Everyone thinks that courage is about facing death without flinching. But almost anyone can do that. Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die. True courage is about facing life without flinching. I don't mean the times when the right path is hard, but glorious at the end. I'm talking about enduring the boredom, the messiness, and the inconvenience of doing what is right.
That is the challenge Companion. To take what has happened to you and learn from it. Nothing is quite so destructive as pity, especially self-pity. No event in life is so terrible that one cannot rise above it.
The second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don't listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won't be one of them. Don't listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don't have to try any more. Keep writing, keep faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them. I meet far too many people who are going to be writers 'someday.' When they are out of high school, when they've finished college, after the wedding, when the kids are older, after I retire . . . That is such a trap You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That's okay. I think we've all 'been there, done that.' It all starts with the writing.
When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead.
As I apologized to her a flicker of panic raced through me and then faded away. There wasn't enough life left in me to panic. I'd made a mistake and I was dying. Apparently not even a Speck afterlife was available to me. I'd simply stop being. Apparently I hadn't died correctly. Oops.
The knowledge that he had left me with no intent ever to return had come over me in tiny droplets of realization spread over the years. And each droplet of comprehension brought its own small measure of hurt...He had wished me well in finding my own fate to follow, and I never doubted his sincerity. But it had taken me years to accept that his absence in my life was a deliberate finality, an act he had chosen, a thing completed even as some part of my soul still dangled, waiting for his return.
The knowledge that he had left me with no intent ever to return had come over me in tiny droplets of realization spread over the years. And each droplet of comprehension brought its own small measure of hurt.
What is a secret? It is much more than knowledge shared with only a few, or perhaps only one another. It is power. It is a bond. It is a sign of deep trust, or the darkest threat possible. There is power in the keeping of a secret, and power in the revelation of a secret. Sometimes it takes a very wise man to discern which is the path to greater power. All men desirous of power should become collectors of secrets. There is no secret too small to be valuable. All men value their own secrets far above those of others. A scullery maid may be willing to betray a prince before allowing the name of her secret lover to be told.
I once knew of a minstrel who bragged of having had a thousand women, one time each. He would never know what I knew, that to have one woman a thousand times, and each time find in her a different delight, is far better. I knew now what gleamed in the eyes of old couples when they stared at each other across a room...My familiarity with her was a more potent love elixir than any potion sold by a hedge-witch in the market.
The death of Nighteyes gutted me. I walked wounded through my life in the days that followed, unaware of just how mutilated I was. I was like the man who complains of the itching of his severed leg. The itching distracts from the immense knowledge that one will forever after hobble through life.
One part braggart to one part coward. He would fear everyone he did not control. And the next day he would fear those he controlled even more.
But change proves that you are still alive. Change often measures our tolerance for folk different from ourselves. Can we accept their languages, their customs, their garments, and their foods into our own lives? If we can, then we form bonds, bonds that make wars less likely. If we cannot, if we believe that we must do things as we have always done them, then we must either fight to remain as we are, or die
Life is not a race to restore a past situation. Nor does one have to hurry to meet the future. Seeing how things change is what makes life interesting.
The world had to change and for some reason the prosperity of men always results in them taking ever more from wild creatures and places.
...it's strange, isn't it, how you don't know how big a part of you someone is until they're threatened? And then you think you can't possibly go on if something happens to them, but the most frightening part is that, actually, you will go on, you'll have to go on, with them or without them. There's just no telling what you'll become
Like a flower pressed flat and dried, we try to hold it still and say, this is exactly how it was the day I first saw it. But like the flower, the past cannot be trapped that way. It loses its fragrance and and its vitality, its fragility becomes brittleness and its colors fade. And when next you look on the flower, you know that it is not at all what you sought to capture, that that moment has fled forever.
He had wished me well in finding my own fate to follow, and I never doubted his sincerity. But it had taken me years to accept that his absence in my life was a deliberate finality, an act he had chosen, a thing completed even as some part of my soul still dangled, waiting for his return. That, I think, is the shock of any relationship ending. It is realizing that what is still an ongoing relationship to someone is, for the other person, something finished and done with.
She had come to letters late in her life, and though she had mastered them, they had never become her good friends.
It is worse than useless to do things halfway Bee, for then you think the work is done, but someone must come behind you later to do it all over again. Even if you must work much harder and get less done, it is better to do the whole task the first time.
I think that old magic draws much of its strength from that acknowledgment: that we are a part of that world.
Humans could never accept the world as it was and live in it. They were always breaking it and living amongst the shattered pieces.
He thought perhaps it was a woman's way, to come out of such a storm of emotion and pain as if she were a ship emerging onto calm seas. She had seemed, not at peace, but emptied of sorrow. As if she had run out of that particular emotion and no other one arose to take its place.
There is nothing dishonorable about abandoning pain. Sometimes peace is most quickly found when a man simply stops avoiding it.
Leave off sniffing the carcass of your old life-do you enjoy unending pain? There is no shame in walking away from bones. Nor is there any special wisdom in injuring oneself over and over. What is your loyalty to that pain? To abandon it will not lessen you.
Had she learned to feel again, only to have to feel this? Could any amount of love ever be worth the pain of losing it?
In the dead of night I stirred. Wakefulness flowed back into me. I was a cup full of sorrow, but that sorrow was stilled, like a pain that abates as long as one does not move.
When has been disappointed for so long, hope becomes the enemy. One cannot be dashed to the earth unless one is lifted first, and I learned to avoid hope.
Life is a balance. We tend to forget that as we go blithely from day to day. We eat and drink and sleep and assume we will always rise up the next day, that meals and rest will always replenish us. Injuries we expect to heal, and pain to lessen as time goes by. Even when we are faced with wounds that heal more slowly, with pain that lessens by day only to return in full force at nightfall, even when sleep does not leave us rested, we still expect that somehow tomorrow will all come back into balance and that we will go on. At some point, the exquisite balance has tipped, and despite all our flailing efforts, we begin the slow fall from the body that maintains itself to the body that struggles, nails clawing, to cling to what it used to be.
It is the nature of human that we tend to pass our pain along. As if we could get rid of it by inflicting an equal hurt on someone else.
Love isn't just about feeling sure of the other person, knowing what he would give up for you. It's knowing with certainty what you are willing to surrender for his sake. Make no mistake; each partner gives up something. Individual dreams are surrendered for a shared one. In some marriages, one partner gives up almost everything she once thought she wanted. But it's not always the woman who does so. Such sacrifice is not shameful. It's love. If you think the man is worth it, it works.