To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd!
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
When you leave,
weary of me,
without a word I shall gently let you go.
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?"
I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still.
"Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —
'Tis the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
So that's what I'm here to become. And suddenly, this word fills me with a brand of sadness I haven't felt since childhood. The kind of sadness you feel at the end of summer. When the fireflies are gone, the ponds have dried up and the plants are wilted, weary from being so green.
When you tire of living, change itself seems evil, does it not? for then any change at all disturbs the deathlike peace of the life-weary.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)
How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold?
The tree says to the leaf:
"That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
I loved you, so I drew these tides of
Men into my hands
And wrote my will across the
Sky and stars
To earn you freedom, the seven
Pillared worthy house,
That your eyes might be
Shining for me
When we came
Death seemed my servant on the
Road, 'til we were near
And saw you waiting:
When you smiled and in sorrowful
Envy he outran me
And took you apart:
Into his quietness
Love, the way-weary, groped to your body,
Our brief wage
Ours for the moment
Before Earth's soft hand explored your shape
And the blind
Worms grew fat upon
Men prayed me that I set our work,
The inviolate house,
As a memory of you
But for fit monument I shattered it,
Unfinished: and now
The little things creep out to patch
In the marred shadow
Of your gift.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
Man was born for society. However little He may be attached to the World, He never can wholly forget it, or bear to be wholly forgotten by it. Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of Mankind, the Misanthrope flies from it: He resolves to become an Hermit, and buries himself in the Cavern of some gloomy Rock. While Hate inflames his bosom, possibly He may feel contented with his situation: But when his passions begin to cool; when Time has mellowed his sorrows, and healed those wounds which He bore with him to his solitude, think you that Content becomes his Companion? Ah! no, Rosario. No longer sustained by the violence of his passions, He feels all the monotony of his way of living, and his heart becomes the prey of Ennui and weariness. He looks round, and finds himself alone in the Universe: The love of society revives in his bosom, and He pants to return to that world which He has abandoned. Nature loses all her charms in his eyes: No one is near him to point out her beauties, or share in his admiration of her excellence and variety. Propped upon the fragment of some Rock, He gazes upon the tumbling waterfall with a vacant eye, He views without emotion the glory of the setting Sun. Slowly He returns to his Cell at Evening, for no one there is anxious for his arrival; He has no comfort in his solitary unsavoury meal: He throws himself upon his couch of Moss despondent and dissatisfied, and wakes only to pass a day as joyless, as monotonous as the former.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
When you are weary of praying, and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling, and have not listened to him.
When you are unemployed, weekends are seven days long.
A Thirsty Fish
I don't get tired of you. Don't grow weary
of being compassionate toward me!
All this thirst equipment
must surely be tired of me,
the waterjar, the water carrier.
I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it's thirsty for!
Show me the way to the ocean!
Break these half-measures,
these small containers.
All this fantasy
Let my house be drowned in the wave
that rose last night in the courtyard
hidden in the center of my chest.
Joseph fell like the moon into my well.
The harvest I expected was washed away.
But no matter.
A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.
I don't want learning, or dignity,
I want this music and this dawn
and the warmth of your cheek against mine.
The grief-armies assemble,
but I'm not going with them.
This is how it always is
when I finish a poem.
A great silence comes over me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.
When the blood in your body is
weary to flow,
when your bones are heavy though
if you have made it past thirty
and if you haven't yet,
rejoice. Know that there is a time
coming in your life when dirt settles
and the patterns forma picture.
Yrsa Daley-Ward (bone)
He was weary of himself, of cold ideas and brain dreams. Life a poem? Not when you went about forever poetizing about your own life instead of living it. How innocuous it all was, and empty, empty, empty! This chasing after yourself, craftily observing your own tracks--in a circle, of course.
This sham diving into the stream of life while all the time you sat angling after yourself, fishing yourself up in one curious disguise or another! If he could only be overwhelmed by something--life, love, passion--so that he could no longer shape it into poems, but had to let it shape him!
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
I don’t think you realize how strong you are, because sometimes strength isn’t swords and steel and fire, as we are so often made to believe. Sometimes it’s found in quiet, gentle places. The way you hold someone’s hand as they grieve. The way you listen to others. The way you show up, day after day, even when you are weary or afraid or simply uncertain. That is strength, and I see it in you.
Rebecca Ross (Divine Rivals (Letters of Enchantment, #1))
[Home Economics Textbook from 1950]: "Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so you'll look refreshed when hubby comes home from work. Touch up makeup and put a ribbon in your hair. He's just been with work-weary people. Be a little gay. His boring day needs a lift."
Mama Celia: "Get knee-walking drunk. You've earned it. You've been with four kids under the age of seven all day. Put a ribbon in your nose and try to pull it out of your mouth. You're wasted, after all. Announce you're gay. The look on his face will give you a lift.
Celia Rivenbark (Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments)
When you are gone, there is nor bloom nor leaf,
Nor singing sea at night, nor silver birds;
And I can only stare, and shape my grief
In little words.
I cannot conjure loveliness, to drown
The bitter woe that racks my cords apart.
The weary pen that sets my sorrow down
Feeds at my heart.
There is no mercy in the shifting year,
No beauty wraps me tenderly about.
I turn to little words- so you, my dear,
Can spell them out.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
We walk for about an hour before Raffe whispers, “Does moping actually help humans feel better?”
“I’m not moping,” I whisper back.
“Of course you’re not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What’s to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn’t possibly show up on the radar compared to that.”
I nearly stumble over a fallen branch. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“I never kid about my warrior demigod status.”
“Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.”
He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.” He is so close that his breath caresses my ear.
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.”
I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come.
But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say?
When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
When it's new and important, you have to rest in between times. And anyway, even when I like a person there is a weariness that comes. I can be with someone and everything is fine and then all of a sudden it can wash over me like a sickness, that I need the quiet of my own self. I need to unload my head and look at what I've got in there so far. See it. Think what it means. I always need to come back to being alone for a while.
Elizabeth Berg (Joy School (Katie Nash, #2))
Well, most women are full to the brim, that's all...We are, most of us, ready to explode, especially when our children are small and we are so weary with the demands for love and attention and the kind of service that makes you feel you should be wearing a uniform with "Mommy" embroidered over the left breast, over the heart...If a stranger had come up to me and said, "Do you want to talk about it? I have time to listen," I think I might have burst into tears at the relief of it.
Elizabeth Berg (The Pull of the Moon)
I am not a finished poem, and I am not the song you’ve turned me into. I am a detached human being, making my way in a world that is constantly trying to push me aside, and you who send me letters and emails and beautiful gifts wouldn’t even recognise me if you saw me walking down the street where I live tomorrow
for I am not a poem.
I am tired and worn out and the eyes you would see would not be painted or inspired
but empty and weary
from drinking too much
at all times
and I am not the life of your party who sings and has glorious words to speak
for I don’t speak much
and my voice is raspy and unsteady from unhealthy living and not much sleep and I only use it when I sing and I always sing too much
or not at all
and never when people are around because they expect poems and symphonies and I am not
but an elegy
at my best
but unedited and uncut and not a lot of people want to work with me because there’s only so much you can do with an audio take, with the plug-ins and EQs and I was born distorted, disordered, and I’m pretty fine with that,
but others are not.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
This is why I shall not tell you in this story about all the days when nothing happened. You will not catch me saying, 'thus the sad days passed slowly by'--or 'the years rolled on their weary course'--or 'time went on'--because it is silly; of course time goes on--whether you say so or not. So I shall just tell you the nice, interesting parts--and in between you will understand that we had our meals and got up and went to bed, and dull things like that.
E. Nesbit (The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #1))
His jaw tensed as the Corporalnik finished her work. When the skin had knitted together, the Darkling dismissed her with a wave. She hovered briefly, then slipped away, fading into nothing.
“There’s something I’ve been wondering,” he said. No greeting, no preamble.
“The night that Baghra told you what I intended, the night you fled the Little Palace, did you hesitate?”
“In the days after you left, did you ever think of coming back?”
“I did,” I admitted.
“But you chose not to.”
I knew I should go. I should at least have stayed silent, but I was so weary, and it felt so easy to be here with him. “It wasn’t just what Baghra said that night. You lied to me. You deceived me. You … drew me in.” Seduced me, made me want you, made me question my own heart.
“I needed your loyalty, Alina. I needed you bound to me by more than duty or fear.” His fingers tested the flesh where his wound had been
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
I believe it, she's a very good person, kind. There's weariness there, but no bitterness or spite. When you're with a girl like that you feel like a different person. You try to be better, and that's a strain. Men prefer to be friends with her kind, flirt a bit, share confidences. They don't often fall in love with girls like that, but everybody loves them.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Night Watch (Watch, #1))
Wherever I am when you feel sick at heart and weary of life, or when you stumble and fall and don’t know if you can get up again, think of me. I will be watching and smiling and cheering on.
But 'why then publish?' There are no rewards
Of fame or profit when the world grows weary.
I ask in turn why do you play at cards?
Why drink? Why read? To make some hour less dreary.
It occupies me to turn back regards
On what I've seen or pondered, sad or cheery,
And what I write I cast upon the stream
To swim or sink. I have had at least my dream.
Lord Byron (Don Juan)
Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in:
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add--
Jenny kissed me!
Leigh Hunt (The Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt)
THE BAGPIPE WHO DIDN'T SAY NO
It was nine o'clock at midnight at a quarter after three
When a turtle met a bagpipe on the shoreside by the sea,
And the turtle said, "My dearie,
May I sit with you? I'm weary."
And the bagpipe didn't say no.
Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "I have walked this lonely shore,
I have talked to waves and pebbles--but I've never loved before.
Will you marry me today, dear?
Is it 'No' you're going to say dear?"
But the bagpipe didn't say no.
Said the turtle to his darling, "Please excuse me if I stare,
But you have the plaidest skin, dear,
And you have the strangest hair.
If I begged you pretty please, love,
Could I give you just one squeeze, love?"
And the bagpipe didn't say no.
Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Ah, you love me. Then confess!
Let me whisper in your dainty ear and hold you to my chest."
And he cuddled her and teased her
And so lovingly he squeezed her.
And the bagpipe said, "Aaooga."
Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Did you honk or bray or neigh?
For 'Aaooga' when your kissed is such a heartless thing to say.
Is it that I have offended?
Is it that our love is ended?"
And the bagpipe didn't say no.
Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Shall i leave you, darling wife?
Shall i waddle off to Woedom? Shall i crawl out of your life?
Shall I move, depart and go, dear--
Oh, I beg you tell me 'No' dear!"
But the bagpipe didn't say no.
So the turtle crept off crying and he ne'er came back no more,
And he left the bagpipe lying on that smooth and sandy shore.
And some night when tide is low there,
Just walk up and say, "Hello, there,"
And politely ask the bagpipe if this story's really so.
I assure you, darling children, the bagpipe won't say "No.
You know how it is, when you're a kid and your parents do something,' she said, 'and it's just like, whatever, but then later, when you grow up, you're like, wait, that was actually really fucked up?
Kristen Lepionka (The Last Place You Look (Roxane Weary, #1))
Throughout history, men have broken women’s hearts in a particular way. They love them or half-love them and then grow weary and spend weeks and months extricating themselves soundlessly, pulling their tails back into their doorways, drying themselves off, and never calling again. Meanwhile, women wait. The more in love they are and the fewer options they have, the longer they wait, hoping that he will return with a smashed phone, with a smashed face, and say, I’m sorry, I was buried alive and the only thing I thought of was you, and feared that you would think I’d forsaken you when the truth is only that I lost your number, it was stolen from me by the men who buried me alive, and I’ve spent three years looking in phone books and now I have found you. I didn’t disappear, everything I felt didn’t just leave. You were right to know that would be cruel, unconscionable, impossible. Marry me.
Lisa Taddeo (Three Women)
Lydia came back to bed. We didn't kiss each other. We weren't going to have sex. I felt weary. I listened to the crickets. I don't know how much time went by. I was almost asleep, not quite, when Lydia suddenly sat straight up in bed. And she screamed. It was a loud scream. "What is it?" I asked. "Be quiet." I waited. Lydia sat there without moving, for what seemed to be about ten minutes. Then she fell back on her pillow. "I saw God," she said, "I just saw God." "Listen, you bitch, you are going to drive me crazy!
Charles Bukowski (Women)
This is the legend of Cassius Clay,
The most beautiful fighter in the world today.
He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y,
of a muscular punch that's incredibly speed-y.
The fistic world was dull and weary,
But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary.
Then someone with color and someone with dash,
Brought fight fans are runnin' with Cash.
This brash young boxer is something to see
And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y.
This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance,
But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.
This kid's got a left; this kid's got a right,
If he hit you once, you're asleep for the night.
And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten,
You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again.
For I am the man this poem’s about,
The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
This I predict and I know the score,
I’ll be champ of the world in ’64.
When I say three, they’ll go in the third,
10 months ago
So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word.
He is the greatest! Yes!
I am the man this poem’s about,
I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment,
I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went.
When I say two, there’s never a third,
Standin against me is completely absurd.
When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse,
Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is!
I AM THE GREATEST!
SONIA: What can we do? We must live our lives. [A pause] Yes, we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live through the long procession of days before us, and through the long evenings; we shall patiently bear the trials that fate imposes on us; we shall work for others without rest, both now and when we are old; and when our last hour comes we shall meet it humbly, and there, beyond the grave, we shall say that we have suffered and wept, that our life was bitter, and God will have pity on us. Ah, then dear, dear Uncle, we shall see that bright and beautiful life; we shall rejoice and look back upon our sorrow here; a tender smile—and—we shall rest. I have faith, Uncle, fervent, passionate faith. [SONIA kneels down before her uncle and lays her head on his hands. She speaks in a weary voice] We shall rest. [TELEGIN plays softly on the guitar] We shall rest. We shall hear the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see all evil and all our pain sink away in the great compassion that shall enfold the world. Our life will be as peaceful and tender and sweet as a caress. I have faith; I have faith. [She wipes away her tears] My poor, poor Uncle Vanya, you are crying! [Weeping] You have never known what happiness was, but wait, Uncle Vanya, wait! We shall rest. [She embraces him] We shall rest. [The WATCHMAN’S rattle is heard in the garden; TELEGIN plays softly; MME. VOITSKAYA writes something on the margin of her pamphlet; MARINA knits her stocking] We shall rest.
Anton Chekhov (Uncle Vanya)
But the Queen Arwen said: 'A gift I will give you. For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him now when he departs to the Havens; for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so I have chosen, both the sweet and the bitter. But in my stead you shall go, Ring-bearer, when the time comes, and if you then desire it. If your hurts grieve you still and the memory or your burden is heavy, then you may pass into the West, until all your wounds and weariness are healed. But wear this now in memory of Elfstone and Evenstar with whom your life has been woven!'
And she took a white gem like a star that lay upon her breast hanging upon a silver chain, and she set the chain around Frodo's neck. 'When the memory of the fear and the darkness troubles you,' she said, 'this will bring you aid.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
The truth was, somewhere down the line, between the hospitalisations and the drugs, I’d somehow lost the cornerstone of humanity: the ability to pretend, to counterfeit the basics of social interaction, to smile when you didn’t feel like smiling, to seem like you cared about other people when you lacked the capacity to care about yourself. So that left me, graceless and wearied, pretending to pretend.
Alexis Hall (Glitterland (Spires, #1))
I am thinking now of old Moses sitting on a mountain—sitting with God—looking across the Jordan into the Promised Land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God...
And then God—the great eternal God—takes Moses' thin-worn, thread-bare little body into His hands—hands into whose hollows you could pour the oceans of the world, hands whose breadth marked off the heavens—and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses' pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.
I don't know if God wept at Moses' funeral. I don't know if He cried when He killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man's earliest ancestors. I don't know who will bury me—
...Of God, on whose breast old Moses lays his head like John the Beloved would lay his on the Christ's. And God sits there quietly with Moses—for Moses—and lets His little man cry out his last moments of life.
But I look back over the events of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering I go back to these places where God met me and I meet Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.
In marching, in mobs, in football games, and in war, outlines become vague; real things become unreal and a fog creeps over the mind. Tension and excitement, weariness, movement--all merge in one great gray dream, so that when it is over, it is hard to remember how it was when you killed men or ordered them to be killed. Then other people who were not there tell you what it was like and you say vaguely, "yes, I guess that's how it was.
John Steinbeck (The Moon Is Down)
When you feel down or weary, play some music.
Robin S. Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Remarkable Story About Living Your Dreams)
Weary and stuffed from being force-fed the falsehood that when one of your kind makes it, it means that you’ve all made it.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
You have a wild young heart. Right now, it is like a caged bird that batters itself against the bars. To struggle harder will only hurt you more. Wait, be patient. Your time will come to fly. And when it does, you must be strong, not bloodied and weary.
Robin Hobb (The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2))
Because left to its own devices life would never produce love, it would only lead you to attraction, from attraction to pleasure, then to attachment, to satisfaction, which finally leads to wearisomeness and boredom. Then comes a plateau. Then once again the weary cycle: attraction, pleasure, attachment, fulfillment, satisfaction, boredom. All of this mixed with the anxieties, the jealousies, the possessiveness, the sorrow, the pain, that make the cycle a roller coaster. When you have gone repeatedly around and around the cycle, a time finally comes when you have had enough and want to call a halt to the whole process. And if you are lucky enough not to run into something or someone else that catches your eye, you will have at least attained a fragile peace. That is the most that life can give you; and you can mistakenly equate this state with freedom and you die without ever having known what it means to be really free and to love.
Anthony de Mello (The Way to Love: Meditations for Life)
There are monsters all around us
They can be so hard to see
hey don't have fangs, no blood-soaked claws
They look like you and me.
But we're not defenseless
We're no damsels in distress
Together we can fend off the attack
All we gotta do is watch our backs.
Your body is beautiful how it is
Who you love is nobody's business
We all contemplate life and death
It's the poet who gives these thoughts
The monster is strong, don't be mistaken
It thrives on fear-keeps us isolated
But together we can fend off its attack
All we gotta do is watch our backs.
In your darkest hour
When the fight's made you weary
When you think you've lost your power
When you can't see clearly
When you're ready to surrender
Give in to the black
look over your shoulder
I've got your back.
Gayle Forman (Sisters in Sanity)
When I am sad and weary
When I think all hope has gone
When I walk along High Holborn
I think of you with nothing on.
I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go.
Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing, and to esteem the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth...
What is the greatest experience you can have? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour when your happiness, too, arouses your disgust, and even your reason and your virtue.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor. If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here.
Elizabeth Lesser (Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow)
The hour when you sit up in bed, sweating from nightmares. The hour when you awaken for no reason but to fear the future. The hour when you stare at the clock, willing yourself to sleep, knowing it isn’t going to happen, and weariness and despair beat upon the doors to the vaults of your mind with leaden clubs. That’s when an apocalypse begins: the witching hour.
Jim Butcher (Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17))
Gandalf and Pippin came to Merry's room, and there they found Aragorn standing by the bed. 'Poor old Merry!' cried Pippin, and he ran to the bedside, for it seemed to him that his friend looked worse and a greyness in his face, as if a weight of years and sorrow lay upon him; and suddenly a fear seized Pippin that Merry would die.
'Do not be afraid,' Aragorn said, 'I came in time, and I have called him back. He is weary now, and grieved, and he has taken a hurt like the lady Eowyn, daring to smite that deadly thing. But these evils can be amended, so strong and gay a spirit is in him. His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.'
Then Aragorn laid his hand on Merry's head, and passing his hand gently through the brown curls , he touched the eyelids, and called him by name. And when the fragrance of athelas stole through the room, like the scent of orchards, and of heather in the sunshine full of bees, suddenly Merry awoke, and he said:
'I am hungry. What is the time?'
