifts” (1 Cor. 12:4) and the church is an entity that has “many members” but is still “one body” (v. 12). Therefore God might call someone to devote almost all of his or her time to the choir, someone else to youth work, someone else to evangelism, someone else to preparing refreshments to welcome visitors, and someone else to work with lighting and sound systems. “But if Jim places all his attention on the sound system, won’t that distract the church from the main task of preaching the Gospel?” No, not at all. That is not what God has called Jim to emphasize (though he will certainly share the Gospel with others as he has opportunity). Jim’s exclusive focus on the church’s sound system means he is just being a faithful steward in the responsibility God has given him. In the same way, I think it is entirely possible that God called Billy Graham to emphasize evangelism and say nothing about politics and also called James Dobson to emphasize a radio ministry to families and to influencing the political world for good. Aren’t there enough Christians in the world for us to focus on more than one task? And does God not call us to thousands of different emphases, all in obedience to him? But the whole ministry of the church will include both emphases. And the teaching ministry from the pulpit should do nothing less than proclaim “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It should teach, over the course of time, on all areas of life and all areas of Bible knowledge. That certainly must include, to some extent, what the Bible says about the purposes of civil government and how that teaching should apply to our situations today. This means that in a healthy church we will find that some people emphasize influencing the government and politics, others emphasize influencing the business world, others emphasize influencing the educational system, others entertainment and the media, others marriage and the family, and so forth. When that happens, it seems to me that we should encourage, not discourage, one another. We should adopt the attitude toward each other that Paul encouraged in the church at Rome: Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother (Rom. 14:10–13). For several different reasons, then, I think the view that says the church should just “do evangelism, not politics” is incorrect.
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
Accountability An executive in service, as I said in the first chapter, must be one who lives for today but cares nothing for tomorrow. If this is so, and he does what he has to do day-to-day, with zeal and thoroughness, so that nothing at all is left undone, he has no reason to feel any reproach or regret. But living in the moment of the day does not mean ignoring future consequences. Troubles arise when people rely on the future and become lazy and indolent and let things slide. They put off quite urgent affairs after a lot of discussion, not to speak of less important ones, in the belief that they will do just as well the next day. They push off this responsibility onto one comrade and blame another for shortcomings. And when trying to get someone to do something for them, if there is no one to assist, they leave it undone, so that before long there is a big accumulation of unfinished jobs. This is a mistake that comes from relying on the future against which one must be very definitely on one’s guard. For instance, some executives are never accountable enough to arrive on time for a meeting. These silly fellows waste time by having a smoke or chatting with their secretaries and colleagues when they ought to be starting, and so leave their office late. They then have to hurry so much that, as they walk or drive, they do not acknowledge with courtesy people they pass. And when they do get to their destination, they are all covered with perspiration and breathing heavily, and then have to make some plausible excuse for their lateness on account of some very urgent business they had to do. When an executive has a meeting, he never ought to be late for any private reason. And if one man takes care to be a little early and then has to wait a bit for a comrade who is late, he should not sit down and yawn, neither should he hurry away when his time is up as though reluctant to be there. For these things do not look at all well either.
Don Schmincke (The Code of the Executive: Forty-seven Ancient Samurai Principles Essential for Twenty-first Century Leadership Success)
We deserve some respect. You deserve some respect. You are important to other people, as much as to yourself. You have some vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world. You are, therefore, morally obliged to take care of yourself. You should take care of, help and be good to yourself the same way you would take care of, help and be good to someone you loved and valued. You may therefore have to conduct yourself habitually in a manner that allows you some respect for your own Being—and fair enough. But every person is deeply flawed. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. If that stark fact meant, however, that we had no responsibility to care, for ourselves as much as others, everyone would be brutally punished all the time. That would not be good. That would make the shortcomings of the world, which can make everyone who thinks honestly question the very propriety of the world, worse in every way. That simply cannot be the proper path forward. To treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping is, instead, to consider what would be truly good for you. This is not “what you want.” It is also not “what would make you happy.” Every time you give a child something sweet, you make that child happy. That does not mean that you should do nothing for children except feed them candy. “Happy” is by no means synonymous with “good.” You must get children to brush their teeth. They must put on their snowsuits when they go outside in the cold, even though they might object strenuously. You must help a child become a virtuous, responsible, awake being, capable of full reciprocity—able to take care of himself and others, and to thrive while doing so. Why would you think it acceptable to do anything less for yourself?