Witness Love Quotes

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

He drew a circle that shut me out- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle and took him In!
Edwin Markham
Would you mind repeating that? I'm afraid I might have lost my wits altogether and just hallucinated what I've longed to hear.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can't exist without one.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
How I go to the wood Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable. I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours. Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing. If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.
Mary Oliver (Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.
Barbara Alpert
On many counts, taking a boy like Rudy Steiner was robbery--so much life, so much to live for--yet somehow, I'm certain he would have loved to see the frightening rubble and the swelling of the sky on the night he passed away. He'd have cried and turned and smiled if only he could have seen the book thief on her hands and knees, next to his decimated body. He'd have been glad to witness her kissing his dusty, bomb-hit lips. Yes, I know it. In the darkness of my dark-beating heart, I know. He'd have loved it all right. You see? Even death has a heart.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life's bittersweet route.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
So you think that you're a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What's wrong with that? In the first place, if you've any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.
Tom Robbins
SADNESS OF THE INTELLECT: Sadness of being misunderstood [sic]; Humor sadness; Sadness of love wit[hou]t release; Sadne[ss of be]ing smart; Sadness of not knowing enough words to [express what you mean]; Sadness of having options; Sadness of wanting sadness; Sadness of confusion; Sadness of domes[tic]ated birds, Sadness of fini[shi]ng a book; Sadness of remembering; Sadness of forgetting; Anxiety sadness...
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. Don't you think? It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see.
Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
I? I walk alone; The midnight street Spins itself from under my feet; My eyes shut These dreaming houses all snuff out; Through a whim of mine Over gables the moon's celestial onion Hangs high. I Make houses shrink And trees diminish By going far; my look's leash Dangles the puppet-people Who, unaware how they dwindle, Laugh, kiss, get drunk, Nor guess that if I choose to blink They die. I When in good humour, Give grass its green Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun With gold; Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold Absolute power To boycott color and forbid any flower To be. I Know you appear Vivid at my side, Denying you sprang out of my head, Claiming you feel Love fiery enough to prove flesh real, Though it's quite clear All your beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear, From me. "Soliloquy of the Solipsist", 1956
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I would love to have a battle of wits with you, Bison, but I doubt it would be a fair fight.' 'Shut your face.' 'Exactly my point.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Finally he spoke the three simple words that no amount of bad art or bad faith can every quite cheapen. She repeated them, with exactly the same slight emphasis on the second word, as though she were the one to say them first. He had no religious belief, but it was impossible not to think of an invisible presence or witness in the room, and that these words spoken aloud were like signatures on an unseen contract.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
People who are hurting don't need Avoiders, Protectors, or Fixers. What we need are patient, loving witness. People to sit quietly and hold space for us. People to stand in helpful vigil to our pain.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
How to find a good spouse? -the best single way is to deserve a good spouse.
Charles T. Munger (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger)
Oh, man there's a marathon of Beaches running tomorrow night. Can we go after ten so I can see it once all the way through?" Everyone in the room turned to the blond-and-black haired guy, who was propped in the corner, massive arms over his chest. What," he said. "Look, it's not Mary Tyler Moore, 'kay? So you can 't give me shit." Vishous, the one with the black glove on his hand, glared across the room. "It's worse than Mary Tyler Moore. And to call you and idiot would be an insult to half-wits around the world." Are you kidding me? Bette Midler rocks. And I love the ocean. Sue me." Vishous glanced at the king. "You told me I could beat him. You promised." As soon as you come home," Wrath said as he got to his feet, "we'll hang him up by his armpits in the gym and you can use him as a punching bag." Thank you, baby Jesus." Blond-and-Black shook his head. "I swear, one of these days I'm going to leave." As one, the Brothers all pointed to the open door and let silence speak for itself. You guys suck.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
As soon as somebody falls in love, all the wits seem to dribble out of the bottom of his head.
David Eddings (Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad, #4))
Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.
Fred Rogers (You Are Special: Neighborly Wit And Wisdom From Mister Rogers)
Lucy Marie Maris...I am completely and utterly in love with you. And as god is my witness- no matter how long it takes- someday I will be worthy enough to be your husband, because I can't bear the thought of living without you.
Gina L. Maxwell (Seducing Cinderella (Fighting for Love, #1))
I love you, Bud," he whispered to Billy and two more tears escaped. "I love you too, Mitch," Billy whispered back, my breath hitched and both males' eyes came to me. I waved my wineglass at them and murmured, "Don't mind me. Have your moment." Mitch leaned back, letting Billy go and grinning at me. "Men don't have moments." "You do," I returned. "I'm witnessing one." "This isn't a moment, honey, it's a meeting of the minds," Mitch contradicted me.
Kristen Ashley (Law Man (Dream Man, #3))
It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babes. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb… Robb… please, Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting… The white tears and the red ones ran together until her face was torn and tattered, the face that Ned had loved. Catelyn Stark raised her hands and watched the blood run down her long fingers, over her wrists, beneath the sleeves of her gown. Slow red worms crawled along her arms and under her clothes. It tickles. That made her laugh until she screamed. “Mad,” someone said, “she’s lost her wits,” and someone else said, “Make an end,” and a hand grabbed her scalp just as she’d done with Jinglebell, and she thought, No, don’t, don’t cut my hair, Ned loves my hair. Then the steel was at her throat, and its bite was red and cold.— Catelyn Stark
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
what i miss most is how you loved me. but what i didn't know was how you loved me had so much to do with the person i was. it was a reflection of everything i gave you. coming back to me. how did i not see that. how. did i sit here soaking in the idea that no one else would love me that way. when it was i that taught you. when it was i that showed you how to fill. the way i needed to be filled. how cruel i was to myself. giving you credit for my warmth simply because you had felt it. thinking it was you who gave me strength. wit. beauty. simply because you recognized it. as if i was already not these things before i met you. as if i did not remain all these things after you left.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
She looked so beautiful in the moonlight, but it wasn't only the way she looked, it was what was inside her, everything from her intelligence and courage to her wit, and the special smile she gave only to him. He would slay a dragon, if there were such a thing, just to see that smile. He knew he would never want anyone else for as long as he lived. He would rather spend the rest of his life alone than with someone else. There could be no one else.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour towards creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (Enemies: A Love Story)
The scene I had just witnessed (a couple making love in the ocean) brought back a lot of memories – not of things I had done but of things I had failed to do, wasted hours and frustrated moments and opportunities forever lost because time had eaten so much of my life and I would never get it back. I envied Yeoman and felt sorry for myself at the same time, because I had seen him in a moment that made all my happiness seem dull.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
Who hurt you, once, so far beyond repair that you would meet each overture with curling lip? While we, who knew you well, your friends, (the focus of your scorn) could see your courage in the face of fear, your wit, and thoughtfulness, and will remember you with something close to love.
Louise Penny (Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6))
The conclusion I have reached is that, above all, dogs are witnesses. They are allowed access to our most private moments. They are there when we think we are alone. Think of what they could tell us. They sit on the laps of presidents. They see acts of love and violence, quarrels and feuds, and the secret play of children. If they could tell us everything they have seen, all of the gaps of our lives would stitch themselves together.
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
I had once read, in one of those pre-plague books in the library, that love was bearing witness. That it was the act of watching someone's life, of simply being there to say: you're life is worth seeing.
Anna Carey (Eve (Eve, #1))
In the whole history of the world there is but one thing that money cannot buy...to wit--the wag of a dog's tail.
Josh Billings
And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy, I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am -- Death's justice.
R.L. LaFevers (Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2))
Well, in that hit you miss. She'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit, And, in strong proff of chastity well armed, From Love's weak childish bow she lives uncharmed. She will not stay the siege of loving terms, Nor bide th' encounter of assailing eyes, Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold. O, she is rich in beauty; only poor That, when she dies, with dies her store. Act 1,Scene 1, lines 180-197
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
But when two people feel something, they ought to respect that enough to figure it out
Nora Roberts (The Witness)
He was my equal in beauty, a paragon of grace and charm, sparkling with wit, and burning with love. I adored him to distraction, to the point of idolatry: I loved him as one can never love twice.
Voltaire (Candide)
I knew you were all smitten and shit, but fuck, you really do love this guy." The smirk in Darren's voice was obvious. And annoying. "Aw, come on, admit it - you feel like Cinderella, don't you?" "No, Darren, I don't. And do you know why?" "No sugar, tell me why." "Because I'm a man. I've got a big fat one and I like to fuck other guys." Darren was laughing over the phone now, and it made Reece grin. "And Ben isn't a prince, he's a cop. A big, sexy cop who fucks like a machine. He's a man. I'm a man. We're men." He nodded sharply. "Now fuck off. I'm arranging flowers.
L.A. Gilbert (Witness)
Think about it: virtually every atrocity in the history of humankind was enabled by a populace that turned away from a reality that seemed too painful to face, while virtually every revolution for peace and justice has been made possibly by a group of people who chose to bear witness and demanded that others bear witness as well.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
I no longer believe in love," she said bitterly. "When people claim to have lost their heart, it's usually only their wits that have vanished.
Peter Prange (The Philosopher's Kiss)
Grief is visceral, not reasonable: the howling at the center of grief is raw and real. It is love in its most wild form.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Dearly beloved," Father Bruce began, "we are gathered here to witness the union of Nick and Harper as they pledge their love an devotion to each other for what we hope is the last time, because I don't know about you people, but I don't think any of us should have to go through this again.
Kristan Higgins (My One and Only)
Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other's hearts in prayer.
Charles Grandison Finney
Eve: “If you ended up naked and dead with another woman, I'd do the Rumba on your corpse.” Roarke: “You can't do the Rumba.” Eve: “I'd take lessons first.” Roarke: “You might very well. Not that you'll ever get the chance, but you'd also grieve.” Eve: “Wouldn't give you the satisfaction. You cheating f-wit putz. " Roarke: “You'd weep in the dark and call my name.” Eve: “Call your name alright. How are things in hell? You dickless bastard. And I'd laugh and laugh, that's how I''d call your name.” Roarke: “Christ Jesus Eve, I love you.” --Eve, Roarke
J.D. Robb (Divided in Death (In Death, #18))
Some grief shows much of love, But much of grief shows still some want of wit.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion...is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness)
The Phoenix burns and rebirths from the ashes in the absence of need for witness, acceptance, understanding or belief.
Truth Devour (Unrequited (Wantin #2))
If, as a culture, we don’t bear witness to grief, the burden of loss is placed entirely upon the bereaved, while the rest of us avert our eyes and wait for those in mourning to stop being sad, to let go, to move on, to cheer up. And if they don’t — if they have loved too deeply, if they do wake each morning thinking, I cannot continue to live — well, then we pathologize their pain; we call their suffering a disease. We do not help them: we tell them that they need to get help.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
They drew a line that shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout! But love and I had the wit to win We drew a circle and brought them in.
