When Things Are Uncertain Quotes

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The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Everyday it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for". We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
It’s not exactly easy to save things for the future when the present is so uncertain. (Xander)
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
These are hard and uncertain times we’re living in,” he said. “You never know what will still be here tomorrow. That’s why we must take joy every day in what we do have, so it’s something we can carry in our memories when things change.
Jaye L. Knight (Samara's Peril (Ilyon Chronicles, #3))
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 backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
She couldn’t hide from everyone for the rest of her life… Well she could. That was the direction things were going. But she knew from long-ago experience that when you were uncertain and if you were courageous enough to let her in a real friend could do a world of good.
Ann Brashares (Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5))
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
I wonder if they'll be able to resist. It's not exactly easy to save things for the future when the present is so uncertain.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
Lovers are not at their best when it matters. Mouths dry up, palms sweat, conversation flags and all the time the heart is threatening to fly from the body once and for all. Lovers have been known to have heart attacks. Lovers drink too much from nervousness and cannot perform. They eat too little and faint during their fervently wished consummation. They do not stroke the favoured cat and their face-paint comes loose. This is not all. Whatever you have set store by, your dress, your dinner, your poetry, will go wrong. How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps, but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange? Travellers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home. Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel along the blood vessels, who come to the cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation. We who were fluent find life is a foreign language. Somewhere between the swamp and the mountains. Somewhere between fear and sex. Somewhere between God and the Devil passion is and the way there is sudden and the way back is worse.
Jeanette Winterson (The Passion)
Kazi of Brightmist...you are the love I didn't know I needed. You are the hand pulling me through the wilderness, The sun warming my face. You make me stronger, smarter, wiser. You are the compass that makes me a better man. With you by my side, no challenge will be too great. I vow to honor you, Kazi, and do all I can to be worthy of your love. I will never stumble in my devotion to you, and I vow to keep you safe always. My family is now your family, and your family, mine. You have not stolen my heart, but I give it freely, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my wife." He squeezed my hand. His brown eyes danced, just as they had the first time he spoke those vows to me. It was my turn now. I took a deep breath. Were any words enough? But I said the ones closest to my heart, the ones I had said in the wilderness and repeated almost daily when I lay in a dark cell, uncertain where he was but needing to believe I would see him again. "I love you, Jase Ballenger, and I will for all my days. You have brought me fullness where there was only hunger, You have given me a universe of stars and stories, Where there was emptiness. You've unlocked a part of me I was afraid to believe in, And made the magic of wish stalks come true. I vow to care for you, to protect you and everything that is yours. Your home is now my home, your family, my family. I will stand by you as a partner in all things. With you by my side, I will never lack for joy. I know life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes loss, but whatever paths we go down, I want every step to be with you. I want to grow old with you, Jase. Every one of my tomorrows is yours, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my husband.
Mary E. Pearson (Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2))
It’s a strange thing, being the parent of a teenager. One thing to raise a little boy, another entirely when a person on the brink of adulthood looks to you for wisdom. I feel like I have little to give. I know there are fathers who see the world a certain way, with clarity and confidence, who know just what to say to their sons and daughters. But I’m not one of them. The older I get, the less I understand. I love my son. He means everything to me. And yet, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m failing him. Sending him off to the wolves with nothing but the crumbs of my uncertain perspective.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
Perception requires imagination because the data people encounter in their lives are never complete and always equivocal. For example, most people consider that the greatest evidence of an event one can obtain is to see it with their own eyes, and in a court of law little is held in more esteem than eyewitness testimony. Yet if you asked to display for a court a video of the same quality as the unprocessed data catptured on the retina of a human eye, the judge might wonder what you were tryig to put over. For one thing, the view will have a blind spot where the optic nerve attaches to the retina. Moreover, the only part of our field of vision with good resolution is a narrow area of about 1 degree of visual angle around the retina’s center, an area the width of our thumb as it looks when held at arm’s length. Outside that region, resolution drops off sharply. To compensate, we constantly move our eyes to bring the sharper region to bear on different portions of the scene we wish to observe. And so the pattern of raw data sent to the brain is a shaky, badly pixilated picture with a hole in it. Fortunately the brain processes the data, combining input from both eyes, filling in gaps on the assumption that the visual properties of neighboring locations are similar and interpolating. The result - at least until age, injury, disease, or an excess of mai tais takes its toll - is a happy human being suffering from the compelling illusion that his or her vision is sharp and clear. We also use our imagination and take shortcuts to fill gaps in patterns of nonvisual data. As with visual input, we draw conclusions and make judgments based on uncertain and incomplete information, and we conclude, when we are done analyzing the patterns, that out “picture” is clear and accurate. But is it?
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
Truth" when examining events and records of the past was always precarious, uncertain. No man could say for certain how the river of time would have flowed, cresting or receding, bringing floods or gently watering fields, had a single event, or even many, unfolded differently. It is in the nature of existence under heaven, the dissenting scholars wrote, that we cannot know these things with clarity. We cannot live twice, or watch as moments of the past unfurl, like a courtesan's silk fan. The river flows, the dancers finish their dance. If the music starts again it is starting anew, not repeating itself.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Under Heaven (Under Heaven, #1))
I can no longer hear my voices, so I am a little lost. My suspicion is they would know far better how to tell this story. At least they would have opinions and suggestions and definite ideas as to what should go first and what should go last and what should go in the middle. They would inform me when to add detail, when to omit extraneous information, what was important and what was trivial. After so much time slipping past, I am not particularly good at remembering these things myself and could certainly use their help. A great many events took place, and it is hard for me to know precisely where to put what. And sometimes I'm unsure that incidents I clearly remember actually did happen. A memory that seems one instant to be as solid as stone, the next seems as vaporous as a mist above the river. That's one of the major problems with being crazy: you're just naturally uncertain about things. (9)
John Katzenbach (The Madman's Tale)
But I have never had the privilege of unhappiness in Happy Valley. California is about the good life. So a bad life there seems so much worse than a bad life anywhere else. Quality is an obsession there—good food, good wine, good movies, music, weather, cars. Those sound like the right things to shoot for, but the never-ending quality quest is a lot of pressure when you’re uncertain and disorganized and, not least, broker than broke. Some afternoons a person just wants to rent Die Hard, close the curtains, and have Cheerios for lunch.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
We need to talk about the hierarchy of grief. You hear it all the time—no grief is worse than any other. I don’t think that’s one bit true. There is a hierarchy of grief. Divorce is not the same as the death of a partner. Death of a grandparent is not the same as the death of a child. Losing your job is not the same as losing a limb. Here’s the thing: every loss is valid. And every loss is not the same. You can’t flatten the landscape of grief and say that everything is equal. It isn’t. It’s easier to see when we take it out of the intensely personal: stubbing your toe hurts. It totally hurts. For a moment, the pain can be all-consuming. You might even hobble for a while. Having your foot ripped off by a passing freight train hurts, too. Differently. The pain lasts longer. The injury needs recovery time, which may be uncertain or complicated. It affects and impacts your life moving forward. You can’t go back to the life you had before you became a one-footed person. No one would say these two injuries are exactly the same.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Even when things are hard and exhausting and uncertain, they can still be good.
Dorcas Cheng-Tozun (Start, Love, Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World)
Uncertainty is fearful to the ego, which always wants to control reality, but from the viewpoint of detachment, a constantly shifting and changing universe must remain uncertain. If things were certain, there could be no creativity. Therefore spirit works through surprises and unexpected outcomes. We achieve peace of mind only when we accept the wisdom of uncertainty.
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment)
Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of--something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possesed your soul have been but hints of it--tantalizing glimspes, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest--if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself--you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.' We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the things we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Either way... you've got to tell him--in no uncertain terms--to knock it the fuck off already. Don't be measured, don't wrap it up in "I" statements, no mewling about your feelings. Give him both barrels: "If you don't knock it the fuck off... I'm going to kick your ass out, got it?" A strategic blowup or two should occur--scream, yell, smash a few things you're not all that attached to--when he slips up. Repeat until his attitude changes or his address does.
Dan Savage (Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist)
If you wait for certainty, you will spend your whole life standing still. And if you grow discouraged and give up when things get rough, you'll miss out on your best possible destiny. So the secret is to be excited about what is in your power to control, be accepting of what's not in your power to control, and then move with certainty into an uncertain future.
Kevin Hart - I Can't Make This Up
If you wait for certainty, you will spend your whole life standing still. And if you grow discouraged and give up when things get rough, you’ll miss out on your best possible destiny. So the secret is to be excited about what is in your power to control, be accepting of what’s not in your power to control, and then move with certainty into an uncertain future.
Kevin Hart (I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons)
In the kitchen, chickens had overflowed into the sink. They weren't making much noise, except for the occasional 'werk' a chicken makes when it's a bit uncertain about things, which is more or less all the time.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all of its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves. Unlike your experiencing self—which is absorbed in the moment—your remembering self is attempting to recognize not only the peaks of joy and valleys of misery but also how the story works out as a whole. That is profoundly affected by how things ultimately turn out. Why would a football fan let a few flubbed minutes at the end of the game ruin three hours of bliss? Because a football game is a story. And in stories, endings matter. Yet we also recognize that the experiencing self should not be ignored. The peak and the ending are not the only things that count. In favoring the moment of intense joy over steady happiness, the remembering self is hardly always wise. “An inconsistency is built into the design of our minds,” Kahneman observes. “We have strong preferences about the duration of our experiences of pain and pleasure. We want pain to be brief and pleasure to last. But our memory … has evolved to represent the most intense moment of an episode of pain or pleasure (the peak) and the feelings when the episode was at its end. A memory that neglects duration will not serve our preference for long pleasure and short pains.” When our time is limited and we are uncertain about how best to serve our priorities, we are forced to deal with the fact that both the experiencing self and the remembering self matter. We do not want to endure long pain and short pleasure. Yet certain pleasures can make enduring suffering worthwhile. The peaks are important, and so is the ending.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
I...” Her gaze dipped to his chest and then back to his eyes. “I do feel things for you,” she whispered. “Big things. I just...” He pushed her hair from her face. “You’ll get there when you get there. There’s no rush, Lily.” Her eyes were big on his. Uncertain. Wary. “I’m just...” “I know. And I’m not going anywhere,” he promised. “And neither are my feelings for you.
Jill Shalvis (Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, #1))
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals. What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
Uncertainty removes our judgments of others; it preempts the unnecessary stereotyping and biases that we otherwise feel when we see somebody on TV, in the office, or on the street. Uncertainty also relieves us of our judgment of ourselves. We don’t know if we’re lovable or not; we don’t know how attractive we are; we don’t know how successful we could potentially become. The only way to achieve these things is to remain uncertain of them and be open to finding them out through experience. Uncertainty
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think. It’s an extraordinary declaration, asserting that the unknown need not be turned into the known through false divination or the projection of grim political or ideological narratives; it’s a celebration of darkness, willing – as that “I think” indicates—to be uncertain even about its own assertion. Most people are afraid of the dark. Literally when it comes to children, while many adults fear, above all, the darkness that is the unknown, the unseeable, the obscure. And yet the night in which distinctions and definitions cannot be readily made is the same night in which love is made, in which things merge, change, become enchanted, aroused, impregnated, possessed, released, renewed.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
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 backtracking, 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. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Even when things seemed uncertain, we kept moving forward. I guess you’ll never find out if a door is actually closed until you try to open it.
Shawn Smucker (Dying Out Loud: No Guilt in Life, No Fear in Death)
Rituals and routine became a safety blanket of sorts, something I could wrap around myself when things felt uncertain, which they so often did.
Hazel Hayes (Out of Love)
Dear Deborah, Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say: When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle. When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another's needs. When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her. When she asks for a tree house, don't just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen. When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her. When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away. Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words. If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he's wrong. These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole. Without it, there are tatters. It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending. These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could. A daughter grown up quickly. There isn't time to waste. I love you, Dad
Lisa Wingate (Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill #4))
It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. The paint and paper look as if a boys' school had used it. It is stripped off--the paper--in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories)
There are many who consider as an injury to themselves any conduct which they have a distaste for, and resent it as an outrage to their feelings; as a religious bigot, when charged with disregarding the religious feelings of others, has been known to retort that they disregard his feelings, by persisting in their abominable worship or creed. But there is no parity between the feeling of a person for his own opinion, and the feeling of another who is offended at his holding it; no more than between the desire of a thief to take a purse, and the desire of the right owner to keep it. And a person's taste is as much his own peculiar concern as his opinion or his purse. It is easy for any one to imagine an ideal public, which leaves the freedom and choice of individuals in all uncertain matters undisturbed, and only requires them to abstain from modes of conduct which universal experience has condemned. But where has there been seen a public which set any such limit to its censorship? or when does the public trouble itself about universal experience. In its interferences with personal conduct it is seldom thinking of anything but the enormity of acting or feeling differently from itself; and this standard of judgment, thinly disguised, is held up to mankind as the dictate of religion and philosophy, by nine tenths of all moralists and speculative writers. These teach that things are right because they are right; because we feel them to be so. They tell us to search in our own minds and hearts for laws of conduct binding on ourselves and on all others. What can the poor public do but apply these instructions, and make their own personal feelings of good and evil, if they are tolerably unanimous in them, obligatory on all the world?
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Dean's eyes were studying me. "You have a way with words. What kind of writing do you want to do?" "Articles for Dad's paper, to start." "What do you want to write about?" I paused, suddenly uncertain about how much to share. Dean's eyes were reassuring. "When I know more, I'd like to write about deeper things.
Catherine Marshall (Julie)
Frank grabbed a tourist brochure stuck under the napkin dispenser. He began to read it. Piper patted Leo’s arm, like she couldn’t believe he was really here. Nico stood at the edge of the group, eyeing the passing pedestrians as if they might be enemies. Coach Hedge munched on the salt and pepper shakers. Despite the happy reunion, everybody seemed more subdued than usual—like they were picking up on Leo’s mood. Jason had never really considered how important Leo’s sense of humor was to the group. Even when things were super serious, they could always depend on Leo to lighten things up. Now, it felt like the whole team had dropped anchor. “So then Jason harnessed the venti,” Hazel finished. “And here we are.” Leo whistled. “Hot-air horses? Dang, Jason. So basically, you held a bunch of gas together all the way to Malta, and then you let it loose.” Jason frowned. “You know, it doesn’t sound so heroic when you put it that way.” “Yeah, well. I’m an expert on hot air. I’m still wondering, why Malta? I just kind of ended up here on the raft, but was that a random thing, or—” “Maybe because of this.” Frank tapped his brochure. “Says here Malta was where Calypso lived.” A pint of blood drained from Leo’s face. “W-what now?” Frank shrugged. “According to this, her original home was an island called Gozo just north of here. Calypso’s a Greek myth thingie, right?” “Ah, a Greek myth thingie!” Coach Hedge rubbed his hands together. “Maybe we get to fight her! Do we get to fight her? ’Cause I’m ready.” “No,” Leo murmured. “No, we don’t have to fight her, Coach.” Piper frowned. “Leo, what’s wrong? You look—” “Nothing’s wrong!” Leo shot to his feet. “Hey, we should get going. We’ve got work to do!” “But…where did you go?” Hazel asked. “Where did you get those clothes? How—” “Jeez, ladies!” Leo said. “I appreciate the concern, but I don’t need two extra moms!” Piper smiled uncertainly. “Okay, but—” “Ships to fix!” Leo said. “Festus to check! Earth goddesses to punch in the face! What are we waiting for? Leo’s back!” He spread his arms and grinned. He was making a brave attempt, but Jason could see the sadness lingering in his eyes. Something had happened to him…something to do with Calypso.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The Sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The Moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Everyday it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of life. The Moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi
I told you,lifemate, you're always taking off my clothes." "Then stop wearing the damn things," he responded gruffly,his hands at her tiny waist, his mouth finding her flat stomach. "Someday my child will be growing right here," he said softly, kissing her belly. His hands pinned her thighs so that he could explore easily without interruption. "A beautiful little girl with your looks and my disposition." Savannah laughed softly, her arms cradling his head lovingly. "That should be quite a combination. What's wrong with my disposition?" She was writhing under the onslaught of his hands and mouth,arcing her body more fully into his ministrations. "You are a wicked woman," he whispered. "I would have to kill any man who treated my daughter the way I am treating you." She cried out,her body rippling with pleasure. "I happen to love the way you treat me,lifemate," she answered softly and cried out again when he merged their bodies, their minds, their hearts and souls. The future might be uncertain, with the society dogging the footsteps of their people,but their combined strength was more than enough to see them through. And together they could face any enemy to ensure the continuation of their race.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
How many times in the past three months have I been reminded of Ruby's two selves, the careful courteous young woman who spoke so sweetly to strangers and the person she let loose at home, where she was safe, where she could be spiky and harsh and uncertain and at sea? I have two selves now, too, the one that goes out in the world and says what sound like the right things and nods and listens and sometimes even smiles, and the real woman, who watches her in wonder, who is nothing but a wound, a wound that will not stop throbbing except when it is anesthetized. I know what the world wants: It wants me to heal. But to heal I would have to forget, and if I forget my family truly dies.
Anna Quindlen (Every Last One)
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
It was you,' I said, my words as new and uncertain as a baby's. I was sixteen and in my bedroom, and I shook my head in an attempt to unscramble my thoughts. 'Not the tongue. The fire.' I shut my eyes, then opened them to make sure I hadn't made this thing up. [...] But Christian hadn't taken his eyes off me, and in his expression I saw a slew of emotions: shame, defiance, fury. Fear, but not for himself. For me. I saw my big brother, who carried me off the ledge at Suicide Rock when I froze up. [...] Who thought I was a fool and had no problem telling me so, but who stuck up for me anyway.
Lauren Myracle (Shine)
When the world is at its darkest, somehow love still carries the light. Love is strength and weakness. A crutch and a sword. It can leave a person hollow and heal their wounds. It’s a friend to the stars, with pain as its shadow. A dichotomy whose time is uncertain. But above all things, love is necessary.
Keri Lake (Juniper Unraveling)
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)
The patrolman’s account provides certain insights into the way we respond to social proof. First, we seem to assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something we don’t. Especially when we are uncertain, we are willing to place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd. Second, quite frequently the crowd is mistaken because they are not acting on the basis of any superior information but are reacting, themselves, to the principle of social proof.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
Perhaps not knowing is a good thing. When all is uncertain, everything becomes possible.
Ezinne Orjiako, Nkem.
If you wait for certainty, you will spend your whole life standing still. And if you grow discouraged and give up when things get rough, you’ll miss out on your best possible destiny. So the secret is to be excited about what is in your power to control, be accepting of what’s not in your power to control, and then move with certainty into an uncertain future
Kevin Hart (I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons)
A good wet weep is always just the thing. You will feel better soon. Not just yet, but soon. And when you do, enjoy it. Life is too uncertain, my dear. You must seize happiness where you find it.
Deanna Raybourn (Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1))
Death is a vast mystery, but there are two things we can layabout it: It is absolutely certain that we will die, and it is uncertain when or how we will die. The only surety we have, then, is this uncertainty about the hour of our death, which we seize on as the excuse to postpone facing death directly. We are like children who cover their eyes in a game of hide-and-seek and think that no one can see them.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
A murmur ran through the crowd, and I looked around to see what all the fuss was about. Then I saw him, walking past table after table as if everybody weren't stopping to stare at him. Loki had ventured down from where he'd been hiding in the servants' quarters. Since I'd granted him amnesty, he was no longer being guarded and was free to roman as he pleased, but I hadn't exactly invited him to the wedding. As Tove and I danced, I didn't take my eyes off Loki. He walked around the dance floor toward the refreshments, but he kept watching me. He got a glass of champagne from the table, and even as he drank his eyes never left me. Another Markis came over and cut in to dance with me, but I barely noticed when I switched partners. I tried to focus on the person I was dancing with. But there was something about the way Loki looked at me, and I couldn't shake it. The song had switched to something contemporary, probably the sheet music that Willa had slipped the orchestra. She'd insisted the whole thing would be far too dull if they only played classical. The murmur died down, and people returned to dancing and talking. Loki took another swig of his champagne, then set the glass down and walked across the dance floor. Everyone parted around him, and I wasn't sure if it was out of fear or respect. He wore all black, even his shirt. I had no idea where he'd gotten the clothes, but he did look debonair. "May I have this dance?" Loki asked my dance partner, but his eyes were on me. "Um, I don't know if you should," the Markis fumbled, but I was already moving away from him. "No, it's all right," I said. Uncertainly, the Markis stepped back, and Loki took my hand. When he placed his hand on my back, a shiver ran up my spine, but I tried to hide it and put my hand on his shoulder. "You know, you weren't invited to this," I told him, but he merely smirked as we began dancing. "So throw me out." "I might." I raised my head defiantly, and that only made him laugh. "If it's as the Princess wishes," he said, but he made no move to step away, and for some odd reason, I felt relieved.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Are you all right?” I whisper uncertainly. “Fine.” He shakes his head once, and then the tension leaves his body. “I’m fine. Don’t finish your sentence yet. It’s going to lead to me slaughtering things.” “You like slaughtering things.” “Compared to this? No.” He touches me again, his fingers grazing my arm. Tentative, hesitant. When I tell him he’s usually the practical one, he replies, “It must be your influence. I’m actually about to make several suggestions, and all of them are impractical.” I smile. “Ooh, several suggestions, is it? My, my. Impractical Kiaran MacKay is . . . dare I say it? Adorable.” Kiaran looks at me in disgust. “I am not.” “You are and you don’t even know it. Adorable.” “Adorable is something we call foolish humans right before we kill them.” “Adorable is what we call adult men who love to cuddle and swear on their lives that they don’t.” Kiaran makes a sound in his throat. “You can growl at me all you want. I know your weaknesses, MacKay. Cuddling. Neck kisses. That ticklish spot just above your—” I laugh as he grabs me around the waist and pulls me against him. He kisses me fiercely enough to make my toes curl. Then he pulls back with the smug expression of someone who has had thousands of years to perfect seduction and knows exactly how to use it against me.
