On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
I think the idea that we have anything to begin with is a lie we tell ourselves every day until we believe it. I think the law is there to enforce fictions that would not exist otherwise. Certain laws prevent us from deviating from those fictions, and thrive as a framework for the lifestyle we are all required to live. I believe that the reason possession is nine-tenths of the law is that without those laws there wouldn’t be any possession at all.
I believe we must do things in our lives for the right reasons, because we enjoy doing them, with no expectation of getting something back in return. Otherwise, we are constantly being disappointed." She moved her turquoise bracelet back and forth on her wrist. "So I had two sons, John and Richard, because I wanted to, not because I thought they would rescue me in old age. I got out of all social organizations and clubs in my fifties so I could spend time with my grandchildren, not because they would give something back to Jack and me later on, but because that was what I wanted to do--and I have loved doing it. Believe me, these have been selfish decisions.
Keesha looked at me for a long time. "I did leave you alone. We all did. But you didn't get better. You didn't stop. You're still doin' all your weird shit. And I think it's time to stop.""You think it's time to stop!" I exploded, and lunged at her with my hands outstretched. I pushed her real hard. She almost fell down. "I don't care what time you think it is!" I screamed. "Do you think I want to do this! Do you think I like it?""You pushed me!""Yeah. So what?""You're so afraid of being interrupted that you pushed me!""I'm not scared of being interrupted, you jerk! I'm . . . I'm scared . . . I'm scared of being." I crumpled into a ball and sat down where I was standing. I sat on a crack. Unevenly."Who are you anymore, Tara?"Tears spilled over my frozen lashes and disappeared across my cheekbones. I had never felt so defeated. "I don't know.
Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be the best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss — so sorry again about that last one. So know this: Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that. Now, on to some funny stories about John...
Are you sure? I mean, I don’t understand how this could have happened. She’s only fifteen; I didn’t even know she was sexually active.” Mallory’s father, normally in control, was on the verge of tears. He refused to look at his daughter, his little girl. As much as he had preached abstinence to her, he still kept a watchful eye over her, yet here they were, facing the unthinkable. He wanted to know when this happened, and with whom—but those questions would have to wait.
[A] couple I had known - who were old friends - asked me what I was going to work on next. I told them I wanted to write a near future book about AIDS concentration camps. They were vehement in their response: they thought it was a terrible idea. Their words both shocked and saddened me. "Do you really want to write a book about homosexuals?" they asked me. "Won't people who read your work be influenced toward sin?"I notice that I don't hear from them much lately.
At last he was to feel that he had the town, as it were, in his pocket, and was ready for anything. Accordingly he sent a confidential messenger to Rome, to ask his father what step he should next take, his power in Gabii being, by God's grace, by this time absolute. Tarquin, I suppose, was not sure of the messenger's good faith: in any case, he said not a word in reply to his question, but with a thoughtful air went out to the garden. The man followed him, and Tarquin, strolling up and down in silence, began knocking off poppy-heads with his stick. The messenger at last wearied of putting his question and waiting for the reply, so he returned to Gabii supposing his mission to have failed. He told Sextus what he had said and what he had seen his father do: the king, he declared, whether from anger, or hatred, or natural arrogance, had not uttered a single word. Sextus realized that though his father had not spoken, he had, by his action, indirectly expressed his meaning clearly enough; so he proceeded at once to act upon his murderous instructions.
Ultimately, we will lose each otherto something. I would hope for grandcircumstance—death or disaster.But it might not be that way at all.It might be that you walk outone morning after making loveto buy cigarettes, and never return,or I fall in love with another …It might be a slow drift into indifference.Either way, we’ll have to learnto bear the weight of the eventualitythat we will lose each other to something.So why not begin now, while your headrests like a perfect moon in my lap …?Why not reach for the seam in this …night and tear it, just a little, so the fallingcan begin? Because later, when we crosseach other on the streets, and are forcedto look away, when we’ve thrownthe disregarded pieces of our togethernessinto bedroom drawers and the smellof our bodies is disappearing like the sweetdecay of lilies—what will we call it,when it’s no longer love?
