I think of this girl, this bright light coming from such a dark place. I know that the things she believes about God and the Bible and hope and all that are very real to her. They’re not nice sayings on Twitter just to fill a box. They’re the things she truly believes.I’m not sure I’m ready to rejoice, and I’m not quite ready to pray.The cool thing is that Marvel knows this. She knows this and doesn’t seem to mind.
I thought he should know the truth."Some say that I'm a ... well a ..." I hated to say what others teased me mercilessly about... "A... slow learner."He shrugged as if to indicate that it didn't mean anything to him, but seemed anxious about what to say to console me. Finally, he reached out and touched my hand. "Yeah, but they don't have life mates whose destines are written in the stars." I wanted to groan out loud. I was a slow learner and was to be mated with a vampiric human whose old flame wanted me dead. How was this a good thing?
Go ahead and try. I'll attempt to loosen up. Her muscles tightened when I took her hand in mine. "Do you know any self-hypnosis?""I guess I'm tensing too much." She took several deep calming breaths then tensed her muscles and relaxed them, repeating the steps several times. The pulse in her wrist slowed to normal. I nodded, grateful that Marissa was such a treasure despite my initial concern she might be more like the teen witch that had turned me into a frog.
That was a dhlang!" he said. "An evil spirit! The peasants down in the valleys hang up charms against them! But I thought they were just a superstition!""No, they're a substition," said Susan. "I mean they're real, but hardly anyone really believes them. Mostly everyone believes in things that aren't real. Something very strange is going on. Those things are all over the place, and they've got bodies. That's not right. We've got to find the person who built the clock - ""And, er, what are you, Miss Susan?""Me? I'm...a schoolteacher."She followed his gaze to the wrench that she still carried in her hand, and shrugged."It can get pretty rough at break time, can it?" said Lobsang.
Anyway, lots of warrior tribes think that when they die, they go to a heavenly land somewhere," said the toad. "You know, where they can drink and fight and feast forever? So maybe this is theirs.""But this is a real place!""So? That's what they believe. Besides, they're only small. Maybe the universe is a bit crowded and they have to put heavens anywhere there's room? I'm a toad, so you'll appreciate that I'm having to guess a lot here.
All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE."Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES."So we can believe the big ones?"YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING."They're not the same at all!"YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED."Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"MY POINT EXACTLY.
I used to think that when I grew up there wouldn't be so many rules. Back in elementary school there were rules about what entrance you used in the morning, what door you used going home, when you could talk in the library, how many paper towels you could use in the rest room, and how many drinks of water you could get during recess. And there was always somebody watching to make sure.What I'm finding out about growing older is that there are just as many rules about lots of things, but there's nobody watching.
There's going to be a lot of things to think about. But I'm not really ready for all that yet. It'd be great to stay in one place my whole career, but in the back of every player's mind, you have to be thinking about what it'd be like to be a free agent one time. Then again, you never know what can happen. I really shouldn't talk too much about it until I really sit down and think about it. I just know this is going to be a big summer for me.
Yes,' he said, 'a list. That way, I figure, we'll have a written record of what we've agreed upon as our goals for our relationship. So if problems arise, we'll be able to consult the lists, see which issue it corresponds to, and work out a solution from there.'I could still hear my sister talking, but her voice was fading as she led her group around the house. I said, 'But what if that doesn't work?'Jason blinked at me. Then he said, 'Why wouldn't it?' 'Because,' I said.He just looked at me. 'Because...''Because,' I repeated, as a breeze blew over us,' sometimes things just happen. That aren't expected. Or on the list.''Such as?' he asked.'I don't know,' I said, frustrated. 'That's the point. It would be out of the blue, taking us by surprise. Something we might not be prepared for.''But we will be prepared,' he said, confused. 'We'll have the list.' I rolled my eyes. 'Jason,' I said.'Macy, I'm sorry.' He stepped back, looking at me. 'I just don't understand what you're trying to say.'And then it hit me: he didn't. He had no idea. And this thought was so ludicrous, so completely unreal, that I knew it just had to be true. For Jason, there was no unexpected, no surprises. His whole life was outlined carefully, in lists and sublists, just like the ones I'd helped him go through all those weeks ago. 'It's just...' I said and stopped, shaking my head.'It's just what?' He was waiting, genuinely wanting to know. 'Explain it to me.'But I couldn't. I'd had to learn it my own way, and so had my mother. Jason would eventually, as well. No one could tell you: you just had to go through it on your own. If you were lucky, you came out on the other side and understood. If you didn't, you kept getting thrust back, retracing those steps, until you finally got it right.
You sure are a sweet girl, Scout. I'm half tempted to keep you.""Ummm... Thanks?" Knowing she was a potential Alpha I worried about what "keeping me" might entail. Probably chains. And whips. And maybe a dog collar.And now I was going to have to live with scary Fifty Shades Aunt Rachel pictures living in my head for all time.
I don't care much whether I ever get to know anything - but I want to work out something in figures - something that hasn't got to do with human beings. I don't want people particularly. In some ways, Henry, I'm a humbug - I mean, I'm not what you all take me for. I'm not domestic, or very practical or sensible, really.And if I could calculate things, and use a telescope, and have to work out figures, and know to a fraction where I was wrong, I should be perfectly happy, and I believe I should give William all he wants.
Sometimes when you get older—and I'm not talking about you, I'm talking generally, because everyone ages differently—things you think on and wish on start to seem real. And then you believe them, and before you know it they're a part of your history, and if someone challenges you on them and says they're not true—why, then you get offended.