'Past supper-time now,' said Pippin; 'though I daresay I could bring you something, if they will let me.'
'They will indeed," said Gandalf, . 'And anything else that this Rider of Rohan may desire, if it can be found in Minas Tirith, where his name is in honour."
'Good!' said Merry. 'Then I would like supper first, and after that a pipe.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
I have wanted my father’s love for too long.
But now, I am weary. Now, I am done.
It’s a strange pursuit— chasing the love of your father.
When the first man who was supposed to want you, doesn’t.
You eventually stop running.
You eventually grow tired.
Asha Ashanti Bromfield (Hurricane Summer)
And in those moments where the sun is setting and the house is quiet and you are weary from the day, may you know that there is grace for you in that space, and no amount of heaviness or loneliness can take that away. And because of that grace, you are free to slow down. You are free to breathe and rest, no matter the things not sorted out. There might be some mystery here and there might be longing, wondering, and waiting. But there will also be boundless peace that goes beyond any understanding, running wild like a river through everything, no matter how heavy these moments feel. So rest easy, when everything is approaching. Tomorrow is surely coming, but in the hours in between, you are free to rest till then.
Morgan Harper Nichols
I dined with Legrandin on the terrace of his house by moonlight. "There is a charming quality, is there not," he said to me, "in this silence; for hearts that are wounded, as mine is, a novelist whom you will read in time to come asserts that there is no remedy but silence and shadow. And you see this, my boy, there comes in all our lives a time, towards which you still have far to go, when the weary eyes can endure but one kind of light, the light which a fine evening like this prepares for us in the stillroom for darkness, when the ears can listen to no music save what the moonlight breathes through the flute of silence.
Marcel Proust (Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1))
Sober. So that’s what I’m here to become. And suddenly, this word fills me with a brand of sadness I haven’t felt since childhood. The kind of sadness you feel at the end of summer. When the fireflies are gone, the ponds have dried up and the plants are wilted, weary from being so green. It’s no longer really summer but the air is still too warm and heavy to be fall. It’s the season between the seasons. It’s the feeling of something dying.
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
On June 23, 1942, there was a group of French Jews in a German prison, on Polish soil. The first person I took was close to the door, his mind racing, then reduced to pacing, then slowing down, slowing down....
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each would that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
I took them all away, and if there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away.
Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye.
They ere French, they were Jews, and they were you.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
When service is unto people, the bones can grow weary, the frustration deep. Because, agrees Dorothy Sayers, "whenever man is made the center of things, he becomes the storm-center of trouble. The moment you think of serving people, you begin to have a notion that other people owe you something for your pains...You will begin to bargain for reward, to angle for applause... When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone - the bones, they sing joy and the work returns to it's purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness. "The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action" writes Mother Theresa. "If we pray the work...if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus... that's what makes us content." Deep joy is always in the touching of Christ - in whatever skin He comes to us in. Page 194
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Can you give yourself your own evil and your own good and hang your own will over yourself as a law? Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law? Terrible it is to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus is a star thrown out into the void and into the icy breath of solitude. Today you are still suffering from the many being one: today your courage and your hopes are still whole. But the time will come when solitude will make you weary, when your pride will double up and your courage gnash its teeth. And you will cry, "I am alone!" The time will come when that which seems high to you will no longer be in sight, and that which seems low will be all-too-near; even what seems sublime to you will frighten you like a ghost And you will cry, "All is false!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Portable Nietzsche)
Hope was a thing you lost when simply trying to imagine better days became so exhausting, overwhelming, and depressing a task, that one opted for despair out of sheer weariness. Giving up brought a kind of peace.
Sunyi Dean (The Book Eaters)
You are so stubborn."
"I am? I? Woman who insists everything be her way? You must wear hard white shoes. You must remove your weapons. You must travel in a car. You must not kiss me even though I wrap my legs around you when you do. Must must must. I weary of that word.
Karen Marie Moning (Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4))
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
When frustrated and weary take time to accept that there is no such thing as an insurmountable mountain...You merely have to find the right path...
I want to change. But my bones are old, my heart is selfish, my spirit is weary. I look at me and I look at you, and I see two different dream. I am death. And you, Sidra…” He reached out to touch her face, softly, as if she might vanish beneath his fingers. “You are life.”
She closed her eyes beneath his caress. When his hand eased away, she looked at him and whispered, “Does that mean we cannot exist as one?”
He had been waiting for her to ask this. He had yearned to answer her in the orchard, when she had made it evident that they were vastly contrasting souls.
“No,” Torin said. “It means that without you, I am nothing.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
Like night, the desert is boundless, comfortless and infinite. Like night, it intrigues the mind and leads it to futility. When you have flown halfway across a desert, you experience the desperation of a sleepless man waiting for dawn which only comes when the importance of it's coming is lost. You fly forever, weary with an invariable scene, and when you are at last released from its monotony, you remember nothing of it because there was nothing there.
Beryl Markham (West with the Night)
Cynicism creates a numbness toward life.
Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping.
To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit.
Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope.But the similarity is only surface deep.Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father.
Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life.
Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You'd think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don't do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life.
The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don't need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can't pray because everything out of control, little is possible.
With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism's ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad.
Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World)
I told her about the time that I got so tired of you stealing the sheets that in my sleep-weary logic I decided that the thing to do was to tie them around my legs, knot and all, and how, when you attempted to steal them that night, you ended up yanking me into you, and I was so startled that I sprang up, tripped, and was nearly concussed.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.
death is speacking :
please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary poisoned cheeks.I listened to their last gasping cries.Their french words.I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
The wise man has struggled to find You in his wisdom, and he has failed. The just man has striven to grasp You in his own justice, and he has gone astray.
But the sinner, suddenly struck by the lightning of mercy that ought to have been justice, falls down in adoration of Your holiness: for he had seen what kings desired to see and never saw, what prophets foretold and never gazed upon, what the men of ancient times grew weary of expecting when they died. He has seen that Your love is so infinitely good that it cannot be the object of a human bargain.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
Wherefore do ye toil; is it not that ye may live and be happy? And if ye toil only that ye may toil more, when shall happiness find you? Ye toil to live, but is not life made of beauty and song? And if ye suffer no singers among you, where shall be the fruits of your toil? Toil without song is like a weary journey without an end. Were not death more pleasing?
H.P. Lovecraft (The Quest of Iranon)
strength isn’t swords and steel and fire, as we are so often made to believe. Sometimes it’s found in quiet, gentle places. The way you hold someone’s hand as they grieve. The way you listen to others. The way you show up, day after day, even when you are weary or afraid or simply uncertain.
Rebecca Ross (Divine Rivals (Letters of Enchantment, #1))
I just think of people," she continued, "whether they seem right where they are and fit into the picture. I don't mind if they don't do anything. I don't see why they should; in fact it always astonishes me when anybody does anything." "You don't want to do anything?" "I want to sleep." -Gloria Gilbert
"Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief--that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never meditated nor intended. So they said to one another: "'Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever to mock the credulity of man. Let's persuade our more erotic poets to write about the delights of the flesh, and induce some of our robust journalists to contribute stories of famous amours. We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, and yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over--and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world. "'Finally, let us take care that the book possesses all the virtues of style, so that it may last forever as a witness to our profound scepticism and our universal irony.' "So the men did, and they died. "But the book lived always, so beautifully had it been written, and so astounding the quality of imagination with which these men of mind and genius had endowed it. They had neglected to give it a name, but after they were dead it became known as the Bible."
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
Most Christians are like a man who was toiling along the road, bending under a heavy burden, when a wagon overtook him. The driver kindly offered to help him on his journey. He joyfully accepted the offer but, when he was seated, continued to bend beneath his burden, which he still kept on his shoulders. "Why do you not lay down your burden?" asked the kind-hearted driver. "Oh!" replied the man, "I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me, and I could not think of letting you carry my burden too." And so Christian who have given themselves into the care and keeping of the Lord Jesus still continue to bend beneath the weight of their burdens and often go weary and heavy-laden throughout the whole length of their journey.
Hannah Whitall Smith
So when you left Hex Hall after Holly died, that wasn't because you were the grief-stricken fiance. You were going to The Eye."
"Yeah. I told them that I thought Elodie and her coven had raised a demon, so we decided I should get close to her,see what was really going on."
"And you decided to get really close to her."
He laughed softly. "I can't see you, but I have a feeling you're cute when you're jealous,Mercer."
Crossing my arms over my chest, I said, "It's not jealousy you're hearing, it's digust. You dated a girl you didn't even like just to get information out of her."
His laughter died, and his voice sounded weary when he said, "Trust me, a lot of my brothers have done much worse."
There was so much I wanted to ask him, but it's not like we could sit out here all night passing the sharing stick or whatever.Time to cut to the chase.
"So did The Eye tell you to get all Mata Hari on me too?
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Trust that through the balm of simplicity your frazzled and weary soul can discover the place where you ought to be. Every day offers us simple gifts when we are willing to search our hearts for the place that’s right for each of us.
Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy)
This is life.
Learning to love through loss. Seeking warm pockets in the bitter cold. Finding the worth of a smile on a cloudy day. Carrying the weight of the world on weary shoulders—mistakes, sins, injustices—added upon daily. Enduring burdens that spur greater strength.
This is life.
Sorting through layers of expressions staring you straight in the eye. A battle to be right when wrong, to be good when bad, to be content when in need, and to laugh when tearing up.
This is life.
Valuing things of no worth. Reevaluating dreams. Laboring ceaselessly against the current. Seeing less, wanting more, having enough.
This is life.
Chasing the moon when the sun would extend its warmth. Slapping the hand that would offer a gentle caress. Cowering at personal, monstrous shadows. Giving and taking in unbalanced weights. Diminishing the majesty of mountains in order to form our own lowly hills. Hoping for more than we deserve.
This is life.
Hurting. Despairing. Losing. Weeping. Suffering. Laboring. Sinking. Mourning. Appreciating with greater capacity and sincerity a learned knowledge that these adversities do have their opposites.
This is life.
A taste. A revelation. A banishment. A mercy. A test. An experience. A turbulent sea-voyage that shall assuredly reach the unseen shore, making seasoned sailors of us all.
This is life.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
She didn’t want to talk about the ending. So she talked about the story itself. “It’s easy to look at our time together and think that we were so unlucky. But isn’t it better to spend ten years really loving someone, rather than forty years growing bored or weary or bitter? When we think about the greatest love stories ever written, we aren’t judging them by their length. Many of them were even briefer than my marriage with Maura. But our story—mine and Maura’s—it felt deep, and it felt whole, despite its length. It was an entire, wonderful tale in and of itself, and even though I’ve been given more chapters than Maura, her pages were the ones you couldn’t put down. The ones that I’ll keep rereading, over and over, for the rest of my life. Our decade together, our story, was a gift.
Nikki Erlick (The Measure)
HOW SAD, YE gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps. You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists, its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
..."What burden do you have?"
"The burden of duty." His voice lowered to an intense whisper. "I led those men into battle. When they were weary and chilled and sick with fear, I pushed them on. I promised they'd see the day when they'd come home to their wives, their sweethearts, their bairns, their lands. Instead, they came home to nothing.
Tessa Dare (When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3))
Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night's impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.
Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost;
Thro' this unbounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.
Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner's expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.
Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air ;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell - beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.
When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav'n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean's boiling flood
Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.
Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of Wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency.
To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force,
When the keen north-wind's freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.
Anne Bannerman (Poems by Anne Bannerman.)
THE DEVIL. As far as I went, yes. But I will now go further, and confess to you that men get tired of everything, of heaven no less than of hell; and that all history is nothing but a record of the oscillations of the world between these two extremes. An epoch is but a swing of the pendulum; and each generation thinks the world is progressing because it is always moving. But when you are as old as I am; when you have a thousand times wearied of heaven, like myself and the Commander, and a thousand times wearied of hell, as you are wearied now, you will no longer imagine that every swing from heaven to hell is an emancipation, every swing from hell to heaven an evolution. Where you now see reform, progress, fulfilment of upward tendency, continual ascent by Man on the stepping stones of his dead selves to higher things, you will see nothing but an infinite comedy of illusion....
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
Happily men don't realise how stupid they are, or half the world would commit suicide. Knowledge is a will-of-the-wisp, fluttering ever out of the traveller's reach; and a weary journey must be endured before it is even seen. It is only when a man knows a good deal that he discovers how unfathomable is his ignorance. The man who knows nothing is satisfied that there is nothing to know, consequently that he knows everything; and you may more easily persuade him that the moon is made of green cheese than that he is not omniscient.
W. Somerset Maugham (Mrs Craddock (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin))
What is this, Tom”
“It’s the beginning, January.”
“Of what?” She asked me seriously.
“Well have all the time in the world to talk about that. It’s too deep to get into it right now but know this, I’m tired of pretending. So weary of it. I forgot myself when I lost who I thought Kelly was to me, but you’ve shown me what I think, no, I know no one else could have shown me.”
“And what’s that?”
“That I don’t want to be lost anymore. I – I want you.
Fisher Amelie (Thomas & January (Sleepless, #2))
Be weary of people who accuse you of aggression when you're being assertive.
Buried how long?”
The answer was always the same: “Almost eighteen years.”
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?”
You know that you are recalled to life?”
They tell me so.”
I hope that you care to live?”
I can’t say.”
Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?”
The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, “Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon.” Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, “Take me to her.” Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, “I don’t know her. I don’t understand.”
After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig – to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.
Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.
Buried how long?”
Almost eighteen years.”
I hope you care to live?”
I can’t say.”
Dig – dig – dig – until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.
Buried how long?”
Almost eighteen years.”
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?”
The words were still in his hearing just as spoken – distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life – when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I have grown weary of talking about life as if it is deserved, or earned, or gifted, or wasted. I'm going to be honest about my scoreboard and just say that the math on me being here and the people who have kept me here doesn't add up when weighed against the person I've been and the person I can still be sometimes. But isn't that the entire point of gratitude? To have a relentless understanding of all the ways you could have vanished, but haven't? The possibilities for my exits have been endless, and so the gratitude for my staying must be equally endless. I am sorry that this one is not about movement, or history, or dance. But instead about stillness. About all of the frozen moments that I have been pulled back from, in service of attempting another day.
Hanif Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance)
Love doesn't save, it raises you up and makes you bigger, it lights you up from inside and carves out that light like wood in the forest. It nestles in the hollows of empty days, of thankless tasks, of useless hours, it doesn't drift along on golden rafts or sparkling rivers, it doesn't sing or shine and it never proclaims a thing. But at night, once the room's been swept and the embers covered over and the children are asleep -- at night between the sheets, with slow gazes, not moving or speaking -- at night, at last, when we're weary of our meager lives and the trivialities of our insignificant existance, each of us becomes the well where the other one can draw water ...
Muriel Barbery (The Life of Elves)
I thank you, Wilhelm, for your heartfelt sympathy, for your well-intentioned advice, but beg you to be quiet. Let me stick it out. Blessedly exhausted as I am, I have strength enough to carry through. I honor religion, you know that, I feel it is a staff for many weary souls, refreshment for many a one who is pining away. But--can it be, must it be, the same thing for everyone? If you look at the great world, you see thousands for whom it wasn't, thousands for whom it will not be the same, preached or unpreached, and must it then be the same for me? Does not the son of God Himself say that those would be around Him whom the Father had given Him? But if I am not given? If the Father wants to keep me for Himself, as my heart tells me?--I beg you, do not misinterpret this, do not see mockery in these innocent words. What I am laying before you is my whole soul; otherwise I would rather have kept silent, as I do not like to lose words over things that everyone knows as little about as I do. What else is it but human destiny to suffer out one's measure, drink up one's cup?--And if the chalice was too bitter for the God from heaven on His human lips, why should I boast and pretend that it tastes sweet to me? And why should I be ashamed in the terrible moment when my entire being trembles between being and nothingness, since the past flashes like lightning above the dark abyss of the future and everything around me is swallowed up, and the world perishes with me?--Is that not the voice of the creature thrown back on itself, failing, trapped, lost, and inexorably tumbling downward, the voice groaning in the inner depths of its vainly upwards-struggling energies: My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? And if I should be ashamed of the expression, should I be afraid when facing that moment, since it did not escape Him who rolls up heaven like a carpet?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
I forced my weary body up from the ground, my eyes burning with rage. I'd had enough of nearly dying. I'd had enough of secrets and mysteries. I was filled to the brim with pain and misery. It had taken its toll on me. It was hard to hold on to the very things that made you human, when there was nothing good left inside of you. In fact, I no longer felt human. I didn't feel anything except anger.
It was time to find Kellan.
Rose Wynters (Phase Four: Analyze (Territory of the Dead, #4))
Ardour in well-doing is a misleading and a treacherous thing. It cries out loudly for employment; you can't satisfy it at first; it wants more and more; it is eager to move mountains and divert the course of rivers. It isn't content till it perspires. And then, too often, when it feels the perspiration on its brow, it wearies all of a sudden and dies, without even putting itself to the trouble of saying, "I've had enough of this.
Arnold Bennett (How to Live on 24 Hours a Day)
Involved. At least that was the right word, Alsana reflected, as she liftes her foot off the pedal, and let the wheel spin a few times alone before coming to a squeaky halt. Sometimes, here in England, especially at bus-stops and on the daytime soaps, you heard people say “We’re involved with each other,” as if this were a most wonderful state to be in, as if one chose it and enjoyed it. Alsana never thought of it that way. Involved happened over a long period of time, pulling you in like quicksand. Involved is what befell the moon-faced Alsana Begum and the handsome Samad Miah one week after they’d been pushed into a Delhi breakfast room together and informed they were to marry. Involved was the result when Clara Bowden met Archie Jones at the bottom of some stairs. Involved swallowed up a girl called Ambrosia and a boy called Charlie (yes, Clara had told her that sorry tale) the second they kissed in the larder of a guest house. Involved is neither good, nor bad. It is just a consequence of living, a consequence of occupation and immigration, of empires and expansion, of living in each other’s pockets… one becomes involved and it is a long trek back to being uninvolved. And the woman was right, one didn’t do it for one’s health. Nothing this late in the century was done with health in mind. Alsana was no dummy when it came to the Modern Condition. She watched the talk shows, all day long she watched the talk shows — My wife slept with my brother, My mother won’t stay out of my boyfriend’s life — and the microphone holder, whether it be Tanned Man with White Teeth or Scary Married Couple, always asked the same damn silly question: But why do you feel the need…? Wrong! Alsana had to explain it to them through the screen. You blockhead; they are not wanting this, they are not willing it — they are just involved, see? They walk IN and they get trapped between the revolving doors of those two v’s. Involved. Just a tired inevitable fact. Something in the way Joyce said it, involved — wearied, slightly acid — suggested to Alsana that the word meant the same thing to hear. An enormous web you spin to catch yourself.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly. 'My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?'
'Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!' said Aragorn. 'You are weary. Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.
Practical advice.—People who read much must always keep it in mind that life is one thing, literature another. Not that authors invariably lie. I declare that there are writers who rarely and most reluctantly lie. But one must know how to read, and that isn't easy. Out of a hundred bookreaders ninety-nine have no idea what they are reading about. It is a common belief, for example, that any writer who sings of suffering must be ready at all times to open his arms to the weary and heavy-laden. This is what his readers feel when they read his books. Then when they approach him with their woes, and find that he runs away without looking back at them, they are filled with indignation and talk of the discrepancy between word and deed. Whereas the fact is, the singer has more than enough woes of his own, and he sings them because he can't get rid of them. L’uccello canta nella gabbia, non di gioia ma di rabbia, says the Italian proverb: "The bird sings in the cage, not from joy but from rage." It is impossible to love sufferers, particularly hopeless sufferers, and whoever says otherwise is a deliberate liar. "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." But you remember what the Jews said about Him: "He speaks as one having authority!" And if Jesus had been unable, or had not possessed the right, to answer this skeptical taunt, He would have had to renounce His words. We common mortals have neither divine powers nor divine rights, we can only love our neighbours whilst they still have hope, and any pretence of going beyond this is empty swagger. Ask him who sings of suffering for nothing but his songs. Rather think of alleviating his burden than of requiring alleviation from him. Surely not—for ever should we ask any poet to sob and look upon tears. I will end with another Italian saying: Non è un si triste cane che non meni la coda... "No dog so wretched that doesn't wag his tail sometimes.
