Where The Wild Things Are Quotes

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Let the wild rumpus start!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories)
And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
The Peace of Wild Things When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry (The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)
There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,' Holly advised him. 'That was Doc's mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky." "She's drunk," Joe Bell informed me. "Moderately," Holly confessed....Holly lifted her martini. "Let's wish the Doc luck, too," she said, touching her glass against mine. "Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc -- it's better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories)
And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
And [he] sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more...What I dread is the isolation. ... There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell what a wild, and rough, and stubborn wood this was, which in my thought renews the fear!
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart. That's where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you'll always find peace.
Elizabeth Gilbert
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
Then from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat, so he gave up being king of the wild things.
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
But the wild things cried, “Oh please don't go- We'll eat you up- we love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can't do a handstand-- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I daresay, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside?
Libba Bray
We''re all misfits here,” he says, almost proudly. “That's why I started this squat, after all.  For people like us, who don't fit in anywhere else.  Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird.  That's where art comes from, Jimmy, my friend.  From our weirdnesses and our differences, from our manic fixations, our obsessions, our passions.  From all those wild and wacky things that make each of us unique.
Terri Windling (Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland, #8))
The more I read, the more I felt connected across time to other lives and deeper sympathies. I felt less isolated. I wasn’t floating on my little raft in the present; there were bridges that led over to solid ground. Yes, the past is another country, but one that we can visit, and once there we can bring back the things we need. Literature is common ground. It is ground not managed wholly by commercial interests, nor can it be strip-mined like popular culture—exploit the new thing then move on. There’s a lot of talk about the tame world versus the wild world. It is not only a wild nature that we need as human beings; it is the untamed open space of our imaginations. Reading is where the wild things are.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
He’s just a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be king
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
And then there are the cravings.. Oh, la! A woman may crave to be near water, or be belly down, her face in the earth, smelling the wild smell. She might have to drive into the wind. She may have to plant something, pull things out of the ground or put them into the ground. She may have to knead and bake, rapt in dough up to her elbows. She may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out her voice against the mountain. She may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilt on a black marble floor. She may feel she will die if she doesn’t dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
I'll eat you up!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you're terrified somebody's going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.
George Axelrod
It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
The loneliest thing you can ever do is take every instance where you should grow and waste it by only thinking how could this happen to you?
Nikita Gill (Wild Embers)
The void?" I'd asked, crestfallen. "it's a good thing," she said. "It's the place where things are born, where they begin. Think about how a black hole absorbs energy and then releases it into something that's new and alive.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
But that's the thing with death. The whisper of it descent travels fast and wide, and people must've know I'd become a corpse because nobody even came to view the body.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
I don't know what happens to our consciousness when we're unwound," says Connor. "I don't even know when that consciousness starts. But I do know this." He pauses to make sure all of them are listening. "We have a right to our lives!" The kids go wild. "We have a right to choose what happens to our bodies!" The cheers reach fever pitch. "We deserve a world where both those things are possible— and it's our job to help make that world.
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art. LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN. I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.* Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them? I Have. I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.
Lana Del Rey
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
In fact, public speaking anxiety may be primal and quintessentially human, not limited to those of us born with a high-reactive nervous system. One theory, based on the writings of the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, holds that when our ancestors lived on the savannah, being watched intently meant only one thing: a wild animal was stalking us. And when we think we're about to be eaten, do we stand tall and hold forth confidently? No. We run. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years of evolution urge us to get the hell off the stage, where we can mistake the gaze of the spectators for the glint in a predator's eye.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
There is an unknown land full of strange flowers and subtle perfumes, a land of which it is joy of all joys to dream, a land where all things are perfect and poisonous.
Oscar Wilde
He'd been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The word was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was to be a secret spring - a moving oasis. He wasn't desolate, and he wasn't empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that's what being a magician was. They weren't ordinary feelings - they weren't the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
Oh, please don't go — I'll eat you up — I love you so!
Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)
Slowly, she unraveled each word of the sentence: “‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
Money can’t buy you happiness, but happiness sure is a hell of a lot easier to find when you’re not worried about where your next meal is coming from.
Christina Lauren (Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons, #2))
I see myself abandoned, solitary, thrown into a cell without dimensions, where light and shadows are silent phantoms. Within my inner self I find the silence I am seeking. But it leaves me so bereft of any memory of any human being and of me myself, that I transform this impression into the certainty of physical solitude. Were I to cry out — I can no longer see things clearly — my voice would receive the same indifferent echo from the walls of the earth.
Clarice Lispector (Near to the Wild Heart)
Most of all, it was the wild music that impressed Matt. It did the same thing that playing the piano had done when he was frightened and lonely. It took him into another world where only beauty existed and where he was sage from hatred and disappointment and death.
Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1))
Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women" Perhaps I was born kneeling, born coughing on the long winter, born expecting the kiss of mercy, born with a passion for quickness and yet, as things progressed, I learned early about the stockade or taken out, the fume of the enema. By two or three I learned not to kneel, not to expect, to plant my fires underground where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, could be whispered to or laid down to die. Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was— a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, I find the effort useless. Do I not look in the mirror, these days, and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? Do I not feel the hunger so acutely that I would rather die than look into its face? I kneel once more, in case mercy should come in the nick of time.
Anne Sexton
Let’s not travel to tick things off lists, or collect half-hearted semi-treasures to be placed in dusty drawers in empty rooms. Rather, we’ll travel to find grounds and rooftops and tiny hidden parks, where we’ll sit and dismiss the passing time, spun in the city’s web, ‘til we’ve surrendered, content to be spent and consumed. I need to feel a place while I’m in it.
Victoria Erickson (Edge of Wonder: Notes from the Wildness of Being)
And the world goes on regardless of joy or despair or one woman's fortune or one man's loss. And we can't know the lives of others. And we can't know our own lives beyond the details we can manage. And the things that change us forever happen without us knowing they would happen. And the moment that looks like the rest is the one where hearts are broken or healed. And time that runs so steady and sure runs wild outside the clocks. It takes so little time to change a lifetime and it takes a lifetime to understand the change.
Jeanette Winterson (The Gap of Time)
An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. "You are perfectly welcome," it tells him, "during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don't blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don't cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.
Christopher Isherwood (Exhumations)
When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields. Some of that exclusion is due to regular old misogyny, but it’s also true that—all too often—women are the ones holding themselves back from participating in the first place. Holding back their ideas, holding back their contributions, holding back their leadership and their talents. Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’. And I don’t say this as a criticism of men, by the way. I like that feature in men—their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!” Yes, sometimes the results are ridiculous and disastrous, but sometimes, strangely enough, it works—a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps. But I’ve watched too many women do the opposite. I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, “I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.” Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves—and we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear)
If ever he had harboured a conscience in his tough narrow breast he had by now dug out and flung away the awkward thing - flung it so far away that were he ever to need it again he could never find it. High-shouldered to a degree little short of malformation, slender and adroit of limb and frame, his eyes close-set and the colour of dried blood, he is climbing the spiral staircase of the soul of Gormenghast, bound for some pinnacle of the itching fancy - some wild, invulnerable eyrie best known to himself; where he can watch the world spread out below him, and shake exultantly his clotted wings
Mervyn Peake (The Gormenghast Novels (Gormenghast, #1-3))
RAIN I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain. And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said- I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like... it's easy to love rain... and hawks. And it's easy to love wild plums... and the moon. But with people, seems like love's a hard thing to know. It gets all mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?" "I'm not sure, but I think you'll know. I think if it's the right person, it'll be better than rain and hawks and wild plums. Even better than the moon. I think it'll be better than all that put together.
Billie Letts (Where the Heart Is)
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess
at least nine-tenths of all the original reality ever created lies outside the multiverse, and since the multiverse by definition includes absolutely everything that is anything, this puts a bit of a strain on things. Outside the boundaries of the universes lie the raw realities, the could-have-beens, the might-bes, the never-weres, the wild ideas, all being created and uncreated chaotically like elements in fermenting supernovas. Just occasionally where the walls of the worlds have worn a bit thin, they can leak in.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1))
I like the woods,” she said. “In them, the possibilities seem endless. They are where wild things are, and I like to think the wild always wins. In the woods, it doesn’t matter that there is no patch of earth that has not known bone, known blood, known rot. It feeds from that. It grows the trees. The mushrooms. It turns sorrows into flowers.
Rivers Solomon (Sorrowland)
Eva seemed to be on some sort of mission to work her evil/cute baby magic on me. Ever since she'd started toddling around on those chubby little legs, she'd been targeting me, the least enthusiastic baby person in the room. I think she enjoyed the challenge, which proved that we were related. Eva would tug on my pants leg until I picked her up. And then she'd basically stare me down with those big blue-grey eyes of hers, daring me not to snuggle her. It was like facing down a tiny, diapered mastermind. And of course, I caved. I snuggled her. I babbled. I read her Where the Wild Things Are until I was hoarse. I actually found myself watching my language. Shudder.
