I've been in love with you since you helped me bury that spider in my garden, and you sang with me like we were singing “Amazing Grace” instead of “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” I've loved you since you quoted Hamlet like you understood him, since you said you loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn't be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation. I read and re-read your letters to Rita because I felt like you'd opened up a little window into your soul, and the light was pouring out with every word. They weren't even for me, but it didn't matter. I loved every word, every thought, and I loved you . . . so much.
I don't think we get answers to every question. We don't get all the whys. But I think when we look back to the end of our lives, if we do the best we can, and we will see that the things we begged God to take from us, the things we cursed him for, the things that made us turn our backs on him, are the things that were the biggest blessings, the biggest opportunities for growth.
True beauty, the kind that doesn't fade or wash off, takes time. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that creates the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would have otherwise never existed.And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can't see. We believe there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent, our bodies can't contain it.
With our hands, we reach for things we shouldn't have and we grasp what isn't ours. The way I have always reached for you.
Fear is strange. It settles on chests and seeps through skin, through layers of tissue, muscle, and bone and collects in a soul-sized black hole, sucking the joy out of life, the pleasure, the beauty. But not the hope. Somehow, the hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is that hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive.
People liked religion but they didn't want to have to excercise any faith. Religion was comforting with all its structure and its rules. It made people feel safe. But faith wasn't safe. Faith was hard and uncomfortable and forced people to step out on a limb.
Often-times, grass was more useful than gold. Man was more desirable than a beast. Chance was more seductive than knowledge, and eternal life was completely meaningless without love.
I want to do the right things for the right reasons. Not because someone will judge or someone else will wonder. Not because of tradition or pressure. Not because I'm afraid or embarrassed to do anything else. And not because it's what people expect. I want to do his will. But that is what I struggle with most, knowing what his will really is. Not his will according to the Catholic Church, but his will.
She had almost felt relieved when she was arrested. The thing she had dreaded, feared, run from had happened. When it came, she was strangely liberated from the fear. She couldn't dread what had already come to pass. She didn't have to anticipate the horror when the horror was right there. With her arrest came a certain calm, a quiet comfort. It had come. She had known it would and she could stop fighting.
Maybe people had no choice but I wonder sometimes what would have happened if everyone without a choice would have made a choice anyway. If we all chose not to participate. Not to be bullied. Not to take up arms. Not to persecute. What would happen then?
The longer he remained on this earth, the more he was sure that mankind had no clue about God or heaven. Not when they used him as an excuse to kill, to punish, to discriminate.
We are at war. War has a way of stripping us of perspective. War is about life and death, and it paints everything in shades of now or never.
True beauty, the kind that doesn't fade or wash off, takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that makes the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exist.And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can't see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can't contain it
. . . death isn’t anything I need to be afraid of. I’m not a perfect man. But I think I’m a good man. I’ve lived a hell of a life, even with all the heartache. Millie told me once that the ability to devastate is what makes a song beautiful. Maybe that’s what makes life beautiful too. The ability to devastate. Maybe that’s how we know we’ve lived. How we know we’ve truly loved.”“The ability to devastate,” I repeated. And my voice broke. If that wasn’t a perfect description of the agony of love, I didn’t know what was.
She wondered how it would feel to be beautiful and have it taken away. How much harder would it be than never knowing what it felt like in the first place?
True beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade or wash off, takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that makes the stalactite, the shaking of the earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that break up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exist.And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we cant see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies cant contain it.
Think about it. There isn't heartache if there hasn't been joy. I wouldn't feel loss if there hadn't been love. You couldn't take my pain away without removing Bailey from my heart. I would rather have this pain now then never have known him. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.
Life had taught her that consequences were ugly and painful, and seldom worth the pleasure they had been bartered for.
They can take our homes, our possessions. Our families. Our lives. They can drive us out, like they've driven us out before. They can humiliate us and dehumanize us. But they cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories, or our minds. In music there is no bondage. Music is a door, and the soul escapes through the melody.
Life is like a long note; it persists without variance, without wavering. There is no cessation in sound or pause in tempo. It continues on, and we must master it or it will master us.
But it wasn’t. Sex is not the most intimate thing two lovers can do. Even when the sex is beautiful. Even when it’s perfect.” Millie drew a deep breath as if she remembered how perfect it had truly been. “The most intimate thing we can do is to allow the people we love most to see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect. And I don’t think you’re ready to be intimate with me, David.
Saying something is “meant to be” is a cop out. It’s a way for people to deal when they screw up or when life hands them a bowl of shit stew. The things that are meant to be are the things we can’t control, the things we don’t cause, the things that happen regardless of who or what we are. Like sunsets and snow-fall and natural disasters. I’ve never believed hardship or suffering was meant to be. I’ve never believed relationships were meant to be. We choose. In large part, we choose. We create, we make mistakes, we burn bridges, we build new ones.
He'd been given every word he needed, and every word had been stripped from me. I wanted them back. All of them.
I wondered how he'd learned to push the words away, to drown them, to not feel them pounding against his head and his heart, begging to be spoken.
The road was so dimly lighted.There we;re no highway signs to guide.But they made up their minds,If all roads were blind,They wouldn't give up 'til they died....
God wants us to receive everything that life was meant to teach. Then we take what we've learned, and it becomes our offering to God and to mankind. But we have to live in order to learn. And sometimes we have to fight in order to live.
But she wasn’t the only one who was suffering, and sometimes there is comfort in the knowledge that you don’t suffer alone, sad as that is.
We weren't so different, Finn and I. Cages come in lots of colors and shapes. Some are gilded, while others have a slamming door. But golden handcuffs are still handcuffs.
When the ancient Romans would conquer a new place or a new people, they would leave the language and the customs in tact – they would even let the conquered people rule themselves in most cases, appointing a governor to maintain a foothold in the region.” Wilson leaned against the whiteboard as he spoke, his posture relaxed, his hands clasped loosely.“This was part of what made Rome so successful. They didn't try to make everyone Romans in the process of conquering them. When I went to Africa with the Peace Corp, a woman who worked with the Corp said something to me that I have often thought about since. She told me 'Africa is not going to adapt to you. You are going to have to adapt to Africa.' That is true of wherever you go, whether it's school or whether it's in the broader world.
I had wanted to disappear, if only so the cancer could disappear with me. But the stars whispered that there was no such thing. You don’t ever disappear. You just change. You leave. You move on. But you never disappear. Even when you think you want to.
This thing we have, it hurts, he continued. But the pain is almost sweet because it means YOU happened. We happened. And I can't regret that, no matter how little or how long I get to tag along with you and pretend that I don't hate having people recognize me or take pictures or having people whisper about my record-- Your record? My criminal record, Bonnie, Nothing platinum there. I'm an ex-con, and starting over and building a new life where I can put it behind me, I'm building a new life where it will never be behind me, and for you, its worth it. It's easy math.