The anger welled inside me, with no where to go. I could feel it eating away at me. I knew if i didn’t find a way to release it, it would destroy 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.
Did my father talk to me? It's true, he didn't say a lot to me, but I knew what had to be done. No need for big speeches. He taught me the fundamentals of our religion: My son, Islam is simple: you are alone responsible for yourself before God, so if you are good, you will find goodness in the afterlife, and if you are bad, you'll find that instead. There's no mystery: everything depends on how you treat people, especially the weak, the poor, so Islam, that means you pray, you address the Creator and don't do evil around you, don't lie, don't steal, don't betray your wife or your country, don't kill- but do I really need to remind you of this?
They made a major mistake," he blurted out, "the dumb bastards, when they didn't start by killing you first.""Benjamin Thomas Parish, that was the sweetest and most bizarre compliment anyone's ever given me."I kissed him on the cheek. He kissed me on the mouth."You know," I whispered, "a year ago, I would have sold my soul for that."He shook his head. "Not worth it." And, for one-ten thousandth of a second, all of it fell away, the despair and grief and anger and pain and hunger, and the old Ben Parish rose from the dead. The eyes that impaled. The smile that slayed. In another moment, he would fade, slide back into the new Ben, the one called Zombie, and I understood something I hadn't before: He was dead, the object of my schoolgirl desires, just as the schoolgirl who desired him was dead.
Cabal. Cabal. Cabal. I summon you to me. Now."Simi and Kody exchanged a look that said he was as crazy as he suddenly felt when nothing happened.Great, Dad. I can look stupid on my own. Didn't really need you to help out on that front.That was his thought until he heard a curse and something slammed into him, knocking him against the wall. Nick shoved his attacker away, then froze as he looked into a pair of familiar, startled brown eyes.Now this was the giant badass-tough demon that Nick was used to."Malphas?"Tense and braced to fight, Caleb turned around slowly, surveying every aspect of his new surroundings. He paused as he faced Kody and Simi. "Where the heck am I? And how did I get here?"Kody pointed to Nick. "Apparently, Nick summoned you.""Nick?" Caleb glanced right past Nick and kept searching the room with his gaze. "Our Nick? Where is the little booger?"She gestured even more exaggeratedly at Nick's position. "Right there."Caleb's jaw went slack as he faced him."Nick?""Caleb?"The word had barely left his lips before Caleb grabbed him into a bear hug and held him tight. Which was extremely awkward and gross. Completely weirded out by it, Nick tried to disentangle himself from the demon. It wasn't like Caleb to show any emotion toward him other than irritation or frustration. Sometimes anger."Stop C! If you're going to hug me like this, you got to buy me dinner first, boy. And it's got to be someplace nice, like Antoine's or Brennan's. I ain't easy or cheap."Laughing, Caleb stepped back and narrowed his eyes on Nick as he held him by his arms. "Dude . . . did you lose a bet with a sorcerer or something?"Nick gave him a droll smirk. "Don't taunt me now that I know your real name. I'm told I can do some damage to you with that. Make you fetch my slippers and stuff.
I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you?Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction.Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time.In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Witness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing.Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Strong emotional feelings don't just go away overnight. In fact, they may never go away. The fears of feeling disliked, or that I wasn't going to fit in, all quickly bubbled up to the surface. but it was the choices I made when I was faced with challenges that really mattered. I had to continually tell myself that I was always in control. If someone was pressuring me to do something that I knew was not good for me, I had the power to simply say no. No one can ever take that power away from me. If someone was upset or didn't like me for saying no, that was someone that I really didn't need in my life.
Alexander moved her off him, laid her down, was over her, was pressed into her, crushing her. Anthony was right there, he didn't care, he was trying to inhale her, trying to absorb her into himself. "All this time you were stepping out in front of me, Tatiana," he said. "Now I finally understand. You hid me on Bethel Island for eight months. For two years you hid me and deceived me - to save me. I am such an idiot," he whispered. "Wretch or not, ravaged or not, in a carapace or not, there you still were, stepping out for me, showing the mute mangled stranger your brave and indifferent face."Her eyes closed, her arms tightened around his neck. "That stranger is my life," she whispered. They crawled away from Anthony, from their only bed, onto a blanket on the floor, barricading themselves behind the table and chairs. "You left our boy to go find me, and this is what you found..." Alexander whispered, on top of her, pushing inside her, searching for peace.Crying out underneath him, Tatiana clutched his shoulders."This is what you brought back from Sachsenhausen." his movement was tense, deep, needful. Oh God. Now there was comfort. "You thought you were bringing back him, but Tania, you brought back me.""Shura...you'll have to do..." Her fingers were clamped into his scars."In you," said Alexander, lowering his lips to her parted mouth and cleaving their flesh, "are the answers to all things."All the rivers flowed into the sea and still the sea was not full.
