It's written in the snow. Hidden in the stars. And wrapped in paper on Christmas Eve. It's buried on a desert island. Scratched upon a tree. The way she cannot help but smile. The way you hate it when he leaves. It's written in a teenage diary. Danced upon a floor. Sung from the very depths of your soul as the crowd calls out for more. It's whispered to eternal spirits that watch you from above. It's in the blink of an eye. The slightest of smiles. In luck you can't explain. It rides the back of nervous foxes. Glistens in the eyes of fearless robins. In multicolored halos that illuminate the sky. It's dreams come true. Hopes achieved. And friends who phone you up to ask you how you've been. It's in frosty morning air. The way she plays with her hair. It's not a care for things they say you need. It's magical. Mystical. Brighter than gold. A thing that can't be sold. It's goose-bumps on the skin. The way she looks at him. A fable she once told.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Stella turned toward me and crumpled my heart in her hand. 'Do you fall in love often?' Yes often. With a view, with a book, with a dog, a cat, with numbers, with friends, with complete strangers, with nothing at all.
"I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible."
--John Steinbeck, 'East of Eden'
"Kisses open doors, I've noticed. That one gesture can unlock secrets, ease open feelings. It can't be prevented--these kisses just are. It's how they work. They break into basements you never knew you had."
"You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens."
I saw a moth fall from the sky. It fell, in smooth, tight spirals, the way seed pods from sycamore trees do. We called them helicopters and they littered the streets of our childhood, on our way home from school in the dusky glow of autumn evenings. I only saw the moth when it reached my eye level. It could have been falling for years.
1. It's late at night.
2. You're driving home.
3. Call your husband and tell him you see a strange light in the sky.
4. Hang up in the middle of the call.
5. Leave the car on the side of the road.
6. Hitch a ride somewhere.
And what if that was the last time I'll ever see him, standing at my door in a kilt at nine o'clock this morning with a sad smile on his face and a battered old bag by his feet? I said I hope you have a good flight, but really I meant to say I love you and I'll miss you. I think he understood. I had cried half a years worth of tears the night before but I wanted to cry again. He walked down the corridor and I went back to sleep. "Dust in the wind," he said.
It happened on a Friday in early August. No, no, it was a Saturday. Back then, days of the week lost all meaning, they all just merged together into one sprawling moment in time that lasted the whole summer. Each day was a chapter within the greater story of one life. Some days two lives shared the same chapter, and those were the days that mattered most. One of those days was a Thursday, when they looked each other in the eye and admitted this was happening. Another was a Monday when they held hands because they didn't know what else to do, and several Mondays later they held hands because it was all they knew. Once, it started on a Saturday and she stroked his arm with her delicate thumb until it was a Sunday and he slept while she could smile and be exhausted and impatient all at once. I miss this.
And when you're sitting on the side of the road crying over what feels like the best goddamn thing you ever had--well, at least you had it.
I knew that no matter how bad you feel, or what horrible thing happens to you, that the world just keeps on going. That the rest of the world doesn’t even realize that the monsters are eating your heart. A long time ago it used to bother me that I could be in such confusion, such pain, and the world just didn’t give a shit. The world, the creation as a whole, is designed to move forward, to keep on keeping on without any one individual person. It feels damned impersonal, and it is. But, then, if the world stopped rotating just because one of us was having a bad day, we’d all be floating out in space.
"The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face."
--Jodi Picoult, 'The Tenth Circle'
I need to do something. Tonight I remembered that it feels good to lay in the middle of the street with your friends and look at the sky. Today I remembered riding bikes around the city and sitting by the river. I remembered feeling frustrated and unsure--but inspired and satisfied. I'm always missing something and I just know that I need to make some changes. If I'm not going forward, I'm not going anywhere.
We all grow into the beautiful person that we're supposed to be--some earlier. Some later.
I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than to live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.
The paper cuts
The cheating lovers
The coffees never strong enough
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things.
Rules only work when everyone plays by them.
Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had.
Being brave doesn’t save you from the monsters. It just ups your chances.
“Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.”
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the
greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
"Have you really read all those books in your room?" I asked. She laughed. "Oh God no. I've maybe read a third of 'em. But I'm going to read them all. I call it my Life's Library. Every summer since I was little, I've gone to garage sales and bought all the books that look interesting. So I always have something to read. But there is so much to do: cigarettes to smoke, sex to have, swings to swing on. I'll have more time for reading them when I'm old and boring."
At twenty we worry about what others think of us; at forty we don't care about what others think of us; at sixty we discover they haven't been thinking about us at all.