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Where are you? I need you to answer. Of all the times for you not to answer, this is the worst. I just kissed Garner. Oh my gosh. Rose! What am I going to do? Today was a long, hard, long—did I already say long?—day. I was working here at my desk and I was incredibly frustrated because I was having to fix a mistake one of the financial analysts made, when I heard a knock. I looked up and Garner was standing just inside my doorway, with his suit jacket over his arm. My heart squeezed because . . . you know why. This thing I have for him. He asked me why I always work so late. I explained about the mistake I was fixing and then told him about all the other things I still have to finish before I can call it a night. He said he thought it was dangerous for me to remain on our floor after hours, to walk to my car alone, to arrive at my apartment alone. He told me he was concerned that I’m being careless with my safety. I stared at him, speechless, because lots of people work late. Almost all of them are men, so the only thing I could figure was that he was basically scolding me for working late because I’m female. Which is completely sexist and infuriating. But hold the phone. It gets worse. “Going home earlier will be better for you in other ways,” he said. “It’ll help you balance things out. Get more sleep. More rest.” And then this is the kicker. He said, “It might be time for you to get a life, Kathleen.” He said it nicely. There was humor in his eyes, there was. But I knew . . . I knew, Rose, that he was serious. That he really does think I need to get a life. And it just . . . it sparked something inside me because here I am working my butt off for Bradford Shipping, spending my time at the office, because I’m trying to save his company. He’s the one leaving to go home and he has the audacity to tell me to get a life! I stood and came around my desk as I told him all of that. Everything I just told you. I didn’t scream it. I spoke it quickly and I think, quietly. But I said it like I meant it. Because I did mean it. I was upset. How dare he! Get a life! From the man who’s not exactly known for making the best life decisions. I found myself standing right in front of him. He raised an eyebrow slightly. That’s it! That’s all he did. He was totally unmoved by my speech. He looked calm. He looked like someone I could never have. Plus, his eyes are ridiculous. My destructive streak surfaced and I stepped forward and I put my palms on his cheeks and I kissed him. Just a press of lips to lips. That’s it. I waited for maybe one whole second, which felt like ten, for him to kiss me back, to put his arms around me. Something! Instead he moved backward. Oh, Rose. It was horrible. His gaze narrowed on me and his chest expanded with his breath a few times, but otherwise he stood there like a statue. And I stood there like a statue. Then he turned and left. I could die. I’ve locked my office door and closed my blinds and I’m sitting on the floor behind my desk. How am I supposed to face him now? I’m sure he thinks I’m insane. Why
Becky Wade (Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5))
Swearing through his teeth, Ryan closed the distance between them and enveloped Jamie in a tight hug. “I don’t hate you, you prat,” he said, burying his nose into Jamie’s hair. “Don’t you ever think that.” “I’m sorry,” Jamie whispered. “I fucked up. I didn’t mean to—it just happened.” Ryan pulled back a little to look him in the eye. “Don’t you dare blame yourself for loving someone.” He forced out a teasing smile. “No one can blame you for your excellent taste.” A ghost of a smile touched Jamie’s lips, but his eye-roll was half-hearted at best. His eyes were still shiny, his face very pale. The knowledge that he was the one who had put that look on Jamie’s face made him sick to his stomach. Setting his jaw, Ryan cradled Jamie’s face in his hands. “Listen,” he said, holding Jamie’s gaze intently. “I promise you I’ll do whatever it takes to fix this. If you want to, I’ll find you the best boyfriend in the world. Someone you can fall in love and be happy with. How does that sound, mmm?” The smile Jamie gave him was a little shaky. Ryan told himself it was better than nothing. “You don’t have to do anything,” Jamie said. “I didn’t tell you that because I expected you to do something.” Jamie smiled brighter. “It’s not your fault I’m an idiot. I’ll be fine—” “Stop it,” Ryan said. “Don’t pretend it’s okay.” “It’s not okay,” Jamie said. He smiled at Ryan, a little brokenly, as if he had no clue what that smile was doing to him. “It’s not. But I’m not the first or the last person in the world to love someone I can’t have. I’m not sure what I expected when I decided to tell you. But I didn’t expect anything from you. I know you don’t love me that way. I know you love her, that you’re happy with her.” Jamie’s eyes were a little too bright. “Nothing has to change. Just…just don’t expect me to be your best man when you marry her, okay? I can’t do it, not even for you.” Ryan felt like the ground moved beneath his feet. He could only watch Jamie lie once again that he would be fine, force out another smile and leave. Ryan stood, unmoving, an acid churning deep in the pit of his stomach, and he fought the impulse to retch and break something. Later that night, he didn’t make love to Hannah. He fucked her, hard and rough, pouring out all his frustration and anger, Jamie’s shaky, forced smile before his eyes. When she came, moaning and shuddering around him, he pulled out, rolled out of the bed, and went to the bathroom. He stared at his naked body in the mirror, at his heaving chest and hard dick. He thought of all those times he had unthinkingly, unknowingly hurt Jamie, flaunting how happy he was with Hannah. Of all those times he told Jamie that he loved Hannah. Of all those times he kissed Hannah in front of him. Of all those bright smiles Jamie gave him afterward. Ryan slammed his fist in the mirror.