Molly Harper
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived. Because of all this he became possessed of a great pride in himself, which communicated itself like a contagion to his physical being.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
You can never rouse Harris. There is no poetry about Harris- no wild yearning for the unattainable. Harris never "weeps, he knows not why." If Harris's eyes fill with tears, you can bet it is because Harris has been eating raw onions, or has put too much Worcester over his chop. If you were to stand at night by the sea-shore with Harris, and say: "Hark! do you not hear? Is it but the mermaids singing deep below the waving waters; or sad spirits, chanting dirges for white corpses held by seaweed?" Harris would take you by the arm, and say: "I know what it is, old man; you've got a chill. Now you come along with me. I know a place round the corner here, where you can get a drop of the finest Scotch whisky you ever tasted- put you right in less than no time." Harris always does know a place round the corner where you can get something brilliant in the drinking line. I believe that if you met Harris up in Paradise (supposing such a thing likely), he would immediately greet you with: "So glad you've come, old fellow; I've found a nice place round the corner here, where you can get some really first-class nectar.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
I just don't understand what you see in her," Sim said carefully. "I know she's charming. Fascinating and all of that. But she seems rather," he hesitated, "cruel." I nodded. "She is." Simmon watched me expectantly, finally said. "What? No defense for her?" "No. Cruel is a good word for her. But I think you are saying cruel and thinking of something else. Denna is not wicked, or mean, or spiteful. She is cruel." Sim was quiet for a long while before responding. "I think she might be some of those things, and cruel as well." Good, honest gentle Sim. He could never bring himself to say bad things about another person, just imply them. Even that was hard for him. He looked up at me. "I talked with Savoy. He's still not over her. He really loved her, you know. Treated her like a princess. He would have done anything for her. But she left him anyway, no explanation." "Denna is a wild thing," I explained. "Like a hind or a summer storm. If a storm blows down your house, or breaks a tree, you don't say the storm was mean. It was cruel. It acted according to its nature and something unfortunately was hurt. The same is true of Denna." "What's a hind?" "A deer." "I thought that was a hart?" "A hind is a female deer. A wild deer. Do you know how much good it does you to chase a wild thing? None. It works against you. It startles the hind away. All you can do is stay gently where you are, and hope in time that the hind will come to you.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
ON THE DAY I DIE On the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here, and immediately opens with a shout of joy there. --------------------------------- One who does what the Friend wants done will never need a friend. There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain. The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night. A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. ---------------------------------- Childhood, youth, and maturity, and now old age. Every guest agrees to stay three days, no more. Master, you told me to remind you. Time to go. ----------------------------------- The angel of death arrives, and I spring joyfully up. No one knows what comes over me when I and that messenger speak! ------------------------------------- When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off, I look around and see the way. At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing. -------------------------------------- Last night things flowed between us that cannot now be said or written. Only as I'm being carried out and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind, will anyone be able to read, as on the petal-pages of a turning bud, what passed through us last night. ------------------------------------- I placed one foot on the wide plain of death, and some grand immensity sounded on the emptiness. I have felt nothing ever like the wild wonder of that moment. Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain. Your desire must be disciplined, and what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Slowly, she unraveled each word of the sentence: “‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.’” “Oh,” she said. “Oh.” “You can read, Kya. There will never be a time again when you can’t read.” “It ain’t just that.” She spoke almost in a whisper. “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” He smiled. “That’s a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
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
Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like ... it's easy to love rain ... and hawks. And it's easy to love wild plums ... and the moon. But with people, seems like love's a hard thing to know. It gets all mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?" "I'm not sure, but I think you'll know. I think if it's the right person, it'll be better than rain and hawks and wild plums. Even better than the moon. I think it'll be better than all that put together.
Billie Letts (Where the Heart Is)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
Beauty was all around them. Unsuspected tintings glimmered in the dark demesnes of the woods and glowed in their alluring by-ways. The spring sunshine sifted through the young green leaves. Gay trills of song were everywhere. There were little hollows where you felt as if you were bathing in a pool of liquid gold. At every turn some fresh spring scent struck their faces: Spice ferns...fir balsam...the wholesome odour of newly ploughed fields. There was a lane curtained with wild-cherry blossoms; a grassy old field full of tiny spruce trees just starting in life and looking like elvish things that had sat down among the grasses; brooks not yet "too broad for leaping"; starflowers under the firs; sheets of curly young ferns; and a birch tree whence someone had torn away the white-skin wrapper in several places, exposing the tints of the bark below-tints ranging from purest creamy white, through exquisite golden tones, growing deeper and deeper until the inmost layer revealed the deepest, richest brown as if to tell tha all birches, so maiden-like and cool exteriorly, had yet warm-hued feelings; "the primeval fire of earth at their hearts.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6))
Tis a far cry from home for a poor lonely thing, O'er the deeps and wild waters of seas, Where you can't hear your dear mother's voice softly sing Like a breeze gently stirring the trees. Come home, little one, wander back here someday, I'll watch for you, each evening and morn, Through all the long season 'til I'm old and grey As the frost on the hedges at dawn. There's a lantern that shines in my window at night, I have long kept it burning for you, It glows through the dark, like a clear guiding light, And I know someday you'll see it, too. So hasten back, little one, or I will soon be gone, No more to see your dear face, But I know that I'll feel your tears fall one by one, On the flowers o'er my resting place.
