When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, There's just something about you that pisses me off.
Stephen King (Storm of the Century)
You'll find another.'
God! Banish the thought. Why don't you tell me that 'if the girl had been worth having she'd have waited for you'? No, sir, the girl really worth having won't wait for anybody.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?
Anne Carson (Glass, Irony and God (New Directions Paperbook))
Are you out of your goddamn mind? You think we can take on two hundred soldiers? I know I am an extremely attractive man, J, but I am not Bruce Lee.”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”
“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”
“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just—I can’t even talk to you right now.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Only God Can Judge Me
That which does not kill me can only make me stronger. I don't see why everybody feel as though that they gotta tell me how to live my
A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, so does god. that’s why you can see the grand canyon from the moon.
Remind me again-why do you hate me so much?"
I don't hate you."
Could've fooled me."
She folded her cap of invisibility. "Look...we're just not supposed to get along, okay? Our parents are rivals."
She sighed. "How many reasons do you want? One time my mom caught Poseidon with his girlfriend in Athena's temple, which is hugely disrespectful. Another time, Athena and Poseidon competed to be the patron god for the city of Athens. Your dad created some stupid saltwater spring for his gift. My mom created the olive tree. The people saw that her gift was better, so they named the city after her."
They must really like olives."
Oh, forget it."
Now, if she'd invented pizza-that I could understand.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me - what right had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will did it. I have no broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - Oh, God! would you like to lie with your soul in the grave?
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
I’ve met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, “Why?”
Why did I cause so much pain?
Didn’t I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?
Can’t I see how we’re all manifestations of love?
I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God’s got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash, either.
We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, “No, that’s not right.”
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can’t teach God anything.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
Soul Alone by Hannah Baker
I meet your eyes
you don't even see me
You hardly respond
when I whisper
Could be my soul mate
two kindred spirits
Maybe we're not
I guess we'll never
My own mother
you carried me in you
Now you see nothing
but what I wear
People ask you
how I'm doing
You smile and nod
don't let it end
underneath God's sky and
don't just see me with your eyes
this mask of flesh and bone and
for my soul
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
Where are you going?”
“My God, you’re like the plague.”
“A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless moral resonance? Why, thank you. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me,” he said.
“The disease, Noah. Not the book.”
“I’m ignoring that qualification.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
If God has shown us bad times ahead, it's enough for me that He knows about them. That's why He sometimes shows us things, you know - to tell us that this too is in His hands.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…
Hunter S. Thompson (Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest: "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?
On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?
Stephen King (The Green Mile)
Why did god create a dual universe?
So he might say
‘Be not like me. I am alone.'
And it might be heard.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
we wouldn't ask why a rose that grew from the concrete for having damaged petals, in turn, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun, well, we are the roses, this is the concrete and these are my damaged petals, dont ask me why, thank god, and ask me how
Tupac Shakur (The Rose That Grew from Concrete)
But he grins, so brilliantly, not even paying attention. “I love it when you say my name,” he says. “I don’t even know why.”
“Warner isn't your name,” I point out. “Your name is *****.”
His smile is wide, so wide. “God, I love that.”
“Only when you say it.”
“*****? Or Warner?”
His eyes close. He tilts his head back against the wall. Dimples.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
It's one slice of shit-cake after another with me, isn't it? Why did you marry me?"
"God gave you to me."
"Did you keep the receipt?"
- Amber and Meoraq
R. Lee Smith (The Last Hour of Gann)
Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire days sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. 'The devil made me do it.' I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists)
If our testimonies are strong onthis point and if we feel the absolute assurance that God loves us, we will change our questons. We won't ask, 'Why did this happen?' or 'Why doesn't God care about me?' Instead, our questions will become, 'What can I learn from this experience?' or 'How does the Lord want me to handle this?
John Bytheway (When Times Are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything)
Why did you betray your own heart Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. ... You loved me - then what right had you to leave me? Because ... nothing God or satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - oh God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave? [...] I forgive what you have done to me. I love my murderer - but yours! How can I?
That he'll never let you down. That boy's got a heart the size of Kentucky, and he loves you. That's important. Take it from someone who knows. My mom used to tell me that whatever you do, marry someone who loves you more than you love him. And I listened to her. Why do you think Henry and I get along so well? I'm not saying that I don't love him, because I do. But if I ever left Henry or something, God forbid, ever happened to me, I don't think he'll be able to go on. And that guy would risk his life for mine in a heartbeat.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
Hateful day when I received life!' I exclaimed in agony. 'Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemlance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.' - Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Why me?' I ask God.
God says nothing.
I laugh and the stars watch.
It's good to be alive.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
Grant Colfax Tullar
Oh God, I’m a cliché,” he said in despair. “Why do I care? If Dad decides he hates me because I’m not straight, he’s not worth the pain, right?”
“Don’t look at me,” said Jace. “My adoptive father was a mass murderer. And I still worried about what he thought. It’s what we’re programmed to do. Your dad always seemed pretty great by comparison.
“Sure, he likes you,” said Alec. “You’re heterosexual and have low expectations of father figures.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Sorry, did I say something wrong?" said Marvin, dragging himself on regardless. "Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it, oh God I'm so depressed. Here's another one of those self-satisfied doors. Life! Don't talk to me about life.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
God made a very obvious choice when he made me voluptuous; why would I go against what he decided for me? My limbs work, so I'm not going to complain about the way my body is shaped.
There’s a Greek legend—no, it’s in something Plato wrote—about how true lovers are really two halves of the same person. It says that people wander around searching for their other half, and when they find him or her, they are finally whole and perfect. The thing that gets me is that the story says that originally all people were really pairs of people, joined back to back, and that some of the pairs were man and man, some woman and woman, and others man and woman. What happened was that all of these double people went to war with the gods, and the gods, to punish them, split them all in two. That’s why some lovers are heterosexual and some are homosexual, female and female, or male and male.
Nancy Garden (Annie on My Mind)
[Moishe] explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer....
And why do you pray, Moishe?' I asked him.
I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions.
Elie Wiesel (Night)
Trust. Why not ask me to do something easier, like prove the existence of God? Even God had given up on me.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
And here's something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? "Well, it's God's will." "Thy Will Be Done." Fine, but if it's God's will, and He's going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It's all very confusing.
Sometimes I remember that I can't always protect those I love." Under his fingers, her hair was soft and silky.
She didn't try to tell him that he wasn't God, that he couldn't protect everyone. He knew that.
But knowing and believing were two different things. What she did say succeeded in stopping his heart. "I wish you'd love me."
"Because then maybe you could protect me, too." Haunting sorrow whispered through her tone.
Nalini Singh (Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1))
This goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say...
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Low self-esteem causes me to believe that I have so little worth that my response does not matter. With repentance, however, I understand that being worth so much to God is why my response is so important. Repentance is remedial work to mend our minds and hearts, which get bent by sin.
John Ortberg Jr. (The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You)
Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. What did other people's deaths or a mother's love matter to me; what did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we're all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him who also called themselves my brothers? Couldn't he see, couldn't he see that? Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others would all be condemned one day. And he would be condemned, too.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Does your love reach this far, God? And if it extends to heaven and beyond… why can’t it seem to find me?
Jenny B. Jones (There You'll Find Me)
I’ve seen you naked before, Maddie.”
Her mouth dropped open. “You have not seen me completely naked, thank you very much.”
His eyes glittered. “Actually, once before I have, when you were like five. You ran through the house buck-ass naked when you had chicken pox.”
“Oh, dear God, why do you remember these things?” She was going to drown herself, right here in the tub.
J. Lynn (Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1))
Oh God, what's wrong with me? Why does nothing ever work out?
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.
See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?
See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”
Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.
Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.
See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
And lastly, let me ask you this:
If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?
That’s asking too much —
this is only our first date.
What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small… and you will escape the jealousy of the great.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
You know why it didn’t work out with him?”
“Because God made you for me.
Penelope Ward (Neighbor Dearest)
THAT Perseus always won. That's why my momhad named me after him, even if he was son of Zeus ann I was son of Posidon. The original Perseus was one of the only heros in the greek myths who got a happy ending. The others died-betrayed, mauled, mutilated, poisoned, or cursed by the gods. My mom hoped i would inherit Perseus's luck. Judging by how my life was going so far, i wasn't too optimistic.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I TOLD MY NEW FRIENDS I was allergic to dismemberment. They just laughed and herded me toward the combat arena. This is why I don’t like making new friends.
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
I love it when you say my name,” he says. “I don’t even know why.”
“Warner isn’t your name,” I point out. “Your name is Aaron.”
His smile is wide, so wide. “God, I love that.”
“Only when you say it.”
“Aaron? Or Warner?”
His eyes close. He tilts his head back against the wall. Dimples.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I pictured Cupid sitting in a crappy little bar, drunk and depressed, while he moaned to the bartender, "That Jasmine Parks, gods, she pisses me off! Did you see what she just did? Totally blew off this immortal stud to play kiss-the-boo-boo with a fickle little rent-a-cop. Why? 'Cause she's the biggest chickenshit on the planet! I'm ready to toss my bow and pick up a bazooka!
Jennifer Rardin (Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1))
Why? It’s because I love you, damn me to hell. Because I’ve always loved you. Because I loved you when you were with John, and I loved you when I was in India, and God only knows I don’t deserve you, but I love you, anyway.
Julia Quinn (When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons, #6))
Ask me not if God exists, but why he's such a prick.
Jay Kristoff (Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1))
Then why haven’t you killed yourself? (Astrid)
Why should I? The only enjoyment I have in my life is knowing I piss off everyone around me. If I were dead, it would make them all happy. God forbid I should ever do that. (Zarek)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3))
I don’t know [why we're here]. People sometimes say to me, ‘Why don’t you admit that the humming bird, the butterfly, the Bird of Paradise are proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation?’ And I always say, well, when you say that, you’ve also got to think of a little boy sitting on a river bank, like here, in West Africa, that’s got a little worm, a living organism, in his eye and boring through the eyeball and is slowly turning him blind. The Creator God that you believe in, presumably, also made that little worm. Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate…
Hunter, i'm a virgin. Not a nun." He didn't talk for a moment. "That was the sexiest thing you've ever said. God, why do you do this to me?
Chelsea M. Cameron (My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1))
When I was twelve, a fortune teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone.. Everyone said she was a fraud, that she was just making it up.. I’d really like to know why the hell a person would make up a thing like that.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
I just took [my cancer diagnosis] as bad luck, basically. It did strike me almost immediately, my atheist sort of thing kicked in and I thought "ha, if I was a God-botherer, I'd be thinking, why me God? What have I done to deserve this?" and I thought at least I'm free of that, at least I can simply treat it as bad luck and get on with it.
Iain M. Banks
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 R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith. Like me, they go as far as the legs of reason will carry them - and then they leap. I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
His voice wavered and he looked down abruptly, at last making some vain effort to hide the shameful tears that tracked down his cheeks even as he continued to pin Boyd against the wall. 'I wish I could hate you. God, I wish I could fucking kill you for doing this to me. Why couldn't you just leave me alone if it was going to be this way?
Santino Hassell (Evenfall (In the Company of Shadows, #1))
We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that's why God invented highlighers, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
And now I have to stop. Because every time I remember this, I have to cry a little by myself. I don't know why something that made me so happy then feels so sad now. Maybe that is the way it is with the best memories.
Amy Tan (The Kitchen God's Wife)
You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me."
Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?"
Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Last Temptation of Christ)
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where do I put it down?
Anne Carson (Glass and God)
Blessed be God's name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves? Because he kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy Days? Because in His great might, He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers, end up in the furnaces? Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
With a sigh, she asked, “Why do you care if I believe you or not?”