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
Ivie froze at the sound of the deep, low voice. Later, much later, she would remember most clearly not the moment she looked into his eyes, but rather the split second before she did. And that was because, when you were falling from a great distance, spinning and turning in mid-air, uncertain of your chances of surviving the landing, the thing that was even more vivid than when you hit was the last moment before consequence owned you.
J.R. Ward (Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15.5))
The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
What has happened to me is extreme; however, it is not that different from what everyone deals with. I am a sort of microcosm for what we all feel. I can barely walk, even with a cane, but who feels free even if they can? My face is paralyzed, but who feels beautiful even when they look normal? I have no coordination in my right hand, so I can’t hold things, even my child, but who feels like a competent parent even if all their faculties are intact? For months I could not eat, and even today I have difficulty swallowing, but who feels fully satisfied even if they can enjoy every delectable treat they desire? I am tired almost all the time now, but who always feels energized to engage fully in their life? My voice is messed up, but who feels understood even if they can speak plainly? I have double vision, but who sees everything clearly even if they can see normally? My future is uncertain, but whose isn’t? So
Katherine Wolf (Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love)
Books never cease to astonish me. When I was a child, I knew -- in the incontestable way that children know things -- that God was an author who'd imagined me, which is why I (and everyone else) existed: to populate His narrative. My task was to imagine God in return: this was all He and I owed each other. Between people it is less clear what is owed. Yet perhaps what is love is really an empathetic and hungry imagination. One must be willing to enter other stories -- even terrifying or dangerous ones, or those of uncertain outcomes.
Martha Cooley (The Archivist)
It’s odd—when you look back, things seem simpler, but they weren’t.” “Really?” “When it’s a memory, you already know the outcome, so we believe it was an easier time. Looking forward is much more uncertain, and so feels more complicated. But I don’t think it is. Not really.
Karen Hawkins (The Book Charmer (Dove Pond #1))
Sometimes the immunity of innocence, sincerity, commitment and truth fails in life…These all work till the moment when absolute equals nothingness…It’s all about the theory of relativity…Things you damn sure suddenly become uncertain…Absolute certainty becomes absolute uncertainty….
Dipin Damodharan
I did believe that I could opt out of feeling vulnerable, so when it happened- when the phone rang with unimaginable news; or when I was scared; or when I loved so fiercely that rather than feeling gratitude and joy I could only prepare for loss- I controlled things. I managed situations and micromanaged the people around me. I performed until there was no energy left to feel. I made what was uncertain certain, no matter what the cost. I stayed so busy that the truth of my hurting and my fear could never catch up. I looked brave on the outside and felt scared on the inside.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
Is the road ahead uncertain? Great, be happy! Uncertainty means surprises, and if the path you're walking on isn't one full of surprises, you'll get bored! When you get bored, your life energy goes out! Walk in uncertainty, encounter new things just like an explorer and they will keep you energetic!
Mehmet Murat ildan
The Pilot had teams scouring the fields and meadows near the city of Camas, with instructions not to pull up everything so that the flowers can grow back in case we'll need them again. I wonder if they'll be able to resist. It's not exactly easy to save things for the future when the present is so uncertain.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
Gold when first struck is crowded with ‘dirt’, uncertain, might not be flashy enough to be noticed. However, if you are alert in your senses, you’d see that little glitter; if you’re persistent enough, it’ll be polished to be one of the finest ‘possessions’ you could ever acquire. The beauty about gold, though, is that in all states from uncertainty to conviction, it never for once gives up its lustre. We’re sometimes too hasty and ‘fly searching’ that we miss the little uncertain glitters that sparkle in the corners of our eyes. In such rare moments, stop for a while, and hold on to it with the best grip you could muster.
Ufuoma Apoki (Digging Your Gold)
Don't imagine you are in a worse place than you actually are. Things could have been far worse. So, seize the day, count your blessings and move on. You can survive a crisis only by dealing it with one day at a time. Don't add up all your problems in your mind and think you are finished. Compartmentalize your problems; put them in different buckets and project-manage them separately. This is how you live through uncertain times – making decisions when there are few or no options to choose from. You never see it this way when you are going through a crisis. But, unfailingly, every crisis leaves you stronger, wiser – and happy!
AVIS Viswanathan
But in situations where innovations proliferate, where group boundaries are uncertain, when the range of entities to be taken into account fluctuates, the sociology of the social is no longer able to trace actors’ new associations. At this point, the last thing to do would be to limit in advance the shape, size, heterogeneity, and combination of associations. To the convenient shorthand of the social, one has to substitute the painful and costly longhand of its associations. The duties of the social scientist mutate accordingly: it is no longer enough to limit actors to the role of informers offering cases of some well-known types. You have to grant them back the ability to make up their own theories of what the social is made of. Your task is no longer to impose some order, to limit the range of acceptable entities, to teach actors what they are, or to add some reflexivity to their blind practice. Using a slogan from ANT, you have ‘to follow the actors themselves’, that is try to catch up with their often wild innovations in order to learn from them what the collective existence has become in their hands, which methods they have elaborated to make it fit together, which accounts could best define the new associations that they have been forced to establish.
Bruno Latour (Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory)
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 backtracking, 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. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it’s obvious why you did; if you don’t, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
The solvable systems are the ones shown in textbooks. They behave. Confronted with a nonlinear system, scientists would have to substitute linear approximations or find some other uncertain backdoor approach. Textbooks showed students only the rare non-linear systems that would give way to such techniques. They did not display sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Nonlinear systems with real chaos were rarely taught and rarely learned. When people stumbled across such things-and people did-all their training argued for dismissing them as aberrations. Only a few were able to remember that the solvable, orderly, linear systems were the aberrations. Only a few, that is, understood how nonlinear nature is in its soul. Enrico Fermi once exclaimed, "It does not say in the Bible that all laws of nature are expressible linearly!" The mathematicians Stanislaw Ulam remarked that to call the study of chaos "nonlinear science" was like calling zoology "the study of nonelephant animals.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
Bunnu was no amateur when it came to escape. And even in his drowsiest moments, he understood implicitly that to forget his circumstances, even for a short while, meant first to forget himself. Who he was and why he was—to strip it all bare and start from scratch, as it were. In his nearly 250 years of life and, now, as an old emaciated man completely estranged from his family and closest friends—albeit more by circumstance than by choice—he understood the importance of this process and revered it, for there were far greater things to be done and achieved in the dark, uncertain areas of existence than in those circumscribed—and thereby strained—by comprehensibility.
Ashim Shanker (Only the Deplorable (Migrations, Volume II))
There are two things a leader can do: he can either contaminate his environment (and his people) with his attitude and actions, or he can inspire confidence. A leader must be visible to the people he leads. He must be self-confident and always maintain a positive attitude. If a leader thinks he might lose in whatever crisis or situation; then he has already lost. He must exhibit a determination to prevail no matter what the odds or how difficult the situation. He must have and display the will to prevail by his actions, his words, his tone of voice, his appearance, his demeanor, his countenance, and the look in his eyes. He must never give off any hint or evidence that he is uncertain about a positive outcome.
Harold G. Moore (Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning When Outgunned and Outmanned)
Three things must you take up and three things must you lose before you die: a key, a crown, a child.” Patience pushed her hood up over her head. “You will die when a silver rain falls.” “You’re making all this shit up,” said Locke. “I could be,” said Patience. “I very well could be. And that’s part of your punishment. Go forth now and live, Locke Lamora. Live, uncertain.
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
the knowledge of Christian doctrine grounded only upon arguments is a doubtful and uncertain knowledge.  I conceive that syllogisms and arguments are only for this world, and the things of this world, but not for the things of God and of the other world.  The natural philosopher attains to his natural knowledge by observations and experiments in several particulars, by antecedents and consequences.  Most of his knowledge in those things is very feeble, crazy, questionable, and the like, which made that great Philosopher after his inquiry for knowledge profess, that he only attained to this, that he knew himself to be ignorant, Hoc tantum scio quod bihil scio, “this only do I know, I know nothing.”  But God has ordained a better way to convey His truth into our hearts, and that is by a renovation of our minds and by the communication of a divine nature.  God has not let His people remain in uncertainties in those things which are material and necessary, but has given a certainty of demonstration.  Whatsoever I do receive for truth on the account of argumentative conclusions, that I am bound to lay aside and disown for error upon the same account when a more probable argument comes along.  Truly friends, if all the ground of our entertaining Christ and truth, or Christian doctrine is because such an argument conveyed it to us, what will become of us and the truth when we meet with a subtle philosopher and antichristian head who will frame an argument against the truth, unanswerable by our logic?  Where shall a man ever consist, if he must live on the terms in the world?  Besides, every one to whom the Gospel of Christ is preached is not headstrong enough to grapple with the bigness and depth of some kind of arguments.  They may have their hearts truly mortified to this world, and carried out in love to the person and nature of our Lord Jesus.
William Tyndale (The Writings of A Puritan's Mind Volume 1)
In these uncertain times, times can be a little uncertain. And when times are uncertain, it’s not always certain what time it is. That’s why we here at the SANDWICH WITH A PRETTY BIG PICKLE IN IT CORPORATION want to say that we’re here for you. Hopefully that was a nice enough sentence that you will now buy things from us. Give us your money, please. Now more than ever.
Ryan George
Such is the state of things in England, and it is well that it should be realised by all of us; but it must not be supposed for a moment that I am afraid of it. I lament it deeply, because I foresee that it may be the ruin of many souls; but I have no fear at all that it really can do aught of serious harm to the Word of God, to Holy Church, to our Almighty King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Faithful and True, or to His Vicar on earth. Christianity has been too often in what seemed deadly peril, that we should fear for it any new trial now. So far is certain; on the other hand, what is uncertain, and in these great contests commonly is uncertain, and what is commonly a great surprise, when it is witnessed, is the particular mode by which, in the event, Providence rescues and saves His elect inheritance. Sometimes our enemy is turned into a friend; sometimes he is despoiled of that special virulence of evil which was so threatening; sometimes he falls to pieces of himself; sometimes he does just so much as is beneficial, and then is removed. Commonly the Church has nothing more to do than to go on in her own proper duties, in confidence and peace; to stand still and to see the salvation of God.
John Henry Newman
Now, my all-time favorite accolade from a book reviewer was when Fernanda Pivano, Italy’s best-known critic, wrote in a leading Italian newspaper that “Tom Robbins is the most dangerous writer in the world.” I never read my reviews, even in English, but others sometimes pass choice bits along, so when I had occasion to meet the legendary Signora Pivano at a reception in Milan, I asked her what she meant by that wonderfully flattering remark. She replied, “Because you are saying zat love is zee only thing that matters and everything else eese a beeg joke.” Well, being uncertain, frankly, that is what I’d been saying, I changed the subject and inquired about her recent public denial that she’d ever gone to bed with Ernest Hemingway, whom she’d shown around Italy in the thirties. “Why didn’t you sleep with Hemingway?” I inquired. Signora Pivano sighed, closed her large brown eyes, shook her gray head, and answered in slow, heavily accented English, “I was a fool.” Okay, back to the New York Cinematheque. Why did I choose to go watch a bunch of jerky, esoteric, often self-indulgent 16mm movies rather than sleep with the sexy British actress? Move over, Fernanda, there’s room for two fools on your bus.
Tom Robbins (Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life)
AWAKENING To open both your drowsy eyes, To stretch your limbs and realise That day is here. To watch the dancing, shifting beam Of sun, awake yet half in dream, Uncertain if the fitful gleam Be far or near. To turn with soft, contented sigh, And through the window watch the sky, All opal blue. To feel the air steal in the room, Made fragrant by the soft perfume Of lime-trees, when their scented bloom Is damp with dew. To hear the rustling voice of leaves, The chirp of birds beneath the eaves, But now awake. The tiny hum of timid things That fly with gauzy, fragile wings, Where yet the dusk to daylight clings, When mornings break. To feel the soul look forth and smile, Contented with each fruitful mile That it beholds. To hear the heart beat loud and strong, In unison with Nature's song, That echoes tremulous and long While dawn unfolds. To know yourself a thing complete, With strength of mind and limb replete, With vast desire; A creature made to dominate The lesser things of earth, a fate On whom the universe must wait, With force entire. And then to cry in deep delight God made the world and made it right; Dear Heaven above! Was ere completeness so complete, Was ever sweetness half so sweet, Was ever loving half so meet; Thank God for love.
Radclyffe Hall (The Poetry Of Radclyffe Hall - Volume 2 - 'Twixt Earth and Stars: "...we're all part of nature, some day the world will recognise this...")
Meaning I want to put words to it. I want to give it a name. I'm not okay with kissing you and holding you, being by your side for all the things a boyfriend would be there for, without it being understood in no uncertain terms that that's what I am to you. I wan us to be a couple. I want to be by your side though everything that's coming, to hold your hand when you're scared and pick you up when you're weak. I want to know that you're not going to run to some other asshole when we disagree or when I try to make sure you do what we both know is the best for you. I wan you to run to me, even if I piss you off. Because I will piss you off. Because I love you. And because you love me. And because I can't go one more day without being able to tell you that as often as it comes to mind, which is about a dozen times a minute. - Jamie Babcock
Catherine Gayle (Dropping Gloves (Portland Storm, #7))
You went from my life right into my dreams, i can hardly tell,If i'm cursed or blessed ; I am sure things aren't always as they seem, but i drift away,mesmerized, possessed. Memories i have uncertain and fragile, Is what i have left and i have no peace, At dawn fades away,all that i imagine, i crave for your closeness,i need more then this. Perhaps you are meant to guide and inspire, to be ever timeless in the veil of mist, flowing through my being in flaming desire, the one i can't reach and cannot resist. My darling,unique,outstanding perfection, so utterly complex you can't be recreated, I may be unworthy of your smallest fraction, But you've never loved,nor anticipated. Every great passion is a work of fiction, when we long for something that we cannot find, Single thought of you is like an addiction, yet,you're not exalted,except in my mind.
Aleksandra Ninković
I draw myself up next to her and look at her profile, making no effort to disguise my attention, here, where there is only Puck to see me. The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. Her hair the color of cliff grass rises and falls over her face in the breeze. Her expression is less ferocious than usual, less guarded. I say, “Are you afraid?” Her eyes are far away on the horizon line, out to the west where the sun has gone but the glow remains. Somewhere out there are my capaill uisce, George Holly’s America, every gallon of water that every ship rides on. Puck doesn’t look away from the orange glow at the end of the world. “Tell me what it’s like. The race.” What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both and there’s nothing like it. Once upon a time, this moment — this last light of evening the day before the race — was the best moment of the year for me. The anticipation of the game to come. But that was when all I had to lose was my life. “There’s no one braver than you on that beach.” Her voice is dismissive. “That doesn’t matter.” “It does. I meant what I said at the festival. This island cares nothing for love but it favors the brave.” Now she looks at me. She’s fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is. She asks, “Do you feel brave?” The mare goddess had told me to make another wish. It feels thin as a thread to me now, that gift of a wish. I remember the years when it felt like a promise. “I don’t know what I feel, Puck.” Puck unfolds her arms just enough to keep her balance as she leans to me, and when we kiss, she closes her eyes. She draws back and looks into my face. I have not moved, and she barely has, but the world feels strange beneath me. “Tell me what to wish for,” I say. “Tell me what to ask the sea for.” “To be happy. Happiness.” I close my eyes. My mind is full of Corr, of the ocean, of Puck Connolly’s lips on mine. “I don’t think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don’t know how you would keep it.” The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby. Puck’s voice is in my ear; her breath warms my neck inside my jacket collar. “You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn’t that what you said?” I tilt my head so that her mouth is on my skin. The kiss is cold where the wind blows across my cheek. Her forehead rests against my hair. I open my eyes, and the sun has gone. I feel as if the ocean is inside me, wild and uncertain. “That’s what I said. What do I need to hear?” Puck whispers, “That tomorrow we’ll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I’ll save the house and you’ll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner.” I say, “That is what I needed to hear.” “Do you know what to wish for now?” I swallow. I have no wishing-shell to throw into the sea when I say it, but I know that the ocean hears me nonetheless. “To get what I need.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
You've given me everything I need of you-thanks to you I have all my heart desires, all I thought I might never have. All I need for a wonderful, fulfilling future. And I nearly lost it all." She held his gaze but was wise enough not to interrupt. If she had... He drew breath and forged on, "Nearly dying clarified things. When you stand on the border between life and death, the truly important things are easy to discern. One of the things I saw and finally understood was that only fools and cowards leave the truth of love unsaid. Only the weak leave love unacknowledged." Holding her gaze, all but lost in the shimmery blue of her eyes, he raised her hand to his lips, gently kissed. "So, my darling Heather, even though you already know it, let me put the truth-my truth-into words. I love you. With all my heart, to the depths of my soul. And I will love you forever, until the day I die." Her smile lit his world. "Just as well." Happiness shone in her eyes. She pressed his fingers. "Because I plan to be with you, by your side, every day for the rest of your life, and in spirit far beyond. I'm yours for all eternity." Smiling, he closed his hand about hers. "Mine to protect for our eternity." Yes. Neither said the word, yet the sense of it vibrated in the air all around them. A high-pitched giggle broke the spell, had them both looking along the path. TO Lucilla and Marcus, who slipped out from behind a raised bed and raced toward them. Reaching them, laughing with delight, the pair whooped and circled. Heather glanced to left and right, trying to keep the twins in sight, uncertain of what had them so excited. So exhilarated. Almost as if they were reacting to the emotions coursing through her, and presumably Breckenridge. Her husband-to-be. "You're getting married!" Lucilla crowed. Catching Lucilla's eyes as the pair slowed their circling dance, Heather nodded. "Yes, we are. And I rather think you two will have to come down in London to be flower girl and page boy." Absolute delight broke across Lucilla's face. She looked at her brother. "See? I told you-the Lady never makes a mistake, and if you do what shetells you, you get a reward." "I suppose." Marcus looked up at Breckenridge. "London will be fun." He switched his gaze to Lucilla. "Come on! Let's go and tell Mama and Papa.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
I was once foolish enough to believe knowledge would clarify, but some things are so gauzed behind layers of syntax and semantics, behind days and hours, names forgotten, salvaged and shed, that simply knowing the wound exists does nothing to reveal it. ...When I first started writing, I hated myself for being so uncertain, about images, clauses, ideas, even the pen or journal I used. Everything I wrote began with maybe and perhaps and ended with I think or I believe.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
If we'd stopped to think when we were younger, that one day we would be back here, stooped and gray, if we'd given a moment to think how we would struggle against the wind to stay upright, and how our feet would feel afraid and uncertain; perhaps then we would have taken a little more time over things. We would have enjoyed the soft, easy days of childhood a little more. Arms and legs full of confidence and energy. Minds free from hesitation. Perhaps we would have danced through our youth a little more slowly.
Joanna Cannon (Three Things About Elsie)
Of course, I should have known the kids would pop out in the atmosphere of Roberta's office. That's what they do when Alice is under stress. They see a gap in the space-time continuum and slip through like beams of light through a prism changing form and direction. We had got into the habit in recent weeks of starting our sessions with that marble and stick game called Ker-Plunk, which Billy liked. There were times when I caught myself entering the office with a teddy that Samuel had taken from the toy cupboard outside. Roberta told me that on a couple of occasions I had shot her with the plastic gun and once, as Samuel, I had climbed down from the high-tech chairs, rolled into a ball in the corner and just cried. 'This is embarrassing,' I admitted. 'It doesn't have to be.' 'It doesn't have to be, but it is,' I said. The thing is. I never knew when the 'others' were going to come out. I only discovered that one had been out when I lost time or found myself in the midst of some wacky occupation — finger-painting like a five-year-old, cutting my arms, wandering from shops with unwanted, unpaid-for clutter. In her reserved way, Roberta described the kids as an elaborate defence mechanism. As a child, I had blocked out my memories in order not to dwell on anything painful or uncertain. Even as a teenager, I had allowed the bizarre and terrifying to seem normal because the alternative would have upset the fiction of my loving little nuclear family. I made a mental note to look up defence mechanisms, something we had touched on in psychology.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Can I ask you something very personal while you try things on?” “Yes, of course, what do you want to know?” “…well, it’s just that… I don’t want to offend you,” she said uncertainly. “Oh come on, Akane, out with it!” Mitsuko prompted her, “I want to know the answer too!” “Very well,” agreed the little auburn pixie and cut to the chase: “Where are your wings?” The question was so unexpected that I burst out laughing. “I had to part with them when I came down to Earth. “It’s something every angel has to deal with if they’re planning to spend any length of time down here.” “And what’s your life like, up there?” Akane asked. “In the Kingdom of Heaven, we live as beings of pure light.” “Up there, there’s no such thing as fear, pain, hot or cold. We don’t know hunger, suffering, ageing or death. We have no need of food and we don’t sleep. We are the messengers of God and we watch over the lives of mortals. We come to Earth often, but only as spirits, and once we’ve completed our task down here, we always go back to the White Woods.