Brian Jacques (Triss (Redwall, #15))
Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
ERANNA TO SAPPHO O You wild adept at throwing! Like a spear by other things, I'd lain there beside my next of kin. Your strain flung me far. To where's beyond my knowing. None can bring me back again. Sisters think upon me as they twine, and the house is full of warm relation. I alone am out of the design, and I tremble like a supplication; for the lovely goddess all creation bowers in legend lives this life of mine. SAPPHO TO ERANNA With unrest I want to inundate you, want to brandish you, you vine-wreathed stave. Want, like death itself, to penetrate you and to pass you onwards like the grave to the All: to all these things that wait you.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Flowers All the names I know from nurse: Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse, Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock, And the Lady Hollyhock. Fairy places, fairy things, Fairy woods where the wild bee wings, Tiny trees for tiny dames-- These must all be fairy names! Tiny woods below whose boughs Shady fairies weave a house; Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme, Where the braver fairies climb! Fair are grown-up people's trees, But the fairest woods are these; Where, if I were not so tall, I should live for good and all
Robert Louis Stevenson
The world was fucking awful. It was a wretched, desolate place, a desert of meaninglessness, a heartless wasteland, where horrific things happened all the time for no reason and nothing good lasted for long. He'd been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The world was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was to be a secret spring - a moving oasis. He wasn't desolate, and he wasn't empty. He was full of emotion, full of feelings, bursting with them, and when it came down to it, that's what being a magician was. They weren't ordinary feelings - they weren't the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.
Lev Grossman (The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3))
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad - when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated village of centuries ago. This was where the suicide lay; and this was the place where I was, alone - unmanned, shivering with cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again upon me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been taught, all my courage, not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright. (Dracula's Guest)
Bram Stoker (Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales)
Love Song My own dear love, he is strong and bold And he cares not what comes after. His words ring sweet as a chime of gold, And his eyes are lit with laughter. He is jubilant as a flag unfurled— Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him. My own dear love, he is all my world,— And I wish I’d never met him. My love, he’s mad, and my love, he’s fleet, And a wild young wood-thing bore him! The ways are fair to his roaming feet, And the skies are sunlit for him. As sharply sweet to my heart he seems As the fragrance of acacia. My own dear love, he is all my dreams,— And I wish he were in Asia. My love runs by like a day in June, And he makes no friends of sorrows. He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon In the pathway of the morrows. He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start, Nor could storm or wind uproot him. My own dear love, he is all my heart,— And I wish somebody’d shoot him.
Dorothy Parker
I've been sitting here now, and do you know what I was saying to myself? If I did not believe in life, if I were to lose faith in the woman I love, if I were to lose faith in the order of things, even if I were to become convinced, on the contrary, that everything is a disorderly, damned, and perhaps devilish chaos, if I were struck even by all the horrors of human disillusionment--still I would want to live, and as long as I have bent to this cup, I will not tear myself from it until I've drunk it all. However, by the age of thirty, I will probably drop the cup, even if I haven't emptied it, and walk away...I don't know where. But until my thirtieth year, I know this for certain, my youth will overcome everything--all disillusionment, all aversion to live. I've asked myself many times: is there such despair in the world as could overcome this wild and perhaps indecent thirst for life in me, and have decided that apparently there is not--that is, once again, until my thirtieth year, after which I myself shall want no more, so it seems to me. Some snotty-nosed, consumptive moralists, poets especially, often call this thirst for life base. True, it's a feature of the Karamazovs, to some extent, this thirst for life despite all; it must be sitting in you too; but why is it base? There is still an awful lot of centripetal force on our planet, Alyosha. I want to live, and I do live, even if it be against logic. Though I do not believe in the order of things, still the sticky little leaves that come out in the spring are dear to me, the blue sky is dear to me, some people are dear to me, whom one loves sometimes, would you believe it, without even knowing why; some human deeds are dear to me, which one has perhaps long ceased believing in, but still honors with one's heart, out of old habit...I want to go to Europe, Alyosha, I'll go straight from here. Of course I know that I will only be going to a graveyard, but to the most, the most previous graveyard, that's the thing! The precious dead lie there, each stone over them speaks of such ardent past life, of such passionate faith in their deeds, their truth, their struggle, and their science, that I--this I know beforehand--will fall to the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them--being wholeheartedly convinced, at the same time, that it has all long been a graveyard and nothing more. And I will not weep from despair, but simply because I will be happy in my shed tears. I will be drunk with my own tenderness. Sticky spring leaves, the blue sky--I love them, that's all! Such things you love not with your mind, not with logic, but with your insides, your guts, you love your first young strength...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
A sound of laughter was heard-they turned sharply. Vera Claythorne was standing in the yard. She cried out in a high shrill voice, shaken with wild bursts of laughter: "Do they keep bees on this island? Tell me that. Where do we go for honey? Ha! ha!" They stared at her uncomprehendingly. It was as though the sane well-balanced girl had gone mad right before their eyes. She went on in that high unnatural voice: "Don't stare like that! As though you thought I was mad. It's sane enough what I'm asking. Bees, hives, bees! Oh, don't you understand? Haven't you read that idiotic rhyme? It's up in all of your bedrooms-put it there for you to study! We might have come here straightaway if we'd had sense. Seven little soldiers chopping up sticks. And the next verse, I know the whole thing by heart, I tell you! Six little soldier boys playing with a hive. And that's why I'm asking-do they keep bees on this island- isn't it damned funny...?