Edwin Markham
I have drunk the night and swallowed the stars. I am dancing with abandon and singing with rapture. There is not a thing I do not love. There is not a person I have not forgiven. I feel a universe of love. I feel a universe of light. Tonight, I am with old friends and we are returning home. The moon is our witness.
Kamand Kojouri
When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we're capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I'm trying for that. But I'm also trying for the language. I'm trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for wate it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language.
Maya Angelou
Jamie was more than just the woman I loved. In the year Jamie helped me become the man I am today. With her steady hand she showed how important it was to help others; with her patience and kindness she showed me what life really is all about. Her cheerfulness and optimism, even in times of sickness, was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed . . . Jamie also thought me the value of forgiveness and the transforming power it offers . . . Jamie was not only the angel who saved Tom Thornton, she was the angel who saved us all.
Nicholas Sparks
The confessing church of American Ragamuffins needs to join Magdalene and Peter in witnessing that Christianity is not primarily a moral code but a grace-laden mystery; it is not essentially a philosophy of love but a love affair; it is not keeping rules with clenched fists but receiving a gift with open hands.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
as they die, the ones we love, we lose our witnesses, our watchers, those who know and understand the tiny little meaningless patterns, those words drawn in water with a stick. And there is nothing left but the endless flow.
Anne Rice
there's no forsaking what you love no existential leap as witnessed here in time and blood a thousand kisses deep
Leonard Cohen
When someone you love dies, you don't just lose them in the present or in the past. You lose the future you should have had, and might have had, with them. They are missing from all the life that was to be.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
And sometimes when you witness a miracle it makes you believe that anything is possible.
Cecelia Ahern (How to Fall in Love)
startling! such determination in the dull and uninspired and the copyists. they never lose the fierce gratitude for their uneventfulness, nor do they forget to laugh at the wit of slugs; as a study in diluted senses they'd make any pharaoh cough up his beans; in music they prefer the monotony of dripping faucets; in love and sex they prefer each other and therefore compound the problem; the energy with which they propel their uselessness (without any self-doubt) toward worthless goals is as magnificent as cow shit. they produce novels, children, death, freeways, cities, wars, wealth, poverty, politicians and total areas of grandiose waste; it's as if the whole world is wrapped in dirty bandages. it's best to take walks late at night. it's best to do your business only on Mondays and Tuesdays. it's best to sit in a small room with the shades down and wait. the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too.
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
Elephants? Really? My God, what does he see in you? Certainly not your intellect or wit, since we’ve yet to see any evidence it exists. And your idea of a love scene? So Disney, so Family Channel, so dreadfully boring. Really, Ever, may I remind you that Damen’s been around for hundreds of years, including the free-love sixties?
Alyson Noel (Evermore (The Immortals, #1))
I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
We sensible often resist intrusive love and its chaos practically, employing measures to prevent the former for fear of the latter. But for all our wit and work, that desperation for control also prevents the pure, transcendental freedom more often delivered by both.
Tiffany Madison
The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.
Andy Rooney (Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit)
One says the things which one feels the need to say, and which the other will not understand: one speaks for oneself alone.
Marcel Proust
We are told to remember the idea and not the man. Because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten. But 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I have witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I've seen people kill in the name of them. But you cannot kiss an idea... cannot touch it or hold it. Ideas do not bleed. They do not feel pain. They do not love. And it is not an idea that I miss. It is a man. A man that made me remember the 5th of November. A man that I will never forget.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Whoever declared that love at first sight doesn’t exist has never witnessed the purity of a puppy or looked deep into a puppy’s eyes. If they did, their lives would change considerably.
Elizabeth Parker (Paw Prints in the Sand)
The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of. Bear figs for a season or two, and the world outside the orchard is very unwilling you should bear thistles.
Kate Douglas Wiggin (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm)
I am running and singing and when it’s raining I’m the only one left on the open street, smiling with my eyes fixed on the sky because it’s cleaning me. I’m the one on the other side of the party, hearing laughter and the emptying of bottles while I peacefully make my way to the river, a lonely road, following the smell of the ocean. I’m the one waking up at 4am to witness the sunrise, where the sky touches the sea, and I hold my elbows, grasping tight to whatever I’ve made of myself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I thought about the future, the oceans and continents he would cross, far away from everyone who knew and loved him. Far outside the sphere of his mothers prayers. Among the women of the future, there was one who would know his secrets and bear his children, and witness the changes the years worked on him. And it wouldnt be me. -Liberty Jones
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
To you, death does not simply end life. It steals away the sunsets you'll never see, the children you'll never hold, the wife you'll never love. It's frightening to almost lose your future, and it's heartbreaking to witness death snuff out other people's tomorrows.
Robert Liparulo (Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings, #3))
Tessa exploded "I am not asking you to maul me in the Whispering Gallery! By the Angel, Will, would you stop being so polite?!" He looked at her in amazement. "But wouldn't you rather-" "I would not rather. I don't want you to be polite! I want you to be Will! I don't want you to indicate points of architectural interest to me as if you were a Baedecker guide! I want you to say dreadfully mad, funny things, and make up songs and be-" The Will I fell in love with, she almost said. "And be Will," she finished instead. "Or I shall strike you with my umbrella." "I am trying to court you," Will said in exasperation. "Court you properly. That's what all this has been about. You know that, don't you?" "Mr. Rochester never courted Jane Eyre," Tessa pointed out. "No, he dressed up as a woman and terrified the poor girl out of her wits. Is that what you want?" "You would make a very ugly woman." "I would not. I would be stunning." Tessa laughed. "There," she said. "There is Will. Isn't that better? Don't you think so?" "I don't know," Will said, eyeing her. I'm afraid to answer that. I've heard that when I speak, it makes American women wish to strike me with umbrellas." Tessa laughed again, and then they were both laughing, their smothered giggles bouncing off the walls of the Whispering Gallery. After that, things were decidedly easier between them, and Will's smile when he helped her down from the carriage on their return home, was bright and real.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
You do not have to see the air to know you breathe it. You do not have to see the truth to believe it and you do not have to have witnessed love to feel it.
Kathryn Smith (Taken by the Night (Brotherhood of Blood, #3))
I cannot live with someone who can't live without me.
Nadine Gordimer (The Quotable Gordimer; or, The Wit and Wisdom of Nadine Gordimer)
A lot of Christians like to remind me that heaven is my true home, which makes me want to ask them if they would like to go home first.
Kate Bowler (Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved)
Tonight we're going to listen to this." She skips ahead to "Mute Witness" and hits repeat. "What we do tonight will be stored in this song. Every time I put it on from now on I'll feel exactly like now. So if you die, I can still have you
Gunnar Ardelius (I Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You to Bits)
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV)
Anonymous (Holy Bible: The New King James Version)
It was inside me. The more I sought it, the stronger it grew. It loved me. Loved me even if I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't love myself. Love me even if I hated. It set its tiny teeth in my soul and braced and held so that I couldn't crawl any further. And when I tried, a howl of despair burst from it, searing me, forbidding me to break so sacred trust. It was Smithy.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice. If we have brains or courage, then we are blessed and called on not to frit these qualities away, standing agape at the ideas of others, winning pissing contests, improving the efficiencies of the neocorporate state, or immersing ourselves in obscuranta, but rather to prove the vigor of our talents against the strongest opponents of love we can find. If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers. Let it be with similar types whos hearts and heads we may be proud of. Let our grandchildren delight to find the start of our stories in their ears but the endings all around in their wandering eyes. The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.
Julian Assange
So what can we really do for each other except--just love each other and be each other's witness? And haven't we got the right to hope--for more? So that we can really stretch into whoever we really are?
James Baldwin (Another Country)
Nico: I love you. Percy: What? Nico: Did you say something Jason? Jason: What? Nico: You just said you love Percy? Jason: Wait, what? No, I didn't, wait, Percy: Dude. What the Tartarus? Jason: No, Nico's the one who loves you. Nico: *Pushes Jason off the Argo ll* Percy: Did he just- Nico: No proof. Percy: But he just- Nico: No witnesses. Percy: But he just said- Jason: *Flying* Did you just push me off the ship???
Google
I wrapped my hands around his ribs as he kissed me passionately. There were no cameras, no directors, no witnesses - just Ryan and I and our raw, unscripted emotions.
Tina Reber (Love Unscripted (Love, #1))
You still love me.” “Every fucking second I breathe. I will love you the rest of my life, December Howard, whether or not you’re around to witness it.
Rebecca Yarros (Full Measures (Flight & Glory, #1))
I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage: but doth not the appetite alter? a man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
William Shakespeare
She had witnessed the world's most beautiful things, and allowed herself to grow old and unlovely. She had felt the heat of a leviathan's roar, and the warmth within a cat's paw. She had conversed with the wind and had wiped soldier's tears. She had made people see, she'd seen herself in the sea. Butterflies had landed on her wrists, she had planted trees. She had loved, and let love go. So she smiled.
Sonya Hartnett (The Ghost's Child)
I'll show up and stand humble in the face of a loved one's pain. I'll admit I'm as empty-handed, dumb-struck, and out of ideas as she is. I won't try to make sense of things or require more than she can offer. I won't let my discomfort with her pain keep me from witnessing it for her. I'll never try to grab or fix her pain, because I know that for as long as it takes, her pain will also be her comfort. It will be all she has left. Grief is love's souvenir. It's our proof that we once loved... So, I'll just show up and sit quietly with her.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
We must be grateful every time we witness a new morning, feel the touch of a loved one, or are blessed with the briefest sound of life.
Rodi Szoke
I chase goals, not girls.
Amit Kalantri
One of the things I love about God's Word is that it has no expiration date.
Patsy Clairmont (Kaleidoscope: Seeing God's Wit and Wisdom in a Whole New Light)
I've been stimulated and made love to, but never have I craved the darkness that I witnessed in him.
Ella Frank (Blind Obsession)
No wonder people took sex so seriously, or not seriously enough at all. Sex addled your wits and stole your body. It was like being lost and found all at once.
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
My love is such that rivers cannot quench
Anne Bradstreet (The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, Or, Severall Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight: Wherein Especially Is Contained a Compleat Discourse and Description of the Four Elements, Constitutions, Ages of Man, ...)
There are essentially three types of people: those who love life more than they fear it, those who fear life more than they love it, and those who have no clue what I'm talking about.
Neel Burton
Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church. Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him, and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it's pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church. You confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you, and do it well, and you will have done enough.... Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Maybe I was praying for him then, in my own way. Does God have a set way of prayer, a way that He expects each of us to follow? I doubt it. I believe some people-- lots of people-- pray through the witness of their lives, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people and receive from people. Since when are words the only acceptable form of prayer?