Alessandra Hazard (Just a Bit Confusing (Straight Guys #5))
Was there a moment you realized you could control how you interpreted things? I think one problem people have is not recognizing they can control how they interpret and respond to a situation. I think everyone knows it’s possible. There’s a great Osho lecture, titled “The Attraction for Drugs Is Spiritual.” He talks about why do people do drugs (everything from alcohol to psychedelics to cannabis). They’re doing it to control their mental state. They’re doing it to control how they react. Some people drink because it helps them not care as much, or they’re potheads because they can zone out, or they do psychedelics to feel very present or connected to nature. The attraction of drugs is spiritual. All of society does this to some extent. People chasing thrills in action sports or flow states or orgasms—any of these states people strive for are people trying to get out of their own heads. They’re trying to get away from the voice in their heads—the overdeveloped sense of self. At the very least, I do not want my sense of self to continue to develop and strengthen as I get older. I want it to be weaker and more muted so I can be more in present everyday reality, accept nature and the world for what it is, and appreciate it very much as a child would. [4] The first thing to realize is you can observe your mental state. Meditation doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to gain the superpower to control your internal state. The advantage of meditation is recognizing just how out of control your mind is. It is like a monkey flinging feces, running around the room, making trouble, shouting, and breaking things. It’s completely uncontrollable. It’s an out-of-control madperson. You have to see this mad creature in operation before you feel a certain distaste toward it and start separating yourself from it. In that separation is liberation. You realize, “Oh, I don’t want to be that person. Why am I so out of control?” Awareness alone calms you down. [4] Insight meditation lets you run your brain in debug mode until you realize you’re just a subroutine in a larger program. I try to keep an eye on my internal monologue. It doesn’t always work. In the computer programming sense, I try to run my brain in “debugging mode” as much as possible. When I’m talking to someone, or when I’m engaged in a group activity, it’s almost impossible because your brain has too many things to handle. If I’m by myself, like just this morning, I’m brushing my teeth and I start thinking forward to a podcast. I started going through this little fantasy where I imagined Shane asking me a bunch of questions and I was fantasy- answering them. Then, I caught myself. I put my brain in debug mode and just watched every little instruction go by. I said, “Why am I fantasy-future planning? Why can’t I just stand here and brush my teeth?” It’s the awareness my brain was running off in the future and planning some fantasy scenario out of ego. I was like, “Well, do I really care if I embarrass myself? Who cares? I’m going to die anyway. This is all going to go to zero, and I won’t remember anything, so this is pointless.” Then, I shut down, and I went back to brushing my teeth. I was noticing how good the toothbrush was and how good it felt. Then the next moment, I’m off to thinking something else. I have to look at my brain again and say, “Do I really need to solve this problem right now?” Ninety-five percent of what my brain runs off and tries to do, I don’t need to tackle in that exact moment. If the brain is like a muscle, I’ll be better off resting it, being at peace. When a particular problem arises, I’ll immerse myself in it. Right now as we’re talking, I’d rather dedicate myself to being completely lost in the conversation and to being 100 percent focused on this as opposed to thinking about “Oh, when I brushed my teeth, did I do it the right way?
