The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"
His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together."
"Then why did you lie to me?"
We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help.
"Why did you lie?" I murmured again.
Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer.
"Because we can't be together."
"Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"
His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out.
"No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernières (Corelli's Mandolin)
There's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
stay down, do you want to mess
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do you?
Together, in that room, our childhood notions of love melted away. We discovered love was not a fairytale. Sometimes there were no happy endings, and when there were, you needed to work like hell to keep the happiness alive.
Kent Marrero (The Unsung Love Story (The River, #1))
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels, reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed. If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade.
For such is life. We grow rich as we plant through the early years, but then come the years when time undoes our work and cuts down our trees. One by one our comrades deprive us of their shade, and within our mourning we always feel now the secret grief of growing old.
If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion bound to you forever by ordeals endured together.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
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)
You could be David's friend too". She glanced at Tamani when he said nothing. He was frowning. "The two of you really have a lot in common, and we're all in this together".
He shook his head. "It wouldn't work".
"Why not? He's a nice guy. And it would do you good to have some human friends", she said hinting at what she suspected was the root of the problem.
"It's not that", Tamani said, gesturing vaguely with one hand.
"Then why?" Laurel asked, exasperated.
"I just don't want to cosy up to the guy whose girl I have every intention of stealing
Aprilynne Pike (Illusions (Wings, #3))
The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things -- praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts -- not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.
We now know the basic rules governing the universe, together with the gravitational interrelationships of its gross components, as shown in the theory of relativity worked out between 1905 and 1916. We also know the basic rules governing the subatomic particles and their interrelationships, since these are very neatly described by the quantum theory worked out between 1900 and 1930. What's more, we have found that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are the basic units of the physical universe, as discovered between 1920 and 1930.
...The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern 'knowledge' is that it is wrong...
My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong.
However, I don't think that's so. It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so.
When my friend the English literature expert tells me that in every century scientists think they have worked out the universe and are always wrong, what I want to know is how wrong are they? Are they always wrong to the same degree?
I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the heart's treasure, together we set sail
With no maps to guide us, we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together, we learned how to cope.
Life is an ocean and love it a boat
In troubled waters it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage there was just me and you
Now gathered round us we have our own crew
Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination's not marked on any chart
We're navigating the shores of the heart
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and always will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.
When I look at you, I see your beauty and grace and know they have grown stronger with every life you have lived. And I know I have spent every life before this on searching for you. Not someone like you, but you, for your soul and mine must always come together. And then, for a reason neither of us understand, we've been forced to say goodbye.
I would love to tell you that everything will work out for us, and I promise to do all I can to make sure it does. But if we never meet again and this is truly goodbye, I know we will see each other again, and maybe the stars will have changed, and we will not only love each other in that time, but for all the times we've had before.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
You want me to level, here it is: I need you. I need you because I love you. Three months without you will be hell. But even if we weren’t together, I would still need you. You’re a good fighter, you’ve worked as a bodyguard, and you know magic. We may not have many magic users, but we don’t know if those packs do, and if they hit us with magic, we have no way to counter.” He spread his arms. “But I love you and I don’t want you to be hurt. I’m not going to ask you to come with me. That would be like stepping in front of a moving train and saying, ‘Hey, honey, come stand next to me.’”
I hopped off the wall and stood next to him. “Anytime.”
He just looked at me.
“I’ve never killed a train before. It might be fun to try.”
“Are you sure?”
“One time I was dying in a cage inside a palace that was flying over a magic jungle. And some idiot went in there, chased the palace down, fought his way through hundreds of rakshasas, and rescued me.”
“I remember,” he said.
“That’s when I realized you loved me,” I said. “I was in the cage and I heard you roar.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6 & #5.8))
Sometimes, when I find it hard to sleep, I’ll think of when we first met, of the newness of each other’s body, and my impatience to know everything about this person. Looking back, I should have taken it more slowly, measured him out over the course of fifty years rather than cramming him in so quickly. By the end of our first month together, he’d been so thoroughly interrogated that all I had left was breaking news—what little had happened in the few hours since I’d last seen him. Were he a cop or an emergency-room doctor, there might have been a lot to catch up on, but, like me, Hugh works alone, so there was never much to report. “I ate some potato chips,” he might say, to which I’d reply, “What kind?” or “That’s funny, so did I!” More often than not we’d just breathe into our separate receivers.
Are you still there?”
Good. Don’t hang up.”
Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, I got on my knees and told her that I was going to marry her some day. We were both married to someone else at the time. ‘Ring Of Fire’—June and Merle Kilgore wrote that song for me-that’s the way our love affair was. We fell madly in love and we worked together all the time, toured together all the time, and when the tour was over we both had to go home to other people. It hurt.
Mistakes wreck your life. But they make what you have. It's kind of all one. You know what Hester told me when we were working the sheep one time? She said it's no good to complain about your flock, because it's the put-together of all your past choices.
Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)
you said. if it is meant to be. fate will bring us back together. for a second i wonder if you are really that naive. if you really believe fate works like that. as if it lives in the sky staring down at us. as if it has five fingers and spends its time placing us like pieces of chess. as if it is not the choices we make. who taught you that. tell me. who convinced you. you’ve been given a heart and a mind that isn’t yours to use. that your actions do not define what will become of you. i want to scream and shout it’s us you fool. we’re the only ones that can bring us back together. but instead i sit quietly. smiling softly through quivering lips thinking. isn’t it such a tragic thing. when you can see it so clearly but the other person doesn’t.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
What’s important is the time we spent working on it together. What’s important is that Sam is the kind of guy who will trade notes on a sketchpad and teach me how to make tuna melts and drop everything to drive to a parking lot
when I need him and throw stones at my window to make sure I’m okay.
Hannah Harrington (Speechless)
Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?
A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
glass, but that comes later.
Let me do it right for once,
for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
Hello darling, sorry about that.
Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
Especially that, but I should have known.
Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
smiling in a way
that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
I looked out the window and said
This doesn’t look that much different from home,
because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.
We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
we have had our difficulties and there are many things
I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
years later, in the chlorinated pool.
I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
When I met a truly beautiful girl, I would tell her that if she spent the night with me, I would write a novel or a story about her. This usually worked; and if her name was to be in the title of the story, it almost always worked. Then, later, when we'd passed a night of delicious love-making together, after she’d gone and I’d felt that feeling of happiness mixed with sorrow, I sometimes would write a book or story about her. Sometimes her character, her way about herself, her love-making, it sometimes marked me so heavily that I couldn't go on in life and be happy unless I wrote a book or a story about that woman, the happy and sad memory of that woman. That was the only way to keep her, and to say goodbye to her without her ever leaving.
We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more."
- Bill Clinton
When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!
Louis de Bernières (Corelli's Mandolin)
Kate, I’ve loved you for years. I mean, I know twelve-year-olds don’t know what love is, so I guess I should say I’ve really liked you for years. But when I saw you this year, I knew. I knew we should be together. I just didn’t know how hard you were going to make me work to get you to even like me. So, yeah, of course I want you to love me back.
Cindy C. Bennett (Heart on a Chain)
I'm not always the best at expressing myself to you, so I'm taking advantage of the fact that I will be completely unresponsive when you read this, and therefore incapable of messing things up.
I want to thank you for giving me a chance. When I first saw you, I knew I had found something incredible. And since then all I've wanted was to be with you as much as possible.
When I thought I had lost you, I was torn between wanting you back and wanting the best for you—wanting you to be happy. Seeing you so miserable during the weeks we were apart gave me the courage to fight for us . . . to find a way for things to work. And seeing you happy again in the days we've been back together makes me think I did the right thing.
I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate. I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead." Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you. To give you more than a normal boyfriend could. I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you.
Thank you for being here, my beauty. Mon ange. My Kate.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good for their country, come together to work for it.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.
Alan Paton (Cry, the Beloved Country)
Okay, listen up, people,” Kieran raised his voice so that it was all gravelly and impressive. I wasn’t particularly impressed since we’d grown up together and I’d force-fed him mud pies when we were little, but it seemed to work on everyone else. Lia actually sighed.
Only a thirteen-year-old vampire hunter would get a crush in the middle of a vampire attack.
I was a little bit proud of her actually.
His grin widened and he nudged my shoulder companionably. “I like you, kid.” (Quinn)
I tried not to groan out loud. I was as bad as Lia.
I had totally developed a crush during a vampire raid.
Alyxandra Harvey (Out for Blood (Drake Chronicles, #3))
Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our true potential.
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.”
Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?”
“Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.”
“Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?”
“One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.”
He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.”
“I already feel that way,” I said quietly.
Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.”
I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“
Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.
“Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere.
I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light.
The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite."
But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while?
That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I believe that the universe was formed around 15 billion years ago and that humans have evolved from their apelike ancestors over the past few million years. I believe we are more likely to live a good life if all humans try to work together in a world community, preserving planet earth. When decisions for groups are made in this world, I believe that the democratic process should be used. To protect the individual, I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of inquiry, and a wall of separation between church and state. When making decisions about what is right or wrong, I believe I should use my intelligence to reason about the likely consequences of my actions. I believe that I should try to increase the happiness of everyone by caring for other people and finding ways to cooperate. Never should my actions discriminate against people simply because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin. I believe that ideas about what is right and wrong will change with education, so I am prepared to continually question ideas using evidence from experience and science. I believe there is no valid evidence to support claims for the existence of supernatural entities and deities. I will use these beliefs to guide my thinking and my actions until I find good reasons for revising them or replacing them with other beliefs that are more valid.
Ronald P. Carver
We were fond together because of the sweep of open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The morning freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep, and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.
T.E. Lawrence (Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph)
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins."
And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
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)
Where are we going?” Desandra asked.
“We’re going to Blue Ribbon Stables,” I said. “It’s the closest place to rent a horse.
“Why?” Desandra asked.
“Because I can’t keep up with you on foot,” I said.
“And she runs like a rhino.” Derek added. “You can hear her a mile away.”
Traitor. “I thought you had my back?”
“I do,” Derek said. “The rhino running is nice. Makes it easy to keep track of you. If I ever lose you, I just have to listen and there you are.”
“Yes,” Desandra agreed. “It’s convenient.”
“Are you always this casual?” Robert asked.
“Derek and I worked together for a long time,” I told him. “He’s allowed some leeway.”
“What about Desandra?”
“She only bothers with protocol when she wants something. The rest of the time it’s lewd jokes and descriptions of plums.”
Robert’s eyebrows crept up. “Plums?”
I waved my hand. “Don’t ask.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
The Blue Bird
from The Last Night of the Earth Poems
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
stay down, do you want to mess
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s still singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
Don't you understand how Cho's feeling at the moment?" [Hermione] asked.
"No," said Ron and Harry together.
Hermione sighed and laid down her quill.
"Well, obviously, she's feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she's feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can't work out who she likes best. Then she'll be feeling guilty, thinking it's an insult to Cedric's memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she'll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can't work out what her feelings toward Harry are anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that's all very mixed up and painful. Oh, and she's afraid she's going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she's been flying so badly."
A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, "One person can't feel all that at once, they'd explode."
"Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have," said Hermione nastily, picking up her her quill again.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
You see, they think they're saving you, and you think you're saving them. That's where the trouble starts. Someone says, 'I saved you, now here's what I want.' And its the same with big countries and little ones, religious leaders and their followers, even husbands and wives. When things really work, though, it's because people realize that this is a lie, that, really, we all save one another. It's the way of the world. Things work out for the best when everyone makes it, together, when we manage to save each other. (from The Way of the World)
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me.
He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me.
It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left.
As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it.
Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on.
He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me.
Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time.
Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution.
I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart.
'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face.
He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic.
But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life
Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love.
'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.'
He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero.
'Then why should I be a heroine?'
He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket.
I considered my choices.
I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated.
I could leave and be unhappy and dignified.
I could Beg him to touch me again.
I could live in hope and die of bitterness.
I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too.
I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
This was hers and hers alone. Forevermore. Or at least so I thought… but shit didn’t work out that way, and then you came along… and circle be damned, I don’t want to be finished with you.” Now it was her turn to feel poleaxed, her body going numb as she struggled to comprehend what he was saying. “Autumn, I’m in love with you—that’s why I came here tonight. And we don’t have to be together, and you don’t have to get over what I said, but I wanted you to hear that from me. And I also want to tell you that I’m at peace with it, because…” He took a deep breath. “You want to know why Wellsie got pregnant? It wasn’t because I wanted a young. It’s because she knew that every night when I left the house I could get killed in the field, and as she said, she wanted something to keep on living for. If I had been the one to go? She would have carved out a life for herself, and… the strange thing is, I would have wanted her to do that. Even if it included someone else. I guess I’ve realized that… she wouldn’t have wanted me to mourn her forever. She’d have wanted me to move on… and I have.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Perhaps it’s the word radical that needs rethinking. But what could we angle ourselves toward instead, or in addition? Openness? Is that good enough, strong enough? You’re the only one who knows when you’re using things to protect yourself and keep your ego together and when you’re opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is—working with it rather than struggling against it. You’re the only one who knows. And the thing is, even you don’t always know.
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Anyone can say 'I love you', however so many other sayings carry more weight in a relationship:
“I understand what you went through because I went through it too.”
“I believe you and in you.”
“I see the pain you are going through and we will conquer this together.”
“I don’t want to change you. I just want to help you become the best version of yourself.”
“You matter to me, therefore I will be there for you always.”
"I will never keep things from you because you have my respect and friendship. If I find out someone is putting you down, I will stand up for you. ”
“Your character will always shine when I speak about you because to damage your name is to damage ours.”
“I will go to the ends of the earth to save you from yourself or others.”
“What you have to say is important to me because I see you’re hurting and that hurts me, so I am going to listen. Together we will solve this problem.”
“I don’t care about your past. That was yesterday. Today, we are going to start over because people make mistakes, but they don’t have to pay for them for the rest of their life.”
"How can I help you get through this?"
“In sickness or in health...I meant it and I will search the world to find a way to keep you in it because you mean that much to me.”
“I don’t want to be your parent. I want to be your best friend, lover, cheering section, playmate and fill all the important parts of your soul. Together we will fill the rest as equals.
Shannon L. Alder
When people of similar frequencies come together, output is not a simple sum of individual work, but exponential. In science we term this phenomenon as resonance. Output at this stage is beyond any logical limit.
Ravindra Shukla (A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life)
There's that "margin of error" that you allow to exist in your mind, you want to give everything the benefit of the doubt, you want to look at another person and say "maybe we could be friends" and that's all well at first, but then you have to reach that point in your life, wherein you don't have time to live on the margins of error, and you have to say, "so what if there is a margin of error that exists? I don't think that this person and I could walk down the same path together, because she's like that, and I'm like this; I must relieve myself of fearing the error, the 'what could have been'." You know, sometimes we can be so afraid of the "what could have been" that we overlook the right here and now! And end up forsaking who we are and what makes us happy, and what we want and don't want! There is an error that takes place; when living too much for the "what could have been." There comes a time when you must give YOURSELF the benefit of the doubt! Know thyself. Color-in those margins of error with your favorite color; make them your own, make them work for you, let them be in your favor!
C. JoyBell C.
After that we tried thirty-nine times to stand together on the tube until we finally did. It was fun. I liked the falling part, and holding hangs. Relationships were so easy when all you had to work on was standing up together.
Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness)
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED
It is impossible for my mother to do even
the simplest things for herself anymore
so we do it together,
get her dressed.
I choose the clothes without
zippers or buckles or straps,
clothes that are simple
but elegant, and easy to get into.
Otherwise, it's just like every other day.
After bathing, getting dressed.
The stockings go on first.
This time, it's the new ones,
the special ones with opaque black triangles
that she's never worn before,
bought just two weeks ago
at her favorite department store.
We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes
into the stocking tip
then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle
and over her cool, smooth calf
then the other toe
cool ankle, smooth calf
up the legs
and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist.
You're doing great, Mom,
I tell her
as we ease her body
against mine, rest her whole weight against me
to slide her black dress
with the black empire collar
over her head
struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve.
I reach from the outside
deep into the dark for her hand,
grasp where I can't see for her touch.
You've got to help me a little here, Mom
I tell her
then her fingertips touch mine
and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth
together, then we rest, her weight against me
before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep
and now over the head.
I gentle the black dress over her breasts,
thighs, bring her makeup to her,
put some color on her skin.
Green for her eyes.
Coral for her lips.