Dorothy Day
Whatever his elders told him to do, he did. They told him to look before he leaped, and he always looked before he leaped. They told him never to put off until the next day what he could do the day before, and he never did. He was told to honor his father and his mother, and he honored his father and his mother. He was told that he should not kill, and he did not kill, until he got into the Army. Then he was told to kill, and he killed. He turned the other cheek on every occasion and always did unto others exactly as he would have had others do unto him. When he gave to charity, his left hand never knew what his right hand was doing. He never once took the name of the Lord his God in vain, committed adultery or coveted his neighbor's ass. In fact, he loved his neighbor and never even bore false witness against him. Major Major's elders disliked him because he was such a flagrant nonconformist.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
I did not think you would be angry, Jem burst out, and it was like ice cracking across a frozen waterfall, freeing a torrent. We were engaged, Tessa. A proposal-an offer of marriage-is a promise. A promise to love and care for someone always. I did not mean to break mine to you. But it was that or die. I wanted to wait, to be married to you and live wit you for years, but that wasn't possible. I was dying too fast. I would have given it up-all of it up-to be married to you for a day. A day that would never have come. You are a reminder-a reminder of everything I am losing. The life I will not have.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
marriage is foremost a vocation. Two people are called together to fulfill a mission that God has given them. Marriage is a spiritual reality. That is to say, a man and a woman come together for life, not just because they experience deep love for each other, but because they believe that God loves each of them with an infinite love and has called them to each other to be living witnesses of that love. To love is to embody God's infinite love in a faithful communion with another human being.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Here and Now: Living in the Spirit)
Nothing will uproot your life more violently than true love—at least as far as I’ve always witnessed.
Elizabeth Gilbert (City of Girls)
The great man say that life is pain," Coydog had said over eighty-five years before. "That mean if you love life, then you love the hurt come along wit' it. Now, if that ain't the blues, I don't know what is.
Walter Mosley (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey)
When Vanity kissed Vanity, a hundred happy Junes ago, he pondered o'er her breathlessly, and, that all men might ever know, he rhymed her eyes with life and death: "Thru Time I'll save my love!" he said. . . yet Beauty vanished with his breath, and, with her lovers, she was dead. . . -Ever his wit and not her eyes, ever his art and not her hair: "Who'd learn a trick in rhyme, be wise and pause before his sonnet there". . . So all my words, however true, might sing you to a thousandth June, and no one ever know that you were Beauty for an afternoon.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
I was actually permitting myself to experience a sickening sense of disappointment: but rallying my wits, and recollecting my principles, I at once called my sensations to order; and it was wonderful how I got over the temporary blunder--how I cleared up the mistake of supposing Mr. Rochester's movements a matter in which I had any cause to take vital interest. Not that I humbled myself by a slavish notion of inferiority: on the contrary, I just said-- "You have nothing to do with the master of Thornfield further than to receive the salary he gives you for teaching his protegee and to be grateful for such respectful and kind treatment as, if you do your duty, you have a right to expect at his hands. Be sure that is the only tie he seriously acknowledges between you and him, so don't make him the object of your fine feelings, your raptures, agonies, and so forth. He is not of your order: keep to your caste; and be too self-respecting to lavish the love of the whole heart, soul, and strength, where such a gift is not wanted and would be despised.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
There has never been any forbidden fruit. Only temptation is divine. To feel the need to vary the object of this temptation, to replace it by others — this bears witness that one is about to be found unworthy, that one has already doubtless proved unworthy of innocence …
André Breton (Mad Love)
I have eavesdropped with impunity on the lives of people who do not exist. I have peeped shamelessly into hearts and bathroom closets. I have leaned over shoulders to follow the movements of quills as they write love letters, wills and confessions. I have watched as lovers love, murderers murder and children play their make-believe. Prisons and brothels have opened their doors to me; galleons and camel trains have transported me across sea and sand; centuries and continents have fallen away at my bidding. I have spied upon the misdeeds of the mighty and witnessed the nobility of the meek. I have bent so low over sleepers in their beds that they might have felt my breath on their faces. I have seen their dreams.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
Do you think I'd leave you alone when you're twisted up like this? I tell you I love you, and it feels like I broke your heart." "No one has ever said that to me. In my life, no one's ever said those words to me." "I'm making you a promise right here that you'll hear them from me every day.
Nora Roberts (The Witness)
I want to take ye to bed. In my bed. And I mean to spend the rest of the day thinking what to do wit ye once I got ye there. So wee Archie can just go and play at marbles with his bollucks, aye?
Diana Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5))
Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried. Survival in grief, even eventually building a new life alongside grief, comes with the willingness to bear witness, both to yourself and to the others who find themselves inside this life they didn’t see coming. Together, we create real hope for ourselves, and for one another. We need each other to survive. I wish this for you: to find the people you belong with, the ones who will see your pain, companion you, hold you close, even as the heavy lifting of grief is yours alone. As hard as they may seem to find at times, your community is out there. Look for them. Collect them. Knit them into a vast flotilla of light that can hold you.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
She had learnt a painful lesson, she thought – that as they die, the ones we love, we lose our witnesses, our watchers, those who know and understand the tiny little meaningless patterns, those words drawn in water with a stick. And there is nothing left but the endless flow.
Anne Rice (The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1))
Where are you going, Master?' cried Sam, though at last he understood what was happening. 'To the Havens, Sam,' said Frodo. 'And I can't come.' 'No, Sam. Not yet, anyway, not further than the Havens. Though you too were a Ring-bearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.' 'But,' said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, 'I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too, for years and years, after all you have done.' 'So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them. But you are my heir: all that I had and might have had I leave to you. And also you have Rose, and Elanor; and Frodo-lad will come, and Rosie-lass, and Merry, and Goldilocks, and Pippin; and perhaps more that I cannot see. Your hands and your wits will be needed everywhere. You will be the Mayor, of course, as long as you want to be, and the most famous gardener in history; and you will read things out of the Red Book, and keep alive the memory of the age that is gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger, and so love their beloved land all the more. And that will keep you as busy and as happy as anyone can be, as long as your part in the Story goes on. 'Come now, ride with me!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
So what is it in a human life that creates bravery, kindness, wisdom, and resilience? What if it's pain? What if it's the struggle?... The bravest people I know are those who've walked through the fire and come out on the other side. They are those who've overcome, not those who've had nothing to overcome. .. (P)eople who are hurting don't need Avoiders, Protectors, or Fixers. What we need are patient, loving witnesses. People to sit quietly and hold space for us. People to stand in helpless vigil to our pain.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers. Are people like that? I wondered. Am I like that? Always me, like the river itself, always flowing but always different, like the water flowing in the river, sometimes walking steadily along andante, sometimes surging over rapids furioso, sometimes meandering wit hardly any visible movement tranquilo, lento, ppp pianissimo, sometimes gurgling giacoso with pleasure, sometimes sparkling brillante in the sun, sometimes lacrimoso, sometimes appassionato, sometimes misterioso, sometimes pesante, sometimes legato, sometimes staccato, sometimes sospirando, sometimes vivace, and always, I hope, amoroso. Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Along my journey I have seen the horrors that humans can inflict on one another, but I've also witnessed acts of tenderness and kindness and sacrifice in the worst imaginable circumstances. I know that it is possible to lose part of your humanity in order to survive. But I also know that the spark of human dignity is never completely extinguished, and that given the oxygen of freedom and the power of love, it can grow again.
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
I've said it before, love, an Im sorry I have to say it again, but you do not understand the choices I have to make.. You don't know what I've seen and what I'm forced to witness every single day." He hesitates. "And I wouldn't want you to. But do not presume to understand my actions, because if you do, I can assure you You'll only be met with disappoint. And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I'll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save. But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country--to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world--and appear to have become too timid to question what we are told. Our failure to trust one another deeply enough to be able to talk to one another has become so great that people with these questions in their hearts do not speak them; our opulence is so pervasive that people who are afraid to lose whatever they think they have persuade themselves of the truth of a lie, and help disseminate it; and God help the innocent here, that man or womn who simply wants to love, and be loved. Unless this would-be lover is able to replace his or her backbone with a steel rod, he or she is doomed. This is no place for love. I know that I am now expected to make a bow in the direction of those millions of unremarked, happy marriages all over America, but I am unable honestly to do so because I find nothing whatever in our moral and social climate--and I am now thinking particularly of the state of our children--to bear witness to their existence. I suspect that when we refer to these happy and so marvelously invisible people, we are simply being nostalgic concerning the happy, simple, God-fearing life which we imagine ourselves once to have lived. In any case, wherever love is found, it unfailingly makes itself felt in the individual, the personal authority of the individual. Judged by this standard, we are a loveless nation. The best that can be said is that some of us are struggling. And what we are struggling against is that death in the heart which leads not only to the shedding of blood, but which reduces human beings to corpses while they live.
James Baldwin (nothing personal)
The growing number of gated communities in our nation is but one example of the obsession with safety. With guards at the gate, individuals still have bars and elaborate internal security systems. Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security. When I have stayed with friends in these communities and inquired as to whether all the security is in response to an actual danger I am told “not really," that it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness. Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally. White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat. " This is what the worship of death looks like.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Sonnet 23 As an unperfect actor on the stage, Who with his fear is put besides his part, Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage, Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart; So I, for fear of trust, forget to say The perfect ceremony of love's rite, And in mine own love's strength seem to decay, O'ercharg'd with burden of mine own love's might. O, let my books be then the eloquence And dumb presagers of my speaking breast; Who plead for love, and look for recompense, More than that tongue that more hath more express'd. O, learn to read what silent love hath writ: To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
Being salt and light demands two things: we practice purity in the midst of a fallen world and yet we live in proximity to this fallen world. If you don't hold up both truth in tension, you invariably becomes useless and separated from the world God loves.
David Kinnaman (Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters)
Beauty without wit offers love nothing but the material enjoyment of its physical charms, whilst witty ugliness captivates by the charms of the mind, and at last fulfills all the desires of the man it has captivated... Let anyone ask a beautiful woman without wit whether she would be willing to exchange a small portion of her beauty for a sufficient dose of wit. If she speaks the truth, she will say, "No, I am satisfied to be as I am." But why is she satisfied? Because she is not aware of her own deficiency. Let an ugly but witty woman be asked if she would change her wit against beauty, and she will not hesitate in saying no. Why? Because, knowing the value of her wit, she is well aware that it is sufficient by itself to make her a queen in any society.
Giacomo Casanova (The Memoirs of Casanova, Vol 2 of 6: To Paris and Prison)
He'll behave. He has a mien and manners of a prince." "Oh, like you?" "I resent your tone." "I'm not sure you can control him." "Has he ever aught but the gentlest of creatures? Would you deny your namesake the chance to bear witness to our victorious celebration? And, of course, to the vision of you and Kestrel: side by side, Herrani and Valorian, a love for the ages. The stuff of songs, Arin! How you'll get married, and make babies --" "Gods, Roshar, shut up.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
He had let me know time after time that he was a thinking man, a man of intellect and wit. Yet one unintended hungry look into my eyes and he betrayed each of his words he had carefully spoken to me. I knew it in that instant. He was a viscerally driven man. And one day, he would possess me.