I'm certain indeed, I think there's no doubt of it - that reading does young people much harm. It puts things into their heads that never would have been there but for books. I declare, I think reading's a very dangerous thing; I'm certain all Mary's bad health is entirely owing to reading. You know we always thought she read a great deal too much for her own good.
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found. Robin Hobb, author
All right I think we've been down here in the dark long enough. There's a whole other world upstairs. Take my hand Constant Reader and I'll be happy to lead you back into the sunshine. I'm happy to go there because I believe most people are essentially good. I know that I am. It's you I'm not entirely sure of.
The Defendant: I am pleading guilty your honors but I'm doing it because I think it would be a waste of money to have a trial over five dollars worth of crack. What I really need is a drug program because I want to turn my life around and the only reason I was doing what I was doing on the street was to support my habit. The habit has to be fed your honors as you know and I believe in working for my money. I could be out there robbing people but I'm not and I've always worked even though I am disabled. And not always at this your honors, I used to be a mail carrier back in the day but then I started using drugs and that was all I wanted to do. So I'm taking this plea to save the city of New York and the taxpayers money because I can't believe that the DA, who I can see is a very tall man, would take to trial a case involving five dollars worth of crack, especially knowing how much a trial of that nature would cost. But I still think that I should get a chance to do a drug program because I've never been given that chance in any of my cases and the money that will be spent keeping me in jail could be spent addressing my real problem which is that I like, no need, to smoke crack every day and every chance I get, and if I have to point people to somebody who's selling the stuff so I can get one dollar and eventually save up enough to buy a vial then smoke it immediately and start saving up for my next one that I'll gladly do that, and I'll do it even though I know it could land me in jail for years because the only thing that matters at that moment is getting my next vial and I am not a Homo-sapiens-sexual your honors but if I need money to buy crack I will suck. . . .
I think that thinking of our material universe, the one we perceive with our sense, as the only thing is not only foolish, it is arrogant. As well as, if I may add, in contradiction to theoretical physics. I believe — I have always believed — that there is meaning and purpose to life, although we may not understand that meaning and purpose. I think we catch glimpses of it here and there, and I honestly think that the universe communicates it to us, if we can listen for it — if our perceptions are finely enough tuned. All my life, I’ve had a strong sense of purpose, of being here for a reason that I might not at that moment understand, but that something, somewhere, understood. The times I’ve been unhappy in my life are when I’ve gone off the path, when I’ve realized that I made a choice taking me away from the way I was supposed to go. I remember what it was like to go to law school and to feel, so deeply that it went to my core, as though I was in the wrong place, as though I had stepped off the path. The path itself feels narrow and rocky, sometimes. Sometimes it feels as though I’m walking along a gulley, or a high cliff with winds. But it feels like a path, as though I’m going somewhere.I don’t know how to talk about this except by saying that we have instincts, and our instincts tell us these things, and we have to trust them.
One day about a month ago, I really hit bottom. You know, I just felt that in a Godless universe, I didn't want to go on living. Now I happen to own this rifle, which I loaded, believe it or not, and pressed it to my forehead. And I remember thinking, at the time, I'm gonna kill myself. Then I thought, what if I'm wrong? What if there is a God? I mean, after all, nobody really knows that. But then I thought, no, you know, maybe is not good enough. I want certainty or nothing. And I remember very clearly, the clock was ticking, and I was sitting there frozen with the gun to my head, debating whether to shoot.[The gun fires accidentally, shattering a mirror] All of a sudden, the gun went off. I had been so tense my finger had squeezed the trigger inadvertently. But I was perspiring so much the gun had slid off my forehead and missed me. And suddenly neighbors were, were pounding on the door, and, and I don't know, the whole scene was just pandemonium. And, uh, you know, I-I-I ran to the door, I-I didn't know what to say. You know, I was-I was embarrassed and confused and my-my-my mind was r-r-racing a mile a minute. And I-I just knew one thing.I-I-I had to get out of that house, I had to just get out in the fresh air and-and clear my head. And I remember very clearly, I walked the streets. I walked and I walked. I-I didn't know what was going through my mind. It all seemed so violent and un-unreal to me. And I wandered for a long time on the Upper West Side, you know, and-and it must have been hours. You know, my-my feet hurt, my head was-was pounding, and-and I had to sit down. I went into a movie house. I-I didn't know what was playing or anything.I just, I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and, and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and, you know, the movie was a-a-a film that I'd seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and-and I always, uh, loved it. And, you know, I'm-I'm watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film, you know. And I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself. I mean isn't it so stupid? I mean, l-look at all the people up there on the screen. You know, they're real funny, and-and what if the worst is true.What if there's no God, and you only go around once and that's it. Well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience? You know, what the hell, it's-it's not all a drag. And I'm thinkin' to myself, geez, I should stop ruining my life - searching for answers I'm never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And, you know, after, who knows? I mean, you know, maybe there is something. Nobody really knows. I know, I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that's the best we have. And then, I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.
...I know how she must have felt. Pressure to be in charge of the world. So much responsibility. The whole world on her...to let go and just give herself to you, to give up to you..." "I'm glad you understand...few women do." "Oh, they do. They're just afraid to admit it... in the dusty dark little corner of every woman's heart... lives the hunger to fetch a powerful man his slippers on her hands and knees.
I've been very influenced by folklore, fairy tales, and folk ballads, so I love all the classic works based on these things -- like George Macdonald's 19th century fairy stories, the fairy poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's splendid book The Kingdoms of Elfin. (I think that particular book of hers wasn't published until the 1970s, not long before her death, but she was an English writer popular in the middle decades of the 20th century.)I'm also a big Pre-Raphaelite fan, so I love William Morris' early fantasy novels.Oh, and "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (Neil Gaiman is a big fan of that one too), and I could go on and on but I won't!