A.O. Esther (Elveszett lelkek (Összetört glóriák, #1))
Summer is like a slow-walker bringing everything in the world to boil 1 degree at a time. The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Everyday it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
The problem is that an overemphasis on linear time tends to magnify the pain we feel when joy ebbs. If we view the future as a blank, uncertain space, then it’s hard to trust that joy will return once it has gone. Each downswing of joy feels like a regression, each nadir like stagnation. But if instead we can rely on the repetition of certain delights at regular intervals, then the wavelike quality of joy becomes more present in our lives. Cycles create a symmetry between past and future that reminds us joy will come back again.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
great. This is a good description of Rovio, which was around for six years and underwent layoffs before the “instant” success of the Angry Birds video game franchise. In the case of the Five Guys restaurant chain, the founders spent fifteen years tweaking their original handful of restaurants in Virginia, finding the right bun bakery, the right number of times to shake the french fries before serving, how best to assemble a burger, and where to source their potatoes before expanding nationwide. Most businesses require a complex network of relationships to function, and these relationships take time to build. In many instances you have to be around for a few years to receive consistent recognition. It takes time to develop connections with investors, suppliers, and vendors. And it takes time for staff and founders to gain effectiveness in their roles and become a strong team.* So, yes, the bar is high when you want to start a company. You’ll have the chance to work on something you own and care about from day to day. You’ll be 100 percent engaged and motivated, and doing something you believe in. You can lead an integrated life, as opposed to a compartmentalized one in which you play a role in an office and then try to forget about it when you get home. You can define an organization, not the other way around. But even if you quit your job, hunker down for years, work hard for uncertain reward, and ask everyone you know for help, there’s still a great chance that your new business will not succeed. Over 50 percent of companies fail within their first three years.2 There’s a quote I like from an unknown source: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
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 uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, 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 airplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes
When the scientist tells you he does not know the answer, he is an ignorant man. When he tells you he has a hunch about how it is going to work, he is uncertain about it. When he is pretty sure of how it is going to work, and he tells you, “This is the way it’s going to work, I’ll bet,” he still is in some doubt. And it is of paramount importance, in order to make progress, that we recognize this ignorance and this doubt. Because we have the doubt, we then propose looking in new directions for new ideas. The rate of the development of science is not the rate at which you make observations alone but, much more important, the rate at which you create new things to test.11
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
In June of 1968, a month after graduating from Macalester College, I was drafted to fight a war I hated. I was twenty-one years old. Young, yes, and politically naive, but even so the American war in Vietnam seemed to me wrong. Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons. I saw no unity of purpose, no consensus on matters of philosophy or history or law. The very facts were shrouded in uncertainty: Was it a civil war? A war of national liberation or simple aggression? Who started it, and when, and why? What really happened to the USS Maddox on that dark night in the Gulf of Tonkin? Was Ho Chi Minh a Communist stooge, or a nationalist savior, or both, or neither? What about the Geneva Accords? What about SEATO and the Cold War? What about dominoes? America was divided on these and a thousand other issues, and the debate had spilled out across the floor of the United States Senate and into the streets, and smart men in pinstripes could not agree on even the most fundamental matters of public policy. The only certainty that summer was moral confusion. It was my view then, and still is, that you don’t make war without knowing why. Knowledge, of course, is always imperfect, but it seemed to me that when a nation goes to war it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause. You can’t fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can’t make them undead.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
I know you are in a mess and you can't see a way out of it. Your eyes only see to the horizon though. You can't see what is around the bend. I'll be waiting there for you. In this uncertain world you will always face uncertainties, but I am going to walk the journey with you. It may not be clear to you right now, but I will cause all things to work together for your good. I am in the business of making beauty from ashes, of redeeming what seems hopeless and crafting you into a work of art that shows the world My mercy and goodness. I know you are hurt and angry, but don't lose hope. I am with you every step of your journey, even through the darkest valleys and in the middle of the scariest storms. 'I love you more than you can even possibly begin to understand,' the voice reminded me.
Ryan Stevenson (Eye of the Storm: Experiencing God When You Can't See Him)
Refinement through degeneration.—History teaches that the most self-sustaining branch of a people will be the one where most individuals have a sense of community as a result of the similarity in their habitual and indiscussible principles, that is, as a result of their common beliefs. Here good, sound customs are strengthened, here the subordination of the individual is learned and character is already given steadiness as a gift at birth and has it afterward reinforced by upbringing. The danger for these strong communities based upon individuals who all share a similar character is a gradual increase in inherited stupidity, which trails all stability like its shadow. It is the more unconstrained, the much more uncertain and morally weaker individuals upon whom spiritual progress depends in such communities: these are the people who attempt new things and, in general, many different things. Because of their weakness, countless individuals of this kind perish without much visible effect; but in general, especially when they have descendants, they loosen things up and inflict from time to time a wound upon the stable element of a community. Precisely in this wounded and weakened spot, the collective being is inoculated, as it were, with something new; but its strength as a whole must be great enough to absorb this new thing into its blood and to assimilate it. Degenerate natures are of the highest significance wherever progress is to ensue. A partial weakening has to precede every large-scale advance. The strongest natures maintain the type; the weaker ones help to develop it further.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Apparently, it’s other boys’ faces once the prank is accomplished that will be amusing? The part about being amusing is not important. The part that is important is getting justice for Nicholas. Do you understand?” Seiji hoped he had explained it right this time. “Tell me about Nicholas,” said his father. “About—Nicholas?” Seiji repeated uncertainly. “Would I like him?” “I shouldn’t think so,” said Seiji. “He has terrible manners. And a basically unfortunate way of speaking and interacting with the world generally. He’s very untidy, too.” “Oh, but you hate it when things aren’t in the correct places,” murmured his father. “I still remember that time we had the ambassador’s son over for a playdate, and you made him cry.” “What is the point of painstakingly building castles with blocks only to knock them down?” Seiji asked. “Or sniveling?” He dismissed his father’s reminiscences. “Anyway, that was when I was very young and it no longer matters, so I don’t see the point of bringing it up. The point is—” “Justice for Nicholas,” said his father. “Is Nicholas—very good at fencing?” “No,” said Seiji plainly. There was a stunned silence. “He has a certain raw potential, but he hasn’t been properly trained because of his socioeconomic circumstances,” Seiji continued. “I wish to discuss this topic with you on our winter vacation. I think there must be foundations and scholarships set up. Many valuable fencers could be lost. It is almost too late for Nicholas. I shall be forced to teach him extremely rigorously.” There was more silence. Seiji wondered if his father had dropped his phone.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Striking Distance (Fence, #1))
Summer is like a slow-cooker bringing everything in the world to a boil 1 degree at a time. It promises a million happy adjectives only to pour stench and sewage into your nose for dinner. I hate the heat and the sticky, sweaty mess left behind. I hate the lackadaisical ennui of a sun too preoccupied with itself to notice the infinite hours we spend in its presence. The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The mood understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Man must consider, not only that each day part of his life is spent, and that less and less remains to him, but also that, even if he live longer, it is very uncertain whether his intelligence will suffice as heretofore for the understanding of his affairs, and for grasping that knowledge which aims at comprehending things human and divine. When dotage begins, breath, nourishment, fancy, impulse, and so forth will not fail him. But self-command, accurate appreciation of duty, power to scrutinize what strikes his senses, or even to decide whether he should take his departure, all powers, indeed, which demand a well-trained understanding, must be extinguished in him. Let him be up and doing then, not only because death comes nearer every day, but because understanding and intelligence often leave us before we die.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I hope Peter’s still out there. I don’t want to lose my nerve. So I quicken my pace and that’s when I spot him, alone in the hot tub, his head tipped back with his eyes closed. “Hi,” I say, and my voice echoes into the woods. His eyes fly open. Nervously, he looks over my shoulder. “Lara Jean! What are you doing out here?” “I came to see you,” I say, and my breath comes out in white puffs. I start taking off my boots and socks. My hands are shaking, and not because I’m cold. I’m nervous. “Uh…what are you doing?” Peter’s looking at me like I’m crazy. “I’m getting in!” Shivering, I unzip my puffy coat and set it on the bench. Steam is rising out of the water. I dip my feet in and sit down on the ledge of the hot tub. It’s hotter than a bath, but it feels nice. Peter’s still watching me warily. My heart is racing out of control and it’s difficult to look him in the eyes. I’ve never been so scared in my life. “That thing you brought up earlier…you caught me off guard, so I didn’t know what to say. But…well, I like you too.” It comes out so fumbly and uncertain, and I wish I could start over and say it smoothly and confidently. I try again, louder. “I like you, Peter.” Peter blinks, and he looks so young all of a sudden. “I don’t understand you girls. I think I have you figured out, and then…and then…” “And then?” I hold my breath as I wait for him to speak. I’m so nervous; I keep swallowing, and it sounds loud to my ears. Even my breathing sounds loud, even my heartbeat. His pupils are dilated he’s looking at me so hard. He’s staring at me like he’s never seen me before. “And then I don’t know.” I think I stop breathing when I hear him say “I don’t know.” Did I screw things up that badly that now he doesn’t know? It can’t be over, not when I finally found my courage. I can’t let it be. My heart is pounding like a million trillion beats a minute as I scoot closer to him. I bend my head down and press my lips against his, and I feel his jolt of surprise. And then he’s kissing me back, open-mouthed, soft-lipped kissing-me-back, and at first I’m nervous, but then he puts his hand on the back of my head, and he strokes my hair in a reassuring way, and I’m not so nervous anymore. It’s a good thing I’m sitting down on this ledge, because I am weak in the knees. He pulls me into the water so I’m sitting in the hot tub too, and my nightgown is soaked now but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. I never knew kissing could be this good.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
And then there are colors. The truth is that the brain knows far less about colors than one might suppose. It sees more or less clearly what the eyes show it, but when it comes to converting what it has seen into knowledge, it often suffers from one might call difficulties in orientation. Thanks to the unconscious confidence of a lifetime's experience, it unhesitatingly utters the names of the colors it calls elementary and complementary, but it immediately lost, perplexed and uncertain when it tries to formulate words that might serve as labels or explanatory markers for the things that verge on the ineffable, that border on the incommunicable, for the still nascent color which, with the eyes' other bemused approval and complicity, the hands and fingers are in the process of inventing and which will probably never even have its own name. Or perhaps it already does -- a name known only to the hands, because they mixed the paint as if they were dismantling the constituent parts of a note of music, because they became smeared with the color and kept the stain deep inside the dermis, and because only with the invisible knowledge of the fingers will one ever be able to paint the infinite fabric of dreams. Trusting in what the eyes believe they have seen, the brain-in-the-head states that, depending on conditions of light and shade, on the presence or absence of wind, on whether it is wet or dry, the beach is white or yellow or olden or gray or purple or any other shade in between, but then along comes the fingers and, with a gesture of gathering in, as if harvesting a wheat field, they pluck from the ground all the colors of the world. What seemed unique was plural, what is plural will become more so. It is equally true, though, that in the exultant flash of a single tone or shade, or in its musical modulation, all the other tones and shades are also present and alive, both the tones or shades of colors that have already been name, as well as those awaiting names, just as an apparently smooth, flat surface can both conceal and display the traces of everything ever experience in the history of the world. All archaeology of matter is an archaeology of humanity. What this clay hides and shows is the passage of a being through time and space, the marks left by fingers, the scratches left by fingernails, the ashes and the charred logs of burned-out bonfires, our bones and those of others, the endlessly bifurcating paths disappearing off into the distance and merging with each other. This grain on the surface is a memory, this depression the mark left by a recumbent body. The brain asked a question and made a request, the hand answered and acted.
José Saramago (The Cave)
What were you thinking of baking today?” Another seemingly innocuous question, but Sophie let him lead her by small steps away from the topic of Kit’s uncertain future. “I was going to make stollen, a recipe from my grandmother’s kitchens. I make it only around the holidays, and my brothers will be expecting it.” “May I help?” She was certain he’d never intended to offer such a thing, certain he’d never done Christmas baking in his life. “There’s a lot of chopping to do, depending on the version we make. Do you like dates?” They discussed Christmas baking and sweets in general, then various exotic dishes Vim had encountered on his travels. Sophie had to brush the white flour off Vim’s cheek when he offered to take a turn kneading the dough, and Vim snitched sweets shamelessly. Sophie scolded him until he popped a half a candied date in her mouth, and when she would have scolded him for that, he fed her the other half. While
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
I'm stuck in a burning building. But more than that, I'm stuck on this planet with you. And honestly, I'm glad. I've been exposed to a lot of awful people in the last few months, but I've met many more that are amazing, thoughtful, generous, and kind. I honestly believe that is the human condition. And if the Carls are testing us, this final test is the hardest to accomplish. If you pay attention, there is only one story that makes sense, and that is one in which humanity works together more and more since we took over this planet. Yeah, we fuck it up all the time, yeah there have been some massive steps backward, but look at us! We are one species now more than we have ever been. People fight against that, and they probably always will, but could there be any time in history when what Carl is asking us would be more possible? Asking dozens of governments to take the same action simultaneously with an uncertain outcome? Or at least asking them to allow their citizens to take that action?
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Alan and his wife had worked all their lives, and managed to sock away a million dollars for retirement. But four months earlier he’d gotten the idea that, despite having no experience in the markets, he should buy a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of GM stock, based on reports that the U.S. government might bail out the auto industry. He was convinced it was a no-lose investment. After his trade went through, the media reported that the bailout might not happen after all. The market sold off GM and the stock price fell. But Alan imagined the thrill of winning big. It felt so real he could taste it. He held firm. The stock fell again, and again, and kept dropping until finally Alan decided to sell, at a big loss. There was worse to come. When the next news cycle suggested that the bailout would happen after all, Alan got excited all over again and invested another hundred thousand dollars, buying more stock at the lower price. But the same thing happened: the bailout started looking uncertain.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Cheat wore a Valorian jacket Kestrel was sure she had seen on the governor the night before. He sat at the right hand of the empty head of the dining table, but stood when Kestrel and Arin entered. He approached. His eyes dragged over her. “Arin, your slave looks positively wild.” Lack of sleep made her thoughts broken and shiny, like pieces of mirrors on strings. Cheat’s words spun in her head. Arin tensed beside her. “No offense,” Cheat told him. “It was a compliment to your taste.” “What do you want, Cheat?” Arin said. The man stroked a thumb over his lower lip. “Wine.” He looked straight at Kestrel. “Get some.” The order itself wasn’t important. It was how Cheat had meant it: as the first of many, and how, in the end, they translated into one word: obey. The only thing that kept Kestrel’s face clean of her thoughts was the knowledge that Cheat would take pleasure in any resistance. Yet she couldn’t make herself move. “I’ll get the wine,” Arin said. “No,” Kestrel said. She didn’t want to be left alone with Cheat. “I’ll go.” For an uncertain moment, Arin stood awkwardly. Then he walked to the door and motioned a Herrani girl into the room. “Please escort Kestrel to the wine cellar, then bring her back here.” “Choose a good vintage,” Cheat said to Kestrel. “You’ll know the best.” As she left the room, his eyes followed her, glittering. She returned with a clearly labeled bottle of Valorian wine dated to the year of the Herran War. She placed it on the table in front of the two seated men. Arin’s jaw set, and he shook his head slightly. Cheat lost his grin. “This was the best,” Kestrel said. “Pour.” Cheat shoved his glass toward her. She uncorked the bottle and poured--and kept pouring, even as the red wine flowed over the glass’s rim, across the table, and onto Cheat’s lap. He jumped to his feet, swatting wine from his fine stolen clothes. “Damn you!” “You said I should pour. You didn’t say I should stop.” Kestrel wasn’t sure what would have happened next if Arin hadn’t intervened. “Cheat,” he said, “I’m going to have to ask you to stop playing games with what is mine.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Summer is like a slow-cooker bringing everything in the world to a boil 1 degree at a time. It promises a million happy adjectives only to pour stench and sewage into your nose for dinner. I hate the heat and the sticky, sweaty mess left behind. I hate the lackadaisical ennui of a sun too preoccupied with itself to notice the infinite hours we spend in its presence. The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections. I stare out the window for so long I forget myself. I hold out my hand to catch a snowflake and my fist closes around the icy air. Empty. I want to put this fist attached to my wrist right through the window. Just to feel something. Just to feel human.
Tahereh Mafi
The man raised the violin under his chin, placed the bow across the strings, and closed his eyes. For a moment his lips moved, silently, as if in prayer. Then, with sure, steady movements, he began to play. The song was like nothing Abbey had heard anywhere else. The notes were clear, sweet and perfect, with a purity of tone that not one violin in ten thousand could produce. But the song was more than that. The song was pain, and loss, and sorrow, an anthem of unrelenting grief for which no words could be sufficient. In its strains Abbey heard the cry of the mother clutching her lifeless child; of the young woman whose husband never returned from war; of the father watching his son die of cancer; of the old man weeping at his wife's grave. It was the wordless cry of every man, woman and child who had ever shaken a fist at the uncaring universe, every stricken heart that had demanded an answer to the question, “Why?”, and was left unsatisfied. When the song finally, mercifully ended, not a dry eye remained in the darkened hall. The shades had moved in among the mortals, unseen by all but Abbey herself, and crowded close to the stage, heedless of all but the thing that called to them. Many of the mortals in the audience were sobbing openly. Those newcomers who still retained any sense of their surroundings were staring up at the man, their eyes wide with awe and a silent plea for understanding. The man gave it to them. “I am not the master of this instrument,” he said. “The lady is her own mistress. I am only the channel through which she speaks. What you have heard tonight — what you will continue to hear — is not a performance, but a séance. In my … unworthy hands … she will tell you her story: Sorrow, pain, loss, truth, and beauty. This is not the work of one man; it is the story of all men, of all people everywhere, throughout her long history. Which means, of course, that it is also your story, and mine.” He held up the violin once more. In the uncertain play of light and shadow, faces seemed to appear and vanish in the blood-red surface of the wood. “Her name is Threnody,” he said. “And she has come to make you free.
Chris Lester (Whispers in the Wood (Metamor City, #6))
1 – Thinking Straight Maxim 1 - When you are having trouble getting your thinking straight, go to an extreme case Maxim 2 - When you are having trouble getting your thinking straight, go to a simple case Maxim 3 – Don’t take refuge in complexity Maxim 4 - When trying to understand a complex real-world situation, think of an everyday analogue 2 – Tackling Uncertainty Maxim 5 - The world is much more uncertain than you think Maxim 6 - Think probabilistically about the world Maxim 7 - Uncertainty is the friend of the status quo 3 – Making Decisions Maxim 8 - Good decisions sometimes have poor outcomes Maxim 9 - Some good decisions have a high probability of a bad outcome Maxim 10 - Errors of commission should be weighted the same as errors of omission Maxim 11 - Don’t be limited by the options you have in front of you Maxim 12 - Information is only valuable if it can change your decision 4 – Understanding Policy Maxim 13 - Long division is the most important tool for policy analysis Maxim 14 - Elasticities are a powerful tool for understanding many important things in life Maxim 15 - Heterogeneity in the population explains many phenomena Maxim 16 - Capitalize on complementarities
Dan Levy (Maxims for Thinking Analytically: The wisdom of legendary Harvard Professor Richard Zeckhauser)
Well, I don’t know about you girls,” Patti called out, “but I’m starving. You wanna help me throw everything together before I go check on the chicken?” The twins shared uncertain expressions. “Sure, we’ll help,” I answered for them. “What do you need us to do?” “All right, how about you and Marna make the salad, and Ginger can help me bake this cake.” Their eyes filled with horror. “You mean like chopping things?” Marna whispered. “Yeah. It’s not hard. We’ll do it together.” At my prompting they stood but made no move toward the kitchen with me. “I’m not sure you ought to trust me with a knife,” Marna said. “Or me with baked goods,” Ginger added. I’d never seen her so unsure of herself. If it were just me making the request, she’d tell me to go screw myself, but neither girl seemed to know how to act around Patti. They fidgeted and glanced at the kitchen. Patti came over and took Ginger by the arm. “You’ll both be fine,” Patti insisted. “It’ll be fun!” The seriousness of the twins in the kitchen was comical. They took each step of their jobs with slow, attentive detail, checking and double-checking the measurements while Patti ran out to flip the chicken. Somewhere halfway through, the girls loosened up and we started chatting. Patti put Ginger at ease in a way I’d never seen her. At one point we were all laughing and I realized I’d never seen Ginger laugh in a carefree way, only the mean kind of amusement brought on at someone else’s expense. Usually mine. Ginger caught me looking and straightened, smile disappearing. Patti watched with her keen, wise eyes. She wasn’t missing the significance of any gesture here. When she returned from getting the chicken off the grill, Ginger said, “Oh, that smells divine, Miss Patti.” Who was this complimenting girl? Patti smiled and thanked her. Ginger was so proud of the cake when it was finished that she took several pictures of it with her phone. She even wanted a picture of her and Patti holding the cake together, which nearly made Patti burst with motherly affection. I couldn’t even manage to feel jealous as Patti heaped nurture on Ginger. It was so sweet it made my eyes sting. Marna kept sending fond glances at her sister. “I did that part right there all by myself,” Ginger said to Marna, pointing to the frosting trim. “Brilliant, isn’t it?” “Bang-up job, Gin.” Marna squeezed her sister around the shoulder.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
They always came at dawn, I knew that. And so I spent my nights waiting for that dawn. I've never liked being surprised. If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there. That's why I ended up sleeping only a little bit during the day and then, all night long, waited patiently for the first light to show on the pane of sky. The hardest time was that uncertain hour when I knew they usually set to work. After midnight, I would wait and watch .. My ears had never heard so many noises or picked up such small sounds. One thing I can say, though, is that in a certain way I was lucky that whole time, since I never heard footsteps. Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about. In my prison, when the sky turned red and a new day slipped into my cell, I found out that she was right. Because I might just as easily have heard footsteps and my heart could have burst. Even though I would rush to the door at the slightest shuffie, even though, with my ear pressed to the wood, I would wait frantically until I heard the sound of my own breathing, terrified to find it so hoarse, like a dog's panting, my heart would not burst after all, and I would have gained another twenty-four hours.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
The idea which had long ago and often occurred to him during the period of his active service, that there was and could be no sort of military science, and that therefore there could not be such a thing as military genius, seemed to him now to be an absolutely obvious truth. “What theory and science can there be of a subject of which the conditions and circumstances are uncertain and can never be definitely known, in which the strength of the active forces engaged can be even less definitely measured? No one can, or possibly could, know the relative positions of our army and the enemy's in another twenty-four hours, and no one can gauge the force of this or the other detachment. Sometimes when there is no coward in front to cry, ‘We are cut off!' and to run, but a brave, spirited fellow leads the way, shouting ‘Hurrah!' a detachment of five thousand is as good as thirty thousand, as it was at Schöngraben, while at times fifty thousand will run from eight thousand, as they did at Austerlitz. How can there be a science of war in which, as in every practical matter, nothing can be definite and everything depends on countless conditions, the influence of which becomes manifest all in a moment, and no one can know when that moment is coming.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
XVIII TO HIS LADY                Beloved beauty who inspires             love from afar, your face concealed             except when your celestial image             stirs my heart in sleep, or in the fields         5  where light and nature’s laughter             shine more lovely;             was it maybe you who blessed             the innocent age called golden,             and do you now, blithe spirit,       10  soar among men? Or does the miser, fate,             who hides you from us save you for the future?                No hope of seeing you alive             remains for me now,             except when, naked and alone,       15  my soul will go down a new street             to an unfamiliar home. Already, at the dawning             of my dark, uncertain day,             I imagined you a fellow traveler             on this parched ground. But no thing on earth       20  compares with you; and if someone             who had a face like yours resembled you             in word and deed, still she would be less lovely.                In spite of all the suffering             that fate assigned to human life,       25  if there was anyone on earth             who truly loved you as my thought portrays you,             this life for him would be a joy.             And I see clearly how your love             would still inspire me to seek praise and virtue,       30  the way I used to in my early years.             Though heaven gave no comfort for our suffering,             still mortal life with you would be             like what in heaven becomes divinity.                In the valleys, where you hear       35  the weary farmer singing             and I sit and mourn             my youth’s illusions leaving me;             and on the hills where I turn back             and lament my lost desires,       40  my life’s lost hope, I think of you             and start to shake. In this sad age             and sickly atmosphere, I try             to keep your noble look in mind;             without the real thing, I enjoy the image.       45     Whether you are the one and only             eternal idea that eternal wisdom             disdains to see arrayed in sensible form,             to know the pains of mournful life             in transitory dress;       50  or if in the supernal spheres another earth             from among unnumbered worlds receives you,             and a near star lovelier than the Sun             warms you and you breathe benigner ether,             from here, where years are both ill-starred and brief,       55  accept this hymn from your unnoticed lover.