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
Don’t know if you have any hobbies.” She nodded. “I do. I may have to take a break from it for a bit while I’m out here, but normally when I have a light day on campus, I go to a class . . .” I waited. “It’s . . . pole dancing.” I stopped breathing, but at least I didn’t choke. Nodding, I took a sip of my wine to block my face, which I was pretty sure had turned the shade of a beet. “So, like Flashdance? Welder by day, dancer by night?” I barked out, feeling a stirring in my pants that was wholly inappropriate for my roomie, who’d been talking about diode lasers a minute earlier. She’s a goddamn pole dancer. She chuckled and crossed her arms over her chest as though trying to keep me from picturing her dancing. “Excellent movie reference. But no, that’s not even close to what I do.” It hardly mattered. My brain was stuck. Like a white-hot strobe had blinded me to everything except Sarah wearing lingerie and grinding on a pole under hot lights. For me. Stop picturing it. Fuck! “Cool,” I finally managed to say with a straight face. Like it meant nothing. She nodded. Like it meant nothing. Then she spread some brie cheese on a cracker and took a bite. I choked out an excuse and went to the bathroom to get a grip. This will be okay. It will. It has to be. In the bathroom, I splashed some cold water on my face and took a hard look at myself in the mirror. What was happening? I hadn’t been this jacked up over a woman anytime in the past two years. My emotions had been buried in caverns so deep I felt confident they were gone for good. I was fine with that. It made no sense. Or . . . maybe it did. I’ve always been competitive as fuck. If I’m told I can’t have something, I want it all the more and do anything in my power to make it mine. That had to be what was happening here. It was all in my head. I knew she was off limits, so the competitive motherfucker in me started bucking against that. I just needed to get my head together and think of her like any other human who happened to be using my second bedroom. When I got back to the table, Sarah looked up at me with a thin slice of Parma ham twirled around her fork and put the bit into her mouth. I had no defensible reason to focus on her lips or the soft contour of her jaw while she chewed. She swallowed and smiled at me. “I figured I should get a head start on eating while you were gone. In case you had more questions.” “Good plan. Maybe we should focus on the food for a few minutes, or we could be here all night.” I bit into a slider and closed my eyes at how delicious the slow-roasted meat tasted on the brioche bun. Who needed to cook when someone else could make food that tasted like this? It was how I’d become addicted to takeout and why I rarely ate at home anymore. That, and I spent a lot of time at work. Sarah finished the last of the cheesy bread and wiped her lips gingerly on a napkin before looking right at me with those gorgeous eyes. “This is weird, right? It’s not just me?” I tilted my head, trying to read her expression and decipher her meaning. “Could you be specific? She waved her hands between us. “This. Us. We’re in our thirties and we’re roommates. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a roommate for about ten years. Does it freak you out a little bit?” Yes, but not for the reasons she meant.
Stacy Travis (The Spark Between Us (Berkeley Hills, #4))
When I am gone Karly- I think back on it my great x4 Grandmother Hope went to school on black and wood 1919 Ford Model T Ford, I don’t get that, there were not even windows in the piece of crap. And then I can get my car. My dad was telling me this unbelievable story. About this old car like a red 28 ford coupe or so he thought. My dad was showing me the roof from it, somewhere down the line someone thought it was okay to cut up this cute little car just to be a d*ick about it, it must have been my great x4 granddad baby that someone was jealous of, saying he wanted to pass it down yet never to Neveah, so he junked it out for parts, and that explains why someone wanted the rooftop. Maybe someone thought it was going to go to her and the sisters’ family cut it up, really- I think that is how I got these parts. Emallie- I feel that my little nine-year-old sisters are in her room as I am at school, however since that day she’s never once stepped foot in my room. It’s a bummer she more freaked up than me in some ways is it not? Like- since she never surprises me by fixing up my sheets anymore, she leaves all that should be folded laundry or a new sundress on my bed like she did when I was in middle school, yet all messy and crap, but at least I know she’s not rooting through my drawers while I’m at school, looking for my sex toys or thongs. ‘If you want to come out here, why do you drag me? I’ll get the thermometer, and crap and say I'm sick,’ she says, she is- very- hyperactive and more! She needs to be on Methylphenidate or (Ritalin) as they call it. She does something that I don’t like yet that what they say is needed. Her name is Judcël. Yet we just call her Judie, she hates that just say I am the boy she said, she not yet she might want to be on this crap. ‘I don’t think I have a temperature.’ There’s a yell kicking and screaming my mom hitting my mom in the face, pushed in the wall, and punched off is how I lost my hearing that to this little brat… I was fine until she was impetus out of my mother. She should have had a d*ick it would have been a lot easier, than putting up with this… and get this mom is single, and on her own now with her. I think sex before marriage is not a sin. I think the big deal should be about SEX BEFORE LOVE. If you have been with somebody for a long time and you can easily see yourself growing old with them, getting married, maybe having children, then sure, I think it would be fine to make love. Sex is a natural desire found in all animals. Why should we deny Mother Nature's ways? (Of course, I respect all religions and beliefs, and I mean no offense if you believe in abstinence until marriage.) Well... uh, for one thing, you can get diseases. And then if you’re not married before having sex, what's keeping the guy from leaving you? Nothing... He'll use you then leave. I think it's pretty dumb that you think it's no big deal...
