Winter Happiness Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Winter Happiness. Here they are! All 200 of them:

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Albert Camus
When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus
I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl, From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl, I’d love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl, But I’m never warm enough for my lovely summer girl, It’s summer when she smiles, I’m laughing like a child, It’s the summer of our lives; we’ll contain it for a while She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand I’d be happy with this summer if it’s all we ever had.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
I don't know you. The only thing I know about you is, you're reading this. I don't know if your happy or not; I don't know whether you're young or not. I sort of hope you're young and sad. If you're old and happy, I can imagine that you'll smile to yourself when you hear me going, he broke my heart. You'll remember someone who broke your heart, and you'll think to yourself, Oh yes, i remember how that feels. But you can't, you smug old git. Oh you'll remember feeling sort of plesantly sad. You might remember listening to music and eating chocolates in your room, or walking along the embankment on your own, wrapped up in a winter coat and feeling lonely and brave. But can you remember how with every mouthful of food it felt like you were biting into your own stomach? Can you remember the taste of red wine as it came back up and into the toilet bowl? Can you remember dreaming every night that you were still together, that he was talking to you gently and touching you, so that every morning when you woke up you had to go through it all over again?
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
My dear, In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. Truly yours, Albert Camus” I like this because only one part is usually quoted but the full quote has such symmetry.
Albert Camus
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with visions of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not a very popular one, who once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lay your head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art.
Lana Del Rey
Some men would take happiness where they found it. Especially when they have absolutely no promise of it anywhere else. [Rydstrom]
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
I went to a tattoo parlor and had YES written onto the palm of my left hand, and NO onto my right palm, what can I say, it hasn't made my life wonderful, its made life possible, when I rub my hands against each other in the middle of winter I am warming myself with the friction of YES and NO, when I clap my hands I am showing my appreciation through the uniting and parting of YES and NO, I signify "book" by peeling open my hands, every book, for me, is the balance of YES and NO, even this one, my last one, especially this one. Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.
Jonathan Safran Foer
They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.
Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome)
The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons.They arise from sense perception,and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
I do understand that you can look into someone’s eyes,” I heard myself saying, “and suddenly know that life will be impossible without them. Know that their voice can make your heart miss a beat and that their company is all your happiness can ever desire and that their absence will leave your soul alone, bereft and lost.
Bernard Cornwell (The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles, #1))
I'll be safe and happy when I'm no longer afraid of my own mind.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
The definition of a true friend is not someone who swoops in when you're going through a rough patch. True friendship is when someone can appreciate your happiness - celebrate your happiness, even when she's not necessarily happy herself.
Sarah Jio
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it say that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better pushing right back.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
You know, I couldn't imagine living somewhere without seasons." Yeah?" Real seasons, I mean. I'd miss the changes, the variety. Especially spring. I couldn't live without spring. Days like today are worth every snowstorm and slush puddle. By March, it seems like winter will never end. All that snow and ice that seemed so wonderful in December is driving you crazy. But you know spring's coming. Every year, you wait for that first warm day, then the next and the next, each better than the last. You can't help but be happy. You forget winter and get the chance to start over. Fresh possibilities." A fresh start.
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
Can You Imagine? For example, what the trees do not only in lightening storms or the watery dark of a summer's night or under the white nets of winter but now, and now, and now - whenever we're not looking. Surely you can't imagine they don't dance, from the root up, wishing to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly more shade - surely you can't imagine they just stand there loving every minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings of the years slowly and without a sound thickening, and nothing different unless the wind, and then only in its own mood, comes to visit, surely you can't imagine patience, and happiness, like that.
Mary Oliver
He loved her, and he would love her until the day he was too old for loving--but he could not have her. So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
How are you, Rory?' [the Doctor] asked. I [Rory]... answered him. 'It's been odd being you.' 'Isn't it?' The Doctor's smile didn't quite reach his eyes. 'How do you cope?' 'Ah...' The Doctor picked away at a scrap of loose paint on the door. 'Well, I just get as close as I can to a happy ending, then I shut the door behind me and move on.' I nodded. We shut the door behind us and moved on.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
WINTER'S GHOST: Autumn moon incautious in the dark river Winter’s ghost walks with a covered face and silver bones wait in all animals to be bone cloth upon her shoulder wait for her happiness in that they are silver
Tamara Rendell (Mystical Tides)
A great tree develops over time and can tell stories not only those of happiness, but also those that contain pain from what it has seen over the years, and as a result is the wise ancient tree that it is today. As the seasons change, the tree naturally goes through changes as well: where the leaves turn yellow and orange in the fall, falling by the Winter, returning in the Spring, and with full set of new leafs by the Summer. Love is no different in that there will be times when we are fully naked in the Winter, and left to wonder about Spring when it seemed so easy to love, yet the wise tree knows that no winter will last forever no matter how cold it may be.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
There were times when I lifted my face to the sky, stretched my arms wide to the winter night, and laughed out loud, so happy was I. The memory of it makes me laugh now, but not from happiness. Be careful what you show the world. You never know when the wolf is watching.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
We think that if we choose to do good only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
The great miraculous bell of translucent ice is suspended in mid-air. It rings to announce endings and beginnings. And it rings because there is fresh promise and wonder in the skies. Its clear tones resound in the placid silence of the winter day, and echo long into the silver-blue serenity of night. The bell can only be seen at the turning of the year, when the days wind down into nothing, and get ready to march out again. When you hear the bell, you feel a tug at your heart. It is your immortal inspiration.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
The past was like a bad dream; the future was all happy holiday as I moved Southwards week by week, easily, lazily, lingering as long as I dared, but always heeding the call!
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
They would never know how lucky they had been. For a lifetime, mankind had achieved as much happiness as any race can ever know. It had been the Golden Age. But gold was also the color of sunset, of autumn: and only Karellen’s ears could catch the first wailings of the winter storms.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
Life is sweet. . . Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet. The basics are still there. Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love and understanding. Later, possibly not yet, you are going to need others who will encourage you to make new beginnings. Welcome them. They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger.
Rosamunde Pilcher (Winter Solstice)
Most people, if they were generous, were so because they thought life was short and that one must make the most of it. Sid Baxter was generous because he knew that life was long. It went on and on even when you had no use for it anymore. It was happiness, not life, that was short, and when it visited - in the form of a fine evening spent talking with a friend - he honoured it.
Jennifer Donnelly (The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2))
[When] he's here, he's always reading. He says books stop time. I myself think he's crazy...Don't tell anyone, but when he reads something that he likes he gets real happy, turns on the music, and dances by himself, or with a broom sometimes.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
She had to learn that the day granted hope and happiness, but I stole it. She had to face that the night hid evil and darkness, but my soul was blacker.
Pepper Winters (Debt Inheritance (Indebted, #1))
You’re perfect,” he said, finishing his thought as if she hadn’t interrupted. “I don’t care if you see dead wolves and turn into a living ice sculpture when you’re having a bad day. I don’t care if I have an imprint of your teeth on my shoulder. I don’t care if you’re … fixed.” He spat the word like it tasted bad. “I want you to be safe and happy. That’s all.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
If happiness is a skill, then sadness is, too. Perhaps through all those years at school, or perhaps through other terrors, we are taught to ignore sadness, to stuff it down into our satchels and pretend it isn’t there. As adults, we often have to learn to hear the clarity of its call. That is wintering. It is the active acceptance of sadness. It is the practice of allowing ourselves to feel it as a need. It is the courage to stare down the worst parts of our experience and to commit to healing them the best we can. Wintering is a moment of intuition, our true needs felt keenly as a knife.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art. LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN. I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.* Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them? I Have. I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.
Lana Del Rey
Someone asked me when is my birthday? The poet inside me replied, "My birthday is on the last day of the year, It's 31st December my dear!
Anamika Mishra
Well, I just get as close as I can to a happy ending, then I shut the door behind me and move on.
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
Let it rain on some days, Let yourself shiver on some cold nights, So when it's Spring you'll know why it was all worth going through.
Sanhita Baruah
TIME WAS MY worst enemy. Nothing good ever came from time. It passed too quickly—good moments and happy memories gone in a blink. Or it passed too slowly—bad experiences and unhappy circumstances dragging for an eternity.
Pepper Winters (Fourth Debt (Indebted, #5))
Summer would not last forever; he knew it and Ronia knew it. But now they began to live as if it would, and as far as possible they pushed away all painful thoughts of winter.
Astrid Lindgren (Ronia, the Robber's Daughter)
The present life of man upon earth, O King, seems to me in comparison with that time which is unknown to us like the swift flight of a sparrow through the mead-hall where you sit at supper in winter, with your Ealdormen and thanes, while the fire blazes in the midst and the hall is warmed, but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad. The sparrow, flying in at one door and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry tempest, but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter to winter again. So this life of man appears for a little while, but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all.
Bede (Ecclesiastical History of the English People)
He brewed his tea in a blue china pot, poured it into a chipped white cup with forget-me-nots on the handle, and dropped in a dollop of honey and cream. He sat by the window, cup in hand, watching the first snow fall. "I am," he sighed deeply, "contented as a clam. I am a most happy man.
Ethel Pochocki (Wildflower Tea)
It must be that there is something in the hearts of human beings, some natural fluid perhaps, that insists on happiness, even confronted with the most powerful arguments against it.
Ben H. Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters)
Late Hours" On summer nights the world moves within earshot on the interstate with its swish and growl, and occasional siren that sends chills through us. Sometimes, on clear, still nights, voices float into our bedroom, lunar and fragmented, as if the sky had let them go long before our birth. In winter we close the windows and read Chekhov, nearly weeping for his world. What luxury, to be so happy that we can grieve over imaginary lives.
Lisel Mueller
Speaking of happiness, those distinctive moments are found outdoors – in the fall, in the winter and always in the mountains where people are few, wildlife is abundant and there is peace in the quiet.
Donna Lynn Hope
There were nights when I got nothing, [but] I still played. With no one to hear me and no one to pay me, and it did not matter. On those nights, the words were for me alone. They came up unbidden from my heart. They slipped over my tongue and spilled from my mouth. And because of them I, who was nothing and nobody, was a prince of Denmark, a maid of Verona, a queen of Egypt. I was a sour misanthrope, a beetling hypocrite, a conjurer's daughter, a mad and murderous king. It was dark and it was cold on those nights. The world was harsh and I was hungry. Yet I had such joy from the words. Such joy. There were times when I lifted my face to the sky, stretched my arms wide to the winter night, and laughed out loud, so happy was I. The memory of it makes me laugh now, but not from happiness. Be careful what you show the world. You never know when the wolf is watching.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
You love a woman, you love a man, you love a tomato. God is happy, because he created love.»
Jay Bell (Something Like Winter (Seasons, #2))
I KNEW IT WAS OVER when tonight you couldn't make the phone ring when you used to make the sun rise when trees used to throw themselves in front of you to be paper for love letters that was how i knew i had to do it swaddle the kids we never had against january's cold slice bundle them in winter clothes they never needed so i could drop them off at my mom's even though she lives on the other side of the country and at this late west coast hour is assuredly east coast sleeping peacefully her house was lit like a candle the way homes should be warm and golden and home and the kids ran in and jumped at the bichon frise named lucky that she never had they hugged the dog it wriggled and the kids were happy yours and mine the ones we never had and my mom was grand maternal, which is to say, with style that only comes when you've seen enough to know grace like when to pretend it's christmas or a birthday so she lit her voice with tiny lights and pretended she didn't see me crying as i drove away to the hotel connected to the bar where i ordered the cheapest whisky they had just because it shares your first name because they don't make a whisky called baby and i only thought what i got was what i ordered i toasted the hangover inevitable as sun that used to rise in your name i toasted the carnivals we never went to and the things you never won for me the ferris wheels we never kissed on and all the dreams between us that sat there like balloons on a carney's board waiting to explode with passion but slowly deflated hung slave under the pin- prick of a tack hung heads down like lovers when it doesn't work, like me at last call after too many cheap too many sweet too much whisky makes me sick, like the smell of cheap, like the smell of the dead like the cheap, dead flowers you never sent that i never threw out of the window of a car i never really owned
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
{Summertime she speaks of winter, she eats ham, but speaks of beef, got a good man but, flirts with another. She might as well go to hell, cause she ain't gonna be happy in heaven either!}
Nancy B. Brewer
The cottage pie was about as wholesome and straightforward as you could get. It was food for winter evenings and happy days. And the salad was rich, complicated, a little bit sweet, and seemed to be trying way too hard to be impressive. We'd both served each other a metaphor.
Alexis Hall (Glitterland (Spires, #1))
To wish for the happiest days is to wish for a season of sorrow; for it is only after prolonged, wintry darkness that the summer sun appears to shine at its brightest.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Loneliness is watching the only girl you’ve ever loved find happiness in the arms of another man.
Winter Renshaw (Royal (Rixton Falls, #1))
It was a time for warm embraces, for smiles, for toasts and reconciliations, for renewing old friendships and making new ones, for laughter and kisses. It was a good time, a golden autumn, a time of peace and plenty. But winter was coming.