Giacomo Leopardi (Canti: Poems / A Bilingual Edition)
She had only time, however, to move closer to the table where he had been writing, when footsteps were heard returning; the door opened; it was himself. He begged their pardon, but he had forgotten his gloves, and instantly crossing the room to the writing table, and standing with his back towards Mrs. Musgrove, he drew out a letter from under the scattered paper, placed it before Anne with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her for a moment, and hastily collecting his gloves, was again out of the room, almost before Mrs. Musgrove was aware of his being in it - the work of an instant! The revolution which one instant had made in Anne, was almost beyond expression. The letter, with a direction hardily legible, to 'Miss A.E. - ,' was evidently the one which he had been folding so hastily. While supposed to be writing only to Captain Benwick, he had been also addressing her! On the contents of that letter depended all which this world could do for her! Any thing was possible, any thing might be defied rather than suspense. Mrs. Musgrove had little arrangements of her own at her own table; to their protection she must trust, and sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words: 'I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. - Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.' 'I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
New people rarely went there to live. The same families married the same families until relationships were hopelessly entangled and the members of the community looked monotonously alike. Jean Louise, until the Second World War, was related by blood or marriage to nearly everybody in the town, but this was mild compared to what went on in the northern half of Maycomb County: there was a community called Old Sarum populated by two families, separate and apart in the beginning, but unfortunately bearing the same name. The Cunninghams and the Coninghams married each other until the spelling of the names was academic—academic unless a Cunningham wished to jape with a Coningham over land titles and took to the law. The only time Jean Louise ever saw Judge Taylor at a dead standstill in open court was during a dispute of this kind. Jeems Cunningham testified that his mother spelled it Cunningham occasionally on deeds and things but she was really a Coningham, she was an uncertain speller, and she was given to looking far away sometimes when she sat on the front porch. After nine hours of listening to the vagaries of Old Sarum’s inhabitants, Judge Taylor threw the case out of court on grounds of frivolous pleading and declared he hoped to God the litigants were satisfied by each having had his public say. They were. That was all they had wanted in the first place.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
Dear Circle of Life, The impression of you is so unique in the most exquisite ways. With you, there is a beginning and an end. You are the representation of birth and life. The in-between is survival, and the ending is death. The idea of life is just what it is when we arrive on the earth—our life is a circle, if you will, a 360. Once our wheels stop spinning, it rolls slowly until it completely stops. I believe there is a limitation to the circle of life—if there wasn’t, life would continue without end. Things are never certain, for there are always uncertain changes in the circle of life. In this universal symbol, there is repurpose in another life. You are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. How can that be? I guess because you are energetic. We are wholeness in another world, but here on earth, we are here to play the game from the cards that we are dealt until our time runs out. A world without end—that is interesting. I guess it is true because when we go to a new dimension, there is no such thing as an ending. Once we pass over, we originate into our infinite perfection. The self sees and feels no more back- biting, hurt, pain, depression, despair, and all the bullshit that follows. The circle of life has no blame, solitude, or default. Everything is what it is ... because it is perfect! I am aligned with the frequency and vibration of the moon and the stars.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
I like your family,” he said, unhooking the front of her corset, gradually freeing her from the web of cloth and stays. “Seeing you with them helps me to understand you better.” The corset made a soft thwack as he tossed it to the floor. Poppy stood before him in her chemise and drawers, flushing as he studied her intently. An uncertain smile crossed her face. “What do you understand about me?” Harry hooked a gentle finger beneath the strap of her chemise, easing it downward. “That it’s your nature to form close attachments to the people around you.” He moved his palm over the curve of her bared shoulder in a circling caress. “That you are sensitive, and devoted to those you love, and most of all . . . that you need to feel safe.” He eased the other strap of her chemise down, and felt the shivers that chased through her body. He drew her against him, his arms closing around her, and she molded to him with a sigh. After a while, he murmured softly into the pale, fragrant curve of her neck. “I’m going to make love to you all night, Poppy. And the first time, you’re going to feel very safe. But the second time, I’m going to be a little bit wicked . . . and you’ll like that even more. And the third time—” he paused with a smile as he heard her breath catch. “The third time, I’m going to do things that will mortify you when you remember them tomorrow.” He kissed her gently. “And you’ll love that most of all.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
You have the kind of courage I’ve always wanted to have but lacked. New things frighten me. I hate being a coward…” He snorted inelegantly in derision. “Raven, stop being silly. You put your life in danger for complete strangers. That is not the act of a coward.” She frowned at him. “That’s not what I meant.” She stepped close to him and circled his neck with her arms. “When it comes to my emotions being involved, I always hold back or run away for fear of getting rejected or hurt. You persisted even though I was so hesitant and uncertain. You would have changed your entire way of life to accommodate me, and yet I refused to extend you the courtesy of even considering your way of life.” She pressed her face against his chest, her tongue tracing the path of the droplets of water. The drumbeat of his heart found an answering rhythm in her veins. “I’m sorry, Mikhail. I should have seen what you were trying to show me.” She raised her eyes to his. “I feel complete with you. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, although I’m certain it will take time to grow used to your way of life.” Mikhail lifted her into his arms, urging her legs around his waist. She closed her eyes, savoring the feel of him entering her, savoring the slow ride, the natural undulation of her body. “I could live here, like this,” she whispered. “Funny,” he watched the sensations pouring over her face, felt them filling her mind. “I had exactly the same thought.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Are there American variations of Solomon Slepak, those rendered so rigid by ideas that all reason fails them? Prudence, a cautious awareness of nuances, of complexities, of consequences, a perception of the unity of the American experience, and a saving sense of irony and humor—pervasive in the Founding Fathers and lacking in contemporary ideologues. Can we learn something from these chronicles about iron righteousness and rigid doctrine, about the stony heart, the sealed mind, the capricious use of law, and the tragedies that often result when theories are not adjusted to realities? Do the chronicles seem to reveal a glaring and almost obvious truth: the larger the nation, the more tumultuous its demise? Are we approaching the finale now to the bright possibilities once inherent in this land? Is that old America forever gone? Indeed, did it ever exist? Were we seduced as schoolchildren into a vision of a land green and golden from sea to shining sea, a land as illusory for many Americans as the Motherland of Solomon Slepak was for Volodya and Masha? Perhaps the more sensible question is not about what we once were but about what we intend ourselves to be one day. Things are happening to us today that we don’t seem able to explain. Can we enter the uncertain future without the corrosive cynicism, the clutching greed, the divisive self-interests—the beasts that destroyed the world of Solomon Slepak and rendered it uninhabitable to his family?
Chaim Potok (The Gates of November)
Back when I was in the emergency room, the attending had said, “I don’t know what exactly will happen next, but you know that metastases put you at stage four. This is clearly an aggressive cancer. It recurred before we even finished treating it. It’s probably time to put your affairs in order and make a bucket list, as hard as that is to hear.” I had been stumped by the bucket list. It depressed me: “Oh my God I am so lame I can’t even come up with an interesting bucket list,” I whined in the hospital. “How about a ‘fuck-it’ list?” John suggested at some point. “Sort of the opposite. What can we just say ‘fuck it’ to and send splashing off into some sewer and not bother ourselves with anymore?” The catch is: it turns out not many things. I want all of it—all the things to do with living—and I want them to keep feeling messy and confusing and even sometimes boring. The carpool line and the backpacks and light that fills the room in the building where I wait while the kids take piano lessons. Dr. Cavanaugh sitting on my bedside looking me in the eyes and admitting she’s scared. The sound of my extended family laughing downstairs. My chemo hair growing in suddenly in thick, wild chunks. Light sabers cracking Christmas ornaments. A science fair project taking shape in some distant room. The drenched backyard full of runoff, and tiny, slimy, uncertain yard critters who had expected to remain buried in months of hard mud, peeking their heads out into the balmy New Year’s air, asking, Wait, what?
Nina Riggs (The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying)
Reading while listening to the sounds of birds and the rush of water. This is the way of life that has come to be idealized. Don't think of unpleasant things right before bed. A five minute "bed zazen" before going to sleep. People who do their best to enjoy what is before them have the greatest chance to discover inner peace. Often, whatever it is they are enjoying - the thing before them - has the potential to turn into an opportunity. Stop dismissing whatever it is that you are doing and start living. Seek not what you lack. Be content with the here and now. When you are uncertain, simplicity is the best way to go. Conscientious living begins with early to bed, early to rise. This is the secret to a life of ease and contentment. Don't be bound by a single perspective. There is more than just "the proper way". Possibility springs from confidence. When someone criticizes us, we immediately feel wounded. When something unpleasant happens, we cannot get it out of our head. What can we do to bounce back? One way to strengthen the mind is though cleaning. When we clean, we use both our head and our body. Recognize the luxury of not having things. Desire feeds upon itself and the mind becomes dominated by boundless greed. This is not happiness. The three poisons are greed, anger and ignorance. Be grateful for every day, even the most ordinary. The happiness to be found in the unremarkable. Your mind has the power to decide whether or not you are happy. There is not just one answer. The meaning behind Zen koans. When there are things we want to do, we must do them as if our lives depend on it. Time spent out of character is empty time.
Shunmyō Masuno (Zen: The Art of Simple Living)
I’m wondering what it would be like to be kissed by you.” “Let’s not go there,” he said. “I don’t want to mess up our friendship.” “It wouldn’t,” she said, grinning suddenly. “I’d like to know how it feels. I mean, as an experiment.” “Put the wrong chemicals together, and they explode.” She frowned. “Are you saying you don’t think I’d like it? Or that I would?” “It doesn’t matter, because I’m not going to kiss you.” She looked up at him shyly, from beneath lowered lashes, and gave him a cajoling smile. “Just one teeny, weeny little kiss?” He laughed at her antics. Inside his stomach, about a million butterflies had taken flight. “Don’t play games with me, Summer.” He said it with a smile, but it was a warning. One she ignored. She crooked her finger and wiggled it, gesturing him toward her. “Come here, and give me a little kiss.” She was doing something sultry with her eyes, something she’d never done before. She’d turned on some kind of feminine heat, because he was burning up just looking at her. “Stop this,” he said in a guttural voice. She canted her hip and put her hand on it, drawing his attention in that direction, then slid her tongue along the seam of her lips to wet them. “I’m ready, bad boy. What are you waiting for?” His heart was beating a hundred miles a minute. He was hot and hard and ready. And if he touched her, he was going to ruin everything. “I’m not going to kiss you, Summer.” He saw the disappointment flash in her eyes. Saw the determination replace it. “All right. I’ll kiss you.” He could have stopped her. He was the one with the powerful arms and the broad chest and the long, strong legs. But he wanted that kiss. “Fine,” he said. “Don’t expect fireworks. I’m only doing this because we’re friends.” And if she believed that, he had some desert brushland he could sell her. Suddenly, she seemed uncertain, and he felt a pang of loss. Silly to feel it so deeply, when kissing Summer had been the last thing he’d allowed himself to dream about. Although, to be honest, he hadn’t always been able to control his dreams. She’d been there, all right. Hot and wet and willing. He made himself smile at her. “Don’t worry, kid. It was a bad idea. To be honest, I value our friendship too much—” She threw herself into his arms, clutching him around the neck, so he had to catch her or get bowled over. “Whoa, there,” he said, laughing and hugging her with her feet dangling in the air. “It doesn’t matter that you’ve changed your mind about wanting that kiss. I’m just glad to be your friend.” She leaned back in his embrace, searching his eyes, looking for something. Before he could do or say anything to stop her, she pressed her lips softly against his. His whole body went rigid. “Billy,” she murmured against his lips. “Please. Kiss me back.” “Summer, I don’t—” She pressed her lips against his again, damp and pliant and inviting. He softened his mouth against hers, felt the plumpness of her upper lip, felt the open, inviting seam, and let his tongue slide along the length of it. “Oh.” She broke the kiss and stared at him with dazed eyes. Eyes that sought reason where there was none. He wanted to rage at her for ruining everything. They could never be friends now. Not now that he’d tasted her, not now that she’d felt his want and his need. He lowered his head to take her mouth, to take what he’d always wanted.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
I loved you from the beginning,” she said, forcing herself to look directly at him. “I can see that now, although at the time I didn't realize what was happening. I haven't wanted to face the truth, that I am exactly what you called me—a coward.” Her gaze searched Zachary's dark face for a reaction to her admission, but there was no sign of emotion. He downed another two fingers of brandy, consuming the distillation with slow, deliberate swallows. “When George died in my arms,” Holly continued raggedly, “I wanted to die, too. I never wanted to feel such pain again, and I knew the safest thing would be to never let myself love anyone that way. And so I used my promise to George as an excuse to hold you at bay.” Holly paused uncertainly, realizing that for some reason her words had caused a flush to rise from Zachary's throat to his ears. Taking courage from that telltale wash of color, she forced herself to go on. “I was willing to use any reason I could find to keep from loving you. And then… when you and I… in the summerhouse…” Too distraught to look at him any longer, Holly lowered her head. “I had never felt that way before,” she said. “I was utterly lost. I had no control over my heart or my thoughts, and so I was frantic to leave you. Ever since then I've tried to step back into my old life, but the fit isn't right anymore. I've changed. Because of you.” Suddenly she could barely see him through a scalding rush of tears. “I've finally realized that there is something worse than possibly losing you… and that is never having you at all.” Her voice cramped and faltered, and she could only whisper. “Please let me stay, Zachary—on any terms you desire. Don't make me live without you. I love you so desperately.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Sometimes our need clouds our ability to develop perspective. Being needy is kind of like losing your keys. You become desperate and search everywhere. You search in places you know damn well what you are looking for could never be. The more frantic you become in trying to find them the less rational you are in your search. The less rational you become the more likely you'll be searching in a way that actually makes finding what you want more difficult. You go back again and again to where you want them to be, knowing that there is no way in hell that they are there. There is a lot of wasted effort. You lose perspective of your real goal, let's say it's go to the grocery store, and instead of getting what you need -nourishment, you frantically chase your tail growing more and more confused and angry and desperate. You are mad at your keys, you are mad at your coat pockets for not doing their job. You are irrational. You could just grab the spare set, run to the grocery store and get what you need, have a sandwich, calm down and search at your leisure. But you don't. Where ARE your keys?! Your desperation is skewing your judgement. But you need to face it, YOUR keys are not in HIS pocket. You know your keys are not there. You have checked several times. They are not there. He is not responsible for your keys. You are. He doesn't want to be responsible for your keys. Here's the secret: YOU don't want to be responsible for your keys. If you did you would be searching for them in places they actually have a chance of being. Straight boys don't have your keys. You have tried this before. They may have acted like they did because they wanted you to get them somewhere or you may have hoped they did because you didn't want to go alone but straight boys don't have your keys. Straight boys will never have your keys. Where do you really want to go? It sounds like not far. If going somewhere was of importance you would have hung your keys on the nail by the door. Sometimes it's pretty comfortable at home. Lonely but familiar. Messy enough to lose your keys in but not messy enough to actually bother to clean house and let things go. Not so messy that you can't forget about really going somewhere and sit down awhile and think about taking a trip with that cute guy from work. Just a little while longer, you tell yourself. His girlfriend can sit in the backseat as long as she stays quiet. It will be fun. Just what you need. And really isn't it much safer to sit there and think about taking a trip than accepting all the responsibility of planning one and servicing the car so that it's ready and capable? Having a relationship consists of exposing yourself to someone else over and over, doing the work and sometimes failing. It entails being wrong in front of someone else and being right for someone too. Even if you do find a relationship that other guy doesn't want to be your chauffeur. He wants to take turns riding together. He may occasionally drive but you'll have to do some too. You will have to do some solo driving to keep up your end of the relationship. Boyfriends aren't meant to take you where you want to go. Sometimes they want to take a left when you want to go right. Being in a relationship is embarking on an uncertain adventure. It's not a commitment to a destination it is just a commitment to going together. Maybe it's time to stop telling yourself that you are a starcrossed traveler and admit you're an armchair adventurer. You don't really want to go anywhere or you would venture out. If you really wanted to know where your keys were you'd search in the most likely spot, down underneath the cushion of that chair you've gotten so comfortable in.
Tim Janes
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)
You are personally responsible for so much of the sunshine that brightens up your life. Optimists and gentle souls continually benefit from their very own versions of daylight saving time. They get extra hours of happiness and sunshine every day. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life The secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by slowing down and inventing some imaginary letters along the way. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life “There is nothing more important than family.” Those words should be etched in stone on the sidewalks that lead to every home. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life I may be uncertain about exactly where I’m headed, but I am very clear regarding this: I’m glad I’ve got a ticket to go on this magnificent journey. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life When your heart is filled with gratitude for what you do have, your head isn’t nearly so worried about what you don’t. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life Don’t let cynical people transfer their cynicism off on you. In spite of its problems, it is still a pretty amazing world, and there are lots of truly wonderful people spinning around on this planet. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers All the good things you can do – having the right attitude, having a strong belief in your abilities, making good choices and responsible decisions – all those good things will pay huge dividends. You’ll see. Your prayers will be heard. Your karma will kick in. The sacrifices you made will be repaid. And the good work will have all been worth it. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers The more you’re bothered by something that’s wrong, the more you’re empowered to make things right. – Douglas Pagels, from Everyone Should Have a Book Like This to Get Through the Gray Days May you be blessed with all these things: A little more joy, a little less stress, a lot more understanding of your wonderfulness. Abundance in your life, blessings in your days, dreams that come true, and hopes that stay. A rainbow on the horizon, an angel by your side, and everything that could ever bring a smile to your life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Each day brings with it the miracle of a new beginning. Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance to make something extraordinary out of them. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Keep planting the seeds of your dreams, because if you keep believing in them, they will keep trying their best to blossom for you. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things I hope your dreams take you... to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Love is what holds everything together. It’s the ribbon around the gift of life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things There are times in life when just being brave is all you need to be. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things When it comes to anything – whether it involves people or places or jobs or hoped-for plans – you never know what the answer will be if you don’t ask. And you never know what the result will be if you don’t try. – Douglas Pagels, from Make Every Day a Positive One Don’t just have minutes in the day; have moments in time. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds A life well lived is simply a compilation of days well spent. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds
Douglas Pagels
First of all, she was uncertain how to read the statement. Did Harry actually mean what he said, or was there another underlying message? Did he mean “Wow, you are so completely unattractive, no other man could possibly be interested in you, so I’ll take advantage of you by pretending to desire you. And maybe I’ll get lucky and get laid while having a big laugh at your expense?” Or did he mean “I’ll tell you this to make you feel better because, even though it’s not completely true, you don’t repulse me, and if we do end up having sex, I’ll just make sure all the lights are off.” “Look, Allie, I didn’t mean to freak you out or anything,” Harry said. “I mean, by saying what I said back in the car . . .” Alessandra realized that she had blindly followed him and they were standing on one of the lines, waiting to order their daily indigestion. She had been staring sightlessly up at the menu. “It’s just . . . You wanted honesty,” he continued, “and I . . .” He shrugged. “I took it a little too far, as usual. Some things probably just shouldn’t be said.” “I don’t know how to do this,” Alessandra admitted. “Talking to men was easy when I was beautiful. But now . . .” Harry was looking at her, studying her very naked, very plain face, his dark brown eyes so intense. It was as if the crowd around them had ceased to exist, as if they were the only two people standing in that fast-food lobby. He touched her hair, pushing a limp lock back behind her ear. “The haircut really sucks,” he told her. She closed her eyes. “Yes, I believe you mentioned that once already today.” “But it’s just hair.” “Spoken by the reigning king of bad hair days.” She reached up and took off his baseball cap. His hair, as usual, was standing up in all directions. He shrugged. “Maybe we should just get matching Mohawks.” Alessandra had to laugh. He touched her again, his fingers warm and slightly rough against her cheek. “You’re still beautiful,” he said softly.