Lev Shestov (All Things Are Possible and Penultimates Words and Other Essays (English and Greek Edition))
drive through hell the people are weary, unhappy and frustrated, the people are bitter and vengeful, the people are deluded and fearful, the people are angry and uninventive and I drive among them on the freeway and they project what is left of themselves in their manner of driving— some more hateful, more thwarted than others— some don’t like to be passed, some attempt to keep others from passing —some attempt to block lane changes —some hate cars of a newer, more expensive model —others in these cars hate the older cars. the freeway is a circus of cheap and petty emotions, it’s humanity on the move, most of them coming from some place they hated and going to another they hate just as much or more. the freeways are a lesson in what we have become and most of the crashes and deaths are the collision of incomplete beings, of pitiful and demented lives. when I drive the freeways I see the soul of humanity of my city and it’s ugly, ugly, ugly: the living have choked the heart away.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense)
Weariness of Men
My grandmother said when she was young
The grass was so wild and high
You couldn’t see a man on horseback.
In the fields she made out
Dark and blown down from the weather
Like her husbands.
She remembers them in the dark,
Cursing the beasts,
And how they would leave the bed
In the morning,
The dead grass of their eyes
Stacked against her.
Frank Stanford (You: Poems (Lost roads ; no. 15))
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands.
Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers.
And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest.
Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity?
The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest."
If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm?
But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these displacements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience,
can gasp out only: "Me? What for?"
And this is a question which, though repeated millions and
millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer.
Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somersault from one state into another.
We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily
dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of
our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood,
rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given
a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to penetrate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is
where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away
from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous number of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these
fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And
all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four
white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but nonetheless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap,
ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to
our past life, is slammed shut once and for all.
That's all there is to it! You are arrested!
And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike
bleat: "Me? What for?"
That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which
shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into
That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day
will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
Hunger for God compels us to seek the Lord. At times our desire for God overcomes our physical desires, and the ache for God is palpable. Throughout the Scriptures, God is faithful to reward those who search for him. Written during one of King David's low points, while living on the run in the wilderness, he cries, "Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Though David hides in the wilderness, he doesn't stay there physically or spiritually. When we seek God with our whole hearts and souls, he promises to reveal himself to us." -Hungry for God
Margaret Feinberg (Hungry for God: Hearing God's Voice in the Ordinary and the Everyday)
I have always found that the Trough periods of the human undulation provide excellent opportunity for all sensual temptations, particularly those of sex. This may surprise you, because, of course, there is more physical energy, and therefore more potential appetite, at the Peak periods; but you must remember that the powers of resistance are then also at their highest. The health and spirits which you... use in producing lust can also... be very easily used for work or play or thought or innocuous merriment. The attack has a much better chance of success when the man's whole inner world is drab and cold and empty. And it is also to be noted that the Trough sexuality is subtly different in quality from that of the Peak - much less likely to lead to... "being in love," much more easily drawn into perversions, much less... generous and imaginative and even spiritual... It is the same with other desires of the flesh. You are much more likely to make [a] man a sound drunkard by pressing drink on him as an anodyne when he is dull and weary... than... when he is happy...
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Junco, I did save your life. Ya had a bad concussion. It was a mistake to fall asleep. I was just tryin' ta help when I brought ya out of it."
This revelation jolts me out of my trance and I fight to shake off my weariness to get this story straight. "Wait," I say as I painfully push my body back up into a half-sitting position. "What? You were touching me when I was sleeping?"
He squirms a little at my tone. "No, look, it wasn't like that. You weren't sleeping, you were unconscious – I just – wrapped ya in my wings so I could bring ya back up."
"You were touching me." It's a statement this time, not a question. "In my sleep."
"Look, I saved your life, for Christ's sake!
J.A. Huss (Clutch (I Am Just Junco, #1))
And if that illustration will not move you, here is another: -- We are children now; we feel as children, and we understand as children; and when we are told that men and women do not play with toys, and that our companions will one day weary on the trivial sports and occupations that interest them and us so deeply now, we cannot help being saddened at the thoughts of such an alteration, because we cannot conceive that as we grow up, our own minds will become so enlarged and elevated that we ourselves shall then regard as trifling those objects and pursuits we now so foolishly cherish, and that, though our companions will no longer join us in those childish pastimes, they will drink with us at other fountains of delight, and mingle their souls with ours in higher aims and nobler occupations beyond our present comprehension, but not less deeply relished or less truly good for that, while yet both we and they remain the same individuals as before.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
When I’m weary you lift me up. There are times we feel uncertain in our country, but you’re always there to give us hope. Thank you, dear Lord for protecting my family. There’s been illness that’s affected so many Lord. We ask, your healing hands surround those people. In Jesus name, amen.
You needed love to win at the game of music...I played of sadness. I played of loneliness. Despair. Love found and lost. I played of tragic misunderstanding and weary cynicism and defeat. I played of perseverance, endurance beyond all suffering. Endurance in the face of hopelessness, hope when even hope was a betrayal...And yet, though I played so much sadness, the music at the same time denied despair. How could anyone despair while music was being played?
By all that’s wonderful, it is the sea, I believe, the sea itself — or is it youth alone? Who can tell? But you here — you all had something out of life: money, love — whatever one gets on shore — and, tell me, wasn’t that the best time, that time when we were young at sea; young and had nothing, on the sea that gives nothing, except hard knocks — and sometimes a chance to feel your strength — that only — what you all regret?” And we all nodded at him: the man of finance, the man of accounts, the man of law, we all nodded at him over the polished table that like a still sheet of brown water reflected our faces, lined, wrinkled; our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone — has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash — together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
If he wasn't angry, he certainly did a good imitation. His voice was clipped and as hard as stone. She wrung her hands together. "I love you. Clay."
"No, you don't."
Meg felt as though he'd just slapped her. "Yes, I do. When you leave this town, I'll go with you."
Narrowing his eyes, he studied her. "Will you marry me?"
"Will you give me children?"
"If I can. Kirk and I were never able to conceive, but if I can have children, I want to have yours."
"In this town that we move to, wherever it is, will you walk down the street with me?"
"Holding my hand?"
"And the hands of my children?"
He unfolded his arms and took a step toward her. She wanted to fling herself into his embrace, but something hard in his eyes stopped her.
"And what happens, Mrs. Warner, when someone you know rides through town and points at me and calls me a yellow-bellied coward? What will you do then? Will you let go of my hand and take my children to the other side of the street? Will you pretend that you haven't kissed me, that you haven't lain with me beneath the stars?" With disgust marring his features, he turned away. "You think I'm a coward. Go home."
"I don't think that. I love you."
He spun around. "You don't believe in that love, you don't believe in me."
"Yes, I do."
He stalked toward her. She backed into the corner and bent her head to meet his infuriated gaze.
"How strongly do you believe in our love?" he asked, his voice ominously low. "If they threatened to strip off your clothes unless you denied our love, would you deny our love?"
He gave her no chance to respond, but continued on, his voice growing deeper and more ragged, as though he were dredging up events from the past.
"If they wouldn't let you sleep until you denied our love, would you deny our love so you could lay your head on a pillow?
"If they stabbed a bayonet into your backside every time your eyes drifted closed, would you deny our love so your flesh wouldn't be pierced?
"If they applied a hot brand to your flesh until you screamed in agony, would you deny our love so they'd take away the iron?
"If they placed you before a firing squad, would you say you didn't love me so they wouldn't shoot you?"
He stepped back and plowed his hands through his hair. "You think I'm a coward. You don't think I have the courage to stand beside you and risk the anger of your father. I'd die before I turned away from anyone or anything I believed in. You won't even walk by my side."
He looked the way she imagined soldiers who had lost a battle probably looked: weary, tired of the fight, disillusioned.
"You don't believe in me," he said quietly. "How can you believe in our love?
Lorraine Heath (Always to Remember)
It was always exciting, but it was also always dangerous. And fear takes a toll finally: when you live in danger from moment to moment, the constant tension becomes very wearying. Every step I took on the roads of Gelderland was nerve-wracking, because I was secretly carrying the very material that could turn out to be my own death warrant.
Diet Eman (Things We Couldn't Say)
Do you ever think about writing one more Narnian chronicle? Just one more? Because you know it will sell?"
"I think it's best to put an end to it when the readers are clamouring for more rather than when they're weary of the whole everlasting thing. There will be seven of them published in seven years. Sometimes you must know when it is enough.
Patti Callahan Henry (Becoming Mrs. Lewis)
[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother]
The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower.
Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me.
The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west.
He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust.
Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death.
This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day.
He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts.
He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers.
Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.
He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead.
And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust.
Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Lord. As Blake brought out so beautifully in his poem “Jerusalem”: “. . . Babel mocks, saying there is no God or Son of God; That Thou, O Human Imagination, O Divine Body of the Lord Jesus Christ art all A delusion; but I know Thee, O Lord, when Thou arisest upon My weary eyes, even in this dungeon and this iron mill. . . For Thou also sufferest with me, although I behold Thee not. . .” . . .And the Divine Voice answers: “. . . Fear not! Lo, I am with you always. Only believe in me, that I have power to raise from death Thy Brother who sleepeth in Albion.
Neville Goddard (The Secret of Imagining)
Stay woke. Jump out of
bed, even if it makes you
dizzy. Listen to your voice,
even if it startles you.
Breathe in the smelling
salt, even if it stings you.
Stare into the light of the
reality before you, even if
it burns. If you get weary,
ask for help—whatever it
takes to keep your eyes
open. Bask in the glow
of conscious living. You
are awake. This is when
Kristen Lee (Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking--Learn What It Takes to be More Agile, Mindful, and Connected in Today's World)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation)
The long-drawn virgin vales; the mild blue hill-sides; as over these there steals the hush, the hum; you almost swear that play-wearied children lie sleeping in these solitudes, in some glad May-time, when the flowers of the woods are plucked. And all this mixes with your most mystic mood; so that fact and fancy, half-way meeting, interpenetrate, and form one seamless whole.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
You can tell thru-hikers when you see them on the trail. Though they come in many flavors, they all have a knowledge that cannot be achieved through scholarship but shows in their eyes and their stance and their weary smile. It is a knowledge that cannot find a person through windshields or sunglasses, or the barriers of fresh clothing and fragrance that surround us everyday.
I think it’s brave that you get up in the morning even if your soul is weary and your bones ache for a rest.
I think it’s brave that you keep on living
even if you don’t know how to anymore.
I think it’s brave that you push away the waves rolling in every day,
and you decide to fight.
I know there are days when you feel like giving up but
I think it’s brave
that you never do.
Lana Rafaela Cindric (This Is How You Survive)
Privately there were some things in Heaven of which she did not approve. There was too much singing, and she didn’t see how even the Elect could survive for very long the celestial laziness which was promised. She would find something to do in Heaven. There must be something to take up one’s time – some clouds to darn, some weary wings to rub with liniment. Maybe the collars of the robes needed turning now and then, and when you come right down to it, she couldn’t believe that even in heaven there would not be cobwebs in some corner to be knocked down with a cloth-covered broom.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
And if you ever become "weary of doing good" (Galatians 6:9), think of Bea. When you are tempted to think your life is insignificant, remember the little woman who took in a homeless teenager and saved his life; ask God what He wants you to do. When circumstances drag on you, weighing you down to the point you think you can't take another step, muster your courage, stay strong; keep walking.
Jimmy Wayne (Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way)
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."
The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say,
"We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."
In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
"We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves,
and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
The house had a name and a history; the old gentleman taking his tea would have been delighted to tell you these things: how it had been built under Edward the Sixth, had offered a night's hospitality to the great Elizabeth (whose august person had extended itself upon a huge, magnificent and terribly angular bed which still formed the principal honour of the sleeping apartments), had been a good deal bruised and defaced in Cromwell's wars, and then, under the Restoration, repaired and much enlarged; and how, finally, after having been remodeled and disfigured in the eighteenth century, it had passed into the careful keeping of a shrewd American banker, who had bought it originally because (owing to circumstances too complicated to set forth) it was offered at a great bargain: bought it with much grumbling at its ugliness, its antiquity, its incommodity, and who now, at the end of twenty years, had become conscious of a real aesthetic passion for it, so that he know all its points and would tell you just where to stand to see them in combination and just the hour when the shadows of its various protuberances--which fell so softly upon the warm, weary brickwork--were of the right measure.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, and all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, and all knowledge is vain save when there is work, and all work is empty save when there is love; and when you work in love you bind yourself to yourself, to one another, and to God.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
He’d never wanted kids. Outside of priority boarding on an airline, he couldn’t see the upside to them. They took over your life and filled you with terror and weariness and people acted like having one was a blessed event and talked about them in the reverent tones they once reserved for gods. When it came down to it, though, you had to remember that all those assholes cutting you off in traffic and walking the streets and shouting in bars and turning their music up too loud and mugging you and raping you and selling you lemon cars—all those assholes were just children who’d aged. No miracle. Nothing sacred in that.
Dennis Lehane (Mystic River)
There is a legend that has often been told
Of the boy who searched for the Windows of Gold.
The beautiful windows he saw far away
When he looked in the valley at sunrise each day.
And he yearned to go down to the valley below
But lived on a mountain covered with snow,
And he knew it would be a difficult trek,
But that was a journey he wanted to make.
So he planned by day and he dreamed by night
Of how he could reach The Great Shining Light.
And one golden morning when dawn broke through
And the valley sparkled with diamond of dew.
He started to climb down the mountainside
With the Windows of Gold as his goal and his guide.
He traveled all day and, weary and worn,
With bleeding feet and clothes that were torn.
He entered the peaceful valley town
Just as the Golden Sun went down.
But he seemed to have lost his "Guiding Light,"
The windows were dark that had once been bright.
And hungry and tired and lonely and cold
He cried, "Won't You Show Me The Windows of Gold?"
And a kind hand touched him and said, "Behold!
High On The Mountain Are The Windows of Gold."
For the sun going down in a great golden ball
Had burnished the windows of his cabin so small,
And the Kingdom of God with its Great Shining light,
Like the Golden Windows that shone so bright.
Is not a far distant place, somewhere,
It's as close to you as a silent prayer,
And your search for God will end and begin
When you look for Him and find Him within.
Helen Steiner Rice
Then he demanded to see the royal storerooms and the lettuce garden. When he came back he looked very grave and said, “Great King, I know very well what sorry news it will be to you, but the cause of your sickness is those very lettuces by which you set such store.”
“The lettuces?” cried King Darin. “Impossible! They are all grown from good, healthy seed and guarded day and night.”
“Alas!” said El-arairah, “I know it well! But they have been infected by the dreaded Lousepedoodle, that flies in ever decreasing circles through the Gunpat of the Cludge—a deadly virus—dear me, yes!—isolated by the purple Avvago and maturing in the gray-green forests of the Okey Pokey. This, you understand, is to put the matter for you in simple terms, insofar as I can. Medically speaking there are certain complexities with which I will not weary you.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
Xinxin Ming or Trust in the Heart
The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose;
Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear.
Make a hairbreadth difference, and heaven and earth are set apart.
If you want the truth [of nonduality] to stand clear before you, never be for or against.
The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease.
When the Way is not understood, the mind chatters endlessly to no avail.
The Perfect Way is vastness without holiness.
Like infinite space it contains all and lacks nothing.
Because you pick and choose, cling and reject, you can't see its Suchness.
Neither be entangled in the world, nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things,
And dualism vanishes of its own accord.
Craving the passivity of Oneness you are filled with activity.
As long as you tarry in dualism,
You will never know Oneness.
If you don't trust in the Heart, you fall into assertion or denial.
In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To be in accord with the Way, let go of all self-centered striving.
Denying the world [of duality] is the asserting of it;
Asserting emptiness [oneness] is the denying of it.
The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you go.
To return to the root [the One] is to find the meaning,
But to pursue appearances [the many] is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond the one and the many.
The mind clings to its image of the world;
We call it real only because of our ignorance.
Do not seek after the truth, merely cease to cherish your opinions.
For the mind in harmony with the One, all selfishness disappears.
With not even a trace of fear, you can trust the universe completely.
All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to.
All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being.
In the world of things as they are, there is neither observer nor observed.
If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is "Not-two."
Even to have the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
Thoughts that are fettered turn from truth, sink into the unwise habit of "not liking."
"Not liking" brings weariness of spirit; estrangements serve no purpose.
In this "Not-two" nothing is separate,
And nothing in the world is excluded.
The enlightened of all times and places have entered into this truth.
The One is none other than the All, the All none other than the One.
Take your stand on this, and the rest will follow of its accord;
To trust in the Heart is the "Not-two," the "Not-two" is to trust in the Heart.
There is one reality, not many;
Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
I have spoken, but in vain;
For what can words say—
Of things that have no yesterday, tomorrow, or today.
(aka Seng-Ts'an, 僧璨, ?-606)
Put on what weary negligence you please,
You and your fellows; I'll have it come to question:
If he dislike it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Old fools are babes again; and must be used
With cheques as flatteries,--when they are seen abused.
Remember what I tell you.
Once a hunter met a lion near the hungry critter's lair,
and the way that lion mauled him was decidedly unfair;
but the hunter never whimpered when the surgeons, with their thread,
sewed up forty-seven gashes in his mutilated head;
and he showed the scars in triumph, and they gave him pleasant fame,
and he always blessed the lion that had camped upon his frame.
Once that hunter, absent minded, sat upon a hill of ants,
and about a million bit him, and you should have seen him dance!
And he used up lots of language of a deep magenta tint,
and apostrophized the insects in a style unfit to print.
And it's thus with worldly troubles;
when the big ones come along, we serenely go to meet them, feeling valiant, bold and strong, but the weary little worries with their poisoned stings and smarts, put the lid upon our courage, make us gray, and break our hearts.
My companion made a noise that, in an aerated environment, would probably have come out as a weary sigh. 'Honestly, I remember a time when being violated by a monstrosity from the abysmal darkness was something you really had to work at. Young people today have no idea, do they?' She paused. 'That is to say, young people twenty years from the time we've just departed will have no idea, will they?'
'Tell me about it,' Miss Reef flicked her tail disdainfully.
Alexis Hall (The Affair of the Mysterious Letter)
After a moment or two a man in brown crimplene looked in at us, did not at all like the look of us and asked us if we were transit passengers. We said we were. He shook his head with infinite weariness and told us that if we were transit passengers then we were supposed to be in the other of the two rooms. We were obviously very crazy and stupid not to have realized this. He stayed there slumped against the door jamb, raising his eyebrows pointedly at us until we eventually gathered our gear together and dragged it off down the
corridor to the other room. He watched us go past him shaking his head in wonder and sorrow at the stupid futility of the human condition in general and ours in particular, and then closed the door behind us.
The second room was identical to the first. Identical in all respects other than one, which was that it had a hatchway let into one wall. A large vacant-looking girl was leaning through it with her elbows on the counter and her fists jammed up into her cheekbones. She was watching some flies crawling up the wall, not with any great interest because they were not doing anything unexpected, but at least they were doing something. Behind her was a table stacked with biscuits, chocolate bars, cola, and a pot of coffee, and we headed straight towards this like a pack of stoats.