George R.R. Martin (Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1))
How COULD they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
The happiness of children is based on their ignorance of what their parents are really thinking
Simon Sebag Montefiore (One Night in Winter)
Don't get me started on the whole Doctor-Amy-Rory thing. It's kind of like... I dunno. Suppose you'd always fancied Ryan Reynolds. That's fine, yeah. You meet someone else, who is maybe not Ryan Reynolds, but perhaps he's got the same goofy smile. And you think, 'Yeah, that's it, I'm happy.' Then Ryan Reynolds himself roars up in a camper van and says 'Hey guys! Let's all go on a road trip. Bring the boyfriend! It'll be fun.' Only Ryan Reynolds doesn't save the universe. Well, not at weekends. So I guess that's my life. Crammed in a camper van, sneaking the odd glance at Ryan, squeezing the hand of my lovely husband...
James Goss (Doctor Who: Dead of Winter)
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Reminded of favorite poem by Wendy Cope which goes: At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle. The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle. And happy families go to church and cheerily they mingle, And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful if you're single.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
I’m more beautiful than anybody else,” she said brokenly, “why can’t I be happy?
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams (Annotated))
Love has different shape, like this falling snow in winter
Rizki De (Endless Winter in Korea)
After all, you can’t truly be happy if you’ve never known pain. You can’t truly feel joy if you’ve never felt heartbreak. You can’t really know what its like to be filled unless you’ve been empty. And here’s the other thing: sometimes in life seasons don’t come in order instead of fall, winter, spring, summer, we get three winters in a row. But that doesn’t mean spring won’t come eventually.
Kelly Cutrone
She was perfectly sane in streets unknown. She loved conversing with people tagged as strangers. She was social, amiable & all that is her. Yet, with known people she felt unknown, she choked words and fought inside. And indeed she tripped insane while traversing those streets known. She stared at others and consumed their happiness through senses cold. And so she waits for Winter's warmth to touch her in streets of distant shore, in her own world of simple happiness.
Debatrayee Banerjee
Once upon a time, when men and women hurtled through the air on metal wings, when they wore webbed feet and walked on the bottom of the sea, learning the speech of whales and the songs of the dolphins, when pearly-fleshed and jewelled apparitions of Texan herdsmen and houris shimmered in the dusk on Nicaraguan hillsides, when folk in Norway and Tasmania in dead of winter could dream of fresh strawberries, dates, guavas and passion fruits and find them spread next morning on their tables, there was a woman who was largely irrelevant, and therefore happy.
A.S. Byatt (The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye)
If we don’t allow ourselves the fundamental honesty of our own sadness, then we miss an important cue to adapt. We seem to be living in an age when we’re bombarded with entreaties to be happy, but we’re suffering from an avalanche of depression. We’re urged to stop sweating the small stuff, yet we’re chronically anxious. I often wonder if these are just normal feelings that become monstrous when they’re denied. A great deal of life will always suck. There will be moments when we’re riding high and moments when we can’t bear to get out of bed. Both are normal. Both in fact require a little perspective.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore (The Night Before Christmas)
For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others. So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!...
Primo Levi (If This Is a Man • The Truce)
It is too late for me to learn your wisdom in this matter. From the time I knew aught, I have lived with a knight and his lady whose love lit and warmed the dark hall on winter's nights. Madam, my example comes not from any book of romance. My grandparents walked and breathed; they kissed and quarreled. This I must have, and I will seek it with the point of my knife in a bad husband's heart if I can find it no other way.
Roberta Gellis
[Olga's dreams of happiness:] Get married, always live in the countryside winter and summer, see only good people, no one official.
Helen Azar (The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution)
Sometimes you just have to take chances, especially when it makes you happy.
Sarah Jio (Blackberry Winter)
People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
Anton Chekhov
Sabine stood up, satisfied that her friends were safe and content. When she moved, Calla lifted her head. Her eyes focused in Sabine's direction. Despite the distance between them, Sabine Could have sworn Calla was looking right at her. The white wolf's ears flicked back and forth. She lifted her muzzle and howled. The sound filled Sabine with a mixture of sweetness and sorrow. The other wolves joined the song, their familiar voices blending in the winter air. Sabine watched them from another minute, then she turned and walked back to Ethan. "Everything okay?" he asked. She handed him the binoculars. "They're happy. So I'm happy." ... She turned, listening to the song carried on the stiff winter breeze. Nev's voice rose about the other wolves' as the chorus of howls wove through the air. Sabine wondered if somehow they knew she was here, and if they might be saying good-bye or if they were asking her to stay.
Andrea Cremer (Bloodrose (Nightshade #3; Nightshade World #6))
Love transcends time, space, distance, universes. “Love can’t be confined to pages or photos or memories—it’s forever alive and wild and free. Romance comes and goes, lust flickers and smoulders, trials appear and test, life gets in the way and educates, pain can derail happiness, joy can delete sadness, togetherness is more than just a fairy-tale...it’s a choice. “A choice to love and cherish and honour and trust and adore. “A choice to choose love, all the while knowing it has the power to break you. “A choice, dear friends, to give someone your entire heart. “But in the end, love is what life is about. “And love is the purpose of everything.
Pepper Winters (The Girl & Her Ren (The Ribbon Duet, #2))
And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd- as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it. It’s my buoyancy, part of what keeps me alive: happy, suddenly with the concomitant experience of a sonata and the motion of the shadows of leaves. I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.
Mark Doty (Heaven's Coast: A Memoir)
And I thought: I shall remember this all my life. The peril, the running, the howling of the dogs, the smothering. Then the happiness—of action, of leaping. Then the green sweetness of distance. And the trees: their thickness and their compassion, all around.
Mary Oliver (Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems)
Why do this to yourself? How does it make anything better?” “It does not make anything worse.” “It makes you worse. Why can’t you just … do good things with it?” Winter laughed against the strain of the delusion. “They all believe they are doing good.” Her head fell to the side and she watched Scarlet with her bleary eyes. “My stepmother is not only powerful because the people fear her, she is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty... who am I to presume what is good for others?
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Solitude Happy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire. Blest, who can unconcern’dly find Hours, days, and years, slide soft away In health of body, peace of mind, Quiet by day. Sound sleep by night; study and ease Together mix’d, sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please With meditation. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown; Thus unlamented let me die; Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie.
Alexander Pope
Flowers that bloom in the winter may not survive till spring.
K.Hari Kumar
Ben wore the same goofy smile as in the photo. Take that, new guy! I can make him happy too!
Jay Bell (Something Like Winter (Something Like, #3))
It's early on a beautiful winter morning. The house is quiet. The sun is shining. I'm thankful. I'm happy. My cup runneth over. Now there's coffee everywhere.
Mindy Levy
All marriages are happy. It's trying to live together afterwards that causes all the problems.
Shelley Winters
there is no story where two girls get a happy ending. she tells me fine, we’ll write it ourselves
Topaz Winters (Heaven or This)
Count your summers, not your winters.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Iko beamed, with more happiness than a person who ran on wires and power cells should have possessed. “Cinder’s awake!
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
During our last year in the mountains new people came deep into our lives and nothing was ever the same again. The winter of the avalanches was like a happy and innocent winter in childhood compared to the next winter, a nightmare winter disguised as the greatest fun of all, and the murderous summer that was to follow. It was that year that the rich showed up.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
After all, didn't everyone deserve happiness? Even men who'd killed. If they repented and acknowledged their sins, wasn't it my job as a human being to help him on the road to recover?
Pepper Winters (Destroyed)
Alexander. Here he is, before he was Tatiana’s, at the age of twenty, getting his medal of valor for bringing back Yuri Stepanov during the 1940 Winter War. Alexander is in his dress Soviet uniform, snug against his body, his stance at-ease and his hand up to his temple in teasing salute. There is a gleaming smile on his face, his eyes are carefree, his whole man-self full of breath-taking, aching youth. And yet, the war was on, and his men had already died and frozen and starved … and his mother and father were gone… and he was far away from home, and getting farther and farther, and every day was his last – one way or another, every day was his last. And yet, he smiles, he shines, he is happy.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
I shall move north. I shall move into a long blackness. I see myself as a shadow, neither man nor woman, Neither woman, happy to be like a man, nor a man Blunt and flat enough to feel no lack. I feel a lack. I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets. See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks. I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life.
Sylvia Plath (Winter Trees)
haven’t you figured out yet that happy is a momentary emotion? If you spend your life trying to be happy, you’ll always come up short. Contentment is an emotion that will withstand the storms around you. Focus on that, and you won’t feel like you’ve failed at the end of your life.” “So, you’re saying I shouldn’t focus on happiness,” “Enjoy it when it comes, but don’t measure your life against it.
Carol Lynne (Winter (Seasons of Love, #4))
It takes years to marry completely two hearts, even of the most loving and well-assorted. A happy wedlock is a long falling in love. Men and women marry fractionally, now a small and then a larger fraction... Such a long and sweet fruit needs a long summer to ripen in and a long winter to season in. But real and happy marriage is one of those things so handsome that if the sun were, as the Greek poets fabled it, a god, he might stop the world and hold it still now and then to feast his eyes on such a spectacle.
Theodore Parker
Oh, no, she isn’t quite as useless as that,” Aimery said. As Winter stared, a thin crimson line drew itself across his throat, blood bubbling up from the wound. “The prettiest girl on all of Luna? She will make some member of this court a happy bride someday, I should think.” “The prettiest girl, Aimery?” Levana’s light tone almost concealed the snarl beneath. Aimery slipped into a bow. “Prettiest only, My Queen. But no mortal could compare with your perfection.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
There was a fine line of making love and fucking but this was love-fucking. This was cruel but sweet. Angry but happy. It was a thousand words in one timeless action—righting the wrongs of our past and hopefully repairing a future we both didn’t think we’d ever find.
Pepper Winters (Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption MC, #1))
Sometimes it felt like she was still in the middle of a conversation with him, that they’d only paused for a beat; that this was nothing more than the space between musical notes, the timeout on a playing field, the long, slumbering winter before an inevitable spring.
Jennifer E. Smith (Happy Again (This Is What Happy Looks Like #1.5))
There was a guy roasting chestnuts on the street corner, and the smell wafted over, hinting at the coming Winter, but in a good way, in the way that makes you think about Christmas and snow days and fires crackling away in fireplaces.
Sarah Dunn (Secrets to Happiness)
When the winter comes, be very happy; because the spring comes only if the winter comes!
Mehmet Murat ildan
There are times that one treasures for all one's life, and such times are burned clearly and sharply on the material of total recall. I felt very fortunate that morning.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley and Later Novels 1947–1962: The Wayward Bus / Burning Bright / Sweet Thursday / The Winter of Our Discontent / Travels with Charley in Search of America)
Whatever might become of them, she knew that there was nothing that could rob them of that happiness. For they had lived their winter, and the spring had finally come.
Susanna Kearsley (The Winter Sea (The Scottish series, #1))
Don’t stop living while you endure. And don’t let the pain of your past stop you from being happy in this new life.
Pepper Winters (Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark, #1))
In fact, she was happy for Iko, who took more delight in her new body than most humans ever did.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
We were happy. We deserved to be happy. We would remain happy for the rest of our lives. Because I had my monster. And he had me. And together, we had everything.
Pepper Winters (Je Suis a Toi (Monsters in the Dark, #3.5))
hot breakfast on a cold winter morning
Barbara Ann Kipfer (14,000 Things to Be Happy About)
Are you happy?" "I think I may be going to be happy." Remember, things do not force, forge or fashion. They fall into place
Ann Beattie (Chilly Scenes of Winter)
Oh, dear child, happiness is a garden, but one has to plant the seed and endure the cold winter.
Zohreh Ghahremani (Moon Daughter)
Go and be happy.
Rosamunde Pilcher (Winter Solstice)
The facility of the entrance into another world is an illusion: you start writing in a rush, anticipating the happiness of a future reading, and the void yawns on the white page.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
People don't notice wheter it's winter or summer when they're happy.
Anton Chekhov
In winter we close the windows and read Chekhov, nearly weeping for his world. What luxury, to be so happy that we can grieve over imaginary lives.
Lisel Mueller
TESLA’S CAT [Nikola Tesla’s favorite childhood companion] was the family’s black cat, Macak. Macak followed young Nikola everywhere, and they spent many happy hours rolling on the grass. It was Macak the cat who introduced Tesla to electricity on a dry winter evening. “As I stroked Macak’s back,” he recalled, “I saw a miracle that made me speechless with amazement. Macak’s back was a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks loud enough to be heard all over the house.” Curious, he asked his father what caused the sparks. Puzzled at first, [his father] finally answered, “Well, this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see through the trees in a storm.” His father’s answer, equating the sparks with lightning, fascinated the young boy. As Tesla continued to stroke Macak, he began to wonder, “Is nature a gigantic cat? If so, who strokes its back? It can only be God,” he concluded.
W. Bernard Carlson (Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age)
The more we love, the more we fear. Rejection, or what others might think, these are just the beginning. In a perfectly happy relationship, we fear losing the other person to disease or chance.