The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together.""Then why did you lie to me?"We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help. "Why did you lie?" I murmured again.Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer."Because we can't be together.""Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's gaurdians someday. I need to protect her at all cost. If a pack of Strogoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again. I was fading out."No. If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.
We can't leave the past in the past because, the past is who we are. It's like saying I wish I could forget English. So, there is no leaving the past in the past. It doesn't mean the past has to define and dominate everything in the future. The fact that I had a temper in my teens doesn't mean I have to be an angry person for the rest of my life. It just means that I had allot to be angry about but, didn't have the language and the understanding to know what it was and how big it was. I thought my anger was disproportionate to the environment which is what is called having a bad temper but, it just means that I underestimated the environment and my anger was telling me how wide and deep child abuse is in society but, I didn't understand that consciously so I thought my anger was disproportionate to the environment but, it wasn't. There is almost no amount of anger that's proportionate to the degree of child abuse in the world. The fantasy that you can not be somebody that lived through what you lived through is damaging to yourself and to your capacity to relate to others. People who care about you, people who are going to grow to love you need to know who you are and that you were shaped by what you've experienced for better and for worse. There is a great deal of challenge in talking about these issues. Lots of people in this world have been hurt as children. Most people have been hurt in this world as children and when you talk honestly and openly it's very difficult for people. This is why it continues and continues.If you can get to the truth of what happened if you can understand why people made the decisions they've made even if you dont agree with the reason for those decisions knowing the reasons for those decisions is enormously important in my opinion. The more we know the truth of history the more confidently we can face the future without self blame.
Henry's face went red in anger as he blustered at her audacity. It wasn't often anyone got the better of him, and Sin knew no woman had ever flummoxed him before. Not even Eleanor."You are willing to declare war for him ?" Henry asked indignantly.She didn't hesitate with her response. "I am. Are you?"Sin closed his eyes as he heard the most precious words of his life. She who believed in nothing but peace was willing to fight for him. He could die happily knowing that.Still, he couldn't let her do this. Henry would not rest until he buried her and her clan. A king's reputation was all he had, and if Henry lost face…"Callie," Sin said, waiting until her gaze met his. "Thank you, but you can't do this. You can't start a war over me. I'm not worth the cost.""You are worth everything to me.
Sarah Jane turned to face me square on, her eyes full of compassion and wisdom and strength I could never match. "You are the gaurdian, Jess. The truth is inside you if you look for it. Trust that you're here because you're destined to be.”She didn't know how crazy her request was. Someone like Sarah Jane could never understand. she was asking me to tear down my defenses, walls that kept me protected in my lobely but safe bubble. A bubble that let me belive I was good enough, that people just hadn't gotten the chance to really know me.I closed my eyes and took a deep breath praying for some kind of sign. No lighntning bolt appeared in the sky, but a momentary shower of peace rained over me. It went and came so quickly I wondered if I had imagined it, but in the end, I knew. if tere was a time to trust , this was it."Trust the universe and go with God," Nan would always say. It scared the living hck out of me. What happns when they realize I'm just me?
He calls me his Queen of the Night. He shows me the wonders in this incredible city. He encourages me to find my own way, and to choose what I think is right or wrong.And the sex, God, the sex! I never knew what sex was until him! It’s not soft music and candlelight, a choice, a deliberate action.It’s as involuntary as breathing, and as impossible not to do. It’s slammed up against a wall in a dark alley, or flat on my back on cold concrete because I can’t stand one more second without him. It’s on my hands and knees, dry-mouthed, heart-in-my-throat, waiting for the moment he touches me, and I’m alive again. It’s punishing and purifying, velvet and violent, and it makes everything else melt away, until nothing matters but getting him inside me and I wouldn’t just die for him—I’d kill for him, too.Like I did tonight.