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh They Call Out)
This is life seen by life. I may not have meaning but it is the same lack of meaning that the pulsing vein has. I want to write to you like someone learning. I deepen the words as if I were painting, more than an object, its shadow. I don’t want to ask why, you can always ask why and always get no answer—could I manage to surrender to the expectant silence that follows a question without an answer? Though I sense that some place or time the great answer for me does exist. And then I shall know how to paint and write, after the strange but intimate answer. Listen to me, listen to the silence. What I say to you is never what I say to you but something else instead. It captures the thing that escapes me and yet I live from it and am above a shining darkness. One instant athematic theme unfurls without a plan but geometric like the successive shapes in a kaleidoscope. I slowly enter my gift to myself, splendor ripped open by the final song that seems to be the first. I enter the writing slowly as I once entered painting. It is a world tangled up in creepers, syllables, woodbine, colors and words—threshold of an ancestral cavern that is the womb of the world and from it I shall be born. And if I often paint caves that is because they are my plunge into the earth, dark but haloed with brightness, and I, blood of nature— extravagant and dangerous caves, talisman of the Earth, where stalactites, fossils and rocks come together, and where the animals mad by their own malign nature seek refuge. The caves are my hell. Forever dreaming cave with its fogs, memory or longing? eerie, eerie, esoteric greenish with the slime of time. All is weighted with sleep when I paint a cave or write to you about it—from outside it comes the clatter of dozens of wild horses stamping with dry hoofs the darkness, and from the friction of the hoofs the rejoicing is freed in sparks: here I am, I and the cave, in the very time that will rot us. I want to put into words but without description the existence of the cave that some time ago I painted—and I don’t know how. Only by repeating its sweet horror, cavern of terror and wonders, place of afflicted souls, winter and hell, unpredictable substratum of the evil that is inside an earth that is not fertile. I call the cave by its name and it begins to live with its miasma. I then fear myself who knows how to paint the horror, I, creature of echoing caverns that I am, and I suffocate because I am word and also its echo.
Clarice Lispector (Água Viva)
To get a sense of their exchange, you should know a little about how the system functioned, or rather how it still does, because in this particular matter, I believe that little to nothing has changed. The peasant who cannot write, and needs something written, goes looking for a person who knows the art, and chooses someone, as best he can, from among members of his own class, since he is intimidated by others or doesn’t trust them. He explains the background, with some degree of order and clarity, and in the same fashion, he dictates what needs to be put down on paper. The writer, in equal parts understanding and misunderstanding, offers some advice, proposes a few changes, and says, “Leave it to me.” He picks up his pen, puts down the other person’s thoughts in written form as best he can, corrects them, improves them, emphasizes some parts, and softens or leaves out others, depending on what he thinks sounds best; because—there’s no escaping it—a man who knows more than others does not want to be a tool in their hands. When he delves into their business, he wants to do things slightly in his own way. Still, the writer does not always manage to say everything he means. Sometimes he even ends up saying the opposite; the same thing also happens to me when I write for the press. When a letter composed in such a manner reaches the addressee, who, like the sender, is also unschooled in the ABC’s, he or she must turn to another learned man of similar status to read and explain the message. Questions over interpretation arise since the recipient, who is familiar with the background, claims that certain words mean one thing, while the reader, based on his experience with composition, claims that they mean something else. In the end, the one who cannot write must submit to the one who can and entrust him with the reply; a reply that, following the pattern of the previous letter, is subject to the same style of interpretation. And if, moreover, the subject of the correspondence is a little delicate, and involves secret matters that should be indecipherable to a third person if the letter happens to go astray; and if, in this regard, there is also a deliberate intention not to say things clearly, then, no matter how brief the correspondence, the two parties will end up understanding each other as well as two medieval scholars might have, in the olden days, after debating the meaning of Aristotle’s entelechy for four hours (I have shied away from using a more modern example to avoid getting my ears boxed!).