Jay Bell (Something Like Winter (Seasons, #2))
How?” “I smelled you.” Wolf was grinning so wide she could see the sharp teeth he normally tried to hide. It had been a long time since she’d seen him so happy. Actually … she wasn’t sure if she’d ever seen him so happy. She started to laugh, though it was born out of delirium. “Of course you did,” she said. “I really need a bath.” He
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
just got back from a beautiful eve of winter solstice snowshoeing. my heart was lost and enlivened by both the hush of the mountainous snow world and a very fun irreverence with friends. i shared a solstice quote but did not share this one. so in the spirit of the year--happy solistice! may there be ever present and growing light in your life as nature unfolds the same in the upcoming months. "sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive leap off the rim of earth across the dome. it is a night to make the heavens our home. more than the nest whereto apace we strive. lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive, in swarms outrushing from the golden comb. they waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam: you throb in me, the dead revive. yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath, life glistens on the river of death. it folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt, or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs of radiance, the radiance enrings: and this is the soul's haven to have felt." --from _winter heavens_
George Meredith
And she knew for the first time that someone can wire your skin in a single evening, and that love arrives not by accumulating to a moment, like a drop of water focused on the tip of a branch - it is not the moment of bringing your whole life to another - but rather, it is everything you leave behind. At that moment. Even that night, the night he touched one inch of her in the dark, how simply Avery seemed to accept the facts - that they were on the edge of lifelong happiness and, therefore, inescapable sorrow. It was as if, long ago, a part of him had broken off inside, and now finally, he recognised the dangerous fragment that had been floating in his system, causing him intermittent pain over the years. As if he could now say of that ache: "Ah. It was you.
Anne Michaels (The Winter Vault)
I Won’t Fly Today Too much to do, despite the snow, which made all local schools close their doors. What a winter! Usually, I love watching the white stuff fall. But after a month with only short respites, I keep hoping for a critical blue sky. Instead, amazing waves of silvery clouds sweep over the crest of the Sierra, open their obese bellies, and release foot upon foot of crisp new powder. The ski resorts would be happy, except the roads are so hard to travel that people are staying home. So it kind of boggles the mind that three guys are laying carpet in the living room. Just goes to show the power of money. In less than an hour, the stain Conner left on the hardwood will be a ghost.
Ellen Hopkins (Perfect (Impulse, #2))
Hurry home, darling," she said. "Hurry home." And how's that for a man to have! When I hung up, I stood by the phone all weak and leaky and happy if there is such a condition. I tried to think how it had been before Mary, and I couldn't remember, or how it would be without her, and I could not imagine it except that it would be a condition bordered in black.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
He’s stoic and proud, bigger than life. Sharp jaw, intense eyes, armor made up of metal and ink. He is intensity and want and desire. He’s happiness and frustration and comfort and hope and fear. He is my roller coaster.
Brighton Walsh (Caged in Winter (Reluctant Hearts, #1))
O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Bhagavad-Gita As It Is)
Even that night, the night he touched one inch of her in the dark, how simply Avery seemed to accept the facts – that they were on the edge of lifelong happiness and, therefore, inescapable sorrow. It was as if, long ago, a part of him had broken off inside, and now finally, he recognized the dangerous fragment that had been floating in his system, causing him intermittent pain over the years. As if he could now say of that ache: “Ah. It was you.
Anne Michaels (The Winter Vault)
The fullness of life is wrapped in all sacred times: plenty and scarcity; happiness and sadness; planting and harvesting; sunrise and sunset; winter and springtime; summer and autumn; beginning and finishing; birth and death…!
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Why do this to yourself? How does it make anything better?” “It does not make anything worse.” “It makes you worse. Why can’t you just … do good things with it?” Winter laughed against the strain of the delusion. “They all believe they are doing good.” Her head fell to the side and she watched Scarlet with her bleary eyes. “My stepmother is not only powerful because the people fear her, she is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
What would Garrick have said about Wynter's Summerlander Queen? Khamsin stopped by a sculpture of his laughing father holding an infant Garrick over his head. Young Wynter and his mother were holding hands nearby, dancing in the grass. "Tell me about this day," she begged. "What was it like? You all look so happy." Garrick would have liked her, Wynter decided. He would have liked her very much.
C.L. Wilson (The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1))
I felt like a lifetime had come and gone since my night with Pippa and I thought how happy I'd been, rushing to meet her in the sharp-edged winter darkness, my elation at spotting her under a streetlamp out in front of Film Forum and how I'd stood on the corner to savor it - the joy of watching her watch for me. Her expectant watching-the-crowd face. Me she was watching for: me. And the heart-shock of believing, for only a moment, that you might just have what could never be yours.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Shad ignored my sudden lack of interest. "Stop overanalyzing and be happy. You should try the Shad lifestyle, Miss Winters. It's more panda bear and less porcupine." "Huh?" "More black and white and cuddly, and less, well... alone and pointy.
Kirby Howell (Autumn in the Dark Meadows (Autumn, #2))
The free spirit again draws near to life - slowly, to be sure, almost reluctantly, almost mistrustfully. It again grows warmer about him, yellower as it were; feeling and feeling for others acquire depth, warm breezes of all kind blow across him. It seems to him as if his eyes are only now open to what is close at hand. he is astonished and sits silent: where had he been? These close and closest things: how changed they seem! what bloom and magic they have acquired! He looks back gratefully - grateful to his wandering, to his hardness and self-alienation, to his viewing of far distances and bird-like flights in cold heights. What a good thing he had not always stayed "at home," stayed "under his own roof" like a delicate apathetic loafer! He had been -beside himself-: no doubt about that. Only now does he see himself - and what surprises he experiences as he does so! What unprecedented shudders! What happiness even in the weariness, the old sickness, the relapses of the convalescent! How he loves to sit sadly still, to spin out patience, to lie in the sun! Who understands as he does the joy that comes in winter, the spots of sunlight on the wall! They are the most grateful animals in the world, also the most modest, these convalescents and lizards again half-turned towards life: - there are some among them who allow no day to pass without hanging a little song of praise on the hem of its departing robe. And to speak seriously: to become sick in the manner of these free spirits, to remain sick for a long time and then, slowly, slowly, to become healthy, by which I mean "healthier," is a fundamental cure for all pessimism.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
1. Are her lips like the hot chocolate your mother made During the winter months when you were seven? Or have you not tasted her well enough to find the fine granules of cocoa that lightly come with each kiss? 2. Do you know her favorite songs? Not when she is happy, but when she is sad. What music reaches inside her ribcage and softly consoles her heart? 3. When she is sad, are you on the phone or are you at her door? Words do not wipe away tears, fingers do. 4. Do you know all the things that keep her up at night? Do you know why she has gone three days without sleep? Do you know of the insurmountable waves of sadness that wash over her like a tsunami? 5. Do you know the things to say that will calm her heartbeat? The places to touch? The places to love? 6. Everytime you see her do you kiss her like it’s the last time but love her like it’s the first? 7. Do you love her? 8. Do you love her?
Nishat Ahmed
The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture--the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Isabel took a drive alone that afternoon; she wished to be far away, under the sky, where she could descend from her carriage and tread upon the daisies. She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence, for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe. She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright; she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places, where its very modern quality detached itself and grew objective, so that as she sat in a sun-warmed angle on a winter's day, or stood in a mouldy church to which no one came, she could almost smile at it and think of its smallness. Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where people had suffered. This was what came to her in the starved churches, where the marble columns, transferred from pagan ruins, seemed to offer her a companionship in endurance and the musty incense to be a compound of long-unanswered prayers. There was no gentler nor less consistent heretic than Isabel; the firmest of worshippers, gazing at dark altar-pictures or clustered candles, could not have felt more intimately the suggestiveness of these objects nor have been more liable at such moments to a spiritual visitation.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
Egypt is a fertile valley of rich river soil, low-lying, warm, monotonous, a slow-flowing river, and beyond the limitless desert. Greece is a country of sparse fertility and keen, cold winters, all hills and mountains sharp cut in stone, where strong men must work hard to get their bread. And while Egypt submitted and suffered and turned her face toward death, Greece resisted and rejoiced and turned full-face to life. For somewhere among those steep stone mountains, in little sheltered valleys where the great hills were ramparts to defend, and men could have security for peace and happy living, something quite new came into the world: the joy of life found expression. Perhaps it was born there, among the shepherds pasturing their flocks where the wild flowers made a glory on the hillside; among the sailors on a sapphire sea washing enchanted islands purple in a luminous air.
Edith Hamilton (The Greek Way)
His kiss was light but lingering, like smoke from shivering lips on a freezing winter morning.
Rebecca Berto (Converge (The Rental, #1))
The dirty romans are forming up for calvery.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
All seasons are beautifully filled with splendid wonders.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The Quiet Life Happy the man whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound Content to breathe his native air In his own ground. Whose herd with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter, fire. Blest, who can unconcern’dly find Hours, days, and years, slide soft away In health of body; peace of mind; Quiet by day; Sound sleep by night; study and ease Together mix’d; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please With meditation. Thus let me live, unseen, unknown; Thus unlamented let me die; Steal from the world, and not a stone Tell where I lie.
Alexander Pope
A Glimpse" A glimpse through an interstice caught, Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner, Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest, There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Have you seen a leaf, a leaf from a tree?" "I have. " "I saw one recently, a yellow one, with some green,decayed on the edges. Blown about by the wind. When I was 10 years old, I'd close my eyes on purpose, in winter, and imagine a leaf – green, bright, with veins, and the sun shining. I'd open my eyes and not believe it, because it was so good, then I'd close them again. " "What's that, an allegory?" "N-no... Why? Not an allegory, simply a leaf, one leaf. A leaf is good. Everything is good." "Everything? " "Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything! Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment. This mother-in-law will die and the girl won't remain – everything is good. I discovered suddenly. " "And if someone dies of hunger, or someone offends and dishonors the girl – is that good? " "Good. And if someone's head get smashed in for the child's sake, that's good, too; and if it doesn't get smashed in, that's good, too. Everything is good, everything. For all those who know that everything is good. If they knew it was good with them, it would be good with them, but as long as they don't know it's good with them, it will not be good with them. That's the whole thought, the whole, there isn't any more! " "And when did you find out that you were so happy? " "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
At start of spring I open a trench In the ground. I put into it The winter’s accumulation of paper, Pages I do not want to read Again, useless words, fragments, errors. And I put into it the contents of the outhouse: light of the suns, growth of the ground, Finished with one of their journeys. To the sky, to the wind, then, and to the faithful trees, I confess my sins: that I have not been happy enough, considering my good luck; have listened to too much noise, have been inattentive to wonders, have lusted after praise. And then upon the gathered refuse, of mind and body, I close the trench folding shut again the dark, the deathless earth. Beneath that seal the old escapes into the new.
Wendell Berry (New Collected Poems)
He was almost a poet in his old age and his notion of what happened took a poetic turn. 'I had come to the time in my life when prayer became necessary and so I invented gods and prayed to them,' he said. 'I did not say my prayers in words nor did I kneel down but sat perfectly still in my chair. In the late afternoon when it was hot and quiet on Main Street or in the winter when the days were gloomy, the gods came into the office and I thought no one knew about them. Then I found that this woman Elizabeth knew, that she worshipped also the same gods. I have a notion that she came to the office because she thought the gods would be there but she was happy to find herself not alone just the same. It was an experience that cannot be explained, although I suppose it is always happening to men and women in all sorts of places.
Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg, Ohio)
How to Continue Oh there once was a woman and she kept a shop selling trinkets to tourists not far from a dock who came to see what life could be far back on the island. And it was always a party there always different but very nice New friends to give you advice or fall in love with you which is nice and each grew so perfectly from the other it was a marvel of poetry and irony And in this unsafe quarter much was scary and dirty but no one seemed to mind very much the parties went on from house to house There were friends and lovers galore all around the store There was moonshine in winter and starshine in summer and everybody was happy to have discovered what they discovered And then one day the ship sailed away There were no more dreamers just sleepers in heavy attitudes on the dock moving as if they knew how among the trinkets and the souvenirs the random shops of modern furniture and a gale came and said it is time to take all of you away from the tops of the trees to the little houses on little paths so startled And when it became time to go they none of them would leave without the other for they said we are all one here and if one of us goes the other will not go and the wind whispered it to the stars the people all got up to go and looked back on love
John Ashbery
I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl From summer she is made my lovely summer girl I'd love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl But I'm never warm enough for my lovely summer girl It's summer when she smiles, I'm laughing like a child It's the summer of our lives; we'll contain it for a while She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand I'd be happy with this summer if it's all we ever had.
Maggie Stiefvater
The saddest thing of all was that their party represented a deviation from the conditions of the time. It was impossible to imagine that in the houses across the lane people were eating and drinking in the same way at such an hour. Beyond the window lay mute, dark, hungry Moscow. Her food stores were empty, and people had even forgotten to think of such things as game and vodka. And thus it turned out that the only true life is one that resembles the life around us and drowns in it without leaving a trace, that isolated happiness is not happiness, so that duck and alcohol, when they seem to be the only ones in town, are not alcohol and a duck at all.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
I have written about what I call “the gravity of past success” in chess. Each victory pulls the victor down slightly and makes it harder to put in maximum effort to improve further. Meanwhile, the loser knows that he made a mistake, that something went wrong, and he will work hard to improve for next time. The happy winner often assumes he won simply because he is great. Typically, however, the winner is just the player who made the next-to-last mistake. It takes tremendous discipline to overcome this tendency and to learn lessons from a victory.