I get her black hat.
She's ready for her company.
I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits
waiting outside the bedroom, come in.
They tell me, She's beautiful.
Yes, she is, I tell them.
I leave as they carefully
zip her into
the black body bag.
Three days later,
I dream a large, green
When I unzip it,
my mother is inside.
Her dress matches
her eyeshadow, which matches
perfectly. She's wearing
"I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving
and I wake up.
Four days later, she comes home
in a plastic black box
that is heavier than it looks.
In the middle of a meadow,
I learn a naked
more than naked.
I learn a new way to hug
as I tighten my fist
around her body,
my hand filled with her ashes
and the small stones of bones.
I squeeze her tight
then open my hand
and release her
into the smallest, hottest sun,
a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
Girls don't have to be nice," she says simply. "But they should stick together...The wider world wants you to think other women are drama...or catty. But that's just because when we work together, we're unstoppable....One day you'll wake up to find that there's a woman, or maybe a few, who have outlasted every changing season of your life.
Julie Murphy (Puddin' (Dumplin', #2))
The people at the center of these stories of power couples mostly choose to see their own motives as selfless. In Elizabeth Edwards’ autobiography Resilience, she wrote of her marriage to John, U.S. senator from North Carolina, ‘We were lovers, life companions, crusaders, side by side, for a vision of what the country could be.’ When she found out he was cheating on her, the crusading together became ‘the glue’ that kept them together. ‘I grabbed hold of it. I needed to,’ Edwards wrote. ‘Although I no longer knew what I could trust between the two of us, I knew I could trust in our work together.’ She wanted ‘an intact family fighting for causes more important than any one of us.
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Eight Political Wives)
When I was little, I used to pour salt on slugs. I liked watching them dissolve before my eyes. Cruelty is always sort of fun until you realize that something’s getting hurt. It would be one thing to be a loser if it meant that no one paid attention to you, but in school, it means you’re actively sought out. You’re the slug, and they’re holding all the salt. And they haven’t developed a conscience. There’s a word we learned in social studies: schadenfreude. It’s when you enjoy watching someone else suffer. The real question though, is why? I think part of it is self preservation. And part of it is because a group always feels more like a group when it’s banded together against an enemy. It doesn’t matter if that enemy has never done anything to hurt you-you just have to pretend you hate someone even more than you hate yourself. You know why salt works on slugs? Because it dissolved in the water that’s part of a slug’s skin, so the water on the inside its body starts to flow out. They slug dehydrates. This works with snails, too. And with leeches. And with people like me. With any creature, really, too thin-skinned to stand up for itself.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
On Drinking Alone by Moonlight
Here are flowers and here is wine,
But where’s a friend with me to join
Hand in hand and heart to heart
In one full cup before we part?
Rather than to drink alone,
I’ll make bold to ask the moon
To condescend to lend her face
The hour and the scene to grace.
Lo, she answers, and she brings
My shadow on her silver wings;
That makes three, and we shall be.
I ween, a merry company
The modest moon declines the cup,
But shadow promptly takes it up,
And when I dance my shadow fleet
Keeps measure with my flying feet.
But though the moon declines to tipple
She dances in yon shining ripple,
And when I sing, my festive song,
The echoes of the moon prolong.
Say, when shall we next meet together?
Surely not in cloudy weather,
For you my boon companions dear
Come only when the sky is clear.
Li Bai (The Works Of Li Po: The Chinese Poet (1922))
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms:
* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don't use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don't use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives."
(New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
William Safire (Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage)
I have no issue with Elissa. She's a fantastic stage manager, and we've worked together before. In fact, a million years ago we used to be good friends. Back when I still thought her brother was born of a human mother and not spawned straight from Satan's asshole.
Leisa Rayven (Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1))
Humans are very attached to outcomes. We say we trust God but behind the scenes we work our fingers to the bone and our emotions into a tangled fray trying to control our outcomes. We praise God when our normal looks like what we thought it would. We question God when it doesn’t. And walk away from Him when we have a sinking suspicion that God is the one who set fire to the hope that was holding us together.
Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
I like how you call homosexuality an abomination."
"I don't say homosexuality's an abomination, Mr. President, the bible does."
"Yes it does. Leviticus-"
"Chapter in verse. I wanted to ask you a couple questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo Mcgary,insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it ok to call the police? Here's one that's really important, cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Red Skins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?
Within this Christian vision for marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!'" Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him- or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
We couldn't bear to be apart. So if Kizuki had lived, I'm sure we would have been together, loving each other, and gradually growing unhappy."
Unhappy? Why's that?"
With her fingers, Naoko combed her hair back several times. She had taken her barrette off, which made the hair fall over her face when she dropped her head forward.
Because we would have had to pay the world back what we owed it," she said, raising her eyes to mine. "The pain of growing up. We didn't pay when we should have, so now the bills are due. Which is why Kizuki did what he did, and why I'm here. We were like kids who grew up naked on a desert island. If we got hungry, we'd just pick a banana; if we got lonely, we'd go to sleep in each other's arms. But that kind of thing doesn't last forever. We grew up fast and had to enter society. Which is why you were so important to us. You were the link connecting us with the outside world. We were struggling through you to fit in with the outside world as best we could. In the end, it didn't work, of course."
I wouldn't want you to think that we were using you, though. Kizuki really loved you. It just so happened that our connection with you was our first connection with anyone else. And it still is. Kizuki may be dead, but you are still my only link with the outside world. And just as Kizuki loved you, I love you. We never meant to hurt you, but we probably did; we probably ended up making a deep wound in your heart. It never occurred to us that anything like that might happen.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Say something Becks. Say anything"
"You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut, and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back.
"What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control.
With my eyes closed, I could easily picture the other side of the century.
"I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick your ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient."
I opened my eyes, and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say, you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot, then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback. And it's showing now."
For a moment the space between us held no tension, no questions, no accusations.
Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?"
"Nowhere, really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything."
Eyebrows still drawn together, he said, "We'll see." Then he turned and left.
I tucked this moment away.
In the dark, dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
When we’d started working together, I’d assumed it would be a question of putting up with Pritkin; then suddenly the stupid hair was making me smile, and the sporadic heroics were making my heart jump and the constant bitching had me wanting to kiss him quiet.
Karen Chance (Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4))
We were having the best time working together, too, except when he'd make a mistake on an order and I'd have to be an advocate for my customer. I always mentioned it sweetly.
"You didn't say hold the bacon, Hope."
"Barverman, I said it twice."
"You must have said it to someone else."
"I said it to you."
"Don't clang pots at me.
Joan Bauer (Hope Was Here)
We've got time," Jared says again.
An abrupt panic, like a warning premonition, makes it impossible for me to speak for a moment. He watches the change on my face with worried eyes. "You don't know that." The despair that softened when he found me strikes like the lash of a whip. "You can't know how much time we'll have. You don't know if we should be counting in months or days or hours."
He laughs a warm laugh, touching his lips to the tense place where my eyebrows pull together. "Don't worry, Mel. Miracles don't work that way. I'll never lose you. I'll never let you get away from me."
She brought me back to the present - to the thin ribbon of the highway winding through the Arizona wasteland, baking under the fierce noon sun - without my choosing to return. I stared at the empty place ahead and felt the empty place inside.
Her thought sighed faintly in my head: you never know how much time you'll have.
The tears I was crying belonged to both of us.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
The first service one owes to others in a community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for others is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives God’s Word, but also lends us God’s ear.
We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them.
So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have to ‘offer’ something when they are together with other people.
They forget that listening can be a greater service…Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
Looking back at those early days in the band house, we can all see how important they were in helping us bond as a band. It could have gone so wrong. Danny and I had picked Harry and Dougie after, literally, two days of knowing them. We could have all hated each other. We could have found that we had nothing in common, or that we resented the time we spent with each other. In fact, we had such a lot of fun. We weren’t yet famous or successful, but already we were having the time of our lives. Even when we hit the big time, we didn’t want to go out to clubs or celebrity haunts. Not our scene. For us, the best thing about being in a band was being in a band, doing band stuff - not all the trappings that went with it. We liked working on our music, and we liked hanging out together. All this meant we gelled more than most bands ever have the opportunity or inclination to do. Within a couple of months of moving into the band house, I had three new best friends. Their names were Danny, Harry and Dougie. No matter what the future held for us, our friendship was something we now know we could always rely on.
Tom Fletcher (McFly: Unsaid Things... Our Story)
I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible. It’s best that I be as clear about this as I can—I want you to understand that my basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow (and to transcribe them, of course). If you can see things this way (or at least try to), we can work together comfortably. If, on the other hand, you decide I’m crazy, that’s fine. You won’t be the first.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way.
The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will get no comradeship and no encouragement. When finally you are caught, you will get no help. We never help our members. At most, when it is absolutely necessary that someone should be silenced, we are occassionally able to smuggle a razor into a prisoner's cell. You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess and then you will die. Those are the only resuls you will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
George Orwell (1984)
I want our home to be a place where we can be our bravest selves and our most fearful selves. Where we practice difficult conversations and share our shaming moments from school and work. I want to look at Steve and my kids and say, “I’m with you. In the arena. And when we fail, we’ll fail together, while daring greatly.” We simply can’t learn to be more vulnerable and courageous on our own. Sometimes our first and greatest dare is asking for support.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Encounters between people, it often seems to me, are like trains passing at breakneck speed in the night. We cast fleeting looks at the passengers sitting behind dull glass in dim light, who disappear from our field of vision almost before we perceive them. Was it really a man and a woman who flashed past like phantoms, who came out of nothing into the empty dark, without meaning or purpose? Did they know each other? Did they talk? Laugh? Cry? People will say: That's how it is when strangers pass one another in rain and wind and there might be something in the comparison. But we sit opposite people for longer, we eat and work together, lie next to each other, live under the same roof. Where is the haste? Yet everything that gives the illusion of permanence, familiarity, and intimate knowledge: isn't it a deception invented to reassure, with which we try to conceal and ward off the flickering, disturbing haste because it could be impossible to live with all the time. Isn't every exchange of looks between people like the ghostly brief meeting of eyes between travellers passing one another, intoxicated by the inhuman speed and the shock of air pressure that makes everything shudder and clatter? Don't our looks bounce off others, as in the hasty encounter of the night, and leave us with nothing but conjectures, slivers of thoughts and imagined qualities? Isn't it true that it's not people who meet, but rather the shadows cast by their imaginations?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
And even though it didn't work, it did sort of work, because when we're all together, it's like Skippy's there too, because each of us has his own little jigsaw piece of him he remembers, and when you fit them all together, and you make the whole picture, then it's like he comes to life.
Paul Murray (Skippy Dies)
This election is about the past vs. the future. It's about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today or whether we reach for a politics of common sense and innovation, a politics of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity. There are those who will continue to tell us that we can't do this, that we can't have what we're looking for, that we can't have what we want, that we're peddling false hopes. But here is what I know. I know that when people say we can't overcome all the big money and influence in Washington, I think of that elderly woman who sent me a contribution the other day, an envelope that had a money order for $3.01 along with a verse of scripture tucked inside the envelope. So don't tell us change isn't possible. That woman knows change is possible. When I hear the cynical talk that blacks and whites and Latinos can't join together and work together, I'm reminded of the Latino brothers and sisters I organized with and stood with and fought with side by side for jobs and justice on the streets of Chicago. So don't tell us change can't happen. When I hear that we'll never overcome the racial divide in our politics, I think about that Republican woman who used to work for Strom Thurmond, who is now devoted to educating inner city-children and who went out into the streets of South Carolina and knocked on doors for this campaign. Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.
Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future. And as we leave this great state with a new wind at our backs and we take this journey across this great country, a country we love, with the message we carry from the plains of Iowa to the hills of New Hampshire, from the Nevada desert to the South Carolina coast, the same message we had when we were up and when we were down, that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we will hope.
And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words -- yes, we can.
When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when they whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to finally understand that wherever we go, everyone we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.
Pema Chödrön (Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That's when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Journalists can sound grandiose when they talk about their profession. Some of us are adrenaline junkies; some of us are escapists; some of us do wreck our personal lives and hurt those who love us most. This work can destroy people. I have seen so many friends and colleagues become unrecognizable from trauma: short-tempered, sleepless, and alienated from friends. But after years of witnessing so much suffering in the world, we find it hard to acknowledge that lucky, free, prosperous people like us might be suffering, too. We feel more comfortable in the darkest places than we do back home, where life seems too simple and too easy. We don’t listen to that inner voice that says it is time to take a break from documenting other people’s lives and start building our own. Under it all, however, are the things that sustain us and bring us together: the privilege of witnessing things that others do not; an idealistic belief that a photograph might affect people’s souls; the thrill of creating art and contributing to the world’s database of knowledge. When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
When I thought about that, I remembered something I have heard in church. We each have a purpose in life, and if we’re serving God, following him, living out God’s calling and purposes for our life, then we can have faith that God is leading us, and even difficult times can turn out all right. God can cause all things to work together for good.
Gary Sinise (Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service)
I was right outside the NSA [on 9/11], so I remember the tension on that day. I remember hearing on the radio, 'the plane's hitting,' and I remember thinking my grandfather, who worked for the FBI at the time, was in the Pentagon when the plane hit it...I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do. And I think it's really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort-of scandalize our memories to sort-of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through -- and to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don't need to give up, and that our Constitution says we should not give up.
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
A particularly significant example of brain against body, or measures against matter, is urban man’s total slavery to clocks. A clock is a convenient device for arranging to meet a friend, or for helping people to do things together, although things of this kind happened long before they were invented. Clocks should not be smashed; they should simply be kept in their place. And they are very much out of place when we try to adapt our biological rhythms of eating, sleeping, evacuation, working, and relaxing to their uniform circular rotation. Our slavery to these mechanical drill masters has gone so far and our whole culture is so involved with it that reform is a forlorn hope; without them civilization would collapse entirely. A less brainy culture would learn to synchronize its body rhythms rather than its clocks.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
You have a mismatched pair of genetic characteristics. Either alone would have been useful, would have aided the survival of your species. But the two together are lethal. It was only a matter of time before they destroyed you."
Jdahya made a rustling noise that could have been a sigh, but that did not seem to comer from his mouth or throat. "You are intelligent," he said. "That's the newer of the two characteristics, and the one you might have put to work to save yourselves. You are potentially one of the most intelligent species we've found, though your focus is different from ours. Still, you had a good start in the life sciences, and even in genetics."
"What's the second characteristic?"
"You are hierarchical. That's the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It's a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it as problem, but took pride in it or din not notice it at all..." The rattling sounded again.
Octavia E. Butler (Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1))
Cohn and Porter worked together to derail what they believed were Trump’s most impulsive and dangerous orders. That document and others like it just disappeared. When Trump had a draft on his desk to proofread, Cohn at times would just yank it, and the president would forget about it. But if it was on his desk, he’d sign it. “It’s not what we did for the country,” Cohn said privately. “It’s what we saved him from doing.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
My tried-and-true philosophy of keeping people at a distance was taking a beating lately. It wasn't working so well with Mircea, and Pritkin had somehow bulldozed past every defense I had before I'd even noticed. I still wasn't sure how he'd done it.
He wasn't that good-looking, he had the social skills of a wet cat and the patience of a caffeinated hummingbird. In between crazy stunts and, okay, saving my life, he was just really annoying. When we'd started working together, I'd assumed it would be a question of putting up with Pritkin; then suddenly the stupid hair was making me smile, and the sporadic heroics were making my heart jump and the constant bitching had me wanting to kiss him quiet. And now I cared more than was good for me.
Karen Chance (Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4))
Like I said, when I get pissed I say a lotta shit I don't mean and what I said about you I didn't mean," he repeated, beginning to look as impatient as he sounded.
"And like I said, you're old enough to learn you shouldn't do that," I repeated too, probably also looking impatient.
"That isn't me," he replied.
"Well, then, this obviously is eating you and that's your consequence because I have feelings and you walked all over them and you can't order me to shake it off so you can feel better. It's there, burned in my brain and I can't just forget it because you tell me to. So you have to live with that. You can't and want me gone, say it now because I'm beginning to like Betty and I met Shambles and Sunny and I'm having dinner with them tomorrow night and I'd rather not make ties when I'm going to need to hit the road because my boss is going to get rid of me."
"Shambles and Sunny?" he asked.
"Shambles and Sunny," I answered but didn't share more. "Now, can we just move on and do our best to work together and all other times avoid each other or do you want me to go?"