Alessandro Manzoni (The Betrothed: A Novel)
The brutality of language conceals the banality of thought and, with certain major exceptions, is indistinguishable from a kind of conformism. Cities, once the initial euphoria of discovery had worn off, were beginning to provoke in her a kind of unease. in New York, there was nothing, deep down, that appealed to her in the mixture of puritanism and megalomania that typified this people without a civilization. What helps you live, in times of helplessness or horror? The necessity of earning or kneading, the bread that you eat, sleeping, loving, putting on clean clothes, rereading an old book, the smell of ripe cranberries and the memory of the Parthenon. All that was good during times of delight is exquisite in times of distress. The atomic bomb does not bring us anything new, for nothing is more ancient than death. It is atrocious that these cosmic forces, barely mastered, should immediately be used for murder, but the first man who took it into his head to roll a boulder for the purpose of crushing his enemy used gravity to kill someone. She was very courteous, but inflexible regarding her decisions. When she had finished with her classes, she wanted above all to devote herself to her personal work and her reading. She did not mix with her colleagues and held herself aloof from university life. No one really got to know her. Yourcenar was a singular an exotic personage. She dressed in an eccentric but very attractive way, always cloaked in capes, in shawls, wrapped up in her dresses. You saw very little of her skin or her body. She made you think of a monk. She liked browns, purple, black, she had a great sense of what colors went well together. There was something mysterious about her that made her exciting. She read very quickly and intensely, as do those who have refused to submit to the passivity and laziness of the image, for whom the only real means of communication is the written word. During the last catastrophe, WWII, the US enjoyed certain immunities: we were neither cold nor hungry; these are great gifts. On the other hand, certain pleasures of Mediterranean life, so familiar we are hardly aware of them - leisure time, strolling about, friendly conversation - do not exist. Hadrian. This Roman emperor of the second century, was a great individualist, who, for that very reason, was a great legist and a great reformer; a great sensualist and also a citizen, a lover obsessed by his memories, variously bound to several beings, but at the same time and up until the end, one of the most controlled minds that have been. Just when the gods had ceased to be, and the Christ had not yet come, there was a unique moment in history, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone. We know Yourcenar's strengths: a perfect style that is supple and mobile, in the service of an immense learnedness and a disabused, decorative philosophy. We also know her weakness: the absence of dramatic pitch, of a fictional progression, the absence of effects. Writers of books to which the work ( Memoirs of Hadrian ) or the author can be likened: Walter Pater, Ernest Renan. Composition: harmonious. Style: perfect. Literary value: certain. Degree of interest of the work: moderate. Public: a cultivated elite. Cannot be placed in everyone's hands. Commercial value: weak. People who, like her, have a prodigious capacity for intellectual work are always exasperated by those who can't keep us with them. Despite her acquired nationality, she would never be totally autonomous in the US because she feared being part of a community in which she risked losing her mastery of what was so essential to her work; the French language. Their modus vivendi could only be shaped around travel, accepted by Frick, required by Yourcenar.
Josyane Savigneau (Marguerite Yourcenar, l'invention d'une vie)
Dear Teachers, I hope your school year is going pretty well. I hope your classes are not causing you too much trouble and your families are doing well. You might be wondering why you are tagged to this post and what this is all about. It’s Teachers’ Day, the day for being thankful to our teachers. Some of you I had over a decade ago, some of you might not even remember who the heck I am. But if you’re reading this, this is my way of officially thanking you. For what? Let me explain. To the ones who made me love learning as a whole – If you are an elementary school teacher, this goes out to you. You are the reason I am where I am today. If it weren’t for your hard work and dedication to teaching me and every other student what you know, my future would not be as bright as it is now. I chose to go to college because somewhere along the line, you taught me that education is important and I have to strive to help others by educating myself. This is not always easy, but you helped me understand that willingness to learn is one of the most important aspects of a person. For that, I am forever grateful for you and everything you have done for me and so many others. To the ones who helped me find my passions– Writing, training, and helping people are what I love. No matter what I have been through in my life, everything goes back to the fact that in the future, I want to help people and I want to change the world. Writing and creating training programs are what make that happen. It made me realize that in the future, I don’t just want a shiny car, big bungalow, and other material items. I want something that sticks with people for all time – and what better way to do that than to become a writer and write for those who can't write for themselves? Shout out to those teachers who helped me find my passion, and maybe even made an effort to help me pursue it as well. To the ones who taught me more than the textbooks – you honestly saved me. You taught me that learning isn’t always about getting 100s on every test and being the perfect student. You helped me realize that a part of learning means making mistakes. You taught me that brushing yourself off, getting back up, and trying again is essential to get anywhere in this world. I grew up being the smart kid who never had to study and when the going got tough, I didn’t always know how to respond. You helped me with my problem solving skills and fixing things that needed fixing. This isn’t necessarily always talking about school, but life in general. You taught me that my value was not depicted by my score on a test, but rather who I was as a person. It is hard to put into words, but some of you honestly are the reason I am here today – succeeding in my first semester of college, off to university before I know it. Thank you so much. To the ones who didn’t know I could talk – I’m sorry I didn’t speak up more in your class. Many of you knew I had a lot to say, but knew I did not know how to say it or how to get the thoughts out. I promise you, even though you could not hear it, I am thankful for you - thankful that you did not force me out of my comfort zone. I know that may not sound like much, but when you have as much of a fear of speaking out as I do, that is such a big deal. Thank you for working with me and realizing that someone does not need to speak in order to have knowledge in their mind. Thank you for not basing my intelligence on my ability to present that information. It means a lot more than you will ever realize. To the ones who don’t know why you made this list – Congratulations. Somewhere along the way, you impacted me in a way I felt was worth acknowledging you for. Maybe you said something in class that resonated with me and changed my outlook on a situation, or life in general. Maybe you just asked me if I was okay after class one day. If you’re sitting there scratching your head, wondering how you changed my life, please just know you did.