Just before we reached it, however, we were suddenly headed off by a man in blue crimplene, who asked us what we thought we were doing in there. We explained that we were transit passengers on our way to Zaire, and he looked at us as if we had completely taken leave of our senses.
'Transit passengers? he said. 'It is not allowed for transit passengers to be in here.'
He waved us magnificently away from the snack counter, made us pick up all our gear again, and herded us back through the door and away into the first room where, a minute later, the man in the brown crimplene found us again.
He looked at us. Slow incomprehension engulfed him, followed by sadness, anger, deep frustration and a sense that the world had been created specifically to cause him vexation. He leaned back against the wall, frowned, closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
'You are in the wrong room,' he said simply. `You are transit passengers. Please go to the other room.'
There is a wonderful calm that comes over you in such situations, particularly when there is a refreshment kiosk involved. We nodded, picked up our gear in a Zen-like manner and made our way back down the corridor to the second room. Here the man in blue crimplene accosted us once more but we patiently explained to him that he could fuck off.
Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
Lucian attempted a wan smile, although he did not open his eyes. “You are the miracle my brother has named you in his thoughts.”
“Has he named me a miracle?” Even her voice was soothing and tranquil to Gabriel’s ears. He wanted to touch her, bask forever in her beauty, in her serenity. After the chaos of a bleak, gray world filled with violence, she was a miracle.
“Yes, and for once, he was right.” There was an edge of weariness to the beautiful pitch of Lucian’s voice and it alarmed Gabriel. He had never heard his invincible twin sound so utterly drained of strength.
“I am right at all times,” Gabriel corrected, moving at once to his brother’s side. “It is a peculiar phenomenon Lucian finds difficult to live with, but all the same . . .”
Lucian opened his eyes to regard his brother with an icy stare clearly meant to intimidate. “Francesca, my dear sister, you have tied yourself to one who has a much inflated opinion of himself. I do not remember a time when he was right about anything.”
Gabriel moved to the couch, seating himself beside his brother. “Do not listen to him, my love, he practices his intimidating stare in the mirror on a daily basis. He thinks to silence me with his glare.
Christine Feehan (Dark Legend (Dark, #7))
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their French words. I watched their love-visions and freed them from their fear.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
My love, I walked for thirty years under the sky without ever doubting that I lived in glory; I never wavered; I never stumbled; I was a reveler and a loudmouth, if ever there was one, as stupid and useless as the sparrows and the peacocks; I wiped my mouth on the cuff of my sleeve, tramped into the house with mud on my feet and burped many's a time amid the laughter and the wine. But I always held my head high in the storm because I loved you and you loved me back, and our love mightn't have been all silk and poetry but we could look at each other and know we'd drown all our woes. Love doesn't save, it raises you up and makes you bigger, it lights you up from inside and carves out that light like wood in the forest. It nestles in the hollows of empty days, of thankless tasks, of useless hours, it doesn't drift along on golden rafts or sparkling rivers, it doesn't sing or shine and it never proclaims a thing. But at night, once the room's been swept and the embers covered over and the children are asleep - at night between the sheets, with slow gazes, not moving or speaking - at night, at last, when we're weary of our meager lives and the trivialities of our insignificant existence, each of us becomes the well where the other can draw water, and we love each other and learn to love ourselves.
Muriel Barbery (The Life of Elves)
No, you don't understand, naturally' said the second swallow. 'First, we feel it stirring within us, a sweet unrest; then back come the recollections one by one, like homing pigeons. They flutter through our dreams at night, they fly with us in our wheelings and circlings by day. We hunger to inquire of each other, to compare notes and assure ourselves that it was all really true, as one by one the scents and sounds and names of long-forgotten places come gradually back and beckon to us...'I tried stopping on one year,' said the third swallow. 'I had grown so fond of the place that when the time came I hung back and let the others go on without me. For a few weeks it was all well enough, but afterwards, O the weary length of the nights! The shivering, sunless days! The air so clammy and chill, and not an insect in an acre of it! No, it was no good; my courage broke down, and one cold, stormy night I took wing, flying well inland on account of the strong easterly gales. It was snowing hard as I beat through the passes of the great mountains, and I had a stiff fight to win through; but never shall I forget the blissful feeling of the hot sun again on my back as I sped down to the lakes that lay so blue and placid below me, and the taste of my first fat insect. The past was like a bad dream; the future was all happy holiday
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
When you are quite well enough to travel, Latimer, I shall take you home with me. The journey will amuse you and do you good, for I shall go through the Tyrol and Austria, and you will see many new places. Our neighbours, the Filmores, are come; Alfred will join us at Basle, and we shall all go together to Vienna, and back by Prague...'
My father was called away before he had finished his sentence, and he left my mind resting on the word Prague with a strange sense that a new and wondrous scene was breaking upon me: a city under the broad sunshine, that seemed to me as if it were summer sunshine of a long-past century arrested in its course-unrefreshed for ages by dews of night, or the rushing rain-cloud; scorching the dusty, weary, time-eaten grandeur of a people doomed to live on in the stale repetition of memories, like deposed and superannuated kings in their regal gold inwoven tatters. The city looked so thirsty that the broad river seemed to me a sheet of metal; and the blackened statues, as I passed under their blank gaze, along the unending bridge, with their ancient garments and their saintly crowns, seemed to me the real inhabitants and owners of this place, while the busy, trivial men and women, hurrying to and fro, were a swarm of ephemeral visitants infesting it for a day. It is such grim, stony beings as these, I thought, who are the fathers of ancient faded children, in those tanned time-fretted dwellings that crowd the steep before me; who pay their court in the worn and crumbling pomp of the palace which stretches its monotonous length on the height; who worship wearily in the stifling air of the churches, urged by no fear or hope, but compelled by their doom to be ever old and undying, to live on in the rigidity of habit, as they live on in perpetual midday, without the repose of night or the new birth of morning.
A stunning clang of metal suddenly thrilled through me, and I became conscious of the objects in my room again: one of the fire-irons had fallen as Pierre opened the door to bring me my draught. My heart was palpitating violently, and I begged Pierre to leave my draught beside me; I would take it presently. ("The Lifted Veil")
George Eliot (The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics))
May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor.
If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all
lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here.
It was a relief to see his father, who'd always been an unfailing source of reassurance and comfort. They clasped hands in a firm shake, and used their free arms to pull close for a moment. Such demonstrations of affection weren't common among fathers and sons of their rank, but then, they'd never been a conventional family.
After a few hearty thumps on the back, Sebastian drew back and glanced over him with the attentive concern that hearkened to Gabriel's earliest memories. Not missing the traces of weariness on his face, his father lightly tousled his hair the way he had when he was a boy. "You haven't been sleeping."
"I went carousing with friends for most of last night," Gabriel admitted. "It ended when we were all too drunk to see a hole through a ladder."
Sebastian grinned and removed his coat, tossing the exquisitely tailored garment to a nearby chair. "Reveling in the waning days of bachelorhood, are we?"
"It would be more accurate to say I'm thrashing like a drowning rat."
"Same thing." Sebastian unfastened his cuffs and began to roll up his shirtsleeves. An active life at Heron's Point, the family estate in Sussex, had kept him as fit and limber as a man half his age. Frequent exposure to the sunlight had gilded his hair and darkened his complexion, making his pale blue eyes startling in their brightness.
While other men of his generation had become staid and settled, the duke was more vigorous than ever, in part because his youngest son was still only eleven. The duchess, Evie, had conceived unexpectedly long after she had assumed her childbearing years were past. As a result there were eight years between the baby's birth and that of the next oldest sibling, Seraphina. Evie had been more than a little embarrassed to find herself with child at her age, especially in the face of her husband's teasing claims that she was a walking advertisement of his potency. And indeed, there have been a hint of extra swagger in Sebastian's step all through his wife's last pregnancy.
Their fifth child was a handsome boy with hair the deep auburn red of an Irish setter. He'd been christened Michael Ivo, but somehow the pugnacious middle name suited him more than his given name. Now a lively, cheerful lad, Ivo accompanied his father nearly everywhere.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
No, I wasn’t going to think about that. I didn’t think about it through the long hours of flight. I didn’t think about it as the sun came up – finally – on the horizon, bathing me in gold and hope. I didn’t think of it when Hubric signaled a weary stop and we landed exhaustedly next to a pond in a rolling field of grass.
Stop thinking about it. Seriously. You’re driving me crazy.
But honestly, how did you stop thinking about something like that? I’d been so close to having something I’d wanted all my life. I’d been so close to getting what I didn’t even believe was possible.
Sarah K.L. Wilson (First Message (Dragon School, #7))
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
After watching—with a twinge of satisfaction—the letters burn to ashes in the fireplace, Evie felt sleepy. She went to the master bedroom for a nap. In spite of her weariness, it was difficult to relax while she was worried about Sebastian. Her thoughts chased round and round, until her tired brain put an end to the useless fretting and she dropped off to sleep.
When she awakened an hour or so later, Sebastian was sitting on the bed beside her, a lock of her bright hair clasped loosely between a thumb and forefinger. He was watching her closely, his eyes the color of heaven at daybreak. She sat up and smiled self-consciously.
Gently Sebastian stroked back her tumbled hair. “You look like a little girl when you sleep,” he murmured. “It makes me want to guard you every minute.”
“Did you find Mr. Bullard?”
“Yes, and no. First tell me what you did while I was gone.”
“I helped Cam to arrange things in the office. And I burned all your letters from lovelorn ladies. The blaze was so large, I’m surprised no one sent for a fire brigade.”
His lips curved in a smile, but his gaze probed hers carefully. “Did you read any of them?”
Evie lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant half shrug. “A few. There were inquiries as to whether or not you’ve yet tired of your wife.”
“No.” Sebastian drew his palm along the line of her thigh. “I’m tired of countless evenings of repetitive gossip and tepid flirtation. I’m tired of meaningless encounters with women who bore me senseless. They’re all the same to me, you know. I’ve never given a damn about anyone but you.”
“I don’t blame them for wanting you,” Evie said, looping her arms around his neck. “But I’m not willing to share.”
“You won’t have to.” He cupped her face in his hands and pressed a swift kiss to her lips.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.’
Why, if ’tis dancing you would be,
There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.
Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
’Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul’s stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.
There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
—I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
We are friends, Brin, and friends do for each other what they see needs to be done,” the girl had explained in the late hours of the previous night when all talk had drifted into weary whispers. “Friendship is a thing sensed inwardly as much as a thing pledged openly. One feels friendship and becomes bound by it. It was this that drew Whisper to me and gained me his loyalty. I loved him as he loved me, and each of us sensed that in the other. I have sensed it with you as well. We are to be friends, all of us, and if we are to be friends, then we must share both good and bad in our friendship. Your needs become mine.
Terry Brooks (The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3))
When service is unto people, the bones can grow weary, the frustration deep. Because, agrees Dorothy Sayers, 'whenever man is made the centre of things, he becomes the storm-centre of trouble. The moment you think of serving people, you begin to have a notion that other people owe you something for your pains... You will begin to bargain for reward, to angle for applause.'
When the laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, I think I'm due some appreciation. So comes a storm of trouble and lightning strikes joy. But when Christ is center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone - the bones, they sing joy, and the work returns to it's purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
All great shows, she told me when I was little (and still learning to flex the tiny muscles in my esophagus), depend on the most ordinary objects. We can be a weary, cynical lot—we grow old and see only what suits us, and what is marvelous can often pass us by. A kitchen knife. A bulb of glass. A human body. That something so common should be so surprising—why, we forget it. We take it for granted. We assume that our sight is reliable, that our deeds are straightforward, that our words have one meaning. But life is uncommon and strange; it is full of intricacies and odd, confounding turns. So onstage we remind them just how extraordinary the ordinary can be. This, she said, is the tiger in the grass. It’s the wonder that hides in plain sight, the secret life that flourishes just beyond the screen. For you are not showing them a hoax or a trick, just a new way of seeing what’s already in front of them. This, she told me, is your mark on the world. This is the story that you tell.
Leslie Parry (Church of Marvels)
This false solution is last for a reason. Doing without is the final resting place of many who have tried the first six false solutions. It is where people go who have given up hoping for relationship. It is a place of quiet despair. When doing the same, the opposite, too much, nothing, for others, and to yourself fall through, you are left looking at yourself, alone, in a mirror. The very isolation of the dilemma is a judgment on you. It judges in several ways, telling you things like: You aren’t meant for safe people. You don’t qualify. You’ve been asking for too much. You can’t get it right. You are too damaged to have relationships. You aren’t spiritual enough. Typically, people who are trying this last false solution don’t make a big fuss about things. They get their lives in order. They bury themselves in work, service, or other worthwhile venues. And they try not to think about what they’re doing without. The disconnected part of the soul isn’t a very rude or demanding entity. It tends to die quietly, gradually withering away like a starving infant. After a period of time, you may no longer even be able to feel the pain of isolation. At that point, less pain but more damage is occurring. If you are in this position, part of you is still alive. You’re reading this book—even if you’re weary, cynical, and with no hope. But you are taking a step.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
In the stillest hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven selves sat together and thus conversed in whispers:
First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years, with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow by night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel.
Second Self: Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is given to me to be this madman's joyous self. I laugh his laughter and sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance his brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary existence.
Third Self: And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self who would rebel against this madman.
Fourth Self: I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is I, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell, who would protest against serving this madman.
Fifth Self: Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self, the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without rest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it is I, not you, who would rebel.
Sixth Self: And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who, with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images and give the formless elements new and eternal forms- it is I, the solitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman.
Seventh Self: How strange that you all would rebel against this man, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to fulfil. Ah! could I but be like one of you, a self with a determined lot! But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits in the dumb, empty nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creating life. Is it you or I, neighbours, who should rebel?
When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with pity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeper one after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy submission.
But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness, which is behind all things.
One day when our hearts were young,
we went roving with right good will,
side by side two comrades
to find what lay o'er the hill.
Our spirits never wearied then,
in those high old times gone by.
What friends we made, what perils we faced,
together you and I.
Now eyes grow dim and paws feel stiff,
even vittles don't taste the same.
You wake one day, with your whiskers grey,
what price then, medals an' fame?
Alas, all we have are memories,
to take out, dust off, and share.
But, oh, my friend, the pride we feel,
just to know that we were there!
We travelled an' fought an' feasted,
we triumphed, we marched and songs were sung,
We faced death, saw life and adventure!
One day when our hearts were young.
Brian Jacques (The Sable Quean (Redwall, #21))
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you.
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
William Shakespeare (Henry VIII)
You’re still in love with him,” Finn finally says, calmly. I wish he would yell at me or shake me. It would be easier to take than him sounding so weary. So sad.
“I knew it,” he says. “I should have always known it, and maybe I did, but when I saw you with him in that hotel room, the way you held on to him . . .” I know loving someone doesn’t ever completely go away, but it’s hard for me. I see the way Marina is with him, and it still tears me up inside. I can’t take it from you, too. I can’t always be the consolation prize for you, Em. I just—I love you too much.”
I’m a fish on dry land, gawping and gasping.
“I know you care about me or whatever,” he continues, “but if you’re still in love with James, I need to know. I deserve that much.
Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays)
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
But for me all the East is contained in that vision of my youth. It is all in that moment when I opened my young eyes on it. I came upon it from a tussle with the sea—and I was young—and I saw it looking at me. And this is all that is left of it! Only a moment; a moment of strength, of romance, of glamour—of youth!... A flick of sunshine upon a strange shore, the time to remember, the time for a sigh, and—good-bye!—Night—Good-bye...!”
“Ah! The good old time—the good old time. Youth and the sea. Glamour and the sea! The good, strong sea, the salt, bitter sea, that could whisper to you and roar at you and knock your breath out of you.”
He drank again.
“By all that’s wonderful, it is the sea, I believe, the sea itself—or is it youth alone? Who can tell? But you here—you all had something out of life: money, love—whatever one gets on shore—and, tell me, wasn’t that the best time, that time when we were young at sea; young and had nothing, on the sea that gives nothing, except hard knocks—and sometimes a chance to feel your strength—that only—what you all regret?”
And we all nodded at him: the man of finance, the man of accounts, the man of law, we all nodded at him over the polished table that like a still sheet of brown water reflected our faces, lined, wrinkled; our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone—has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash—together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.
Joseph Conrad (Youth)
I can say it, but it doesn’t seem convincing to most people. I can call it an ‘injustice,’ but that doesn’t always sink in either. You have to understand the nature of the culture in New York. Words that are equal to the pain of the poor are pretty easily discredited. A quarter of the truth, stated with lots of indirection, is regarded as more seemly.
Even when people do accept the idea of ‘injustice,’ there are ways to live with it without it causing you to change a great deal in your life. A mildly embarrassed toleration of injustice is an elemental part of cultural sophistication here. the stile is, ‘Oh yes. We know all that. So tell us something new.’ There’s a kind of cultivated weariness in this. Talking about injustice, I am told, is ‘tiresome’ unless you do it in a way that sounds amusing.
Jonathan Kozol (Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation)
With a cold barren weariness that quenched the dry glow of anger, he thought, What can you do about these people? The terrible thing is, there are such a lot of them. There are so many, they expect to meet each other wherever they go.
Not wicked, he thought: that’s not the word, that’s sentimentality. These are just runts. Souls with congenitally short necks and receding brows. They don’t sin in the sight of heaven and feel despair: they only throw away lighted cigarettes on Exmoor, and go on holiday leaving the cat to starve, and drive on after accidents without stopping. A wicked man nowadays can set millions of them in motion, and when he’s gone howling mad from looking at his own face, they’ll be marching still with their mouths open and their hands hanging by their knees, on and on and on. …
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:1–3) These words might not speak on your behalf, but they can—they must. If you think they can’t, that is not shame talking. It is hopelessness, indifference, and a heart that is getting hard. These are completely understandable, but they are also a whopper of a lie. A warning about “a heart that is getting hard” is not the nicest comment to slip into a book’s final chapter. But please understand why I give it. There is a paralytic quality to shame that leaves you powerless, unable to put up the least resistance. It leads you to believe the lie that Christ’s words to you are mere words, which they are not. They are words of power that heal the sick and raise the dead. When people encounter the gospel, limbs suddenly begin to move and death gives way to life. So, when you hear these deep truths and still think you are paralyzed, understand why. You have been motionless for a while and your muscle memory says you can’t move. But your memory is lying. You can move; you can hear, believe, and declare. If you are passive and hopeless, take a more radical approach. Adopt the topsy-turvy, surprising culture of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom we aren’t shy about looking at our hearts and identifying resistance where we once found only powerlessness. The warning about being hard-hearted can be a reason to hope.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
Chateaubriand writes of René, his personification, ‘it wearied him to be loved’ – on le fatigait en l’aimant. I realized with astonishment that this experience was identical to my own, and so I couldn’t deny its validity.
The weariness of being loved, of being truly loved! The weariness of being the object of other people’s burdensome emotions! Of seeing yourself – when what you wanted was to remain forever free – transformed into a delivery boy whose duty is to reciprocate, to have the decency not to flee, lest anyone think that you’re cavalier towards emotions and would reject the loftiest sentiment that a human soul can offer. The weariness of your existence becoming absolutely dependent on a relationship with someone else’s feeling! The weariness of having to feel something, of having to love at least a little in return, even if it’s not a true reciprocity!