Garry Kasparov (Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped)
Someone knocked me down; I pushed Brinker over a small slope; someone was trying to tackle me from behind. Everywhere there was the smell of vitality in clothes, the vital something in wool and flannel and corduroy which spring releases. I had forgotten that this existed, this smell which instead of the first robin, or the first bud or leaf, means to me that spring has come. I had always welcomed vitality and energy and warmth radiating from thick and sturdy winter clothes. It made me happy, but I kept wondering about next spring, about whether khaki, or suntans or whatever the uniform of the season was, had this aura of promise in it. I felt fairly sure it didn't.
John Knowles
I can become happy with the simplest things the most insignificant.. even the every day ones of every day. It is sufficient for me that weeks have Sundays and I am satisfied that years keep their Christmas for the very end that winters have stone houses dipped in snow that I know how to discover the hidden bitter herbs in their hiding places. It is enough for me that four people love me a lot.. It is enough for me that I love four people a lot.. that I spend my breath on them alone; that I am not afraid to remember; that I do not care if they remember me; that I can still cry and that I even sing..sometimes... that there is music which fascinates me and fragrances that enchant me..
Odysseas Elytis
The person who keeps looking ahead for happiness is on the way to miss it, no matter how anxious and eager she is. The person who looks around for chances of making other people happy and carries them out, cannot escape being happy.
Dan L. White (The Long Hard Winter of 1880-81: What was it Really Like?)
I am the contrast. I am forever the crack in the window that lets the winter in. I am forever the moment between laughter and tears, happiness and sadness. I am light and darkness. I am fire and ice. You will try to take me into your life, but I won't fit, and you will not know how to tell me that there is simply no place for me. There is simply no place for a girl like me.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
In Sweden they have a very different approach. There, preschool children are encouraged to play and relax without any structured learning for the first six years of their lives. They go for nature walks every day, even in the bitter Scandinavian winter. They are not taught to read until they are seven years of age, yet by the age of ten, Swedish children consistently lead European literacy rankings.
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
There is no absolute formula for happiness—each unique condition of life can serve as the foundation for happiness in its own unique way. You can be happy when married with children, or when married without children. You can be happy when you are single, without a college degree, or with one. You can be happy when you are slim, you can be happy when you are overweight. You can be happy when living in a warm climate as in California, you can be happy when living in Montana, where you have severe winter conditions. As a sumo wrestler, you can be happy when you make it to yokozuna, or you can be happy while remaining one of the underdogs all your career, doing small chores, never giving up.
Ken Mogi (Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day)
Gibran says: Once I asked such a scarecrow, “I can understand the farmer who made you—he needs you. I can understand the poor animals—they don’t have great intelligence to see that you are bogus. But in the rain, in the sun, in the hot summer, in the cold winter, you remain standing here: for what?” And the scarecrow said, “You don’t know my joy. Just to make those animals afraid is such a joy that it is worth suffering rain, suffering sun, suffering heat, winter, everything. I am making thousands of animals afraid! I know I am bogus, there is nothing inside me, but I don’t care about that. My joy is in making others afraid.” I want to ask you: Would you like to be just like this bogus man—nothing inside, making somebody afraid, making somebody happy, making somebody humiliated, making somebody respectful? Is your life only for others? Will you ever look inside?
Osho (Emotional Wellness: Transforming Fear, Anger, and Jealousy into Creative Energy)
I envy the delusion to which you are a victim. You go forth with joy to gather flowers for your princess,—in winter,—and grieve when you can find none, and cannot understand why they do not grow. But I wander forth without joy, without hope, without design; and I return as I came. You fancy what a man you would be if the states general paid you. Happy mortal, who can ascribe your wretchedness to an earthly cause! You do not know, you do not feel, that in your own distracted heart and disordered brain dwells the source of that unhappiness which all the potentates on earth cannot relieve.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
It didn’t look like a house they’d just moved into. There were LEGO robots on the stairs and two cats sleeping on the sofa in the living room. The coffee table was stacked with magazines, and a little kid’s winter coat was spread on the floor. The whole house smelled like fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. There was jazz music coming from the kitchen. It seemed like a messy, happy kind of home—the kind of place that had been lived in forever.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
The dream that I've been having, about my high-school sweetheart, is not really about my high-school sweetheart, when you get right down to it. It's not a dream about Alison Koechner and our lost love and the precious little three-bedroom house in Maine we might have built together, had things gone a different way. I am not dreaming of white picket fences and Sunday crosswords and warm tea. There's no asteroid in the dream. In the dream, life continues. Simple life, happy and white-picket lined or otherwise. Mere life. Goes on. When I'm dreaming of Alison Koechner, what I'm dreaming of is not dying.
Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1))
What Whileawayans Celebrate The full moon The Winter solstice (You haven't lived if you haven't seen us running around in our skivvies, banging on pots and pans, shouting "Come back, sun! Goddammit, come back! Come back!") The Summer solstice (rather different) The autumnal equinox The vernal equinox The flowering of trees The flowering of bushes The planting of seeds Happy copulation Unhappy copulation Longing Jokes Leaves falling off the trees (where deciduous) Acquiring new shoes Wearing same Birth The contemplation of a work of art Marriages Sport Divorces Anything at all Nothing at all Great ideas Death
Joanna Russ (The Female Man)
Janus found himself drawn to the edge of the rink, staring fixedly at Candace as she approached: grinning, puffing steam, her cheeks flushed, her brown hair peeking out from under a knitted cap, her hazel eyes sparkling green and gold in the bright winter sun. She wore a wool riding coat, brilliant red trimmed with black, which stood out amid the ice like a ruby on white gold. Janus thought she had never looked more beautiful than she did in that moment, with all her cares and duties laid aside for the pure joy of living. Janus wanted to freeze the moment in his memory and carry it forever: This is what happiness looks like. I never knew.
Chris Lester (A Lightbringer Carol (Metamor City, #7))
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It looks like fallen petals, and it looks like rain. It looks like the sounds the birds make at dawn. It looks like the aisle of grocery stores when a song I love suddenly begins to play overhead, and I cannot help but dance a little dance. It looks like a sigh, a kiss, an unmade bed. It looks like Cheerios in a white bowl with a bit of silence on the side. It looks like a plain vanilla cupcake in white paper, a dance with the wind, pink toenails, warm socks. It looks like a fire against the cold of winter, and a deep lake cool against a summer sky. It looks like chick flicks, books that make you cry, and all the candles blown out on the first try.
D. Smith Kaich Jones
I’m just really happy,” he says, rolling away from me and leaning up on his elbow. “I’m so happy it makes me want to hide, because I don’t know what to do with it all. I want to store it up and save it for winter.” “But winter just ended.” “Fine, I want to store it up and save it for when I don’t feel like it’s bursting from every single one of my pores. I didn’t know this was possible. To feel this way.” I lean up on my elbow to face him, smiling. “What? Are you going to make fun of me?” Gideon asks. Someone shushes us from a nearby blanket, so I pitch my voice low and whisper in his ear. “I can’t make fun of you because I feel the exact same way.” We
Sandy Hall (Been Here All Along)
My dear, in the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Albert Camus (Summer in Algiers)
Many, many millions in the world today are hungry. It’s not your fault, but you woke up from a warm bed, you were able to have a shower, you put on clean clothes, and you were in a home that is warm in the winter. Now just think of the many who are refugees who wake up in the morning, and there’s not very much protection for them against the rain that is pelting down. Perhaps there is no warmth or food or even just water. It is to say in a way, yes, it is to say really, you do want to count your blessings.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
The dark and the snow are too thick for him to see beyond the first trees. He’s been in there before at this time, when the dark shuts down in early winter. But now he pays attention, he notices something about the bush that he thinks he has missed those other times. How tangled up in itself it is, how dense and secret. It’s not a matter of one tree after another, it’s all the trees together, aiding and abetting one another and weaving into one thing. A transformation, behind your back. There’s another name for the bush, and this name is stalking around in his mind, in and out of where he can almost grasp it. But not quite. It’s a tall word that seems ominous but indifferent.
Alice Munro (Too Much Happiness: Stories)
It was freezing, but the cold effortlessly numbed my feet and aching hands. I walked quietly, barefoot, to the end of the block, leaving my shoes behind to remind me how to find my way home. I stood at the end of the street, catching snow in my mouth, and laughed softly to myself as I realized that without my insomnia and anxiety and pain I’d never have been awake to see the city that never sleeps asleep and blanketed up for winter. I smiled and felt silly, but in the best possible way. As I turned and looked back toward the hotel I noticed that my footprints leading out into the city were mismatched. One side was glistening, small and white. The other was misshapen from my limp and each heel was pooled with spots of bright red blood. It struck me as a metaphor for my life. One side light and magical. Always seeing the good. Lucky. The other side bloodied, stumbling. Never quite able to keep up. It was like the Jesus-beach-footprint-in-the-sand poem, except with less Jesus and more bleeding. It was my life, there in white and red. And I was grateful for it. “Um, miss?” It was the man from the front desk leaning tentatively out of the front door with a concerned look on his face. “Coming,” I said. I felt a bit foolish and considered trying to clarify but then thought better of it. There was no way to explain to this stranger how my mental illness had just gifted me with a magical moment. I realized it would have sounded a bit crazy, but that made sense. After all, I was a bit crazy. And I didn’t even have to pretend to be good at it. I was a damn natural.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
The only thing we can depend on in life is that everything changes. The seasons, our partners, what we want and need. We hold hands with our high school friends and swear to never lose touch, and then we do. We scrape ice off our cars and feel like winter will never end, and it does. We stand in the bathroom and look at our face and say, “Stop getting old, face. I command you!” and it doesn’t listen. Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being. See what I just did there? I saved you thousands of dollars on self-help books. If you can surf your life rather than plant your feet, you will be happier.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I do not think the sunny youth of either will prove the forerunner of stormy age. I think it is deemed good that you two should live in peace and be happy - not as angels but as few are happy amongst mortals. Some lives are thus blessed: it is God's will: it is the attesting trace and lingering evidence of Eden. Other lives run from the first another course. Other travellers encounter weather fitful and gusty wild and variable - breast adverse winds are belated and overtaken by the early closing winter night. Neither can this happen without the sanction of God and I know that amidst His boundless works is somewhere stored the secret of this last fate's justice: I know that His treasures contain the proof as the promise of its mercy.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
My stepmother is not only powerful because the people fear her, she is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty.” The ship trembled and their speed increased. Luna blurred beneath them. “Once,” Winter continued, pushing the words out of her lungs. “Once I believed with all my heart that I was doing good. But I was wrong.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
He was fine, and foreign, and he did not belong here. I held him close, not crushing, not waking him, letting him sleep, and I suffered. I had never felt such feelings before. I would do anything for him; I would do anything. Anything that was asked of me, that would increase his happiness or health, I would do, and willingly. So I told myself, rocking him, the winter sky white at the window.
Margo Lanagan (The Brides of Rollrock Island)
The Jumblies I They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day, In a Sieve they went to sea! And when the Sieve turned round and round, And every one cried, 'You'll all be drowned!' They called aloud, 'Our Sieve ain't big, But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig! In a Sieve we'll go to sea!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. II They sailed away in a Sieve, they did, In a Sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a riband by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast; And every one said, who saw them go, 'O won't they be soon upset, you know! For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long, And happen what may, it's extremely wrong In a Sieve to sail so fast!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. III The water it soon came in, it did, The water it soon came in; So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat, And they fastened it down with a pin. And they passed the night in a crockery-jar, And each of them said, 'How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our Sieve we spin!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. IV And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown. 'O Timballo! How happy we are, When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar, And all night long in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail, In the shade of the mountains brown!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. V They sailed to the Western Sea, they did, To a land all covered with trees, And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart, And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart, And a hive of silvery Bees. And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws, And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree, And no end of Stilton Cheese. Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve. VI And in twenty years they all came back, In twenty years or more, And every one said, 'How tall they've grown! For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore!' And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And every one said, 'If we only live, We too will go to sea in a Sieve,--- To the hills of the Chankly Bore!' Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.
Edward Lear
Our family has survived a long time. We’ve weathered battles and transformations, enchantments and floods and fires. We’ve endured being sent away, and we’ve coped with evildoers in our midst. If I were telling a story of Sevenwaters – and it would be a grand epic told over all the nights of a long winter – I would surely end it with a triumph. A happy ending, all well, puzzles solved, enemies defeated, the future stretching ahead bright and true. With new challenges and new adventures, certainly, because that’s the way things always are. But overall it would be a very satisfying story, one to give the listener heart.