He moved forward an inch and I again fought the urge to retreat.
"Forgiveness is divine," he said softly and I'd never heard him talk soft. He had a very nice voice but when it went soft, it was beautiful.
This also sucked. (BTW, in the beginning a lot of things sucked! :D) I mean Lauren uses this word 'sucks'.
"I'm not divine," I returned. "I'm also not Ace and I'm not Babe. I'm Lauren. You don't like my name, don't call me anything at all. Now can I clean the danged table?"
I had my head tipped back to look him in the eye but I could tell he was expending effort to hold his whole body still.
Then he said in that soft voice, "I'm sorry, Ace."
"Me too," I replied instantly being clear I didn't accept his apology...
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Well, the fact is," said Celia, in a burst of girlish frankness, "I
rather think I've killed George."
Killed him, eh?"
It was a solution that had not occurred to me, but now that it was
presented for my inspection I could see its merits. In these days of
national effort, when we are all working together to try to make our
beloved land fit for heroes to live in, it was astonishing that nobody
before had thought of a simple, obvious thing like killing George
Mackintosh. George Mackintosh was undoubtedly better dead, but it had
taken a woman's intuition to see it.
I killed him with my niblick," said Celia.
I nodded. If the thing was to be done at all, it was unquestionably a
Rory: Amy. I'm gonna need a little help here.
Amy: Just stop it!
Rory: Just think it through, this will work. This will kill the Angels.
Amy: it will kill you too.
Rory: Will it? River said that this place would be erased from time, never existed. If this place never existed what did I fall off?
Amy: You think you'll just come back to life.
Rory: When don't I?
Rory: Anyway, what else is there? Dying of old age downstairs, never seeing you again? Amy, please. If you love me, then trust me and push.
Amy: I can't.
Rory: You have to!
Amy: Could you? Could you if it was me? Could you do it?
Rory: To save you, I could do anything.
Amy: Prove it.
Rory: But I can't take you too.
Amy: You said we'd come back to life. Money-where-your-mouth-is time.
Rory: Amy, but—
Amy: Shut. Up. Together. Or not at all
The bond between husband and wife is a strong one. Suppose the man had hunted her out and brought her back. The memory of her acts would still be there, and inevitably, sooner or later, it would be cause for rancor. When there are crises, incidents, a woman should try to overlook them, for better or for worse, and make the bond into something durable. The wounds will remain, with the woman and with the man, when there are crises such as I have described. It is very foolish for a woman to let a little dalliance upset her so much that she shows her resentment openly. He has his adventures--but if he has fond memories of their early days together, his and hers, she may be sure that she matters. A commotion means the end of everything. She should be quiet and generous, and when something comes up that quite properly arouses her resentment she should make it known by delicate hints. The man will feel guilty and with tactful guidance he will mend his ways. Too much lenience can make a woman seem charmingly docile and trusting, but it can also make her seem somewhat wanting in substance. We have had instances enough of boats abandoned to the winds and waves.
It may be difficult when someone you are especially fond of, someone beautiful and charming, has been guilty of an indiscretion, but magnanimity produces wonders. They may not always work, but generosity and reasonableness and patience do on the whole seem best.
Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji)
We both have our independence and freedom, but we have those things with each other. It’s a paradox, but it works. It all reminded me of what my friend Henry Cloud told me, that when two people are entirely and completely separate they are finally compatible to be one. Nobody’s self-worth lives inside of another person. Intimacy means we are independently together.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
When I open the door, Baz is wheeling an old-fashioned chalkboard in front of our beds.
“Where did that come from?” I ask.
“Yeah, but how did it get up here?”
“No,” I say, “seriously.”
He rolls his eyes. “I Up, up and away-ed it. It wasn’t much work.”
“Because we’re solving a mystery, Snow. I like to organize my thoughts.”
“Is this how you normally plot my downfall?”
“Yes. With multicoloured pieces of chalk. Stop complaining.” He opens up his book bag and takes out a few apples and things wrapped in greaseproof paper. “Eat,” he says, throwing one at me.
It’s a bacon roll. He’s also got a pot of tea.
“What’s all this?” I say.
“Tea, obviously. I know you can’t function unless you’re stuffing yourself.”
I unwrap the roll and decide to take a bite. “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me,” he says. “It sounds wrong.”
“Not as wrong as you bringing me bacon butties.”
“Fine, you’re welcome—when’s Bunce getting here?”
“Why would she?”
“Because you do everything together, don’t you? When you said you’d help, I was counting on you bringing your smarter half.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
...there is indeed a great force in the world, a force spiritual and able to shape the physical universe, but that force is not something cut off, not something separate from ourselves. It is the energy in us, the strongest in our working, breathing, thinking together as one people; weakest when we are scattered, confused, broken into individual, unconnected fragments.
Ayi Kwei Armah
When you walked into my life, I felt an immediate connection to you. I thought it meant we were destined to work together, but it was more, so much more than I ever expected. One minute you were a friend, and then the next I couldn't stop thinking about you. I wanted to be with you every minute of every day. I wanted to know everything about you. I wanted to hold you in my arms and look into your beautiful blue eyes and tell you how you'd stolen my heart.
Jennifer Comeaux (Life on the Edge (Edge, #1))
One of my new housemates, Stacy, wants to write a story about an astronaut. In his story the astronaut is wearing a suit that keeps him alive by recycling his fluids. In the story the astronaut is working on a space station when an accident takes place, and he is cast into space to orbit the earth, to spend the rest of his life circling the globe. Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God. After Stacy told me about his story, I kept seeing it in my mind. I thought about it before I went to sleep at night. I imagined myself looking out my little bubble helmet at blue earth, reaching toward it, closing it between my puffy white space-suit fingers, wondering if my friends were still there. In my imagination I would call to them, yell for them, but the sound would only come back loud within my helmet. Through the years my hair would grow long in my helmet and gather around my forehead and fall across my eyes. Because of my helmet I would not be able to touch my face with my hands to move my hair out of my eyes, so my view of earth, slowly, over the first two years, would dim to only a thin light through a curtain of thatch and beard.
I would lay there in bed thinking about Stacy's story, putting myself out there in the black. And there came a time, in space, when I could not tell whether I was awake or asleep. All my thoughts mingled together because I had no people to remind me what was real and what was not real. I would punch myself in the side to feel pain, and this way I could be relatively sure I was not dreaming. Within ten years I was beginning to breathe heavy through my hair and my beard as they were pressing tough against my face and had begun to curl into my mouth and up my nose. In space, I forgot that I was human. I did not know whether I was a ghost or an apparition or a demon thing.
After I thought about Stacy's story, I lay there in bed and wanted to be touched, wanted to be talked to. I had the terrifying thought that something like that might happen to me. I thought it was just a terrible story, a painful and ugly story. Stacy had delivered as accurate a description of a hell as could be calculated. And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
You have worked to build me what I asked for all the days of our lives. Even when the task seemed impossible, even when it would have been easier to give it up, you did not, but kept on going. You have kept me warm in winter, and cool in summer. You have laughed with me, and you have cried. You have given me children who are almost, but not quite, my greatest joy.
For the greatest joy of all is the way you held my wish in the center of your heart thorough all the days of our lives. That is where the room that you have built for me lies. Just as the room I built for you lies within mine. And in this way have all our wishes been granted. Together, we have made ourselves a home.
Cameron Dokey (Golden: A Retelling of Rapunzel)
Programming is a science dressed up as art, because most of us don’t understand the physics of software and it’s rarely, if ever, taught. The physics of software is not algorithms, data structures, languages, and abstractions. These are just tools we make, use, and throw away. The real physics of software is the physics of people. Specifically, it’s about our limitations when it comes to complexity and our desire to work together to solve large problems in pieces. This is the science of programming: make building blocks that people can understand and use easily, and people will work together to solve the very largest problems.
Pieter Hintjens (ZeroMQ: Messaging for Many Applications)
there's a bluebird in my heart that, wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see you
there's a bluebird in my heart that, wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks
never know that he's in there
there's a bluebird in my heart that, wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him
I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up?
you want to screw up the works?
you want to blow my book sales in Europe?
there's a bluebird in my heart that, wants to get out
but I'm too clever,
I only let him out at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep
I say, I know that you're there, so don't be sad.
then I put him back, but he's singing a little in there
I haven't quite let him die.
and we sleep together like that
with our secret pact
and it's nice enough to make a man weep
but I don't weep, do you?
Get up off of your knees. Come out of your churches, your mosques, your temples. God can hear your prayers for peace, justice, and hope in this broken world just fine while you're out creating peace, working for justice, and giving hope to this broken world. When are we finally going to realize that humanity is the solution to inhumanity? When will we finally understand that we are all drops of the same ocean, hurting together, healing together, hoping together? Don't just pray for hands to heal the hurting. Pray with hands that are healing the hurting. Don't just pray for arms to help the helpless. Pray with arms that are helping the helpless. Don't just pray for feet to respond to need. Pray on feet that are responding to need. Don't just pray for someone to do something. Be someone who does something. Don't just pray for answers. Be the answer.
Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory. The writer has time to reflect. He can accept and reject, accept again; and before committing his thoughts to paper he is able to tie the several relevant elements together. There is also a period when his brain "forgets," and his subconscious works on classifying his thoughts. But for photographers, what has gone is gone forever.
Henri Cartier-Bresson (The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers)
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.
We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances… and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
We live in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, but that reality means little because almost all of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is something profoundly wrong when one family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. This type of immoral, unsustainable economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change, and together we will change it. The change begins when we say to the billionaire class: “You can’t have it all. You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs in every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
YOU KNOW HOW RAMADI WAS WON? We went in and killed all the bad people we could find. When we started, the decent (or potentially decent) Iraqis didn’t fear the United States; they did fear the terrorists. The U.S. told them, “We’ll make it better for you.” The terrorists said, “We’ll cut your head off.” Who would you fear? Who would you listen to? When we went into Ramadi, we told the terrorists, “We’ll cut your head off. We will do whatever we have to and eliminate you.” Not only did we get the terrorists’ attention—we got everyone’s attention. We showed we were the force to be reckoned with. That’s where the so-called Great Awakening came. It wasn’t from kissing up to the Iraqis. It was from kicking butt. The tribal leaders saw that we were bad-asses, and they’d better get their act together, work together, and stop accommodating the insurgents. Force moved that battle. We killed the bad guys and brought the leaders to the peace table. That is how the world works.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
After dinner, Graham and I offer to do the dishes. He turns on the radio and we stand at the sink together. I wash and he rinses. He talks about work and I listen. When an Ed Sheeran song starts to play, my hands are covered in soapy suds, but Graham pulls me to him anyway and starts dancing with me. We cling to each other and barely move while we dance—his arms around my waist and mine around his neck. His forehead is pressed to mine and even though I know he’s watching me, I keep my eyes closed and pretend we’re perfect.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
Have you ever wondered why the keys on a typewriter are arranged in that particular order?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“We call it the QWERTY keyboard, because that’s the order of the letters on the first row of keys. I once wondered why it was like that, and I found the answer. The first machine was invented by Christopher Sholes, in 1873, to improve on calligraphy, but there was a problem: If a person typed very fast, the keys got stuck together and stopped the machine from working. Then Sholes designed the QWERTY keyboard, a keyboard that would oblige typists to type more slowly. ”
“I don’t believe it.”
“But it’s true. It so happened that Remington—which made sewing machines as well as guns at the time—used the QWERTY keyboard for its first typewriters. That meant that more people were forced to learn that particular system, and more companies started to make those keyboards, until it became the only available model. To repeat: The keyboard on typewriters and computers was designed so that people would type more slowly, not more quickly, do you understand? If you changed the letters around, you wouldn’t find anyone to buy your product.”
When she saw a keyboard for the first time, Mari had wondered why the letters weren’t in alphabetical order, but she had then promptly forgotten about it. She assumed it was simply the best layout for people to type quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close."
I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine."
"This isn't going to work. It never would have."
"Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us."
"God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess."
A mess? "You 're beautiful."
"I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability."
"Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability."
"But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?"
Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open.
"Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked.
I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you."
She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours."
To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together."
Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose."
She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me.
I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair.
She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Finally he said, "Hope, do you want to have dinner with me sometime?"
I dropped a plastic bottle of Gulden's.
We looked at it on the floor. Neither of us picked it up.
"I mean, I know we have dinner a lot when we're working. I meant out someplace. Together." Braverman picked up the Gulden's bottle, handed it to me. He coughed. "A date."
I said, "What is this, an epidemic?"
I backed out the door and left Braverman in the supply closet.
I don't get asked out too much either.
Joan Bauer (Hope Was Here)
Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible—or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible.
In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading: the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of that work.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
There is a difference between outcome and impact. Many people assume that because the encampments are gone and nothing tangible was produced, that there was no outcome. But when we think about the impact of these imaginative and innovative actions and these moments where people learned how to be together without the scaffolding of the state, when they learned to solve problems without succumbing to the impulse of calling the police, that should serve as a true inspiration for the work that we will do in the future to build these transnational solidarities.
Angela Y. Davis (Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement)
He loves me so he hurts me
To try and make me good.
It doesn't work. I'm just too bad
And don't do what I should.
My memory has so many different sections and, like all survivors, there are so many compartments with so many triggers. I'll remember a smell which reminds me of a man which reminds me of a place which reminds me of another man who I think was with a woman who had a certain smell — and I'm back to square one. This is the case for most survivors, I believe. When we try to put together our pasts, the triggers are many and varied, the memories are disjointed — and why wouldn't they be? We were children. Even someone with an idyllic childhood who is only trying to remember the lovely things which happened to them will scratch their head and wonder who gave them that doll and was it for Christmas or their third birthday? Did they have a party when they were four or five? When did they go on a plane for the first time? You see, even happy memories are hard to piece together — so imagine how hard it is to collate all of the trauma, to pull together all of the things I've been trying to push away for so many years.
Laurie Matthew (Groomed)
Patients with complex trauma may at times develop extreme reactions to something the therapist has said or not said, done or not done. It is wise to anticipate this in advance, and perhaps to note this anticipation in initial communications with the patient. For example, one may say something like, "It is likely in our work together, there will be a time or times when you will feel angry with me, disappointed with me, or that I have failed you. We should except this and not be surprised if and when it happens, which it probably will." It is also vital to emphasize to the patient that despite the diagnosis and experience of dividedness, the whole person is responsible and will be held responsible for the acts of any part. p174
Elizabeth F. Howell (The Dissociative Mind)
There is no ready vocabulary to describe the ways in which artists become artists, no recognition that artists must learn to be who they are (even as they cannot help being who they are.) We have a language that reflects how we learn to paint, but not how we learn to paint our paintings. How do you describe the [reader to place words here] that changes when craft swells to art?
"Artists come together with the clear knowledge that when all is said and done, they will return to their studio and practice art alone. Period. That simple truth may be the deepest bond we share. The message across time from the painted bison and the carved ivory seal speaks not of the differences between the makers of that art and ourselves, but of the similarities. Today these similarities lay hidden beneath urban complexity -- audience, critics, economics, trivia -- in a self-conscious world. Only in those moments when we are truly working on our own work do we recover the fundamental connection we share with all makers of art. The rest may be necessary, but it's not art. Your job is to draw a line from your art to your life that is straight and clear.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Getting in touch with the lovelessness within and letting that lovelessness speak its pain is one way to begin again on love's journey. In relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the partner who is hurting often finds that their mate is unwilling to 'hear' the pain. Women often tell me that they feel emotionally beaten down when their partners refuse to listen or talk. When women communicate from a place of pain, it is often characterized as 'nagging.' Sometimes women hear repeatedly that their partners are 'sick of listening to this shit.' Both cases undermine self-esteem. Those of us who were wounded in childhood often were shamed and humiliated when we expressed hurt. It is emotionally devastating when the partners we have chosen will not listen. Usually, partners who are unable to respond compassionately when hearing us speak our pain, whether they understand it or not, are unable to listen because that expressed hurt triggers their own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Many men never want to feel helpless or vulnerable. They will, at times, choose to silence a partner with violence rather than witness emotional vulnerability. When a couple can identify this dynamic, they can work on the issue of caring, listening to each other's pain by engaging in short conversations at appropriate times (i.e., it's useless to try and speak your pain to someone who is bone weary, irritable, reoccupied, etc.). Setting a time when both individuals come together to engage in compassionate listening enhances communication and connection. When we are committed to doing the work of love we listen even when it hurts.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Everything was calm. The sun was shining. I was swimming in the deep. And then, when I surfaced 20 years later, I discovered there was a storm, a whirlpool, a blasting gale lifting the waves over my head.