The alternative to soul-acceptance is soul-fatigue. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the body. When we stay up too late and rise too early; when we try to fuel ourselves for the day with coffee and a donut in the morning and Red Bull in the afternoon; when we refuse to take the time to exercise and we eat foods that clog our brains and arteries; when we constantly try to guess which line at the grocery store will move faster and which car in which lane at the stoplight will move faster and which parking space is closest to the mall, our bodies grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the mind. When we are bombarded by information all day at work . . . When multiple screens are always clamoring for our attention . . . When we carry around mental lists of errands not yet done and bills not yet paid and emails not yet replied to . . . When we try to push unpleasant emotions under the surface like holding beach balls under the water at a swimming pool . . . our minds grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the will. We have so many decisions to make. When we are trying to decide what clothes will create the best possible impression, which foods will bring us the most pleasure, which tasks at work will bring us the most success, which entertainment options will make us the most happy, which people we dare to disappoint, which events we must attend, even what vacation destination will be most enjoyable, the need to make decisions overwhelms us. The sheer length of the menu at Cheesecake Factory oppresses us. Sometimes college students choose double majors, not because they want to study two fields, but simply because they cannot make the decision to say “no” to either one. Our wills grow weary with so many choices.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
The worst pair of opposites is boredom and terror. Sometimes your life is a pendulum swing from one to the other. The sea is without a wrinkle. There is not a whisper of wind. The hours last forever. You are so bored you sink into a state of apathy close to a coma. Then the sea becomes rough and your emotions are whipped into a frenzy. Yet even these two opposites do not remain distinct. In your boredom there are elements of terror: you break down into tears; you are filled with dread; you scream; you deliberately hurt yourself And in the grip of terror - the worst storm - you yet feel boredom, a deep weariness with it all.
Only death consistently excites your emotions, whether contemplating it when life is safe and stale, or fleeing it when life is threatened and precious.
Life on a lifeboat isn't much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn't be more simple, nor the stakes higher. Physically it is extraordinarily arduous, and morally it is killing. You must make adjustments if you want to survive. Much becomes expendable. You get your happiness where you can. You reach a point where you're at the bottom of hell, yet you have your arms crossed and a smile on your face, and you feel you're the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because at your feet you have a tiny dead fish.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
At first glance, the painting on the fortune-telling tent seemed to depict
an eye, like the decoration on Madame Lulu's caravan and the tattoo on Count Olaf's ankle.
The three children had seen similar eyes wherever they went, from a building in the shape of
an eye when they were working in a lumbermill, to an eye on Esmé Squalor's purse when
they were hiding in a hospital, to a huge swarm of eyes that surrounded them in their most
frightening nightmares, and although the siblings never understood quite what these eyes
meant, they were so weary of gazing at them that they would never pause to look at one
again. But there are many things in life that become different if you take a long look at them, and as the children paused in front of the fortune-telling tent, the painting seemed to change
before their very eyes, until it did not seem like a painting at all, but an insignia.
Lemony Snicket (The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9))
Where are you now? What roads are you treading? We have so many new roads now, right across the steppe all the way to the Altai and Siberia. Many brave souls are toiling there. Perhaps you're among them? You left, my Jamilia, across the wide steppe without a backward glance. Perhaps you are weary, perhaps you have lost faith in your self? Just lean on Daniyar's shoulder. Have him sing to you his song of love, of life, of the earth. May the steppe come alive and blossom in all its glory. May you recall that August night. Keep on, Jamilia, have no regrets; you've found your hard-sought happiness.
When I gaze at them long enough I can hear Daniyar's voice. He is calling to me, too, to take the highroad, which means it is time for me to get ready. I shall cross the steppe back to my village and find fresh colours there.
May Daniyar's song resound and may Jamilia's heart beat with every stroke of my brush.
Chingiz Aitmatov (Jamilia)
I loved him not; and yet, now he is gone,
I feel I am alone.
I check’d him while he spoke; yet, could he speak,
Alas! I would not check.
For reasons not to love him once I sought,
And wearied all my thought
To vex myself and him: I now would give
My love could he but live
Who lately lived for me, and, when he found
’Twas vain, in holy ground
He hid his face amid the shades of death.
I waste for him my breath
Who wasted his for me! but mine returns,
And this lorn bosom burns
With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep,
And waking me to weep
Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years
Wept he as bitter tears.
Merciful God! such was his latest prayer,
These may she never share.
Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold,
Than daisies in the mould,
Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate,
His name and life’s brief date.
Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe’er you be,
And oh! pray too for me!
Walter Savage Landor
Like a Small Cafi, That's Love"
Like a small cafe on the street of strange.—
that's love... its doors open to all.
Like a cafe that expands and
commas with the w.then
if it pours with rain its customers increase,
if the weather's fm, they are few and weary...
I am here, stranger, sitting in the comer.
(What color .e your eyes? What is your name?
How shall I call to you as you pass hy,
as I sit waiting for you?)
A small caa, that's love.
I order two glass. of wine
and drink to my health and yours.
I am carrying two caps
and umbrella. It is raining now.
It is raining more than ever,
and you do not come hA
I say to myself at last: Perhaps she who I was waiting for
was waiting for me, or was waiting for some other ma,
or was waiting for us, and did not find him/me.
She would sap Here I am waiting for you.
(What color are your eyes? What is your name?
What kind of wine do you prefer? How shall I call to you when
you pass hyl)
A small that's love...
Mahmoud Darwish (كزهر اللوز أو أبعد)
O’Brien leaned over him, deliberately bringing the worn face nearer. You are thinking, he said, that my face is old and tired. You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails? We are priests of power, he said. God is power. But at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. The first thing you must realise is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan: ‘Freedom is slavery’. Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone – free- the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for you to realise is that power is power over human beings. Over the body – but, above all, over the mind. Power over matter – external reality, as you would call it – is not important. Already our control over matter is absolute….But how can you control matter? He burst out. You don’t even control the climate or the law of gravity. And there are disease, pain, death- O’Brien silenced him by a movement of the hand. We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston….But the world itself is only a speck of dust. And man is tiny-helpless! How long has he been in existence? For millions of years the earth was uninhabited…Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exist except through human consciousness…
George Orwell (1984)
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear. I took them all away, and if ever there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Tatiasha, my wife, I got cookies from you and Janie, anxious medical advice from Gordon Pasha (tell him you gave me a gallon of silver nitrate), some sharp sticks from Harry (nearly cried). I’m saddling up, I’m good to go. From you I got a letter that I could tell you wrote very late at night. It was filled with the sorts of things a wife of twenty-seven years should not write to her far-away and desperate husband, though this husband was glad and grateful to read and re-read them. Tom Richter saw the care package you sent with the preacher cookies and said, “Wow, man. You must still be doing something right.” I leveled a long look at him and said, “It’s good to know nothing’s changed in the army in twenty years.” Imagine what he might have said had he been privy to the fervent sentiments in your letter. No, I have not eaten any poison berries, or poison mushrooms, or poison anything. The U.S. Army feeds its men. Have you seen a C-ration? Franks and beans, beefsteak, crackers, fruit, cheese, peanut butter, coffee, cocoa, sacks of sugar(!). It’s enough to make a Soviet blockade girl cry. We’re going out on a little scoping mission early tomorrow morning. I’ll call when I come back. I tried to call you today, but the phone lines were jammed. It’s unbelievable. No wonder Ant only called once a year. I would’ve liked to hear your voice though: you know, one word from you before battle, that sort of thing . . . Preacher cookies, by the way, BIG success among war-weary soldiers. Say hi to the kids. Stop teaching Janie back flip dives. Do you remember what you’re supposed to do now? Kiss the palm of your hand and press it against your heart. Alexander P.S. I’m getting off the boat at Coconut Grove. It’s six and you’re not on the dock. I finish up, and start walking home, thinking you’re tied up making dinner, and then I see you and Ant hurrying down the promenade. He is running and you’re running after him. You’re wearing a yellow dress. He jumps on me, and you stop shyly, and I say to you, come on, tadpole, show me what you got, and you laugh and run and jump into my arms. Such a good memory. I love you, babe.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
They are all in the same category, both those who are afflicted with fickleness, boredom and a ceaseless change of purpose, and who always yearn for what they left behind, and those who just yawn from apathy. There are those too who toss around like insomniacs, and keep changing their position until they find rest through sheer weariness. They keep altering the condition of their lives, and eventually stick to that one in which they are trapped not by weariness with further change but by old age which is too sluggish for novelty. There are those too who suffer not from moral steadfastness but from inertia, and so lack the fickleness to live as they wish, and just live as they have begun. In fact there are innumerable characteristics of the malady, but one effect - dissatisfaction with oneself. This arises from mental instability and from fearful and unfulfilled desires, when men do not dare or do not achieve all they long for, and all they grasp at is hope: they are always unbalanced and fickle, an inevitable consequence of living in suspense. They struggle to gain their prayers by every path, and they teach and force themselves to do dishonourable and difficult things; and when their efforts are unrewarded the fruitless disgrace tortures them, and they regret not the wickedness but the frustration of their desires. Then they are gripped by repentance for their attempt and fear of trying again, and they are undermined by the restlessness of a mind that can discover no outlet, because they can neither control nor obey their desires, by the dithering of life that cannot see its way ahead, and by the lethargy of a soul stagnating amid its abandoned hopes.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
plugged in my headphones. In the sermon, King uses the parable of the neighbor who knocks upon his friend’s door at midnight, seeking three loaves to feed a hungry traveler. The man’s need is great, King reminds us, because the loaves of bread he seeks are spiritual loaves. The bread of faith, the bread of hope, the bread of love. The man’s friend refuses him. “Do not bother me; the door is now shut,” his friend says, “and my children are with me in bed, I cannot get up and give you anything.” In his tremendous tenor, his voice rolling with the calm power and depth of the sea, King explains that the man continues to persistently knock; he will not be denied. He urges us to embrace the hope, faith, and love necessary to continue our struggle for justice in midnight’s darkest hour. With faith in his friend’s generosity, and out of a deep need to provide loaves to his visitor, the man knocks. “Midnight is a confusing hour when it is difficult to be faithful.” His voice sonorous, King intones, “The weary traveler by midnight who asks for bread is really seeking the dawn. Our eternal message of hope is that dawn will come.
Brittany K. Barnett (A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom)
He seemed to notice Walther’s baldrick across my chest for the first time—along with its royal crest.
He paled, blustering with apologies and began to drop to one knee, “Your Highness—”
I stopped him, pushing him to his feet again by the tip of my sword. “It shouldn’t matter if I am a tavern maid or a princess. When I see you treating others with respect without regard to their station—or anatomy—then your apology will mean something.”
I turned and walked away as he still blustered, weary that this was a battle I had to fight over and over again.
Mary E. Pearson (The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3))
Have you ever watched a storm approaching on a hot summer’s day? It’s especially spectacular in the mountains. At first there’s nothing to see, but you feel a sort of weariness that tells you something is in the air. Then you hear thunder - just a rumble here and there- you can’t quite tell where it is coming from. All of a sudden, the mountains seem strangely near. There isn't a breath of wind, yet dense clouds pile up in the sky. And now the mountains have almost vanished behind a wall of haze. Clouds rush in from all sides, but still there’s no wind. There’s more thunder now, and everything around looks eir and menacing. You wait and wait. And then, suddenly, it erupts. At first it is almost a release. The storm descends into the valley. There’s thunder and lightning everywhere. The rain clatters down in huge drops. The storm is trapped in the narrow cleft of the valley and thunderclaps echo and reverberate off the steep mountain sides. The wind buffets you from every angle. And when the storm finally moves away, leaving in its place a clear, still, starlit night, you can hardly remember where those thunderclouds were, let alone which thunderclap belonged to which flash of lightning.
E.H. Gombrich (A Little History of the World)
The journey is too much for you. (1 Kings 19:7) What did God do with Elijah, His tired servant? He allowed him to sleep and then gave him something good to eat. Elijah had done tremendous work and in his excitement had run “ahead of Ahab[’s chariot] all the way to Jezreel” (1 Kings 18:46). But the run had been too much for him and had sapped his physical strength, ultimately causing him to become depressed. Just as others in this condition need sleep and want their ailments treated, Elijah’s physical requirements needed to be met. There are many wonderful people who end up where Elijah did—“under a juniper tree” (1 Kings 19:4 KJV)! When this happens, the words of the Master are very soothing: “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” In other words, “I am going to refresh you.” Therefore may we never confuse physical weariness with spiritual weakness. I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray, Said I, as my overtaxed strength gave way. The one conscious thought that my mind possessed, Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest. Will God forgive me, do you suppose, If I go right to sleep as a baby goes, Without questioning if I may, Without even trying to trust and pray? Will God forgive you? Think back, dear heart,
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
The day after tomorrow, yes, only the day after tomorrow ...
Tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the day after tomorrow,
Maybe I could do it then; but not today ...
No, nothing today; today I can’t.
The confused persistence of my objective subjectivity,
The sleep of my real life, intercalated,
Anticipated, infinite weariness—
I’m worlds too weary to catch a trolley—
That kind of soul ...
Only the day after tomorrow ...
Today I want to prepare,
I want to prepare myself for tomorrow, when I’ll think about the next day ...
That’d be decisive.
I’ve already got the plans sketched out, but no, today I’m not making any
Tomorrow’s the day for plans.
Tomorrow I’ll sit down at my desk to conquer the world;
But I’ll only conquer the world the day after tomorrow ...
I feel like crying,
I suddenly feel like crying a lot, inside ...
That’s all you’re getting today, it’s a secret, I’m not talking.
Only the day after tomorrow ...
When I was a kid the Sunday circus diverted me every week.
Today all that diverts me is the Sunday circus from all the weeks of my
The day after tomorrow I’ll be someone else,
My life will triumph,
All my real qualities—intelligent, well-read, practical—
Will be gathered together in a public notice ...
But the public notice will go up tomorrow ...
Today I want to sleep, I’ll make a fair copy tomorrow ...
For today, what show will repeat my childhood to me?
Even if I buy tickets tomorrow,
The show would still really be the day after tomorrow ...
Not before ...
The day after tomorrow I’ll have the public pose I will have practiced
The day after tomorrow I’ll finally be what I could never be today.
Only the day after tomorrow ...
I’m sleepy as a stray dog's chill.
I’m really sleepy.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you everything, or the day after tomorrow ...
Yes, maybe only the day after tomorrow ...
By and by ...
Yes, the old by and by ...
Men in Númenor are half-Elves (said Erendis), especially the high men; they are neither the one nor the other. The long life that they were granted deceives them, and they dally in the world, children in mind, until age finds them – and then many only forsake play out of doors for play in their houses. They turn their play into great matters and great matters into play. They would be craftsmen and loremasters and heroes all at once; and women to them are but fires on the hearth – for others to tend, until they are tired of play in the evening. All things were made for their service: hills are for quarries, river to furnish water or to turn wheels, trees for boards, women for their body’s need, or if fair to adorn their table and hearth; and children to be teased when nothing else is to do – but they would as soon play with their hounds’ whelps. To all they are gracious and kind, merry as larks in the morning (if the sun shines); for they are never wrathful if they can avoid it. Men should be gay, they hold, generous as the rich, giving away what they do not need. Anger they show only when they become aware, suddenly, that there are other wills in the world beside their own. Then they will be as ruthless as the seawind if anything dare to withstand them. Thus it is, Ancalimë, and we cannot alter it. For men fashioned Númenor: men, those heroes of old that they sing of – of their women we hear less, save that they wept when their men were slain. Númenor was to be a rest after war. But if they weary of rest and the plays of peace, soon they will go back to their great play, manslaying and war. Thus it is; and we are set here among them. But we need not assent. If we love Númenor also, let us enjoy it before they ruin it. We also are daughters of the great, and we have wills and courage of our own. Therefore do not bend, Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down. Sink your roots into the rock, and face the wind, though it blow away all your leaves.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fall of Númenor: And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth)
And a poet said, 'Speak to us of Beauty.' Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, 'Beauty is kind and gentle. Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.' And the passionate say, 'Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread. Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.' The tired and the weary say, 'beauty is of soft whispering s. She speaks in our spirit. Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.' But the restless say, 'We have heard her shouting among the mountains, And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.' At night the watchmen of the city say, 'Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.' And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, 'we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.' In winter say the snow-bound, 'She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.' And in the summer heat the reapers say, 'We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.' All these things have you said of beauty. Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted. It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw, But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight. People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror
Closing the distance between them, he had savored the modest allure of her walk and felt his body respond to the graceful sway of her hips as they approached the pool. He had envisioned her taking off her robe and showing him her slender nakedness, but instead, she had just stood there, as though searching for someone. It skipped through his mind that when he caught up to the girl, he would either apprehend or ravish her. He still wasn't sure which it would be as he stood before her, blocking her escape with a dark, slight smile.
As she peered up at him fearfully from the shadowed folds of her hood, he found himself staring into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He had only encountered that deep, dream-spun shade of cobalt once in his life before, in the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral. His awareness of the crowd them dimmed in the ocean-blue depths of her eyes. 'Who are you?' He did not say a word nor ask her permission. With the smooth self-assurance of a man who has access to every woman in the room, he captured her chin in a firm but gentle grip. She jumped when he touched her, panic flashing in her eyes.
His hard stare softened slightly in amusement at that, but then his faint smile faded, for her skin was silken beneath his fingertips. With one hand, he lifted her face toward the dim torchlight, while the other softly brushed back her hood. Then Lucien faltered, faced with a beauty the likes of which he had never seen.
His very soul grew hushed with reverence as he gazed at her, holding his breath for fear the vision would dissolve, a figment of his overactive brain. With her bright tresses gleaming the flame-gold of dawn and her large, frightened eyes of that shining, ethereal blue, he was so sure for a moment that she was a lost angel that he half expected to see silvery, feathered wings folded demurely beneath her coarse brown robe. She appeared somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two- a wholesome, nay, a virginal beauty of trembling purity. He instantly 'knew' that she was utterly untouched, impossible as that seemed in this place.
Her face was proud and weary. Her satiny skin glowed in the candlelight, pale and fine, but her soft, luscious lips shot off an effervescent champagne-pop of desire that fizzed more sweetly in his veins than anything he'd felt since his adolescence, which had taken place, if he recalled correctly, some time during the Dark Ages. There was intelligence and valor in her delicate face, courage, and a quivering vulnerability that made him ache with anguish for the doom of all innocent things.
'A noble youth, a questing youth,' he thought, and if she had come to slay dragons, she had already pierced him in his black, fiery heart with the lance of her heaven-blue gaze.
Gaelen Foley (Lord of Fire (Knight Miscellany, #2))
Does Jesus Care? In a fit of despondency, the psalmist once bemoaned, “No one cares for my soul” (Ps. 142:4). But in the next verse he turned his gloom into a prayer, declaring to God, “You are my refuge.” The word care occurs eighty-two times in the Bible, which frequently reminds us that when “the days are weary, the long nights dreary,” our Savior cares. Frank Graeff wrote “Does Jesus Care?” in 1901, and it was set to music by the noted conductor and composer, Dr. J. Lincoln Hall (born November 4, 1866), who later called it his most inspired piece of music. The form of the hymn is unusual. Each stanza asks questions about God’s care for us in various situations, and the chorus resounds with the bolstering answer: “Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares!” NOVEMBER 4 Does Jesus care when my heart is pained Too deeply for mirth or song, As the burdens press, and the cares distress And the way grows weary and long? Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed To resist some temptation strong; When for my deep grief there is no relief, Though my tears flow all the night long? Does Jesus care when I’ve said “good-bye” To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see? Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares. . . . casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Robert J. Morgan (Near To The Heart Of God)
The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what’s to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come. Each time you haul yourself up to what you think must surely be the crest, you find that there is in fact more hill beyond, sloped at an angle that kept it from view before, and that beyond that slope there is another, and beyond that another and another, and beyond each of those more still, until it seems impossible that any hill could run on this long. Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs—nearly there now!—but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do? When, after ages and ages, you finally reach the telltale world of truly high ground, where the chilled air smells of pine sap and the vegetation is gnarled and tough and wind bent, and push through to the mountain’s open pinnacle, you are, alas, past caring. You sprawl face down on a sloping pavement of gneiss, pressed to the rock by the weight of your pack, and lie there for some minutes, reflecting in a distant, out-of-body way that you have never before looked this closely at lichen, not in fact looked this closely at anything in the natural world since you were four years old and had your first magnifying glass. Finally, with a weary puff, you roll over, unhook yourself from your pack, struggle to your feet, and realize—again in a remote, light-headed, curiously not-there way—that the view is sensational: a boundless vista of wooded mountains, unmarked by human hand, marching off in every direction. This really could be heaven.