Juliet Marillier (Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #6))
For a moment I am jealous: He has grown up here, fearless, happy. Perhaps he will never even know about the world on the other side of the fence, the real world. For him there will be no such thing. But there will also be no medicine for him when he is sick, and never enough food to go around, and winters so cold the mornings are like a punch in the gut. And someday-unless the resistance succeeds and takes the country back-the planes and the fires will find him. Someday the eye will turn in this direction, like a laser beam, consuming everything in its path. Someday all the Wilds will be razed, and we will be left with a concrete landscape, a land of pretty houses and trim gardens and planned parks and forests, and a world that works as smoothly as a clock, neatly wound: a world of metal and gears, and people going tick-tick-tick to their deaths.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
Last night I dreamed of the "happy hunting ground." I passed through a place of bones that looked human, but weren't--the skulls were wrong. Then I came to a place where the days were the best of every season, the sweetest air and water in spring, then the dry heat where deer make dust in the road, the fog of fall with good leaves. And you could shoot without a gun, never kill, but the rabbits would do a little dance, all as if it were a game, and they were playing it too. Then winter came with heavy powder-snow, and big deer, horses, goats and buffaloes--all white--snorted, tossed their heads, and I lay down with my Army blanket, made my bed in the snow, then dreamed within the dream. I dreamed I was at Fleety's, and she told me the bones were poor people killed by bandits, and she took me back to the place, and under a huge rock where no light should have shown, a cave almost, was a dogwood tree. It glowed the kind of red those trees get at sundown, the buds were purple in that weird light, and a madman came out with an axe and chopped at the skulls, trying to make them human-looking. Then I went back to the other side of both dreams. --from a letter to his mother, Helen Pancake, where he describes a dream that seems to encapsulate the play between violence and gentleness in his life.
Breece D'J Pancake
Smiling wistfully at the thought of her beloved sister, Daisy felt a wave of loneliness sweep over her. She and Lillian had always been together, arguing, laughing, getting each other into scrapes, and rescuing each other whenever possible. Naturally she was happy that Lillian had met her perfect match in the strong-willed Westcliff... but that didn't stop Daisy from missing her terribly. And now that the other wallflowers, including Evie, had found husbands, they were part of the mysterious married world that Daisy was still excluded from. She was going to have to find a husband soon. Some nice, sincere gentleman who would share her love of books. A man who wore spectacles, and liked dogs and children.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
A great historian, as he insisted on calling himself, who had the happiness to be dead a hundred and twenty years ago, and so to take his place among the colossi whose huge legs our living pettiness is observed to walk under, glories in his copious remarks and digressions as the least imitable part of his work, and especially in those initial chapters to the successive books of his history, where he seems to bring his armchair to the proscenium and chat with us in all the lusty ease of his fine English. But Fielding lived when the days were longer (for time, like money, is measured by our needs), when summer afternoons were spacious, and the clock ticked slowly in the winter evenings. We belated historians must not linger after his example; and if we did so, it is probable that our chat would be thin and eager, as if delivered from a campstool in a parrot-house. I at least have so much to do in unravelling certain human lots, and seeing how they were woven and interwoven, that all the light I can command must be concentrated on this particular web, and not dispersed over that tempting range of relevancies called the universe.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.. a city neighborhood that included houses, lampposts, walls, and bushes. But with an early bedtime in the winter, I could look out my window and see the stars, and the stars were not like anything else in my neighborhood. [At age 5] I didn’t know what they were. [At age 9] my mother … said to me, “You have a library card now, and you know how to read. Take the streetcar to the library and get a book on stars.” … I stepped up to the big librarian and asked for a book on stars. … I sat down and found out the answer, which was something really stunning. I found out that the stars are glowing balls of gas. I also found out that the Sun is a star but really close and that the stars are all suns except really far away I didn’t know any physics or mathematics at that time, but I could imagine how far you’d have to move the Sun away from us till it was only as bright as a star. It was in that library, reading that book, that the scale of the universe opened up to me. There was something beautiful about it. At that young age, I already knew that I’d be very happy if I could devote my life to finding out more about the stars and the planets that go around them. And it’s been my great good fortune to do just that.
Carl Sagan
Once every hundred years, two souls are brought together through the veil of time. They are deemed the chosen ones by the Fae. Through their acts of kindness, generosity, and love to others, they often neglect to find their one true love. Their devotion to aiding others blinds them to their own happiness, leaving them alone. Time is fleeting and only the strongest and purest of heart will be able to capture the spark of love. If the ember ceases to grow, then on the stroke of midnight on the Winter Solstice the two lovers will be returned to their own time. The doors of past and present to be closed forever. In this year, 2016, the Fae have chosen Cormac Blaine Murray and Eve Catherine Brannigan to receive this special blessing – a chance of love – everlasting. When the light of true love whispers in their hearts, Cormac and Eve must trust and believe in the magic that brought them together before the sands of time vanish into the mists of the Highlands.
Mary Morgan (A Magical Highland Solstice)
I’m beginning to think that unhappiness is one of the simple things in life: a pure, basic emotion to be respected, if not savoured. I would never dream of suggesting that we should wallow in misery, or shrink from doing everything we can to alleviate it; but I do think it’s instructive. After all, unhappiness has a function: it tells us that something is going wrong. If we don’t allow ourselves the fundamental honesty of our own sadness, then we miss an important cue to adapt. We seem to be living in an age when we’re bombarded with entreaties to be happy, but we’re suffering from an avalanche of depression; we’re urged to stop sweating the small stuff, and yet we’re chronically anxious. I often wonder if these are just normal feelings that become monstrous when they’re denied. A great deal of life will always suck. There will be moments when we’re riding high, and moments when we can’t bear to get out of bed. Both are normal. Both, in fact, require a little perspective.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question. I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. The said Eliza, John, and Georgiana were now clustered round their mama in the drawing-room: she lay reclined on a sofa by the fireside, and with her darlings about her (for the time neither quarrelling nor crying) looked perfectly happy. Me, she had dispensed from joining the group; saying, “She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie, and could discover by her own observation, that I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner— something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were—she really must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children.” What does Bessie say I have done?” I asked. Jane, I don’t like cavillers or questioners; besides, there is something truly forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that manner. Be seated somewhere; and until you can speak pleasantly, remain silent.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The Art of Living is to be yourself. It is to be true to yourself. The Art of Living is learning to live with love, awareness and truth. Meditation is the way to learn The Art of Living. Being is you. To discover your being is the beginning of life. You can live in two ways: 1. Ego - effort and desire and 2.Being - no-effort, being in a let go with existence. Religion is The Art of Living. Five keys to The Art of Living: 1. Be life-affirmative. Life is synonymous with God. Live with reverence, great respect and gratitude for life. Feel thankful and prayerful. 2. Make life an heartful, aesthetic experience. Become more sensitive, sensuous and creative - and you will become more spiritual. 3.Experience life in all possible ways. Experience all dualities and polarities of life: good/bad, bitter/sweet, summer/winter, happiness/sadness and life/death. Do not be afraid of experience, because the more experiences you have, the more spiritually mature you become. 4. Live in the present. Forget the past and the future - this moment is the only reality. This moment has to become your whole love, life and death. 5.Live courageously. Do not become too result-oriented, because result-oriented people miss life. Do not think of goals, because goals are in the future - and life is in the moment, in the here and now.
Swami Dhyan Giten
I've thought of myself a girl on several occasions because I like to polish shoes and find household tasks amusing. There was once even a time when I insisted on mending a torn suit with my own hands. And in winter I always light the heating stoves myself, as though this were the natural course of things. But of course I'm not a real girl. Please give me a moment to consider all this would entail. The first thing that comes to mind is the question of whether I might possibly be a girl has never, never, not for a single moment, troubled me, rattled my bourgeois composure or made me unhappy. An absolutely by no means unhappy person stands before you, I'd like to put quite special emphasis on this, for I have never experienced sexual torment or distress, for I was never at a loss for quite simple methods of freeing myself from pressures. A rather curious, that is to say, important discovery for me was that it filled me with the most delightful gaiety to imagine myself someone's servant.... My nature, then, merely inclines me to treat people well, to be helpful and so forth. Not long ago I carried with flabbergasting zeal a shopping bag full of new potatoes for a petit bourgeoise. She's have been perfectly able to tote it herself. Now my situation is this: my particular nature also sometimes seeks, I've discovered, a mother, a teacher, that is, to express myself better, an unapproachable entity, a sort of goddess. At times I find the goddess in an instant, whereas at others it takes time before I'm able to imagine her, that is, find her bright, bountiful figure and sense her power. And to achieve a moment of human happiness, I must always first think up a story containing an encounter between myself and another person, whereby I am always the subordinate, obedient, sacrificing, scrutinized, and chaperoned party. There's more to it, of course, quite a lot, but this still sheds light on a few things. Many conclude it must be terribly easy to carry out a course of treatment, as it were, upon my person, but they're all gravely mistaken. For, the moment anyone seems ready to start lording and lecturing it over me, something within me begins to laugh, to jeer, and then, of course, respect is out of the question, and within the apparently worthless individual arises a superior one whom I never expel when he appears in me....
Robert Walser (The Robber)
On the TV screen in Harry's is The Patty Winters Show, which is now on in the afternoon and is up against Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. Today's topic is Does Economic Success Equal Happiness? The answer, in Harry's this afternoon, is a roar of resounding "Definitely," followed by much hooting, the guys all cheering together in a friendly way. On the screen now are scenes from President Bush's inauguration early this year, then a speech from former President Reagan, while Patty delivers a hard-to-hear commentary. Soon a tiresome debate forms over whether he's lying or not, even though we don't, can't, hear the words. The first and really only one to complain is Price, who, though I think he's bothered by something else, uses this opportunity to vent his frustration, looks inappropriately stunned, asks, "How can he lie like that? How can he pull that shit?" "Oh Christ," I moan. "What shit? Now where do we have reservations at? I mean I'm not really hungry but I would like to have reservations somewhere. How about 220?" An afterthought: "McDermott, how did that rate in the new Zagat's?" "No way," Farrell complains before Craig can answer. "The coke I scored there last time was cut with so much laxative I actually had to take a shit in M.K." "Yeah, yeah, life sucks and then you die." "Low point of the night," Farrell mutters. "Weren't you with Kyria the last time you were there?" Goodrich asks. "Wasn't that the low point?" "She caught me on call waiting. What could I do?" Farrell shrugs. "I apologize." "Caught him on call waiting." McDermott nudges me, dubious. "Shut up, McDermott," Farrell says, snapping Craig's suspenders. "Date a beggar." "You forgot something, Farrell," Preston mentions. "McDermott is a beggar." "How's Courtney?" Farrell asks Craig, leering. "Just say no." Someone laughs. Price looks away from the television screen, then at Craig, and he tries to hide his displeasure by asking me, waving at the TV, "I don't believe it. He looks so... normal. He seems so... out of it. So... un dangerous." "Bimbo, bimbo," someone says. "Bypass, bypass." "He is totally harmless, you geek. Was totally harmless. Just like you are totally harmless. But he did do all that shit and you have failed to get us into 150, so, you know, what can I say?" McDermott shrugs. "I just don't get how someone, anyone, can appear that way yet be involved in such total shit," Price says, ignoring Craig, averting his eyes from Farrell. He takes out a cigar and studies it sadly. To me it still looks like there's a smudge on Price's forehead. "Because Nancy was right behind him?" Farrell guesses, looking up from the Quotrek. "Because Nancy did it?" "How can you be so fucking, I don't know, cool about it?" Price, to whom something really eerie has obviously happened, sounds genuinely perplexed. Rumor has it that he was in rehab.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
The cat's asleep; I whisper "kitten" Till he stirs a little and begins to purr-- He doesn't wake. Today out on the limb (The limb he thinks he can't climb down from) He mewed until I heard him in the house. I climbed up to get him down: he mewed. What he says and what he sees are limited. My own response is even more constricted. I think, "It's lucky; what you have is too." What do you have except--well, me? I joke about it but it's not a joke; The house and I are all he remembers. Next month how will he guess that it is winter And not just entropy, the universe Plunging at last into its cold decline? I cannot think of him without a pang. Poor rumpled thing, why don't you see That you have no more, really, than a man? Men aren't happy; why are you?
Randall Jarrell (The Complete Poems)
You feel safer in your bedroom, but you’re actually much safer in the shelter.” It didn’t matter how I felt. She made me go into the shelter every time the sirens wailed. Men came and removed all the signposts from the roads around the village, so that when Hitler invaded he wouldn’t know where he was. When he invaded, we were to bury our radio. Jamie had already dug a hole for it in the garden. When Hitler invaded we were to say nothing, do nothing to help the enemy. If he invaded while I was out riding, I was to return home at once, as fast as possible by the shortest route. I’d know it was an invasion, not an air raid, because all the church bells would ring. “What if the Germans take Butter?” I asked Susan. “They won’t,” she said, but I was sure she was lying. “Bloody huns,” Fred muttered, when I went to help with chores. “They come here, I’ll stab ’em with a pitchfork, I will.” Fred was not happy. The riding horses, the Thortons’ fine hunters, were all out to grass, and the grass was good, but the hayfields had been turned over to wheat and Fred didn’t know how he’d feed the horses through the winter. Plus the Land Girls staying in the loft annoyed him. “Work twelve hours a day, then go out dancing,” he said. “Bunch of lightfoots. In my day girls didn’t act like that.” I thought the Land Girls seemed friendly, but I knew better than to say so to Fred. You could get used to anything. After a few weeks, I didn’t panic when I went into the shelter. I quit worrying about the invasion. I put Jamie up behind me on Butter
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1))
She was so ridiculously happy that most days she didn't know how to contain it. Every morning before dawn she would unwrap her long limbs reluctantly from those of her husband, drink the coffee he insisted on making for her, then walk down to open the library and get the stove going, ready for the others to arrive. Despite the cold and the brutal hour, she was almost always to be found smiling. If Peggy Van Cleve's friends chose to remark that Alice Guisler had let herself go something awful since she'd started up at that library, what with her un-set hair and her mannish outfits (and to think her so refined and well-dressed when she came, and all!), then Fred couldn't have noticed less. He was married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and every night after they had each finished work, and put away the dishes side by side, he made sure to pay homage. In the still air of Split Creek it was not unusual for those who were walking past in the darkness to shake an amused head at the breathless and joyous sounds emanating from the house behind the library. In Baileyville, in winter, there was not much to do after the sun went down, after all.