Suzanne Brockmann (Bodyguard)
So Christiana went to speak to Dicky about taking us out and about, but when she found him in the office, the idiot was dead." Daniel bit his lip at her vexed tone. There was absolutely no grief in her voice at all, just irritation with the inconvenience of it all. But then George had never been one to inspire the finer feelings in those he encountered. Clearing his throat, he asked, "Did he fall and strike his head, or-" "No.He was simply sitting in his chair dead," she said with exasperation, and then added with disgust, "He was obviously a victim of his own excess. We suspected his heart gave out. Certainly the glass and decanter of whiskey next to him suggested he didn't take the best care of himself. I ask you,who drinks hard liquor first thing in the morning?" Daniel shook his head, finding it difficult to speak. She was just so annoyed as she spoke of the man's death, as if he'd deliberately done it to mess up her plans. After a moment, he asked, "Are you sure he is dead?" Suzette gave him another one of those adorable "Don't be ridiculous" looks. "Well, obviously he isn't. He is here now," she pointed out, and then shook her head and added almost under her breath, "Though I could have sworn...The man didn't even stir when he fell off the chair and slammed his head on the floor. Nor when I dropped him and his head crashed to the hardwood floor again, or when we rolled him in the carpet and dragged him upstairs, or when we dropped him in the hall and he rolled out of the carpet, or-" "Er," Daniel interrupted, and then coughed into his hand to hide a laugh, before asking, "Why exactly were you carting him about in a carpet?" "Well,don't be dense," she said with exasperation. "We couldn't let anyone know he was dead, could we?" "Couldn't you?" he asked uncertainly. Suzette clucked with irritation. "Of course not.We would have had to go into mourning then.How would I find a husband if we were forced to abstain from polite society to observe mourning?
Lynsay Sands (The Heiress (Madison Sisters #2))
The information in this topic of decision making and how to create and nurture it, is beneficial to every cop in their quest to mastering tactics and tactical decision making and are a must read for every cop wanting to be more effective and safe on the street. My purpose is to get cops thinking about this critical question: In mastering tactics shouldn’t we be blending policy and procedure with people and ideas? It should be understandable that teaching people, procedures helps them perform tasks more skillfully doesn’t always apply. Procedures are most useful in well-ordered situations when they can substitute for skill, not augment it. In complex situations, in the shadows of the unknown, uncertain and unpredictable and complex world of law enforcement conflict, procedures are less likely to substitute for expertise and may even stifle its development. Here is a different way of putting it as Klein explains: In complex situations, people will need judgment skills to follow procedures effectively and to go beyond them when necessary.3 For stable and well-structured tasks i.e. evidence collection and handling, follow-up investigations, booking procedures and report writing, we should be able to construct comprehensive procedure guides. Even for complex tasks we might try to identify the procedures because that is one road to progress. But we also have to discover the kinds of expertise that comes into play for difficult jobs such as, robbery response, active shooter and armed gunman situations, hostage and barricade situations, domestic disputes, drug and alcohol related calls and pretty much any other call that deals with emotionally charged people in conflict. Klein states, “to be successful we need both analysis (policy and procedure) and intuition (people and ideas).”4 Either one alone can get us into trouble. Experts certainly aren’t perfect, but analysis can fail. Intuition isn’t magic either. Klein defines intuition as, “ways we use our experience without consciously thinking things out”. Intuition includes tacit knowledge that we can’t describe. It includes our ability to recognize patterns stored in memory. We have been building these patterns up all our lives from birth to present, and we can rapidly match a situation to a pattern or notice that something is off, that some sort of anomaly is warning us to be careful.5
Fred Leland (Adaptive Leadership Handbook - Law Enforcement & Security)
The power behind words and voices is substantial to life! I dedicated this book to all of you readers before you even read it, to understand- the book of misunderstandings for the misunderstood. To have a voice, when you were made not have one or told not to have one. Maybe if you are like me, trying to get your voice back this is the story you need. Nonetheless, let us not fail to remember all the voices, which will never speak again, for being rejected and misunderstood.' 'Yes, be that voice with this book, this book is for you, to speak up, and be heard.' 'Why?' 'So, there are no more lost and forgotten voices of life. This book is a stepping stone to abolish bullying altogether, along with your help; we can take that step forward, and forget about the past!' 'At this time, I would like you all to take a moment of silence, to remember someone, that is no longer with us. So, they are not forgotten.' Preface: 'To understand, you must read between the lines of a story just like mine. My wronging if you do not read this book, is you'll find out fast that life is going to suck, and then you make the discovery, that you are going to die alone, and the hex- I have will now be on you.' 'At least that is what I thought; I thought I read, my story before it was written, and this note was the last thing that I was going to write. However, I never realized that there was so much more to life, which I did not appreciate. I came near a stone's throw away from the end. Yet I got additional unplanned lifespans. Yet, was the second chance what I needed?' 'Nevertheless, there were things that I concerned my mind with, which was not substantial to my existence.' 'If anything- learn from me. Try to do the virtuous things I did and not the mistakes I made. Though it is up to you to decide what was good or bad, it is what you feel and believe is morally right in your mind.' 'Yeah- I never really put any thought into what was going to happen to me someday, and the others that are part of my surroundings.' 'However, life goes on, and the existence of what was stands for nothing but- a memory of what you can and cannot have. If you are someone like me, but all I ever wanted was someone that appreciates me. They say life is free or is it. Do I want it- No- not really!' 'The existence of life…!' 'Is what I do not want to have anymore. There must be a way out of all this misery that I live in today? 'They say dying is easy, as well as lasting, and living is difficult and uncertain.' While- I am going to find out!' 'I guess life is all about what you want, need, and love.' 'Likewise, existing in life comes down to what you cannot have in it.' 'All I have to say is don't let anyone or anything pin you down, and make you less than whom you are. Always be whom you were meant to be, regardless of what they say… because who in the hell are they!' 'My story- is somewhat graphic at times, just like looking into a black and white photo of the past in a scrapbook. All the color in it washes away over time, one way or another. Besides all that is left is still frames that keep on fading, and distorting.' 'On the morning I was scheduled to die, I saw my life as if I had lived it to its whole. Oh, the captivating angel beamed lovingly as she roamed forward help me hang myself, a part of me felt death, and other parts of my mind, body, and soul felt as if it would never dye.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Walking the Halls (Nevaeh))
[D]espite what our intuition tells us, changes in the world’s population are not generally neutral. They are either a good thing or a bad thing. But it is uncertain even what form a correct theory of the value of population would take. In the area of population, we are radically uncertain. We do not know what value to set on changes in the world’s population. If the population shrinks as a result of climate change, we do not know how to evaluate that change. Yet we have reason to think that changes in population may be one of the most morally significant effects of climate change. The small chance of catastrophe may be a major component in the expected value of harm caused by climate change, and the loss of population may be a major component of the badness of catastrophe. How should we cope with this new, radical sort of uncertainty? Uncertainty was the subject of chapter 7. That chapter came up with a definitive answer: we should apply expected value theory. Is that not the right answer now? Sadly it is not, because our new sort of uncertainty is particularly intractable. In most cases of uncertainty about value, expected value theory simply cannot be applied. When an event leads to uncertain results, expected value theory requires us first to assign a value to each of the possible results it may lead to. Then it requires us to calculate the weighted average value of the results, weighted by their probabilities. This gives us the event’s expected value, which we should use in our decision-making. Now we are uncertain about how to value the results of an event, rather than about what the results will be. To keep things simple, let us set aside the ordinary sort of uncertainty by assuming that we know for sure what the results of the event will be. For instance, suppose we know that a catastrophe will have the effect of halving the world’s population. Our problem is that various different moral theories of value evaluate this effect differently. How might we try to apply expected value theory to this catastrophe? We can start by evaluating the effect according to each of the different theories of value separately; there is no difficulty in principle there. We next need to assign probabilities to each of the theories; no doubt that will be difficult, but let us assume we can do it somehow. We then encounter the fundamental difficulty. Each different theory will value the change in population according to its own units of value, and those units may be incomparable with one another. Consequently, we cannot form a weighted average of them. For example, one theory of value is total utilitarianism. This theory values the collapse of population as the loss of the total well-being that will result from it. Its unit of value is well-being. Another theory is average utilitarianism. It values the collapse of population as the change of average well-being that will result from it. Its unit of value is well-being per person. We cannot take a sensible average of some amount of well-being and some amount of well-being per person. It would be like trying to take an average of a distance, whose unit is kilometers, and a speed, whose unit is kilometers per hour. Most theories of value will be incomparable in this way. Expected value theory is therefore rarely able to help with uncertainty about value. So we face a particularly intractable problem of uncertainty, which prevents us from working out what we should do. Yet we have to act; climate change will not wait while we sort ourselves out. What should we do, then, seeing as we do not know what we should do? This too is a question for moral philosophy. Even the question is paradoxical: it is asking for an answer while at the same time acknowledging that no one knows the answer. How to pose the question correctly but unparadoxically is itself a problem for moral philosophy.
John Broome
It is the usual way of things, when you have done something to hurt someone else, to extend an olive branch.” Morgan was uncertain what a piece of tree could have to do with the ins and outs of polite society. Unless Earl Warrington meant some type of walking stick fashioned from the wood of the olive tree? Morgan was about to seek clarification when his uncle went on.
J.A. Rock (A Rival for Rivingdon (The Lords of Bucknall Club, #3))
She was young and uncertain of herself, going with the crowd because she wanted to belong. Not an unnatural thing, at any age, but especially when you have not learned to know yourself yet, and very much want to be liked.... You want to be exceptional, never mistaken for anyone else, and yet, at the same moment, you want to be like everyone else. You want individuality and anonymity at the same time, and do not realize that you cannot have both. At least, not at once. You end up, of course, just the same as most of your contemporaries, all trying to be different in the same way.
Anne Perry (Three Debts Paid (Daniel Pitt, #5))
The next day, for Emma, was funereal. Everything appeared to her shrouded in a black mist that hovered uncertainly over the surface of things, and grief plunged deep into her soul, moaning softly like the winter wind in an abandonded chateau. She sank into that kind of brooding which comes when you lose something forever, that lassitude you feel after every irreversible event, that pain you suffer when a habitual movement is interrupted, when a long-sustained vibration is suddenly broken off.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
It’s simple but really, really hard. Let’s look at some of these side effects. You’re going to feel uncertain; I guarantee it. “Should I really give this up? Is this the right thing to do?” Giving up a value you’ve depended on for years is going to feel disorienting, as if you don’t really know right from wrong anymore. This is hard, but it’s normal. Next, you’ll feel like a failure. You’ve spent half your life measuring yourself by that old value, so when you change your priorities, change your metrics, and stop behaving in the same way, you’ll fail to meet that old, trusted metric and thus immediately feel like some sort of fraud or nobody. This is also normal and also uncomfortable.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
What if we shifted our definition of “I don’t know” from the negative frame (“I have no idea” or “I know nothing about that,” which feels like we lack competence or confidence) to a more neutral frame? What if we thought about it as recognizing that, although we might know something about the chances of some event occurring, we are still not sure how things will turn out in any given instance? That is just the truth. If we accept that, “I’m not sure” might not feel so bad. What good poker players and good decision-makers have in common is their comfort with the world being an uncertain and unpredictable place.
Annie Duke (Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts)
If one does not know what is better, one must reflect, consider and seek advice, because one must not act with an uncertain conscience. When uncertain, say to yourself: “Whatever I do will be good. I have the intention of doing good.” The Lord God accepts what we consider good, and the Lord God also accepts and considers it as good. One should not worry if, after some time, one sees that these things are not good. God looks at the intention with which we begin, and will reward us accordingly. This is a principle which we ought to follow.
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Helix Books))
And all the time, as the train went whirling through reverberant tunnels, then out into the unspeakable' squalors of the East End — Bow, Stepney, Whitechapel, Barking — she was thinking how strangely unromantic this honeymoon journey was contrasting it, in spite of herself, with that other southward journey in the Blue Train with Ledwyche. She didn’t love Ledwyche; she supposed she did love Cyril. And yet, when she came to think of it, how safe she had felt with the other — how many essential, though trivial, things they had had in common! Trivial? Were they so trivial after all? Weren’t they, in fact, the whole basic structure of her life, her birth, her breeding? With Ledwyche, she knew just exactly where she was, while' 'with this dark stranger. . . . It came as a shock to her to remember that she didn’t even know his name, nor he hers. That, to begin with, was enough to make the' whole adventure unreal, unsubstantial, uncertain. Yet, hadn’t they agreed — oh, long ago! — that it was this very circumstance that made the affair so romantically thrilling? Eros and Psyche! . . . To question the illusion was to shatter it. And yet she knew nothing about him, nothing whatever, except that they shared a few tastes and theories. Why, for all she knew, he might even be a criminal, a murderer! “Well, here I am,” she thought. “Ca y est! I’ve got to go through with it.” And of course, to be logical, this journey had not begun at Liverpool Street that morning; it had begun at the moment when Ledwyche had shown her into the train at Cannes. It would end, God knew how, in some sordid lodging in Southend. “I’m a free woman,” she told herself. “Well, this is the price of freedom.
Francis Brett Young (The Cage Bird and Other Stories)
The level of our happiness is said to decrease when we have more than seven free hours in a day. Serotonin is inert in the brains of people who suffer from depression. A person with strong willpower isn't tempted in the first place. Your willpower will be lost if you give in to negative emotions like uncertainty or doubt. When that happens, the brain takes instinctive action and tells you to try to grab the reward in front of you. As a result you may eat or drink too much or lose the motivation to do anything. Then, later, you regret those actions and feel more stress. 45% of our actions are habits rather than decisions made on the spot. To dye a dirty cloth, you must first wash it. ( a teaching of Ayurveda ) There is value to anything if you take it seriously. You often become susceptible to addictions if the rewards come quickly. People who are unable to clean up or part with their things will sometimes feel anger towards minimalists and I believe it's because some part of them is anxious about their own actions. Our present identities shouldn't constrain our future actions. The time after you get up is the time when you can concentrate the best. As the day goes by, unexpected things and distractions will happen and build up so it's best to do what you want to do in the morning. Waking up early is a must and if you lose that first battle, you will lose in all the battles. Realize that enthusiasm won't occur before you do something. You won't feel motivated unless you start acting. Amazon rules over the buying habits of so many people because its hurdles are extremely low. People's motivation will easily go away when faced with a simple hurdle. When you quit something, it's easier to quit it completely. With acquiring a habit, it's the opposite, easier to do it every day. A plan relieves you of the torment of choice. Success is a consequence and must not be a goal. The result will be burnout if you only have a target. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and then success is sure. Mark Twain To have a sense of self-efficacy is to believe "I can do this!". It's the belief that you can change, grow, learn and overcome new challenges. Talking about someone's talent can wait until you've exceeded the effort that that person has made. If we changed houses periodically, we would have the joy of exploring our new environment each time and there would also be the joy of gaining control over each new environment, This instinct is probably what drives curiosity and the desire for self-development. If we don't cultivate our own opportunities for development, we'll only be able to find joy in modern society's "ready-made" fun. Activities structured so that we have to "Enjoy this in this way", where the way to have fun is already decided, will eventually bore us. And then, someday, we'll be bored with ourselves. Making it a habit to seek unique opportunities for development and gaining the sense that we're always doing something new: these are things that satisfy human instinct. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. The Dhammapada, The Sayings of the Buddha Something that you thought was your personality can change with a simple habit. People are instinctively inclined to get bored of what they have now and pursue new things. So no matter how successful they become, they will worry and find reasons to feel uncertain. They will get used to any environment and they will get bored with it. Training in Buddhism: when cleaning is part of the training, you're taught to thoroughly eliminate rationalizations such as " this is already clean, so it doesn't have to be cleaned.
Fumio Sasaki (Hello, Habits: A Minimalist's Guide to a Better Life)
Broadly speaking, there seem to be two methods for developing combat forces-for successfully cajoling or coercing collections of men into engaging in the violent, profane, sacrificial, uncertain, masochistic, and essentially absurd enterprise known as war. The two methods lead to two kinds of warfare, and the distinction can be an important one. Intuitively, it might seem that the easiest (and cheapest) method for recruiting combatants would be to...enlist those who revel in violence and routinely seek it our or who regularly employ it to enrich themselves, or both. We have in civilian life a name for such people-criminals...Violent conflicts in which people like that dominate can be called criminal warfare, a form in which combatants are induced to wreak violence primarily for the fun and material profit they derive from the experience. Criminal armies seem to arise from a couple of processes. Sometimes criminals-robbers, brigands, freebooters, highwaymen, hooligans, thugs, bandits, pirates, gangsters, outlaws-organize or join together in gangs or bands or mafias. When such organizations become big enough, they can look and act a lot like full-blown armies. Or criminal armies can be formed when a ruler needs combatants to prosecute a war and concludes that the employment or impressment of criminals and thugs is the most sensible and direct method for accomplishing this. In this case, criminals and thugs essentially act as mercenaries. It happens, however, that criminals and thugs tend to be undesirable warriors....To begin with, they are often difficult to control. They can be troublemakers: unruly, disobedient, and mutinous, often committing unauthorized crimes while on (or off) duty that can be detrimental or even destructive of military enterprise.... Most importantly, criminals can be disinclined to stand and fight when things become dangerous, and they often simply desert when whim and opportunity coincide. Ordinary crime, after all, preys on the weak-on little old ladies rather than on husky athletes-and criminals often make willing and able executioners of defenseless people. However, if the cops show up they are given to flight. The motto for the criminal, after all, is not a variation of "Semper fi," "All for one and one for all," "Duty, honor, country," "Banzai," or "Remember Pearl Harbor," but "Take the money and run."... These problems with the employment of criminals as combatants have historically led to efforts to recruit ordinary men as combatants-people who, unlike criminals and thugs, commit violence at no other time in their lives.... The result has been the development of disciplined warfare in which men primarily inflict violence not for fun and profit but because their training and indoctrination have instilled in them a need to follow orders; to observe a carefully contrived and tendentious code of honer; to seek glory and reputation in combat; to love, honor, or fear their officers; to believe in a cause; to fear the shame, humiliation, or costs of surrender; or, in particular, to be loyal to, and to deserve the loyalty of, their fellow combatants.
John Mueller
Thiel has also contributed to a reactionary turn in our politics and society that has left the United States in a much more uncertain place than he found it in when he went into business for himself in the mid-1990s. He is a critic of big tech who has done more to increase the dominance of big tech than perhaps any living person. He is a self-proclaimed privacy advocate who founded one of the world’s largest surveillance companies. He is a champion of meritocracy and intellectual diversity who has surrounded himself with a self-proclaimed mafia of loyalists. And he is a champion of free speech who secretly killed a major U.S. media outlet. “He’s a nihilist, a really smart nihilist,” said Matt Stoller, the anti-monopoly activist and author of Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. “He’s entirely about power—it’s the law of the jungle. ‘I’m a predator and the predators win.’ ” That, more than anything, may be the lesson that Thiel’s followers have learned—the real meaning of “move fast and break things.
Max Chafkin (The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power)
It was fucking awful,” I profess, the words spilling out of me like I’m an overfull levee. Rogan’s quiet as he runs a hand soothingly down my back while holding me tightly to him. “I tried so hard to keep her away from him, to focus on me, but…” “I know,” Rogan comforts, placing light kisses on the back of my hands. “Elon told me what happened. How you…” Emotion bleeds out of his words, and he pauses to try and rein it in. The vehemence leaking to me through the tether has me cracking my fingers so I can look at his face through them. “I fucked up so bad, Lennox. I thought I had to choose, that after everything Elon had been through, he needed to come first no matter what. I didn’t want to admit how I was feeling about you. If I did, it felt like I was betraying Elon. I mean, what kind of person finds happiness and hope when his brother is suffering?” he asks, anguish etched in his features. He shakes his head, ashamed, an indignant scoff sneaking out of his full lips. “I didn’t want to make room for you,” he admits, bringing his hand to his chest and placing it over his heart. “I didn’t want to see that you’d already sunk inside of me so deeply that there wasn’t a me without you anymore. It was the wrong time, too fast, too uncertain, but there you were all the same,” he tells me, gesturing to his heart. His last words coax a small smile to one corner of his mouth, but it’s gone in a blink. “That night when you were torn away from me. It was like I was back in that room with my uncle as he tortured Elon and tried to steal his birthright. I lost it completely. I probably would have taken out half the order if Marx hadn’t been there to stop me. They brought that Saxon fucker in to search your room for who could have planted the trap, and it hit me like a punch to the gut. You were gone. You were gone, and you didn’t know how I felt. I never let you see what you were starting to mean to me. “I knew wherever that portal was leading, it was going to be bad, and I hated myself for not giving you something to fight for, for failing to show you that we were worth fighting for. I’m never going to do that again, Lennox. Never.” Slowly, he pulls my hands from my face, lifting up a corner of the quilt to wipe the tears and snot away. “I love you, Lennox,” he tells me evenly with absolutely no hesitation. “I love you in the way that grows as we grow together. The kind of love worth fighting for, that has me waking up every day grateful and willing to do whatever it takes. I know what you did for Elon, because it’s the same thing you did for me. You’re the light in the darkness. The stars that guide you home when you’re lost. You carry the broken from battle and lift the drowning from the clawing cold that’s trying to claim them. You slay the demons.