Coco J. Ginger
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
Sometimes I feel like a funny-looking rock in the middle of the most beautiful clear ocean when I read the kinds of things you write to me. You love so much bigger than yourself, bigger than everything. I can’t believe how lucky I am to even witness it—to be the one who gets to have it, and so much of it, is beyond luck and feels like fate. Catholic God made me to be the person you write those things about. I’ll say five Hail Marys. Muchas gracias, Santa Maria.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
He remembered having said to his uncle (with a solemn dogmatism better befitting a much younger man): "Surely it is possible to love with the head as well as the heart." Mr. Delagardie had replied, somewhat drily: "No doubt; so long as you do not end by thinking with your entrails instead of your brain.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #11))
Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them. Make sure they are somebody who lets you cry, too. Despair will come. Find someone that you want to be there with you through those times. Most importantly, marry the one that makes passion, love, and madness combine and course through you. A love that will never dilute - even when the waters get deep, and dark.
N'tima
I’ve witnessed, incognito, the gradual collapse of my life, the slow foundering of all I wanted to be. I can say, with a truth that needs no flowers to show it’s dead, that there’s nothing I’ve wanted - and nothing in which I’ve placed, even for a moment, the dream of only that moment - that hasn’t disintegrated below my windows like a clod of dirt that resembled stone until it fell from a flowerpot on a high balcony. It would even seem that Fate has always tried to make me love or want things just so that it could show me, on the very next day, that I didn’t have and could never have them.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
It’s this strangling fear that we’ll be sitting there and we’ll run out of something to say and I’ll be able to witness the exact moment someone falls out of love with me because I don’t have enough substance to keep a conversation alive over a meal. Why would you want to talk to me for the rest of your life?
Becky Albertalli (What If It's Us (What If It's Us #1))
It is not enough for a Christian to condemn evil, cowardice, lies, and use of force, hatred, and oppression. He must at all times be a witness to and defender of justice, goodness, truth, freedom, and love. He must never tire of claiming these values as a right both for himself and others.
Jerzy Popiełuszko
There was no sense to life, to the structure of things. D.H. Lawrence had known that. You needed love, but not the kind of love most people used and were used up by. Old D.H. had known something. His buddy Huxley was just an intellectual fidget, but what a marvelous one. Better than G.B. Shaw with that hard keel of a mind always scraping bottom, his labored wit finally only a task, a burden on himself, preventing him from really feeling anything, his brilliant speech finally a bore, scraping the mind and the sensibilities. It was good to read them all though. It made you realize that thoughts and words could be fascinating, if finally useless.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, For they in thee a thousand errors note; But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise, Who in despite of view is pleased to dote; Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted, Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone, Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited To any sensual feast* with thee alone*: But my five wits* nor my five senses can Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee, Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man*, Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be: Only my plague thus far I count my gain, That she that makes me sin awards me pain.
William Shakespeare
Tegularius was a willful, moody person who refused to fit into his society. Every so often he would display the liveliness of his intellect. When highly stimulated he could be entrancing; his mordant wit sparkled and he overwhelmed everyone with the audacity and richness of his sometimes somber inspirations. But basically he was incurable, for he did not want to be cured; he cared nothing for co-ordination and a place in the scheme of things. He loved nothing but his freedom, his perpetual student status, and preferred spending his whole life as the unpredictable and obstinate loner, the gifted fool and nihilist, to following the path of subordination to the hierarchy and thus attaining peace. He cared nothing for peace, had no regard for the hierarchy, hardly minded reproof and isolation. Certainly he was a most inconvenient and indigestible component in a community whose idea was harmony and orderliness. But because of this very troublesomeness and indigestibility he was, in the midst of such a limpid and prearranged little world, a constant source of vital unrest, a reproach, an admonition and warning, a spur to new, bold, forbidden, intrepid ideas, an unruly, stubborn sheep in the herd.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
There may be humane masters, as there certainly are inhuman ones—there may be slaves well-clothed, well-fed, and happy, as there surely are those half-clad, half-starved and miserable; nevertheless, the institution that tolerates such wrong and inhumanity as I have witnessed, is a cruel, unjust, and barbarous one. Men may write fictions portraying lowly life as it is, or as it is not—may expatiate with owlish gravity upon the bliss of ignorance—discourse flippantly from arm chairs of the pleasures of slave life; but let them toil with him in the field—sleep with him in the cabin—feed with him on husks; let them behold him scourged, hunted, trampled on, and they will come back with another story in their mouths. Let them know the heart of the poor slave—learn his secret thoughts—thoughts he dare not utter in the hearing of the white man; let them sit by him in the silent watches of the night—converse with him in trustful confidence, of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and they will find that ninety-nine out of every hundred are intelligent enough to understand their situation, and to cherish in their bosoms the love of freedom, as passionately as themselves.
Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave)
What I have learned from the year past is something about miracles--miracles of healing and answered prayer and unexpected happy endings. Each came quietly and simply, on tiptoe, so that I hardly knew it had occurred. All this makes me realize that miracles are everyday things. Not only the sudden, great good fortune, wafting in on a new wind from the sky. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same. Every time something hard becomes easier; every time you adjust to a situation which, last week, you didn't know existed; every time a kindness falls as softly as the dew; or someone you love who was ill grows better; every time a blessing comes, not with trumpet and fanfare, but silently as night, you have witnessed a miracle.
Faith Baldwin (Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart)
I love airports. I’m fascinated by how an airport runs seamlessly as one huge well-oiled machine, and to watch how, when things go wrong, as they do all the time, all those little crises are fixed by people running around like the T-cells of a mammalian immune system dealing with infections before they have chance to get out of control.
Oliver Dowson (There's No Business Like International Business: Business Travel – But Not As You Know It)
Indeed, the capacity to tolerate uncertainty is a prerequisite for the profession. Though the public may believe that therapists guide patients systematically and sure-handedly through predictable stages of therapy to a foreknown goal, such is rarely the case: instead, as these stories bear witness, therapists frequently wobble, improvise, and grope for direction. The powerful temptation to achieve certainty through embracing an ideological school and a tight therapeutic system is treacherous: such belief may block the uncertain and spontaneous encounter necessary for effective therapy. This encounter, the very heart of psychotherapy, is a caring, deeply human meeting between two people, one (generally, but not always, the patient) more troubled than the other. Therapists have a dual role: they must both observe and participate in the lives of their patients. As observer, one must be sufficiently objective to provide necessary rudimentary guidance to the patient. As participant, one enters into the life of the patient and is affected and sometimes changed by the encounter.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner)
When I was young, some women told me they loved me for my long eyelashes. I accepted. Later it was for my wit. Then for my power and money. Then for my talent. Then for my mind-deep. OK, I can handle all of it. The only woman who scares me is the one who loves me for myself alone. I have plans for her. I have poisons and daggers and dark graves in caves to hide her head. She can't be allowed to live. Especially if she's sexually faithful and never lies and always puts me ahead of everything and everyone.
Mario Puzo
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
Let's say someone has experienced a violent trauma or betrayal: a child has been raped by a parent or has witnessed the destruction of someone he loves or has been so traumatized by the possibility of beatings and punishments that he's afraid to act. If the trauma is great enough, that person's life may become frozen, emotionally frozen even though he still gets up in the morning, is busy all day, and goes to bed at night. But there's this empty space that begins to fill with rage, rage toward everyone - the perpetrator, the people in the world who haven't suffered, even toward himself. (174)
Stephen Dobyns (Boy in the Water)
Xavier wasn’t put on the earth to witness the bad htings like Jules and I were. He had been put here to notice lovely things, things that God had created and no one had any complaints about. Leaves turning red in the autumn. How when the tide goes out, the shells are left on the shore. I was put here - Jules and I were both put here - to see sadder things. We had to stand in the rain and explain why the world was a lovely place.
Heather O'Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals)
I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget…. I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness…. write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine…. I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Terry Tempest Williams (Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert)
In great cities, spaces as well as places are designed and built: walking, witnessing, being in public, are as much part of the design and purpose as is being inside to eat, sleep, make shoes or love or music. The word citizen has to do with cities, and the ideal city is organized around citizenship -- around participation in public life.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
She would walk through the kitchen at any hour, whenever she was hungry, and put her fork in the pots and eat a little of everything without placing anything on a plate, standing in front of the stove, talking to the serving women, who were the only ones with whom she felt comfortable, the ones she got along with best.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people -- amongst whom your life is passed -- that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people, whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire -- for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
Kazi of Brightmist...you are the love I didn't know I needed. You are the hand pulling me through the wilderness, The sun warming my face. You make me stronger, smarter, wiser. You are the compass that makes me a better man. With you by my side, no challenge will be too great. I vow to honor you, Kazi, and do all I can to be worthy of your love. I will never stumble in my devotion to you, and I vow to keep you safe always. My family is now your family, and your family, mine. You have not stolen my heart, but I give it freely, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my wife." He squeezed my hand. His brown eyes danced, just as they had the first time he spoke those vows to me. It was my turn now. I took a deep breath. Were any words enough? But I said the ones closest to my heart, the ones I had said in the wilderness and repeated almost daily when I lay in a dark cell, uncertain where he was but needing to believe I would see him again. "I love you, Jase Ballenger, and I will for all my days. You have brought me fullness where there was only hunger, You have given me a universe of stars and stories, Where there was emptiness. You've unlocked a part of me I was afraid to believe in, And made the magic of wish stalks come true. I vow to care for you, to protect you and everything that is yours. Your home is now my home, your family, my family. I will stand by you as a partner in all things. With you by my side, I will never lack for joy. I know life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes loss, but whatever paths we go down, I want every step to be with you. I want to grow old with you, Jase. Every one of my tomorrows is yours, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my husband.