At first I wasn’t sure I’d make it back to the boat and then I realised I didn’t want to make it back to the boat. Chaos is supposed to be what we most fear but I have come to believe it might be what we most want. If we don’t believe in the future we are planning, the house we are mortgaged to, the person who sleeps by our side, it is possible that a tempest (long lurking in the clouds) might bring us closer to how we want to be in the world.
Life falls apart. We try to get a grip and hold it together. And then we realise we don’t want to hold it together.
Deborah Levy (The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography)
Six people went into the house of a sick man to pray for him. He was an Episcopalian vicar, and lay in his bed utterly helpless, without even strength to help himself. He had read a little tract about healing and had heard about people praying for the sick, and sent for these friends, who, he thought, could pray the prayer of faith. He was anointed according to James 5:14, but, because he had no immediate manifestation of healing, he wept bitterly. The six people walked out of the room, somewhat crestfallen to see the man lying there in an unchanged condition. When they were outside, one of the six said, “There is one thing we might have done. I wish you would all go back with me and try it.” They went back and all got together in a group. This brother said, “Let us whisper the name of Jesus.” At first when they whispered this worthy name nothing seemed to happen. But as they continued to whisper, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” the power began to fall. As they saw that God was beginning to work, their faith and joy increased; and they whispered the name louder and louder. As they did so the man arose from his bed and dressed himself. The secret was just thus, those six people had gotten their eyes off the sick man, and they were just taken up with the Lord Jesus Himself, and their faith grasped the power that there is in His name. O, if people would only appreciate the power that there is in this name, there is no telling what would happen.
Smith Wigglesworth (The Teachings of Smith Wigglesworth)
Bodily vigor is good, and vigor of intellect is even better, but far above both is character. It is true, of course, that a genius may, on certain lines, do more than a brave and manly fellow who is not a genius; and so, in sports, vast physical strength may overcome weakness, even though the puny body may have in it the heart of a lion. But, in the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development, will count when weighed in the balance against that assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of moral qualities, which we group together under the name of character; and if between any two contestants, even in college sport or in college work, the difference in character on the right side is as great as the difference of intellect or strength the other way, it is the character side that will win.
We have only minimal control over the rewards for our work and effort—other people’s validation, recognition, rewards. So what are we going to do? Not be kind, not work hard, not produce, because there is a chance it wouldn’t be reciprocated? C’mon. Think of all the activists who will find that they can only advance their cause so far. The leaders who are assassinated before their work is done. The inventors whose ideas languish “ahead of their time.” According to society’s main metrics, these people were not rewarded for their work. Should they have not done it? Yet in ego, every one of us has considered doing precisely that. If that is your attitude, how do you intend to endure tough times? What if you’re ahead of the times? What if the market favors some bogus trend? What if your boss or your clients don’t understand? It’s far better when doing good work is sufficient. In other words, the less attached we are to outcomes the better. When fulfilling our own standards is what fills us with pride and self-respect. When the effort—not the results, good or bad—is enough. With ego, this is not nearly sufficient. No, we need to be recognized. We need to be compensated. Especially problematic is the fact that, often, we get that. We are praised, we are paid, and we start to assume that the two things always go together. The “expectation hangover” inevitably ensues.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him.
In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.
Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him.
The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.
Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?
If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed?
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?
Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.
Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing.
Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.
If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.
How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?
True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity.
When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together.
There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you.
Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him?
Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death?
True love requires sacrifice.
What are you doing right now that requires faith?
God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.
If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one?
Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?”
If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate.
The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives.
What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive
insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end
of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt
in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds
of women—those you write poems about
and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you
a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.
My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction
lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M.,
whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked
within the confines of my character, cast
as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan
of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much
as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power
never put to good use. What we had together
makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught
one another like colds, and desire was merely
a symptom that could be treated with soup
and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now,
I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy,
as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune
to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed
antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long
regret existed before humans stuck a word on it.
I don’t know how many paper towels it would take
to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light
of a candle being blown out travels faster
than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit,
but I do know that all our huffing and puffing
into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick
birthday candle—didn’t make the silence
any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses
I scrawled on your neck were written
in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you
so hard one of your legs would pop out
of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press
your face against the porthole of my submarine.
I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years
to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding
off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding
over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate
to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy
of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph
from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
This isn't some trashy romance novel where you get that crappy insta-love. There's no supernatural pull from the fates demanding we be together as soul mates for all of eternity while fighting off the bad guys. Love takes time. It takes work. It's not just something you throw yourself into because if you do it right, you'll only ever have to fall in love once. I only intend to fall in love once, and when I do, I won't be falling in two weeks time.
Emma Hart (The Love Game (The Game, #1))
It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working—bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming—toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned—reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone—one mind less, one world less.
George Orwell (A Hanging)
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this good-bye is both a good-bye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.
When I look at you, I see your beauty and grace and know they have grown stronger with every life you have lived. And I know I have spent every life before this one searching for you. Not someone like you, but you, for your soul and mine must always come together. And then, for a reason neither of us understands, we've been forced to say good-bye.
I would love to tell you that everything will work out for us, and I promise to do all I can to make sure it does. But if we never meet again and this is truly good-bye, I know we will see each other again in another life. We will find each other again, and maybe the stars will have changed, and we will not only love each other in that time, but for all the times we've had before.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
Page holds Musk up as a model he wishes others would emulate—a figure that should be replicated during a time in which the businessmen and politicians have fixated on short-term, inconsequential goals. “I don’t think we’re doing a good job as a society deciding what things are really important to do,” Page said. “I think like we’re just not educating people in this kind of general way. You should have a pretty broad engineering and scientific background. You should have some leadership training and a bit of MBA training or knowledge of how to run things, organize stuff, and raise money. I don’t think most people are doing that, and it’s a big problem. Engineers are usually trained in a very fixed area. When you’re able to think about all of these disciplines together, you kind of think differently and can dream of much crazier things and how they might work. I think that’s really an important thing for the world. That’s how we make progress.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
Kait,im not always the beat at exspressing myself to you,so im taking advantage of the fact that i will be completely unresponsive when you read this, and therefore incapable of messing things up.
I want to thank you for giving me a chance. when i first saw you, i knew i had found something incredible. And since then all i've wanted was to be with you as much as possible.
When i thought i had lost you, i was torn betewwn wanting you back and wanting the best for you-wanting you to be happy.seeing you so miserable during the weeks we were apart gave me the courage to fight for us...to find a way for things to work.And seeing you happy again in the dayswe've been back together makes me think i did the right thing.
I cant promise you an ordinary experience,kate.I wish i could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you,always,without th trama that defines my life as "the walking dead." Since that isnt possible, I can only reassure yoiu that i will do everything in my power to make it up make it up to you. To give you more that a normal boyfriend could.I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but i'm looking forward to finding out. With you.
Thank ou for being here, my beauty. Mon ange. My Kate.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
For most of us, we have warmer feelings for the projects we worked on where everything seemed to go wrong. We remember how the group stayed at work until 3 a.m., ate cold pizza and barely made the deadline. Those are the experiences we remember as some of our best days at work. It was not because of the hardship, per se, but because the hardship was shared. It is not the work we remember with fondness, but the camaraderie, how the group came together to get things done. And the reason is, once again, natural. In an effort to get us to help one another during times of struggle, our bodies release oxytocin. In other words, when we share the hardship, we biologically grow closer.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
I know we have only been together for a little over a year,” I explained, quickly. “Maybe it’s too soon? I understand if it’s too soon. It’s just that how you feel about the way we kiss? I feel that way about everything we do together. I love it. I love to be inside you, I love working with you, I love watching you work, I love fighting with you, and I love just sitting on the couch and laughing with you. I’m lost when I’m not with you, Chloe. I can’t think of anything, or anyone, who is more important to me, every second. And so for me, that means we’re already sort of married in my head. I guess I wanted to make it official somehow. Maybe I sound like an idiot?” I looked over at her, feeling my heart try to jackhammer its way up my throat. “I never expected to feel this way about someone.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard, #1.5))
I want to apologize to you, Nikki. Not just, ‘hey, sorry,’ but really. Apologize.” He paused, either to let her absorb it or to find his way, then he went on, “This is all still new to both of us. You and I came to each other with full lives, past baggage, careers, the works. Both of us. And this trip of mine, this was the first time since we got together that you’re seeing what my real work is like. I have the advantage of having gone on ride-along, so you—I get your life, inside and out. Me, I’m an investigative journalist. If I’m doing it right, I’m spending big stretches of time in places nobody else has the balls to go and under conditions most reporters wouldn’t put up with. That explains why I fell off the radar on my story. I told you I might before I left. But it’s no excuse for not calling you when I got in the clear. The only explanation I can give may sound flimsy, but it’s the truth. When I come off assignment, I have a routine. I sleep like the dead and write like the devil, in seclusion. It’s the way I’ve always done it. For years. But now—I realize something’s different now. I’m not the only one involved.
“Now, if I could take back the past twenty-four hours, I would, but I can’t. What I can do, though, is say when I look at you now and see the hurt in you—the hurt I caused by being insensitive—I see pain I never want to bring to you again.” He let that sit there, then said, “Nikki, I apologize. I was wrong. And I am sorry.
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))
Men enforce a code of behaviour on each other, when working together. Do your work. Pull your weight. Stay awake and pay attention. Don’t whine or be touchy. Stand up for your friends. Don’t suck up and don’t snitch. Don’t be a slave to stupid rules. Don’t, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, be a girlie man. Don’t be dependent. At all. Ever. Period. The harassment that is part of acceptance on a working crew is a test: are you tough, entertaining, competent and reliable? If not, go away. Simple as that. We don’t need to feel sorry for you. We don’t want to put up with your narcissism, and we don’t want to do your work.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Since I had the inclinatation and the training, helping people came naturally. I wasn't thinking in terms of organizing members, but just a duty that I had to do. That goes back to my mother's training. It was not until later that I realized that this was a good organizing tool, although maybe unconsciously, I was already beggining to understand.
But I was used by people for a long time until I wised up. It wasn't that they wanted to do it, but that I was not prepared or able to tell them what to do in return. My work was just another war on poverty gimick, which is what happens when people are given everything and don't give anything in return. you can't mold them into any action.
Well, one night it just hit me. Once you helped people, most became very loyal. The people who helped us back when we wanted volunteers were the people we had helped. So I began to get a group of those people around me.
Once I realized helping people was an organizing technique, I increased that work. I was willing to work all day and night and go to hell and back for people- provided they also did something for the CSO in return. I never felt bad asking for that. It didn't contradict my parents' teachings, because I wasn't asking for something for myself.
For a long time we didn't know how to put that work together into an organization. But we learned after a while- we learned how to help people by making them responsible. Today it's the same principle with the Union. And it works. We don't get everybody, but we get enough to get that nucleus. I think solving problems for people is the only way to build solid groups.
The writing grew suddenly blurred and misty. And she had lost him again--had lost him again! At the sight of the familiar childish nickname all the hopelessness of her bereavement came over her afresh, and she put out her hands in blind desperation, as though the weight of the earth-clods that lay above him were pressing on her heart.
Presently she took up the paper again and went on reading:
"I am to be shot at sunrise to-morrow. So if I am to keep at all my promise to tell you everything, I must keep it now. But, after all, there is not much need of explanations between you and me. We always understood each other without many words, even when we were little things.
"And so, you see, my dear, you had no need to break your heart over that old story of the blow. It was a hard hit, of course; but I have had plenty of others as hard, and yet I have managed to get over them,--even to pay back a few of them,--and here I am still, like the mackerel in our nursery-book (I forget its name), 'Alive and kicking, oh!' This is my last kick, though; and then, tomorrow morning, and--'Finita la Commedia!' You and I will translate that: 'The variety show is over'; and will give thanks to the gods that they have had, at least, so much mercy on us. It is not much, but it is something; and for this and all other blessings may we be truly thankful!
"About that same tomorrow morning, I want both you and Martini to understand clearly that I am quite happy and satisfied, and could ask no better thing of Fate. Tell that to Martini as a message from me; he is a good fellow and a good comrade, and he will understand. You see, dear, I know that the stick-in-the-mud people are doing us a good turn and themselves a bad one by going back to secret trials and executions so soon, and I know that if you who are left stand together steadily and hit hard, you will see great things. As for me, I shall go out into the courtyard with as light a heart as any child starting home for the holidays. I have done my share of the work, and this death-sentence is the proof that I have done it thoroughly. They kill me because they are afraid of me; and what more can any man's heart desire?
"It desires just one thing more, though. A man who is going to die has a right to a personal fancy, and mine is that you should see why I have always been such a sulky brute to you, and so slow to forget old scores. Of course, though, you understand why, and I tell you only for the pleasure of writing the words. I loved you, Gemma, when you were an ugly little girl in a gingham frock, with a scratchy tucker and your hair in a pig-tail down your back; and I love you still. Do you remember that day when I kissed your hand, and when you so piteously begged me 'never to do that again'? It was a scoundrelly trick to play, I know; but you must forgive that; and now I kiss the paper where I have written your name. So I have kissed you twice, and both times without your consent.
"That is all. Good-bye, my dear"
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live
Or if I die
Ethel Lilian Voynich
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.
2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm.
3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. …
Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life.
People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge.
Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Bob,” she said, “offerings burned in the mortal world appear on this altar, right?” Bob frowned uncomfortably, like he wasn’t ready for a pop quiz. “Yes?” “So what happens if I burn something on the altar here?” “Uh…” “That’s all right,” Annabeth said. “You don’t know. Nobody knows, because it’s never been done.” There was a chance, she thought, just the slimmest chance that an offering burned on this altar might appear at Camp Half-Blood. Doubtful, but if it did work… “Annabeth?” Percy said again. “You’re planning something. You’ve got that I’m-planning-something look.” “I don’t have an I’m-planning-something look.” “Yeah, you totally do. Your eyebrows knit and your lips press together and—” “Do you have a pen?” she asked him. “You’re kidding, right?” He brought out Riptide. “Yes, but can you actually write with it?” “I—I don’t know,” he admitted. “Never tried.” He uncapped the pen. As usual, it sprang into a full-sized sword. Annabeth had watched him do this hundreds of times. Normally when he fought, Percy simply discarded the cap. It always appeared in his pocket later, as needed. When he touched the cap to the point of the sword, it would turn back into a ballpoint pen. “What if you touch the cap to the other end of the sword?” Annabeth said. “Like where you’d put the cap if you were actually going to write with the pen.” “Uh…” Percy looked doubtful, but he touched the cap to the hilt of the sword. Riptide shrank back into a ballpoint pen, but now the writing point was exposed. “May I?” Annabeth plucked it from his hand. She flattened the napkin against the altar and began to write. Riptide’s ink glowed Celestial bronze. “What are you doing?” Percy asked. “Sending a message,” Annabeth said. “I just hope Rachel gets it.” “Rachel?” Percy asked. “You mean our Rachel? Oracle of Delphi Rachel?” “That’s the one.” Annabeth suppressed a smile. Whenever she brought up Rachel’s name, Percy got nervous. At one point, Rachel had been interested in dating Percy. That was ancient history. Rachel and Annabeth were good friends now. But Annabeth didn’t mind making Percy a little uneasy. You had to keep your boyfriend on his toes. Annabeth finished her note and folded the napkin. On the outside, she wrote: Connor, Give this to Rachel. Not a prank. Don’t be a moron. Love, Annabeth She took a deep breath. She was asking Rachel Dare to do something ridiculously dangerous, but it was the only way she could think of to communicate with the Romans—the only way that might avoid bloodshed. “Now I just need to burn it,” she said. “Anybody got a match?” The point of Bob’s spear shot from his broom handle. It sparked against the altar and erupted in silvery fire. “Uh, thanks.” Annabeth lit the napkin and set it on the altar. She watched it crumble to ash and wondered if she was crazy. Could the smoke really make it out of Tartarus? “We should go now,” Bob advised. “Really, really go. Before we are killed.” Annabeth stared at the wall of blackness in front of them. Somewhere in there was a lady who dispensed a Death Mist that might hide them from monsters—a plan recommended by a Titan, one of their bitterest enemies. Another dose of weirdness to explode her brain. “Right,” she said. “I’m ready.” ANNABETH LITERALLY STUMBLED over the second Titan.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us--simpatico dudes that we are--while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time--while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works--but it doesn't feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns.
Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us--as damaged and anti-social as we are--might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can't. The song's too simple, and we're too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we're breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions.
And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.
Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy)
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis.
In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness.
Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution.
We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder.
The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others.
In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy
Seriously, though,” Kieran chuckled. “I can say, hand on heart, that I never thought Con would ever settle down, but when he met Em, she absolutely knocked him for six. Even before Danny warned him, on pain of death, to stay away from her, it was too late. One look at Con and anyone could see that he was so far gone for our little sunshine; it was love for life. Em, you really have no idea how much sunshine you bring into the life of everyone you touch. You are good and gentle, caring and kind, and the fact that you don’t see any of these things in yourself makes you more beautiful. There’s a great many men here tonight who love you like a sister and a daughter and as long as you have all of us, you will never want for anything. I look at you both together and I see hope. Hope that one day, we all might be fortunate enough to fall in love with someone who doesn’t want or need to change you, but who makes you want to be a better person. I wish you both a long and happy life together, but if it doesn’t work out, Em, you know where to find me. Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses. May green be the grass you walk on. May blue be the skies that love you. May pure be the joys that surround you. May true be the hearts that love you.
R.J. Prescott (The Hurricane (The Hurricane, #1))
President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing Script Book)
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 so 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 would be more possible?
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another.
My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians.
When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer.
Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
Roarke's hand paused as it reached for the car door, and his brow winged up. "It's my car."
"It's my deal."
They studied each other a minute, crowded together at the driver's side door. "Why are you driving?"
"Because." Vaguely embarrassed, she dug her hands in her pockets. "Don't smirk."
"I'll try to resist. Why?"
"Because," she said again, "I drive when I'm on a case, so if I drive, it'll feel like -- it'll feel official instead of criminal."
"I see. Well, that makes perfect sense. You drive."
She started to climb in while he circled around to the passenger side. "Are you smirking behind my back?"
"Yes, of course." He sat, stretched out his legs. "Now, to make it really official, I should have a uniform. I'll go that far, but I refuse to wear those amazingly ugly cop shoes."
"You're a real joker," she muttered and jerked the car into reverse, did a quick, squealing spin, and shot out of the garage.
"Too bad this vehicle doesn't have a siren. But we can pretend nothing works on it, so you'll feel official."
"Keep it up. Just keep it up."
"Maybe I'll call you sir. Could be sexy." He smiled blandly when she glared at him. "Okay, I'm done. How do you want to play this?
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
Dr. Talbon was struck by another very important thing. It all hung together. The stories Cheryl told — even though it was upsetting to think people could do stuff like that — they were not disjointed They were not repetitive in terms of "I've heard this before". It was not just she'd someone trying consciously or unconsciously to get attention. really processed them out and was done with them. She didn't come up with them again [after telling the story once and dealing with it]. Once it was done, it was done. And I think that was probably the biggest factor for me in her believability. I got no sense that she was using these stories to make herself a really interesting person to me so I'd really want to work with her, or something. Or that she was just living in this stuff like it was her life. Once she dealt with it and processed it, it was gone. We just went on to other things. 'Throughout the whole thing, emotionally Cheryl was getting her life together. Parts of her were integrating where she could say,"I have a sense that some particular alter has folded in with some basic alter", and she didn't bring it up again. She didn't say that this alter has reappeared to cause more problems. That just didn't happen. The therapist had learned from training and experience that when real integration occurs, it is permanent and the patient moves on.
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
As infants, we see the world in parts. There is the good—the things that feed and nourish us. There is the bad—the things that frustrate or deny us. As children mature, they come to see the world in more complex ways, realizing, for example, that beyond black and white, there are shades of gray. The same mother who feeds us may sometimes have no milk. Over time, we transform a collection of parts into a comprehension of wholes.4 With this integration, we learn to tolerate disappointment and ambiguity. And we learn that to sustain realistic relationships, one must accept others in their complexity. When we imagine a robot as a true companion, there is no need to do any of this work.
Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other)
I couldn't stop myself going by the gym to watch him, just to poke the sore place. It didn't make me feel any better to watch him thrashing scores of fake mals and gym constructs. I knew he was good at killing mals, I knew he was brilliant at it, but if this plan even worked, there wouldn't be scores, there would be hundreds, maybe thousands, all piling on him at once. But I watched from the doors anyway, every day after I finished practicing, and when he finished his last run we went up to dinner together without talking, my teeth clenched round the words I wanted to say: You don't have to do this alone; you can ask for people to help you, at least to shield you; we'll hold a lottery, we'll draw straws. I'd said them already and he'd just waved them away with a shrug and "They'll just get in the way," and he might very well be right, because no one would stick beside him with that horde coming. No one except me, and I was meant to be saving everyone else, everyone else but him.
Naomi Novik (The Last Graduate (The Scholomance, #2))
Handsome, strong, gay ... She felt again the thro and lilt of her blood. She had loved Kameni in that moment. She loved him now. Kameni could take the place that Khay had held in her life.
She thought: 'We shall be happy together - yes, we shall be happy. We shall live together and take pleasure in each other and we shall have strong, handsome children. There will be busy days full of work ... and days of pleasure when we sail on the River...Life will be again as I knew it with Khay...What could I ask more than that? What do I want more than that?'
And slowly, very slowly indeed, she turned her face towards Hori. It was as though, silently, she asked him a question.
As though he understood her, he answered:
'When you were a child, I loved you. I loved your grave face and the confidence with which you came to me, asking me to mend your broken toys. And then, after eight years' absence, you came again and sat here, and brought me the thoughts that were in your mind. And your mind, Renisenb, is not like the minds of the rest of your family. It does not turn in upon itself, seeking to encase itself in narrow walls. Your mind is like my mind, it looks over the River, seeing a world of changes, of new ideas - seeing a world where all things are possible to those with courage and vision...'
She broke off, unable to find words to frame her struggling thoughts. What life would be with Hori, she did not know. In spite of his gentleness, in spite of his love for her, he would remain in some respects incalculable and incomprehensible. They would share moments of great beauty and richness together - but what of their common daily life?
I have made my choice, Hori. I will share my life with you for good or evil, until death comes...
With his arms round her, with the sudden new sweetness of his face against hers, she was filled with an exultant richness of living.
Agatha Christie (Death Comes as the End)
When the alchemist speaks of Mercurius, on the face of it he means quicksilver (mercury), but inwardly he means the world-creating spirit concealed or imprisoned in matter. The dragon is probably the oldest pictoral symbol in alchemy of which we have documentary evidence. It appears as the Ouroboros, the tail-eater, in the Codex Marcianus, which dates from the tenth or eleventh century, together with the legend ‘the One, the All’. Time and again the alchemists reiterate that the opus proceeds from the one and leads back to the one, that it is a sort of circle like a dragon biting its own tail. For this reason the opus was often called circulare (circular) or else rota (the wheel). Mercurius stands at the beginning and end of the work: he is the prima materia, the caput corvi, the nigredo; as dragon he devours himself and as dragon he dies, to rise again in the lapis. He is the play of colours in the cauda pavonis and the division into the four elements. He is the hermaphrodite that was in the beginning, that splits into the classical brother-sister duality and is reunited in the coniunctio, to appear once again at the end in the radiant form of the lumen novum, the stone. He is metallic yet liquid, matter yet spirit, cold yet fiery, poison and yet healing draught - a symbol uniting all the opposites.
C.G. Jung (Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works 12))
In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning,
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.
“Together we will build and teach!”
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might someday be divided,
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.
Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.”
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest.”
Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name.”
Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.”
These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor.
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew,
Thus the Houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.
So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.
The Houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.
And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be.
And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I’m for,
But this year I’ll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it’s wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether
Sorting May not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we’ll crumble from within.
I have told you, I have warned you. . . .
Let the Sorting now begin.
The hat became motionless once more;
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Not caring about our own pain and the pain of others is not working. How much longer are we willing to keep pulling drowning people out of the river one by one, rather than walking to the headwaters of the river to find the source of the pain? What will it take for us to let go of that earned self-righteousness and travel together to the cradle of the pain that is throwing all of us in at such a rate that we couldn’t possibly save everyone? Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying. Most of us were not taught how to recognize pain, name it, and be with it. Our families and culture believed that the vulnerability that it takes to acknowledge pain was weakness, so we were taught anger, rage, and denial instead. But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Sometimes owning our pain and bearing witness to struggle means getting angry. When we deny ourselves the right to be angry, we deny our pain. There are a lot of coded shame messages in the rhetoric of “Why so hostile?” “Don’t get hysterical,” “I’m sensing so much anger!” and “Don’t take it so personally.” All of these responses are normally code for Your emotion or opinion is making me uncomfortable or Suck it up and stay quiet. One response to this is “Get angry and stay angry!” I haven’t seen that advice borne out in the research. What I’ve found is that, yes, we all have the right and need to feel and own our anger. It’s an important human experience.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Everyday I rewrite her name across my ribcage
so that those who wish to break my heart
will know who to answer to later
She has no idea that I’ve taught my tongue to make pennies,
and every time our mouths are to meet
I will slip coins to the back of her throat and make wishes
my head on her belly might be like home
like doubt to doubt resuscitation
because time is supposed to mean more than skin
She doesn’t know that I have taught my arms to close around her clocks
so they can withstand the fallout from her Autumn
She is so explosive,
volcanoes watch her and learn
terrorists want to strap her to their chests
because she is a cause worth dying for
time will teach me to pick up her pieces
put her back together
and remind her to click her heels
but she doesn’t need a wizard to tell her that I was here all along
let us catch the next tornado home
let us plant cantaloupe trees in our backyard
then maybe together we will realize that we don’t like cantaloupe
and they don’t grow on trees
we can laugh about it
then we can plant things we’ve never heard of
I’ve never heard of a woman
who can make flawed look so beautiful
the way you do
The word smitten is to how I feel about you
what a kiss is to romance
so maybe my lips to yours could be the penance to this confession
because I am the only one preaching your defunct religion
sitting alone at your altar, praising you out of faith
I cannot do this hard-knock life alone
You are all the softness a rock dreams of being
the mistakes the rain makes at picnics
when Mother Nature bears witness in much better places
I will gladly take on your ocean
just to swim beneath you
so I can kiss the bends of your knees
in appreciation for the work they do
keeping your head above water
Psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan uses the term intervulnerability to describe the need for this mutually held space. When asked about this idea in an interview, she replied, When I say we are “intervulnerable,” I mean we suffer together, whether consciously or unconsciously. Albert Einstein called the idea of a separate self an “optical delusion of consciousness.” Martin Luther King Jr. said that we are all connected in an “inescapable web of mutuality.” There’s no way out, though we try to escape by armoring ourselves against pain and in the process diminishing our lives and our consciousness. But in our intervulnerability is our salvation, because awareness of the mutuality of suffering impels us to search for ways to heal the whole, rather than encase ourselves in a bubble of denial and impossible individualism. At this point in history, it seems that we will either destroy ourselves or find a way to build a sustainable life together.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . .
Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week.
My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations.
When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love.
What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
Once a year, the inhabitants shut themselves up in their houses, made two lists, turned to face the highest mountain and then raised their first list to the heavens.
'“Here, Lord, are all the sins I have committed against you,” they said, reading the account of all the sins they had committed. Business swindles, adulteries, injustices, things of that sort. “I have sinned and beg forgiveness for having offended You so greatly.”
'Then - and here lay Ahab's originality - the residents immediately pulled the second list out of their pocket and, still facing the same mountain, they held that one up to the skies too. And they said something like: “And here, Lord, is a list of all Your sins against me: You made me work harder than necessary, my daughter fell ill despite all my prayers, I as robbed when I was trying to be honest, I suffered more than was fair.”
After reading out the second list, they ended the ritual I have been unjust towards You and You have been towards me. However, since today is the Day of Atonement, You will forget my faults and I will forget Yours and we can carry on together for another year.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym)
Meg! I love you! I want to marry you!”
“That’s weird,” she said without stopping. “Only six weeks ago, you were telling me all about how Lucy broke your heart.”
“I was wrong. Lucy broke my brain.”
That finally stopped her. “Your brain?” She looked back at him.
“That’s right,” he said more quietly. “When Lucy ran out on me, she broke my brain. But when you left . . .” To his dismay, his voice cracked. “When you left, you broke my heart.”
He finally had her full attention, not that she looked at all dreamy-eyed or even close to being ready to throw herself into his arms, but at least she was listening.
He collapsed the umbrella, took a step forward, then stopped himself. “Lucy and I fit together so perfectly in my head. We had everything in common, and what she did made no sense. I had the whole town lining up feeling sorry for me, and I was damned if I was going to let anybody know how miserable I was. I—I couldn’t get my bearings. And there you were in the middle of it, this beautiful thorn in my side, making me “feel like myself again. Except . . .” He hunched his shoulders, and a trickle of rainwater ran down his collar. “Sometimes logic can be an enemy. If I was so wrong about Lucy, how could I trust the way I felt about you?”
She stood there, not saying a word, just listening.
“I wish I could say I realized how much I loved you as soon as you left town, but I was too busy being mad at you for bailing on me. I don’t have a lot of practice being mad, so it took me a while to understand that the person I was really mad at was myself. I was so pigheaded and stupid. And afraid. Everything has always come so easy for me, but nothing about you was easy. The things you made me feel. The way you forced me to look at myself.” He could barely breathe. “I love you, Meg. I want to marry you. I want to sleep with you every night, make love with you, have kids. I want to fight together and work together and—just be together. Now are you going to keep standing there, staring at me, or could you put “me out of my misery and say you still love me, at least a little?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Call Me Irresistible (Wynette, Texas, #6))
Few people make sound or sustainable decisions in an atmosphere of chaos. The more serious the situation, usually accompanied by a deadline, the more likely everyone will get excited and bounce around like water on a hot skillet. At those times I try to establish a calm zone but retain a sense of urgency. Calmness protects order, ensures that we consider all the possibilities, restores order when it breaks down, and keeps people from shouting over each other. You are in a storm. The captain must steady the ship, watch all the gauges, listen to all the department heads, and steer through it. If the leader loses his head, confidence in him will be lost and the glue that holds the team together will start to give way. So assess the situation, move fast, be decisive, but remain calm and never let them see you sweat.
Colin Powell (It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership)
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops.
When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow.
Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow.
It had to come home.
Umm, Ren? We have something important we need to discuss. Meet me on the veranda at sundown, okay?”
He froze with his sandwich halfway to his mouth. “A secret rendezvous? On the veranda? At sundown?” He arched an eyebrow at me. “Why, Kelsey, are you trying to seduce me?”
“Hardly,” I dryly muttered.
He laughed. “Well, I’m all yours. But be gentle with me tonight, fair maiden. I’m new at this whole being human business.”
Exasperated, I threw out, “I am not your fair maiden.”
He ignored my comment and went back to devouring his lunch. He also took the other half of my discarded peanut butter sandwich and ate that too, commenting, “Hey! This stuff’s pretty good.”
Finished, I walked over to the kitchen island and began clearing away Ren’s mess. When he was done eating, he stood to help me. We worked well together. It was almost like we knew what the other person was going to do before he or she did it. The kitchen was spotless in no time. Ren took off his apron and threw it into the laundry basket. Then, he came up behind me while I was putting away some glasses and wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me up against him.
He smelled my hair, kissed my neck, and murmured softly in my ear, “Mmm, definitely peaches and cream, but with a hint of spice. I’ll go be a tiger for a while and take a nap, and then I can save all my hours for you this evening.”
I grimaced He was probably expecting a make-out session, and I was planning to break up with him. He wanted to spend time with a girlfriend, and my intention was to explain to him how we weren’t meant to be together. Not that we were ever officially together. Still, it felt like a break-up.
Why does this have to be so hard?
Ren rocked me and whispered, “’How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, Like soft music to attending ears.’”
I turned around in his arms, shocked. “How did you remember that? That’s Romeo and Juliet!”
He shrugged. “I paid attention when you were reading it to me. I liked it.”
He gently kissed my cheek. “See you tonight, iadala,” and left me standing there.