Ivy Asher
thepsychchic chips clips i How often are we actually in control, I wondered? And how does the perception of being in control in situations where luck is queen actually play out in our decision making? How do people respond when placed in uncertain situations, with incomplete information? 13 Personal accountability, without the possibility of deflecting onto someone else, is key. 41 There’s never a default to anything. It’s always a matter of deliberation. 56 Erik: You have to have a clear thought process for every single hand. What do I know? What have I seen? How will that help me make an informed judgment about this hand? 74 … find the fold … 86 Erik: There’s nothing like getting in there and making a bunch of mistakes. 88 Erik: Pick your spots. 91 Erik: Have you ever heard the expression ‘snap fold’? A snap fold, you do it immediately. You’re thrilled to let it go. So. snap fold. This lets you shove with basically the same enthusiasm. It tells you which hands to go with when you have different amounts of big blinds. 98 There’s a false sense of security in passivity. You think that you can’t get into too much trouble—but really, every passive decision leads to a slow but steady loss of chips. And chances are, if I’m choosing those lines at the table, there are deeper issues at play. Who knows how many proverbial chips a default passivity has cost me throughout my life. How many times have I walked away from situations because of someone else's show of strength, when I really shouldn't have. How many times I've passively stayed in a situation, eventually letting it get the better of me, instead of actively taking control and turning things around. Hanging back only seems like an easy solution. In truth, it can be the seed of far bigger problems. 100-101 Gambler's fallacy -- the faulty idea that probability has a memory. 107 Frank Lantz, NYU Game Center, former poker player: Part of what I get out of a game is being confronted with reality in a way that is not accommodating to my incorrect preconceptions. 109 Only play within your bankroll. 126 Re: Ladies Event: Yes, I completely understand the intention, but somehow, segregating women into a separate player pool, as if admitting that they can’t compete in an open player pool, feels equal parts degrading and demoralizing. … if I’m known as anything in this game, I want to be known as a good poker player, not a good female player. No modifiers need apply. 127 Erik: Bad beats are a really bad mental habit. You don’t want to ever dwell on them. It doesn’t help you become a better player. It’s like dumping your garbage on someone else’s lawn. It just stinks.” 132-33 No bad beats. Forget they ever happened. 136 As W H Auden told an interviewer, Webster Schott, in a 1970 conversation: "Language is the mother, not the handmaiden of thought; words will tell you things you never thought or felt before.” The language we use becomes our mental habits—and our mental habits determine how we learn, how we grow, what we become. It’s not just a question of semantics: telling bad beats stories matters. Our thinking about luck has real consequences in terms of our emotional well-being, our decisions and the way we implicitly view the world and our role in it. 133
Maria Konnikova (The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win)
I wonder if they’ll be able to resist. It’s not exactly easy to save things for the future when the present is so uncertain.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
You think about how fragile life is, about how quickly it goes by, how quickly things become lost. You take life for granted most of the time. You live it in the moment and you don’t think a lot about the future because the future seems a long way off. But when people you love die, suddenly the future seems a whole lot closer and very uncertain.
Terry Brooks (The Measure of the Magic (Legends of Shannara, #2))
The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what is means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered with imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Essentially, life is a game. There are natural and manmade laws that serve as rules. There is a beginning and an end. There is a game board we play on that we call planet Earth. And there are decisions and moves that we make that determine where and how we move on the board. Of course, we all want to win. Some of us do, and some of us don’t. But that begs the question, how DOES one win? Unlike a normal game, there is no time afterlife for us to bask in and enjoy a victory. And so, if we wish to truly experience winning the game of life, we must frame our definition of how we win accordingly so that we win while the game is still in play. Winning the game of life is not predicated merely by the quantity of material successes that we have accumulated by the end of it. Sure, it is enjoyable and important to acquire things within the game of life, but the accumulation of things like wealth, material excess, fame, or status tends to easily be confused as the ultimate endgame. But they are not. They are just parts of the game. And furthermore. Each win of this kind is generally short-lived. It is just like how winning a board game, video game, or sports game might feel good when it occurs and for a little while after, but the feeling soon fades and you return to your normal state. And so it is important that the state that you return to is a victory in it of itself. In the case of the game of life, not only is the sense of fulfillment from material wins short-lived, but the accumulation of material points does not matter much at the end of it. These points don’t go anywhere with you when you are dead and gone. Instead, it is about how much you enjoyed the game of pursuing the points in the first place. Ironically, you truly win the game of life when you realize and embrace that it IS a game. When you become aware that against all odds, you were somehow rendered into this existence and are now able to play and enjoy the most enthralling, sophisticated, and entertaining game ever to exist. A game that is so complex and uncertain that you can never completely predict what’s going to happen next. A game that is always updating. A game that you can come up with rules for, change existing ones, unlock new levels, and uncover hidden settings. And the quality of your life experience truly maximizes when you realize that you have already won by being able to do any of this.
Robert Pantano
When Solo got back to her own hotel room, all her emotions were unleashed. As one player puts it now: “All the sudden, we were seeing furniture fly into the hallway.” Several players who decline to speak on the record say Solo trashed her room and punched a hole in the wall. Nicole Barnhart, the backup goalkeeper who was her roommate at the time, picked up the furniture and put the room back together. Later, Aly Wagner, Cat Whitehill, and Angela Hucles went to Solo’s room to check on her. She was crying. The trio understood why Solo was so upset. The decision to change a goalkeeper in the middle of a World Cup was unprecedented, and everyone knew it. The players tried to support her and give her a pep talk to be ready, just in case. “We get it,” the players told her one by one. “This is an awful thing to go through. We’ve all been there. But you are still part of this team, and we still need you. You never know what’s going to happen in the game.” The press corps in China was small, but once reporters there learned about Ryan’s decision, it was all they could ask about. Would it shake Solo’s confidence? “That’s not our concern,” Ryan said. “We came here trying to win a world championship and put the players on the field that we thought could win each game.” Was Ryan concerned that Scurry would be rusty? “She’ll be ready—wait and see,” he said. Julie Foudy and Tony DiCicco were now both working as broadcast analysts for ESPN. On air, they expressed astonishment at Ryan’s decision and both said, in no uncertain terms, that it was a bad move.
Caitlin Murray (The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Dreamed Big, Defied the Odds, and Changed Soccer)
Sometimes, when we lose something major in life, we squeeze too hard on what remains. Afraid we will lose that last part of ourselves with which we are still familiar, we end up strangling the very thing we wish to preserve. I smothered my ex in all the wrong ways. I was weak and needy. I was uncertain and lacked confidence. I’d lost my focus, and for lack of a better term, I was scared. I knew and wanted no other life than working the sea. What I found to be mundane everyday life on shore was painful to me at best.
Kenton Geer (Vicious Cycle: Whiskey, Women, and Water)
we’d stopped to think when we were younger, that one day we would be back here, stooped and gray, if we’d given a moment to think how we would struggle against the wind to stay upright, and how our feet would feel afraid and uncertain; perhaps, then, we would have taken a little more time over things. We would have enjoyed the soft, easy days of childhood a little more. Arms and legs full of confidence and energy. Minds free from hesitation. Perhaps we would have danced through our youth a little more slowly.
Joanna Cannon (Three Things About Elsie)
If we’d stopped to think when we were younger, that one day we would be back here, stooped and gray, if we’d given a moment to think how we would struggle against the wind to stay upright, and how our feet would feel afraid and uncertain; perhaps, then, we would have taken a little more time over things. We would have enjoyed the soft, easy days of childhood a little more. Arms and legs full of confidence and energy. Minds free from hesitation. Perhaps we would have danced through our youth a little more slowly.
Joanna Cannon (Three Things About Elsie)
Philip had cultivated a certain disdain for idealism. He had always had a passion for life, and the idealism he had come across seemed to him for the most part a cowardly shrinking from it. The idealist withdrew himself, because he could not suffer the jostling of the human crowd; he had not the strength to fight and so called the battle vulgar; he was vain, and since his fellows would not take him at his own estimate, consoled himself with despising his fellows. For Philip his type was Hayward, fair, languid, too fat now and rather bald, still cherishing the remains of his good looks and still delicately proposing to do exquisite things in the uncertain future; and at the back of this were whiskey and vulgar amours of the street. It was in reaction from what Hayward represented that Philip clamoured for life as it stood; sordidness, vice, deformity, did not offend him; he declared that he wanted man in his nakedness; and he rubbed his hands when an instance came before him of meanness, cruelty, selfishness, or lust: that was the real thing. In Paris he had learned that there was neither ugliness nor beauty, but only truth: the search after beauty was sentimental. Had he not painted an advertisement of chocolat Menier in a landscape in order to escape from the tyranny of prettiness? But here he seemed to divine something new. He had been coming to it, all hesitating, for some time, but only now was conscious of the fact; he felt himself on the brink of a discovery. He felt vaguely that here was something better than the realism which he had adored; but certainly it was not the bloodless idealism which stepped aside from life in weakness; it was too strong; it was virile; it accepted life in all its vivacity, ugliness and beauty, squalor and heroism; it was realism still; but it was realism carried to some higher pitch, in which facts were transformed by the more vivid light in which they were seen. He seemed to see things more profoundly through the grave eyes of those dead noblemen of Castile; and the gestures of the saints, which at first had seemed wild and distorted, appeared to have some mysterious significance. But he could not tell what that significance was. It was like a message which it was very important for him to receive, but it was given him in an unknown tongue, and he could not understand. He was always seeking for a meaning in life, and here it seemed to him that a meaning was offered; but it was obscure and vague. He was profoundly troubled. He saw what looked like the truth as by flashes of lightning on a dark, stormy night you might see a mountain range. He seemed to see that a man need not leave his life to chance, but that his will was powerful; he seemed to see that self-control might be as passionate and as active as the surrender to passion; he seemed to see that the inward life might be as manifold, as varied, as rich with experience, as the life of one who conquered realms and explored unknown lands.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
When puppets are done with their play, they go back in their boxes. They do not sit in a chair reading a book, their eyes rolling like marbles over its words. They are only objects, like a corpse in a casket. If they ever came to life, our world would be a paradox and a horror in which everything was uncertain, including whether or not we were just human puppets. All supernatural horror obtains in what we believe should be and should not be. As scientists, philosophers, and spiritual figures have testified, our heads are full of illusions; things, including human things, are not dependably what they seem. Yet one thing we know for sure: the difference between what is natural and what is not. Another thing we know is that nature makes no blunders so untoward as to allow things, including human things, to swerve into supernaturalism. Were it to make such a blunder, we would do everything in our power to bury this knowledge. But we need not resort to such measures, being as natural as we are. No one can prove that our life in this world is a supernatural horror, nor cause us to suspect that it might be. Anybody can tell you that—not least a contriver of books that premise the supernatural, the uncanny, and the frightfully paradoxical as essential to our nature.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
Life is more exciting when things are uncertain. Uncertainty teaches flexibility, and flexibility gives you self-awareness that helps you become the best version of yourself
Anuj Jasani
On closer inspection, however, the event in question turns out to be rather more mysterious, rather more of an unidentified 'historical' object. The thawing out of the countries of the East is without doubt an extraordinary turn of events. But what exactly happens to freedom when it is defrosted? Such an operation must be a hazardous one, its outcome uncertain (quite apart from the fact that you are not supposed to refreeze what you have once defrosted). The USSR and the Eastern bloc constituted not just a deep-freeze for freedom but also a laboratory, an experimental environment in which freedom was isolated and subjected to very high pressures. The West, on the other hand, is merely a museum - or, more accurately, a dump - for freedom and the Rights of Man. If deep-freezing was the distinctive (and negative) mark of the Eastern universe, the ultra-fluidity of our Western universe is even more disreputable, because thanks to the liberation and liberalization of our mores and beliefs, the problem of freedom can simply no longer be posed. Rather, it is virtually resolved. In the West, freedom - the Idea of freedom - has died its fine death; all the recent commemorations have clearly shown that the idea of freedom is gone. In the East it has been murdered - but there is no such thing as the perfect crime.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
Francis once said, “I have been in all things unholy. If God can use me, God can use absolutely anyone.” 3 It is easy to assume that Francis had tons of faith, much more than you and me. Francis never saw himself this way, and there were many moments when he felt weak, uncertain, inadequate, and scared. His life teaches me that people who feel spiritually invulnerable and confident cannot repair God’s church. Grace flows to the world only through people who are weak and often uncertain and who cling to Jesus in their experience of decreasing and becoming less.
John Newton (Reckless Love: The Scandal of Grace in a Performance-Driven World)
In the German and French pensions, which twenty-five years ago were crowded with American mothers and their daughters who had crossed the seas in search of culture, one often found the mother making real connection with the life about her, using her inadequate German with great fluency, gaily measuring the enormous sheets or exchanging recipes with the German Hausfrau, visiting impartially the nearest kindergarten and market, making an atmosphere of her own, hearty and genuine as far as it went, in the house and on the street. On the other hand, her daughter was critical and uncertain of her linguistic acquirements, and only at ease when in the familiar receptive attitude afforded by the art gallery and opera house. In the latter she was swayed and moved, appreciative of the power and charm of the music, intelligent as to the legend and poetry of the plot, finding use for her trained and developed powers as she sat "being cultivated" in the familiar atmosphere of the classroom which had, as it were, become sublimated and romanticized. I remember a happy busy mother who, complacent with the knowledge that her daughter daily devoted four hours to her music, looked up from her knitting to say, "If I had had your opportunities when I was young, my dear, I should have been a very happy girl. I always had musical talent, but such training as I had, foolish little songs and waltzes and not time for half an hour's practice a day." The mother did not dream of the sting her words left and that the sensitive girl appreciated only too well that her opportunities were fine and unusual, but she also knew that in spite of some facility and much good teaching she had no genuine talent and never would fulfill the expectations of her friends. She looked back upon her mother's girlhood with positive envy because it was so full of happy industry and extenuating obstacles, with undisturbed opportunity to believe that her talents were unusual. The girl looked wistfully at her mother, but had not the courage to cry out what was in her heart: "I might believe I had unusual talent if I did not know what good music was; I might enjoy half an hour's practice a day if I were busy and happy the rest of the time. You do not know what life means when all the difficulties are removed! I am simply smothered and sickened with advantages. It is like eating a sweet dessert the first thing in the morning.
Jane Addams (Twenty Years at Hull House)
When people are uncertain about the future and afraid of what might come to pass, dispensationalists assure them that when things go from bad to worse, the church will be raptured from the earth and Christians will not be around to experience the great tribulation or the wrath of the Antichrist. In this way, dispensationalists offer comforting answers to painful questions.
Kim Riddlebarger (A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times)
Perhaps the most common device for giving people focus and direction is goal setting, but goals, as often as they are used, have their pros and cons. Sure, if you can convince everybody that profits must increase 20% next quarter or we’re going out of business, people will hurry around looking for ways to hype profits by 20%. When discussing “mission” I assigned Susan a goal of 25% improvement in sales, based on what I calculated was needed to avoid closing the factory and on what I felt her district could reasonably provide. It was not a number pulled from the ether, and I went to some length to explain this to her. Short of any such basis in reality, people will often do the easiest things, such as firing 20% of the workforce, canceling vital R&D programs, or simply not making any payments to suppliers. In other words, they will take achieving the goal as seriously as they feel you were in setting it; they will sense whether you have positioned yourself at the Schwerpunkt. Goals, as we all know, can be motivators. Cypress Semiconductor, a communications-oriented company founded in 1982, used to have a computer that tracked the thousands of self-imposed goals that its people fed into the system. Cypress founder T. J. Rodgers identified this automated goal tending system as the heart of his management style and a big factor in the company’s early success.136 Frankly, I find this philosophy depressing, not to mention a temptation to focus inward: If the boss places great importance on entering and tracking goals, as he obviously does, then that is what the other employees are going to consider important.137 In any case, what’s the big deal about meeting or missing a goal? A goal is an intention at a point in time. It is, to a large extent, an arbitrary target, whether you set it or someone above you assigns it. And we all know that numerical goals can be gamed, like banking (delaying) sales that we could have made this quarter to help us make quota next quarter. Unlike a Schwerpunkt, which gives focus and direction for chaotic and uncertain situations, what does a goal tell you? Just keep your head down and continue plugging away?
Chet Richards (Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business)
When we truly fear God, our fear of other things and other people begins to wane. Big fears make little fears go away. We can spend our days worrying about a host of daily challenges, but let the word cancer be mentioned in the same sentence with our name, and all our daily anxieties disappear into the cloud of a bigger fear. God, of course, is not a malevolent force like cancer. This means that when our smaller fears are absorbed by fear of Him, our lives gain security rather than become debilitated by the terror of an uncertain future.
David Jeremiah (What Are You Afraid Of?)
Doubt is not a fearful thing,” Feynman observed, “but a thing of very great value.”10 It’s what propels science forward. When the scientist tells you he does not know the answer, he is an ignorant man. When he tells you he has a hunch about how it is going to work, he is uncertain about it. When he is pretty sure of how it is going to work, and he tells you, “This is the way it’s going to work, I’ll bet,” he still is in some doubt. And it is of paramount importance, in order to make progress, that we recognize this ignorance and this doubt. Because we have the doubt, we then propose looking in new directions for new ideas. The rate of the development of science is not the rate at which you make observations alone but, much more important, the rate at which you create new things to test.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
As a #girlcrush of mine, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in her epic book Big Magic, fear will always show up when we strive for great things and take risks because “fear hates uncertain outcome…This is all totally natural and human.” It will always show up, and she thankfully adds, “It’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Romi Neustadt (Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building A Life-Changing Business)
That dog has been my companion for two years,” Christopher snapped. “The last thing I would subject him to is that bedlam of a household. He doesn’t need chaos. He doesn’t need noise and confusion--” He was interrupted by an explosion of wild barking, accompanied by an earsplitting metallic crash. Albert had come racing through the entrance hall and had crossed paths with a housemaid bearing a tray of polished silver flatware. Beatrix caught a glimpse of forks and spoons scattering to the doorway, just before she was thrown bodily to the receiving room floor. The impact robbed her of breath. Stunned, she found herself pinned to the carpet and covered by a heavy masculine weight. Dazedly she tried to take in the situation. Christopher had jumped on her. His arms were around her head…he had instinctively moved to shelter her with his own body. They lay together in a confusion of limbs and disheveled garments and panting breaths. Lifting his head, Christopher cast a wary glance at their surroundings. For a moment, the blank ferocity of his face frightened Beatrix. This, she realized, was how he had looked in battle. This was what his enemies had seen as he had cut them down. Albert rushed toward them, baying furiously. “No,” Beatrix said in a low tone, extending her arm to point at him. “Down.” The dog’s barking flattened into a growl, and he slowly lowered to the floor. His gaze didn’t move from his master. Beatrix turned her attention back to Christopher. He was gasping and swallowing, struggling to regain his wits. “Christopher,” she said carefully, but he didn’t seem to hear. At this moment, no words would reach him. She slid her arms around him, one at his shoulders, the other at his waist. He was a large man, superbly fit, his powerful body trembling. A feeling of searing tenderness swept through her, and she let her fingers stroke the rigid nape of his neck. Albert whined softly, watching the two of them. Beyond Christopher’s shoulder, Beatrix glimpsed the housemaid standing uncertainly at the doorway, stray forks clutched in her hand. Although Beatrix didn’t give a fig about appearances or scandal, she cared very much about shielding Christopher during a vulnerable moment. He would not want anyone to see him when he was not fully in command of himself. “Leave us,” she said quietly. “Yes, miss.” Gratefully the maid fled, closing the door behind her.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
But insurance is nothing more than a name we give to risk-pooling arrangements that are organized through private markets. When these markets fail, it is possible to pool risks in other ways. The corporation provides a perfect example of how people can arrange to share risks without the mediation of explicit market mechanisms. For example, there are many types of production processes that call for very specialized skills. The division of labour is itself an enormous source of efficiency gains. Unfortunately, acquiring highly specialized skills can be extremely risky for an individual, because the future is uncertain. While I may know that there is adequate demand for my skills now, I have no idea what things will be like five years down the road. As a result, no one may be willing to invest the time and energy needed to acquire specialized skills, because it is too risky. This efficiency loss could be avoided if it were possible to buy some kind of insurance that would compensate people when there was some fluctuation in the demand for their skills. Unfortunately, no one would ever want to sell this type of insurance because of obvious moral-hazard problems—people would lose all incentive to market or upgrade their skills. So private markets will simply fail to provide this type of insurance. Corporations, however, are able to provide such insurance to workers through bureaucratic means.
Joseph Heath (Efficient Society)
I am an artist. I draw things that interest and intrigue me. When I happened upon you there at the lake, I felt compelled to capture your likeness." A slow smile spread over his face. "So I interest and intrigue you, do I?" "Only from an artistic point of view, nothing more. You might have been a particularly fine ram or perhaps a goat who had strayed from its flock. You were there, so I drew you." Gabriel's eyebrows arched, uncertain whether she was playing games with him or not. "I can assure you that I am neither a ram nor a goat, although I have been accused over the years of being randy as one.
Tracy Anne Warren (Happily Bedded Bliss (The Rakes of Cavendish Square, #2))
The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves.It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The mood understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone, Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
In contrast, Bella Vista was lush and seductive, the landscape filled with colors from deep-green to submerged-gold. Gardeners, construction workers and farm workers swarmed the property. Isabel Johansen was in charge; that had been clear from the start. Yet when she'd shown him to Erik's room, she'd seemed vulnerable, uncertain. Some might regard the room as a mausoleum, filled with the depressing weight of things left behind by the departed. To Mac, it was a treasure trove. He was here to learn the story of this place, this family, and every detail, from the baseball card collection to the dog-eared books about faro places, would turn into clues for him. And holy crap, had Isabel looked different when she'd given him the nickel tour. Unlike the virago in the beekeeper's getup, the cleaned-up Isabel was a Roman goddess in a flowy outfit, sandals and curly dark hair.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
You really should pull over and eat yours before it completely melts, Anders. It will only take a couple minutes.” “I don’t have a sundae,” Anders said grimly. “That’s Leigh’s. She said she wanted two, so she has two.” “And I told you I lied so you could have one because I knew you were too annoyed to order one for yourself,” Leigh said patiently. “Pull over and eat it, Anders. I promise you it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted.” When he didn’t respond, Marguerite said, “Why don’t you feed him, Valerie. That way he doesn’t have to stop, but can still enjoy it.” Valerie’s eyes widened. “Oh, I don’t think—” “Just pretend he’s a sick and cranky child you have to feed,” Marguerite said with amusement. Valerie’s eyes shot to Anders in time to catch him casting a dirty look into the rearview mirror, no doubt at Marguerite. Since the woman suddenly chuckled, she supposed Marguerite caught the look. Valerie glanced down at the melting sundae. It did seem a shame for it to go to waste. It was good ice cream. And it hadn’t been cheap. “Just give him a taste, Valerie, so he’ll stop and eat it,” Leigh suggested. Valerie hesitated, but they were pulling up to a red light and it wouldn’t interfere with his driving, so she scooped up a healthy selection of her own ice cream and topping and leaned over to offer her spoon to him. Anders eyed the offering, but didn’t at first open his mouth. She was just about to give up, sit back and eat it herself when he suddenly did. Valerie moved the spoon between his open lips, watching silently as he closed his mouth around the spoon and ice cream. She could have sworn the gold flecks in his eyes flashed bigger and brighter in the black irises and then he closed his eyes on a long moan that sounded almost sexual. Valerie stared wide-eyed as he savored the food, then withdrew the now clean spoon and sank back in her seat uncertainly. “Told you you’d like it,” Leigh said with amusement from the backseat. When Anders didn’t respond, but remained still, eyes closed, Bricker said, “Yo, A-man. The light’s changed.” Anders blinked his eyes open, saw that Bricker was telling the truth, and urged the car forward again. He only drove half a block though, before pulling into a mall parking lot to finish his sundae.