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?""Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tugsaddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment."Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more."Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote:Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send.HUCK FINN.I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper.It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:"All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Grace: Outside, deep in the woods, I heard a long keening wail, and then another, as the wolves began to howl. More voices pitched in, some low and mournful, others high and short, an eerie and beautiful chorus. I knew my wolf's howl; his rich tone sang out above others as if begging me to hear it.My heart ached inside me, torn between wanting them to stop and wishing they would go on for ever. I imagined myself there among them in the golden woods, watching them tilt their heads back and howl underneath a sky of endless stars. I blinked a tear away, feeling foolish and miserable, but I didn't go to sleep until every wolf had fallen silent.
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?" Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?"I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?"His thick black eyebrows went up even farther. Did you evan intend to look for him at all?"He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?"You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?"I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light.So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back.Do you like it?"Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widenedSo do you like it?"When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else."His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?"I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away. Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly.My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me."I thought about it."I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?" He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
...He kissed me again, farther up my neck, and I pushed him back against the wall.My mind searched for the logical thought, a rational life raft before I drowned in wanting to hiss him. I managed, "We've only met a few days ago. We don't know each other."Luke released me. "How long does it take to know someone?"I didn't know. "A month? A few months?" It sounded stupid to quantify it, especially when I didn't want to believe my own reasoning. But I couldn't just go kissing someone I knew nothing about-- it went against everything I'd ever been told. So why was it so hard to say no?He took my fingers, playing with them in between his own. "I'll wait." He looked so good in the half-light under the trees, his light eyes nearly glowing against his shadowed skin. It was useless."I don't want you to." I whispered the words, and before I'd even finished saying them, his mouth was on mine and I was melting under his lips.
An awfulness was deep inside me, and I couldn't fight it; forced into submission and taken hostage by it, I could only just lie there, let it wash over me, and let myself be consumed by it. If I cooperate, maybe it won't stay too long; maybe it'll let me go free. But if I fight it, it might stay longer just to spite me. So I decided to let The Feeling inhabit me as long as it desired, while I lay still, cautious not to incite me, secretly hoping it would leave me soon and bother someone else, but outwardly, pretending to be its gracious host. The most discouraging element of what I felt was my inability to understand it. Usually when I was filled with an unpleasant feeling, I could make it go away, or at least tame it, by watching a light-hearted film or reading a good book or listening to a feel good album. But this feeling was different. I knew non of those distractions could rid me of it. But I knew nothing else. I couldn't even describe it. Is this depression? Maybe once you ask someone to describe depression, he can't find the words. Maybe I'm part of the official club now. I imagined myself in a room full of people where someone in the crowd, also suffering from depression, immediately noticed me-as if he detected the scent of his own kind-walked over, and looked into my eyes. He knew that I had The Feeling inside me because he, too, da The Feeling inside him. He didn't ask me to talk about it, because he understood that our type of suffering was ineffable. He only nodded at me, and I nodded back; and then, during our moment of silence, we both shared a sad smile of recognition, knowing that we only had each other in a room filled with people who would never understand us, because they didn't have The Feeling inside them.
Is that a no?" I said. "No. I mean.." He struggled for the smile again. "I'm just waiting for the punch line. Something about making it date so I need to pay. Or you expecting flowers. Or.." He trailed off."There isn't a punch line," I said.I rose onto my knees and inched over, in front of him. Then I stopped about a foot away."No punch line, Daniel," I said. "I'm asking if you'll go out with me."He didn't answer. Just reched out, his hand sliding between my hair and face, pulling me toward him and..And he kissed me.His lips touched mine, tentatively, still unsure, and I eased closer, my arms going around his neck. He kissed me for real then, a long kiss that I felt in the bottom of my soul, a click, some deep part of me saying, "Yes, this is it."Even when the kiss broke off, it didn't end. It was like coming to the surface for a quick gasp of air, then plunging back down again, finding that sweet spot again, and holding onto it for as long as we could. Finally it tapered off, and we were lying on the picnic blanket, side by side, his hand on my hip, kissing slower now, with more breaks for air. until I said, "We should have done that sooner."He smiled, a lazy half smile, and he just looked at me for a moment, our gazes locked, lying there in drowsy happiness, before he said, "I think now's just fine." And he kissed me again, slower and softer now, as we rested there, eyes half closed."So, about Saturday, did you ask me?" he said after a minute, "Because I'm pretty sure that means yo're paying.""Nope. You were imaging it. Considering how you eat, the meal bill is all yours. But I will spring for the movie. And bring you flowers."He chuckled. "Will you?""Yep, a dozen pink roses, which you'll have to carry all night or risk offending me.""And what happens if I offend you?""You don't get any more of this."I leaned in and kissed him again. And we stayed out there, on the blanket, as the sun fell, talking and kissing mostly, just being together. We had a long road ahead of us, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But I had everything I wanted-everything I needed-and I'd get through it just fine. We all would.