The rest of the afternoon, I couldn’t focus on anything. Nothing held my attention for more than a few minutes. I rehearsed some sentences in front of the mirror, but they all sounded pretty lame to me: “It’s not you, it’s me,” “There are plenty of other fish in the sea,” “I need to find myself,” “Our differences are too big,” “I’m not the one,” “There’s someone else.” Heck, I even tried “I’m allergic to cats.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You never had sex in a car.”
“Yes, I have. You get ideas at least half the time whenever we’re in the back of one of your limos.”
“Not the same at all. That’s a grown-up venue, a limo is. It’s sophisticated sex. And here we are, crammed together in the front seat of a police issue, and the lieutenant is both aroused and mildly embarrassed.”
“I am not. Either.” But her pulse jumped, and her breath hitched when his thumbs brushed over the thin cotton covering her breasts. “This is ridiculous. We’re adults, we’re married. The steering wheel is jammed into the base of my spine.”
“The first two are irrelevant, the last is part of the buzz. Music on, program five. Skyroof open.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s not going to work. It’s uncomfortable and it’s stupid. And I have to work in this vehicle.”
“I can make you come in ten seconds.”
She actually smirked at him. “Ten,” she said, “nine, eight, seven, six, five . . . oh shit.” She’d underestimated his quick hands, his skilled fingers. He had her trousers unhooked, had her wet and throbbing. And over.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
Being jealous does nothing. It turns you into a person who’s unable to feel genuine happiness, and tarnishes every accomplishment when it’s used to measure your sense of worth on a made-up scale. You hear about a friend’s promotion (in an industry that probably isn’t yours) and feel like you will never venture past your existing achievements. You hear someone from high school is getting married and assume that you never will. You discover the guy you worked retail with in 2006 has a new apartment, and you sit wherever you happen to live and actively resent the space you loved five minutes ago. And feelings like will always come up; it’s just up to you to say “fuck off.”
So, while I’d like to say you should just decide not to be jealous, and that we’re all in this together so let’s remember that and be best friends, I know that isn’t realistic because jealousy is immune to reason and logic…If I feel myself slipping into a jealousy wormhole when I see someone else shining, I remember that to gauge my self-worth based on someone else’s accomplishments is a one-way ticket to bitterness.
Anne T. Donahue (Nobody Cares)
So here is what I see when we reclaim the church ladies: a woman loved and free is beautiful. She is laughing with her sisters, and together they are telling their stories, revealing their scars and their wounds, the places where they don't have it figured out. They are nurturers, creating a haven where the young, the broken, the tenderhearted, and the at-risk can flourish. These women are dancing and worshiping, hands high, faces tipped toward heaven, tears streaming. They are celebrating all shapes and sizes, talking frankly and respectfully about sexuality and body image, promising to stop calling themselves fat. They are saving babies tossed in rubbish heaps, rescuing child soldiers, supporting mamas trying to make ends meet halfway around the world, thinking of justice when they buy their daily coffee. They are fighting sex trafficking. They are pastoring and counseling. They are choosing life consistently, building hope, doing the hard work of transformation in themselves. They are shaking off the silence of shame and throwing open the prison doors of physical and sexual abuse, addictions, eating disorders, and suicidal depression. Poverty and despair are being unlocked - these women know there are many hands helping turn that key. There isn't much complaining about husbands and chores, cattiness, or jealousy when a woman knows she is loved for her true self. She is lit up with something bigger than what the world offers, refusing to be intimidated into silence or despair.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
For example, in order to identify these schemas or clarify faulty relational expectations, therapists working from an object relations, attachment, or cognitive behavioral framework often ask themselves (and their clients) questions like these: 1. What does the client tend to want from me or others? (For example, clients who repeatedly were ignored, dismissed, or even rejected might wish to be responded to emotionally, reached out to when they have a problem, or to be taken seriously when they express a concern.) 2. What does the client usually expect from others? (Different clients might expect others to diminish or compete with them, to take advantage and try to exploit them, or to admire and idealize them as special.) 3. What is the client’s experience of self in relationship to others? (For example, they might think of themselves as being unimportant or unwanted, burdensome to others, or responsible for handling everything.) 4. What are the emotional reactions that keep recurring? (In relationships, the client may repeatedly find himself feeling insecure or worried, self-conscious or ashamed, or—for those who have enjoyed better developmental experiences—perhaps confident and appreciated.) 5. As a result of these core beliefs, what are the client’s interpersonal strategies for coping with his relational problems? (Common strategies include seeking approval or trying to please others, complying and going along with what others want them to do, emotionally disengaging or physically withdrawing from others, or trying to dominate others through intimidation or control others via criticism and disapproval.) 6. Finally, what kind of reactions do these interpersonal styles tend to elicit from the therapist and others? (For example, when interacting together, others often may feel boredom, disinterest, or irritation; a press to rescue or take care of them in some way; or a helpless feeling that no matter how hard we try, whatever we do to help disappoints them and fails to meet their need.)
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
You and McNab sat around talking about women and sports."
"I don't believe we got to sports. He had a woman on his mind."
Eve's sneer vanished. "You talked to him about Peabody? Damn it, Roarke."
"I could hardly slap him back. He's so pitifully smitten."
"Oh." She winced. "Don't use that word."
"It fits. In fact, if he took my advice ..." He turned his wrist, glanced at the unit fastened there. "They should be well into their first date by now."
"Date? Date? Why did you do that? Why did you go and do something like that? Couldn't you leave it alone? They'd have had sex until they burned out on it, and everything would go back to normal."
He angled his head. "That didn't work for us, did it?"
"We don't work together." Then, when his eyes brightened with pure amusement, she showed her teeth. "Officially. You start mixing cops and romance and case files and gooey looks at briefings, you've got nothing but a mess. Next thing you know, Peabody will be wearing lip dye and smelly girl stuff and dragging body skimmers under her uniform."
She dropped her head in her hands. "Then they'll have tiffs and misunderstandings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the job. They'll come at me from both sides, and before you know it, they'll be telling me things I absolutely do not want to know. And when they break it off and decide they hate each other down to the guts, I'll have to hear about that, too, and why they can't possibly work together, or breathe the same air, until I have no choice, absolutely no choice, but to kick both of their asses."
"Eve, your sunny view on life never fails to lift my spirits."
"And -- " She poked him in the chest. "It's all your fault."
He grabbed her finger, nipped it, not so gently. "If that's the case, I'm going to insist they name their first child after me.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
A couple people seem to be reticent about the term ‘study,’ but is there a way to be in the undercommons that isn’t intellectual? Is there a way of being intellectual that isn’t social? When I think about the way we were using the term ‘study,’ I think we were committed to the idea that study is what you do with other people. It’s talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice. The notion of a rehearsal – being in a kind of workshop, playing in a band, in a jam session, or old men sitting on a porch, or people working together in a factory – there are these various modes of activity. The point of calling it ‘study’ is to mark that the incessant and irreversible intellectuality of these activities was already there. These activities aren’t ennobled by the fact that we now say, ‘oh, if you did these things in a certain way, you could be said to be have been studying.’ To do these things is to be involved in a kind of common intellectual practice. What’s important is to recognize that that has been the case – because that recognition allows you to access a whole, varied, alternative history of thought.
Fred Moten (The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study)
The left and right sides of the brain also process the imprints of the past in dramatically different ways.2 The left brain remembers facts, statistics, and the vocabulary of events. We call on it to explain our experiences and put them in order. The right brain stores memories of sound, touch, smell, and the emotions they evoke. It reacts automatically to voices, facial features, and gestures and places experienced in the past. What it recalls feels like intuitive truth—the way things are. Even as we enumerate a loved one’s virtues to a friend, our feelings may be more deeply stirred by how her face recalls the aunt we loved at age four.3 Under ordinary circumstances the two sides of the brain work together more or less smoothly, even in people who might be said to favor one side over the other. However, having one side or the other shut down, even temporarily, or having one side cut off entirely (as sometimes happened in early brain surgery) is disabling. Deactivation of the left hemisphere has a direct impact on the capacity to organize experience into logical sequences and to translate our shifting feelings and perceptions into words. (Broca’s area, which blacks out during flashbacks, is on the left side.) Without sequencing we can’t identify cause and effect, grasp the long-term effects of our actions, or create coherent plans for the future. People who are very upset sometimes say they are “losing their minds.” In technical terms they are experiencing the loss of executive functioning. When something reminds traumatized people of the past, their right brain reacts as if the traumatic event were happening in the present. But because their left brain is not working very well, they may not be aware that they are reexperiencing and reenacting the past—they are just furious, terrified, enraged, ashamed, or frozen. After the emotional storm passes, they may look for something or somebody to blame for it. They behaved the way they did way because you were ten minutes late, or because you burned the potatoes, or because you “never listen to me.” Of course, most of us have done this from time to time, but when we cool down, we hopefully can admit our mistake. Trauma interferes with this kind of awareness, and, over time, our research demonstrated why.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Before I could stop myself, I mumbled, “I’m used to resting my head on a warm tiger-fur pillow is what’s wrong.”
He grunted, “Hmm, let me see what I can do.”
Panicky, I squeaked out, “No, really. I’m okay. Don’t bother.”
He ignored my protests, scooped up my mummy-wrapped self, and set me down again on his side of the fire. He turned me on my side so I faced the fire, lay down behind me, and slid an arm under my neck to cradle my head.
“Is that more comfortable for you?”
“Uh, yes and no. My head can definitely rest better in this position. Unfortunately, the rest of me is feeling the complete opposite of relaxed.”
“What do you mean? Why can’t you relax?”
“Because you’re too close for me to relax.”
Bemused, he said, “Me being too close never bothered you when I was a tiger.”
“The tiger you and the man you are two completely different things.”
He put his arm around my waist and tugged me closer so we were spooned together. He sounded irritated and disappointed when he muttered, “It doesn’t feel different to me. Just close your eyes and imagine I’m still a tiger.”
“It doesn’t exactly work like that.” I lay stiffly in his arms, nervous, especially when he began nuzzling the back of my neck.
He said softly, “I like the smell of your hair.” His chest rumbled against my back, sending massaging vibrations through my body as he purred.
“Ren, can you not do that right now?”
He lifted his head. “You like it when I purr. It helps you sleep better.”
“Yes, well, that only works with the tiger. How can you do that as a man anyway?”
He paused, and said, “I don’t know. I just can,” then buried his face in my hair again and stroked my arm.
“Uh, Ren? Explain to me how you plan to keep watch like this.”
His lips grazed my neck. “I can hear and smell the Kappa, remember?”
I twitched and shivered, with nerves, or anticipation, or something else, and he noticed. He stopped kissing my neck and lifted his head to peer at my face in the flickering firelight. His voice was solemn and calm. “Kells, I hope you know that I would never hurt you. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
Rolling toward him, I lifted my hand and touched his cheek. Looking into his blue eyes, I sighed. “I’m not afraid of you, Ren. I trust you with my life. I’ve just never been close to someone like this before.”
He kissed me softly and smiled. “I haven’t either.”
He shifted, lying down again. “Now, turn around and go to sleep. I’m warning you that I plan to sleep with you in my arms all night long. Who knows when, or if, I’ll ever get to do it again. So try to relax, and for heaven’s sake, don’t wiggle!”
He pulled me back against his warm chest, and I closed my eyes. I ended up sleeping better than I had in weeks.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
-Prayer In My Life-
Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God's guidance, tolerance and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities. My own concept of prayer is not a plea for special favors, nor as a quick palliation for wrongs knowingly committed. A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God.
Deeds rather than words express my concept of the part religion should play in everyday life. I have watched constantly that in our movie work the highest moral and spiritual standards are upheld, whether it deals with fable or with stories of living action. This religious concern for the form and content of our films goes back 40 years to the rugged financial period in Kansas City when I was struggling to establish a film company and produce animated fairy tales. Thus, whatever success I have had in bringing clean, informative entertainment to people of all ages, I attribute in great part to my Congregational upbringing and lifelong habit of prayer.
To me, today at age 61, all prayer by the humble or highly placed has one thing in common: supplication for strength and inspiration to carry on the best impulses which should bind us together for a better world. Without such inspiration we would rapidly deteriorate and finally perish. But in our troubled times, the right of men to think and worship as their conscience dictates is being sorely pressed. We can retain these privileges only by being constantly on guard in fighting off any encroachment on these precepts. To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we all embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual.
Walt Disney Company
Do I remember what?” he asked.
My heart sank in my chest, realizing I was engaged to someone who didn’t even remember asking. Who maybe hadn’t even really wanted to ask. Maybe his memory had blocked it out on purpose.
“Nothing,” I said, and started to pull away.
“No, Gracie.” Daniel grabbed my arms. An expression of pain crossed his face as he pulled me up so I was standing in front of him, gripping me tightly so I couldn’t run away. “Whatever it is you wanted to ask me is important. I can see it on your face. Don’t hide anything from me. That’s not how we work. Not anymore. We’re in this together. No matter what.”
I could tell he meant it. So maybe the idea of our being engaged wouldn’t be too crazy, even if he had no recollection of it. “It’s just that . . . when we were locked up . . . you asked me . . . What the hell?” I jumped back and smacked my hip on the foot of my bed. My hearing had pricked at the sound of an unexpected noise, stopping me from finishing what I was about to say.
Daniel laughed and let go of my arms. “That’s an odd thing for me to ask.
Bree Despain (The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine, #3))
It's halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.
It's halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared, because this isn't a game.
The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.
I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn't understand each other. It seems like we've lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.
But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one.
All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?
Detroit's showing us it can be done. And, what's true about them is true about all of us.
This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.
Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.
The summer our marriage failed
we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car.
We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea,
talking about which seeds to sow
when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach
leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt,
downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers,
and there was a joke, you said, about old florists
who were forced to make other arrangements.
Delphiniums flared along the back fence.
All summer it hurt to look at you.
I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going
in different directions.” As if it had something to do
with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down
how love empties itself from a house, how a view
changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose
for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed
down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks,
it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day
after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings?
You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated
a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave
carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles.
On our last trip we drove through rain
to a town lit with vacancies.
We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met
five other couples—all of us fluorescent,
waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency
of the motor that would lure these great mammals
near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long,
creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker:
In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm
and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves.
Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we
get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger
than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can
communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s
my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me?
His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang
for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening.
The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes
were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing
or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates.
Again and again you patiently wiped the spray
from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good
troopers used to disappointment. On the way back
you pointed at cormorants riding the waves—
you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic,
the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure
whales were swimming under us by the dozens.
Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument,
the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning,
washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved
sitting with our friends under the plum trees,
in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you
stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How
the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain
how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time,
how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying
to describe the ways sex darkens
and dies, how two bodies can lie
together, entwined, out of habit.
Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire,
on an old couch that no longer reassures.
The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest
and found ourselves in fog so thick
our lights were useless. There’s no choice,
you said, we must have faith in our blindness.
How I believed you. Trying to imagine
the road beneath us, we inched forward,
honking, gently, again and again.
It does not even seem to enter our minds that there might be some incongruity in praying to the God of peace, the God Who told us to love one another as He had loved us, Who warned us that they who took the sword would perish by it, and at the same time planning to annihilate not thousands but millions of civilians and soldiers, men, women and children without discrimination, even with the almost infallible certainty of inviting the same annihilation for ourselves! It may make sense for a sick man to pray for health and then take medicine, but I fail to see any sense at all in his praying for health and then drinking poison. WHEN I pray for peace I pray God to pacify not only the Russians and the Chinese but above all my own nation and myself. When I pray for peace I pray to be protected not only from the Reds but also from the folly and blindness of my own country. When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my country may cease to want war, but above all that my own country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable. In other words, when I pray for peace I am not just praying that the Russians will give up without a struggle and let us have our own way. I am praying that both we and the Russians may somehow be restored to sanity and learn how to work out our problems, as best we can, together, instead of preparing for global suicide.
Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
At high school I was never comfortable for a minute. I did not know about Lonnie. Before an exam, she got icy hands and palpitations, but I was close to despair at all times. When I was asked a question in class, any simple little question at all, my voice was apt to come out squeaky, or else hoarse and trembling. When I had to go to the blackboard I was sure—even at a time of the month when this could not be true—that I had blood on my skirt. My hands became slippery with sweat when they were required to work the blackboard compass. I could not hit the ball in volleyball; being called upon to perform an action in front of others made all my reflexes come undone. I hated Business Practice because you had to rule pages for an account book, using a straight pen, and when the teacher looked over my shoulder all the delicate lines wobbled and ran together. I hated Science; we perched on stools under harsh lights behind tables of unfamiliar, fragile equipment, and were taught by the principal of the school, a man with a cold, self-relishing voice—he read the Scriptures every morning—and a great talent for inflicting humiliation. I hated English because the boys played bingo at the back of the room while the teacher, a stout, gentle girl, slightly cross-eyed, read Wordsworth at the front. She threatened them, she begged them, her face red and her voice as unreliable as mine. They offered burlesqued apologies and when she started to read again they took up rapt postures, made swooning faces, crossed their eyes, flung their hands over their hearts. Sometimes she would burst into tears, there was no help for it, she had to run out into the hall. Then the boys made loud mooing noises; our hungry laughter—oh, mine too—pursued her. There was a carnival atmosphere of brutality in the room at such times, scaring weak and suspect people like me.
Alice Munro (Dance of the Happy Shades)
The other wives and I talked together one night about the possibility of becoming widows. What would we do? God gave us peace of heart, and confidence that whatever might happen, His Word would hold. We knew that 'when He Putteth forth His sheep, He goeth before them.' God's leading was unmistakable up to this point. Each of us knew when we married our husbands that there would never be any question about who came first -- God and His work held held first place in each life. It was the condition of true discipleship; it became devastatingly meaningful now.
It was a time for soul-searching, a time for counting the possible cost. Was it the thrill of adventure that drew our husbands on? No. Their letters and journals make it abundantly clear that these men did not go out as some men go out to shoot a lion or climb a mountain. Their compulsion was from a different source. Each had made a personal transaction with God, recognising that he belonged to God, first of all by creation, and secondly by redemption through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. This double claim on his life settled once and for all the question of allegiance. It was not a matter of striving to follow the example of a great Teacher. To conform to the perfect life of Jesus was impossible for a human being. To these men, Jesus Christ was God, and had actually taken upon Himself human form, in order that He might die, and, by His death, provide not only escape from the punishment which their sin merited, but also a new kind of life, eternal both in length and in quality. This meant simply that Christ was to be obeyed, and more than that, that. He would provide the power to obey
Elisabeth Elliot (Through Gates of Splendor)
I can't believe he's going to make me give him the speech. I am livid that he's going to make me give him the speech. I do it, piecing it together from times I've seen it done on TV and in movies. I tell him that there are many people who love him and would be crushed if he were to kill himself, while wondering, distantly, if that is the truth. I tell him that he has so much potential, that he has so many things to do, while most of me believes that he will never put his body and brain to much use at all. I tell him that we all have dark periods, while becoming ever more angry at him, the theatrics, the self-pity, all this, when he has everything. He has a complete sort of freedom, with no parents and no dependents, with money and no immediate threats of pain or calamity. He is the 99.9th percentile, as I am. He has no real obligations, can go anywhere at any moment, sleep anywhere, move at will, and still he is wasting everyone's time with this. But I hold that back--I will save that for later--and instead say nothing but the most rapturous and positive things. And though I do not believe much of it, he does. I make myself sick saying it all, everything so obvious, the reasons to live not at all explainable in a few minutes on the edge of a psychiatric ward bed, but still he is roused, making me wonder even more about him, why a fudge-laden pep talk can convince him to live, why he insists on bringing us both down here, to this pedestrian level, how he cannot see how silly we both look, and when, exactly, it was that his head got so soft, when I lost track of him, how it is that I know and care about such a soft and pliant person, where was it again that I parked my car.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
As the leader of the international Human Genome Project, which had labored mightily over more than a decade to reveal this DNA sequence, I stood beside President Bill Clinton in the East Room of the White House...
Clinton's speech began by comparing this human sequence map to the map that Meriwether Lewis had unfolded in front of President Thomas Jefferson in that very room nearly two hundred years earlier.
Clinton said, "Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind." But the part of his speech that most attracted public attention jumped from the scientific perspective to the spiritual. "Today," he said, "we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift."
Was I, a rigorously trained scientist, taken aback at such a blatantly religious reference by the leader of the free world at a moment such as this? Was I tempted to scowl or look at the floor in embarrassment? No, not at all. In fact I had worked closely with the president's speechwriter in the frantic days just prior to this announcement, and had strongly endorsed the inclusion of this paragraph.
When it came time for me to add a few words of my own, I echoed this sentiment: "It's a happy day for the world. It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring, to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God."
What was going on here? Why would a president and a scientist, charged with announcing a milestone in biology and medicine, feel compelled to invoke a connection with God? Aren't the scientific and spiritual worldviews antithetical, or shouldn't they at least avoid appearing in the East Room together? What were the reasons for invoking God in these two speeches? Was this poetry? Hypocrisy? A cynical attempt to curry favor from believers, or to disarm those who might criticize this study of the human genome as reducing humankind to machinery? No. Not for me. Quite the contrary, for me the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship.
Francis S. Collins (The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief)
There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.'
Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
Here, I have something for you."
"It had better not be an engagement ring."
He paused, his lips puckering as if the thought hadn't occurred to him and he was regretting it.
"Or gloves," added Cinder. "That didn't work out too well last time."
Grinning, Kai took a step closer to her and dropped to one knee.
Her eyes widened.
Her heart thumped. "Wait."
"I've been waiting a long time to give this to you."
With an expression as serious as politics, he pulled his hand from behind his back. In it was cupped a small metal foot, frayed wires sticking up from the cavity and the joints packed with grease.
Cinder released her breath, then started to laugh. "You - ugh."
"Are you terribly disappointed, because I'm sure Luna has some great jewelry stores if you wanted me to -"
"Shut up," she said, taking the foot. She turned it over in her palms, shaking her head. "I keep trying to get rid of this thing, but somehow it keeps finding its way back to me. What made you keep it?"
"It occurred to me that if I could find the cyborg that fits this foot, it must be a sign we were meant to be together." He twisted his lips to one side. "But then I realized it would probably fit an eight-year-old."
"Close enough." He hesitated. "Honestly, I guess it was the only thing I had to connect me to you when I thought I'd never see you again."
She slid her gaze off the foot. "Why are you still kneeling?"
Kai reached for her prosthetic hand and brushed his lips against her newly polished knuckles. "You'll have to get used to people kneeling to you. It kind of comes with the territory."
"I'm going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is by giving a high five."
Kai's smile brightened. "That's genus. Me too.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Oh, good, it worked,” Archer said, his ghostly face relieved. Unlike Elodie, his voice came in loud and clear, and so familiar that my heart broke all over again.
I stood frozen, my back against the door. Even though he was faint, I could see him smirk.
“Um…Mercer? Haven’t seen you in nearly a month. I was expecting something like, ‘Oh, Cross, love of my heart, fire of my loins, how I’ve longed-“
“You’re dead,” I blurted out, pressing a hand against my stomach. “You’re a ghost, and you think-“
All the humor disappeared from his face, and he held up both hands. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Not dead. Promise.”
My heart was still hammering. “Then what the heck are you?”
Archer almost looked sheepish as he reached inside his shirt and pulled out some kind of amulet on a thin silver chain. “It’s a speaking stone. Lets you appear to people kind of like a hologram. You know. ‘Help me, Sophie-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.’”
“Did you steal it from the cellar at Hecate, too?” Archer had collected all sorts of magical knickknacks back when we had cellar duty at Hex Hall.
“No,” he said, offended. “I found it at a…store. For magical stuff. Okay, yes, I stole it from the cellar.”
I rushed across the room and thrust my fist at his solar plexus. It went right through him, but it was still kind of satisfying. “You jerk!” I cried, striking at his head. “You scared me to death! Cal said The Eye probably had you, and I thought they’d found out about you and me working together, and killed you, you arrogant piece of-“
“I’m sorry!” he shouted, waving his translucent hands. “I-I thought the talking would give it away, and I didn’t mean to scare you, but I’m not dead! So would you please stop hitting me?”
I paused. “You can feel it?”
“No, but it’s still kind of unsettling to see your fist coming at my face.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers.
Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together.
There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force.
Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . .
Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no.
One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak.
Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates.
Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The charm of a city, now we come to it, is not unlike the charm of flowers. It partly depends on seeing time creep across it. Charm needs to be fleeting. Nothing could be less palatable than a museum-city propped up by prosthetic devices of concrete.
Paris is not in danger of becoming a museum-city, thanks to the restlessness and greed of promoters. Yet their frenzy to demolish everything is less objectionable than their clumsy determination to raise housing projects that cannot function without the constant presence of an armed police force…
All these banks, all these glass buildings, all these mirrored facades are the mark of a reflected image. You can no longer see what’s happening inside, you become afraid of the shadows. The city becomes abstract, reflecting only itself. People almost seem out of place in this landscape. Before the war, there were nooks and crannies everywhere.
Now people are trying to eliminate shadows, straighten streets. You can’t even put up a shed without the personal authorization of the minister of culture.
When I was growing up, my grandpa built a small house. Next door the youth club had some sheds, down the street the local painter stored his equipment under some stretched-out tarpaulin. Everybody added on. It was telescopic. A game. Life wasn’t so expensive — ordinary people would live and work in Paris. You’d see masons in blue overalls, painters in white ones, carpenters in corduroys. Nowadays, just look at Faubourg Sainte-Antoine — traditional craftsmen are being pushed out by advertising agencies and design galleries. Land is so expensive that only huge companies can build, and they have to build ‘huge’ in order to make it profitable. Cubes, squares, rectangles. Everything straight, everything even. Clutter has been outlawed. But a little disorder is a good thing. That’s where poetry lurks. We never needed promoters to provide us, in their generosity, with ‘leisure spaces.’ We invented our own. Today there’s no question of putting your own space together, the planning commission will shut it down. Spontaneity has been outlawed. People are afraid of life.
Robert Doisneau (Paris)
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ‘I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down to gether at the table of brotherhood – I have a dream. ‘That one day even the state of Mississippi – a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of op pression – will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream.’ He had hit a rhythm, and two hundred thousand people felt it sway their souls. It was more than a speech: it was a poem and a canticle and a prayer as deep as the grave. The heartbreaking phrase ‘I have a dream’ came like an amen at the end of each ringing sentence. ‘. . . That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character – I have a dream today. ‘I have a dream that one day down in Alabama – with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers – I have a dream today. ‘With this faith we will be able to hew, out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. ‘With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. ‘With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.’ Looking around, Jasper saw that black and white faces alike were running with tears. Even he felt moved, and he had thought himself immune to this kind of thing. ‘And when this happens; when we allow freedom to ring; when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city; we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands . . .’ Here he slowed down, and the crowd was almost silent. King’s voice trembled with the earthquake force of his passion. ‘. . . and sing, in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! ‘Free at last! ‘Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3))
I know you can’t see me,
But you are a part of me.
Like that finger on your hand,
Through you and with you,
I am living and growing,
And having fun.
If you think you’re alone,
I’m here in your eyes reading this with you.
Sitting in your seat with you,
Experiencing your surroundings.
You’re not alone.
I’m not alone.
Together we are one,
Yet we’re separate and complete in ourselves.
We will continue to live together,
When you need something,
I need it.
When you fear something,
I’ll fear it.
When you dream of something,
I’ll dream it.
When you make something,
I’ll make it.
Because I’m connected to everything else there is,
I can orchestrate great things for you without your knowledge.
You call this coincidence or fate when you see it.
It is neither.
It is simply me making things as you and I want them to be.
You think the future is already determined.
It is not.
It is how ever you and I make it.
If it were already determined-
I would be like a tape recorder,
I assure you I am neither.
I am as real as the oxygen you’re breathing.
You don’t have to believe me.
I’ll still be here.
You don’t have to say hi either.
But it would be cool if you did.
I love it actually when you do.
We’re much like parent and child,
Because you are an actual piece of me.
I can do anything through you-
If only you will let me.
If you are unwilling,
Then I will simply work my magic through someone else.
As long as you’re willing though and doing your part,
I’ll work through you-
And together we’ll live and excel in ways that will not only amaze you,
But me as well.
Giorge Leedy (Uninhibited From Lust To Love)
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?"
"Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can."
"You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?"
"We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me."
Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice.
"Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?"
He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said.
Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo.
And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be.
"It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue.
Not that I could say any of that.
Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it."
"Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers.
Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Like the Church the individual Christian will not be able to escape the deep ambiguities of this-wordly existence whether in its cultural, social, political or other aspects, and he too will inevitably be a mixture of good and evil, with a compromised life, so that he can only live eschatologically in the judgment and mercy of God, putting off the old man and putting on Christ anew each day, always aware that even when he has done all that it is his duty to do he remains an unprofitable servant, but summoned to look away from himself to Christ, remembering that he is dead through the cross of Christ but alive and risen in Him. His true being is hid with Christ in God.
The whole focus of his vision and the whole perspective of his life in Christ’s name will be directed to the unveiling of that reality of his new being at the parousia, but meantime he lives day by day out of the Word and Sacraments. As one baptized into Christ he is told by God’s Word that his sins are already forgiven and forgotten by God, that he has been justified once for all, and that he does not belong to himself but to Christ who loved him and gave Himself for him. As one summoned to the Holy Table he is commanded by the Word of God to live only in such a way that he feeds upon Christ, not in such a way that he feeds upon his own activities or lives out of his own capital of alleged spirituality. He lives from week to week, by drawing his life and strength from the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, nourished by the body and blood of Christ, and in the strength of that communion he must live and work until Christ comes again. As often as he partakes of the Eucharist he partakes of the self-consecration of Jesus Christ who sanctified Himself for our sakes that we might be sanctified in reality and be presented to the Father as those whom He has redeemed and perfected (or consecrated) together with Himself in one. Here He is called to lift up his heart to the ascended Lord, and to look forward to the day when the full reality of his new being in Christ will be unveiled, making Scripture and Sacrament no longer necessary.
Thomas F. Torrance (Space, Time, And Resurrection)
Jack was behind it,waiting, with the corner of his lip pulled up in not quite a smile. "What?" he demanded.
"What what?" I asked.
He held my note up in front of my face. "What do you remember?"
Everything. But I couldn't tell him that. I shrugged and said, "Things." Then I made a move to leave,but Jack's strong arm blocked my way,his hand pressing against the locker behind my back.
"No you don't.You can't leave a note like this"-he waved the paper-"and then say 'things.' I want to know what, exactly, you remember."
People in the hallway stared and I could feel my face going red. Jack noticed, and put his other arm up against the lockers,blocking me in. My pulse went nuts.It had to be visible on my wrists.
Jack's face was inches from mine. His breath was minty, and I could smell the rustic scent of his aftershave,and whatever strong emotion he was feeling, it tasted sweet. I breathed it in, and the inhalation was embarrassingly loud.
His eyes searched mine. "This is the first opening you've given me, and I'm not letting you get out of it." He paused. "What do you remember?"
I looked behind him, at the curious spectators, and squinted my eyes shut, unable to bear the scrutiny anymore.
"Say something,Becks. Say anything."
"You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut,and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back.
"What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control.
With my eyes closed,I could easily picture the other side of the century.
"I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick you ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient."
I opened my eyes,and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say,you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot,then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback.And it's showing now."
For a moment the space between us held no tension,no questions, no accusations.
Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?"
"Nowhere,really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything."
Eyebrows still drawn together, he said, "We'll see." Then he turned and left.
I tucked this moment away.
In the dark,dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment.
I closed my eyes,as if my eyelids were the levers of a printing press,etching the fibers into my mind.Memories were outside Cole's reach.As long as I held them,memories were mine and mine alone.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
OBEDIENCE IS NOT ENOUGH. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy--everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always--do not forget this, Winston--always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever.
George Orwell (1984)
Ildiko shuddered. Her hope to never again see or eat the Kai’s most beloved and revolting delicacy had been in vain. When Brishen informed her that the dish was one of Serovek’s favorites, she resigned herself to another culinary battle with her food and put the scarpatine on the menu. She ordered roasted potatoes as well, much to the head cook’s disgust.
When servants brought out the food and set it on the table, Brishen leaned close and whispered in her ear. “Revenge, wife?”
“Hardly,” she replied, keeping a wary eye on the pie closest to her. The golden top crust, with its sprinkle of sparkling salt, pitched in a lazy undulation. “But I’m starving, and I have no intention of filling up on that abomination.”
Their guest of honor didn’t share their dislike of either food. As deft as any Kai, Serovek made short work of the scarpatine and its whipping tail, cleaved open the shell with his knife and took a generous bite of the steaming gray meat.