Lynsay Sands (Immortal Ever After (Argeneau, #18))
She headed out into the hall and knocked quietly on his door. “Come in!” Megan took a deep breath and stepped inside. “Hey.” Finn looked up from his desk as if startled. “Hi,” he replied, pushing his hands against the thighs of his jeans. He glanced past her at the hallway, but when Megan turned around, she found they were alone. “What’s up?” Megan asked. “You really shouldn’t be in here,” Finn said. Megan’s heart dropped like a stone. “I know your parents are mad, but do you think they really expect us not to talk?” “Yeah…no…I don’t know,” Finn said, turning in his chair. “I just…Don’t you think we should let things calm down a little first?” “Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen in this house,” Megan joked lamely. Finn didn’t laugh. She swallowed against a lump in her throat and looked around uncertainly. She had come in here so that Finn could reassure her and make her feel better like he always did, but the evasive way he was acting was just making her feel worse. “Look, it’s just…being around you is…it’s not easy,” Finn said, looking everywhere but at her. He might as well have thrown cold water in her face. “Oh, well, I’m sorry,” Megan replied, backing out. “I guess that’s easily solved.” “No, Megan, wait,” Finn said. But she was dangerously close to tears and there was no way she was going to break down in front of him. “No, seriously, I’ll go,” Megan said. Finn swallowed and looked like he wanted to say something. For a split second, Megan’s heart dared to hope, but then he turned away and looked down at his notes again. “Yeah…okay,” he said. Finn focused pointedly on his work. This was really happening. Finn really didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Finally, feeling like the biggest idiot on earth, Megan made herself move.
Kate Brian (Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys)
Being with Tracy and Colston distracted me from all of the unresolved issues I felt about Iraq, about my injuries, and about my uncertain future. She also helped me cope with the little moments when I forgot to be distracted. She cut up my steak for me when we went out. One time when I couldn’t open a jar I got very mad. But she just came over and opened it for me. She didn’t make a big deal about it; she just did it. I told her, “You know how hard that is as a man to have you open a jar for me? I am supposed to be doing these things for you and I can’t.” But she told me that was no big deal. And she made me feel like it wasn’t. I struggled a little with Colston as well. I was capable of taking care of him in many ways, but it was hard and little things would trip me up. Putting a sock on a toddler with one hand will absolutely stress you out. It’s funny now, looking back. But back then I really struggled to get a sock on that boy.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
What’s going on?” he said. The wind breathed a cool breath across her skin, making her shiver. “What do you mean?” “Come on, Meridith—that kiss . . .” “It was just a kiss,” she said feebly, but her mind replayed the embrace, refuting her words. “You won’t even look at me.” His voice was strained. “Maybe we need to turn out the lights.” Her face burned. Even the wind couldn’t cool it. The grass at Jake’s feet shimmied and bowed over his scarred tennis shoes. “I don’t know what to say. I—I just can’t do this.” She wrapped her arms around her middle. “Why?” She searched the ground for answers like she’d find it among the blades of grass, pull it up by the roots, and hand it over. If only it were so easy. When nothing materialized, she chose the only answer that sounded logical. “I just broke my engagement a month ago. You can’t expect—” “This isn’t about him, and you know it.” An ache started behind her eyes. “I don’t know what it is.” “Then there’s nothing to stop us, is there? Unless you don’t feel anything for me . . .” Self-doubt crept into his tone. She let the sentence hang, unable to deny it. She prayed somehow he wouldn’t remember her response to the kiss or at least not remember it the way she did. She took three cleansing breaths. Four. The briny air failed to calm her. “No, it’s there, isn’t it.” It wasn’t even a question. There was no point denying it. “All right, I won’t deny an attraction. But that’s all, that’s all there can be.” “Why?” She threw her hands up. “I’m leaving soon, moving hundreds of miles away, I’ve just inherited three kids, my engagement’s broken, my future’s uncertain . . .” Surely there was more, but her mind ran out of steam. “Those are all things people work around.” He took a step toward her, then another. “There’s something else.” A memory flashed in her mind. Her mother, in manic mode coming toward her, slowly, just like this. She’d been no more than nine years old, had been wrapped in her mom’s arms only an hour earlier, but an hour made all the difference. Now her mom’s face was red and mottled, and she was yelling. Meridith had covered her ears with her hands. Jake’s movement snagged her attention. He was getting close. She stepped back. 974 . . . 948 . . . 922 . . . “Why are you running?” She knew he wasn’t talking about the step. It hadn’t put nearly enough distance between them. He was there, right in front of her. 896 . . . 8 . . . “Meridith.” He took her by the shoulders. The motion drew her eyes to his, and she knew it with certainty: she was too far gone. As far gone as he, maybe more. What had she done? How was she going to escape with her heart intact? There weren’t enough calming breaths to fix this. She could count backward from a million and still be where she was now. Hopelessly in love with the man who made her feel too many things. “You’re afraid.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
God has a personal, individual plan for each of us. It embraces the big things in life: whom we will marry, what our career will be, where we will live, even when we will die. It also includes the details of our daily lives: decisions about our families, finances, leisure time, friendships, and countless other choices we make. Are you seeking God’s will in everything? The Bible says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Billy Graham (The Journey: Living by Faith in an Uncertain World)
You’re really going to kick me out?” “Yes, I really am.” Mrs. Wattlesbrook folded her arms. Jane bit her lip and bent her head back to look at the sky. Funny that it looked so far away. It felt as if it were pressing down on her head, shoving her into the dirt. What a mean bully of a sky. Much of the household was present now. Miss Heartwright was huddled with the main actors, whispering, like rubberneckers shocked at a roadside accident but unable to look away. A couple of gardeners strolled up as well, tools in hand. Martin wiped his brow, confusion (sadness?) heavy on his face. Jane was embarrassed to see him, remembering how she’d ended things, and feeling less than appealing at the moment. The whole scene was rather Hester Prynne, and Jane imagined herself on a scaffold with a scarlet C for “cell phone” on her chest. She realized she was still holding her croquet mallet and wondered that no one felt threatened by her. She hefted it. Would it be fun to bash in a window? Nah. She handed it to Miss Charming. “Go get ‘em, Charming.” “Okay,” Miss Charming said uncertainly. “If you would be so kind as to step into the carriage,” said Mrs. Wattlesbrook. Curse the woman. Jane had just started to have such fun, too. Why didn’t one of the gentlemen come forward to defend her? Wasn’t that, like, their whole purpose of existence? She supposed they’d be fired if they did. The cowards. She stood on the carriage’s little step and turned to face the others. She’d never left a relationship with the last word, something poetic and timeless, triumphant amid her downfall. Oh, for a perfect line! She opened her mouth, hoping something just right would come to her, but Miss Heartwright spoke first. “Mrs. Wattlesbrook! Oh dear, I have only now realized what transpired.” She lifted the hem of her skirts and minced her way to the carriage. “Please wait, this is all my fault. Poor Miss Erstwhile was only doing me a favor. You see, the modern contraption was mine. I did not realize I had it until I arrived, and I was so distressed, Miss Erstwhile kindly offered to keep it for me among her own things where I would not have to look upon it.” Jane stood very still. She thought to wonder what instinct made her body rigid when shocked. Was she prey by nature? A rabbit afraid to move when a hawk wheels overhead? Mrs. Wattlesbrook had not moved either, not even to blink. A silent minute limped forward as everyone waited. “I see,” the proprietress said at last. She looked at Jane, at Miss Heartwright, then fumbled with the keys at her side. “Well, now, ahem, since it was an accident, I think we should forget it ever happened. I do hope, Miss Heartwright, that you will continue to honor us with your presence.” Ah, you old witch, Jane thought. “Yes, of course, thank you.” Miss Heartwright was in her best form, all proper feminine concern, artless and pleasant. Her eyes twinkled. They really did. Everyone began to move off, nothing disturbing left to view. Jane caught a glimpse of Martin smiling, pleased, before he turned away. “I’m so sorry, Jane. I do hope you will forgive me.” “Please don’t mention it, Miss Heartwright.” “Amelia.” She held Jane’s hand to help her descend from the carriage. “You must call me Amelia now.” “Thank you, Amelia.” It was such a sisterly moment, Jane thought they might actually embrace. They didn’t.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Charles stood frozen, afraid to come any closer.  Amy turned her head on the pillow and smiled at him, her eyes suddenly misty beneath their fan of thick black lashes.  For a long moment the two gazed at each other; then Charles moved forward, toward the bed, toward the crying child.  He never noticed that Juliet and the midwife stole from the room. "Amy," he breathed, staring down at the tiny, wailing bundle that their love had made.  "Oh, Amy . . ." "Want to hold her?" Charles paled, unable to forget when Gareth had asked him much the same thing before placing Charlotte in his arms.  He remembered the terrible awkwardness of that moment, the crushing love he'd thought to feel for the toddler but hadn't, the mixed hurt and relief when Charlotte had suddenly started crying and reached for Gareth.  Now, he stood frozen and uncertain, desperately wanting to hold the baby, desperately afraid to for fear that it would be a repeat of the last time he'd held his own flesh-and-blood.  Especially as this one was a red-faced, black-haired, puckered bundle of screaming misery. "Go ahead," Amy prompted.  "She won't bite." Swallowing hard, Charles reached down. Put his hands around his tiny daughter. And gingerly picking her up, cradled her tiny body to his chest. Instantly, the baby stopped crying — and Charles felt as though the mallet of the gods had just smote him across the heart.  A wall of emotion nearly cracked his chest and closed his throat, and for a moment he could do nothing but gulp back the huge lump there as he cupped the baby's head in his palm and stared reverently down at her.  With a shaking hand, he touched one curled, tiny fist.  Smoothed the downy-soft hair.  Kissed the red and wrinkled brow and then, moisture sparkling on his own gold lashes, he looked over at Amy, whose eyes were dark with love as she watched the two of them together. "I think she's going to be Papa's little girl," she said softly. "Oh, Amy," he blurted, in a raw, hoarse voice.  "Oh, dearest, the world itself is not big enough to hold all the love I have for you . . . for this little girl.  Thank you for making me the happiest man in England — not just once this year, but twice."  Still cradling his daughter, he got down on his knees before the bed, took Amy's arm, and, kissing her palm, pressed it to his cheek to stop the sudden flood of emotion. A
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
Dear Christopher, You’ve made me realize that words are the most important things in the world. And never so much as now. The moment Audrey gave me your last letter, my heart started beating faster, and I had to run to my secret house to read it in private. I haven’t yet told you…last spring on one of my rambles, I found the oddest structure in the forest, a lone tower of brick and stonework, all covered with ivy and moss. It was on a distant portion of the Stony Cross estate that belongs to Lord Westcliff. Later when I asked Lady Westcliff about it, she said that keeping a secret house was a local custom in medieval times. The lord of the manor might have used it as a place to keep his mistress. Once a Westcliff ancestor actually hid there from his own bloodthirsty retainers. Lady Westcliff said I could visit the secret house whenever I wanted, since it has long been abandoned. I go there often. It’s my hiding place, my sanctuary…and now that you know about it, it’s yours as well. I’ve just lit a candle and set it in a window. A very tiny lodestar, for you to follow home. Dearest Prudence, Amid all the noise and men and madness, I try to think of you in your secret house…my princess in a tower. And my lodestar in the window. The things one has to do in war…I thought it would all become easier as time went on. And I’m sorry to say I was right. I fear for my soul. The things I have done, Pru. The things I have yet to do. If I don’t expect God to forgive me, how can I ask you to? Dear Christopher, Love forgives all things. You don’t even need to ask. Ever since you wrote to me about the Argos, I’ve been reading about stars. We’ve loads of books about them, as the subject was of particular interest to my father. Aristotle taught that stars are made of a different matter than the four earthly elements--a quintessence--that also happens to be what the human psyche is made of. Which is why man’s spirit corresponds to the stars. Perhaps that’s not a very scientific view, but I do like the idea that there’s a little starlight in each of us. I carry thoughts of you like my own personal constellation. How far away you are, dearest friend, but no farther than those fixed stars in my soul. Dear Pru, We’re settling in for a long siege. It’s uncertain as to when I’ll have the chance to write again. This is not my last letter, only the last for a while. Do not doubt that I am coming back to you someday. Until I can hold you in my arms, these worn and ramshackle words are the only way to reach you. What a poor translation of love they are. Words could never do justice to you, or capture what you mean to me. Still…I love you. I swear by the starlight…I will not leave this earth until you hear those words from me.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
My mother - Contained God itself A tarnished look of pain A hand clutching her heart A love we can not name A fog or a smoke An infinite thirst for life (But the wing is dead under the frost.) My mother - Is an uncertain form She gets lost when she walks And we sit in the valley And I shelter her to my love My mother Is a broken sky That exhales day and night Its beauty. My mother - Is the scent of a hundred roses And the suffering of so many things My mother Is no more than a dream - I suppose Of those who are said lips closed And behind her veil She sleeps - my mother - And her star Do not doubt anymore of its light.
Emmanuelle Soni-Dessaigne
Life is an uncertain, messy thing. Especially when emotions get involved and everything seems so immediate. But, even in our pain, that's what gives our lives such vibrancy. We have so little time in this world, shouldn't we spend it being genuinely happy?
R.R. Banks (Surprise Delivery (Billionaire Friends Book 1))
Meanwhile back at the mailbox, the plot was thickening. The valentine pace was rapidly quickening. Still another valentine Awaited Brother there. It first caught the eye of small Sister Bear. It was flowery and pink and smelled of perfume. It increased Brother’s feeling of Valentine’s doom. It was even mushier than the one before. As far as he was concerned, this thing called “love” was a terrible, awful, sickening bore. “And as I said before in no uncertain terms, when it comes to mush, I would rather eat worms.
Stan Berenstain (The Berenstain Bears Comic Valentine)
Once, on the train from Washington to Philadelphia, I found myself seated next to an African-American man who had worked for the State Department in India but had quit to run a rehabilitation program for juvenile offenders in the District of Columbia. Most of the youths he worked with were gang members who had committed homicide. One fourteen-year-old boy in his program had shot and killed an innocent teenager to prove himself to his gang. At the trial, the victim’s mother sat impassively silent until the end, when the youth was convicted of the killing. After the verdict was announced, she stood up slowly and stared directly at him and stated, “I’m going to kill you.” Then the youth was taken away to serve several years in the juvenile facility. After the first half year the mother of the slain child went to visit his killer. He had been living on the streets before the killing, and she was the only visitor he’d had. For a time they talked, and when she left, she gave him some money for cigarettes. Then she started step-by-step to visit him more regularly, bringing food and small gifts. Near the end of his three-year sentence she asked him what he would be doing when he got out. He was confused and very uncertain, so she offered to set him up with a job at a friend’s company. Then she inquired about where he would live, and since he had no family to return to, she offered him temporary use of the spare room in her home. For eight months he lived there, ate her food, and worked at the job. Then one evening she called him into the living room to talk. She sat down opposite him and waited. Then she started, “Do you remember in the courtroom when I said I was going to kill you?” “I sure do, ma’am,” he replied. “Well, I did,” she went on. “I did not want the boy who could kill my son for no reason to remain alive on this earth. I wanted him to die. That’s why I started to visit you and bring you things. That’s why I got you the job and let you live here in my house. That’s how I set about changing you. And that old boy, he’s gone. So now I want to ask you, since my son is gone, and that killer is gone, if you’ll stay here. I’ve got room, and I’d like to adopt you if you let me.” And she became the mother of her son’s killer, the mother he never had. Our own story may not be so dramatic, yet we have all been betrayed. We must each start where we are. In large and small ways, in our own family and community, we will be offered the dignity and freedom that learns to patiently forgive over and over.
Jack Kornfield (Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are)
My favorite idea to come out of the world of cultured meat is the 'pig in the backyard.' I say 'favorite' not because this scenario seems likely to materialize but because it speaks most directly to my own imagination. In a city, a neighborhood contains a yard, and in that yard there is a pig, and that pig is relatively happy. It receives visitors every day, including local children who bring it odds and ends to eat from their family kitchens. These children may have played with the pig when it was small. Each week a small and harmless biopsy of cells is taken from the pig and turned into cultured pork, perhaps hundreds of pounds of it. This becomes the community's meat. The pig lives out a natural porcine span, and I assume it enjoys the company of other pigs from time to time. This fantasy comes to us from Dutch bioethicists, and it is based on a very real project in which Dutch neighbourhoods raised pigs and then debated the question of their eventual slaughter. The fact that the pig lives in a city is important, for the city is the ancient topos of utopian thought. The 'pig in the backyard' might also be described as the recurrence of an image from late medieval Europe that has been recorded in literature and art history. This is the pig in the land of Cockaigne, the 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' of its time, was a fantasy for starving peasants across Europe. It was filled with foods of a magnificence that only the starving can imagine. In some depictions, you reached this land by eating through a wall of porridge, on the other side of which all manner of things to eat and drink came up from the ground and flowed in streams. Pigs walked around with forks sticking out of backs that were already roasted and sliced. Cockaigne is an image of appetites fullfilled, and cultured meat is Cockaigne's cornucopian echo. The great difference is that Cockaigne was an inversion of the experience of the peasants who imagined it: a land where sloth became a virtue rather than a vice, food and sex were easily had, and no one ever had to work. In Cockaigne, delicious birds would fly into our mouths, already cooked. Animals would want to be eaten. By gratifying the body's appetites rather than rewarding the performance of moral virtue, Cockaigne inverted heaven. The 'pig in the backyard' does not fully eliminate pigs, with their cleverness and their shit, from the getting of pork. It combines intimacy, community, and an encounter with two kinds of difference: the familiar but largely forgotten difference carried by the gaze between human animal and nonhuman animal, and the weirder difference of an animal's body extended by tissue culture techniques. Because that is literally what culturing animal cells does, extending the body both in time and space, creating a novel form of relation between an original, still living animal and its flesh that becomes meat. The 'pig in the backyard' tries to please both hippies and techno-utopians at once, and this is part of this vision of rus in urbe. But this doubled encounter with difference also promises (that word again!) to work on the moral imagination. The materials for this work are, first, the intact living body of another being, which appears to have something like a telos of its own beyond providing for our sustenance; and second, a new set of possibilities for what meat can become in the twenty-first century. The 'pig in the backyard' is only a scenario. Its outcomes are uncertain. It is not obvious that the neighbourhood will want to eat flesh, even the extended and 'harmless' flesh, of a being they know well, but the history of slaughter and carnivory on farms suggests that they very well might. The 'pig in the backyard' is an experiment in ethical futures. The pig points her snout at us and asks what kind of persons we might become.
Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft (Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food)
And it’s in these moments of insecurity, of deep despair, that we become susceptible to an insidious entitlement: believing that we deserve to cheat a little to get our way, that other people deserve to be punished, that we deserve to take what we want, and sometimes violently. It’s the backwards law again: the more you try to be certain about something, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel. But the converse is true as well: the more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel in knowing what you don’t know. Uncertainty removes our judgments of others; it preempts the unnecessary stereotyping and biases that we otherwise feel when we see somebody on TV, in the office, or on the street. Uncertainty also relieves us of our judgment of ourselves. We don’t know if we’re lovable or not; we don’t know how attractive we are; we don’t know how successful we could potentially become. The only way to achieve these things is to remain uncertain of them and be open to finding them out through experience.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
We do not seem to have a similar instinct to act when faced with risks that are far off in the future. In fact, in the face of future risks, we can be pretty slothful. That is why so few people save enough for their retirement. This attitude toward future risk is a big problem for activists who are working on long timescales. How can they wake us up? How can they galvanize us into action? Very often, it is by convincing us that an uncertain future risk is actually a sure immediate risk, that we have a historic opportunity to solve an important problem and it must be tackled now or never: that is, by triggering the urgency instinct. This method sure can make us act but it can also create unnecessary stress and poor decisions. It can also drain credibility and trust from their cause. The constant alarms make us numb to real urgency. The activists who present things as more urgent than they are, wanting to call us to action, are boys crying wolf. And we remember how that story ends: with a field full of dead sheep.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
To believe in God is not to affirm His existence. To believe in God means to trust God, to rely on God to be there for you when you are afflicted by despair, to light your path when you are uncertain as to what to do.