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at. My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also. When I think about religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who cannot believe: the Confraternity of the Faithless, one might call it, where on an altar, on which no taper burned, a priest, in whose heart peace had no dwelling, might celebrate with unblessed bread and a chalice empty of wine. Every thing to be true must become a religion. And agnosticism should have its ritual no less than faith. It has sown its martyrs, it should reap its saints, and praise God daily for having hidden Himself from man. But whether it be faith or agnosticism, it must be nothing external to me. Its symbols must be of my own creating. Only that is spiritual which makes its own form. If I may not find its secret within myself, I shall never find it: if I have not got it already, it will never come to me.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
Buddha once saw a jackal, a wild dog, run out of the forest where he was staying. It stood still for a while, then it ran into the underbrush, and then out again. Then it ran into a tree hollow, then out again. Then it went into a cave, only to run out again. One minute it stood, the next it ran, then it lay down, then it jumped up. The jackal had the mange. When it stood, the mange would eat into its skin, so it would run. Running, it was still uncomfortable, so it would stop. Standing, it was still uncomfortable, so it would lie down. Then it would jump up again, running to the underbrush, the tree hollow, never staying still. The Buddha said, “Monks, did you see that jackal this afternoon? Standing, it suffered. Running, it suffered. Sitting, it suffered. Lying down, it suffered. It blamed standing for its discomfort. It blamed sitting. It blamed running and lying down. It blamed the tree, the underbrush, and the cave. In fact, the problem was with none of those things. The problem was with his mange.” We are just the same as that jackal. Our discontent is due to wrong view. Because we don’t exercise sense restraint, we blame our suffering on externals. Whether we live in Thailand, America or England, we aren’t satisfied. Why not? Because we still have wrong view. Just that! So wherever we go, we aren’t content. But just as that jackal would be content wherever it went as soon as its mange was cured, so would we be content wherever we went once we rid ourselves of wrong view.
Ajahn Chah
Writing is hard, you know. The fact that you’re just supposed to sit down and have a million thoughts flow into your head is crazy. You could have a week where nothing but sadness floods your mind and you can’t think of anything and then you can have one day where your mind decides to change and goes wild with happy thoughts of even the stupidest things. So if you ask me how I think of what to write, I mean, I have no idea. They come to me, and sometimes they suck, but that doesn’t mean I don’t write them down. You need to write everything. The good and the bad and the sad and the happy, because one day you’ll look to the past and decide to read what you had written a while back. and I guess when you do you’ll be reminded of the friends, the breakups, the love, the loss, the ups, the downs, the rain and the sun. and I guess by then you’ll realize that’s all part of life. and life can be shitty. but fuck it. just live. One morning, any morning, you need to wake up and say to yourself, what the hell have you been doing until now, and you need to go out and live, because frankly, that’s all life’s got to offer.
Mae Krell (All The Things I Never Said)
Think of a globe, a revolving globe on a stand. Think of a contour globe, whose mountain ranges cast shadows, whose continents rise in bas-relief above the oceans. But then: think of how it really is. These heights are just suggested; they’re there….when I think of walking across a continent I think of all the neighborhood hills, the tiny grades up which children drag their sleds. It is all so sculptured, three-dimensional, casting a shadow. What if you had an enormous globe that was so huge it showed roads and houses- a geological survey globe, a quarter of a mile to an inch- of the whole world, and the ocean floor! Looking at it, you would know what had to be left out: the free-standing sculptural arrangement of furniture in rooms, the jumble of broken rocks in the creek bed, tools in a box, labyrinthine ocean liners, the shape of snapdragons, walrus. Where is the one thing you care about in earth, the molding of one face? The relief globe couldn’t begin to show trees, between whose overlapping boughs birds raise broods, or the furrows in bark, where whole creatures, creatures easily visible, live our their lives and call it world enough. What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is a possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely. Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems. In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age. At least you used to. But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Peter Godwin (When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa)
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Odd, the words: ‘while away the time’. How to hold it fast the harder thing. Who is not fearful: where is there a staying, where in all this is there any being? Look, as the day slows towards the space that draws it into dusk: rising became upstanding, standing a laying down, and then that which accepts its lying blurs to darkness. Mountains rest, outgloried be the stars - but even there, time’s transition glimmers. Ah, nightly refuged in my wild heart, roofless, the imperishable lingers. --- Wunderliches Wort: die Zeit vertreiben! Sie zu halten, wäre das Problem. Denn, wen ängstigts nicht: wo ist ein Bleiben, wo ein endlich Sein in alledem? - Sieh, der Tag verlangsamt sich, entgegen jenem Raum, der ihn nach Abend nimmt: Aufstehn wurde Stehn, und Stehn wird Legen, und das willig Liegende verschwimmt - Berge ruhn, von Sternen überprächtigt; - aber auch in ihnen flimmert Zeit. Ach, in meinem wilden Herzen nächtigt obdachlos die Unvergänglichkeit.