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their French words. I watched their love-visions and freed them from their fear. I took them all away, and if ever there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to grey to the colour of rain. Even the clouds tried to look the other way. Sometimes, I imagined how everything appeared above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye. They were French, they were Jews, and they were you.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
She sighed. It was a sad, weary sound, and it nearly broke his heart.
“You’re very kind to try to help me,” she said, “but I have already explored all of those avenues. Besides, I am not your responsibility.”
“You could be.”
She looked at him in surprise.
In that moment, Benedict knew that he had to have her. There was a connection between them, a strange, inexplicable bond that he’d felt only one other time in his life, with the mystery lady from the masquerade. And while she was gone, vanished into thin air, Sophie was very real. He was tired of mirages. He wanted someone he could see, someone he could touch.
And she needed him. She might not realize it yet, but she needed him. Benedict took her hand and tugged, catching her off-balance and wrapping her to him when she fell against his body.
“Mr. Bridgerton!” she yelped.
“Benedict,” he corrected, his lips at her ear.
“Say my name,” he persisted. He could be very stubborn when it suited his interests, and he wasn’t going to let her go until he heard his name cross her lips.
And maybe not even then.
“Benedict,” she finally relented. “I—”
“Hush.” He silenced her with his mouth, nibbling at the corner of her lips. When she went soft and compliant in his arms, he drew back, just far enough so that he could focus on her eyes. They looked impossibly green in the late-afternoon light, deep enough to drown in.
“I want you to come back to London with me,” he whispered, the words tumbling forth before he had a chance to consider them. “Come back and live with me.”
She looked at him in surprise.
“Be mine,” he said, his voice thick and urgent. “Be mine right now. Be mine forever. I’ll give you anything you want. All I want in return is you.”
-Sophie & Benedict
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
I think,” Berta remarked with a proud little smile when she was seated alone in the drawing room beside Elizabeth, “he’s having second thoughts about proposing, milday.”
“I think he was silently contemplating the easiest way to murder me at dinner,” Elizabeth said, chuckling. She was about to say more when the butler interrupted them to announce that Lord Marchman wished to have a private word with Lady Cameron in his study.
Elizabeth prepared for another battle of wits-or witlessness, she thought with an inner smile-and dutifully followed the butler down a dark hall furnished in brown and into a very large study where the earl was seated in a maroon chair at a desk on her right.
“You wished to see-“ she began as she stepped into his study, but something on the wall beside her brushed against her hair. Elizabeth turned her head, expecting to see a portrait hanging there, and instead found herself eye-to-fang with an enormous bear’s head. The little scream that tore from her was very real this time, although it owed to shock, not to fear.
“It’s quite dead,” the earl said in a voice of weary resignation, watching her back away from his most prized hunting trophy with her hand over her mouth.
Elizabeth recovered instantly, her gaze sweeping over the wall of hunting trophies, then she turned around.
“You may take your hand away from your mouth,” he stated. Elizabeth fixed him with another accusing glare, biting her lip to hide her smile. She would have dearly loved to hear how he had stalked that bear or where he had found that monstrous-big boar, but she knew better than to ask. “Please, my lord,” she said instead, “tell me these poor creatures didn’t die at your hands.”
“I’m afraid they did. Or more correctly, at the point of my gun.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The cabin; by the stern windows; Ahab sitting alone, and gazing out. I leave a white and turbid wake; pale waters, paler cheeks, where'er I sail. The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm my track; let them; but first I pass. Yonder, by the ever-brimming goblet's rim, the warm waves blush like wine. The gold brow plumbs the blue. The diver sun— slow dived from noon—goes down; my soul mounts up! she wearies with her endless hill. Is, then, the crown too heavy that I wear? this Iron Crown of Lombardy. Yet is it bright with many a gem; I the wearer, see not its far flashings; but darkly feel that I wear that, that dazzlingly confounds. 'Tis iron—that I know—not gold. 'Tis split, too—that I feel; the jagged edge galls me so, my brain seems to beat against the solid metal; aye, steel skull, mine; the sort that needs no helmet in the most brain-battering fight! Dry heat upon my brow? Oh! time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed. No more. This lovely light, it lights not me; all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can ne'er enjoy. Gifted with the high perception, I lack the low, enjoying power; damned, most subtly and most malignantly! damned in the midst of Paradise! Good night—good night! (waving his hand, he moves from the window.) 'Twas not so hard a task. I thought to find one stubborn, at the least; but my one cogged circle fits into all their various wheels, and they revolve. Or, if you will, like so many ant-hills of powder, they all stand before me; and I their match. Oh, hard! that to fire others, the match itself must needs be wasting! What I've dared, I've willed; and what I've willed, I'll do! They think me mad— Starbuck does; but I'm demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and—Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer. Now, then, be the prophet and the fulfiller one. That's more than ye, ye great gods, ever were. I laugh and hoot at ye, ye cricket-players, ye pugilists, ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes! I will not say as schoolboys do to bullies—Take some one of your own size; don't pommel me! No, ye've knocked me down, and I am up again; but ye have run and hidden. Come forth from behind your cotton bags! I have no long gun to reach ye. Come, Ahab's compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush! Naught's an obstacle, naught's an angle to the iron way! CHAPTER
Herman Melville (Moby Dick: or, the White Whale)
DEATH’S DIARY: THE PARISIANS Summer came. For the book thief, everything was going nicely. For me, the sky was the color of Jews. When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came toward me, into my arms, and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity’s certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower. I’ll never forget the first day in Auschwitz, the first time in Mauthausen. At that second place, as time wore on, I also picked them up from the bottom of the great cliff, when their escapes fell awfully awry. There were broken bodies and dead, sweet hearts. Still, it was better than the gas. Some of them I caught when they were only halfway down. Saved you, I’d think, holding their souls in midair as the rest of their being—their physical shells—plummeted to the earth. All of them were light, like the cases of empty walnuts. Smoky sky in those places. The smell like a stove, but still so cold. I shiver when I remember—as I try to de-realize it. I blow warm air into my hands, to heat them up. But it’s hard to keep them warm when the souls still shiver. God. I always say that name when I think of it. God. Twice, I speak it. I say His name in a futile attempt to understand. “But it’s not your job to understand.” That’s me who answers. God never says anything. You think you’re the only one he never answers? “Your job is to …” And I stop listening to me, because to put it bluntly, I tire me. When I start thinking like that, I become so exhausted, and I don’t have the luxury of indulging fatigue. I’m compelled to continue on, because although it’s not true for every person on earth, it’s true for the vast majority—that death waits for no man—and if he does, he doesn’t usually wait very long. On June 23, 1942, there was a group of French Jews in a German prison, on Polish soil. The first person I took was close to the door, his mind racing, then reduced to pacing, then slowing down, slowing down …. Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear. I took them all away, and if ever there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away. Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye. They were French, they were Jews, and they were you.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
The light dimmed. The sky through the windows turned emerald. It was the first green storm of the season, and as Kestrel heard the wind pummel the house, she knew that Arin was wrong. He had wanted to punish her for months now. Hadn’t she bought him? Didn’t she own him? This was his revenge. That was all.
The rain drove nails against the windowpanes. The room grew almost black. Kestrel heard Arin’s voice again in her mind and felt suddenly broken. Even if she didn’t doubt her feelings for Enai, there had been truth in his words.
She didn’t notice him return. This storm was loud, the room was dark. She sucked in her breath when she realized he stood next to her. For the first time, it occurred to her to be afraid of him.
But he merely struck a match and touched it to the wick of a lamp. He was soaked with rain. His skin glittered with it.
When she looked at him, he flinched. “Kestrel.” He sighed. He rubbed a hand through his wet hair. “I shouldn’t have said what I did.”
“You meant it.”
“Yes, but--” Arin looked weary and confused. “I would have been angry if you did not weep for her.” He held out the hand that rested at his side in the shadows, and for an uncertain moment Kestrel thought he would touch her. But he was only offering something on his uplifted palm. “This was in her cottage,” he said.
It was a braid of Kestrel’s hair. She took it carefully; even so, her smallest finger brushed his wet palm. His hand instantly fell.
She considered the braid, turning the bright ring in her fingers. She knew that it didn’t choose sides between her truth and Arin’s. It wasn’t proof of Enai’s love. Yet it was a comfort.
“I should go,” Arin said, though he didn’t move.
Kestrel looked at his face glowing in the lamplight. She became aware that she was close enough to him that her bare foot rested on the damp edge of carpet where Arin stood, seeping rainwater. A shiver traveled up her skin.
Kestrel stepped back. “Yes,” she said. “You should.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Are you chuckling yet? Because then along came you. A big, broad meat eater with brash blond hair and ruddy skin that burns at the beach. A bundle of appetites. A full, boisterous guffaw; a man who tells knock know jokes. Hot dogs - not even East 86th Street bratwurst but mealy, greasy big guts that terrifying pink. Baseball. Gimme caps. Puns and blockbuster movies, raw tap water and six-packs. A fearless, trusting consumer who only reads labels to make sure there are plenty of additives. A fan of the open road with a passion for his pickup who thinks bicycles are for nerds. Fucks hard and talks dirty; a private though unapologetic taste for porn. Mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction; a subscription to National Geographic. Barbecues on the Fourth of July and intentions, in the fullness of time, to take up golf. Delights in crappy snack foods of ever description: Burgles. Curlies. Cheesies. Squigglies - you're laughing - but I don't eat them - anything that looks less like food than packing material and at least six degrees of separation from the farm. Bruce Springsteen, the early albums, cranked up high with the truck window down and your hair flying. Sings along, off-key - how is it possible that I should be endeared by such a tin ear?Beach Boys. Elvis - never lose your roots, did you, loved plain old rock and roll. Bombast. Though not impossibly stodgy; I remember, you took a shine to Pearl Jam, which was exactly when Kevin went off them...(sorry). It just had to be noisy; you hadn't any time for my Elgar, my Leo Kottke, though you made an exception for Aaron Copeland. You wiped your eyes brusquely at Tanglewood, as if to clear gnats, hoping I didn't notice that "Quiet City" made you cry. And ordinary, obvious pleasure: the Bronx Zoo and the botanical gardens, the Coney Island roller coaster, the Staten Island ferry, the Empire State Building. You were the only New Yorker I'd ever met who'd actually taken the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You dragged me along once, and we were the only tourists on the boat who spoke English. Representational art - Edward Hopper. And my lord, Franklin, a Republican. A belief in a strong defense but otherwise small government and low taxes. Physically, too, you were such a surprise - yourself a strong defense. There were times you were worried that I thought you too heavy, I made so much of your size, though you weighed in a t a pretty standard 165, 170, always battling those five pounds' worth of cheddar widgets that would settle over your belt. But to me you were enormous. So sturdy and solid, so wide, so thick, none of that delicate wristy business of my imaginings. Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches. How luck we are, when we've spared what we think we want! How weary I might have grown of all those silly pots and fussy diets, and how I detest the whine of sitar music!
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
longer; it cannot deceive them too much." Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client, and nodded in confirmation. "As to you," said she, "you would shout and shed tears for anything, if it made a show and a noise. Say! Would you not?" "Truly, madame, I think so. For the moment." "If you were shown a great heap of dolls, and were set upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them for your own advantage, you would pick out the richest and gayest. Say! Would you not?" "Truly yes, madame." "Yes. And if you were shown a flock of birds, unable to fly, and were set upon them to strip them of their feathers for your own advantage, you would set upon the birds of the finest feathers; would you not?" "It is true, madame." "You have seen both dolls and birds to-day," said Madame Defarge, with a wave of her hand towards the place where they had last been apparent; "now, go home!" XVI. Still Knitting Madame Defarge and monsieur her husband returned amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine, while a speck in a blue cap toiled through the darkness, and through the dust, and down the weary miles of avenue by the wayside, slowly tending towards that point of the compass where the chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, now in his grave, listened to the whispering trees. Such ample leisure had the stone faces, now, for listening to the trees and to the fountain, that the few village scarecrows who, in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments of dead stick to burn, strayed within sight of the great stone courtyard and terrace staircase, had it borne in upon their starved fancy that the expression of the faces was altered. A rumour just lived in the village—had a faint and bare existence there, as its people had—that when the knife struck home, the faces changed, from faces of pride to faces of anger and pain; also, that when that dangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain, they changed again, and bore a cruel look of being avenged, which they would henceforth bear for ever. In the stone face over the great window of the bed-chamber where the murder was done, two fine dints were pointed out in the sculptured nose, which everybody recognised, and which nobody had seen of old; and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep at Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinny finger would not have pointed to it for a minute, before they all started away among the moss and leaves, like the more fortunate hares who could find a living there. Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well—thousands of acres of land—a whole province of France—all France itself—lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line. So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Under a Torremolinos Sky (Psalm 116)8 For Jim The first thing I notice is not the bed, oddly angled as all hospital beds are nor the pillowcase, covered in love notes. Not the table filled with pill bottles nor the sterile tools of a dozen indignities. I’ll notice these things later, on my way out perhaps. But first, my wide-angle lens pulls narrow, as eyes meet eyes and I am seen. How is it, before a word is spoken, you make me know I am known and welcome? What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! You smile behind the plastic that keeps you alive, and as I rest my hand on your chest we conspire together to break the rules. The rhythm of your labored breathing will decide our seconds, our minutes, our hours. Tears to laughter and back again always in that order and rightly so. We bask under a Torremolinos sky and hear the tongues of angels sing of sins forgiven long before the world was made. I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with his people. Talk turns to motorcycles and mortuaries, to scotch and sons who wear their father’s charm like a crown, daughters who quicken the pulse with just a glance. Time flies and neither of us has time to waste. I’ll make a great looking corpse, you say because we of all people must speak of these things, because we of all people refuse to pretend. This doesn’t bring tears—not yet. Instead a giggle, a shared secret that life is and is not in the body. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling. Your chest still rises and falls but you grow weary, my hand tells me so. It’s too soon to ever say goodbye. When it’s my turn, brother, I will find you where the streets shimmer and tears herald only joy where we wear our true names and our true faces. Promise me, there, the dance we never had. When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love him. Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God. I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with his people, In the place of worship, in God’s house, in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Karen Dabaghian (A Travelogue of the Interior: Finding Your Voice and God's Heart in the Psalms)
Crimson silk sheets.
I’m in her and she’s looking at me like I’m her world. The woman undoes me.
I flinch. I’m having sex with me, seeing myself from his eyes. I look incredible naked—is that how he sees me? He doesn’t see any of my flaws. I’ve never looked half as good to myself. I want to pull out. It feels perverse. I’m fascinated. But this was not what I was hunting for at all . . .
Where are the handcuffs? Ah, grab her fucking head, she’s going down on me again. She’ll make me come. Tie her up. Is she back? How much longer do I have?
He senses me there.
Get out of my HEAD!
I deepen the kiss, bite his tongue, and he is violent with lust. I take advantage, diving deep. There’s a thought he’s shielding. I want it.
Nobody home but She for Whom I am the World. Can’t go on like this, can’t keep doing it.
Why couldn’t he go on? What couldn’t he keep doing? I’m having sex with him, any way he wants me, while I stare up at him with utter worship. Where was the problem there?
Weariness suddenly crashes over me. I’m in his body, and I’m coming beneath him, and I’m checking my eyes warily.
What the fuck am I doing here?
He knew what he was, what I was.
He knew we came from different worlds, didn’t belong together.
Yet for a few months there’d been no lines of demarcation between us. We’d existed in a place beyond definitions, where no rules had mattered, and I wasn’t the only one who’d reveled in it. But the entire time I’d been lost in sexual bliss, he’d been aware of time passing, of everything that was happening—that I was mindless, I wasn’t willing, and when I snapped out of it I’d blame him.
Keep hoping to see the light in her eyes. Even knowing it’ll mean she’s saying good-bye.
I had. Irrational or not, I’d held it against him. He’d seen me naked, body and soul, and I hadn’t seen him at all. I’d been blinded by helpless lust that hadn’t been for him. I had been lust, and he’d been there.
Just one time, he’s thinking as we watch my glazed eyes go even emptier.
One time, what? Instead of pushing, I try a stealth attack. I pretend to retreat, let him think he’s won, and at the last minute turn around. Instead of lunging for his thoughts, I stay very, very still and listen.
He pushes my hair out of my face. I look like an animal. There’s no sentience in my gaze. I’m a cavewoman, with a miniscule, pre-historic brain.
When you know who I am. Let me be your man.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Gervex's painting had a lurid and well-known literary source: it was based on Alfred de Musset's poem "Rolla," published in 1833 and 1840. The poem, a paradigm of July Monarchy romanticism, chronicles the disgrace that befalls Jacques Rolla, a son of the bourgeoisie, in the big city. The narrative of his decline — he squandered his fortune and committed suicide — is interleaved with lamentations over the moral and spiritual decadence of contemporary life. Thenineteen-year-old Rolla becomes the "most debauched man" in Paris, "where vice is the cheapest, the oldest and the most fertile in the world."
The poem tells a second story as well, that of Marie (or Maria or Marion), a pure young girl who becomes a degraded urban prostitute. Her story amplifies the poet's theme — a world in moral disarray - and provides the instrument of, and a sympathetic companion for, Rolla's climactic self-destruction. Musset is clear about his young prostitute's status: she was forced into a prostitution de la misère by economic circumstances ("what had debased her was, alas, poverty /And not love of gold"), and he frequently distinguishes her situation from that of the venal women of the courtesan rank ("Your loves are golden, lively and poetic; . . . you are not for sale at all"). He is also insistent about the tawdry circumstances in which the young woman had to practice her miserable profession ("the shameful curtains of that foul retreat," "in a hovel," "the walls of this gloomy and ramshackle room").
The segments of the poem from which Gervex drew his story — and which were published in press reviews of the painting — are these:
With a melancholy eye Rolla gazed on
The beautiful Marion asleep in her wide bed;
In spite of himself, an unnameable and diabolical horror
Made him tremble to the bone.
Marion had cost dearly. — To pay for his night
He had spent his last coins.
His friends knew it. And he, on arriving,
Had taken their hand and given his word that
In the morning no one would see him alive.
When Rolla saw the sun appear on the roofs,
He went and leaned out the window.
Rolla turned to look at Marie.
She felt exhausted, and had fallen asleep.
And thus both fled the cruelties of fate,
The child in sleep, and the man in death!
It was a moment of inaction, then, that Gervex chose to paint - that of weary repose for her and melancholic contemplation for Rolla, following the night of paid sex and just prior to his suicide.