“Because if you think I got a leg over with that slag, then the chance of anything sexual with you will be drastically reduced.”
Without looking up, she said, “Cadeon, a chance can’t be reduced from zero.”
“Gods, I love it when you talk mathy to me.
Kresley Cole (Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark, #5))
In the name of all that is holy, tell me why God felt the need to make a hell. It seems so redundant.
Rick Yancey (The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2))
...We must say to ourselves something like this: 'Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn't think "I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me." No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us - denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him - and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse.' Speak to your heart like that, and then fulfill the promises you made on your wedding day.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’
He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘
‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’
‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’
‘There has not been—‘
‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’
‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’
‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’
‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’
‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’
‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Tohrment spoke. "Bella's brother called. He's tabled the sehelusion request and asked that she stay here for a couple of days."
Z jacked his head up. "Why?"
"He didn't give a reason-" Tohr's eye's narrowed on Z's face. "Oh... my God."
"What the fuck are you looking at?"
Phury pointed to the antique mirror hanging on the wall next to the double doors. "See for yourself."
Zsadist marched across the room, ready to give them all hell. Bella was what mattered-
His mouth went lax at his reflection. With a shaky hand he reached out to the eyes in the old-fashioned leaded glass. His irises were no longer black. They were yellow. Just like his twin's.
"Phury?" he said softly. "Phury... what happened to me?"
As the male came up behind him, his brother's face appeared right beside Z's. And then Wrath's dark reflection showed up in the mirror, all long hair and sunglasses. Then Rhage's star-fallen beauty. And Vishous's Sox cap. And Tohrment's brush cut. And Butch's busted nose.
One by one they reached out and touched him, their big hands gently on his shoulders.
"Welcome back, my brother," Phury whispered.
Zsadist stared at the males who were behind him. And the oddest thought that if he were to let himself go limp and fall backward... they would catch him.
J.R. Ward (Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3))
Father: Why did you not become mine God!?
God: Because you did not believe in me.
His eyes were burning a liquid silver and his arm tightened around me. "I would never give up on you, Alex. Never."
"Then why are you being such a—"
"What?" his voice dropped low. "I'm being what?"
Infuriating. Stubborn. Thick-skulled. Freaking sexy. "Good gods, can we stop arguing and just, I don't know, make out?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
all those nights with the phone warming the side of my face like the sun. you made jokes and sure, i may have even laughed a little but mostly you were not funny. mostly you were beautiful. mostly you were unremarkable, even your mediocrity was unremarkable. when friends would ask ‘what do you like about him?” i would think of you holding a bouquet against the denim of your shirt. i mean, you had my face as your screensaver for gods sake, do you know what that does for the self-esteem of girl with an apparition for a father?
hey, do you remember the quiet between us in all those restaurants? all the other couples engrossed in deep conversation and us, as quiet as a closed mouth.
that one afternoon when i asked ‘why do you love me?’ and you replied as quick as a toin coss ‘because you’re mad, because you’re crazy’ and i said ‘why else?’ and you said ‘that mouth, i love that mouth’ and i collapsed into myself like a sheet right out of the dryer.
you clean, beautiful, unremarkable boy, raised by a pleasant mother, was i just a riot you loved to watch up close? there were times i picked arguments just so that we could have something to talk about.
last week, i walked through the part of the city i loved when i still loved you, our old haunts. you know, even the ghosts have moved on.
She reached out and touched the bright colors of the cashmere scarf, her face filled with wonder as much as shock. "This . . .this is Ibrahim's scarf . . .it's a family heirloom. . . "
"No, it belongs to this mobster guy named Abe. . .
"Mom," I said disbelievingly. "You know Abe."
"Yes, Rose. I know him."
"Please don't tell me. . ."
Oh, man. Why couldn't I have been an illegitimate half-royal like Robert Doru? Or even the mail-man's daughter?
"Please don't tell me Abe is my father. . . . "
She didn't have to tell me. It was all over her face.
"Oh God, " I said. "I'm Zmey's daughter. Zmey Junior. Zmeyette, even."
That got her attention. She looked up at me. "What on earth are you talking about?"
"Nothing," I said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Hello? This is Clary Fairchild.”
“Clary? It’s me, Emma.”
“Oh, Emma, hi! I haven’t heard from you in ages. My mom says thanks for the wedding flowers, by the way. She wanted to send a note but Luke whisked her away on a honeymoon to Tahiti.”
“Tahiti sounds nice.”
“It probably is — Jace, what are you doing with that thing? There is no way it’ll fit.”
“Is this a bad time?”
“What? No! Jace is trying to drag a trebuchet into the training room. Alec, stop helping him.”
“What’s a trebuchet?”
“It’s a huge catapult.”
“What are they going to use it for?”
“I have no idea. Alec, you’re enabling! You’re an enabler!”
“Maybe it is a bad time.”
“I doubt there’ll be a better one. Is something wrong? Is there anything I can do?”
“I think we have your cat.”
“Your cat. Big fuzzy Blue Persian? Always looks angry? Julian says it’s your cat. He says he saw it at the New York Institute. Well, saw him. It’s a boy cat.”
“Church? You have Church? But I thought — well, we knew he was gone. We thought Brother Zachariah took him. Isabelle was annoyed, but they seemed to know each other. I’ve never seen Church actually likeanyone like that.”
“I don’t know if he likes anyone here. He bit Julian twice. Oh, wait. Julian says he likes Ty. He’s asleep on Ty’s bed.”
“How did you wind up with him?”
“Someone rang our front doorbell. Diana, she’s our tutor, went down to see what it was. Church was in a cage on the front step with a note tied to it. It said For Emma. This is Church, a longtime friend of the Carstairs. Take care of this cat and he will take care of you. —J.”
“Brother Zachariah left you a cat.”
“But I don’t even really know him. And he’s not a Silent Brother any more.”
“You may not know him, but he clearly knows you.”
“What do you think the J stands for?”
“His real name. Look, Emma, if he wants you to have Church, and you want Church, you should keep him.”
“Are you sure? The Lightwoods —“
‘They’re both standing here nodding. Well, Alec is partially trapped under a trebuchet, but he seems to be nodding.”
“Jules says we’d like to keep him. We used to have a cat named Oscar, but he died, and, well, Church seems to be good for Ty’s nightmares.”
“Oh, honey. I think, really, he’s Brother Zachariah’s cat. And if he wants you to have him, then you should.”
“Why does Brother Zachariah want to protect me? It’s like he knows me, but I don’t know why he knows me.”
“I don’t exactly know … But I know Tessa. She’s his — well, girlfriend seems not the right word for it. They’ve known each other a long, long time. I have a feeling they’re both watching over you.”
“That’s good. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.”
“Emma — oh my God. The trebuchet just crashed through the floor. I have to go. Call me later.”
“But we can keep the cat?”
“You can keep the cat.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. "My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?"
The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?"
The second wave says, "No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.
Laura looked up at him with dead blue eyes.
I want to be alive again," she said. "Not in this half-life. I want to be really alive. I want to feel my heart pumping in my chest again. I want to feel blood moving through me — hot, and salty, and real. It's weird, you don't think you can feel it, the blood, but believe me, when it stops flowing, you'll know."
She rubbed her eyes, smudging her face with red from the mess on her hands.
Look, it's hard. You know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it's easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don't want to have to pass. I want to be alive.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I picked up Pandora's jar. The spirit of Hope fluttered inside, trying to warm the cold container.
"Hestia," I said, "I give this to you as an offering."
The goddess tilted her head. "I am the least of the gods. Why would
you trust me with this?"
"You're the last Olympian," I said. "And the most important."
"And why is that, Percy Jackson?"
"Because Hope survives best at the hearth," I said. "Guard it for me,
and I won't be tempted to give up again.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
You're screening your calls?"
"Why not? It saves me from conversations with idiots."
"Is that an insult?" His voice dropped into a deep growl.
"You're not an idiot," I told him. "You're just a deadly psychopath with a god complex.(...)
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
Son, are you gay?” I spat the cognac out, choking on the earthy liquid. Dad remained calm, crossing one leg over the other. “Be frank. You know we don’t care, and we’ll support you no matter what. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” “There’s nothing wrong with it, all right, but I’m not gay.” He blinked, saying nothing. “Why the fuck would you think that?” “You’re not a huge fan of the other sex.” “I’m not a huge fan of the human race.” “Me either. But then there’s your mother. I am a huge fucking fan of hers.
L.J. Shen (Angry God (All Saints High, #3))
I never want to be apart from you,” he said. “I’m going to buy an island and take you there. A ship will come once a month with supplies. The rest of the time it will be just the two of us, wearing leaves and eating exotic fruit and making love on the beach . . .”
You’d start a produce export business and organize a local economy within a month,” she said flatly.
Harry groaned as he recognized the truth of it. “God. Why do you tolerate me?”
Poppy grinned and slid her arms around his neck. “I like the side benefits,” she told him. “And really, it’s only fair since you tolerate me.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Why didn't you tell me to take Attolia's advice from the beginning?"
"I thought you should figure it out. What you learn for yourself, you will know forever," said Eugenides.
"Pol used to say that," said Sounis, surprised.
"I learned it from him. I just wish to my god that I had his patience for the process.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
pg. 231-232: They'd given me a minivan. They could have picked any car and they picked a minivan. A minivan. O God of the Vehicular Justice, why dost thou mock me? Minivan, you albatross around my neck! You mark of Cain! You wretched beast high ceilings and few horsepower!
John Green (Paper Towns)
I write to find strength.
I write to become the person that hides inside me.
I write to light the way through the darkness for others.
I write to be seen and heard.
I write to be near those I love.
I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper.
I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear.
I write past the embarrassment of exposure.
I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal.
I write myself out of nightmares.
I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings.
I write to remember.
I write knowing conversations don’t always take place.
I write because speaking can’t be reread.
I write to sooth a mind that races.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand.
I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide.
I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long.
I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be.
I write to provide a legacy.
I write to make sense out of senselessness.
I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding.
I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers.
I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time.
I write because God loves stories.
I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.
Shannon L. Alder
The other one he loved like a slave, like a madman and like a beggar. Why? Ask the dust on the road and the falling leaves, ask the mysterious God of life; for no one knows such things. She gave him nothing, no nothing did she give him and yet he thanked her. She said: Give me your peace and your reason! And he was only sorry she did not ask for his life.
Knut Hamsun (Pan)
And after years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God's heart is, "Why won't you choose Me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. "You will . . . find me," says the Lord, "when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). In other words, "Look for me, pursue me -- I want you to pursue me." Amazing. As Tozer says, "God waits to be wanted.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved.
As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!'
Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!'
Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.'
Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.
Thomas S. Monson
Of course, now I had the problem of communicating what I needed. Marlen was still beating on the door, and Dimitri would be up in a couple of minutes. I glared at the human, hoping I looked terrifying. From his expression, I did. I attempted the caveman talk I had with Inna...only this time the message was a little harder.
"Stick," I said in Russian. I had no clue what the word for stake was. I pointed at the silver ring I wore and made a slashing motion. "Stick. Where?"
He stared at me in utter confusion and then asked, in perfect English, "Why are you talking like that?"
"Oh for God's sake," I exclaimed. "Where is the vault?"
"A place they keep weapons?"
He continued staring.
"Oh," he said. "That." Uneasily, he cast his eyes in the direction of the pounding.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Because thats what people do... they leap and hope to God they can fly! Because otherwise, we just drop like a rock... wondering the whole way down..."why in the hell did I jump?" But here I am Sarah, falling. And there's only one person that makes me feel like I can fly... That's you.