Nitya Prakash
We often see people who do things that look a bit crazy. We see somebody all the time not succeeding at things they could succeed at, or they are pulling out of relationships that looked promising, or they are putting up a wall when anyone tries to love them, or they’re sabotaging their chances, or whatever. And we think “Why does that person do it, it’s completely crazy, there’s no logic to it?” Here’s a very important point, there is always a point. Those behaviors once upon a time made great sense. I want to go further, not only did they make great sense, they were very often the difference between life and death, between managing to continue with life and giving up on life. We needed those patterns. Imagine someone growing up with a parent who is suicidal, they are threatening suicide, how on Earth does a child survive that experience? One of the ways they might learn to survive that experience is to shut down completely, right? They will never ever let anyone in because to let someone in is to risk their own annihilation. That when you’re 5 years old, to work that out, that is near genius, to work out that in order to survive you need to shut the drawbridge very tight. Fast forward 25, 35, 45, family situation resolved itself in whatever way, and you’ve moved on and you’re trying to have relationships or whatever, but in a horrible way that defense mechanism is still active, and now it’s trouble because now it means that when somebody comes along and says “Oh we could have a relationship”, “Umm, no not possible” because the drawbridge is still shut so a lot of the behavior that is suboptimal in adult life, once had a logic which we don’t understand, and we’re not sympathetic to it, we don’t even see it, but if we can learn to see that logic we can largely then come to unpick it. Or imagine somebody who, let’s say, we all know these people, who can’t stop joking around, somebody who is completely optimistic and sunny and even when something’s sad they’re at a funeral, they make a joke around the casket, and you go “Why are you not able to get in touch with your sadness?” Again imagine that former child has come through a journey where once upon a time it was absolutely essential that they be the clown and cheer up maybe a depressive mother or a father who was very angry and couldn’t find anything optimistic. That child needed to become a clown to get to the next stage of life, but now that precise behavior starts to be extremely negative. Another thing that children constantly do, is when children are brought up in suboptimal surroundings with parents who maybe are not that nice to them, it would be devastating to the child to have to see that the fault lies with their parent. Right? To imagine when you’re a four-year-old that your father or mother is really not a very nice person and maybe really quite disturbed and kind of awful, this is an unbearable thought. This was the pioneering work of the Scottish Psychoanalyst Ronald Faban. He was working with very deprived people in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the 1930s and he arrived at a fascinating conclusion. He talked to children from the most deprived most violent abusive families and he discovered that those children spoke very highly of their parents, they would say “My father is a great man”, this is the guy who was hitting the child, “My mother, she’s amazing”, mother you know left the kid unclean and unfed for days. In Faben’s view, it’s better to think that you are the problem than that you’ve been born into a problematic situation, so what happens when you’re in a suboptimal parental situation, is you start to hate yourself, and blame yourself and feel bad about yourself because it is preferable to the other bit of really bad news which is to think that you’ve been born into such an inadequate family, that you may not survive it.