Hey - Duggie! Duggie! Duggie!" He came running up to me, sparkler in hand. I felt like sticking one on him, the cheeky bastard. Nobody called me Duggie.He held the sparkler up in front of my face and said, "Wait. Wait."I was already waiting. What else was there to do?"Here you are," he said. "Look! What's this?"At that precise moment, his sparkler fizzled out. I didn't say anything, so he supplied the answer himself. "The death of the socialist dream," he said.He giggled like a little maniac, and stared at me for a second or two before running off, and in that time I saw exactly the same thing I'd seen in Stubbs's eyes the day before. The same triumphalism, the same excitement, not because something new was being created, but because something was being destroyed. I thought about Phillip and his stupid rock symphony and I swear that my eyes pricked with tears. This ludicrous attempt to squeeze the history of the countless millennia into half an hour's worth of crappy riffs and chord changes suddenly seemed no more Quixotic than all the things my dad and his colleagues had been working towards for so long. A national health service, free to everyone who needed it. Redistribution of wealth through taxation. Equality of opportunity. Beautiful ideas, Dad, noble aspirations, just as there was the kernel of something beautiful in Philip's musical hodge-podge. But it was never going to happen. If there had ever been a time when it might have happened, that time was slipping away. The moment had passed. Goodbye to all that.Easy to be clever with hindsight, I know, but I was right, wasn't I? Look back on that night from the perspective of now, the closing weeks of the closing century of our second millennium - if the calendar of some esoteric and fast-disappearing religious sect counts for anything any more - and you have to admit that I was right. And so was Benjamin's brother, the little bastard, with his sparkler and his horrible grin and that nasty gleam of incipient victory in his twelve-year-old eyes. Goodbye to all that, he was saying. He'd worked it out already. He knew what the future held in store.
I didn't want to believe that killing was deep inside of me. I didn't want to think about the part of me that took a dark joy in gathering all the power it could and using it as I saw fit, everything else be damned. There was power to be had in hatred, too, in anger and in lust, in selfishness and in pride. And I knew that there was some dark corner of me that would enjoy using magic for killing—and then long for more. That was black magic, and it was easy to use. Easy and fun. Like Legos.
Jesus knew that many of his listeners believed the old wineskin (or way of doing things) was good enough. They were comfortable with their beliefs and practices, but Jesus hadn't come to patch up old religious traditions. He was offering a new garment, a new wineskin, a way of life that didn't abolish the old ways, but fulfilled them.The teaching illuminated my own need to remain pliable before God. I realize that I must have a softer housing for my growing faith, one that can flex and change as God is at work inside of me. All too often I find myself clinging to that which is comfortable and familiar, rather than embracing the challenges that emerge with change and growth. Sometimes I shy away from people who have strong views that differ from mine, even though sharing a great conversation... could temper both our viewpoints and deepen our relationship. Why do I run away from strong opinions and potential conflict? Am I too comfortable and unwilling to change? Such a realization highlights the need for the Spirit in my life not just to discern and distinguish, but also to illuminate and invite me to move forward into the fullness of life with him." -Scouting the Divine
War didn't scare me. I just didn't want to go all the way-hell over there to fight one. I had a reputation after that--I pretended I shot myself by accident, but everyone knew. I never did lose that reputation, but now most everyone is dead, and y'all ain't got any stories from them, so you have to believe mine by default: They were cowards, too. Everyone is.