If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilities the benefit of the doubt? I accepted the idea that an omniscient God had cast me in his own image and that he watched over me and guided me from one place to the next. The virgin birth, the resurrection, and the countless miracles -my heart expanded to encompass all the wonders and possibilities of the universe.
A bell, though, that's fucked up.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
It hurts to look at the clouds, but it also helps, like most things that cause pain. So I need to run, and as my lungs burn and my back rebels with that stabbing knife feeling and my legs muscles harden and the half inch of loose skin around my waist jiggles, I feel as though my penance for the day is being done and that maybe God will be pleased enough to lend me some help, which I think is why He has been showing me interesting clouds for the past week.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
But how does the existence or nonexistence of the gods affect me? Why does it matter how the universe came to be?"
"Because you're part of it. Because you exist. And unless you want to only ever be a tiny modicum of existence that doesn't understand its relation to the grander web of things, you will explore.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
Close your eyes, Maxon."
"Close your eyes.
Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—"
"Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?"
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate."
"A boy? How old?"
"Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?"
"Maxon, it will only upset you more."
"Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please."
"We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon."
"Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?"
"Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—"
"I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Is not the gospel its own sign and wonder? Is not this a miracle of miracles, that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish'? Surely that precious word, 'Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely' and that solemn promise, 'Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out,' are better than signs and wonders! A truthful Saviour ought to be believed. He is truth itself. Why will you ask proof of the veracity of One who cannot lie?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
God afternoon," I said cheerfully, with an especially saccharine smile for the High Lord. He blinked at me, and both of the faerie men murmured their greetings as I took a seat across from Lucien, not my usual place facing Tamlin.
I drank deeply from my goblet of water before piling food on my plate. I savored the tense silence as I consumed the meal before me.
"You look . . . refreshed," Lucien observed with a glance at Tamlin. I shrugged. "Sleep well?"
"Like a babe." I smiled as him and took another bite of food, and felt Lucien's eyes travel inexorably to my neck.
"What is that bruise?" Lucien demanded.
I pointed my fork to Tamlin. "Ask him, he did it."
Lucien looked from Tamlin to me and then back again. "Why does Feyre have a bruise on her neck from you?" he asked with no small amount of amusement.
"I bit her," Tamlin said, not pausing as he cut his steak. "We ran into each other in the hall after the Rite.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer. Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn't act the way we want God to, and why I don't act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge.
If women allow themselves to be consoled for their culturally determined lack of access to the modes of intellectual debate by the invocation of hypothetical great goddesses, they are simply flattering themselves into submission (a technique often used on them by men). All the mythic versions of women, from the myth of the redeeming purity of the virgin to that of the healing, reconciliatory mother, are consolatory nonsenses; and consolatory nonsense seems to me a fair definition of myth, anyway. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place.
Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography)
Oh, God, Francesca,Now there’s a good one.Why?Why? Why?” He gave each one a different tenor, as if he were testing out the word, asking it to
“Why?” he asked again, this time with increased volume
as he turned around to face her.
because I love you, damn me to hell. Because I’ve always loved you. Because I loved you when you
were with John, and I loved you when I was in India, and God only knows I don’t deserve you, but I
love you, anyway.”
Francesca sagged against the door.
“How’s that for a witty little joke?” he mocked. “I loveyou. I loveyou, my cousin’s wife. I loveyou, the
one woman I can never have. I loveyou, Francesca Bridger-ton Stirling.
Julia Quinn (When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons, #6))
I should have known what you would do,” Jem said in a low voice. “I always know what you will do. I should have known you would put your hands into the fire.”
“And I should have known you would throw that packet away,” said Will, without rancor. “It was—it was a madly noble thing to do. I understand why you did it.”
“I was thinking of Tessa.” Jem drew his knees up and rested his chin on them, then laughed softly. “Madly noble. Isn’t that meant to be your area of expertise? Suddenly I am the one who does ridiculous things and you tell me to stop?”
“God,” said Will. “When did we change places?”
The firelight played over Jem’s face and hair as he shook his head. “It is a very strange thing, to be in love,” he said. “It changes you.”
Will looked down at Jem, and what he felt, more than jealousy, more than anything else, was a wistful desire to commiserate with his best friend, to speak of the feelings he held in his heart. For were they not the same feelings? Did they not love the same way, the same person? But, “I wish you wouldn’t risk yourself,” was all he said.
Jem stood up. “I have always wished that about you.”
Will raised his eyes, so drowsy with sleep and the tiredness that came with healing runes that he could see Jem only as a haloed figure of light. “Are you going?”
“Yes, to sleep.” Jem touched his fingers lightly to Will’s healing hands. “Let yourself rest, Will.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, 'Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'
A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?
C.S. Lewis (Till We Have Faces)
I made you into my private Christ, supplicated with my own dark devotions. Nothing existed beyond the range of your exacting gaze, not even me. I was simply a non-entity when you weren't looking at me, an empty vessel waiting to be filled by the sweet water of your attention.
A woman can't live like that, my Lord. No one can. Don't ask me why I did it.
God, forgive me.
Christ, forgive me.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood, #1))
He dropped my hand, and I knew that he was moments away from kicking the door down like a crazy, deranged sol, so I quickly raised my fist and knocked. They all turned to stare at me, looking like I’d just stolen their favourite toy and ripped its head off. “What?” I asked defensively. “Just trying to be polite.” “We’re here to kill her,” Siret reminded me, his voice a frustrated groan. “Don’t see why we can’t kill her politely,
Jaymin Eve (Trickery (Curse of the Gods, #1))
Just tell me what's so irritating."(katsu)
That's none of your damn business!"(kyok)
Maybe not. But I'm curious."(katsu)
It's EVERYTHING you prick! God, you're annoying! It's everything,okay?!
EVERYTHING PISSES ME OFF!
Them! And them! And them! And YOU! Everyone and everything!I HATE YOUR GODDAMN GUTS! You just...You all treat people like garbage. But you're all just as bad!QUIT TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOU'RE ALL FRIGGIN' PERFECT! Leave me alone. I wish everyone would just...go. Get out of my life. I'd be better off with YOU DEAD! DIE! DIE! GO TO HELL! YOU DISAPPEAR! YOU FALL APART!"(kyok)
Really? I think you WANT them to care. You want them to look at you, don't you? All those people. You want them to need you. You want them.....to listen to you. To understand somehow. You want them to accept you. I think.... you want them to love you.You know something? I'm like that, too."(katsu)
... Wh-why? Why did I....turn out....like this?"(kyok)
You're asking me?"(katsu)
That's what..That's what I wanna know. Why? Why...did I..?!"(kyok)
Where did she go wrong? What was her mistake? "I'm miserable. I feel so alone!"(kyok)
-Katsuya and Kyoko Honda
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 16)
And in the flush of the first few days of joy I confidently tell myself (not expecting what I'll do in three weeks only) 'no more dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world, no booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks and junkies and everybody, no more I ask myself the question O why is God torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters, walk around, no more self-imposed agony...it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that after all this whole surface of the world as we know it now will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time...Yay, for this, more aloneness
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Why do you pray?" he asked me, after a moment.
Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?
"I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why."
After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!"
"And why do you pray, Moshe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
I have a handful of prayers that I pray all the time... One is that God will put my books into the right hands at the right times. I've prayed this prayer thousands of times, and God has answered it in dramatic fashion countless times. The right book in the right hands at the right time can save a marriage, avert a mistake, demand a decision, plant a seed, conceive a dream, solve a problem, and prompt a prayer. That is why I write. And that's why, for me, a book sold is not a book sold; a book sold is a prayer answered. I don't know the name and situation of every reader, but God does, and that's all that matters.
Mark Batterson (Draw the Circle)
Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the rabbi who asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days whereas nowadays nobody ever sees him. The rabbi replied: "Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough."
This answer hits the nail on the head. We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions. The Buddhist discards the world of unconscious fantasies as useless illusions; the Christian puts his Church and his Bible between himself and his unconscious; and the rational intellectual does not yet know that his consciousness is not his total psyche.
I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
I swear, if you touch me, I’ll go Lorena Bobbitt on you.” Lorena Bobbitt? Why does that sound—oh my God, the lady that chopped off her husband’s dick? I busted out laughing and put my pillow over my face. “Oh my God! Princess! You’re my new favorite!” That’s it, that comment right there, and it was sealed. I would do anything to have this beautiful gray-eyed princess lying next to me, as mine.
Molly McAdams (Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #1.5))
Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?
...Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
‘The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.’
Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other's hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?
Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is—not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.
We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
I KNOW THE WAY YOU CAN GET
I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
And into one's self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!
The key is to understand that our children don't belong to us—they belong to God. Our goal as parents must not be limited by our own vision. I am a finite, sinful, selfish man. Why would I want to plan out my children's future when I can entrust them to the infinite, omnipotent, immutable, sovereign Lord of the universe? I don't want to tell God what to do with my children—I want Him to tell me!
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who walk with God)
I thought I was over him! So why did my heart still rip? Why did I still feel this sorrow? I got this strange sensation that God was with me. And he was angry. He was very angry--not at me and not at Jack. God was angry at the pain I was going through. I wondered if that was why God hated sin, because of the destruction it caused. For a moment I felt awe for a God who loved me enough to hate the things that hurt me without hating me for causing them.
Susan E. Isaacs (Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir)
I’m sick of them. I never want to see them again. Except Aros; he smells nice. And Rome; because he’s so strong I’m pretty sure not even Rau can get past him. I don’t need the others. Except Siret. I’m pretty sure he hates me, but he’s really good at catching me like just before I face-plant into something. But the others, I don’t need them. Not at all.” I paused, my brow furrowing, my mouth pursing, and then I quickly blurted, “Except Coen and Yael. Coen is really good at making decisions, and if I leave out Yael he’ll probably hunt me down and haunt me-”
“That's all of them,” Emmy interrupted smoothly.
Jaymin Eve (Trickery (Curse of the Gods, #1))
Don't ever think that what my Son chose to do didn't cost us dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark," she stated softly and gently. "We were there together."
Mack was surprised. "At the cross? Now wait. I thought you left him - you know - 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'" It was a Scripture that had often haunted Mack in The Great Sadness.
"You misunderstand the mystery there. Regardless of what he felt at that moment, I never left him."
"How can you say that? You abandonded him just like you abandoned me!"
"Mackenzie, I never left him, and I have never left you."
"That makes no sense to me," he snapped.
"I know it doesn't, at least not yet. Will you at least consider this: when all you can see is your pain, perhaps then you lose sight of me?
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Ah, hi. It’s Carter. I wonder if you might want to go out to dinner, or maybe the movies. Maybe you like plays better than movies. I should’ve looked up what might be available before I called. I didn’t think of it. Or we could just have coffee again if you want to do that. Or… I’m not articulate on these things. I can’t use a tape recorder either. And why would you care? If you’re at all interested in any of the above, please feel free to call me. Thanks. Um. Good-bye.”
“Damn you, Carter Maguire, for your insanely cute quotient. You should be annoying. Why aren’t I annoyed? Oh God, I’m going to call you back. I know I’m going to call you back. I’m in such trouble.
Nora Roberts (Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1))
I feel that God made my body perfect the way I was born. Then man robbed me, took away my power, and left me a cripple. My womanhood was stolen. If God had wanted those body parts missing, why did he create them?
I just pray that one day no woman will have to experience this pain. It will become a thing of the past. People will say "Did you hear, female genital mutilation has been outlawed in Somalia?" Then the next country, and the next, and so on, until the world is safe for all women. What a happy day that will be, and that's what I'm working toward. In'shallah, if God is willing, it will happen.
Waris Dirie (Desert Flower)
What are you waiting for?" shanna asked. "He's dying! Do it!"
Conner looked at Angus. "Ye do it. It was yer idea."