Jojo Moyes (The Giver of Stars)
We went through the Happy Valley to the little cove. The azaleas were finished now, the petals lay brown and crinkled on the moss. The bluebells had not faded yet, they made a solid carpet in the woods above the valley, and the young bracken was shooting up, curling and green. The moss smelt rich and deep, and the bluebells were earthy, bitter. I lay down in the long grass beside the bluebells with my hands behind my head, and Jasper at my side. He looked down at me panting, his face foolish, saliva dripping from his tongue and his heavy jowl. There were pigeons somewhere in the trees above. It was very peaceful and quiet. I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone. How commonplace and stupid it would be if I had a friend now, sitting beside me, someone I had known at school, who would say “By the way, I saw old Hilda the other day. You remember her, the one who was so good at tennis. She’s married, with two children.” And the bluebells beside us unnoticed, and the pigeons overhead unheard. I did not want anyone with me. Not even Maxim. If Maxim had been there I should not be lying as I was now, chewing a piece of grass, my eyes shut. I should have been watching him, watching his eyes, his expression. Wondering if he liked it, if he was bored. Wondering what he was thinking. Now I could relax, none of these things mattered. Maxim was in London. How lovely it was to be alone again. No, I did not mean that. It was disloyal, wicked. It was not what I meant. Maxim was my life and my world. I got up from the bluebells and called sharply to Jasper. We set off together down the valley to the beach. The tide was out, the sea very calm and remote. It looked like a great placid lake out there in the bay. I could not imagine it rough now, any more than I could imagine winter in summer. There was no wind, and the sun shone on the lapping water where it ran into the little pools in the rocks.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Do you ever think what might've happened if they weren't so damn impatient? If Romeo had stopped for a second and gotten a doctor, or waited for Juliet to wake up? Not jumped to conclusions and gone and poisoned himself thinking she was dead when she was just sleeping? I've seen that movie so many times, and every damn time, it's like screaming at the girl in the horror movie. Don't go in the basement. The killer's down there. With Romeo and Juliet, I yell, 'Don't jump to conclusions.' But do those fools ever listen to me? I always imagine what might've happened if they'd waited. Juliet would've woken up. They'd already be married. They might've moved away, far away from the Montagues and the Capulets, gotten themselves a cute castle of their own. Decorated it up nice. Maybe it would've been like The Winter's Tale. By thinking Hermione was dead, Leontes had time to stop acting like a fool and then later he was so happy to find out she was alive. Maybe the Montagues and the Capulets would find out later that their beloved kids weren't dead, and wasn't it stupid to feud, and everyone would be happy. Maybe it would've turned the whole tragedy into a comedy.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Few things are harder to visualise than that a cold snowbound landscape, so marrow-chillingly quiet and lifeless, will, within mere months, be green and lush and warm, quivering with all manner of life, from birds warbling and flying through the trees to swarms of insects hanging in scattered clusters in the air. Nothing in the winter landscape presages the scent of sun-warmed heather and moss, trees bursting with sap and thawed lakes ready for spring and summer, nothing presages the feeling of freedom that can come over you when the only white that can be seen is the clouds gliding across the blue sky above the blue water of the rivers gently flowing down to the sea, the perfect, smooth, cool surface, broken now and then by rocks, rapids and bathing bodies. It is not there, it does not exist, everything is white and still, and if the silence is broken it is by a cold wind or a lone crow caw-cawing. But it is coming ... it is coming... One evening in March the snow turns to rain, and the piles of snow collapse. One morning in April there are buds on the trees, and there is a trace of green in the yellow grass. Daffodils appear, white and blue anemones too. Then the warm air stands like a pillar among the trees on the slopes. On sunny inclines buds have burst, here and there cherry trees are in blossom. If you are sixteen years old all of this makes an impression, all of this leaves its mark, for this is the first spring you know is spring, with all your sense you know this is spring, and it is the last, for all coming springs pale in comparison with your first. If, moreover, you are in love, well, then ... then it is merely a question of holding on. Holding on to all the happiness, all the beauty, all the future that resides in everything.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 2 (Min kamp #2))
I draw myself up next to her and look at her profile, making no effort to disguise my attention, here, where there is only Puck to see me. The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. Her hair the color of cliff grass rises and falls over her face in the breeze. Her expression is less ferocious than usual, less guarded. I say, “Are you afraid?” Her eyes are far away on the horizon line, out to the west where the sun has gone but the glow remains. Somewhere out there are my capaill uisce, George Holly’s America, every gallon of water that every ship rides on. Puck doesn’t look away from the orange glow at the end of the world. “Tell me what it’s like. The race.” What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both and there’s nothing like it. Once upon a time, this moment — this last light of evening the day before the race — was the best moment of the year for me. The anticipation of the game to come. But that was when all I had to lose was my life. “There’s no one braver than you on that beach.” Her voice is dismissive. “That doesn’t matter.” “It does. I meant what I said at the festival. This island cares nothing for love but it favors the brave.” Now she looks at me. She’s fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is. She asks, “Do you feel brave?” The mare goddess had told me to make another wish. It feels thin as a thread to me now, that gift of a wish. I remember the years when it felt like a promise. “I don’t know what I feel, Puck.” Puck unfolds her arms just enough to keep her balance as she leans to me, and when we kiss, she closes her eyes. She draws back and looks into my face. I have not moved, and she barely has, but the world feels strange beneath me. “Tell me what to wish for,” I say. “Tell me what to ask the sea for.” “To be happy. Happiness.” I close my eyes. My mind is full of Corr, of the ocean, of Puck Connolly’s lips on mine. “I don’t think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don’t know how you would keep it.” The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby. Puck’s voice is in my ear; her breath warms my neck inside my jacket collar. “You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn’t that what you said?” I tilt my head so that her mouth is on my skin. The kiss is cold where the wind blows across my cheek. Her forehead rests against my hair. I open my eyes, and the sun has gone. I feel as if the ocean is inside me, wild and uncertain. “That’s what I said. What do I need to hear?” Puck whispers, “That tomorrow we’ll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I’ll save the house and you’ll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner.” I say, “That is what I needed to hear.” “Do you know what to wish for now?” I swallow. I have no wishing-shell to throw into the sea when I say it, but I know that the ocean hears me nonetheless. “To get what I need.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.
Crystal Boyd
Not the Happiness but the Consequence of Happiness He wakes up in the silence of the winter woods, the silence of birds not singing, knowing he will not hear his voice all day. He remembers what the brown owl sounded like while he was sleeping. The man wakes in the frigid morning thinking about women. Not with desire so much as with a sense of what is not. The January silence is the sound of his feet in the snow, a squirrel scolding, or the scraping calls of a single blue jay. Something of him dances there, apart and gravely mute. Many days in the woods he wonders what it is that he has for so long hunted down. We go hand in hand, he thinks, into the dark pleasure, but we are rewarded alone, just as we are married into aloneness. He walks the paths doing the strange mathematics of the brain, multiplying the spirit. He thinks of caressing her feet as she kept dying. For the last four hours, watching her gradually stop as the hospital slept. Remembers the stunning coldness of her head when he kissed her just after. There is light or more light, darkness and less darkness. It is, he decides, a quality without definition. How strange to discover that one lives with the heart as one lives with a wife. Even after many years, nobody knows what she is like. The heart has a life of its own. It gets free of us, escapes, is ambitiously unfaithful. Dies out unaccountably after eight years, blooms unnecessarily and too late. Like the arbitrary silence in the white woods, leaving tracks in the snow he cannot recognize.
Jack Gilbert (Refusing Heaven)
They dream of the happiness of stretching out one's legs and of the relief one feels after going to the toilet. In Orotukan the earth thaws only in the summer and only to the depth of three feet—and only then can they bury the bones of those who died during the winter. And you have the right to arrange your own life under the blue sky and the hot sun, to get a drink of water, to stretch, to travel wherever you like without a convoy [escort]. So what's this about unwiped feet? And what's this about a mother-in-law? What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I'll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusory—property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life—don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don't claw at your insides. If your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart—and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted in their memory!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918 - 1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II)
Warriors all rose uneagerly shuffled under Earnanaes lagging with sorrow to look upon death. They found on the sand their soulless gift-lord still and wordless there who served and ruled them for fifty winters—the final life-day had come for the good one—the Geats’ hall-master dear warrior-king died a wonder-death. There they discovered that cooling fire-snake stretched upon the earth, seething no more 3040 with foul flame-death flying no longer with burning bellows, blackened with death. Fifty long feet was his full length-measure stretched on the fire-field. He flew in hate-joy seared through the nights then soared at daybreak to his grayrock den—now death stilled him ended his slumber in that stony barrow. By him were heaped bracelets and gem-cups jeweled gold-dishes great treasure-swords darkened with rust from their deep earth-home 3050 a thousand winters walled against light. Those ancient heirlooms earned much curse-power old gold-treasure gripped in a spell— no one might touch them those nameless stone-riches no good or bad man unless God himself the great Glory-King might give to someone to open that hoard that heap of treasures, a certain warrior as seemed meet to him. They found no happiness who first buried there wealth in the ground—again it was hidden 3060 by an only survivor till an angered serpent singed for a cup till swords cooled him sent him deathwards. Strange are the ways how the king of a country will come to the end of his loaned life-span when at last he vanishes gone from the meadhall his gold and his kin. So it was with Beowulf when he bore his shield to that roaring night-flyer.
Unknown (Beowulf: An Updated Verse Translation)
Needless to say, cooking for a man with such a delicate palate can be challenging and every once in a while I like to make something that isn't served with a glass of milk and a side of applesauce. This can be difficult with a husband with such discriminating taste buds. Difficult, but not impossible, if you're willing to lie. Which I am.   During the winter months I love to make soups and one of my favorites is taco soup. It has all of the basic food groups in one bowl; meat, veggies, beans, and Fritos. It's perfection. I've been warming bodies and cleaning colons with this recipe for years. However, when I met my husband he advised he didn't like beans, so he couldn't eat taco soup. This was not the response I hoped for.   I decided to make it for him anyway. The first time I did I debated whether to add beans. I knew he wouldn't eat it if I did, but I also knew the beans were what gave it the strong flavor. I decided the only way to maintain the integrity of the soup was to sacrifice mine. I lied to him about the ingredients. Because my husband is not only picky but also observant, I knew I couldn't just dump the beans into the soup undetected. Rather, I had to go incognito. For that, I implored the use of the food processor, who was happy to accommodate after sitting in the cabinet untouched for years.   I dumped the cans of beans in the processor and pureed them into a paste. I then dumped the paste into the taco soup mixture, returning the food processor to the cabinet where it would sit untouched for another six months.   When it came time to eat, I dished out a heaping bowl of soup and handed it to my husband. We sat down to eat and I anxiously awaited his verdict, knowing he was eating a heaping bowl of deceit.   “This is delicious. What's in it?” he asked, in between mouthfuls of soup.   “It's just a mixture of taco ingredients,” I innocently replied, focusing on the layer of Fritos covering my bowl.   “Whatever it is, it's amazing,” he responded, quickly devouring each bite.   At that moment I wanted nothing more than to slap the spoon out of his hand and yell “That's beans, bitch!” However, I refrained because I'm classy (and because I didn't want to clean up the mess).
Jen Mann (I Just Want to Be Alone (I Just Want to Pee Alone))
They remained in bed through the evening and it was as good as it had ever been if not better. Uninhibited sounds of pleasure erupted time and again, shattering the museumlike stillness like fine holiday china removed from a dustblown cupboard and smashed one plate at a time. The articulation of unfeigned desire issued from each of them, resounding through the house, and each of them heard it. It was louder than the silence of neglect that had clamored so loudly in the past, when the disaffection borne of life’s distractions would have had them believe there could be something more important than what they’d found in each other. But now, all they’d been through together had honed their ability to see and hear and feel what they’d had all along, and nearly lost. They knew the world around them would jabber on, deafeningly at times, but they would face it together, knowing what they knew, and shout it down. Between the two of them they had more than enough sound and color and light to fill all the time and space and need they could ever expect to possess. The key to their happiness consisted only in knowing it.