[T.J.] Without thinking, I held them out to her. She stopped laughing, and looked at me like she wasn't quite sure what I meant. I waited, and she leaned toward me and opened her mouth. I slid my fingers inside, wondering if my eyes were as big as hers. When she sucked the breadfruit off, my breathing got all messed up."More?"She nodded, just barely, and her breathing didn't sound right either. I scooped up some breadfruit and this time, when I put my fingers in her mouth, she put her hand on my wrist. I waited for her to swallow and then I lost my shit completely. I grabbed her face with both hands, and I kissed her, hard. She opened her mouth and I slipped my tongue inside. I could have kissed her for days, and if she told me to stop I wasn't sure I'd be able to.
Without any warning, tears filled my eyes. No one had ever given me such a kind and thoughtful gift before. I pictured Will going into the shop, looking over the books, and then discovering the very one he knew I would love. I even pictured him watching as the clerk wrapped the volume in brown paper. I wondered if the clerk had tied the green bow on it or if Will had gone into a notion shop and chosen it himself. These were all small things, but kindness was built of small things.
And if I am not mistaken here is the secret of the greatness that was Spain. In Spain it is men that are the poems, the pictures and the buildings. Men are its philosophies. They lived, these Spaniards of the Golden Age; they felt and did; they did not think. Life was what they sought and found, life in its turmoil, its fervour and its variety. Passion was the seed that brought them forth and passion was the flower they bore. But passion alone cannot give rise to a great art. In the arts the Spaniards invented nothing. They did little in any of those they practised, but give a local colour to a virtuosity they borrowed from abroad. Their literature, as I have ventured to remark, was not of the highest rank; they were taught to paint by foreign masters, but, inapt pupils, gave birth to one painter only of the very first class; they owed their architecture to the Moors, the French and the Italians, and the works themselves produced were best when they departed least from their patterns. Their preeminence was great, but it lay in another direction: it was a preeminence of character. In this I think they have been surpassed by none and equalled only by the ancient Romans. It looks as though all the energy, all the originality, of this vigorous race had been disposed to one end and one end only, the creation of man. It is not in art that they excelled, they excelled in what is greater than art--in man. But it is thought that has the last word.
Surprised by joy- impatient as the WindI turned to share the transport-- Oh! with whomBut thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,That spot which no vicissitude can find?Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind--But how could I forget thee? Through what power,Even for the least division of an hour,Have I been so beguiled as to be blindTo my most grievous loss? -- That thought's returnWas the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;That neither present time, nor years unbornCould to my sight that heavenly face restore.
I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor.
I made sure to pay attention to everything I was doing. To be fully in the moment. Because that's all life is, really, a string of moments that you knot together and carry with you. Hopefully most of those moments are wonderful, but of course they won't all be. The trick is to recognize an important one when it happens. Even if you share the moment with someone else, it is still yours. Your string is different from anyone else's. It is something no one can ever take away from you. It will protect you and guide you, because it IS you. What you hold here, in your hand, in this box, this is my string."Until recently, I thought it was death that gave meaning to life--that having an endpoint is what spurred us on to embrace life while we had it. But I was wrong. It isn't death that gives meaning to life. Life gives meaning to life. The answer to the meaning of life is hidden right there inside the question. "What matters is holding tight to that string, and not letting anyone tell us our goals aren't big enough or our interests are silly. But the voices of others aren't the only ones we need to worry about. We tend to be our own worst critics. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: 'Most of the shadows in this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.' ... Wisdom is found in the least expected places. Always keep your eyes open. Don't block your own sunshine. Be filled with wonder.
I have a scar-a faint gouge in my knee from when I fell down on the sidewalk as a child. It's always seemed stupid to me that none of the pain I've experienced has left a visible mark; sometimes, without a way to prove it to myself. I began to doubt that I had lied through it at all, with the memories becoming hazy over time. I want to have some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever- I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars.That is what this tattoo will be, for me: a scar. And it seems fitting that it should document the worst memory of pain I have.