Mary E. Pearson (Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2))
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
I'm not sure I even believe in marriage," Hadley says and he looks surprised. "Aren't you on your way to a wedding?" "Yeah," she says with a nod. "But that's what I mean." He looks at her blankly. "It shouldn't be this big fuss, where you drag everyone halfway across the world to witness your love. If you want to share your life together, fine. But it's between two people, and that should be enough. Why the big show? Why rub it in everyone's faces?" Oliver runs a hand along his jaw, obviously not quite sure what to think. "It sounds like its weddings you don't believe in," he says finally. "Not marriage." "I'm not such a big fan of either at the moment." "I don't know," he says. "I think they're kind of nice." "They're not," she insists. "They're all for show. You shouldn't need to prove anything if you really mean it. It should be a whole lot simpler than that. It should mean something." "I think it does," Oliver says quietly. "It's a promise." "I guess so," she says, unable to keep the sigh out of her voice. "But not everyone keeps that promise." she looks over toward the woman, still fast asleep. "Not everyone makes it fifty-two years, and if you do, it doesn't matter that you once stood in front of all those people and said that you would. The important part is that you had someone to stick by you all that time. Even when everything sucked.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. I want to grow really old with my wife, Annie, whom I dearly love. I want to see my younger children grow up and to play a role in their character and intellectual development. I want to meet still unconceived grandchildren. There are scientific problems whose outcomes I long to witness—such as the exploration of many of the worlds in our Solar System and the search for life elsewhere. I want to learn how major trends in human history, both hopeful and worrisome, work themselves out: the dangers and promise of our technology, say; the emancipation of women; the growing political, economic, and technological ascendancy of China; interstellar flight. If there were life after death, I might, no matter when I die, satisfy most of these deep curiosities and longings. But if death is nothing more than an endless dreamless sleep, this is a forlorn hope. Maybe this perspective has given me a little extra motivation to stay alive. The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
And yet he sometimes wondered if he could ever love anyone as much as he loved Jude. It was the fact of him, of course, but also the utter comfort of life with him, of having someone who had known him for so long and who could be relied upon to always take him as exactly who he was on that particular day. His work, his very life, was one of disguises and charades. Everything about him and his context was constantly changing: his hair, his body, where he would sleep that night. He often felt he was made of something liquid, something that was being continually poured from bright-colored bottle to bright-colored bottle, with a little being lost or left behind with each transfer. But his friendship with Jude made him feel that there was something real and immutable about who he was, that despite his life of guises, there was something elemental about him, something that Jude saw even when he could not, as if Jude's very witness of him made him real.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
He loved her for her wit, her cynicism, her deceptions. Less than lovable these seem to me now. They are both sly, Hugh and Margaret, they are socially awkward, easily embarrassed. But cold underneath, you may be sure, colder than us easy flirts with our charms and conquests. They do not reveal themselves. They will never admit to anything, never have to talk about anything, no, I could claw their skin and it would be my own fingers that would bleed. I could scream at them till my throat bursts and never alter their self-possession, change the look of their sly averted faces. Both blond, both easy blushers, both cold mockers. They have contempt for me. That is rubbish of course. Nothing for me. All for each other. Love.
Alice Munro
The Devil answer'd: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.
William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: In Full Color)
Gran, for the gods' love, it's talk like yours that starts riots!" I said keeping my voice down. "Will you just put a stopper in it?" She looked at me and sighed. "Girl, do you ever take a breath and wonder if folk don't put out bait for you? To see if you'll bite? You'll never get a man if you don't relax." My dear old Gran. It's a wonder her children aren't every one of them as mad as priests, if she mangles their wits as she mangles mine. "Granny, "I told her, "this is dead serious. I can't relax, no more than any Dog. I'm not shopping for a man. That's the last thing I need.
Tamora Pierce (Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2))
I love the prairie! So often I have seen the dawn come and the light flood over the land and everything turn radiant at once, that word "good" so profoundly affirmed in my soul that I am amazed I should be allowed to witness such a thing. There may have been a more wonderful first moment "when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy," but for all I know to the contrary, they still do sing and shout, and they certainly might well. Here on the prairie there is nothing to distract attention from the evening and the morning, nothing on the horizon to abbreviate or to delay. Mountains would seem an impertinence from that point of view.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead (Gilead, #1))
I think maybe, when I was very young, I witnessed a chaste cheek kiss between the two when it was impossible to avoid. Christmas, birthdays. Dry lips. On their best married days, their communications were entirely transactional: 'We're out of milk again.' (I'll get some today.) 'I need this ironed properly.' (I'll do that today.) 'How hard is it to buy milk?' (Silence.) 'You forgot to call the plumber.' (Sigh.) 'Goddammit, put on your coat, right now, and go out and get some goddamn milk. Now.' These messages and orders brought to you by my father, a mid-level phonecompany manager who treated my mother at best like an incompetent employee.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
A young man and woman walked past - a handsome young man and pretty young woman, the man in a seersucker suit and the woman in an old-fashioned summer dress - and they were walking a bit apart from one another with a space between them, and the man was looking straight ahead and the woman had her arms crossed against her chest, hugging herself, looking down at her feet, at her toes that peeked out the open fronts of her shoes, and they both had the same gleefully suppressed smile on their faces, and I knew that they were freshly in love, perhaps they had fallen in love having dinner in some restaurant with a garden or tables on the sidewalk, perhaps they had not even kissed yet, and they walked apart because they thought they had their whole lives to walk close together, touching, and wanted to anticipate the moment they touched for as long as possible, and they passed my without noticing me and Miro. Something about watching them made me sad. I think it was too lovely: the summer night, the open-toed shoes, their faces rapt with momentarily ramped-down joy. I felt I had witnessed their happiest moment, the pinnacle, and they were already walking away from it, but they did not know it.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Becoming aware of the intense suffering of billions of animals, and of our own participation in that suffering, can bring up painful emotions: sorrow and grief for the animals; anger at the injustice and deception of the system; despair at the enormity of the problem; fear that trusted authorities and institutions are, in fact, untrustworthy; and guilt for having contributed to the problem. Bearing witness means choosing to suffer. Indeed, empathy is literally 'feeling with.' Choosing to suffer is particularly difficult in a culture that is addicted to comfort--a culture that teaches that pain should be avoided whenever possible and that ignorance is bliss. We can reduce our resistance to witnessing by valuing authenticity over personal pleasure, and integration over ignorance.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
Wimsey stooped for an empty sardine-tin which lay, horribly battered, at his feet, and slung it idly into the quag. It struck the surface with a noise like a wet kiss, and vanished instantly. With that instinct which prompts one, when depressed, to wallow in every circumstance of gloom, Peter leaned sadly against the hurdles and abandoned himself to a variety of shallow considerations upon (1) The vanity of human wishes; (2) Mutability; (3) First love; (4) The decay of idealism; (5) The aftermath of the Great war; (6) Birth-control; and (7) The fallacy of free-will.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2))
So you think that you're a failure, do ya? Well, you probably are. What's wrong with that? In the first place, if you have any sense at all, we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail! But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues)
The spirit of bondage works by fear for the slave fears the rod: but love cries, Abba, Father; it disposes us to go to God, and behave ourselves towards God as children; and it gives us clear evidence of our union to God as His children, and so casts out fear. So that it appears that the witness of the Spirit the apostle speaks of, is far from being any whisper, or immediate suggestion or revelation; but that gracious holy effect of the Spirit of God in the hearts of the saints, the disposition and temper of children, appearing in sweet childlike love to God, which casts out fear or a spirit of a slave.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
It's nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more a leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavour would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, and the mattress, curved like a preacher's palm asking for witnesses in His name's sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don't have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud's eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
Lovers, forget your love, And list to the love of these, She a window flower, And he a winter breeze. When the frosty window veil Was melted down at noon, And the caged yellow bird Hung over her in tune, He marked her through the pane, He could not help but mark, And only passed her by, To come again at dark. He was a winter wind, Concerned with ice and snow, Dead weeds and unmated birds, And little of love could know. But he sighed upon the sill, He gave the sash a shake, As witness all within Who lay that night awake. Perchance he half prevailed To win her for the flight From the firelit looking-glass And warm stove-window light. But the flower leaned aside And thought of naught to say, And morning found the breeze A hundred miles away.
Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken and Other Poems)
I used to rush into strange dreams at night: dreams many-coloured, agitated, full of the ideal, the stirring, the stormy--dreams where, amidst unusual scenes, charged with adventure, with agitating risk and romantic chance, I still again and again met Mr. Rochester, always at some exciting crisis; and then the sense of being in his arms, hearing his voice, meeting his eye, touching his hand and cheek, loving him, being loved by him--the hope of passing a lifetime at his side, would be renewed, with all its first force and fire. Then I awoke. Then I recalled where I was, and how situated. Then I rose up on my curtainless bed, trembling and quivering; and then the still, dark night witnessed the convulsion of despair, and heard the burst of passion.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
[I]f the name of wife appears more sacred and more valid, sweeter to me is ever the word friend, or, if thou be not ashamed, concubine ... And thou thyself wert not wholly unmindful of that ... [as in the narrative of thy misfortunes] thou hast not disdained to set forth sundry reasons by which I tried to dissuade thee from our marriage, from an ill-starred bed; but wert silent as to many, in which I preferred love to wedlock, freedom to a bond. I call God to witness, if Augustus, ruling over the whole world, were to deem me worthy of the honour of marriage, and to confirm the whole world to me, to be ruled by me forever, dearer to me and of greater dignity would it seem to be called thy concubine than his empress.
Héloïse d'Argenteuil (The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse)
As more people have found the courage to break through shame and speak about woundedness in their lives, we are now subjected to a mean-spirited cultural response, where all talk of woundedness is mocked. The belittling of anyone's attempt to name a context within which they were wounded, were made a victim, is a form of shaming. It is psychological terrorism. Shaming breaks our hearts. All individuals who are genuinely seeking well-being within a healing context realize that it is important to that process not to make being a victim a stance of pride or a location from which to simply blame others. We need to speak our shame and our pain courageously in order to recover. Addressing woundedness is not about blaming others; however, it does allow individuals who have been, and are, hurt to insist on accountability and responsibility both from themselves and from those who were the agents of their suffering as well as those who bore witness. Constructive confrontation aids our healing.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Lost, I am Lost! My fates have doomed my death. The more I strive, I love; the more I love, The less I hope. I see my ruin, certain. What judgement or endeavors could apply To my incurable and restless wounds I throughly have examined, but in vain. Oh, that it were not in religion sin To make our love a god and worship it! I have even wearied heaven with prayers, dried up The spring of my continual tears, even starved My veins with daily fasts; what wit or art Could counsel, I have practiced. But, alas, I find all these but dreams and old men's tales To fright unsteady youth; I'm still the same. Or I must speak or burst. Tis not, I know, My lust, but tis my fate that leads me on. Keep fear and low fainthearted shame with slaves! I'll tell her that I love her, through my heart Were rated at the price of that attempt.