D.E. Sievers (The Trees in Winter)
Hallie didn't believe she was invulnerable. She was never one of those daredevil types; she knew she could get hurt. What I think she meant was that she was lucky to be on her way to Nicaragua. It was the slowest thing to sink into my head, how happy she was. Happy to be leaving. We'd had one time of perfect togetherness in our adult lives, the year when we were both in college in Tucson-her first year, my last-and living together for the first time away from Doc Homer. That winter I'd wanted to fail a subject just so I could hang back, stay there with her, the two of us walking around the drafty house in sweatshirts and wool socks and understanding each other precisely. Bringing each other cups of tea without having to ask. So I stayed on in Tucson for medical school, instead of going to Boston as I'd planned, and met Carlo in Parasitology. Hallie, around the same time, befriended some people who ran a safehouse for Central American refugees. After that we'd have strangers in our kitchen every time of night, kids scared senseless, people with all kinds of damage. Our life was never again idyllic. I should have seen it coming. Once she and I had gone to see a documentary on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which was these Americans who volunteered without our government's blessing to fight against Franco and Hitler in the Spanish Civil War. At that point in U.S. history fascism was only maybe wrong, whereas communism was definitely. When we came home from the movie Hallie cried. Not because of the people who gave up life and limb only to lose Spain to Franco, and not for the ones who came back and were harassed for the rest of their lives for being Reds. The tragedy for Hallie was that there might never be a cause worth risking everything for in our lifetime. She was nineteen years old then, and as she lay blowing her nose and sobbing on my bed she told me this. That there were no real causes left. Now she had one-she was off to Nicaragua, a revolution of co-op farms and literacy crusades-and so I guess she was lucky. Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Almost no one really gets the chance to alter the course of human events on purpose, in the exact way they wish for it to be altered.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
I was already an atheist, and by my senior year I had became obsessed with the question “What is the meaning of life?” I wrote my personal statement for college admissions on the meaninglessness of life. I spent the winter of my senior year in a kind of philosophical depression—not a clinical depression, just a pervasive sense that everything was pointless. In the grand scheme of things, I thought, it really didn’t matter whether I got into college, or whether the Earth was destroyed by an asteroid or by nuclear war. My despair was particularly strange because, for the first time since the age of four, my life was perfect. I had a wonderful girlfriend, great friends, and loving parents. I was captain of the track team, and, perhaps most important for a seventeen-year-old boy, I got to drive around in my father’s 1966 Thunderbird convertible. Yet I kept wondering why any of it mattered. Like the author of Ecclesiastes, I thought that “all is vanity and a chasing after wind” (ECCLESIASTES 1:14) . I finally escaped when, after a week of thinking about suicide (in the abstract, not as a plan), I turned the problem inside out. There is no God and no externally given meaning to life, I thought, so from one perspective it really wouldn’t matter if I killed myself tomorrow. Very well, then everything beyond tomorrow is a gift with no strings and no expectations. There is no test to hand in at the end of life, so there is no way to fail. If this really is all there is, why not embrace it, rather than throw it away? I don’t know whether this realization lifted my mood or whether an improving mood helped me to reframe the problem with hope; but my existential depression lifted and I enjoyed the last months of high school.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
He took my hand and stopped walking then shook his head when I looked up at him. “Look, I didn’t want to do this on your birthday, but this isn’t working out.” I raised an eyebrow at him. No shit, Sherlock. I waited for him to continue. “This whole arrangement with you and Lane, it’s weird. You’re not kids anymore. I can put up with your choice of livelihood. Hell, I can even get used to the fact that you refuse to do yourself up in the morning before I wake up when you spend the night.” He paused at my frown. “But I won’t play second place man in a woman’s life. If you want to have any chance with me, you’re going to have to leave him. Move out; get your own place. Just quit having him around all the time.” “If I want to have a chance with you?” Wow, this man was a piece of work. I gazed over to Lane who didn’t look too happy as he watched what was happening. I turned back to Brian. “But who would get custody of Iggy? We can’t do that to him. It would break his fragile little heart! And joint custody won’t work. We can’t just move an iguana around in the middle of winter. Plus, have you tried moving that tank? It’s huge…” I said the last of my speech to his back as he simply turned and walked away. “Jackass.
Meaka Kyel (Terra's Wrath)
My Dear Mrs Winter. (I had half a mind when I dipped my pen in the ink, to address you by your old natural Christian name.) The snow lies so deep on the Northern Railway, and the Posts have been so interrupted in consequence, that your charming note arrived here only this morning... I get the heartache again when I read your commission, written in the hand which I find now to be not in the least changed, and yet it is a great pleasure to be entrusted with it, and to have that share in your gentler remembrances which I cannot find it still my privilege to have, without a stirring of the old fancies. ... I am very very sorry you mistrusted me in not writing before your little girl was born; but I hope now you know me better you will teach her, one day, to tell her children, in times to come when they have some interest in wondering about it, that I loved her mother with the most extraordinary earnestness when I was a boy. I have always believed since, and always shall to the last, that there never was such a faithful and devoted poor fellow as I was. Whatever of fancy, romance, energy, passion, aspiration and determination belong to me, I never have separated and never shall separate from the hard hearted little woman - you - whom it is nothing to say I would have died for, with the greatest alacrity! I never can think, and I never seem to observe, that other young people are in such desperate earnest, or set so much, so long, upon one absorbing hope. It is a matter of perfect certainty to me that I began to fight my way out of poverty and obscurity, with one perpetual idea of you. This is so fixed in my knowledge that to the hour when I opened your letter last Friday night, I have never heard anybody addressed by your name or spoken of by your name, without a start. The sound of it has always filled me with a kind of pity and respect for the deep truth that I had, in my silly hobbledehoyhood, to bestow upon one creature who represented the whole world to me. I have never been so good a man since, as I was when you made me wretchedly happy. I shall never be half so good a fellow any more. This is all so strange now, both to think of, and to say, after every change that has come about; but I think, when you ask me to write to you, you are not unprepared for what it is so natural to me to recall, and will not be displeased to read it. I fancy, - though you may not have thought in the old time how manfully I loved you - that you may have seen in one of my books a faithful reflection of the passion I had for you, and may have thought that it was something to have been loved so well, and may have seen in little bits of "Dora" touches of your old self sometimes, and a grace here and there that may be revived in your little girls, years hence, for the bewilderment of some other young lover - though he will never be as terribly in earnest as I and David Copperfield were. People used to say to me how pretty all that was, and how fanciful it was, and how elevated it was above the little foolish loves of very young men and women. But they little thought what reason I had to know it was true and nothing more nor less. These are things that I have locked up in my own breast, and that I never thought to bring out any more. But when I find myself writing to you again "all to your self", how can I forbear to let as much light in upon them as will shew you that they are there still! If the most innocent, the most ardent, and the most disinterested days of my life had you for their Sun - as indeed they had - and if I know that the Dream I lived in did me good, refined my heart, and made me patient and persevering, and if the Dream were all of you - as God knows it was - how can I receive a confidence from you, and return it, and make a feint of blotting all this out! ...
Charles Dickens
There's one thing you ought to know about old people," Alberto Terégo told me on our early morning walk on the beach. "Like what?" I asked my friend in reply. "Like old people don't mind if you kill them," Terégo said. "Just don't give them any more crap while you're doing it." "Are you talking about yourself?" I said. "You're telling me you'd rather have someone kill you than give you a hard time?” My head was starting to hurt. It usually did when I talked with Terégo, but never so soon into our daily conservation. He was grinning now, knowing he had me again. I just stared at him. He has this uncanny knack of making me feel he's laid a booby trap of punji sticks on which I'm about to impale myself. “That's ridiculous," I said finally, feeling like a kid for not being able to come up with a better response to his bizarre suggestion. “No, it's life,” Terégo said, his grin growing larger. “What's life?” I said. “Taking crap,” he said. "Taking crap is life?" I said. The grin hung ear to ear now. “It's what nice people do,” Terégo said. “There's an 18th century proverb that says we all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die. We do it from an early age, so old people have been doing it for a very long time, way beyond the proverbial amount that broke the camel's back.” “Eating dirt is life?” I said, feeling the pain grow under my arched eyebrows. "That's right," he said. "Eating dirt?" I repeated dully. "We do it to be team players, so we don’t rock the boat, to go with the flow," Terégo said. "We put up, shut up, get along--no matter what--with people even the Dalai Lama would slap silly. We defer to their foolishness, stupidity, biases, racism, ego, telling them what they want to hear, keeping quiet when we ought to be speaking up loud and clear. We put a sock in it even though it chokes us. We do it so we won’t offend, to fit in, be neighborly, sociable, kind. We do it so people will like us, love and reward and hire and promote us. We do it to be successful, secure, happy." "We eat dirt to be happy," I said, my eyes starting to glaze over like frost on window panes in deep winter. "You see the supreme irony in that," Terégo said, the triumph in his voice almost palpable, galling me no end.
Lionel Fisher (Celebrating Time Alone: Stories Of Splendid Solitude)
ultimately, most of us would choose a rich and meaningful life over an empty, happy one, if such a thing is even possible. “Misery serves a purpose,” says psychologist David Myers. He’s right. Misery alerts us to dangers. It’s what spurs our imagination. As Iceland proves, misery has its own tasty appeal. A headline on the BBC’s website caught my eye the other day. It read: “Dirt Exposure Boosts Happiness.” Researchers at Bristol University in Britain treated lung-cancer patients with “friendly” bacteria found in soil, otherwise known as dirt. The patients reported feeling happier and had an improved quality of life. The research, while far from conclusive, points to an essential truth: We thrive on messiness. “The good life . . . cannot be mere indulgence. It must contain a measure of grit and truth,” observed geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Tuan is the great unheralded geographer of our time and a man whose writing has accompanied me throughout my journeys. He called one chapter of his autobiography “Salvation by Geography.” The title is tongue-in-cheek, but only slightly, for geography can be our salvation. We are shaped by our environment and, if you take this Taoist belief one step further, you might say we are our environment. Out there. In here. No difference. Viewed that way, life seems a lot less lonely. The word “utopia” has two meanings. It means both “good place” and “nowhere.” That’s the way it should be. The happiest places, I think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn’t want to live in the perfect place, either. “A lifetime of happiness! No man could bear it: It would be hell on Earth,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, in his play Man and Superman. Ruut Veenhoven, keeper of the database, got it right when he said: “Happiness requires livable conditions, but not paradise.” We humans are imminently adaptable. We survived an Ice Age. We can survive anything. We find happiness in a variety of places and, as the residents of frumpy Slough demonstrated, places can change. Any atlas of bliss must be etched in pencil. My passport is tucked into my desk drawer again. I am relearning the pleasures of home. The simple joys of waking up in the same bed each morning. The pleasant realization that familiarity breeds contentment and not only contempt. Every now and then, though, my travels resurface and in unexpected ways. My iPod crashed the other day. I lost my entire music collection, nearly two thousand songs. In the past, I would have gone through the roof with rage. This time, though, my anger dissipated like a summer thunderstorm and, to my surprise, I found the Thai words mai pen lai on my lips. Never mind. Let it go. I am more aware of the corrosive nature of envy and try my best to squelch it before it grows. I don’t take my failures quite so hard anymore. I see beauty in a dark winter sky. I can recognize a genuine smile from twenty yards. I have a newfound appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables. Of all the places I visited, of all the people I met, one keeps coming back to me again and again: Karma Ura,
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies. These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly. At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat. Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals. The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth. In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them. With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green. One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom. “Brothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap. “I’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look. “Do you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he. Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder. “You were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites. “As easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean. “Take me with you,” I said to the fox. “Oh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said. “Come on.” I said. “What are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.” “Here we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered. “No,” I thought. “She must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.” Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me. Like it or not, she had to take me with her. We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed. “This is tundra,” said my fellow traveler. “Tundra? What is tundra?” asked I. “Tundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
Anna Khvolson
Are you a relative of her late husband?” the woman asked. His eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” “It must be so hard for her, pregnant and just widowed,” the middle-aged woman continued. “We’ve all done what we could to make her happy here. Mr. Johnson, the curator, is a widower himself. He’s already sweet on her. But you’re probably anxious to see Mrs. Peterson. Shall I ring her and let her know you’re coming?” Tate’s eyes were blazing. “No,” he said with forced politeness. “I want to surprise her!” He stalked out, leaving the rented vehicle where it was as he trudged through the small layer of snow and glared contemptuously at the cars sliding around in the street as they passed. This little bit of snow was nothing compared to the six-foot snowdrifts on the reservation. Southerners, he considered, must not get much winter precipitation if this little bit of white dust paralyzed traffic! As for Cecily’s mythical dead husband, he considered, going up the walkway to the small brick structure where she lived, he was about to make a startling, resurrected appearance! He knocked on the door and waited. There was an irritated murmur beyond the closed door and the sound of a lock being unfastened. The door opened and a wan Cecily looked straight into his eyes. He managed to get inside the screen door and catch her before she passed out. She came to on the sofa with Tate sitting beside her, smoothing back her disheveled hair. The nausea climbed into her throat and, fortunately, stayed there. She looked at him with helpless delight, wishing she could hide what the sight of him was doing to her after so many empty, lonely weeks. He didn’t speak. He touched her hair, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, with fingers that seemed bent on memorizing her. Then his hands went to the robe carelessly fastened over her cotton nightdress and pushed it aside. He touched her belly, his face radiant as he registered the very visible and tangible signs of her condition. “When did we make him?” he asked without preamble. She felt her world dissolve. He knew about the baby. Of course. That was why he was here. He met her eyes, found hostility and bitter disillusionment in them. His hand pressed down over her belly. “I would have come even if I hadn’t known about the baby,” he said at once. “The baby is mine.” “And mine.” “Audrey is not getting her avaricious little hands on my child…!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
The neon orange orb sat low in the sky, slowly breaking free of the horizon like the waking memory of a dream. The salty air smelled faintly of fish, and was thick with humidity and hung like a cloak over my body. The lavender sky at the horizon faded into cerulean above and behind me. The soft breeze whispered past my face, teasing my hair on its way to tickle the sawgrass that swayed in gratitude as if laughing like a child.