"Nay? Ye were the first to suggest it. Ye do it."
"I'm no' touching him." Conner said.
He nudged Phineas "Ye do it."
"I don't even know how!" Phineas poked at Robby. "You do it."
"Why me?" Robby turned to Angus. "Ye're the expert. Ye do it."
Angus grimaced. "I'm no' doing it. I hate the bugger."
"Stop it!" Shanna screamed "You- Forget it! I'll do it myself."
"Shanna you don't know how," Roman said.
"Gods blood. I guess I have to do it."
"You guess?" Shanna cried "Are you going to let him die?"
"He threatens to kill me every time he sees me.
Kerrelyn Sparks (Vampire Mine (Love at Stake, #10))
Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.”
A few weeks ago, I would have scoffed. Why would I want to remember any of this?
At best, if I were lucky enough to reclaim my divine throne, I would recall this wretched experience like a scary B-movie that had finally ended. I would walk out of the cinema into the sunlight, thinking Phew! Glad that’s over.
Now, however, I had some inkling of what Jason meant. I had learned a lot about human frailty and human strength. I felt…different toward mortals, having been one of them. If nothing else, it would provide me with some excellent inspiration for new song lyrics!
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
If I were to be made a knight," said the Wart, staring dreamily into the fire, "I should insist on doing my vigil by myself, as Hob does with his hawks, and I should pray to God to let me encounter all the evil in the world in my own person, so that if I conquered there would be none left, and, if I were defeated, I would be the one to suffer for it."
"That would be extremely presumptuous of you," said Merlyn, "and you would be conquered, and you would suffer for it."
"I shouldn't mind."
"Wouldn't you? Wait till it happens and see."
"Why do people not think, when they are grown up, as I do when I am young?"
"Oh dear," said Merlyn. '"You are making me feel confused. Suppose you wait till you are grown up and know the reason?"
"I don't think that is an answer at all," replied the Wart, justly.
Merlyn wrung his hands.
"Well, anyway," he said, "suppose they did not let you stand against all the evil in the world?"
"I could ask," said the Wart.
"You could ask," repeated Merlyn.
He thrust the end of his beard into his mouth, stared tragically into the fire, and began to munch it fiercely.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King)
How long have you been dating her?' I asked.
Nine months. We never got along. I mean, I didn't even briefly like her. Like, my mom and my dad- my dad would get pissed, and then he would beat the shit out of my mom. And then my dad would be all nice and they'd have a honeymoon period. But with Sara, there's never a honeymoon period. God, how could she think I was a rat? I know, I know: Why don't we break up?' He ran a hand through his hair, clutching a fistful of it atop his head, and said, ' I guess I saty with her because she stays with me. And that's not an easy thing to do. I'm a bad boyfriend. She's a bad girlfriend. We deserve each other.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Damn it all. "Ascanio!"
The bouda sauntered forward, a picture of pure innocence on his face.
"What the hell are you doing?" I growled.
He pulled on a disarming smile like a shield. "Following you."
So help me God, I would brain him with something heavy in a minute. "Because why?"
"I wanted to come. It's too dangerous for you and I'm concerned."
Derek snarled quietly under his breath.
"You can't blame me," Ascanio said. "Anybody in my place would be concerned. You don't even have a proper horse. You're riding a mutant equine of unknown origin.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Why do you want a letter from me? Why don't you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don't you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular 'experts' who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don't you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from?
Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity - God the three in One - yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression "God ordains" is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, "Science demands" is taken as an objective statement of fact?
You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs.
I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar.
Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I'm giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don't bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.
Dorothy L. Sayers
Yet if women are so flighty, fickle, changeable, susceptible, and inconstant (as some clerks would have us believe), why is it that their suitors have to resort to such trickery to have their way with them? And why don't women quickly succumb to them, without the need for all this skill and ingenuity in conquering them? For there is no need to go to war for a castle that is already captured. (...)
Therefore, since it is necessary to call on such skill, ingenuity, and effort in order to seduce a woman, whether of high or humble birth, the logical conclusion to draw is that women are by no means as fickle as some men claim, or as easily influenced in their behaviour. And if anyone tells me that books are full of women like these, it is this very reply, frequently given, which causes me to complain. My response is that women did not write these books nor include the material which attacks them and their morals. Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart's content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence. But if women had written these books, I know full well the subject would have been handled differently. They know that they stand wrongfully accused, and that the cake has not been divided up equally, for the strongest take the lion's share, and the one who does the sharing out keeps the biggest portion for himself.
Christine de Pizan (Der Sendbrief vom Liebesgott / The Letter of the God of Love (L'Epistre au Dieu d'Amours))
Oh, God, help me! And I walked faster, my thoughts pursuing me, and I began to run, my frozen shoes squealing like mice, but running didn't help, the thoughts to the left and right and behind me. But as I ran, The Arm, that good left arm, took hold of the situation and spoke soothingly: ease up, Kid, it's loneliness, you're all alone in the world; your father, your mother, your faith, they can't help you, nobody helps anybody, you only help yourself, and that's why I'm here, because we are inseperable, and we'll take care of everything.
John Fante (1933 Was a Bad Year)
– But here is a question that is troubling me: if there is no God, then, one may ask, who governs human life and, in general, the whole order of things on earth?
– Man governs it himself, – Homeless angrily hastened to reply to this admittedly none-too-clear question.
– Pardon me, – the stranger responded gently, – but in order to govern, one needs, after all, to have a precise plan for a certain, at least somewhat decent, length of time. Allow me to ask you, then, how can man govern, if he is not only deprived of the opportunity of making a plan for at least some ridiculously short period, well, say, a thousand years , but cannot even vouch for his own tomorrow? And in fact, – here the stranger turned to Berlioz, – imagine that you, for instance, start governing, giving orders to others and yourself, generally, so to speak, acquire a taste for it, and suddenly you get ...hem ... hem ... lung cancer ... – here the foreigner smiled sweetly, and if the thought of lung cancer gave him pleasure — yes, cancer — narrowing his eyes like a cat, he repeated the sonorous word —and so your governing is over! You are no longer interested in anyone’s fate but your own. Your family starts lying to you. Feeling that something is wrong, you rush to learned doctors, then to quacks, and sometimes to fortune-tellers as well. Like the first, so the second and third are completely senseless, as you understand. And it all ends tragically: a man who still recently thought he was governing something, suddenly winds up lying motionless in a wooden box, and the people around him, seeing that the man lying there is no longer good for anything, burn him in an oven. And sometimes it’s worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk – here the foreigner squinted at Berlioz – a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram-car! Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way? Would it not be more correct to think that he was governed by someone else entirely?
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
Because I made a promise. A promise to my friend that I would see her kingdom freed.” She shoved her scarred palm into his face. “I made an unbreakable vow. And you and Maeve—all you gods-damned bastards—are getting in the way of that.” She went off down the hillside again. He followed.
“And what of your own people? What of your own kingdom?”
“They are better off without me, just as you said.”
His tattoo scrunched as he snarled. “So you'd save another land, but not yours. Why can't your friend save her own kingdom?”
“Because she is dead!” She screamed the last word so loudly it burned in her throat. “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”
He merely stared at her with that animal stillness. When she walked away, he didn't come after her.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
He burst in the door like he'd expected to find us, and in that horrible moment, with him raging like a storm, I knew why Mason had called him a god.
In the blink of an eye, he crossed the room and jerked Jesse up by his shirt, nearly holding the Moroi off the ground.
"What's your name?" barked Dimitri.
"J-Jesse, sir. Jesse Zeklos, sir."
"Mr. Zeklos, do you have permission to be in this part of the dorm?"
"Do you know the rules about male and female interactions around here?"
"Then I suggest you get out of here as fast as you can before I turn you over to someone who will punish you accordingly. If I ever see you like this again -" Dimitri pointed to where I cowered, half dressed, on the couch. - "I will be the one to punish you. And it will hurt. A lot. Do you understand me?"
Jesse swallowed, eyes wide. None of the bravado he usually showed was there. I guess there was 'usually' and then there was being held in the grip of a really ripped, really tall, and really pissed-off Russian guy. "Yes, sir."
"Then go." Dimitri released him, and, if possible, Jesse got out of there faster than Dimitri had burst in. My mentor then turned to me, a dangerous glint in his eyes.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Junction nineteen! Una, she came off at Junction nineteen! You've added an hour to your journey before you even started. Come on, let's get you a drink. How's your love life, anyway?"
Oh GOD. Why can't married people understand that this is no longer a polite question to ask? We wouldn't rush up to THEM and roar, "How's your marriage going? Still having sex?" Everyone knows that dating in your thirties is not the happy-go-lucky free-for-it-all it was when you were twenty-two and that the honest answer is more likely to be, "Actually, last night my married lover appeared wearing suspenders and a darling little Angora crop-top, told me he was gay/a sex addict/a narcotic addict/a commitment phobic and beat me up with a dildo," than, "Super, thanks.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
I keep thinking it's going to come back when I least expect it. When I'm at my happiest. So I'm always afraid to be happy."
Zane looks out at the horizon. "You know, there are so many things that can go wrong in this world, you could spend your whole life worrying about them and forget to appreciate every moment you have with someone. Then, you're like, 'God, why wasn't I thankful for what I had when I had it?'" He glances over at me. "You know what the secret to a happy life is?" I shake my head, silent tears falling down my cheeks.
He squeezes my hand. "No regrets. Just live in the moment.
Nicole Christie (Falling for the Ghost of You)
So what did Jes say?' I asked again, when my brain felt a bit less scrambled.
'He said I should take good care of you.'
Mal cleared his throat. 'And . . . he said he would pray to the God of Work to heal your affliction.'
'I many have told him that you have a goiter.'
I stumbled. 'I beg your pardon?'
'Well, I had to explain why you were always clinging to that scarf.'
I dropped my hand. I'd been doing it again without even realizing.
'So you told him I had a goiter?' I whispered incredulously.
'I had to say something. And it makes you quite a tragic figure. Pretty girl, giant growth, you know.'
I punched him hard in the arm.
'Ow! Hey, in some countries, goiters are considered very fashionable.'
'Do they like eunuchs, too? Because I can arrange that.'
'My goiter makes me cranky.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
But I don’t understand. Why do you want me to think that this is great architecture? He pointed to the picture of the Parthenon.
That, said the Dean, is the Parthenon.
- So it is.
- I haven’t the time to waste on silly questions.
- All right, then. - Roark got up, he took a long ruler from the desk, he walked to the picture. - Shall I tell you what’s rotten about it?
- It’s the Parthenon! - said the Dean.
- Yes, God damn it, the Parthenon!
The ruler struck the glass over the picture.
- Look,- said Roark. - The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
They don't go into what is the cause of goodness, so why of the other shop? If lewdies are good that's because they like it, and I wouldn't ever interfere with their pleasures, and so of the other shop. And I was patronizing the other shop. More, badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self. And is not our modern history, my brothers, the story of the brave malenky selves fighting these big machines?
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling all things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist's pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everything in the light of the supernatural. The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I had heard that I was in the wrong place, and my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. The knowledge found out and illuminated forgotten chambers in the dark house of infancy. I knew now why grass had always seemed to me as queer as the green beard of a giant, and why I could feel homesick at home.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes.
"What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired a hell, and I was not happy.
"I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newly weds."
"Oh my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head.
"You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time."
"A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenous activities, like a long night of love making, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you."
"Yes we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had just poured for him.
"What about you princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass.
"I'm not hungry."I sighed and sat up.
"Oh really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-"
"It means last night is none of your business," I snapped.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name, knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now, knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live, knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast, where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost, who your parents were. He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world. He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one. He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most.