John Ford (Tis Pity She's A Whore)
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare & Company, archived statement]
George Whitman
Journalists can sound grandiose when they talk about their profession. Some of us are adrenaline junkies; some of us are escapists; some of us do wreck our personal lives and hurt those who love us most. This work can destroy people. I have seen so many friends and colleagues become unrecognizable from trauma: short-tempered, sleepless, and alienated from friends. But after years of witnessing so much suffering in the world, we find it hard to acknowledge that lucky, free, prosperous people like us might be suffering, too. We feel more comfortable in the darkest places than we do back home, where life seems too simple and too easy. We don’t listen to that inner voice that says it is time to take a break from documenting other people’s lives and start building our own. Under it all, however, are the things that sustain us and bring us together: the privilege of witnessing things that others do not; an idealistic belief that a photograph might affect people’s souls; the thrill of creating art and contributing to the world’s database of knowledge. When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
Last Will Prologue: We, Sacco and Vanzetti, sound of body and mind, Devise and bequeath to all we leave behind, The worldly wealth we inherited at our birth, Each one to share alike as we leave this earth. To Wit: To babies we will their mothers’ love, To youngsters we will the sun above. To spooners who wont to tryst the night, We give the moon and stars that shine so bright. To thrill them in their hours of joy, When boy hugs maid and maid hugs boy. To nature’s creatures we allot the spring and summer, To the doe, the bear, the gold-finch and the hummer. To the fishes we ascribe the deep blue sea, The honey we apportion to the bustling bee. To the pessimist—good cheer—his mind to sooth, To the chronic liar we donate the solemn truth. And Lastly: To those who judge solely seeking renown, With blaring trumpets of the fakir and clown; To the prosecutor, persecutor, and other human hounds, Who’d barter another’s honor, recognizing no bounds, To the Governor, the Jury, who another’s life they’d sell— We endow them with the fiery depths of HELL! (Industrial Worker, Aug. 20, 1927)
Nicola Sacco
My spirituality is most active, not in meditation, but in the moments when: I realize God may have gotten something beautiful done through me despite the fact that I am an asshole, and when I am confronted by the mercy of the gospel so much that I cannot hate my enemies, and when I am unable to judge the sin of someone else (which, let’s be honest, I love to do) because my own crap is too much in the way, and when I have to bear witness to another human being’s suffering despite my desire to be left alone, and when I am forgiven by someone even though I don’t deserve it and my forgiver does this because he, too, is trapped by the gospel, and when traumatic things happen in the world and I have nowhere to place them or make sense of them but what I do have is a group of people who gather with me every week, people who will mourn and pray with me over the devastation of something like a school shooting, and when I end up changed by loving someone I’d never choose out of a catalog but whom God sends my way to teach me about God’s love.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
Trippers and askers surround me, People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation, The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new, My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues, The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love, The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations, Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events; These come to me days and nights and go from me again, But they are not the Me myself. Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am, Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary, Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest, Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next, Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it. Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders, I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
The idea of love walked along the water and her gaze was full of absence and her eyes spat lighting. The impressionable evening received by turns the imprints of grasses, clouds, bodies, and wore crazy astronomical designs. The idea of love walked straight ahead without seeing anything; she was wearing tiny isosceles mirrors whose perfect assemblage was amazing. They were so many images of fish tails, when, by their angelic nature, they answer the promise one might make of always finding each other again. Finding each other again even in the depths of a forest, where the thread of a star is an articulation more silent than life, the dawn a liquor stronger than blood. Who is lost, who truly wanders off when a cup of coffee is steaming in the fog and waiters dressed in snow circulate patiently on the surface of floors whose desired height can be indicated with one's hands? Who? A solitary man whom the idea of love has just left and who tucks in his spirit like an imaginary bed. The man falls all the same and in the next room, under the moon-white verandah, a woman rises whom the idea of love has abandoned. The gravel weeps outside, a rain of glass is falling in which we recognize small chains, tears in which we have time to see ourselves, mirror tears, shards of windows, singular crystals like the ones we witness in our hand on awakening, leaves and the faded petals of those roses that once embelished certain distillery bottles. It's just that the idea of love, it seems angry with love. This is how it began.
André Breton
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show, That she (dear she) might take some pleasure of my pain; Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know; Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain; I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe, Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain; Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain. But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay; Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame study's blows; And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way. Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite, 'Fool,' said my muse to me; 'look in thy heart, and write.
Philip Sidney (Astrophel And Stella)
Here, witnessed by our Saints and our friends,” Genya said, “I speak words of both love and duty. It is not a chore but an honor to swear faith to you, to promise love to you, to offer my hand and my heart to you in this life and the next.” They were the traditional Ravkan words, spoken at the weddings of nobleman and peasant alike. The Grisha vows were very different. “We are soldiers,” David recited, low and shaky. He was unused to speaking in front of a crowd. “I will march with you in times of war. I will rest with you in times of peace. I will forever be the weapon in your hand, the fighter at your side, the friend who awaits your return.” His voice grew stronger and louder with every word. “I have seen your face in the making at the heart of the world and there is no one more beloved, Genya Safin, brave and unbreakable.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
Have faith that you are a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves you. Determine which of your divine gifts will allow you to be a champion for Christ. Realize that you have been sent to Earth with a divine mission that is yours to achieve. Let your knowledge come from the good parts of life that surround you. Choose to set high standards and defend them. Become a great woman by doing good. Always be on the Lord's errand. Leave your mark. Be true in every situation--even when no one is watching. Let your strength come from having high moral standards. Look to Him. Stand as His witness. Become a keeper of what matters most.
Emily Belle Freeman (Keepers of What Matters Most: A Young Woman's Guide for Living the Values)
I missed you, Kitten,” he growled. Then his mouth crushed over mine, his kiss more filled with raw need than romantic welcome. That was fine; I felt the same way. Aside from my compulsive urge to run my hands over him to assure myself that he was really here, relief, happiness, and the most profound feeling of rightness zoomed through me, settling all the way to my core. I hadn’t realized how deeply I’d missed Bones until that very moment, hadn’t let myself acknowledge how everything felt off when I was apart from him. On some levels, it was frightening how much a part of me he’d become. It let me know just how much I’d crumble if anything happened to him. “Why didn’t you answer your mobile earlier?” Bones murmured once he lifted his head. “I tried you several times. Tried Mencheres, too. Even Tepesh. None of you answered. Scared the wits out of me, so I stowed away on a FedEx plane to make sure you were all right.” “You came all the way from Ohio because I didn’t answer the phone?” I was torn between laughter and disbelief. “God, Bones, that’s a little crazy.” And it was, except the part of me that had had images of his tombstone dancing in my head because he hadn’t answered his phone earlier was nodding in complete understanding. Despite all our protestations, we were so alike when it came to fear over the other’s safety, and I doubted we’d ever change. “Crazy,” I repeated, my voice roughening with the surge of emotion in me. “And have I told you lately. that your crazy side . . . is your sexiest side?” He chuckled before his mouth swooped back over mine in another dizzying kiss. Then he picked me up, brushing past Vlad and Mencheres without even a hello, though I doubted either of them was surprised.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
There comes a time when those who flattered us and those whose wit and charm deceived us may leave us to our fate. Those are times when we want to be friends, good friends, common friends, loved ones, tied with immortal bonds--people who will nurse our illnesses, tolerate our eccentricities, and love us with pure, undefined affection. Then we need an unspoiled companion who will not count our wrinkles, remember our stupidities nor remember our weaknesses; then is when we need a loving companion with whom we have suffered and wept and prayed and worshipped; one with whom we have suffered sorrow and disappointments., one who loves us for what we are or intended to be rather than what we appear to be in our gilded shell.
Spencer W. Kimball
John Hay, in The Immortal Wilderness, has written: 'There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil, but you have to be willing to wait and receive.' Sometimes I hear it talking. The light of the sunflower was one language, but there are others more audible. Once, in the redwood forest, I heard a beat, something like a drum or a heart coming from the ground and trees and wind. That underground current stirred a kind of knowing inside me, a kinship and longing, a dream barely remembered that disappeared back to the body.... Tonight, I walk. I am watching the sky. I think of the people who came before me and how they knew the placement of the stars in the sky, watching the moving sun long and hard enough to witness how a certain angle of light touched a stone only once a year. Without written records, they knew the gods of every night, the small, fine details of the world around them and the immensity above them. Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating....It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
Linda Hogan (Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World)
It has been a hard and lonely life, she says, and a wonderful one, too. She has lived through wars, and fought in them, witnessed revolutions and rebirth. She has left her mark on a thousand works of art, like a thumbprint in the bottom of a drying bowl. She has seen marvels, and gone mad, has danced in snowbanks and frozen to death along the Seine. She fell in love with the darkness many times, fell in love with a human once. And she is tired. Unspeakably tired. But there is no question she has lived. 'Nothing is all good or all bad,' she says. 'Life is os much messier than that.' And there in the dark, he asks if it was really worth it. Were the instants of joy worth the stretches of sorrow? Were the moments of beauty worth the years of pain? And she turns her head, and looks at him, and says, 'Always.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
A dam inside my own heart opened up, and the feelings of heaviness and unease lifted like wind against the winter sky. I loved him. I loved his slow wit and his gruff demeanor and his tender disposition. I loved his endless empathy and his world-weary cynicism and his innocence. I loved that he was a walking, breathing paradox. I loved his lank hair and his iron earring and the tooth missing at the back of his mouth. I loved the way he laughed, music incomparable to any song, and the way he smiled, like you could see the child in him and the animal in him and the man in him all at once. I loved that he listened to crappy music, the kind that made me want to put my head through a wall, and I loved the charcoal stains on his knuckles and the pencils he tucked behind his ears. I loved that he told me to shut up as though I could actually say anything. I loved that he made me feel as though I could. I loved his short fingers and his rough palms and his long legs and his flat belly. I loved that he liked to read Kerouac but didn't know how to pronounce Kerouac. I loved his brown skin and his blue tattoos and his tempestuous blue eyes. I loved that he loved the land. I loved him. I loved him. Oh, God. I loved him.
Rose Christo (Looks Over (Gives Light, #2))
The He reaches out and lays His cold hand on my head, and His grace and understanding fill me, burning away all vestiges of d'Albret's evil darkness weighing on my soul until the only darkness that remains is that of beauty. The darkness of mystery, and questions, and the endless night sky, and the deep caverns of the earth. I know then that what Beast said was true: I am a survivor, and the taint of the d'Albrets was but a disguise I wore so that I could pass among them. It is no more a true part of me than the cloak on my back or the jewels I wear. And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy. I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am - Death's justice. If I had not experienced these things firsthand, then the desire to protect the innocent would not burn so brightly within me. There in the darkness, shielded by my father's grace, I bow my head and weep. I weep for all that I have lost, but also for what I have found, for there are tears of joy mixed in with those of sorrow. I let the light of His great love fill me, burning away all the tendrils and traces of d'Albret's darkness, until I am clean, and whole, and new.