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried."You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?"He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said. I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care.I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe. I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
I have never met a person who possessed a privilege who did not exercise that privilege to the fullest extent that they possibly could. Say what you like of a belief...of a party...of a finance system..of a power. All I see is privilege and its consequences. States are not in my opinion composed of structures supporting privilege but of structures denying it...in other words deciding who is not invited to the table.
When I was a child, an angel came to say,A true friend is coming my warrior to sweep you away,It won’t be easy the path because it leads through hell,But if you’re faithful, it will be the greatest story to tell,You will move God’s daughters to a place of hope,Your story will teach everyone there is nothing they can’t cope,You will suffer a lot, but not one tear will you waste,Because for all that you do for me, you will be graced,For I am bringing you someone that wants to travel your trail,Someone you already met when you passed through heaven’s veil,A warrior, a friend that whispers your heart’s song,Someone that will run with you and pull your spirit along,Don’t you see the timing was love's fated throw,Because I put you both there to help one another grow,I am the writer of all great stories your chapters were written by me,You suffered, you cried because I needed you to see,That your faith in my ending goes far beyond two,It was going to change more hearts than both of you knew,So hush my child and wait for my loving hand,The last chapter is not written and still in the sand,It is up to you to finish, before the tide washes it away,All that is in your heart, I’ve put their for you to say,This is not about winning, loss or pain,I made you the way you are because true love stories are insane,I wrote you in heaven as I sat on its sandy shore,You know with all of my heart I loved you both more,There is no better ending two people seeing each other's heart,Together your spirits will never drift apart,Because two kindred spirits is what I made you to be,The waves and beach crashing together because of-- ME.
When we came out of the cookhouse, we found the boy's father, the Indian man who had been grazing the horses in the pasture, waiting for us. He wanted someone to tell his troubles to. He looked about guardedly, afraid that the Señora might overhear him.'Take a look at me' he said. I don't even know how old I am. When I was young, the Señor brought me here. He promised to pay me and give me a plot of my own. 'Look at my clothes' he said, pointing to the patches covering his body. 'I can't remember how many years I've been wearing them. I have no others. I live in a mud hut with my wife and sons. They all work for the Señor like me. They don't go to school. They don't know how to read or write; they don't even speak Spanish. We work for the master, raise his cattle and work his fields. We only get rice and plantains to eat. Nobody takes care of us when we are sick. The women here have their babies in these filthy huts.''Why don't you eat meat or at least milk the cows?' I asked.'We aren't allowed to slaughter a cow. And the milk goes to the calves. We can't even have chicken or pork - only if an animal gets sick and dies. Once I raised a pig in my yard' he went on. 'She had a litter of three. When the Señor came back he told the foreman to shoot them. That's the only time we ever had good meat.''I don't mind working for the Señor but I want him to keep his promise. I want a piece of land of my own so I can grow rice and yucca and raise a few chickens and pigs. That's all.' 'Doesn't he pay you anything?' Kevin asked. 'He says he pays us but he uses our money to buy our food. We never get any cash. Kind sirs, maybe you can help me to persuade the master . Just one little plot is all I want. The master has land, much land.'We were shocked by his tale. Marcus took out a notebook and pen. 'What's his name?'. He wrote down the name. The man didn't know the address. He only knew that the Señor lived in La Paz.Marcus was infuriated. 'When I find the owner of the ranch, I'll spit right in his eye. What a lousy bastard! I mean, it's really incredible'. 'That's just the way things are,' Karl said. 'It's sad but there's nothing we can do about it.