 I sat on the top plank of the boardwalk rail, the wood heavy with atmosphere and was damp and cool under my left palm. The surprising warmth of the winter air and the cool of the wood reminded me that yes, I am alive! Yes, I am grateful for this morning! And yes, I am glad to be here!
 The paper in my notebook as I wrote this began to feel sticky and moist within a few minutes. The ink from my pen seemed to grip the paper faster and firmer as if to say, I’m here, I’m happy, and I don’t want to lose this moment. Like my ink, I too wanted to cling to this morning.
 The sky started turning a peachy orange at the bottom and the ocean was sea foam green. The waves were breaking quietly, as if to give my thoughts amplitude so I could record and rejoice in the sea’s majesty. 
 The sand was gray and silky like a freshly pressed pair of slacks. The smooth beach seemed paved with sunlight. A jogger ran by, his knees probably grateful for the even stride the flat surface provided. 
 Chunks of sea foam lay strewn on the beach like remnants of Poseidon’s nightly bubble bath. A seagull circled low in the air, gliding in the sky with its streamlined body as the sun lit its white wings up like an angel’s halo.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
The Farmer's Bride Three Summers since I chose a maid, Too young maybe - but more's to do At harvest-time than bide and woo. When us was wed she turned afraid Of love and me and all things human; Like the shut of a winter's day Her smile went out, and 'twasn't a woman - More like a little frightened fay. One night, in the Fall, she runned away. 'Out 'mong the sheep, her be,' they said, Should properly have been abed; But sure enough she wasn't there Lying awake with her wide brown stare. So over seven-acre field and up-along across the down We chased her, flying like a hare Before our lanterns. To Church-Town All in a shiver and a scare We caught her, fetched her home at last And turned the key upon her, fast. She does the work about the house As well as most, but like a mouse: Happy enough to chat and play With birds and rabbits and such as they, So long as men-folk keep away. 'Not near, not near!' her eyes beseech When one of us comes within reach. The women say that beasts in stall Look round like children at her call. I've hardly heard her speak at all. Shy as a leveret, swift as he, Straight and slight as a young larch tree, Sweet as the first wild violets, she, To her wild self. But what to me? The short days shorten and the oaks are brown, The blue smoke rises to the low grey sky, One leaf in the still air falls slowly down, A magpie's spotted feathers lie On the black earth spread white with rime, The berries redden up to Christmas-time. What's Christmas-time without there be Some other in the house than we! She sleeps up in the attic there Alone, poor maid. 'Tis but a stair Betwixt us. Oh! my God! the down, The soft young down of her; the brown, The brown of her - her eyes, her hair, her hair!
Charlotte Mew
There was one monk who never spoke up. His name was Vappa, and he seemed the most insecure about Gautama coming back to life. When he was taken aside and told that he would be enlightened, Vappa greeted the news with doubt. “If what you tell me is true, I would feel something, and I don’t,” he said. “When you dig a well, there is no sign of water until you reach it, only rocks and dirt to move out of the way. You have removed enough; soon the pure water will flow,” said Buddha. But instead of being reassured, Vappa threw himself on the ground, weeping and grasping Buddha’s feet. “It will never happen,” he moaned. “Don’t fill me with false hope.” “I’m not offering hope,” said Buddha. “Your karma brought you to me, along with the other four. I can see that you will soon be awake.” “Then why do I have so many impure thoughts?” asked Vappa, who was prickly and prone to outbursts of rage, so much so that the other monks were intimidated by him. “Don’t trust your thoughts,” said Buddha. “You can’t think yourself awake.” “I have stolen food when I was famished, and there were times when I stole away from my brothers and went to women,” said Vappa. “Don’t trust your actions. They belong to the body,” said Buddha. “Your body can’t wake you up.” Vappa remained miserable, his expression hardening the more Buddha spoke. “I should go away from here. You say there is no war between good and evil, but I feel it inside. I feel how good you are, and it only makes me feel worse.” Vappa’s anguish was so genuine that Buddha felt a twinge of temptation. He could reach out and take Vappa’s guilt from his shoulders with a touch of the hand. But making Vappa happy wasn’t the same as setting him free, and Buddha knew he couldn’t touch every person on earth. He said, “I can see that you are at war inside, Vappa. You must believe me when I say that you’ll never win.” Vappa hung his head lower. “I know that. So I must go?” “No, you misunderstand me,” Buddha said gently. “No one has ever won the war. Good opposes evil the way the summer sun opposes winter cold, the way light opposes darkness. They are built into the eternal scheme of Nature.” “But you won. You are good; I feel it,” said Vappa. “What you feel is the being I have inside, just as you have it,” said Buddha. “I did not conquer evil or embrace good. I detached myself from both.” “How?” “It wasn’t difficult. Once I admitted to myself that I would never become completely good or free from sin, something changed inside. I was no longer distracted by the war; my attention could go somewhere else. It went beyond my body, and I saw who I really am. I am not a warrior. I am not a prisoner of desire. Those things come and go. I asked myself: Who is watching the war? Who do I return to when pain is over, or when pleasure is over? Who is content simply to be? You too have felt the peace of simply being. Wake up to that, and you will join me in being free.” This lesson had an immense effect on Vappa, who made it his mission for the rest of his life to seek out the most miserable and hopeless people in society. He was convinced that Buddha had revealed a truth that every person could recognize: suffering is a fixed part of life. Fleeing from pain and running toward pleasure would never change that fact. Yet most people spent their whole lives avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. To them, this was only natural, but in reality they were becoming deeply involved in a war they could never win.
Deepak Chopra (Buddha)
Della & I are drunk at the top of Mont-Royal. We have an open blue plastic thermos of red wine at our feet. It's the first day of spring & it's midnight & we've been peeling off layers of winter all day. We stand facing each other, as if to exchange vows, chests heaving from racing up & down the mountain to the sky. My face is hurting from smiling so much, aching at the edges of my words. She reaches out to hold my face in her hands, dirty palms form a bowl to rest my chin. I’m standing on a tree stump so we’re eye to eye. It’s hard to stay steady. I worry I may start to drool or laugh, I feel so unhinged from my body. It’s been one of those days I don’t want to end. Our goal was to shirk all responsibility merely to enjoy the lack of everyday obligations, to create fullness & purpose out of each other. Our knees are the colour of the ground-in grass. Our boots are caked in mud caskets. Under our nails is a mixture of minerals & organic matter, knuckles scraped by tree bark. We are the thaw embodied. She says, You have changed me, Eve, you are the single most important person in my life. If you were to leave me, I would die. At that moment, our breath circling from my lungs & into hers, I am changed. Perhaps before this I could describe our relationship as an experiment, a happy accident, but this was irrefutable. I was completely consumed & consuming. It was as though we created some sort of object between us that we could see & almost hold. I would risk everything I’ve ever known to know only this. I wanted to honour her in a way that was understandable to every part of me. It was as though I could distill the meaning of us into something I could pour into a porcelain cup. Our bodies on top of this city, rulers of love. Originally, we were celebrating the fact that I got into Concordia’s visual arts program. But the congratulatory brunch she took me to at Café Santropol had turned into wine, which had turned into a day for declarations. I had a sense of spring in my body, that this season would meld into summer like a running-jump movie kiss. There would be days & days like this. XXXX gone away on a sojurn I didn’t care to note the details of, she simply ceased to be. Summer in Montreal in love is almost too much emotion to hold in an open mouth, it spills over, it causes me to not need any sleep. I don’t think I will ever feel as awake as I did in the summer of 1995.
Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts)
It's taken me no time to see, just how much you really mean to me. [Name], it's taken less than a week to realize i want you in my life, And not just as a friend, I don't want to watch as another guys wanders into your life and sweeps you off your feet,Call me selfish, but I'm the only boy I want to see you with, I don't want another boy to hold you in his arms, and push your hair behind your ear, and call you beautiful, I don't want another boy to kiss you gently on the forhead and tell you his feelings about you are indescribable through words. I don't want another boy to hold your hand. I want to be the boy who gets to do all of those things. I want to be the boy who gets to call you his, more than anything. I'm not perfect, I'm far from it. but i know that im going to treat you as perfect as possible, and i knowi'm never once going to let you down. I'm going to give you everything you deserve, and im going to make you the happiest girl in the world, Because, to me you're so much more than just every other girl. You're perfect. There's many girls in the world but none of them are you, And you're the only one I've fallen for so fast, and you're the only one i know for a fact i want to call mine. There's just so much about you that has pushed me off the edge, and made me fall harder than I have before. Your eyes for example those beautiful eys of yours, I have never seen anthing as beautiful in my life as your eyes. That gorgeous,color that just makes illuminates beauty, and makes my heart stop, And youre smile, I have no idea why you dont show it off to everyone. You told me you don't like your smile, but i have no idea how you couldn't, It's pefect. I could look at that smile all day long, and i mean it. I never want to see your face without it, because that smile is absolutely beautiful. There's so much about you, that's unique to you, that makes you who you are, and makes you so perfect. There's no other girl on this entire planet that has the same eyes, and smile, you do, And that's reason enough for me to want you, and no toher girl, And that's why defines you from every other girl, how beautiful you really are.I understand, any guy could tell you you're beautiful, but I'm not any guy. I'm me, and im not just telling you you're beautiful, [Name], I'm telling you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, and I want you to believe me when i tell you that, I want you to see youself as beautiful as I see you, I want to look you in the eyes, face to face, and tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, then hold you close to me, and never let you go, I don't want you to think I'm another guy who's going to lie to you, and break your heart. I want you to believe I really do mean all of this, because I do, with all of my heart, I want to spend nights with you in my arms, i want to kiss you on the forhead every night before bed, I want to try and put my feelings for you into words, just to see that beautiful smile of yours, I want to call you mine, and no one else's, I want you, and no one else, and I can't stress how much i really mean that. Imagine laying in the snow, on a calm winter night, looking up at a clear, starry, full moon night, holding hands, not speaking a word, just laying beside one another, listening, to a gentle breeze, taking in how beautiful stars, and the moon are, Feeling completely at peace with everything, like we're in a land far away from everything, and nothing could possibly take that away that feeling of safety , and complete inner happiness. That's howw I'd describe my feelings for you are. Absolutely perfect in every way. If I am lucky enough to see you tomorrow, I'm going to take your breath away, and prove to you I really am the boy who you deserve. I'm going to make you the happiest girl in the entire world. I feel like I may be falling for you way to fast, and way to soon, but I don't care. not one bit, I've never been so sure of anything.
Jessi (Poetry: The Inner Mind)
Finally, I have come to realise that an imperfect Life is actually the most perfect Life. I have come to see how Life is beautiful in all its colours, more so because the shades of grey bind them and paint them with even more radiance. A clear sky is always beautiful but what if we never have rain or storm? Sunshine is always wonderful but what if we never have the soothing dusk or the cold night to coil in our own misty self? Storms that come to jolt us often leave us with more courage as we sail along the gust to chase a silver lining. The scorching heat that chokes us often makes us wait more eagerly for that balm of rain. So is Life, in all those moments of sunset we have the hope of the following sunrise, and if we may wait and absorb all that crumbling ray of that sunset we would be able to paint our sunrise with even more crimson smile. Because just like a story, nothing in Life is really concrete without patience. We cannot skip pages of a book because each line contains just so much to seep in, and to have the story fully lived inside our heart and soul we have to keep reading until the very end to feel that sense of peaceful happiness, that always clutches us no matter how the ending is drafted. In the same manner, we have to keep walking through Life, as each and every step of ours leads us to the destination of our Life, the destination of peace, the destination of knowledge of self. The best part of this walk is that it is never a straight line, but is always filled with curves and turns, making us aware of our spirit, laughing loud at times while mourning deep at times. But that is what Life is all about, a bunch of imperfect moments to smile as perfect memories sailing through the potholes of Life, because a straight line even in the world of science means death, after all monotony of perfection is the most cold imperfection. So as we walk through difficult times, may we realise that this sunset is not forever's and that the winter often makes us more aware of the spring. As we drive through a dark night, may we halt for a moment and watch for the stars, the smile of the very stars of gratitude and love that is always there even in the darkest sky of the gloomiest night. As we sail along the ship of Life, may we remember that the winds often guide us to our destination and the storms only come to make our voyage even more adventurous, while the rain clears the cloud so that we may gaze at the full glory of the sky above, with a perfect smile through a voyage of imperfect moments of forever's shine. And so as we keep turning the pages of Life, may we remember to wear that Smile, through every leaf of Life, for Life is rooted in the blooming foliage of its imperfect perfection.
Debatrayee Banerjee