If you are out of the fold and away from God, put your name in the words of John 3:16 and say, “Lord, it is I. I’m the cause and reason why Thou didst on earth come to die.” That kind of positive, personal faith and a personal Redeemer is what saves you. If you will just rush in there, you do not have to know all the theology and all the right words. You can say, “I am the one He came to die for.” Write it down in your heart and say, “Jesus, this is me—Thee and me,” as though there were no others. Have that kind of personalized belief in a personal Lord and Savior.
A.W. Tozer (And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John)
Gods know about fading. They know about being forgotten over centuries. The idea of ceasing to exist altogether terrifies us. In fact- well, Zeus would not like me sharing this information, and if you tell anyone, I will deny I ever said it-but the truth is we gods are a little in awe of you mortals. You spend your whole lives knowing you will die. No matter how many friends and relatives you have, your puny existences will quickly be forgotten. How do you cope with it? Why are you not running around constantly screaming and pulling your hair out? Your bravery, I must admit, is quite admirable.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
Life is a misery, death an uncertainty. Suppose it steals suddenly upon me, in what state shall I leave this world? When can I learn what I have here neglected to learn? Or is it true that death will cut off and put an end to all care and all feeling? This is something to be inquired into.
But no, this cannot be true. It is not for nothing, it is not meaningless that all over the world is displayed the high and towering authority of the Christian faith.
Such great and wonderful things would never have been done for us by God, if the life of the soul were to end with the death of the body. Why then do I delay? Why do I not abandon my hopes of this world and devote myself entirely to the search for God and for the happy life?
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
If I am against the condition of the world it is not because I am a moralist, it is because I want to laugh more. I don't say that God is one grand laugh: I say that you've got to laugh hard before you can get anywhere near God. My whole aim in life is to get near to God, that is, to get nearer to myself. That's why it doesn't matter to me what road I take. But music is very important. Music is a tonic for the pineal gland. Music isn't Bach or Beethoven; music is the can opener of the soul. It makes you terribly quiet inside, makes you aware that there's a roof to your being.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
Um,” Arthur says. He’s looking at me dead-on, like he’s forcing himself to do it. God, I wish he would knock it off. I also wish he’d lose his eyelashes in a freak eyelash fire incident. And his lips, too, because all of a sudden I’m looking at them, what is that. “Yes. I thought we should discuss—”
“You mouth-mauling me?” I ask loudly, indignantly, like a tough sonuvabitch who doesn’t want to be mouth-mauled. I make myself meet his eyes. They’re green; I never paid attention before. This really light, interesting, intelligent green—
FUCK, this guy needs to STOP HAVING A FACE.
Hannah Johnson (Know Not Why (Know Not Why, #1))
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania.
“She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—”
“Where did she get it from?”
“Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.”
Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut.
Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.”
Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound.
He was barely breathing.
“The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so
low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a
catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her
draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in
her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure,
told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out
of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage,
to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
I was sitting on a plane after a long, tiring business trip. I was a bit grouchy and irritable because the rigorous schedule I had made for myself left me exhausted. Looking to not talk to the person next to me and simply endure the flight, I decided to open my newspaper and read about what was happening in the world. As I continued to read, it seemed that everywhere I looked there were stories of injustice, pain, suffering, and people losing hope. Finally, fueled by my tired, irritable state, I became overcome with compassion and frustration for the way things were. I got up and went to the bathroom and broke down.
With tears streaming down my face, I helplessly looked to the sky and yelled to God.
“God, look at this mess. Look at all this pain and suffering. Look at all this killing and hate. God, how could you let this happen? Why don’t you do something?”
Just then, a quiet stillness pacified my heart. A feeling of peace I won’t ever forget engulfed my body.
And, as I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, the answer to my own question came back to me…
“Steve, stop asking God to do something. God already did something, he gave you life. Now YOU do something!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
If desire causes suffering, it may be because we do not desire wisely, or that we are inexpert at obtaining what we desire. Instead of hiding our heads in a prayer cloth and building walls against temptation, why not get better at fulfilling desire? Salvation is for the feeble, that's what I think. I don't want salvation, I want life, all of life, the miserable as well as the superb. If the gods would tax ecstasy, then I shall pay; however, I shall protest their taxes at each opportunity, and if Woden or Shiva or Buddha or that Christian fellow--what's his name?--cannot respect that, then I'll accept their wrath. At least I will have tasted the banquet that they have spread before me on this rich, round planet, rather than recoiling from it like a toothless bunny. I cannot believe that the most delicious things were placed here merely to test us, to tempt us, to make it the more difficult for us to capture the grand prize: the safety of the void. To fashion of life such a petty game is unworthy of both men and gods.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
You need to come with us right now," one of the queen's guards said. "If you resist, we'll take you by force."
"Leave him alone!" I yelled, looking from face to face. That angry darkness exploded within me. How could they still not believe? Why were they still coming after him? "He hasn't done anything! Why can't you guys accept that he's really a dhampir now?"
The man who'd spoken arched an eyebrow. "I wasn't talking to him."
"You're...you're here for me?" I asked. I tried to think of any new spectacles I might have caused recently. I considered the crazy idea that the queen had found out I'd spent the night with Adrian and was pissed off about it. That was hardly enough to send the palace guard for me, though...or was it? Had I really gone too far with my antics?
"What for?" demanded Dimitri. That tall, wonderful bod of his—the one that could be so sensual sometimes—was filled with tension and menace now.
The man kept his gaze on me, ignoring Dimitri. "Don't make me repeat myself: Come with us quietly, or we will make you." The glimmer of handcuffs showed in his hands.
My eyes went wide. "That's crazy! I'm not going anywhere until you tel me how the hell this—"
That was the point at which they apparently decided I wasn't coming quietly. Two of the royal guardians lunged for me, and even though we technically worked for the same side, my instincts kicked in. I didn't understand anything here except that I would not be dragged away like some kind of master criminal. I shoved the chair I'd been sitting in earlier at the one of the guardians and aimed a punch at the other. It was a sloppy throw, made worse because he was taller than me. That height difference allowed me to dodge his next grab, and when I kicked hard at his legs, a grunt told me I'd hit home.
Meanwhile, other guardians were joining the fray. Although I got a couple of good punches in, I knew the numbers were too overwhelming. One guardian caught hold of my arm and began trying to put the cuffs on me. He stopped when another set of hands grabbed me from the other side and jerked me away.
"Don't touch her," he growled.
There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. [...] The queen's guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri...well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else's, and he was using them all in defense me.
"Stay back," he ordered me. "They aren't laying a hand on you.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
If you flinch," Four says, slowly, carefully. "Al takes your place. Understand?" I nod. Four's eyes are still on mine when he lifts his hand, pulls his elbow back, and throws the knife. It is just a flash in the air, and then I hear a thud. The knife is buried in the board, half a foot away from the my cheek. I close my eyes. Thank God. "You about done Stiff?" asks Four. I remember Al's wide eyes and his quiet sobs at night and shake my head. "No." "Eyes open, then." He taps the spot between his eyebrows...
"Come on, Stiff," he says. "Let someone else stand there and take it." Why is he trying to goad me into giving up? Does he want me to fail? "Shut up, Four!"
My body goes rigid. This time, when it hits the board, my ear stings, and blood tickles my skin. I touch my ear. He nicked it. And judging by the look he gives me, he did it on purpose.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I have of late—but wherefore
I know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of
exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my
disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to
me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy,
the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man
delights not me—no, nor woman neither, though by
your smiling you seem to say so.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
I want you to tell me
about the Survivor," he finally said.
"He was lord of the mists," Demoux said immediately.
"Not the rhetoric," Elend said. "Someone tell me about the man, Kelsier. I never met him, you know. I
saw him once, right before he died, but I never knew him."
"What's the point?" Cett asked. "We've all heard the stories. He's practically a god, if you listen to the
"Just do as I ask," Elend said.
The tent was still for a few moments. Finally, Ham spoke. "Kell was . . . grand. He wasn't just a man,
he was bigger than that. Everything he did was large—his dreams, the way he spoke, the way he thought.
. . ."
"And it wasn't false," Breeze added. "I can tell when a man is being a fake. That's why I started my
first job with Kelsier, actually. Amidst all the pretenders and posturers, he was genuine. Everyone wanted
to be the best. Kelsier really was."
"He was a man," Vin said quietly. "Just a man. Yet, you always knew he'd succeed. He made you be
what he wanted you to be."
"So he could use you," Breeze said.
"But you were better when he was done with you," Ham added
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
Dru Anderson: Thanks.
Graves: No problem. First one’s free. Look, you really can’t go home? What happened.
Dru Anderson: You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
Graves: Try me.
Dru Anderson: I just can’t go home, not until tomorrow.
Graves:Do you need a place to sleep?
Dru Anderson: I’ll find somewhere.
Graves: I know a place.
Dru Anderson: Why is it there’s always a guy who thinks he can get something out of the new girl? Every goddamn town, it’s the same thing. Some guy thinks he’s God’s gift to the displaced.
Graves: I just asked if you wanted a place to sleep, Jesus.
Dru Anderson: Sorry.
Graves: No problem. So, I’ll take you someplace you can sleep tonight. Someplace safe. Okay?
Dru Anderson: How much?
Graves: I keep telling you, first one’s free. You want to play some air hockey? Good way to get your mind off stuff.
Dru Anderson: Sure.
Graves: Cool. You finished?
Dru Anderson: Yeah, I guess. Graves?
Dru Anderson: Thanks. Nice gloves.
Graves: Hey, you know. Chicks dig guys in gloves.
Lilith Saintcrow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
From a distance,' he says, 'my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she's going to get help, she'll get it from herself or she'll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn't know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven't found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.'
Jesus. I feel tears welling up, and I see them running down Ellerby's cheeks. Lemry better get a handle on this class before it turns into some kind of therapy group.
So,' Lemry says quietly, 'your subject will be the juxtaposition of man and God in the universe?'
Ellerby shakes his head. 'My subject will be shame.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...
And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ... I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me! When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
I understand that you are an accomplished swords-man,” she finally said.
He eyed her curiously. Where was she going with this? “I like to fence, yes,” he replied.
“I have always wanted to learn.”
“Good God,” Gregory grunted.
“I would be quite good at it,” she protested.
“I’m sure you would,” her brother replied, “which is why you should never be allowed within thirty feet of a sword.” He turned to Gareth. “She’s quite diabolical.”
“Yes, I’d noticed,” Gareth murmured, deciding that maybe there might be a bit more to Hyacinth’s brother than he had thought.
Gregory shrugged, reaching for a piece of shortbread. “It’s probably why we can’t seem to get her married off.”
“Gregory!” This came from Hyacinth, but that was only because Lady Bridgerton had excused herself and followed one of the footmen into the hall.
“It’s a compliment!” Gregory protested. “Haven’t you waited your entire life for me to agree that you’re smarter than any of the poor fools who have attempted to court you?”
“You might find it difficult to believe,” Hyacinth shot back, “but I haven’t been going to bed each night thinking to myself—Oh, I do wish my brother would offer me something that passes for a compliment in his twisted mind.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
When we are harassed and reach the limit of our own strength, many of us then turn in desperation to God-"There are no atheists in foxholes." But why wait till we are desperate? Why not renew our strength every day? Why wait even until Sunday? For years I have had the habit of dropping into empty churches on weekday afternoons.
When I feel that I am too rushed and hurried to spare a few minutes to think about spiritual things, I say to myself: "Wait a minute, Dale Carnegie, wait a minute. Why all the feverish hurry and rush, little man? You need to pause and acquire a little perspective." At such times, I frequently drop into the first church that I find open.