I remember one Gentleman objected to the Christian Faith, that it made Men insolent, quarrelsom and ill-natur'd. From whence I concluded, (as I told him) that he had never read over the Gospells; truly he could not say that he had read 'em carefully, but yet that in reading the History of what had passed in Christendom, he observed that most of the Quarrels in which this part of the World had been engaged, arose from contentions among the Christian Priesthood. Church-History is chiefly a relation of Church-mens Wrangles, and D. Cave in a late Book of his has denominated every Century from some eminent Quarrel which arose among the Clergy. But besides this, what was the Holy War, what all the holy Massacres and Croisados which filled Europe with Blood, but the Inventions of the Holy Church? And what is holy Inquisition, but a perpetual Series of Murthers carry'd on in barbarous Forms of Law against the common Sense of Mankind? Does History account for any Barbarities so great as those committed by the Popes? Any Cruelties so savage as those of the Holy Inquisition? Any Murthers so solemn, and religiously brutal as the Acts of Faith? Any Pragmaticalness so insufferable as that of the Jesuits? is not their Humanity extinguished by their Christian Religion? Such is their Malice that no Man can eat Bread where they have to do, unless he submit his Faith to their guidance, witness the present French Persecution.
I have no idea how long Quisser was gone from the table. My attention became fully absorbed by the other faces in the club and the deep anxiety they betrayed to me, an anxiety that was not of the natural, existential sort but one that was caused by peculiar concerns of an uncanny nature. What a season is upon us, these faces seemed to say. And no doubt their voices would have spoken directly of certain peculiar concerns had they not been intimidated into weird equivocations and double entendres by the fear of falling victim to the same kind of unnatural affliction that had made so much trouble in the mind of the art critic Stuart Quisser. Who would be next? What could a person say these days, or even think, without feeling the dread of repercussion from powerfully connected groups and individuals? I could almost hear their voices asking, "Why here, why now?" But of course they could have just as easily been asking, "Why not here, why not now?" It would not occur to this crowd that there were no special rules involved; it would not occur to them, even though they were a crowd of imaginative artists, that the whole thing was simply a matter of random, purposeless terror that converged upon a particular place at a particular time for no particular reason. On the other hand, it would also not have occurred to them that they might have wished it all upon themselves, that they might have had a hand in bringing certain powerful forces and connections into our district simply by wishing them to come. They might have wished and wished for an unnatural evil to fall upon them but, for a while at least, nothing happened. Then the wishing stopped, the old wishes were forgotten yet at the same time gathered in strength, distilling themselves into a potent formula (who can say!), until one day the terrible season began. Because had they really told the truth, this artistic crowd might also have expressed what a sense of meaning (although of a negative sort), not to mention the vigorous thrill (although of an excruciating type), this season of unnatural evil had brought to their lives.("Gas Station Carnivals")
But I have to confess, I'm glad you two had at least a few months of happiness together."I'm not glad," says Peeta. "I wish we had waited until the whole thing was done officially."This takes even Caesar aback. "Surely even a brief time is better than no time?"Maybe I'd think that, too, Caesar," says Peeta bitterly, "If it weren't for the baby.
I thought that some of the hymns bespoke the true religion of the place. The people didn't really want to be saints of self-deprivation and hatred of the world. They knew that the world would sooner or later deprive them of all it had given them, but still they liked it. What they came together for was to acknowledge, just by coming, their losses and failures and sorrows, their need for comfort, their faith always needing to be greater, their wish (in spite of all words and acts to the contrary) to love one another and to forgive and be forgiven, their need for one another's help and company and divine gifts, their hope (and experience) of love surpassing death, their gratitude.
I loved the idea of recording. The idea of sound-on-sound-recording captured me as a young kid, and once I realized what it was I had an epiphany. Before I was even playing the guitar, I would create these lists of how I would record things and overdub them, like Led Zeppelin song, 'I could put this guitar on this track...' and so on.
Sometimes I knew in all my mind and heard why I had done what I had done, and I welcomed the sacrifice. But there were times too when I lived in a desert and felt no joy and saw no hope and could not remember my old feelings. Then I lived by faith alone, faith without hope.What good did I get from it? I got to have love in my heart.
I know the M-word makes you nervous, but yeah. I'm talking about the big, permanent friendship. A little different from what Joe and Charles had, though. See, I want to be the kind of best friends who make love every night, who share all their darkest secrets and favorite jokes, and maybe even someday make babies together. I know that kind of friendship requires hard work, but you know, I'm pretty good at hard work.~ Tom Paoletti, "The Unsung Hero