Ildiko’s stomach heaved. She forgot her nausea when Serovek complimented her. “An excellent choice to pair the scarpatine with the potato, Your Highness. They are better together than apart.”
Beside her, Brishen choked into his goblet. He wiped his mouth with his sanap. “What a waste of good scarpatine,” he muttered under his breath.
What a waste of a nice potato, she thought. However, the more she thought on Serovek’s remark, the more her amusement grew.
“And what has you smiling so brightly?” Brishen stared at her, his lambent eyes glowing nearly white in the hall’s torchlight.
She glanced at Serovek, happily cleaning his plate and shooting the occasional glance at Anhuset nearby. Brishen’s cousin refused to meet his gaze, but Ildiko had caught the woman watching the Beladine lord more than a few times during dinner.
“That’s us, you know,” she said.
“What is us?”
“The scarpatine and the potato. Better together than alone. At least I think so.”
One of Brishen’s eyebrows slid upward. “I thought we were hag and dead eel. I think I like those comparisons more.” He shoved his barely-touched potato to the edge of his plate with his knife tip, upper lip curled in revulsion to reveal a gleaming white fang.
Ildiko laughed and stabbed a piece of the potato off his plate. She popped it into her mouth and chewed with gusto, eager to blunt the taste of scarpatine still lingering on her tongue.
Grace Draven (Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1))
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters.
If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"?
Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand.
The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners.
The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction.
But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing.
Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further.
I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend".
You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise.
The peace of the Lord,
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other (Growing Deeper))
Days after the elections of 2016, asha sent me a link to a talk by
astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. We have to have hope, she says
to me across 3,000 miles, she in Brooklyn, me in Los Angeles. We
listen together as Dr. deGrasse Tyson explains that the very atoms and
molecules in our bodies are traceable to the crucibles in the centers of
stars that once upon a time exploded into gas clouds. And those gas
clouds formed other stars and those stars possessed the divine-right
mix of properties needed to create not only planets, including our
own, but also people, including us, me and her. He is saying that not
only are we in the universe, but that the universe is in us. He is saying
that we, human beings, are literally made out of stardust.
And I know when I hear Dr. deGrasse Tyson say this that he is
telling the truth because I have seen it since I was a child, the magic,
the stardust we are, in the lives of the people I come from.
I watched it in the labor of my mother, a Jehovah's Witness and a
woman who worked two and sometimes three jobs at a time, keeping
other people's children, working the reception desks at gyms,
telemarketing, doing anything and everything for 16 hours a day the
whole of my childhood in the Van Nuys barrio where we lived. My
mother, cocoa brown and smooth, disowned by her family for the
children she had as a very young and unmarried woman. My mother,
never giving up despite never making a living wage.
I saw it in the thin, brown face of my father, a boy out of Cajun
country, a wounded healer, whose addictions were borne of a world
that did not love him and told him so not once but constantly. My
father, who always came back, who never stopped trying to be a
version of himself there were no mirrors for.
And I knew it because I am the thirteenth-generation progeny of a
people who survived the hulls of slave ships, survived the chains, the
whips, the months laying in their own shit and piss. The human
beings legislated as not human beings who watched their names, their
languages, their Goddesses and Gods, the arc of their dances and
beats of their songs, the majesty of their dreams, their very families
snatched up and stolen, disassembled and discarded, and despite this
built language and honored God and created movement and upheld
love. What could they be but stardust, these people who refused to
die, who refused to accept the idea that their lives did not matter, that
their children's lives did not matter?
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over.
The door was locked.
“I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!”
Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
“Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back.
“You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice.
“Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…”
“I know, I believe you.”
At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket.
“Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger.
Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces.
“Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?”
I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself.
“You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—”
I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!”
“You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.”
“No!” I shrieked. “No!”
He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door.
I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them.
But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room.
“—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment.
Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units.
There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses.
Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention.
Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing.
The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure.
Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well.
If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship.
Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability.
Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship.
Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships.
The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance.
You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work.
Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus?
When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
When I’m given a role, the first thing I do is read the play over and over again. I scour the script and write down everything the character says about himself and everything that everyone else says about him. I immerse myself in my character and imagine what it might be like to be that person.
When I played Cassio in Othello I imagined what it would be like to be a lieutenant in the Venetian navy in 1604. I sat down with Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor and together we decided that Othello, Iago and Cassio had soldiery in their bones.
I took from the script that Cassio was talented and ambitious, with no emotional or physical guard - and that’s how I played the part.
For me, acting is about recreating the circumstances that would make me feel how my character is feeling. In the dressing room, I practise recreating those circumstances in my head and I try to not get in the way of myself. For example, in act two of Othello, when Cassio is manipulated to fight Roderigo and loses his rank, some nights I would burst into tears; other nights I wouldn’t but I would still feel the same emotion, night after night. Just as in life, the way we respond to catastrophe or death will be different every time because the process is unconscious.
By comparison, in Chekhov’s Ivanov I played the young doctor, Lvov. Lvov was described as “a prig and a bigot … uprightness in boots … tiresome … completely sincere”. His emotions were locked away. I worked around the key phrase: “Forgive me, I’m going to tell you plainly.”
I practised speaking gravely and sincerely without emotion and I actually noticed how that carried over into my personal life: when I played the open-hearted Cassio, I felt really free; when I played the pent-up Lvov, I felt a real need to release myself from the shackles of that character.
It’s exhilarating to act out the emotions of a character - it’s a bit like being a child again. You flex the same muscles that you did when you pretended to be a cowboy or a policeman: acting is a grown-up version of that with more subtlety and detail. You’re responding with real emotions to imaginary situations. When I’m in a production I never have a day when I haven’t laughed, cried or screamed. There are times when I wake up stiff from emotional exhaustion.
Film is a much more intimate and thoughtful medium than theatre because of the proximity of the camera. The camera can read your thoughts. On stage, if you have a moment of vulnerability you can hide it from the other actors; on film, the camera will see you feel that emotion and try to suppress it. Similarly, if you’re pretending to feel something that isn’t there, it won’t be believable.
Then I saw the keyboard of an organ which filled one whole side of the walls. On the desk was a music-book covered with red notes. I asked leave to look at it and read, ‘Don Juan Triumphant.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, 'I compose sometimes.’ I began that work twenty years ago. When I have finished, I shall take it away with me in that coffin and never wake up again.’ 'You must work at it as seldom as you can,’ I said. He replied, 'I sometimes work at it for fourteen days and nights together, during which I live on music only, and then I rest for years at a time.’ 'Will you play me something out of your Don Juan Triumphant?’ I asked, thinking to please him. 'You must never ask me that,’ he said, in a gloomy voice. 'I will play you Mozart, if you like, which will only make you weep; but my Don Juan, Christine, burns; and yet he is not struck by fire from Heaven.’ Thereupon we returned to the drawing-room. I noticed that there was no mirror in the whole apartment. I was going to remark upon this, but Erik had already sat down to the piano. He said, 'You see, Christine, there is some music that is so terrible that it consumes all those who approach it. Fortunately, you have not come to that music yet, for you would lose all your pretty coloring and nobody would know you when you returned to Paris. Let us sing something from the Opera, Christine Daae.’ He spoke these last words as though he were flinging an insult at me.”
“What did you do?”
“I had no time to think about the meaning he put into his words. We at once began the duet in Othello and already the catastrophe was upon us. I sang Desdemona with a despair, a terror which I had never displayed before. As for him, his voice thundered forth his revengeful soul at every note. Love, jealousy, hatred, burst out around us in harrowing cries. Erik’s black mask made me think of the natural mask of the Moor of Venice. He was Othello himself. Suddenly, I felt a need to see beneath the mask. I wanted to know the FACE of the voice, and, with a movement which I was utterly unable to control, swiftly my fingers tore away the mask. Oh, horror, horror, horror!”
Christine stopped, at the thought of the vision that had scared her, while the echoes of the night, which had repeated the name of Erik, now thrice moaned the cry:
“Horror! … Horror! … Horror!
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
The way I feel about you, Jacinda...I know you feel it, too."
He stares at me so starkly, so hungrily that I can only nod. Agree. Of course, I feel it. "I do," I admit.
But I don't understand him. Don't get why he should feel this way about me. Why should he want me so much? What do I offer him? Why did he save me that day in the mountains? And why does he pursue me now? When no girl spiked his interest before?
"Good," he says. "Then how about a date?"
"A date?" I repeat, like I've never heard the word.
"Yeah. A real date. Something official. You. Me. Tonight. We're long overdue." His smile deepens, revealing the deep grooves on the sides of his cheeks. "Dinner. Movie. Popcorn."
"Yes." The word slips past.
For a moment I forget. Forget that I'm not an ordinary girl. That he's not an ordinary boy.
For the first time, I understand Tamra. And the appeal of normal.
"Yes." It feels good to say it. To pretend. To drink in the sight of him and forget there's an ulterior reason I need to go out with him. A reason that's going to tear us apart forever.
Stupid. Did you think you might have a future with him? Mom's right. Time to grow up.
He smiles. Then he's gone. Out the door. For a second, I'm confused. Then he's at my door, opening it, helping me out.
Together we walk through the parking lot. Side by side. We move only a few feet before he slips his hand around mine. As we near the front of the building, I see several kids hanging out around the flagpole. Tamra with her usual crowd. Brooklyn at the head.
I try to tug my hand free. His fingers tighten on mine.
I glance at him, see the resolve in his eyes. His hazel eyes glint brightly in the already too hot morning. "Coward."
"Oh." The single sound escapes me. Outrage. Indignation.
I stop. Turn and face him. Feel something slip, give way, and crumble loose inside me. Set free, it propels me.
Standing on my tiptoes, I circle my hand around his neck and pull his face down to mine. Kiss him. Right there in front of the school. Reckless. Stupid. I stake a claim on him like I've got something to prove, like a drake standing before the pride in a bonding ceremony.
But then I forget our audience. Forget everything but the dry heat of our lips. My lungs tighten, contract. I feel my skin shimmer, warm as my lungs catch. Crackling heat works its way up my chest.
Not the smartest move I've ever made.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.”
He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.”
“Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?”
Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.”
“It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.”
“Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word.
“Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.”
“You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“
“No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.”
Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record.
“What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.”
“Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.”
I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery.
Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age?
“What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
How are things going with your brothers?”
“The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.”
“That is awesome!”
“Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.”
Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry."
I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law."
"Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls."
I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me."
She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin.
Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?”
If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.”
Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.”
“Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better.
I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.”
“I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.”
“That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly.
Where did you decide to go to school?”
“I don’t know if I’m going to school.”
Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know?
You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?”
My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.”
Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared.
“If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?”
"I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.”
“I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?”
Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.”
"I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Obedience is freedom. Better to follow the Master’s plan than to do what you weren’t wired to do—master yourself. It is true that the thing that you and I most need to be rescued from is us! The greatest danger that we face is the danger that we are to ourselves. Who we think we are is a delusion and what we all tend to want is a disaster. Put together, they lead to only one place—death. If you’re a parent, you see it in your children. It didn’t take long for you to realize that you are parenting a little self-sovereign, who thinks at the deepest level that he needs no authority in his life but himself. Even if he cannot yet walk or speak, he rejects your wisdom and rebels against your authority. He has no idea what is good or bad to eat, but he fights your every effort to put into his mouth something that he has decided he doesn’t want. As he grows, he has little ability to comprehend the danger of the electric wall outlet, but he tries to stick his fingers in it precisely because you have instructed him not to. He wants to exercise complete control over his sleep, diet, and activities. He believes it is his right to rule his life, so he fights your attempts to bring him under submission to your loving authority. Not only does your little one resist your attempts to bring him under your authority, he tries to exercise authority over you. He is quick to tell you what to do and does not fail to let you know when you have done something that he does not like. He celebrates you when you submit to his desires and finds ways to punish you when you fail to submit to his demands. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when you’re at the end of a very long parenting day, when your children seemed to conspire together to be particularly rebellious, and you’re sitting on your bed exhausted and frustrated, you need to remember that you are more like your children than unlike them. We all want to rule our worlds. Each of us has times when we see authority as something that ends freedom rather than gives it. Each of us wants God to sign the bottom of our personal wish list, and if he does, we celebrate his goodness. But if he doesn’t, we begin to wonder if it’s worth following him at all. Like our children, each of us is on a quest to be and to do what we were not designed by our Creator to be or to do. So grace comes to decimate our delusions of self-sufficiency. Grace works to destroy our dangerous hope for autonomy. Grace helps to make us reach out for what we really need and submit to the wisdom of the Giver. Yes, it’s true, grace rescues us from us.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond.
But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen.
Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now.
Now, not then.
I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it.
There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together.
There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.'
I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now.
He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on.
Even when broken it still works.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
Antidepression medication is temperamental. Somewhere around fifty-nine or sixty I noticed the drug I’d been taking seemed to have stopped working. This is not unusual. The drugs interact with your body chemistry in different ways over time and often need to be tweaked. After the death of Dr. Myers, my therapist of twenty-five years, I’d been seeing a new doctor whom I’d been having great success with. Together we decided to stop the medication I’d been on for five years and see what would happen... DEATH TO MY HOMETOWN!! I nose-dived like the diving horse at the old Atlantic City steel pier into a sloshing tub of grief and tears the likes of which I’d never experienced before. Even when this happens to me, not wanting to look too needy, I can be pretty good at hiding the severity of my feelings from most of the folks around me, even my doctor. I was succeeding well with this for a while except for one strange thing: TEARS! Buckets of ’em, oceans of ’em, cold, black tears pouring down my face like tidewater rushing over Niagara during any and all hours of the day. What was this about? It was like somebody opened the floodgates and ran off with the key. There was NO stopping it. 'Bambi' tears... 'Old Yeller' tears... 'Fried Green Tomatoes' tears... rain... tears... sun... tears... I can’t find my keys... tears. Every mundane daily event, any bump in the sentimental road, became a cause to let it all hang out. It would’ve been funny except it wasn’t.
Every meaningless thing became the subject of a world-shattering existential crisis filling me with an awful profound foreboding and sadness. All was lost. All... everything... the future was grim... and the only thing that would lift the burden was one-hundred-plus on two wheels or other distressing things. I would be reckless with myself. Extreme physical exertion was the order of the day and one of the few things that helped. I hit the weights harder than ever and paddleboarded the equivalent of the Atlantic, all for a few moments of respite. I would do anything to get Churchill’s black dog’s teeth out of my ass.
Through much of this I wasn’t touring. I’d taken off the last year and a half of my youngest son’s high school years to stay close to family and home. It worked and we became closer than ever. But that meant my trustiest form of self-medication, touring, was not at hand. I remember one September day paddleboarding from Sea Bright to Long Branch and back in choppy Atlantic seas. I called Jon and said, “Mr. Landau, book me anywhere, please.” I then of course broke down in tears. Whaaaaaaaaaa. I’m surprised they didn’t hear me in lower Manhattan. A kindly elderly woman walking her dog along the beach on this beautiful fall day saw my distress and came up to see if there was anything she could do. Whaaaaaaaaaa. How kind. I offered her tickets to the show. I’d seen this symptom before in my father after he had a stroke. He’d often mist up. The old man was usually as cool as Robert Mitchum his whole life, so his crying was something I loved and welcomed. He’d cry when I’d arrive. He’d cry when I left. He’d cry when I mentioned our old dog. I thought, “Now it’s me.”
I told my doc I could not live like this. I earned my living doing shows, giving interviews and being closely observed. And as soon as someone said “Clarence,” it was going to be all over. So, wisely, off to the psychopharmacologist he sent me. Patti and I walked in and met a vibrant, white-haired, welcoming but professional gentleman in his sixties or so. I sat down and of course, I broke into tears. I motioned to him with my hand; this is it. This is why I’m here. I can’t stop crying! He looked at me and said, “We can fix this.” Three days and a pill later the waterworks stopped, on a dime. Unbelievable. I returned to myself. I no longer needed to paddle, pump, play or challenge fate. I didn’t need to tour. I felt normal.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.”
He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango.
“Curran! Let . . . “
I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow.
“Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile.
Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right.
He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.”
I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs.
“I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.”
As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty.
He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare.
I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me.
All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.”
His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened.
I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant.
He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?”
“It would be my pleasure.”
He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him.
Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human.
“Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.”
“I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.”
“I’m not filled with catnip.”
“Let’s find out.”
He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him.
“I can stop you with one word,” I said.
He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said.
All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))