Rainer Maria Rilke
This was where Zoya had been seen sneaking off to all those nights—not to a lover, but to this monument to grief. This was where she had shed her tears, away from curious eyes, where no one could see her armor fall. And here, the Grisha might live forever, every friend lost, every soldier gone. “I know what I did is unforgivable,” she said. Nikolai blinked, confused. “No doubt you deserve to be punished for your crimes … but for what precisely?” She cast him a baleful look. “I lost our most valuable prisoner. I’ve allowed our most deadly enemy to regain his powers and … run amok.” “‘Amok’ seems an overstatement. Wild, perhaps.” “Don’t pretend to shrug this off. You’ve barely looked at me since I returned.” Because I am greedy for the sight of you. Because the prospect of facing this war, this loss, without you fills me with fear. Because I find I don’t want to fight for a future if I can’t find a way to make a future with you. But he was a king and she was his general and he could say none of those things.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
The river itself is not a hundred yards across, and pa and Vernon and Vardaman and Dewey Dell are the only things in sight not of that single monotony of desolation leaning with that terrific quality a little from right to left, as though we had reached the place where the motion of the wasted world accelerates just before the final precipice. Yet they appear dwarfed. It is as though the space between us were time: an irrevocable quality. It is as though time, no longer running straight before us in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, the distance being the doubling accretion of the thread and not the interval between. The mules stand, their fore quarters already sloped a little, their rumps high. They too are breathing now with a deep groaning sound; looking back once, their gaze sweeps across us with in their eyes a wild, sad, profound and despairing quality as though they had already seen in the thick water the shape of the disaster which they could not speak and we could not see.
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside? If you will listen I will tell you a story-one whose ghost cannot be banished by the comfort of a roaring fire, I will tell you the story of how we found ourselves in a realm where dreams are formed, destiny is chosen, and magic is as real as your handprint in the snow. I will tell you how we unlocked the Pandora's box of ourselves, tasted freedom, stained our souls with blood and choice, and unleashed a horror on the world that destroyed its dearest Order. These pages are a confession of all that has led to this cold, gray dawn. What will be now, I cannot say. Is your heart beating faster? Do the clouds seem to be gathering on the horizons? Does the skin on your neck feel stretched tight, waiting for a kiss you both fear and need? Will you be scared? Will you know the truth? Mary Dowd, April 7, 1871
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
The realms of dating, marriage, and sex are all marketplaces, and we are the products. Some may bristle at the idea of people as products on a marketplace, but this is an incredibly prevalent dynamic. Consider the labor marketplace, where people are also the product. Just as in the labor marketplace, one party makes an offer to another, and based on the terms of this offer, the other person can choose to accept it or walk. What makes the dating market so interesting is that the products we are marketing, selling, buying, and exchanging are essentially our identities and lives. As with all marketplaces, every item in stock has a value, and that value is determined by its desirability. However, the desirability of a product isn’t a fixed thing—the desirability of umbrellas increases in areas where it is currently raining while the desirability of a specific drug may increase to a specific individual if it can cure an illness their child has, even if its wider desirability on the market has not changed. In the world of dating, the two types of desirability we care about most are: - Aggregate Desirability: What the average demand within an open marketplace would be for a relationship with a particular person. - Individual Desirability: What the desirability of a relationship with an individual is from the perspective of a specific other individual. Imagine you are at a fish market and deciding whether or not to buy a specific fish: - Aggregate desirability = The fish’s market price that day - Individual desirability = What you are willing to pay for the fish Aggregate desirability is something our society enthusiastically emphasizes, with concepts like “leagues.” Whether these are revealed through crude statements like, “that guy's an 8,” or more politically correct comments such as, “I believe she may be out of your league,” there is a tacit acknowledgment by society that every individual has an aggregate value on the public dating market, and that value can be judged at a glance. When what we have to trade on the dating market is often ourselves, that means that on average, we are going to end up in relationships with people with an aggregate value roughly equal to our own (i.e., individuals “within our league”). Statistically speaking, leagues are a real phenomenon that affects dating patterns. Using data from dating websites, the University of Michigan found that when you sort online daters by desirability, they seem to know “their place.” People on online dating sites almost never send a message to someone less desirable than them, and on average they reach out to prospects only 25% more desirable than themselves. The great thing about these markets is how often the average desirability of a person to others is wildly different than their desirability to you. This gives you the opportunity to play arbitrage with traits that other people don’t like, but you either like or don’t mind. For example, while society may prefer women who are not overweight, a specific individual within the marketplace may prefer obese women, or even more interestingly may have no preference. If a guy doesn’t care whether his partner is slim or obese, then he should specifically target obese women, as obesity lowers desirability on the open marketplace, but not from his perspective, giving him access to women who are of higher value to him than those he could secure within an open market.