Alain de Botton
What happens when you pray? God is all powerful in every realm. He can do things in a variety of ways, but one way in which He works is to "move" in the realm of men's minds. God can place an idea in a person's mind. He can cause someone to feel a strong "urge" or "conviction" to do something. So when we pray for a certain amount of money, God can cause one person to reach for a cheque-book and send that amount, or He can cause a dozen people to send odd fractions of that amount, causing the total to be exact. You may not believe that He does this, but I am simply saying that when I talk about praying for money, this is what I mean. Yes, usually the result is that other human beings give "donations," but they have not been asked to, and they have not received an envelope to fill, and they have not had human pressure put on them to give. They give because they feel God has led them to give, and often their having been led gives them an exciting feeling of having been in communication with God, in the same way as it does when the "answer" comes to prayer, and you know God has heard and acted in space, and time, and history. You know then that your communication has not been an airy-fairy sort of psychological communication into the atmosphere, but that you have contacted a Person, who has replied.
Edith Schaeffer (L'Abri)
Offering a Sacrifice of Praise There is an old saying many Christians use: “Offer the Lord a sacrifice of praise,” referring to Hebrews 13:15. In many circles this notion of a “sacrifice of praise” almost becomes cliché. (Perhaps because worship does not often come at much cost, especially compared with the sacrifices of saints who’ve gone before us.) But when we worship with folks of various traditions, there are times when we may hear a prayer that uses language we might not naturally use or sing a song that isn’t really our style. That is part of what it means to be a member of a community as diverse as the church is. And perhaps that also helps shed some light on why it might require some sacrifice for us to give up ourselves. When a song isn’t working for you, consider praising God, because that probably means it is working for someone else who is very different from you. Offer your worship as a sacrifice rather than requiring others to sacrifice for your pleasure or contentment. There is something to the notion of becoming one as God is one; it doesn’t mean that we are the same; it just means that we are united by one Spirit. After all, we can become one only if there are many of us to begin with. Liturgy puts a brake on narcissism. Certainly, there is something beautiful about contemporary worship, where we can take old things and add a little spice to them, like singing hymns to rock tunes or reciting creeds as spoken word rhymes. But liturgy protects us from simply making worship into a self-pleasing act. So if a song or prayer doesn’t quite work for you, be thankful that it is probably really resonating with someone who is different from you, and offer a sacrifice of praise.
Shane Claiborne (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
A loud knock at the door interrupts us. “Abre la puerta, soy Elena.” “Who’s that?” “The bride.” “Let me in!” Elena commands. Alex unlocks the door. A vision in white ruffles with dozens of dollar bills safety-pinned to the back of her dress squeezes her way into the bathroom, then shuts the door behind her. “Okay, what’s goin’ on?” She, too, sniffs a bunch of times. “Was Paco in here?” Alex and I nod. “What the fuck does that guy eat that it comes out his other end smelling so rotten? Dammit,” she says, wadding up tissue and putting it over her nose. “It was a beautiful ceremony,” I say through my own tissue. This is the most awkward and surreal situation I’ve ever been in. Elena grabs my hand. “Come outside and enjoy the party. My aunt can be confrontational, but she doesn’t mean any harm. Besides, I think deep down she likes you.” “I’m taking her home,” Alex says, playing the role of my hero. I wonder when he’ll get sick of it. “No, you’re not takin’ her home or I’ll lock both of you in this stinkin’ smelly room so you’ll stay.” Elena means every word. Another knock at the door. “Vete vete.” I don’t know what Elena said, but she sure said it with gusto. “Soy Jorge.” I shrug and look to Alex for an explanation. “It’s the groom,” he says, clueing me in. Jorge slips in. He isn’t as crude as the rest of us because he ignores the fact that the room smells like something died. But he sniffs loudly a few times and his eyes start to water. “Come on, Elena,” Jorge says, trying to cover his nose inconspicuously but doing a poor job of it. “Your guests are wondering where you are.” “Can’t you see I’m talkin’ to my cousin and his date?” “Yeah, but--” Elena holds up a hand to silence him while holding the tissue over her nose with the other. “I said, I’m talkin’ to my cousin and his date,” she declares with attitude. “And I’m not finished yet.” “You,” Elena says, pointing directly at me. “Come with me. Alex, I want you and your brothers to sing.” Alex shakes his head. “Elena, I don’t think--” Elena holds up a hand in front of Alex, silencing even him. “I didn’t ask you to think. I asked you to join your brothers in singin’ to me and my new husband.” Elena opens the door and yanks me through the house, stopping only when we reach the backyard. She lets me go only to grab the microphone from the lead singer. “Paco!” she announces loudly. “Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you,” Elena says, pointing to Paco talking to a bunch of girls. “Next time you want to take a dump, do it in someone else’s house.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))