Although I am a Protestant, I frequently, on weekday afternoons, drop into St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, and remind myself that I'll be dead in another thirty years, but that the great spiritual truths that all churches teach are eternal. I close my eyes and pray. I find that doing this calms my nerves, rests my body, clarifies my perspective, and helps me revalue my values. May I recommend this practice to you?
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (Dale Carnegie Books))
Why, how can you ask such a question? You are a republican."
A republican! Yes; but that word specifies nothing. Res publica; that is, the public thing. Now, whoever is interested in public affairs -- no matter under what form of government -- may call himself a republican. Even kings are republicans."
Well! You are a democrat?"
What! "you would have a monarchy?"
Then you are an aristocrat?"
Not at all!"
You want a mixed form of government?"
Then what are you?"
I am an anarchist."
Oh! I understand you; you speak satirically. This is a hit at the government."
By no means. I have just given you my serious and well-considered profession of faith. Although a firm friend of order, I am (in the full force of the term) an anarchist. Listen to me.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Proudhon: What is Property? (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
Ellie, my darling, please explain to me why the office has been flooded with calls about, and I quote"--she crooked her fingers in the air--"a vicious vampire on the loose, a crazy knife-wielding maniac, and oh, this one's my favorite--an assassin carrying a gun!"
"I can explain."
Sara folded her arms and tapped one fashionably clad foot. "Explain why you flashed not only a knife but a gun? I hope to God you didn't actually use either of them without authoriation because if the VPA gets ahold of it, we're screwed."
Elena rubbed the back of her neck. "Exigent circumstances. He was trying to make me his bed buddy. I declined. He gave chase."
Ranson chocked back what sounded suspiciously like a laugh. "Why did you say no? It's been a dry spell of what, forever?"
She threw him a dirty look before returning her gaze to Sara. "You know I'd never have considered using the gun otherwise."
Sara heldup a hand. "How, exactly, did you 'decline' his offer?"
"By slitting his throat.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
Yes,’ he cried, ‘you have killed my love! You used to stir my imagination. Now you don’t even stir my curiosity. You simply produce no effect. I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid. My God! how mad I was to love you! What a fool I have been! You are nothing to me now. I will never see you again. I will never think of you. I will never mention your name. You can’t know what you were to me, once. Why, once… Oh, I can’t bear to think of it! I wish I had never laid eyes upon you! You have spoiled the romance of my life. How little you can know of love if you say it mars your art! Without your art you are nothing. I would have made you famous, splendid, magnificent. The world would have worshiped you, and you would have borne my name. What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them.
"Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years."
"Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?"
"OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?"
You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point:
And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!"
"I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said.
"Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said.
But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"
Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes:
"God put those here to test our faith."
"I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out."
Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:
"Did you believe in dinosaurs?"
"Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!"
"You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!"
"It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!"
"Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!"
They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it.
Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet.
"Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad.
But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important.
And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.”
Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool.
We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
He is never going to be here, I thought. He is never coming back.
Was I okay with it? No. But missing him every day for the rest of my life was still easier than the fight Sebastian had: to stuff himself inside a box every morning and tuck that box inside his heart and pray that his heart kept beating around the obstacle. Every day I could go to class as exactly the person I am, and meet new people, and come outside later for some fresh air and Frisbee. Every day I would be grateful that no one who matters to me questions whether I am too masculine, too feminine, too open, too closed.
Every day I would be grateful for what I have, and that I can be who I am without judgment.
So every day I would fight for Sebastian, and people in the same boat, who don’t have what I do, who struggle to find themselves in a world that tells them white and straight and narrow gets first pick in the schoolyard game of life.
My chest was congested with regret, and relief, and resolve. Give me more of those, I thought to whoever was listening—whether it was God, or Oz, or the three sisters of Fate. Give me those moments where I think he’s coming back. I can take the hurt. The reminder that he’s not coming back—and why—will keep me fighting.
Christina Lauren (Autoboyography)
Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.
Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person.
Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either.
It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy.
And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.
When someone passes, Benjamin, people always ask, ‘Why did God take them?’ A better question would be ‘Why did God give them to us?’ What did we do to deserve their love, their joy, the sweet moments we shared? Didn’t you have such moments with Annabelle?” “Every day,” I rasped. “Those moments are a gift. But their end is not a punishment. I am never cruel, Benjamin. I know you before you are born. I know you after you die. My plans for you are not defined by this world. “Beginnings and endings are earthly ideas. I go on. And because I go on, you go on with me. Feeling loss is part of why you are on Earth. Through it, you appreciate the brief gift of human existence, and you learn to cherish the world I created for you. But the human form is not permanent. It was never meant to be. That gift belongs to the soul. “I know the tears you shed, Benjamin. When people leave this Earth, their loved ones always weep.” She smiled. “But I promise you, those who leave do not.
Mitch Albom (The Stranger in the Lifeboat)
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles."
"God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid."
"This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive."
Both of them stopped breathing.
Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much.
Adam shoved open the door.
"Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious.
Gansey close his eyes.
Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over.
He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him.
In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.
Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
But now what? Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! And why? Because, he says, I forgot who I was; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it! There isn't one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay! Do you call these the laws of my country? Sir, I haven't any country, anymore than I have any father. But I'm going to have one. I don't want anything of your country, except to be let alone,--to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I'll fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me!
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
He wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. Whereas it looked as if I was the one who’d come up emptyhanded. But I was sure about me, about everything, surer than he could ever be, sure of my life and sure of my death I had waiting for me… I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn’t done that… Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I’ve lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. What did other people’s deaths or a mother’s love matter to me; what did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we’re all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him who also called themselves my brothers?
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
He handed me a bandana. "Tie that on."
"Why?" I said, but I did it anyway. "Norman, you are way too into ceremony."
"It's important." I could hear him moving around, adjusting things, before he came to sit beside me. "Okay," he said. "Take a look."
I pulled off the blindfold. Beside me, Norman watched me see myself for the first time.
And it was me. At least, it was a girl who looked like me. She was sitting on the back stoop of the restaurant, legs crossed and dangling down. She had her head slightly tilted, as if she had been asked something and was waiting for the right moment to respond, smiling slightly behind the sunglasses that were perched on her nose, barely reflecting part of a blue sky.
The girl was something else, though. Something I hadn't expected. She was beautiful.
Not in the cookie-cutter way of all the faces encircling Isabel's mirror. And not in the easy, almost effortless style of a girl like Caroline Dawes. This girl who stared back at me, with her lip ring and her half smile - not quite earned - knew she wasn't like the others. She knew the secret. And she'd clicked her heels three times to find her way home.
"Oh, my God," I said to Norman, reaching forward to touch the painting, which still didn't seem real. My own face, bumpy and textured beneath my fingers, stared back at me. "Is this how you see me?"
"Colie." He was right beside me. "That's how you are.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
Why should I give up revenge? On behalf of what? Moral principles? And what of the higher order of things, in which evil deeds are punished? For you, a philosopher and ethicist, an act of revenge is bad, disgraceful, unethical and illegal. But I ask: where is the punishment for evil? Who has it and grants access? The Gods, in which you do not believe? The great demiurge-creator, which you decided to replace the gods with? Or maybe the law? [...] I know what evil is afraid of. Not your ethics, Vysogota, not your preaching or moral treaties on the life of dignity. Evil is afraid of pain, mutilation, suffering and at the end of the day, death! The dog howls when it is badly wounded! Writhing on the ground and growls, watching the blood flow from its veins and arteries, seeing the bone that sticks out from a stump, watching its guts escape its open belly, feeling the cold as death is about to take them. Then and only then will evil begin to beg, 'Have mercy! I regret my sins! I'll be good, I swear! Just save me, do not let me waste away!'. Yes, hermit. That is the way to fight evil! When evil wants to harm you, inflict pain - anticipate them, it's best if evil does not expect it. But if you fail to prevent evil, if you have been hurt by evil, then avenge him! It is best when they have already forgotten, when they feel safe. Then pay them in double. In triple. An eye for an eye? No! Both eyes for an eye! A tooth for a tooth? No! All their teeth for a tooth! Repay evil! Make it wail in pain, howling until their eyes pop from their sockets. And then, you can look under your feet and boldly declare that what is there cannot endanger anyone, cannot hurt anyone. How can someone be a danger, when they have no eyes? How can someone hurt when they have no hands? They can only wait until they bleed to death.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Wieża Jaskółki (Saga o Wiedźminie, #4))
What about me?’ said Grantaire. ‘I’m here.’
‘You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’
‘Are you capable of being good for something?’
‘I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire.
‘You don’t believe in anything.’
‘I believe in you.’
‘Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’
‘Anything. Polish your boots.’
‘Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’
‘You’re heartless, Enjolras.’
‘As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’
‘I’m capable of going down Rue des Grès, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following Chaussée du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’
‘Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?'
‘Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’
‘What will you say to them?’
‘I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’
‘Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. “The liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an Hébertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’
‘Be serious,’ said Enjolras.
‘I mean it,’ replied Grantaire.
Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, ‘Grantaire,’ he said gravely, ‘I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’
Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to Café Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat.
‘Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest.
And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, ‘Don’t worry.’
He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
In all your travels, have you ever seen a star go supernova? ...
I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull! With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. With ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air. ...
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to - I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to - I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I'm a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I'm trapped in this absurd body! And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way!
Ronald D. Moore
Thomas Merton said it was actually dangerous to put the Scriptures in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the Spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egocentric purposes. (This is why religion is so subject to corruption!) Now, if we are going to talk about conversion and penance, let me apply that to the two major groups that have occupied Western Christianity—Catholics and Protestants. Neither one has really let the Word of God guide their lives.
Catholics need to be converted to giving the Scriptures some actual authority in their lives. Luther wasn’t wrong when he said that most Catholics did not read the Bible. Most Catholics are still not that interested in the Bible. (Historically they did not have the printing press, nor could most people read, so you can’t blame them entirely.) I have been a priest for 42 years now, and I would sadly say that most Catholics would rather hear quotes from saints, Popes, and bishops, the current news, or funny stories, if they are to pay attention. If I quote strongly from the Sermon on the Mount, they are almost throwaway lines. I can see Catholics glaze over because they have never read the New Testament, much less studied it, or been guided by it. I am very sad to have to admit this. It is the Achilles heel of much of the Catholic world, priests included. (The only good thing about it is that they never fight you like Protestants do about Scripture. They are easily duped, and the hierarchy has been able to take advantage of this.)
If Catholics need to be converted, Protestants need to do penance. Their shout of “sola Scriptura” (only Scripture) has left them at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time—by people who claim to love Jesus! I think they need to do penance for what they have often done with the Bible! They largely interpreted the Bible in a very individualistic and otherworldly way. It was “an evacuation plan for the next world” to use Brian McLaren’s phrase—and just for their group. Most of Evangelical Protestantism has no cosmic message, no social message, and little sense of social justice or care for the outsider. Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do our own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.
I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'
I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.
Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.
To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.
Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.
So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
No parent should have to bury a child ... No mother should have to bury a son. Mothers are not meant to bury sons. It is not in the natural order of things.
I buried my son. In a potter's field. In a field of Blood. In empty, acrid silence. There was no funeral. There were no mourners. His friends all absent. His father dead. His sisters refusing to attend. I discovered his body alone, I dug his grave alone, I placed him in a hole, and covered him with dirt and rock alone. I was not able to finish burying him before sundown, and I'm not sure if that affected his fate ...
I begrudge God none of this. I do not curse him or bemoan my lot. And though my heart keeps beating only to keep breaking--I do not question why.
I remember the morning my son was born as if it was yesterday. The moment the midwife placed him in my arms, I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding. I remember holding my son, and looking over at my own mother and saying, "Now I understand why the sun comes up at day and the stars come out at night. I understand why rain falls gently. Now I understand you, Mother" ...