Malcolm Collins (The Pragmatist's Guide to Relationships: Ruthlessly Optimized Strategies for Dating, Sex, and Marriage)
Goddess Rising This is for the women Who have walked with hidden shame Stirring like all is well Though weighted down in pain. This is for her Inner Child Who longs to forget Her innocence stolen Body, soul and spirit rent into pieces- fragments-broken-bent This is for the Maiden Longing to belong -To another - In hopes to make right the darkened wrongs Not realizing-blinded by oozing wounds Her own innate delicious power Thick within her womb This is for the Mother Breaking eons of fettered chains For the children she has birthed Through blood and breaths of change She calls them Redemption Regardless of their names This is for the Crone Who called her shattered pieces Home To herself- To all her luminous bodies Where she never dared to feel Making strong her bones Crushing~ oppressors With the swaying of her hips Her hands soaring like doves Honey dripping from her lips This is for the Wild Woman Who traversed the Underground Leaving her footprints While taming the Hellhounds. Like a seed breaking fallow ground Emerging fruitful garden No longer bound By the nightmare of the past Awakened from the Dream- Of Separation SHE. IS.- merging realms between. This is for the woman, for the Goddess For me For you Rising from our ashes Making ALL things new~
Mishi McCoy
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
The Doper's Dream Last night I dreamed I was plugged right in To a bubblin' hookah so high, When all of a sudden some Arab jinni Jump up just a-winkin' his eye. 'I'm here to obey all your wishes,' he told me. As for words I was trying to grope. 'Good buddy,' I cried, 'you could surely oblige me By turning me on to some dope!' With a bigfat smile he took ahold of my hand, And we flew down the sky in a flash, And the first thing I saw in the land where he took me Was a whole solid mountain of hash! All the trees was a-bloomin' with pink 'n' purple pills, Whur the Romilar River flowed by, To the magic mushrooms as wild as a rainbow, So pretty that I wanted to cry. All the girls come to greet us, so sweet in slow motion, Mourning glories woven into their hair, Bringin' great big handfuls of snowy cocaine, All their dope they were eager to share. We we dallied for days, just a-ballin' and smokin', In the flowering Panama Red, Just piggin' on peyote and nutmeg tea, And those brownies so kind to your head. Now I could've passed that good time forever, And I really was fixing to stay, But you know that jinni turned out, t'be a narco man, And he busted me right whur I lay. And he took me back to a cold, cold world 'N' now m'prison's whurever I be... And I dream of the days back in Doperland And I wonder, will I ever go free?
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity’s Rainbow)
There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, With shaking timber and shifting sand, Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand Than the square stones of Rome. For men are homesick in their homes, And strangers under the sun, And they lay on their heads in a foreign land Whenever the day is done. Here we have battle and blazing eyes, And chance and honour and high surprise, But our homes are under miraculous skies Where the yule tale was begun. A Child in a foul stable, Where the beasts feed and foam; Only where He was homeless Are you and I at home; We have hands that fashion and heads that know, But our hearts we lost - how long ago! In a place no chart nor ship can show Under the sky's dome. This world is wild as an old wives' tale, And strange the plain things are, The earth is enough and the air is enough For our wonder and our war; But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings And our peace is put in impossible things Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings Round an incredible star. To an open house in the evening Home shall men come, To an older place than Eden And a taller town than Rome. To the end of the way of the wandering star, To the things that cannot be and that are, To the place where God was homeless And all men are at home.
G.K. Chesterton
Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. What is there to be or do? What's become of me or you? Are we kind or are we true? Sitting two and two, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I build a tower, boys, knowing it will rend Crack upon the hour, boys, waiting for the end? Shall I pluck a flower, boys, shall I save or spend? All turns sour, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I send a wire, boys? Where is there to send? All are under fire, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I turn a sire, boys? Shall I choose a friend? The fat is in the pyre, boys, waiting for the end. Shall I make it clear, boys, for all to apprehend, Those that will not hear, boys, waiting for the end, Knowing it is near, boys, trying to pretend, Sitting in cold fear, boys, waiting for the end? Shall we send a cable, boys, accurately penned, Knowing we are able, boys, waiting for the end, Via the Tower of Babel, boys? Christ will not ascend. He's hiding in his stable, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we blow a bubble, boys, glittering to distend, Hiding from our trouble, boys, waiting for the end? When you build on rubble, boys, Nature will append Double and re-double, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we make a tale, boys, that things are sure to mend, Playing bluff and hale, boys, waiting for the end? It will be born stale, boys, stinking to offend, Dying ere it fail, boys, waiting for the end. Shall we go all wild, boys, waste and make them lend, Playing at the child, boys, waiting for the end? It has all been filed, boys, history has a trend, Each of us enisled, boys, waiting for the end. What was said by Marx, boys, what did he perpend? No good being sparks, boys, waiting for the end. Treason of the clerks, boys, curtains that descend, Lights becoming darks, boys, waiting for the end. Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. Not a chance of blend, boys, things have got to tend. Think of those who vend, boys, think of how we wend, Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end. - 'Just A Smack at Auden