R.L. LaFevers (Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2))
As I have pointed out before, characters are not born like people, of woman; they are born of a situation, a sentence, a metaphor containing in a nutshell a basic human possibility that the author thinks no one else has discovered or said something essential about. But isn't it true that an author can write only about himself? Staring impotently across a courtyard, at a loss for what to do; hearing the pertinacious rumbling of one's own stomach during a moment of love; betraying, yet lacking the will to abandon the glamorous path of betrayal; raising one's fist with the crowds in the Grand March; displaying one's wit before hidden microphones—I have known all these situations, I have experienced them myself, yet none of them has given rise to the person my curriculum vitae and I represent. The characters in my novels are my own unrealized possibilities. That is why I am equally fond of them all and equally horrified by them. Each one has crossed a border that I myself have circumvented. It is that crossed border (the border beyond which my own "I" ends) which attracts me most. For beyond that border begins the secret the novel asks about. The novel is not the author's confession; it is an investigation of human life in the trap the world has become.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
At the college where I teach, I'm surrounded by circus people. We aren't tightrope walkers or acrobats. We don't breathe fire or swallow swords. We're gypsies, moving wherever there's work to be found. Our scrapbooks and photo albums bear witness to our vagabond lives: college years, grad-school years, instructor-mill years, first-job years. In between each stage is a picture of old friends helping to fill a truck with boxes and furniture. We pitch our tents, and that place becomes home for a while. We make families from colleagues and students, lovers and neighbors. And when that place is no longer working, we don't just make do. We move on to the place that's next. No place is home. Every place is home. Home is our stuff. As much as I love the Cumberland Valley at twilight, I probably won't live there forever, and this doesn't really scare me. That's how I know I'm circus people.
Cathy Day (The Circus in Winter)
My sister Emily first declined. The details of her illness are deep-branded in my memory, but to dwell on them, either in thought or narrative, is not in my power. Never in all her life had she lingered over any task that lay before her, and she did not linger now. She sank rapidly. She made haste to leave us. Yet, while physically she perished, mentally, she grew stronger than we had yet known her. Day by day, when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with anguish of wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but, indeed, I have never seen her parallel in anything. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone. The awful point was, that, while full of ruth for others, on herself she had no pity; the spirit inexorable to the flesh; from the trembling hand, the unnerved limbs, the faded eyes, the same service exacted as they had rendered in health. To stand by and witness this, and not dare to remonstrate, was pain no words can render.
Charlotte Brontë
You know, I’ve never understood that. How being named for a woman’s nethers is somehow more grievous than any other insult. Seems to me calling someone after a man’s privates is worse. I mean, what do you picture when you hear a fellow called a cock?’ Tric shrugged, befuddled at the strange turn in conversation. ‘You imagine an oaf, don’t you?’ Mia continued. ‘Someone so full of wank there’s no room for wits. A slow-minded bastard who struts about full of spunk and piss, completely ignorant of how he looks to others.’ An exhalation of clove-sweet grey into the air between them. ‘Cock is just another word for “fool”. But you call someone a cunt, well …’ The girl smiled. ‘You’re implying a sense of malice there. An intent. Malevolent and self-aware. Don’t think I name Consul Scaeva a cunt to gift him insult. Cunts have brains, Don Tric. Cunts have teeth. Someone calls you a cunt, you take it as a compliment. As a sign that folk believe you’re not to be lightly fucked with.’ A shrug. ‘I think they call that irony.’ Mia sniffed, staring at the wastes laid out below them. ‘Truth is, there’s no difference between your nethers and mine. Aside from the obvious, of course. But one doesn’t carry any more weight than the other. Why should what’s between my legs be considered any smarter or stupider, any worse or better? It’s all just meat, Don Tric. In the end, it’s all just food for worms. Just like Duomo, Remus, and Scaeva will be.’ One last drag, long and deep, as if drawing the very life from her smoke. ‘But I’d still rather be called a cunt than a cock any turn.’ The girl sighed grey, crushed her cigarillo out with her boot heel. Spat into the wind. And just like that, young Tric was in love.
Jay Kristoff (Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1))
I ’ve often felt separate from other human beings. I have my moments of togetherness with others; I love all sentient beings with my heart and am wildly fortunate to have friends I can talk to, share joy and despair with; we loyally have each other’s back. I wordlessly communicate with other musicians, sometimes plumbing great depths. But I’m awkward with other people, sometimes even my closest friends. My mind wanders, seeing others hold hands in a circle, from my separate place. My earliest memories are rooted in an underlying sense that something’s wrong with me, that everyone else is clued into a group consciousness from which I’m excluded. Like something in me is broken. As time passes I become more comfortable with this strange sense of being apart, but it never leaves, and on occasion, I go through phases of intense and debilitating anxiety. Gnarly fucking panic attacks. Perhaps it is a form of self-loathing, that I’m often unable to find comfort in community. Am I the only one who’s fucked up like this? Can I get a witness?
Flea (Acid for the Children: A Memoir)
Nothing has changed, Claire. You're still as beautiful as you were when we met first and I am still in love with everything about you. We may be worlds apart but this doesn't keep our hearts at distance. I feel your breath in every breath of mine and I hear your heartbeat in every beat of my heart. I traveled to far away lands, rivers, forests, mountains, glaciers, deserts and skyscrapers but wherever I go I find you there. My dreams aren't illusions but visions of a beautiful yesterday; I play with your hair-locks, I kiss your eyes, I embrace your hands and you giggle in my arms blossoming like a flower. My love, you're my only reality, my only fantasy, my only celebration and my only refuge. I have waited a thousands suns and I can wait a thousand more to witness the moment you call out to me. That day you'll find me and even if I don't live up to see that day I will be with you forever, just remember me.
Huseyn Raza
Yet there is one experience which most sincere ex-Communists share, whether or not they go only part way to the end of the question it poses. The daughter of a former German diplomat in Moscow was trying to explain to me why her father, who, as an enlightened modern man, had been extremely pro-Communist, had become an implacable anti-Communist. It was hard for her because, as an enlightened modern girl, she shared the Communist vision without being a Communist. But she loved her father and the irrationality of his defection embarrassed her. 'He was immensely pro-Soviet,' she said,' and then -- you will laugh at me -- but you must not laugh at my father -- and then -- one night -- in Moscow -- he heard screams. That's all. Simply one night he heard screams.' A child of Reason and the 20th century, she knew that there is a logic of the mind. She did not know that the soul has a logic that may be more compelling than the mind's. She did not know at all that she had swept away the logic of the mind, the logic of history, the logic of politics, the myth of the 20th century, with five annihilating words: one night he heard screams.
Whittaker Chambers (Witness)
This to hear Would Desdemona seriously incline: But still the house-affairs would draw her thence: Which ever as she could with haste dispatch, She'ld come again, and with a greedy ear Devour up my discourse: which I observing, Took once a pliant hour, and found good means To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart That I would all my pilgrimage dilate, Whereof by parcels she had something heard, But not intentively: I did consent, And often did beguile her of her tears, When I did speak of some distressful stroke That my youth suffer'd. My story being done, She gave me for my pains a world of sighs: She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange, 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful: She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me, And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her, I should but teach him how to tell my story. And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake: She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd, And I loved her that she did pity them. This only is the witchcraft I have used: Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
William Shakespeare (Othello)
Getting in touch with the lovelessness within and letting that lovelessness speak its pain is one way to begin again on love's journey. In relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the partner who is hurting often finds that their mate is unwilling to 'hear' the pain. Women often tell me that they feel emotionally beaten down when their partners refuse to listen or talk. When women communicate from a place of pain, it is often characterized as 'nagging.' Sometimes women hear repeatedly that their partners are 'sick of listening to this shit.' Both cases undermine self-esteem. Those of us who were wounded in childhood often were shamed and humiliated when we expressed hurt. It is emotionally devastating when the partners we have chosen will not listen. Usually, partners who are unable to respond compassionately when hearing us speak our pain, whether they understand it or not, are unable to listen because that expressed hurt triggers their own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Many men never want to feel helpless or vulnerable. They will, at times, choose to silence a partner with violence rather than witness emotional vulnerability. When a couple can identify this dynamic, they can work on the issue of caring, listening to each other's pain by engaging in short conversations at appropriate times (i.e., it's useless to try and speak your pain to someone who is bone weary, irritable, reoccupied, etc.). Setting a time when both individuals come together to engage in compassionate listening enhances communication and connection. When we are committed to doing the work of love we listen even when it hurts.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Yes, he had heard it all his life, but it was only now that his ears were opened to this sound that came from darkness, that could only come from darkness, that yet bore such sure witness to the glory of the light. And now in his moaning, and so far from any help, he heard it in himself--it rose from his bleeding, his cracked-open heart. It was a sound of rage and weeping which filled the grave, rage and weeping from time set free, but bound now in eternity; rage that had no language, weeping with no voice--which yet spoke now, to John's startled soul, of boundless melancholy, of the bitterest patience, and the longest night; of the deepest water, the strongest chains, the most cruel lash; of humility most wretched, the dungeon most absolute, of love's bed defiled, and birth dishonored, and most bloody, unspeakable, sudden death. Yes, the darkness hummed with murder: the body in the water, the body in the fire, the body on the tree. John looked down the line of these armies of darkness, army upon army, and his soul whispered: Who are these? Who are they? And wondered: Where shall I go?
James Baldwin (Go Tell It on the Mountain)
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
She waited for a man who would marvel her with his intellect, wit and physique, all at the same time. Someone who would beguile her, unnerve her, possess her, and claim her and then make her jealous with deceit and accusations. Someone who wouldn’t bore her after a few hours of company. Someone who wouldn’t be distracted by someone younger than her - even at that age, she had her insecurities........ She waited for a man who would be worth a chase and a challenge, who would beguile her and ravage her, and be true to her. She was no fool. She knew the limitations of affectation and ceremonial overtures between husband and wife. She knew the limits of compatibility, being put off by a few of her suitors instantly. She knew that love was not a guarantee to lifetime of happiness. She knew the importance of money and it’s effect on men. She knew the value of having the best in jewelry, clothes and company, for a person was judged accordingly, and if one wished to be a success, one had to look the part. And that required continuity of resources, not affection. But still she waited. She waited for a man who would surprise her beyond her expectations. She waited for a man who would be magical. She waited for a man who would never come.
Noorilhuda (The Governess)
One has to test oneself to see that one is destined for independence and command—and do it at the right time. One should not dodge one’s tests, though they may be the most dangerous game one could play and are tests that are taken in the end before no witness or judge but ourselves. Not to remain stuck to a person—not even the most loved—every person is a prison, also a nook. Not to remain stuck to a fatherland—not even if it suffers most and needs help most—it is less difficult to sever one’s heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to remain stuck to some pity—not even for higher men into whose rare torture and helplessness some accident allowed us to look. Not to remain stuck to a science—even if it should lure us with the most precious finds that seem to have been saved up precisely for us. Not to remain stuck to one’s own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird who flees ever higher to see ever more below him—the danger of the flier. Not to remain stuck to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some detail in us, such as our hospitality, which is the danger of dangers for superior and rich souls who spend themselves lavishly, almost indifferently, and exaggerate the virtue of generosity into a vice. One must know how to conserve oneself: the hardest test of independence.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Now there is naught but a vast black triangle having the apex downwards, and in the centre of the black triangle is the face of Typhon, the Lord of the Tempest, and he crieth aloud: Despair! Despair! For thou mayest deceive the Virgin, and thou mayest cajole the Mother; but what wilt thou say unto the ancient Whore that is throned in Eternity? For if she will not, there is neither force nor cunning, nor any wit, that may prevail upon her. Thou canst not woo her with love, for she is love. And she hath all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with gold, for all the Kings and captains of the earth, and all the gods of heaven, have showered their gold upon her. Thus hath she all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with knowledge, for knowledge is the thing that she hath spurned. She hath it all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with wit, for her Lord is Wit. She hath it all, and hath no need of thee. Despair! Despair! Nor canst thou cling to her knees and ask for pity; nor canst thou cling to her heart and ask for love; nor canst thou put thine arms about her neck, and ask for understanding; for thou hast all these, and they avail thee not. Despair! Despair! Then I took the Flaming Sword, and I let it loose against Typhon, so that his head was cloven asunder, and the black triangle dissolved in lightnings.