Hollis Clayson (Painted Love: Prostitution and French Art of the Impressionist Era)
My dwelling was small, and I could hardly entertain an echo in it; but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors. All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping-room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all. Cato says, the master of a family (patremfamilias) must have in his rustic villa "cellam oleariam, vinariam, dolia multa, uti lubeat caritatem expectare, et rei, et virtuti, et gloriae erit," that is, "an oil and wine cellar, many casks, so that it may be pleasant to expect hard times; it will be for his advantage, and virtue, and glory." I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each. I sometimes dream of a larger and more populous house, standing in a golden age, of enduring materials, and without gingerbread work, which shall still consist of only one room, a vast, rude, substantial, primitive hall, without ceiling or plastering, with bare rafters and purlins supporting a sort of lower heaven over one's head—useful to keep off rain and snow, where the king and queen posts stand out to receive your homage, when you have done reverence to the prostrate Saturn of an older dynasty on stepping over the sill; a cavernous house, wherein you must reach up a torch upon a pole to see the roof; where some may live in the fireplace, some in the recess of a window, and some on settles, some at one end of the hall, some at another, and some aloft on rafters with the spiders, if they choose; a house which you have got into when you have opened the outside door, and the ceremony is over; where the weary traveller may wash, and eat, and converse, and sleep, without further journey; such a shelter as you would be glad to reach in a tempestuous night, containing all the essentials of a house, and nothing for house-keeping; where you can see all the treasures of the house at one view, and everything hangs upon its peg, that a man should use; at once kitchen, pantry, parlor, chamber, storehouse, and garret; where you can see so necessary a thing, as a barrel or a ladder, so convenient a thing as a cupboard, and hear the pot boil, and pay your respects to the fire that cooks your dinner, and the oven that bakes your bread, and the necessary furniture and utensils are the chief ornaments; where the washing is not put out, nor the fire, nor the mistress, and perhaps you are sometimes requested to move from off the trap-door, when the cook would descend into the cellar, and so learn whether the ground is solid or hollow beneath you without stamping. A house whose inside is as open and manifest as a bird's nest, and you cannot go in at the front door and out at the back without seeing some of its inhabitants; where to be a guest is to be presented with the freedom of the house, and not to be carefully excluded from seven eighths of it, shut up in a particular cell, and told to make yourself at home there—in solitary confinement. Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you. I am aware that I have been on many a man's premises, and might have been legally ordered off, but I am not aware that I have been in many men's houses. I might visit in my old clothes a king and queen who lived simply in such a house as I have described, if I were going their way; but backing out of a modern palace will be all that I shall desire to learn, if ever I am caught in one.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
XVIII TO HIS LADY Beloved beauty who inspires love from afar, your face concealed except when your celestial image stirs my heart in sleep, or in the fields 5 where light and nature’s laughter shine more lovely; was it maybe you who blessed the innocent age called golden, and do you now, blithe spirit, 10 soar among men? Or does the miser, fate, who hides you from us save you for the future? No hope of seeing you alive remains for me now, except when, naked and alone, 15 my soul will go down a new street to an unfamiliar home. Already, at the dawning of my dark, uncertain day, I imagined you a fellow traveler on this parched ground. But no thing on earth 20 compares with you; and if someone who had a face like yours resembled you in word and deed, still she would be less lovely. In spite of all the suffering that fate assigned to human life, 25 if there was anyone on earth who truly loved you as my thought portrays you, this life for him would be a joy. And I see clearly how your love would still inspire me to seek praise and virtue, 30 the way I used to in my early years. Though heaven gave no comfort for our suffering, still mortal life with you would be like what in heaven becomes divinity. In the valleys, where you hear 35 the weary farmer singing and I sit and mourn my youth’s illusions leaving me; and on the hills where I turn back and lament my lost desires, 40 my life’s lost hope, I think of you and start to shake. In this sad age and sickly atmosphere, I try to keep your noble look in mind; without the real thing, I enjoy the image. 45 Whether you are the one and only eternal idea that eternal wisdom disdains to see arrayed in sensible form, to know the pains of mournful life in transitory dress; 50 or if in the supernal spheres another earth from among unnumbered worlds receives you, and a near star lovelier than the Sun warms you and you breathe benigner ether, from here, where years are both ill-starred and brief, 55 accept this hymn from your unnoticed lover.
Giacomo Leopardi (Canti: Poems / A Bilingual Edition (Italian Edition))
You will see that the most powerful and highly placed men let drop remarks in which they long for leisure, acclaim it, and prefer it to all their blessings. They desire at times, if it could be with safety, to descend from their high pinnacle; for, though nothing from without should assail or shatter, Fortune of its very self comes crashing down.8
The deified Augustus, to whom the gods vouchsafed more than to any other man, did not cease to pray for rest and to seek release from public affairs; all his conversation ever reverted to this subject—his hope of leisure. This was the sweet, even if vain, consolation with which he would gladden his labours—that he would one day live for himself. In a letter addressed to the senate, in which he had promised that his rest would not be devoid of dignity nor inconsistent with his former glory, I find these words: "But these matters can be shown better by deeds than by promises. Nevertheless, since the joyful reality is still far distant, my desire for that time most earnestly prayed for has led me to forestall some of its delight by the pleasure of words." So desirable a thing did leisure seem that he anticipated it in thought because he could not attain it in reality. He who saw everything depending upon himself alone, who determined the fortune of individuals and of nations, thought most happily of that future day on which he should lay aside his greatness. He had discovered how much sweat those blessings that shone throughout all lands drew forth, how many secret worries they concealed. Forced to pit arms first against his countrymen, then against his colleagues, and lastly against his relatives, he shed blood on land and sea.
Through Macedonia, Sicily, Egypt, Syria, and Asia, and almost all countries he followed the path of battle, and when his troops were weary of shedding Roman blood, he turned them to foreign wars. While he was pacifying the Alpine regions, and subduing the enemies planted in the midst of a peaceful empire, while he was extending its bounds even beyond the Rhine and the Euphrates and the Danube, in Rome itself the swords of Murena, Caepio, Lepidus, Egnatius, and others were being whetted to slay him. Not yet had he escaped their plots, when his daughter9 and all the noble youths who were bound to her by adultery as by a sacred oath, oft alarmed his failing years—and there was Paulus, and a second time the need to fear a woman in league with an Antony.10 When be had cut away these ulcers11 together with the limbs themselves, others would grow in their place; just as in a body that was overburdened with blood, there was always a rupture somewhere. And so he longed for leisure, in the hope and thought of which he found relief for his labours. This was the prayer of one who was able to answer the prayers of mankind.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
And he felt it.
Rogal Dorn had been feeling it for days, weeks, building up, up, up, rising over him like a black fog, dragging at his limbs, clogging his mind, making him question every decision he made, every order he gave.
He hadn’t had any respite at all, of any kind, for three months. Three months! His sharpness was going now, his reactions were slower. A billion functionaries depending on him for everything, reaching out to him, suffocating him with their endless demands, pleas for help, for guidance. A billion eyes, on him, all the time.
And he’d fought, too. He’d fought. He’d fought primarchs, brothers he’d once thought of as equals or betters. He’d seen the hatred in Perturabo’s eyes, the mania in Fulgrim’s, stabbing at him, poisoning him. Every duel, every brief foray into combat, had chipped a bit more off, had weakened the foundations a little further. Fulgrim had been the worst. His brother’s old form, so pleasing to the eye, had gone, replaced by bodily corruption so deep he scarcely had the words for it. That degradation repulsed him almost more than anything else. It showed just how far you could fall, if you lost your footing in reality completely.
You couldn’t show that repulsion. You couldn’t betray the doubt, or give away the fatigue. You couldn’t give away so much as a flicker of weakness, or the game was up, so Dorn’s face remained just as it always had been – static, flinty, curt. He kept his shoulders back, spine straight. He hid the fevers that raged behind his eyes, the bone-deep weariness that throbbed through every muscle, all for show, all to give those who looked up to him something to cling on to, to believe in. The Emperor, his father, was gone, silent, locked in His own unimaginable agonies, and so everything else had crashed onto his shoulders. The weight of the entire species, all their frailties and imperfections, wrapped tight around his mouth and throat and nostrils, choking him, drowning him, making him want to cry out loud, to cower away from it, something he would never do, could never do, and so he remained where he was, caught between the infinite weight of Horus’ malice and the infinite demands of the Emperor’s will, and it would break him, he knew, break him open like the walls themselves, which were about to break now too, despite all he had done, but had it been enough, yes it had, no it could not have been, they would break, they must not break…
He clenched his fist, curling the fingers up tight. His mind was racing again. He was on the edge, slipping into a fugue state, the paralysis he dreaded. It came from within. It came from without. Something – something – was making the entire structure around him panic, weaken, fail in resolve. He was not immune. He was the pinnacle – when the base was corrupted, he, too, eventually, would shatter.
Chris Wraight (Warhawk (The Siege of Terra #6))
Marcelina loved that miniscule, precise moment when the needle entered her face. It was silver; it was pure. It was the violence that healed, the violation that brought perfection. There was no pain, never any pain, only a sense of the most delicate of penetrations, like a mosquito exquisitely sipping blood, a precision piece of human technology slipping between the gross tissues and cells of her flesh. She could see the needle out of the corner of her eye; in the foreshortened reality of the ultra-close-up it was like the stem of a steel flower. The latex-gloved hand that held the syringe was as vast as the creating hand of God: Marcelina had watched it swim across her field of vision, seeking its spot, so close, so thrillingly, dangerously close to her naked eyeball. And then the gentle stab. Always she closed her eyes as the fingers applied pressure to the plunger. She wanted to feel the poison entering her flesh, imagine it whipping the bloated, slack, lazy cells into panic, the washes of immune response chemicals as they realized they were under toxic attack; the blessed inflammation, the swelling of the wrinkled, lined skin into smoothness, tightness, beauty, youth.
Marcelina Hoffman was well on her way to becoming a Botox junkie.
Such a simple treat; the beauty salon was on the same block as Canal Quatro. Marcelina had pioneered the lunch-hour face lift to such an extent that Lisandra had appropriated it as the premise for an entire series. Whore. But the joy began in the lobby with Luesa the receptionist in her high-collared white dress saying “Good afternoon, Senhora Hoffman,” and the smell of the beautiful chemicals and the scented candles, the lightness and smell of the beautiful chemicals and the scented candles, the lightness and brightness of the frosted glass panels and the bare wood floor and the cream-on-white cotton wall hangings, the New Age music that she scorned anywhere else (Tropicalismo hippy-shit) but here told her, “you’re wonderful, you’re special, you’re robed in light, the universe loves you, all you have to do is reach out your hand and take anything you desire.”
Eyes closed, lying flat on the reclining chair, she felt her work-weary crow’s-feet smoothed away, the young, energizing tautness of her skin. Two years before she had been to New York on the Real Sex in the City production and had been struck by how the ianqui women styled themselves out of personal empowerment and not, as a carioca would have done, because it was her duty before a scrutinizing, judgmental city. An alien creed: thousand-dollar shoes but no pedicure. But she had brought back one mantra among her shopping bags, an enlightenment she had stolen from a Jennifer Aniston cosmetics ad. She whispered it to herself now, in the warm, jasmine-and vetiver-scented sanctuary as the botulin toxins diffused through her skin.
Because I’m worth it.
Ian McDonald (Brasyl)
If you’re suddenly as curious as I am to find out if it was as good between us as it now seems in retrospect, then say so.” His own suggestion startled Ian, although having made it, he saw no great harm in exchanging a few kisses if that was what she wanted.
To Elizabeth, his statement that it had been “good between us” defused her ire and confused her at the same time. She stared at him in dazed wonder while his hands tightened imperceptibly on her arms. Self-conscious, she let her gaze drop to his finely molded lips, watching as a faint smile, a challenging smile lifted them at the corners, and inch by inch, the hands on her arms were drawing her closer.
“Afraid to find out?” he asked, and it was the trace of huskiness in his voice that she remembered, that worked its strange spell on her again, as it had so long ago. His hands shifted to the curve of her waist. “Make up your mind,” he whispered, and in her confused state of loneliness and longing, she made no protest when he bent his head. A shock jolted through her as his lips touched hers, warm, inviting-brushing slowly back and forth. Paralyzed, she waited for that shattering passion he’d shown her before, without realizing that her participation had done much to trigger it. Standing still and tense, she waited to experience that forbidden burst of exquisite delight…wanted to experience it, just once, just for a moment. Instead his kiss was feather-light, softly stroking…teasing!
She stiffened, pulling back an inch, and his gaze lifted lazily from her lips to her eyes. Dryly, he said, “That’s not quit the way I remembered it.”
“Nor I,” Elizabeth admitted, unaware that he was referring to her lack of participation.
“Care to try it again?” Ian invited, still willing to indulge in a few pleasurable minutes of shared ardor, so long as there was no pretense that it was anything but that, and no loss of control on his part.
The bland amusement in his tone finally made her suspect he was treating this as some sort of diverting game or perhaps a challenge, and she looked at him in shock, “Is this a-a contest?”
“Do you want to make it into one?”
Elizabeth shook her head and abruptly surrendered her secret memories of tenderness and stormy passion. Like all her other former illusions about him, that too had evidently been false. With a mixture of exasperation and sadness, she looked at him and said, “I don’t think so.”
“You’re playing a game,” she told him honestly, mentally throwing her hands up in weary despair, “and I don’t understand the rules.”
“They haven’t changed,” he informed her. “It’s the same game we played before-I kiss you, and,” he emphasized meaningfully, “you kiss me.”
His blunt criticism of her lack of participation left her caught between acute embarrassment and the urge to kick him in the shin, but his arm was tightening around her waist while his other hand was sliding slowly up her back, sensuously stroking her nape.
“How do you remember it?” he teased as his lips came closer. “Show me.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Elizabeth glanced up as Ian handed her a glass of champagne. “Thank you,” she said, smiling up at him and gesturing to Duncan, the duke, and Jake, who were now convulsed with loud hilarity. “They certainly seem to be enjoying themselves,” she remarked. Ian absently glanced the group of laughing men, then back at her. “You’re breathtaking when you smile.”
Elizabeth heard the huskiness in his voice and saw the almost slumberous look in his eyes, and she was wondering about its cause when he said softly, “Shall we retire?”
That suggestion caused Elizabeth to assume his expression must be due to weariness. She, herself, was more than ready to seek the peace of her own chamber, but since she’d never been to a wedding reception before, she assumed that the protocol must be the same as at any other gala affair-which meant the host and hostess could not withdraw until the last of the guests had either left or retired. Tonight, every one of the guest chambers would be in use, and tomorrow a large wedding breakfast was planned, followed by a hunt. “I’m not sleepy-just a little fatigued from so much smiling,” she told him, pausing to bestow another smile on a guest who caught her eye and waved. Turning her face up to Ian, she offered graciously, “It’s been a long day. If you wish to retire, I’m sure everyone will understand.”
“I’m sure they will,” he said dryly, and Elizabeth noted with puzzlement that his eyes were suddenly gleaming.
“I’ll stay down here and stand in for you,” she volunteered.
The gleam in his eyes brightened yet more. “You don’t think that my retiring alone will look a little odd?”
Elizabeth knew it might seem impolite, if not precisely odd, but then inspiration struck, and she said reassuringly, “Leave everything to me. I’ll make your excuses if anyone asks.”
His lips twitched. “Just out of curiosity-what excuse will you make for me?”
“I’ll say you’re not feeling well. It can’t be anything too dire though, or we’ll be caught out in the fib when you appear looking fit for breakfast and the hunt in the morning.” She hesitated, thinking, and then said decisively, “I’ll say you have the headache.”
His eyes widened with laughter. “It’s kind of you to volunteer to dissemble for me, my lady, but that particular untruth would have me on the dueling field for the next month, trying to defend against the aspersions it would cause to be cast upon my…ah…manly character.”
“Why? Don’t gentlemen get headaches?”
“Not,” he said with a roguish grin, “on their wedding night.”
“I can’t see why.”
“Can you not?”
“No. And,” she added with an irate whisper, “I don’t see why everyone is staying down here this late. I’ve never been to a wedding reception, but it does seem as if they ought to be beginning to seek their beds.”
“Elizabeth,” he said, trying not to laugh. “At a wedding reception, the guests cannot leave until the bride and groom retire. If you look over there, you’ll notice my great-aunts are already nodding in their chairs.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed, instantly contrite. “I didn’t know. Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“Because,” he said, taking her elbow and beginning to guide her from the ballroom, “I wanted you to enjoy every minute of our ball, even if we had to prop the guests up on the shrubbery.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He’s a murdering chud,” Zil was yelling.
“What do you want to do? Lynch him?” Astrid demanded.
That stopped the flow for a second as kids tried to figure out what “lynch” meant. But Zil quickly recovered.
“I saw him do it. He used his powers to kill Harry.”
“I was trying to stop you from smashing my head in!” Hunter shouted.
“You’re a lying mutant freak!”
“They think they can do anything they want,” another voice shouted.
Astrid said, as calmly as she could while still pitching her voice to be heard, “We are not going down that path, people, dividing up between freaks and normals.”
“They already did it!” Zil cried. “It’s the freaks acting all special and like their farts don’t stink.”
That earned a laugh.
“And now they’re starting to kill us,” Zil cried.
Edilio squared his shoulders and stepped into the crowd. He went first to Hank, the kid with the shotgun. He tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Give me that thing.”
“No way,” Hank said. But he didn’t seem too certain.
“You want to have that thing fire by accident and blow someone’s face off?” Edilio held his hand out. “Give it to me, man.”
Zil rounded on Edilio. “You going to make Hunter give up his weapon? Huh? He’s got powers, man, and that’s okay, but the normals can’t have any weapon? How are we supposed to defend ourselves from the freaks?”
“Man, give it a rest, huh?” Edilio said. He was doing his best to sound more weary than angry or scared. Things were already bad enough. “Zil, you want to be responsible if that gauge goes off and kills Astrid? You want to maybe give that some thought?”
Zil blinked. But he said, “Dude, I’m not scared of Sam.”
“Sam won’t be your problem, I will be,” Edilio snapped, losing patience. “Anything happens to her, I’ll take you down before Sam ever gets the chance.”
Zil snorted derisively. “Ah, good little boy, Edilio, kissing up to the chuds. I got news for you, dilly dilly, you’re a lowly normal, just like me and the rest of us."
“I’m going to let that go,” Edilio said evenly, striving to regain his cool, trying to sound calm and in control, even though he could hardly take his eyes off the twin barrels of the shotgun. “But now I’m taking that shotgun.”
“No way!” Hank cried, and the next thing was an explosion so loud, Edilio thought a bomb had gone off. The muzzle flash blinded him, like camera flash going off in his face.
Someone yelled in pain.
Edilio staggered back, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to adjust. When he opened them again the shotgun was on the ground and the boy who’d accidentally fired it was holding his bruised hand, obviously shocked.
Zil bent to grab the gun. Edilio took two steps forward and kicked Zil in the face. As Zil fell back Edilio made a grab for the shotgun. He never saw the blow that turned his knees to water and filled his head with stars.
He fell like a sack of bricks, but even as he fell he lurched forward to cover the shotgun.
Astrid screamed and launched herself down the stairs to protect Edilio.
Antoine, the one who had hit Edilio, was raising his bat to hit Edilio again, but on the back swing he caught Astrid in the face.
Antoine cursed, suddenly fearful. Zil yelled, “No, no, no!”
There was a sudden rush of running feet. Down the walkway, into the street, echoing down the block.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Guilt. Torment. Sorrow. Shock. Which?” she asked against his chest.
“I’m trying,” he murmured on a weary chuckle. “But all I can manage is pride,” he added softly. “I satisfied you completely, didn’t I?”
“More than completely,” she murmured against his damp shoulder. Her hand traced his chest, feeling the coolness of his skin, the ripple of muscle. “Hold me close.”
He wrapped both arms around her and drew her on top of him, holding her hungrily to him, their legs lazily entwined. “I seduced you.”
She pressed a soft kiss to his collarbone. “Mmm-hmm.”
He caught his breath as the tiny, insignificant movement produced a sudden, raging arousal.
She lifted her head. “Did I do something wrong?”
He lifted an eyebrow and nodded toward his flat stomach. She followed his amused glance and caught her breath.
He drew her mouth down over his and kissed her ferociously before he sat up and moved off the bed.
“Where are you going?” she asked, startled.