William Empson (The Complete Poems)
Xaden's head snaps in my direction. 'Violence?' I take a step and then another, holding my frame upright with muscle memory I didn't have last year, and begin to cross. Xaden swings his legs up and then fucking jumps to his feet. 'Turn around right now!' he shouts. 'Come with me,' I call over the wind, bracing myself as gust whips my skirt against my legs. 'Should have gone with the pants,' I mutter and keep walking. He's already coming my way, his strides just as long and confident as if he was on solid ground, eating up the distance between us as I move forward slowly until we meet. 'What the fuck are you doing out here?' he asks, locking his hands on my waist. He's in riding leathers, not a dress uniform, and he's never looked better. What am I doing out here? I'm risking everything to reach him. And if he rejects me... No. There's no room for fear on the parapet. 'I could ask you the same thing.' His eyes widen. 'You could have fallen and died!' 'I could say the same thing.' I smile, but it's shaky. The look in his eyes is wild, like he's been driven past the point where he can contain himself in the neat, apathetic façade he usually wears in public. It doesn't scare me. I like him better when he's real with me, anyway. 'And did you stop to think that if you fall and die, then I can die?' He leans in and my pulse jumps. 'Again,' I say softly, resting my hands on his firm chest, right above his heartbeat, 'I could say the same thing.' Even if Xaden's death wouldn't kill Sgaeyl, I'm not sure I could survive it.' Shadows rise, darker than the night that surrounds us. 'You're forgetting that I wield shadows, Violence. I'm just as safe out here as I am in the courtyard. Are you going to wield lightning to break your fall?' Fine. That's a good point. 'I... perhaps did not think that part through as thoroughly as you,' I admit. I wanted to be close to him, so I got close, parapet be damned.' 'You're seriously going to be the death of me.' His fingers flex at my waist. 'Go back.' It's not a rejection, not with the way he's looking at me. We've been sparring emotionally for the past month, hell, even longer than that, and one of us has to expose our jugular. I finally trust him enough to know he won't go for the kill. 'Only if you do. I want to be whereever you are.' And I mean it. Everyone else- everything else in the world can fall away and I won't care as long as I'm with him.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
You think you know what a man is? You have no idea what a man is. You think you know what a daughter is? You have no idea what a daughter is. You think you know what this country is? You have no idea what this country is. You have a false image of everything. All you know is what a fucking glove is. This country is frightening. Of course she was raped. What kind of company do you think she was keeping? Of course out there she was going to get raped. This isn't Old Rimrock, old buddy - she's out there, old buddy, in the USA. She enters that world, that loopy world out there, with whats going on out there - what do you expect? A kid from Rimrock, NJ, of course she didn't know how to behave out there, of course the shit hits the fan. What could she know? She's like a wild child out there in the world. She can't get enough of it - she's still acting up. A room off McCarter Highway. And why not? Who wouldn't? You prepare her for life milking the cows? For what kind of life? Unnatural, all artificial, all of it. Those assumptions you live with. You're still in your olf man's dream-world, Seymour, still up there with Lou Levov in glove heaven. A household tyrannized by gloves, bludgeoned by gloves, the only thing in life - ladies' gloves! Does he still tell the one about the woman who sells the gloves washing her hands in a sink between each color? Oh where oh where is that outmoded America, that decorous America where a woman had twenty-five pairs of gloves? Your kid blows your norms to kingdom come, Seymour, and you still think you know what life is?" Life is just a short period of time in which we are alive. Meredith Levov, 1964. "You wanted Ms. America? Well, you've got her, with a vengeance - she's your daughter! You wanted to be a real American jock, a real American marine, a real American hotshot with a beautiful Gentile babe on your arm? You longed to belong like everybody else to the United States of America? Well, you do now, big boy, thanks to your daughter. The reality of this place is right up in your kisser now. With the help of your daughter you're as deep in the sit as a man can get, the real American crazy shit. America amok! America amuck! Goddamn it, Seymour, goddamn you, if you were a father who loved his daughter," thunders Jerry into the phone - and the hell with the convalescent patients waiting in the corridor for him to check out their new valves and new arteries, to tell how grateful they are to him for their new lease on life, Jerry shouts away, shouts all he wants if it's shouting he wants to do, and the hell with the rules of hte hospital. He is one of the surgeons who shouts; if you disagree with him he shouts, if you cross him he shouts, if you just stand there and do nothing he shouts. He does not do what hospitals tell him to do or fathers expect him to do or wives want him to do, he does what he wants to do, does as he pleases, tells people just who and what he is every minute of the day so that nothing about him is a secret, not his opinions, his frustrations, his urges, neither his appetite nor his hatred. In the sphere of the will, he is unequivocating, uncompromising; he is king. He does not spend time regretting what he has or has not done or justifying to others how loathsome he can be. The message is simple: You will take me as I come - there is no choice. He cannot endure swallowing anything. He just lets loose. And these are two brothers, the same parents' sons, one for whom the aggression's been bred out, the other for whom the aggression's been bred in. "If you were a father who loved your daughter," Jerry shouts at the Swede, "you would never have left her in that room! You would have never let her out of your sight!
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)