Aleister Crowley (The Vision and the Voice: With Commentary and Other Papers (Equinox IV:2))
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
I had the pleasure of dining with your brother.” “Gregory? Really? You’d classify it as a pleasure?” But he was grinning as he said it, and Honoria could instantly picture what life must be like in the Bridgerton household: a great deal of teasing and a great deal of love. “He was most gracious to me,” she said with a smile. “Shall I tell you a secret?” Mr. Bridgerton murmured, and Honoria decided that in his case, it was right and proper to listen to gossip—he was an incredible flirt. “Must I keep the secret?” she asked, leaning forward ever-soslightly. “Definitely not.” She gave him a sunny smile. “Then yes, please.” Mr. Bridgerton leaned in, just about as far as she had done. “He has been known to catapult peas across the supper table.” Honoria gave him a very somber nod. “Has he done this recently?” “Not too recently, no.” She pressed her lips together, trying not to smile. It was lovely to witness this type of sibling teasing. There used to be so much of it in her home, although most of the time she’d been but a witness. She was so much younger than the rest of her siblings; in all honesty, most of the time they’d probably just forgotten to tease her. “I have but one question, Mr. Bridgerton.” He cocked his head. “How was this catapult constructed?” He grinned. “Simple spoon, Lady Honoria. But in Gregory’s devious hands, there was nothing simple about it.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
To Juan at the Winter Solstice There is one story and one story only That will prove worth your telling, Whether as learned bard or gifted child; To it all lines or lesser gauds belong That startle with their shining Such common stories as they stray into. Is it of trees you tell, their months and virtues, Or strange beasts that beset you, Of birds that croak at you the Triple will? Or of the Zodiac and how slow it turns Below the Boreal Crown, Prison to all true kings that ever reigned? Water to water, ark again to ark, From woman back to woman: So each new victim treads unfalteringly The never altered circuit of his fate, Bringing twelve peers as witness Both to his starry rise and starry fall. Or is it of the Virgin's silver beauty, All fish below the thighs? She in her left hand bears a leafy quince; When, with her right hand she crooks a finger, smiling, How many the King hold back? Royally then he barters life for love. Or of the undying snake from chaos hatched, Whose coils contain the ocean, Into whose chops with naked sword he springs, Then in black water, tangled by the reeds, Battles three days and nights, To be spewed up beside her scalloped shore? Much snow if falling, winds roar hollowly, The owl hoots from the elder, Fear in your heart cries to the loving-cup: Sorrow to sorrow as the sparks fly upward. The log groans and confesses: There is one story and one story only. Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling, Do not forget what flowers The great boar trampled down in ivy time. Her brow was creamy as the crested wave, Her sea-blue eyes were wild But nothing promised that is not performed.
Robert Graves
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
Tenways showed his rotten teeth. ‘Fucking make me.’ ‘I’ll give it a try.’ A man came strolling out of the dark, just his sharp jaw showing in the shadows of his hood, boots crunching heedless through the corner of the fire and sending a flurry of sparks up around his legs. Very tall, very lean and he looked like he was carved out of wood. He was chewing meat from a chicken bone in one greasy hand and in the other, held loose under the crosspiece, he had the biggest sword Beck had ever seen, shoulder-high maybe from point to pommel, its sheath scuffed as a beggar’s boot but the wire on its hilt glinting with the colours of the fire-pit. He sucked the last shred of meat off his bone with a noisy slurp, and he poked at all the drawn steel with the pommel of his sword, long grip clattering against all those blades. ‘Tell me you lot weren’t working up to a fight without me. You know how much I love killing folk. I shouldn’t, but a man has to stick to what he’s good at. So how’s this for a recipe…’ He worked the bone around between finger and thumb, then flicked it at Tenways so it bounced off his chain mail coat. ‘You go back to fucking sheep and I’ll fill the graves.’ Tenways licked his bloody top lip. ‘My fight ain’t with you, Whirrun.’ And it all came together. Beck had heard songs enough about Whirrun of Bligh, and even hummed a few himself as he fought his way through the logpile. Cracknut Whirrun. How he’d been given the Father of Swords. How he’d killed his five brothers. How he’d hunted the Shimbul Wolf in the endless winter of the utmost North, held a pass against the countless Shanka with only two boys and a woman for company, bested the sorcerer Daroum-ap-Yaught in a battle of wits and bound him to a rock for the eagles. How he’d done all the tasks worthy of a hero in the valleys, and so come south to seek his destiny on the battlefield. Songs to make the blood run hot, and cold too. Might be his was the hardest name in the whole North these days, and standing right there in front of Beck, close enough to lay a hand on. Though that probably weren’t a good idea. ‘Your fight ain’t with me?’ Whirrun glanced about like he was looking for who it might be with. ‘You sure? Fights are twisty little bastards, you draw steel it’s always hard to say where they’ll lead you. You drew on Calder, but when you drew on Calder you drew on Curnden Craw, and when you drew on Craw you drew on me, and Jolly Yon Cumber, and Wonderful there, and Flood – though he’s gone for a wee, I think, and also this lad here whose name I’ve forgotten.’ Sticking his thumb over his shoulder at Beck. ‘You should’ve seen it coming. No excuse for it, a proper War Chief fumbling about in the dark like you’ve nothing in your head but shit. So my fight ain’t with you either, Brodd Tenways, but I’ll still kill you if it’s called for, and add your name to my songs, and I’ll still laugh afterwards. So?’ ‘So what?’ ‘So shall I draw?
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes (First Law World, #5))
Not caring about our own pain and the pain of others is not working. How much longer are we willing to keep pulling drowning people out of the river one by one, rather than walking to the headwaters of the river to find the source of the pain? What will it take for us to let go of that earned self-righteousness and travel together to the cradle of the pain that is throwing all of us in at such a rate that we couldn’t possibly save everyone? Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying. Most of us were not taught how to recognize pain, name it, and be with it. Our families and culture believed that the vulnerability that it takes to acknowledge pain was weakness, so we were taught anger, rage, and denial instead. But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Sometimes owning our pain and bearing witness to struggle means getting angry. When we deny ourselves the right to be angry, we deny our pain. There are a lot of coded shame messages in the rhetoric of “Why so hostile?” “Don’t get hysterical,” “I’m sensing so much anger!” and “Don’t take it so personally.” All of these responses are normally code for Your emotion or opinion is making me uncomfortable or Suck it up and stay quiet. One response to this is “Get angry and stay angry!” I haven’t seen that advice borne out in the research. What I’ve found is that, yes, we all have the right and need to feel and own our anger. It’s an important human experience.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
FatherMichael has entered the room Wildflower: Ah don’t tell me you’re through a divorce yourself Father? SureOne: Don’t be silly Wildflower, have a bit of respect! He’s here for the ceremony. Wildflower: I know that. I was just trying to lighten the atmosphere. FatherMichael: So have the loving couple arrived yet? SureOne: No but it’s customary for the bride to be late. FatherMichael: Well is the groom here? SingleSam has entered the room Wildflower: Here he is now. Hello there SingleSam. I think this is the first time ever that both the bride and groom will have to change their names. SingleSam: Hello all. Buttercup: Where’s the bride? LonelyLady: Probably fixing her makeup. Wildflower: Oh don’t be silly. No one can even see her. LonelyLady: SingleSam can see her. SureOne: She’s not doing her makeup; she’s supposed to keep the groom waiting. SingleSam: No she’s right here on the laptop beside me. She’s just having problems with her password logging in. SureOne: Doomed from the start. Divorced_1 has entered the room Wildflower: Wahoo! Here comes the bride, all dressed in . . . SingleSam: Black. Wildflower: How charming. Buttercup: She’s right to wear black. Divorced_1: What’s wrong with misery guts today? LonelyLady: She found a letter from Alex that was written 12 years ago proclaiming his love for her and she doesn’t know what to do. Divorced_1: Here’s a word of advice. Get over it, he’s married. Now let’s focus the attention on me for a change. SoOverHim has entered the room FatherMichael: OK let’s begin. We are gathered here online today to witness the marriage of SingleSam (soon to be “Sam”) and Divorced_1 (soon to be “Married_1”). SoOverHim: WHAT?? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? THIS IS A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN A DIVORCED PEOPLE CHAT ROOM?? Wildflower: Uh-oh, looks like we got ourselves a gate crasher here. Excuse me can we see your wedding invite please? Divorced_1: Ha ha. SoOverHim: YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY? YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK, COMING IN HERE AND TRYING TO UPSET OTHERS WHO ARE GENUINELY TROUBLED. Buttercup: Oh we are genuinely troubled alright. And could you please STOP SHOUTING. LonelyLady: You see SoOverHim, this is where SingleSam and Divorced_1 met for the first time. SoOverHim: OH I HAVE SEEN IT ALL NOW! Buttercup: Sshh! SoOverHim: Sorry. Mind if I stick around? Divorced_1: Sure grab a pew; just don’t trip over my train. Wildflower: Ha ha. FatherMichael: OK we should get on with this; I don’t want to be late for my 2 o’clock. First I have to ask, is there anyone in here who thinks there is any reason why these two should not be married? LonelyLady: Yes. SureOne: I could give more than one reason. Buttercup: Hell yes. SoOverHim: DON’T DO IT! FatherMichael: Well I’m afraid this has put me in a very tricky predicament. Divorced_1: Father we are in a divorced chat room, of course they all object to marriage. Can we get on with it? FatherMichael: Certainly. Do you Sam take Penelope to be your lawful wedded wife? SingleSam: I do. FatherMichael: Do you Penelope take Sam to be your lawful wedded husband? Divorced_1: I do (yeah, yeah my name is Penelope). FatherMichael: You have already e-mailed your vows to me so by the online power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride. Now if the witnesses could click on the icon to the right of the screen they will find a form to type their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Once that’s filled in just e-mail it off to me. I’ll be off now. Congratulations again. FatherMichael has left the room Wildflower: Congrats Sam and Penelope! Divorced_1: Thanks girls for being here. SoOverHim: Freaks. SoOverHim has left the room
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)