I loved my son every day of his life, and I will love him ferociously long after I've stopped breathing. I am a simple woman. I am not bright or learn-ed. I do not read. I do not write. My opinions are not solicited. My voice is not important ... On the day of my son's birth I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding ... The world tells me that God is in Heaven and that my son is in Hell. I tell the world the one true thing I know: If my son is in Hell, then there is no Heaven--because if my son sits in Hell, there is no God.
Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot)
Peter pushed off from the roof and stalked a few feet away, his back to her. “Please tell me this is all some kind of a sick joke.”
“It’s the truth. All of it. That’s why hunters are after me.”
“How did they find out?” Peter asked, swiveling toward her now.
“I think Beck ratted me out. I went to his house this morning and told him what had happened. He was furious, Peter. I’ve never seen anyone that angry.”
“Duh! Now there’s a surprise,” her friend replied sarcastically. “I saw the way he looked at you at your dad’s funeral. Of course he’d be mad. You’re about the only one on the planet who doesn’t realize how he feels about you.”
“He never said anything,” she retorted.
“Hey, we guys don’t blurt out that kind of stuff,” he replied. “It’s against the man code. Beck may never have said how he felt, but everything he did for you should have been a big clue. I mean, come on, how slow are you?”
She glowered at her friend. “I figured he was doing it because of my father.”
“Maybe, but the guy is really into you, Riley.”
“No way. If he’d liked me, he wouldn’t have blown me off and—”
“Ancient history, girl!” he countered. “You were, what, fifteen? Your dad would have torn him apart if he’d touched you. Beck had no other choice.”
“He didn’t have to be so mean.”
“God, will you listen to yourself?” Peter retorted.
“You have no idea how much he hurt me,” she shot back.
“Give it up, will you? You’re my best friend, but you can be a real self-centered asshat sometimes.
Jana Oliver (Forgiven (The Demon Trappers, #3))
It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history and as it is in a great majority of places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery and majesty of matter are fully appreciated, to then turn the objective eye back on man viewed as matter, to view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is very rare, and very exciting. It usually ends in laughter and a delight in the futility of trying to understand what this atom in the universe is, this thing—atoms with curiosity—that looks at itself and wonders why it wonders. Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.
Some will tell me that I have just described a religious experience. Very well, you may call it what you will. Then, in that language I would say that the young man's religious experience is of such a kind that he finds the religion of his church inadequate to describe, to encompass that kind of experience. The God of the church isn't big enough.
Richard P. Feynman (The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist)
How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left
here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue
where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building’s no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)
and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining
oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy?
Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question.
O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre.
P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre.
O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction.
P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy.
Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that.
(Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
But then something happened, Ray, something amazing. Something...
"That white cop sitting next to me? He took a long look at my mother when she came in, just like, absorbed her, and then without even turning to me, he just put his hand on my back, up between my neck and shoulder...
"And all he did was squeeze. Give me a little squeeze of sympathy, then rubbed that same spot with his palm for maybe two, three seconds, and that was it.
"But I swear to you, nobody, in my entire life up to that point had ever touched me with that kind of tenderness. I had never experienced a sympathetic hand like that, and Ray, it felt like lightning.
"I mean, the guy did it without thinking, I'm sure. And when dinnertime rolled around he had probably forgotten all about it. Forgot about me, too, for that matter... But I didn't forget.
"I didn't walk around thinking about it nonstop either, but something like seven years later when I was at community college? The recruiting officer for the PD came on campus for Career Day, and I didn't really like college all that much to begin with, so I took the test for the academy, scored high, quit school and never looked back.
"And usually when I tell people why I became a cop I say because it would keep Butchie and Antoine out of my life, and there's some truth in that.
"But I think the real reason was because that recruiting officer on campus that day reminded me, in some way, you know, conscious or not, of that housing cop who had sat on the bench with me when I was thirteen.
"In fact, I don't think it, I know it. As sure as I'm standing here, I know I became a cop because of him. For him. To be like him. God as my witness, Ray. The man put his hand on my back for three seconds and it rerouted my life for the next twenty-nine years.
"It's the enormity of small things... Adults, grown-ups, us, we have so much power... And sometimes when we find ourselves coming into contact with certain kinds of kids? Needy kids? We have to be ever so careful...
Tortolita, let me tell you a story,” Estevan said. “This is a South American, wild Indian story about heaven and hell.” Mrs. Parsons made a prudish face, and Estevan went on. “If you go visit hell, you will see a room like this kitchen. There is a pot of delicious stew on the table, with the most delicate aroma you can imagine. All around, people sit, like us. Only they are dying of starvation. They are jibbering and jabbering,” he looked extra hard at Mrs. Parsons, “but they cannot get a bit of this wonderful stew God has made for them. Now, why is that?”
“Because they’re choking? For all eternity?” Lou Ann asked. Hell, for Lou Ann, would naturally be a place filled with sharp objects and small round foods.
“No,” he said. “Good guess, but no. They are starving because they only have spoons with very long handles. As long as that.” He pointed to the mop, which I had forgotten to put away. “With these ridiculous, terrible spoons, the people in hell can reach into the pot but they cannot put the food in their mouths. Oh, how hungry they are! Oh, how they swear and curse each other!” he said, looking again at Virgie. He was enjoying this.
“Now,” he went on, “you can go and visit heaven. What? You see a room just like the first one, the same table, the same pot of stew, the same spoons as long as a sponge mop. But these people are all happy and fat.”
“Real fat, or do you mean just well-fed?” Lou Ann asked.
“Just well-fed,” he said. “Perfectly, magnificently well-fed, and very happy. Why do you think?”
He pinched up a chunk of pineapple in his chopsticks, neat as you please, and reached all the way across the table to offer it to Turtle. She took it like a newborn bird.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1))
I must have been in the car for a long time because eventually my sister found me there. I was chain-smoking cigarettes and crying still. My sister knocked on the window. I rolled it down. She looked at me with this curious expression. Then, her curiosity turned to anger.
"Charlie, are you smoking?!"
She was so mad. I can't tell you how mad she was.
"I can't believe you're smoking!"
That's when I stopped crying. And started laughing. Because of all the things she could have said right after she got out of there, she picked my smoking. And she got angry about it. And I knew if my sister was angry, then her face wouldn't be that different. And she would be okay.
"I'm going to tell Mom and Dad, you know?"
"No, you're not." God, I couldn't stop laughing.
When my sister thought about it for a second, I think she figured out why she wouldn't tell Mom or Dad. It's like she suddenly remembered where we were and what had just happened and how crazy our whole conversation was considering at all. Then, she started laughing.
But the laughing made her feel sick, so I had to get out of the car and help her into the backseat. I had already set up the pillow and the blanket for her because we figured it was probably best for her to sleep it off a little in the car before we went home.
Just before she feel asleep, she said, "Well, it you're going to smoke, crack the window at least."
Which made me start laughing again.
"Charlie, smoking. I can't believe it."
Which made me laugh harder, and I said, "I love you."
And my sister said, "I love you too. Just stop it with the laughing already.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Imagine how differently you might approach each day by simply stating: God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. And today is yet another page in our great love story. Nothing that happens to you today will change that or even alter it in the slightest way. Lift your hands, heart, and soul, and receive that truth as you pray this prayer: My whole life I’ve searched for a love to satisfy the deepest longings within me to be known, treasured, and wholly accepted. When You created me, Lord, Your very first thought of me made Your heart explode with a love that set You in pursuit of me. Your love for me was so great that You, the God of the whole universe, went on a personal quest to woo me, adore me, and finally grab hold of me with the whisper, “I will never let you go.” Lord, I release my grip on all the things I was holding on to, preventing me from returning Your passionate embrace. I want nothing to hold me but You. So, with breathless wonder, I give You all my faith, all my hope, and all my love. I picture myself carrying the old, torn-out boards that inadequately propped me up and placing them in a pile. This pile contains other things I can remove from me now that my new intimacy-based identity is established. I lay down my need to understand why things happen the way they do. I lay down my fears about others walking away and taking their love with them. I lay down my desire to prove my worth. I lay down my resistance to fully trust Your thoughts, Your ways, and Your plans, Lord. I lay down being so self-consumed in an attempt to protect myself. I lay down my anger, unforgiveness, and stubborn ways that beg me to build walls when I sense hints of rejection. I lay all these things down with my broken boards and ask that Your holy fire consume them until they become weightless ashes. And as I walk away, my soul feels safe. Held. And truly free to finally be me.
Lysa TerKeurst (Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely)
As I brush my teeth, I scroll through my phone to see if Sabrina texted when my phone was on silent last night.
She didn’t. Damn. I was hoping my speech—and that amazing fucking kiss—might’ve changed her mind about going out with me, but I guess it didn’t.
I do, however, find the most mind-boggling conversation in the group chat I have with my roommates. All the messages are from last night, and they’re bizarre as fuck.
Garrett: The hells, D?!
Dean: It’s not what you think!!
Logan: It’s hard to mistake ur romantic bath with that giant pink thing! In ur ass!
Dean: It wasn’t in my ass!
Garrett: I’m not even going to ask where it was
Dean: I had a girl over!
Dean: I hate you guys
I rinse my mouth out, spit, and drop the toothbrush into the little cup on the sink. Then I quickly type out a text.
Me: Wait… what did I miss?
Since we have practice in twenty minutes, the guys are already awake and clearly on their phones. Two photos pop up simultaneously. Garrett and Logan have both sent me pics of pink dildos. I’m even more confused now.
Dean messages immediately with, Why do you guys have dildo pics handy?
Garrett: At Least It’s Not In My Butt.
I snort to myself, because I’m starting to piece it together.
Logan: Nice, G! U got that on the first try!
Garrett: We spend too much time 2gether.
Me: PLEASE tell me u caught D playing w/ dildos.
Logan: Sure did.
Dean is quick to object again.
I HAD A GIRL OVER!
The guys and I rag on him for a couple more minutes, but I have to stop when Fitzy stumbles into the bathroom and shoves me aside. He’s got crazy bedhead and he’s buck-naked.
“Gotta piss,” he mumbles.
“Mornin’, sunshine,” I say cheerfully. “Want me to make you some coffee?”
“God. Yes. Please.”
Chuckling, I duck out of the bathroom and walk the four or so steps into his kitchenette. When he finally emerges, I shove a cup of coffee in his hand, sip my own, and say, “Dean shoved a dildo up his ass last night.”
Fitzy nods. “Makes sense.”
I snicker mid-sip. Coffee spills over the rim of my cup. “It really does, huh?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover.
His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him
in such a state at
their club, were talking far too loudly.
Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly.
“Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle
their table and
splitting it open with a viciously loud crack.
Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him.
Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted
him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?”
Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?”
Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to
“Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.”
“Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?”
If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise.
“If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut.
“You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had
been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was
displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered.
Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did,
apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—”
“What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled.
“I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.”
“Just so!” Colin exclaimed.
Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.”
“It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere.
“When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you
may presume to
offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.”
Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?”
Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.”
Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.”
“Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.”
Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle
finger. “God above,”
he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?”
“Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Off To The Races"
My old man is a bad man but
I can't deny the way he holds my hand
And he grabs me, he has me by my heart
He doesn't mind I have a Las Vegas past
He doesn't mind I have an LA crass way about me
He loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart
Swimming pool glimmering darling
White bikini off with my red nail polish
Watch me in the swimming pool bright blue ripples you
Sitting sipping on your black Cristal
Light of my life, fire of my loins
Be a good baby, do what I want
Light of my life, fire of my loins
Give me them gold coins, gimme them coins
And I'm off to the races, cases of Bacardi chasers
Chasing me all over town
Cause he knows I'm wasted, facing
Time again at Riker's Island and I won't get out
Because I'm crazy, baby I need you to come here and save me
I'm your little scarlet, starlet singing in the garden
Kiss me on my open mouth
Ready for you
My old man is a tough man but
He's got a soul as sweet as blood red jam
And he shows me, he knows me
Every inch of my tar black soul
He doesn't mind I have a flat broke down life
In fact he says he thinks it's why he might like about me
Admires me, the way I roll like a Rolling Stone
Likes to watch me in the glass room bathroom, Chateau Marmont
Slippin' on my red dress, puttin' on my makeup
Glass film, perfume, cognac, lilac
Fumes, says it feels like heaven to him
Light of his life, fire of his loins
Keep me forever, tell me you own me
Light of your life, fire of your loins
Tell me you own me, gimme them coins
And I'm off to the races, cases of Bacardi chasers
Chasing me all over town
Cause he knows I'm wasted, facing
Time again at Riker's Island and I won't get out
Because I'm crazy, baby I need you to come here and save me
I'm your little scarlet, starlet singing in the garden
Kiss me on my open mouth
Now I'm off to the races, laces
Leather on my waist is tight and I am fallin' down
I can see your face is shameless, Cipriani's basement
Love you but I'm going down
God I'm so crazy, baby, I'm sorry that I'm misbehaving
I'm your little harlot, starlet, Queen of Coney Island
Raising hell all over town
Sorry 'bout it
My old man is a thief and I'm gonna stay and pray with him 'til the end
But I trust in the decision of the Lord to watch over us
Take him when he may, if he may
I'm not afraid to say that I'd die without him
Who else is gonna put up with me this way?
I need you, I breathe you, I never leave you
They would rue the day I was alone without you
You're lying with your gold chain on, cigar hanging from your lips
I said "Hon' you never looked so beautiful as you do now, my man."
And we're off to the races, places
Ready, set the gate is down and now we're goin' in
To Las Vegas chaos, Casino Oasis, honey it is time to spin
Boy you're so crazy, baby, I love you forever not maybe
You are my one true love, you are my one true love
You are my one true love
Lana Del Rey
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an unnatural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …'" Mustapha Mond paused, put down the first book and, picking up the other, turned over the pages. "Take this, for example," he said, and in his deep voice once more began to read: "'A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus, imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause, from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease it is. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes after death that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years. But my own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false–a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.'" Mustapha Mond shut the book and leaned back in his chair. "One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn't dream about was this" (he waved his hand), "us, the modern world. 'You can only be independent of God while you've got youth and prosperity; independence won't take you safely to the end.' Well, we've now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God. 'The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.' But there aren't any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute for distractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?"
I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters.
As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything.
"I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Because we cannot discover God's throne in the sky with a radiotelescope or establish (for certain) that a beloved father or mother is still about in a more or less corporeal form, people assume that such ideas are "not true." I would rather say that they are not "true" enough, for these are conceptions of a kind that have accompanied human life from prehistoric times, and that still break through into consciousness at any provocation.
Modern man may assert that he can dispose with them, and he may bolster his opinion by insisting that there is no scientific evidence of their truth. Or he may even regret the loss of his convictions. But since we are dealing with invisible and unknowable things (for God is beyond human understanding, and there is no means of proving immortality), why should we bother about evidence? Even if we did not know by reason our need for salt in our food, we should nonetheless profit from its use. We might argue that the use of salt is a mere illusion of taste or a superstition; but it would still contribute to our well-being. Why, then, should we deprive ourselves of views that would prove helpful in crises and would give a meaning to our existence?
And how do we know that such ideas are not true? Many people would agree with me if I stated flatly that such ideas are probably illusions. What they fail to realize is that the denial is as impossible to "prove" as the assertion of religious belief. We are entirely free to choose which point of view we take; it will in any case be an arbitrary decision.
There is, however, a strong empirical reason why we should cultivate thoughts that can never be proved. It is that they are known to be useful. Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense; he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a "tale told by an idiot."
It is the role of religious symbols to give a meaning to the life of man. The Pueblo Indians believe that they are the sons of Father Sun, and this belief endows their life with a perspective (and a goal) that goes far beyond their limited existence. It gives them ample space for the unfolding of personality and permits them a full life as complete persons. Their plight is infinitely more satisfactory than that of a man in our own civilization who knows that he is (and will remain) nothing more than an underdog with no inner meaning to his life.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this?-And-how many of us do know it? Not Lotze. Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. I suppose only a few are aware of all this. Isolated persons here and there. But the broad masses...what do they think? All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse the truth...?
But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it?
He thought, it is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn't it. I don't know; I sense it, inuit it. But-they are purposely cruel...is that it? No. God, he thought, I can't find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia.
Their view; it is cosmic. Not of man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Gute, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they-these madmen-respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur.
And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. it is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate-confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small...and you will escape the jealousy of the great.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
A Faint Music by Robert Hass
Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.
When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.
As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.
There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.
It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
What are you doing here?"
He takes a deep breath. "I came for you."
"And how on EARTH did you know I was up here?"
"I saw you." He pauses. "I came to make another wish,and I was standing on Point Zero when I saw you enter the tower. I called your name,and you looked around,but you didn't see me."
"So you decided to just...come up?" I'm doubtful,despite the evidence in front of me.It must have taken superhuman strength for him to make it past the first flight of stairs alone.
"I had to.I couldn't wait for you to come down,I couldn't wait any longer. I had to see you now.I have to know-"
He breaks off,and my pulse races. What what what?
"Why did you lie to me?"
The question startles me.Not what I was expecting.Nor hoping.He's still on the ground,but he stares up at me.His brown eyes are huge and heartbroken. I'm confused. "I'm sorry, I don't know what-"
"November.At the creperie. I asked you if we'd talked about anything strange that night I was drunk in your room.If I had said anything about our relationship,or my relationship with Ellie.And you said no."
Oh my God. "How did you know?"
"Josh told me."
I'm stunned. "I...I..." My throat is dry. "If you'd seen the look on your face that day.In the restaurant. How could I possibly tell you? With your mother-"
"But if you had,I wouldn't have wasted all of these months.I thought you were turning me down.I thought you weren't interested."
"But you were drunk! You had a girlfriend! What was I supposed to do? God,St. Clair,I didn't even know if you meant it."
"Of course I meant it." He stands,and his legs falter.
Step.Step.Step. He toddles toward me,and I reach for his hand to guide him.We're so close to the edge. He sits next to me and grips my hand harder. "I meant it,Anna.I mean it."
"I don't under-"
He's exasperated. "I'm saying I'm in love with you! I've been in love with you this whole bleeding year!"
My mind spins. "But Ellie-"
"I cheated on her every day.In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn't have,again and again. She was nothing compared to you.I've never felt this way about anybody before-"
"The first day of school." He scoots closer. "We weren't physics partners by accident.I saw Professeur Wakefield assigning lab partners based on where people were sitting,so I leaned forward to borrow a pencil from you at just the right moment so he'd think we were next to each other.Anna,I wanted to be your partner the first day."
"But..." I can't think straight.
"I doubt you love poetry! 'I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly,between the shadow and the soul.'"
I blink at him.
"Neruda.I starred the passage.God," he moans. "Why didn't you open it?"
"Because you said it was for school."
"I said you were beautiful.I slept in your bed!"
"You never mave a move! You had a girlfriend!"
"No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was,I wouldn't actually cheat on her. But I thought you'd know.With me being there,I thought you'd know."
We're going in circles. "How could I know if you never said anything?"
"How could I know if you never said anyting?"
"You had Ellie!"
"You had Toph! And Dave!
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It isn’t Easter,” he said, “but this week has caused me to think a lot about the Easter story. Not the glorious resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday but the darkness that came before. I know of no darker moment in the Bible than the moment Jesus in his agony on the cross cries out, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Darker even than his death not long after because in death Jesus at last gave himself over fully to the divine will of God. But in that moment of his bitter railing he must have felt betrayed and completely abandoned by his father, a father he’d always believed loved him deeply and absolutely. How terrible that must have been and how alone he must have felt. In dying all was revealed to him, but alive Jesus like us saw with mortal eyes, felt the pain of mortal flesh, and knew the confusion of imperfect mortal understanding. “I see with mortal eyes. My mortal heart this morning is breaking. And I do not understand. “I confess that I have cried out to God, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ ” Here my father paused and I thought he could not continue. But after a long moment he seemed to gather himself and went on. “When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what’s left to us? What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame him for the dark night into which he’s led us, to blame him for our misery, to blame him and cry out against him for not caring? What’s left to us when that which we love most has been taken? “I will tell you what’s left, three profound blessings. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us exactly what they are: faith, hope, and love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and he’s given us complete control over them. Even in the darkest night it’s still within our power to hold to faith. We can still embrace hope. And although we may ourselves feel unloved we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God. All this is in our control. God gave us these gifts and he does not take them back. It is we who choose to discard them. “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way. “And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one. It may not be the miracle you’ve prayed for. God probably won’t undo what’s been done. The miracle is this: that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day. “Jesus suffered the dark night and death and on the third day he rose again through the grace of his loving father. For each of us, the sun sets and the sun also rises and through the grace of our Lord we can endure our own dark night and rise to the dawning of a new day and rejoice. “I invite you, my brothers and sisters, to rejoice with me in the divine grace of the Lord and in the beauty of this morning, which he has given us.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him.
In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.
Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him.
The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.
Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?
If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed?
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?
Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.
Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing.
Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.
If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.
How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?
True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity.
When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together.
There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you.
Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him?
Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death?
True love requires sacrifice.
What are you doing right now that requires faith?
God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.
If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one?
Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?”
If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate.
The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives.
What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
You speak as if you envied him."
"And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy."
Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying,
"You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment."
"Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself."
"Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed.
Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house.
"You are going in, I suppose?" said he.
"No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think."
"As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?"
He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her.
"My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."
Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.
"I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Boy everyone in this country is running around yammering about their fucking rights. "I have a right, you have no right, we have a right."
Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fuck, here we go again...here we go again.
The God excuse, the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, "It came from God." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. Personally folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would've given you the right for some food every day, and he would've given you the right to a roof over your head. GOD would've been looking out for ya. You know that.
He wouldn't have been worried making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend's parents.
But let's say it's true. Let's say that God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights?
The Bill of Rights of this country has 10 stipulations. OK...10 rights. And apparently God was doing sloppy work that week, because we've had to ammend the bill of rights an additional 17 times. So God forgot a couple of things, like...SLAVERY. Just fuckin' slipped his mind.
But let's say...let's say God gave us the original 10. He gave the british 13. The british Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29, the Belgians have 25, the Sweedish have only 6, and some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fuckin' god damn god given deal is that!?...NO RIGHTS AT ALL!? Why would God give different people in different countries a different numbers of different rights? Boredom? Amusement? Bad arithmetic? Do we find out at long last after all this time that God is weak in math skills? Doesn't sound like divine planning to me. Sounds more like human planning . Sounds more like one group trying to control another group. In other words...business as usual in America.
Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you're at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, "Japanese-Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fucking rights. Alright. You know about it.
In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps.
Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most...their government took them away. and rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're priveledges. That's all we've ever had in this country is a bill of TEMPORARY priviledges; and if you read the news, even badly, you know the list get's shorter, and shorter, and shorter.
Yeup, sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize the government doesn't give a fuck about them. the government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. it simply doesn't give a fuck about you. It's interested in it's own power. That's the only thing...keeping it, and expanding wherever possible.
Personally when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true: either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all.
George Carlin (It's Bad for Ya)