He drew on his briefs and his slacks, glancing down at her with amused delight. “One of us has to be sensible,” he told her. “Colby’s probably on his way back right now.”
“But he just left…”
“Almost an hour ago,” he finished for her, nodding toward the clock on the bedside table.
She sat up, her eyes wide with surprise.
“I took a long time with you,” he said gently. “Didn’t you notice?”
She laughed self-consciously. “Well, yes, but I didn’t realize it was that long.”
He drew her off the bed and bent to kiss her tenderly, nuzzling her face with his. “Was I worth waiting for?” he asked.
She smiled. “What a silly question.”
He kissed her again, but when he lifted his head he wasn’t smiling. “I loved what we did together,” he said quietly. “But I should have been more responsible.”
She knew what he was thinking. He hadn’t used anything, and he surely knew that she wasn’t. She flattened her hand against his bare chest. “There’s a morning-after pill. I’ll drive into the city tomorrow and get one,” she said, lying like a sailor. She had no intention of doing that, but it would comfort him.
He found that he didn’t like that idea. It hurt something deeply primitive in him. He scowled. “That could be dangerous.”
“No, it’s not.
He traced her fingernails while he tried to think. It seemed like a fantasy, a dream. He’d never had such an experience with a woman in his life.
She closed her eyes and moved closer to him. “I could never have done that with anyone else,” she whispered. “It was more beautiful than my dreams.”
His heart jumped. That was how it felt to him, too. He tilted her face so that he could search her soft eyes. She was radiant; she almost glowed. “Kiss me,” he murmured softly.
She did. But he wasn’t smiling. She could almost see the thoughts in his face. “You didn’t force me, Tate,” she said gently. “I made a conscious decision. I made a choice. I needed to know if what had happened to me had destroyed me as a woman. I found out in the most wonderful way that it hadn’t. I’m not ashamed of what we did together.”
“Neither am I.” He turned, his face still tormented. “But it wasn’t my right.”
“To be the first?” She smiled gently. “It would have been you eight years ago or eight years from now. I don’t want anyone else-not that way. I never did.”
He actually winced. “Cecily…”
“I’m not asking for declarations of undying love. I won’t cling. I’m not the type.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
I do not know the substance of the considerations and recommendations which Dr. Szilárd proposes to submit to you,” Einstein wrote. “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilárd is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.”34 Roosevelt never read the letter. It was found in his office after he died on April 12 and was passed on to Harry Truman, who in turn gave it to his designated secretary of state, James Byrnes. The result was a meeting between Szilárd and Byrnes in South Carolina, but Byrnes was neither moved nor impressed. The atom bomb was dropped, with little high-level debate, on August 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima. Einstein was at the cottage he rented that summer on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, taking an afternoon nap. Helen Dukas informed him when he came down for tea. “Oh, my God,” is all he said.35 Three days later, the bomb was used again, this time on Nagasaki. The following day, officials in Washington released a long history, compiled by Princeton physics professor Henry DeWolf Smyth, of the secret endeavor to build the weapon. The Smyth report, much to Einstein’s lasting discomfort, assigned great historic weight for the launch of the project to the 1939 letter he had written to Roosevelt. Between the influence imputed to that letter and the underlying relationship between energy and mass that he had formulated forty years earlier, Einstein became associated in the popular imagination with the making of the atom bomb, even though his involvement was marginal. Time put him on its cover, with a portrait showing a mushroom cloud erupting behind him with E=mc2 emblazoned on it. In a story that was overseen by an editor named Whittaker Chambers, the magazine noted with its typical prose flair from the period: Through the incomparable blast and flame that will follow, there will be dimly discernible, to those who are interested in cause & effect in history, the features of a shy, almost saintly, childlike little man with the soft brown eyes, the drooping facial lines of a world-weary hound, and hair like an aurora borealis… Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.36 It was a perception that plagued him. When Newsweek did a cover on him, with the headline “The Man Who Started It All,” Einstein offered a memorable lament. “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I never would have lifted a finger.”37 Of course, neither he nor Szilárd nor any of their friends involved with the bomb-building effort, many of them refugees from Hitler’s horrors, could know that the brilliant scientists they had left behind in Berlin, such as Heisenberg, would fail to unlock the secrets. “Perhaps I can be forgiven,” Einstein said a few months before his death in a conversation with Linus Pauling, “because we all felt that there was a high probability that the Germans were working on this problem and they might succeed and use the atomic bomb and become the master race.”38
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
Why did you come here-that is, why did you agree to reconsider my proposal?”
The question alarmed and startled her. Now that she’d seen him she had only the dimmest, possibly even erroneous recollection of having spoken to him at a ball. Moreover, she couldn’t tell him she was in danger of being cut off by her uncle, for that whole explanation was to humiliating to bear mentioning.
“Did I do or say something during our brief meetings the year before last to mislead you, perhaps, into believing I might yearn for the city life?”
“It’s hard to say,” Elizabeth said with absolute honesty.
“Lady Cameron, do you even remember our meeting?”
“Oh, yes, of course. Certainly,” Elizabeth replied, belatedly recalling a man who looked very like him being presented to her at Lady Markham’s. That was it! “We met at Lady Markham’s ball.”
His gaze never left her face. “We met in the park.”
“In the park?” Elizabeth repeated in sublime embarrassment.
“You had stopped to admire the flowers, and the young gentleman who was your escort that day introduced us.”
“I see,” Elizabeth replied, her gaze skating away from his.
“Would you care to know what we discussed that day and the next day when I escorted you back to the park?”
Curiosity and embarrassment warred, and curiosity won out. “Yes, I would.”
“F-fishing?” Elizabeth gasped.
He nodded. “Within minutes after we were introduced I mentioned that I had not come to London for the Season, as you supposed, but that I was on my way to Scotland to do some fishing and was leaving London the very next day.”
An awful feeling of foreboding crept over Elizabeth as something stirred in her memory. “We had a charming chat,” he continued. “You spoke enthusiastically of a particularly challenging trout you were once able to land.”
Elizabeth’s face felt as hot as red coals as he continued, “We quite forgot the time and your poor escort as we shared fishing stories.”
He was quiet, waiting, and when Elizabeth couldn’t endure the damning silence anymore she said uneasily, “Was there…more?”
“Very little. I did not leave for Scotland the next day but stayed instead to call upon you. You abandoned the half-dozen young bucks who’d come to escort you to some sort of fancy soiree and chose instead to go for another impromptu walk in the park with me.”
Elizabeth swallowed audibly, unable to meet his eyes.
“Would you like to know what we talked about that day?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
He chucked but ignored her reply, “You professed to be somewhat weary of the social whirl and confessed to a longing to be in the country that day-which is why we went to the park. We had a charming time, I thought.”
When he fell silent, Elizabeth forced herself to meet his gaze and say with resignation, “And we talked of fishing?”
“No,” he said. “Of boar hunting.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes in sublime shame.
“You related an exciting tale of a wild board your father had shot long ago, and of how you watched the hunt-without permission-from the very tree below which the boar as ultimately felled. As I recall,” he finished kindly, “you told me that it was your impulsive cheer that revealed your hiding place to the hunters-and that caused you to be seriously reprimanded by your father.”
Elizabeth saw the twinkle lighting his eyes, and suddenly they both laughed.
“I remember your laugh, too,” he said, still smiling, “I thought it was the loveliest sound imaginable. So much so that between it and our delightful conversation I felt very much at ease in your company.” Realizing he’d just flattered her, he flushed, tugged at his neckcloth, and self-consciously looked away.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
In the night I awoke. Was this my own voice reciting what was written? “ ‘And every secret thing shall be opened, and every dark place illuminated.’ ” Dear God, no, do not let them know this, do not let them know the great accumulation of all of this, this agony and joy, this misery, this solace, this reaching, this gouging pain, this . . . But they will know, each and every one of them will know. They will know because what you are remembering is what has happened to each and every one of them. Did you think this was more or less for you? Did you think—? And when they are called to account, when they stand naked before God and every incident and utterance is laid bare—you, you will know all of it with each and every one of them! I knelt in the sand. Is this possible, Lord, to be with each of them when he or she comes to know? To be there for every single cry of anguish? For the grief-stricken remembrance of every incomplete joy? Oh, Lord, God, what is judgment and how can it be, if I cannot bear to be with all of them for every ugly word, every harsh and desperate cry, for every gesture examined, for every deed explored to its roots? And I saw the deeds, the deeds of my own life, the smallest, most trivial things, I saw them suddenly in their seed and sprout and with their groping branches; I saw them growing, intertwining with other deeds, and those deeds come to form a thicket and a woodland and a great roving wilderness that dwarfed the world as we hold it on a map, the world as we hold it in our minds. Dear God, next to this, this endless spawning of deed from deed and word from word and thought from thought—the world is nothing. Every single soul is a world! I started to cry. But I would not close off this vision—no, let me see, and all those who lifted the stones, and I, I blundering, and James' face when I said it, I am weary of you, my brother, and from that instant outwards a million echoes of those words in all present who heard or thought they heard, who would remember, repeat, confess, defend . . . and so on it goes for the lifting of a finger, the launching of the ship, the fall of an army in a northern forest, the burning of a city as flames rage through house after house! Dear God, I cannot . . . but I will. I will. I sobbed aloud. I will. O Father in Heaven, I am reaching to You with hands of flesh and blood. I am longing for You in Your perfection with this heart that is imperfection! And I reach up for You with what is decaying before my very eyes, and I stare at Your stars from within the prison of this body, but this is not my prison, this is my Will. This is Your Will. I collapsed weeping. And I will go down, down with every single one of them into the depths of Sheol, into the private darkness, into the anguish exposed for all eyes and for Your eyes, into the fear, into the fire which is the heat of every mind. I will be with them, every solitary one of them. I am one of them! And I am Your Son! I am Your only begotten Son! And driven here by Your Spirit, I cry because I cannot do anything but grasp it, grasp it as I cannot contain it in this flesh-and-blood mind, and by Your leave I cry. I cried. I cried and I cried. “Lord, give me this little while that I may cry, for I've heard that tears accomplish much. . . .” Alone? You said you wanted to be alone? You wanted this, to be alone? You wanted the silence? You wanted to be alone and in the silence. Don't you understand the temptation now of being alone? You are alone. Well, you are absolutely alone because you are the only One who can do this! What judgment can there ever be for man, woman, or child—if I am not there for every heartbeat at every depth of their torment?
Anne Rice (Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Life of Christ Book 2))
His Burden Is Light Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 What heavy burden is weighing you down and causing a heaviness and weariness in your spirit? Is it the need to take care of an elderly parent? a seemingly impossible deadline at work? juggling overwhelming responsibilities of a job plus parenting a houseful of kids? the burden of chronic illness? a difficult relationship with someone you love? financial struggles? Whatever your “heavy burden” might be, Jesus invites you, just as he did the crowds he was teaching: Come to me. Give me the heavy load you’re carrying. And in exchange, I will give you rest. Whenever I read these verses from Matthew, I breathe a sigh of relief. Jesus knows the challenges and deadlines we face and the weariness of mind or body we feel. He understands the stress, tasks, and responsibilities that are weighing us down. As we lay all that concerns us before him, his purpose replaces our agenda, and his lightness and rest replace our burden. LORD, thank you for your offer to carry my burdens for me. I give them all to you and I gladly receive your rest! I place myself under your yoke to learn from you. Teach me your wisdom that is humble and pure, and help me to walk in the ways you set before me. Thank you for your mercy and love that invite me to live my life resting and trusting in you! WHEN HE SAYS TO YOUR DISTURBED, DISTRACTED, RESTLESS SOUL OR MIND, “COME UNTO ME,” HE IS SAYING, COME OUT OF THE STRIFE AND DOUBT AND STRUGGLE OF WHAT IS AT THE MOMENT WHERE YOU STAND, INTO THAT WHICH WAS AND IS AND IS TO BE—THE ETERNAL, THE ESSENTIAL, THE ABSOLUTE. Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
Trying to get to 124 for the second time now, he regretted that conversation: the high tone he took; his refusal to see the effect of marrow weariness in a woman he believed was a mountain. Now, too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn't count. They came in her yard anyway and she could not approve or condemn Sethe's rough choice. One or the other might have saved her, but beaten up by the claims of both, she went to bed. The whitefolks had tired her out at last.
And him. Eighteen seventy-four and whitefolks were still on the loose. Whole towns wiped clean of Negroes; eighty-seven lynchings in one year alone in Kentucky; four colored schools burned to the ground; grown men whipped like children; children whipped like adults; black women raped by the crew; property taken, necks broken. He smelled skin, skin and hot blood. The skin was one thing, but human blood cooked in a lynch fire was a whole other thing. The stench stank. Stank up off the pages of the North Star, out of the mouths of witnesses, etched in crooked handwriting in letters delivered by hand. Detailed in documents and petitions full of whereas and presented to any legal body who'd read it, it stank. But none of that had worn out his marrow. None of that. It was the ribbon. Tying his
flatbed up on the bank of the Licking River, securing it the best he could, he caught sight of something red on its bottom. Reaching for it, he thought it was a cardinal feather stuck to his boat. He tugged and what came loose in his hand was a red ribbon knotted around a curl of wet woolly hair, clinging still to its bit of scalp. He untied the ribbon and put it in his pocket, dropped the curl in the weeds. On the way home, he stopped, short of breath and dizzy. He waited until the spell passed before continuing on his way. A moment later, his breath left him again. This time he sat
down by a fence. Rested, he got to his feet, but before he took a step he turned to look back down the road he was traveling and said, to its frozen mud and the river beyond, "What are these people? You tell me, Jesus. What are they?"
When he got to his house he was too tired to eat the food his sister and nephews had prepared. He sat on the porch in the cold till way past dark and went to his bed only because his sister's voice calling him was getting nervous. He kept the ribbon; the skin smell nagged him, and his weakened marrow made him dwell on Baby Suggs' wish to consider what in the world was harmless. He hoped she stuck to blue, yellow, maybe green, and never fixed on red.
Mistaking her, upbraiding her, owing her, now he needed to let her know he knew, and to get right with her and her kin. So, in spite of his exhausted marrow, he kept on through the voices and tried once more to knock at the door of 124. This time, although he couldn't cipher but one word, he believed he knew who spoke them. The people of the broken necks, of fire-cooked blood and black girls who had lost their ribbons.
What a roaring.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
I have an-odd ability-to read very quickly.”
“Oh,” Elizabeth replied, “how lucky you are. I never heard of a talent like that.”
A lazy glamorous smile swept across his face, and he squeezed her hand. “It’s not nearly as uncommon as your eyes,” he said.
Elizabeth thought it must be a great deal more uncommon, but she wasn’t completely certain and she let it pass. The following day, that discovery was completely eclipsed by another one. At Ian’s insistence, she’d spread the books from Havenhurst across his desk in order to go over the quarter’s accounts, and as the morning wore on, the long columns of figures she’d been adding and multiplying began to blur together and transpose themselves in her mind-due in part, she thought with a weary smile, to the fact that her husband had kept her awake half the night making love to her. For the third time, she added the same long columns of expenditures, and for the third time, she came up with a different sum. So frustrated was she that she didn’t realize Ian had come into the room, until he leaned over her from behind and put his hands on the desk on either side of her own. “Problems?” he asked, kissing the top of her head.
“Yes,” she said, glancing at the clock and realizing that the business acquaintances he was expecting would be there momentarily. As she explained her problem to him, she started shoving loose papers into the books, hurriedly trying to reassemble everything and clear his desk. “For the last forty-five minutes, I’ve been adding the same four columns, so that I could divide them by eighteen servants, multiply that by forty servants which we now have there, times four quarters. Once I know that, I can forecast the real cost of food and supplies with the increased staff. I’ve gotten three different answers to those miserable columns, and I haven’t even tried the rest of the calculations. Tomorrow I’ll have to start all over again,” she finished irritably, “and it takes forever just to get all this laid out and organized.” She reached out to close the book and shove her calculations into it, but Ian stopped her.
“Which columns are they?” he asked calmly, his surprised gaze studying the genuine ire on her face.
“Those long ones down the left-hand side. It doesn’t matter, I’ll fight it out tomorrow,” she said. She shoved the chair back, dropped two sheets of paper, and bent over to pick them up. They’d slid beneath the kneehole of the desk, and in growing disgust Elizabeth crawled underneath to get them. Above her, Ian said, “$364.”
“Pardon?” she asked when she reemerged, clutching the errant sheets of paper.
He was writing it down on a scrap of paper. “$364.”
“Do not make light of my wanting to know the figures,” she warned him with an exasperated smile. “Besides,” she continued, leaning up and pressing an apologetic kiss on his cheek, loving the tangy scent of his cologne, “I usually enjoy the bookwork. I’m simply a little short of sleep today, because,” she whispered, “my husband kept me awake half the night.”
“Elizabeth,” he began hesitantly, “there’s something I-“ Then he shook his head and changed his mind, and since Shipley was already standing in the doorway to announce the arrival of his business acquaintances, Elizabeth thought no more of it.
Until the next morning.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The centre of the conception of wisdom in the Bible is the Book of Ecclesiastes, whose author, or rather, chief editor, is sometimes called Koheleth, the teacher or preacher. Koheleth transforms the conservatism of popular wisdom into a program of continuous mental energy. Those who have unconsciously identified a religious attitude either with illusion or with mental indolence are not safe guides to this book, although their tradition is a long one. Some editor with a “you’d better watch out” attitude seems to have tacked a few verses on the end suggesting that God trusts only the anti-intellectual, but the main author’s courage and honesty are not to be defused in this way. He is “disillusioned” only in the sense that he has realized that an illusion is a self-constructed prison. He is not a weary pessimist tired of life: he is a vigorous realist determined to smash his way through every locked door of repression in his mind. Being tired of life is in fact the only mental handicap for which he has no remedy to suggest. Like other wise men, he is a collector of proverbs, but he applies to all of them his touchstone and key word, translated in the AV [the Authorized Version] as “vanity.” This word (hebel) has a metaphorical kernel of fog, mist, or vapour, a metaphor that recurs in the New Testament (James 4:14). It this acquires a derived sense of “emptiness,” the root meaning of the Vulgate’s vanitas. To put Koheleth’s central intuition into the form of its essential paradox: all things are full of emptiness.
We should not apply a ready-made disapproving moral ambience to this word “vanity,” much less associate it with conceit. It is a conception more like the shunyata or “void” of Buddhist though: the world as everything within nothingness. As nothing is certain or permanent in the world, nothing either real or unreal, the secret of wisdom is detachment without withdrawal. All goals and aims may cheat us, but if we run away from them we shall find ourselves bumping into them. We may feel that saint is a “better” man than a sinner, and that all of our religious and moral standards would crumble into dust if we did not think so; but the saint himself is most unlikely to take such a view. Similarly Koheleth went through a stage in which he saw that wisdom was “better” than folly, then a stage in which he saw that there was really no difference between them as death lies in wait for both and finally realized that both views were equally “vanity”. As soon as we renounce the expectation of reward, in however, refined a guise, for virtue or wisdom, we relax and our real energies begin to flow into the soul. Even the great elegy at the end over the failing bodily powers of old age ceases to become “pessimistic” when we see it as part of the detachment with which the wise man sees his life in the context of vanity.
We take what comes: there is no choice in the matter, hence no point in saying “we should take what comes.” We soon realize by doing so that there is a cyclical rhythm in nature. But, like other wheels, this is a machine to be understood and used by man. If it is true that the sun, the seasons, the waters, and human life itself go in cycles, the inference is that “there is a time for all things,” something different to be done at each stage of the cycle. The statement “There is nothing new under the sun” applies to wisdom but not to experience , to theory but not to practice. Only when we realize that nothing is new can we live with an intensity in which everything becomes new.
Northrop Frye (The Great Code: The Bible and Literature)