Harold S. Kushner (Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life)
We may not be happy to hear about our death, but contemplating and meditating on death is very important for the effectiveness of our Dharma practice. This is because it prevents the main obstacle to our Dharma practice – the laziness of attachment to the things of this life – and it encourages us to practise pure Dharma right now. If we do this we shall accomplish the real meaning of human life before our death. HOW TO MEDITATE ON DEATH First we engage in the following contemplation:     I shall definitely die. There is no way to prevent my body from finally decaying. Day by day, moment by moment, my life is slipping away. I have no idea when I shall die; the time of death is completely uncertain. Many young people die before their parents, some die the moment they are born – there is no certainty in this world. Furthermore, there are so many causes of untimely death. The lives of many strong and healthy people are destroyed by accidents. There is no guarantee that I shall not die today. Having repeatedly contemplated these points, we mentally repeat over and over again ‘I may die today, I
Kelsang Gyatso (Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, Volume 1: Sutra)
Climate change alarmism is a belief system, and needs to be evaluated as such. There is, indeed, an accepted scientific theory which I do not dispute and which, the alarmists claim, justifies their belief and their alarm. This is the so-called greenhouse effect: the fact that the earth’s atmosphere contains so-called greenhouse gases (of which water vapour is overwhelmingly the most important, but CO2 is another) which, in effect, trap some of the heat we receive from the sun and prevent it from bouncing back into space. Without the greenhouse effect, the planet would be so cold as to be uninhabitable. But, by burning fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas—we are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus, other things being equal, increasing the earth’s temperature. But four questions immediately arise, all of which need to be addressed, coolly and rationally. First, other things being equal, how much can increased atmospheric CO2 be expected to warm the earth? (This is known to scientists as climate sensitivity, or sometimes the climate sensitivity of carbon.) This is highly uncertain, not least because clouds have an important role to play, and the science of clouds is little understood. Until recently, the majority opinion among climate scientists had been that clouds greatly amplify the basic greenhouse effect. But there is a significant minority, including some of the most eminent climate scientists, who strongly dispute this. Second, are other things equal, anyway? We know that over millennia, the temperature of the earth has varied a great deal, long before the arrival of fossil fuels. To take only the past thousand years, a thousand years ago we were benefiting from the so-called medieval warm period, when temperatures are thought to have been at least as warm, if not warmer, than they are today. And during the Baroque era we were grimly suffering the cold of the so-called Little Ice Age, when the Thames frequently froze in winter and substantial ice fairs were held on it, which have been immortalised in contemporary prints. Third, even if the earth were to warm, so far from this necessarily being a cause for alarm, does it matter? It would, after all, be surprising if the planet were on a happy but precarious temperature knife-edge, from which any change in either direction would be a major disaster. In fact, we know that, if there were to be any future warming (and for the reasons already given, ‘if’ is correct) there would be both benefits and what the economists call disbenefits. I shall discuss later where the balance might lie. And fourth, to the extent that there is a problem, what should we, calmly and rationally, do about it?
Alan Moran (Climate Change: The Facts)
My eyes roved over each and every one of the horses, approximating their age and probably stage in training, assessing their form and temperament and noting their reproductive potential. Eventually it dawned on me that silence had fallen. I turned toward Grayden to offer some excuse, but to my surprise, he was gazing at me with affection and sympathy in his green eyes. He smiled and produced a small box, which he extended to me. “What’s this?” I asked, thoroughly confused. He shrugged. “A token of friendship. I would be honored if you would accept it.” Curiously, I took the box from his hand. Anticipating jewelry, I prepared for a show of fake enthusiasm. Such a gift would be a sweet gesture, and undoubtedly beautiful, but I was not one for baubles. The box did contain jewelry, but not of the type I supposed. On a lovely chain of gold hung a small, golden horse, head high, legs outstretched in a gallop. I looked at Grayden, stupefied, although I didn’t need to feign my pleasure. “As I said, your uncle told me of your love for horses,” he explained almost shyly. “That it was a love you shared with your father.” “But I…I don’t understand. What are you…?” Seeing how flustered I was, he reached out and took my hand. “I’m not asking for anything, Shaselle. I just…I think you’re used to being seen as a problem. Maybe it’s presumptuous of me to say that, but your family apologized for so many things about you that I can’t help drawing the conclusion.” Not sure how to react, I opted to remain silent. “I think you’re only a problem for those people who are trying to turn you into something you’re not.” “A lady?” I wryly suggested, regaining my sense of humor. I leaned back on the fence, certain he would agree. “No,” he said, and there was conviction in his voice. “They need to stop trying to turn a free spirit into a traditional wife.” I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. Could he truly believe what he was saying? Men played games to placate women. But I knew of no man other than my father who would enjoy seeing a horse pendant around the neck of the woman he was courting. “I do have a question for you,” Grayden said, leaning against the fence next to me. He hesitated, obviously uncertain about where our relationship stood. “The Harvest Festical is approaching. If you have no other plans to attend, would you consider accompanying me?” My eyes again filled with tears. There was no good reason--why should I be breaking down now, when Grayden was being so understanding, so tolerant of my eccentricities? “Come,” he said softly. “I’ll take you back to your cousin.” I let him escort me into the house, feeling like an ungrateful fool. I hadn’t even thanked him for his gift, and I desperately wanted to do so. But I couldn’t conjure the words to convey how I was feeling, and so I murmured farewell at the door.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
When we are uncertain about the future or experience things we don’t understand, we need to remember that we are in a drama far larger than any of us can comprehend. But our God is absolutely good.
Anonymous (Niv, Once-A-Day: Bible for Women)
So everything Aaliyah said was bullshit? The stories, the mother tongue . . . all of it?” Tariq sighs. “As with any religion, there are aspects which are clearly truth, aspects which are clearly myth, and aspects which are more or less uncertain. I looked into these issues when I was younger, and first began to doubt. The so-called mother tongue is a grammatically consistent and complete language. It bears some similarities to ancient African tongues. Is it truly the language of the mother-of-all? Who is to say? The stories, the myths—these are things passed to us from our mother. Do they truly stretch back over three thousand generations? Perhaps they do. Or, perhaps they were devised thirty years ago from whole cloth. How are we to know?
Edward Ashton (Three Days in April)
April 29 The Graciousness of Uncertainty It doth not yet appear what we shall be. 1 John 3:2 Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says—“Well, supposing I were in that condition. . . .” We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in. Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said “Except ye . . . become as little children.” Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality[15] about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. “Believe also in Me,” said Jesus, not—“Believe certain things about Me.” Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Pleasure in itself is good, but hope and fear are bad, and so are humility and repentance: 'he who repents of an action is doubly wretched or infirm'. Spinoza regards time as unreal, and therefore all emotions which have to do essentially with an event as future or as past are contrary to reason. 'In so far as the mind conceives a thing under the dictate of reason, it is affected equally, whether the idea be of a thing present, past, or future.' This is hard saying, but it is of the essence of Spinoza's system, and we shall do well to dwell upon it for a moment. In popular estimation, 'all's well that ends well'; if the universe is gradually improving, we think better of it than if it is gradually deteriorating, even if the sum of good and evil be the same in the two cases. We are more concerned about a disaster in our own time than in the time of Jenghiz Khan. According to Spinoza this is irrational. Whatever happens is part of the eternal timeless world as God sees it; to Him, the date is irrelevant. The wise man, so far as human finitude allows, endeavours to see the world as God sees it, sub specie æternitatis, under the aspect of eternity. But, you may retort, we are surely right in being more concerned about future misfortunes, which may possibly be averted, than about past calamities about which we can do nothing. To this argument Spinoza's determinism supplies the answer. Only ignorance makes us think that we can alter the future; what will be will be, and the future is as unalterably fixed as the past. That is why hope and fear are condemned: both depend upon viewing the future as uncertain, and therefore spring from lack of wisdom. When we acquire, in so far as we can, a vision of the world which is analogous to God's, we see everything as part of the whole, and as necessary to the goodness of the whole. Therefore 'the knowledge of evil is an inadequate knowledge'. God has no knowledge of evil, because there is no evil to be known; the appearance of evil only arises through regarding parts of the universe as if they were self-subsistent.
My arrival in Watervalley had been so botched. But arrivals had never been a grand affair for me. Years earlier, when I had ventured fresh-faced into the new world of private school in Atlanta, neither I nor my classmates had looked upon my arrival with anticipation. It was a place of academic competition, clever banter, and high regard for social standing. I was a stranger, uncertain and turned inward, who had learned to sit in the back of the class and observe and assess those around me. In time I learned to adapt, to become part of the pack, to create an acceptable version of myself.
Jeff High (More Things in Heaven and Earth (Watervalley, #1))
I hate the lackadaisical ennui of a sun too preoccupied with itself to notice the infinite hours we spend in its presence. The sun is an arrogant thing, always leaving the world behind when it tires of us. The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Many social and political changes have swept the world clean of the apprehension of sacred things: the rejection of custom and ceremony; the conversion of marriage into a defeasible contract; the relaxing of the laws governing, sexual conduct and obscenity; the decline of faith and saintliness. As those changes take their effect, the experience of erotic love becomes darigerous and uncertain in its outcome. Our responsibility retreats further from the confused terrain of sexual experience, and threatens even to void it of desire. Hence, it might be said, my ability to reflect, in so neutral and philosophical a fashion, on the nature of this phenomenon is perhaps already an index of its decline: of the fact that desire does not, now, have the importance for us that formerly caused men to conceal it in poetry or overcome it through prayer. What we understand of our condition may also pass from us in the act of understanding. For we were never meant to have knowledge of this thing; we were meant only to be subject to its command. No phenomenon, perhaps, illustrates more profoundly the great poetical utterance of Hegel; that When philosophy paints its grey in grey, then has a shape of life grown old. By philosophy's grey in grey it cannot be rejuvenated but only understood. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the gathering of the dusk. On the other hand, it is a century and a half since Hegel wrote those words, and life goes on.
Roger Scruton (Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation)
Leaders are summoned in uncertain times, when the going gets tough, when things get out of hand. When it’s smooth sailing, you can get by as a mere manager or even a caretaker, and pretty nicely at that. But when something is missing, when things are stuck, when there is chaos, you must lead. To use a football metaphor: leaders move the ball down the field. Or if you prefer an artistic metaphor: “You have merely painted what is! Anyone can paint what is; the real secret is to paint what isn’t,
Thomas D. Zweifel (Communicate or Die: Getting Results Through Speaking and Listening (The Global Leader Series))
I am not super-attached to my career,' Audrey Tautou says in that sultry, Gallic voice of hers, a glint of recklessness in her big brown eyes. 'I have several plan Bs: I want to become a sailor; I like to draw; I would love to learn many things, but I don’t have time…' She trails off, leaving an uncertain silence hanging over the Kensington hotel room where we’ve met to discuss her latest film, a delightful comic confection called Beautiful Lies. 'That is the problem, you know,' she continues, more carefully. 'That is the reason why I will quit acting very soon.' She lets out a strange little laugh, a creaky exhalation, as if her own admission has taken her by surprise... 'I didn’t want to have this power,' she says, with a shrug. 'I would rather have freedom; and to find that you have to stop being in big, exposed movies. I don’t surf on the big waves. When I see them coming, I take my board and go straight back to the beach.'... 'I am always surprised to be chosen by a director for a role because I never understand why they like me,' she says. Surely, I suggest, that is false modesty, coming from one of Europe’s most bankable stars. 'Oh no, really, I am serious,' she says, leaning forward and planting her feet back on the carpet. 'I am always surprised to be cast.' Does her track record – in Jeunet’s hits; or in Stephen Frears’s acclaimed Dirty Pretty Things, or as a compellingly self-possessed Coco Chanel in Anne Fontaine’s 2009 biopic – not give her at least a little confidence? 'No,' she says with a scowl, 'pas du tout.' 'A few months ago, I watched one of my old movies and I thought to myself, 'Oh, Jesus!’ Thank God that at the point I made that film I didn’t realise the extent to which I was terrible. Oh, mon dieu! Mon dieu!' But surely, I say, she can take from that the reassurance that she has only improved as an actress. 'Or,' she says, jabbing a finger in the air, 'I say to myself, does it simply mean that if in another 10 years I rewatch the films I am making today I will say, 'Oh mon dieu, how terrible I was then.’ She laughs that odd, breathy laugh again and then looks me dead in the eye. 'You have to be very careful in this life.
Benjamin Secher
where am I going? This society? The whole human race?” These are questions which many of us today are asking urgently, deeply troubled about what we see happening in our world Our concerns may be quite personal ones, centered around our own particular life situation. They may be general ones, related to the state of things as a whole or both. For this is a strange and difficult time, a time when all the old values and traditions seem to have been cut out from under us without anything clear and definitive having been substituted for them. From every direction and every possible source, we’re being bombarded by the newfangled ideas, values and behaviors of the New Age in which we live. The New Age is an age with many interesting features. One of these is confusion. Great numbers of us no longer seem to have a clear sense of right and wrong, good and bad. Under the impact of too much personal freedom and the flood of new ideas and values, we’re falling apart, frightened, uncertain, lost. After all, how is it possible to have certainty about anything when even the most basic, time-honored values are being called into question? In comparison to earlier times, everything around us today seems upside-down and backwards. A great deal of what was previously considered right is now looked upon as outmoded, irrelevant or just plain dumb. At the same time, much of what used to be considered wrong is now accepted as right, normal and okay. Members of the older generation, like myself, still maintain our vision of what things were like in an earlier, simpler, less perplexing period. But when our generation goes, apart from people of strong religious faith, who will be left that still retains a clear vision of a saner, more stable society? That vision will have gone with the winds of change. This turn-about in basic human values and morals has led to a steady unraveling of civilized standards and behavior, not only in the country but worldwide. Brutality, lust and all manner of other evils flourish around the globe; violence, vice and exploitation seem to have become the new order of the day. And fear hangs over the whole world. Those of us who are even slightly sensitive to the currents and energies around us realize that something is wrong-deeply, awfully wrong. And we carry the collective burden of humanity’s pain and turmoil deep within our hearts. Day by day the fear and uneasiness increases. Often we sense that we’re at the edge of a terrible and dangerous abyss, surrounded by intense darkness. As the end of this millennium approaches, predictions of a worldwide Armageddon-like catastrophe haunt our minds. And how can it be otherwise when we sense deep within ourselves that things have gone so wrong that such a crisis is due? For each day, new and deeper holes appear in the social and moral fabric of mankind, and it seem obvious that when the holes become more than the fabric itself, it’s past repair.” source: Suzanne Haneef, Islam: The Path of God, pages 11-12 (PDF Version) Written by an American Muslim, this work presents a brief yet comprehensive survey of the basic teachings on the significance of Islam's central concept, faith in and submission to God. It introduces the reader to how Muslims feel about various aspects of life, how they worship, and how Muslims living in the West practice their religion. Perhaps you have been hearing a lot about Islam and Muslims in the news and are interested in knowing, justifiably, just what this religion is all about. This is the classic English-language book for introducing Islam to non-Muslims in the West. It is a well-balanced book that does an excellent job of covering the basics of belief, practice, and culture, without overwhelming the reader in minutia. This is generally the first book that I recommend to people who are interested in learning about Islam. read her other book: What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims
Suzanne Haneef (Islam: The Path of God)
A few years ago, we engaged a team of experts to determine the “secret sauce” that propelled those rare leaders, organizations, and movements to success. They discovered five principles that are consistently present when transformational breakthroughs take place. To spark this sort of change, you must: 1. Make a Big Bet. So many people and organizations are naturally cautious. They look at what seemed to work in the past and try to do more of it, leading to only incremental advances. Every truly history-making transformation has occurred when people have decided to go for revolutionary change. 2. Be bold, take risks. Have the guts to try new, unproven things and the rigor to continue experimenting. Risk taking is not a blind leap off a cliff but a lengthy process of trial and error. And it doesn’t end with the launch of a product or the start of a movement. You need to be willing to risk the next big idea, even if it means upsetting your own status quo. 3. Make failure matter. Great achievers view failure as a necessary part of advancing toward success. No one seeks it out, but if you’re trying new things, the outcome is by definition uncertain. When failure happens, great innovators make the setback matter, applying the lessons learned and sharing them with others. 4. Reach beyond your bubble. Our society is in thrall to the myth of the lone genius. But innovation happens at intersections. Often the most original solutions come from engaging with people with diverse experiences to forge new and unexpected partnerships. 5. Let urgency conquer fear. Don’t overthink and overanalyze. It’s natural to want to study a problem from all angles, but getting caught up in questions like “What if we’re wrong?” and “What if there is a better way?” can leave you paralyzed with fear. Allow the compelling need to act to outweigh all doubts and setbacks. These five principles can be summarized in two words: Be Fearless.
Jean Case (Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose)
The mind is hurried out of itself, by a crowd of great and confused images; which affect because they are crowded and confused. For separate them, and you lose much of the greatness; and join them, and you infallibly lose the clearness. [...] But painting, when we have allowed for the pleasure of imitation, can only affect simply by the images it presents; and even in painting, a judicious obscurity in some things contributes to the effect of the picture; because the images in painting are exactly similar to those in nature; and in nature, dark, confused, uncertain images have a greater power on the fancy to form the grander passions, than those have which are more clear and determinate. But where and when this observation may be applied to practice, and how far it shall be extended, will be better deduced from the nature of the subject, and from the occasion, than from any rules that can be given.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful)
The kids used their time much more efficiently by constructing right away. They tried one way of building, and if it didn’t work, they quickly tried another. They got in a lot more tries. They learned from their mistakes as they went along, instead of attempting to figure out everything in advance. The point of the marshmallow experiment was not to humble MBA students (if anything, that was a side benefit), but rather to better understand how to make progress when tasked with a difficult challenge in uncertain conditions. What we learn from those kids is that there’s no substitute for quickly trying things out to see what works. Looking at this through the questioning prism: The MBA students got stuck too long contemplating the possible What Ifs, while the kids moved quickly from What If to How. As soon as they thought of a possible combination, they tried it to see how it would work.
Warren Berger (A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas)
Aida sighed at her melancholy thoughts and tipped her head back to look at the sky stained with brilliant purples and blues tinged with vicious red. Cheery gold limned the low-hanging clouds with stars beginning to peek out from their hiding. Night would fall fast here in the mountain’s shadow, though less so than when they traveled at its feet. Squinting up at the vast expanse, she tried to pick out the stars she might recognize. Uncertain if they had names as so many things seemed to in this frightening world, she looked only for the brightest among them.The wind picked up, riffling through her hair and sending it into a tangled banner behind her as she continued to look up at the sky. Smiling as a break in the trees gave her an unimpeded view of the deep indigo scattered with diamonds. A few hours yet, and it would look just like her eyes. Midnight black with twinkling blue. The only of their kind that she knew of.
Eva Dresden (Rite of the Omega (Blood Rites Duet, #1))
Make failure matter. Great achievers view failure as a necessary part of advancing toward success. No one seeks it out, but if you’re trying new things, the outcome is by definition uncertain. When failure happens, great innovators make the setback matter, applying the lessons learned and sharing them with others.
Jean Case (Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose)
Adolescence is an inside job. In the 1990s, Suniya S. Luthar, Ph.D., studied adolescents and found that ninth-graders with an internal locus of control - those who felt they had some command over the forces shaping their lives - handled stress better than kids with an external orientation - those who felt others had control over forces shaping their lives...Locus of control is not an all-or-nothing concept. None of us are entirely reliant on one or the other...But more and more often, the teenagers I observe aren't even partially internally motivated. They persistently turn outward toward coaches, teachers, and parents...A startlingly large number of these teens are behaving like younger children. They're stuck performing the chief psychosocial tasks of childhood - being good and doing things right to please adults - instead of taking on the developmental work of separation and independence that is appropriate for their age. When faced with teenage-sized problems, they often have nothing more than the skills of a child.
Madeline Levine (Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World)
It’s no secret that he believed he was personally chosen by God to be the king of England; for this reason, he felt himself closer to the Almighty than everyone else. So he took it as a sign of the Lord’s ardent displeasure when he failed to produce a son and heir to his hallowed throne with Katherine of Aragon. Although Henry was aware of the potential issues in marrying his brother’s widow from the start, it wasn’t until God made his anger known concerning the distinct lack of sons that he began to take it seriously. By the time a passage in the Book of Leviticus was brought to his attention, he knew he was in trouble. He obsessed over the scripture that stated in no uncertain terms: ‘Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife; it is thy brother’s nakedness. And if a man should take his brother’s wife it is an unclean thing: they shall be childless.’ Incidentally, this was deemed to apply only to male children because, lest we forget, Henry had a daughter by Katherine of Aragon, Princess Mary.
Hayley Nolan (Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies)
So the "Meseglise way" and the Guermantes way" remain for me linked with many of the little incidents of the life which, of all the various lives we lead concurrently, is the most episodic, the most full of vicissitudes; I mean the life of the mind. Doubtless it progresses within us imperceptibly, and we had for a long time been preparing for the discovery of the truths which have changed its meaning and its aspect, have opened new paths for us; but that preparation was unconscious; and for us those truths date only from the day, from the minute when they became apparent. The flowers which played then among the grass, the water which rippled past in the sunshine, the whole landscape which surrounded their apparition still lingers around the memory of them with its unconscious or unheeding countenance; and, certainly, when they were contemplated at length by that humble passerby, by that dreaming child - as the face of a king is contemplated by a memorialist buried in the crowd - that piece of nature, that corner of a garden could never suppose that it would be thanks to him that they would be elected to survive in all their most ephemeral details; and yet the scent of hawthorn which flits along the hedge from which, in a little while, the dog-roses will have banished it, a sound of echoless footsteps on a gravel path, a bubble formed against the side of a water-plant by the current of the stream and instantaneously bursting - all these my exaltation of mind has borne along with it and kept alive through the succession of the years, while all around them the paths have vanished and those who trod them, and even the memory of those who trod them, are dead. Sometimes the fragment of landscape thus transported into the present will detach itself in such isolation from all associations that it floats uncertainly in my mind like a flowering Delos, and I am unable to say from what place, from what time - perhaps, quite simply, from what dream - it comes. But it is pre-eminently as the deepest layer of my mental soil, as the firm ground on which I still stand, that I regard the Meseglise and the Guermantes ways. It is because I believed in this and in people while I walked along those paths that the things and the people they made known to me are the only ones that I still take seriously and that still bring me joy. Whether it is because the faith which creates has ceased to exist in me, or because reality takes shape in the memory alone, the flowers that people show me nowadays for the first time never seem to me to be true flowers.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)