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain "Move from here to there", and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you.
"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh -- at yourself."
"The odds are very good that worrying is a waste of time. And besides, worrying won't change what happens anyway, will it?"
-Judie Angell, 'A Whisper in the Night'
"I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right."
--Markus Zusak, 'The Book Thief'
"I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone."
"There’s a kind of radar you get, after years of being talked about and made fun of by other people. You can almost smell it when it’s about to happen, you recognize instantly the sound of a hushed voice, lowered just enough to make whatever is said okay."
--Stephanie Meyer, 'New Moon'
"Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend."
--Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat Pray Love'
"People drain me, even the closest of friends, and I find loneliness to be the best state in the union to live in."
"People who lead a lonely existence always have something on their minds that they are eager to talk about."
"She always camouflaged herself as a crowd. I've never been lonely, she said, but sometimes it's hard to think above the noise."
"If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax; I'd limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones."
"Nobody gets to pick their time to die, but living every day to the max is something we all get to do."
--Lurlene McDaniel, 'No Time to Cry'
"Your tears come easy, when you're young, and beginning the world. Your tears come easy, when you're old, and leaving it."
--Wilkie Collins, 'The Moonstone'
Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
"For the first half of your life, people tell you what you should do; for the second half, they tell you what you should have done."
"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
"Four things to learn in life: To think clearly without hurry or confusion; To love everybody sincerely; To act in everything with the highest motives; To trust God unhesitatingly."
"Don't throw yourself out on another one's whim. People change, as do intentions, and as a result, consequences. Live for yourself. Love those around you, but realize they've got their own agendas."
"Life's greatest tragedy is not that it will someday end, but that most only live to follow directions and sometimes we end up totally lost."
“It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.”
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
--Thomas Alva Edison
“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
Saturday, September 19, 2009
All poems by Shel Silverstein
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.
I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' In The Sun,
Talkin' 'Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done...
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.
Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.
All quotes by author Laurell K. Hamilton
"Love sucks. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it’s just another way to bleed."
“'Tell it to someone who cares, Richard. Tell it to someone who cares.' I walked away into the trees, and he stayed where I’d left him. I felt him watch me as I moved through the trees. I could feel the weight of his gaze like a hand on my back. If I looked back, would he be waving? I didn’t look back. I loved Richard. He loved me. I was sure of those two things. The one thing I wasn’t sure of was whether that love would be enough."
"Why did we even bother? We had too many important areas that we disagreed on. It wouldn’t work. So we lusted after each other, even loved each other. It wasn’t enough. If we couldn’t find a way to compromise on the rest of it, we’d just end up cutting each other apart. Better to just make the break as cleanly as possible. My head agreed with the logic. Other body parts weren’t so sure."
"There comes a point when you just love someone. Not because they're good, or bad, or anything really. You just love them. It doesn't mean you'll be together forever. It doesn't mean you won't hurt each other. It just means you love them. Sometimes in spite of who they are, and sometimes because of who they are. And you know that they love you, sometimes because of who you are, and sometimes in spite of it."
"There comes a point when you either embrace who and what you are, or condemn yourself to be miserable all your days. Other people will try to make you miserable; don't help them by doing the job yourself."
"Still it might be nice, once in a while, not to have to choose between evils. Just once, couldn't I choose the lesser good?"
"People are supposed to fear the unknown, but ignorance is bliss when knowledge is so damn frightening."
"You can't save everybody. In fact, there are days when I think you can't save anyone. Each person has to save himself first, then you can move in and help."
"She should have remembered that people have given everything they own, everything they are, to be taken care of, and to have their pain gone. It's the lure of cults: the promise of a good family; it's what people think love is, but love isn't absence of pain, it's a hand to hold while you're going through it."
"Sometimes it's not the optimist you need, but another pessimist to walk beside you and know, absolutely know, that the sound in the dark is a monster, and it really is as bad as you think."
"What is love? Sometimes it's just letting yourself be who and what you are, and letting the person you're supposed to love be who and what he is too. Or maybe what and who they are."
"Questions are great, but only if you know the answers. If you ask questions and the answers surprise you, you look silly."
"If your life works, and you work in it, then it’s okay, whatever is happening is okay."
"I spend most of my waking hours confronting and destroying things that I fear. A thousand-year-old master vampire was a tall order, but a girl's got to have a goal."
"I never met coffee that wasn't wonderful. It was just a matter of how wonderful it was."
"He rewarded me with one of those brilliant smiles. If I had been less professional, it might have melted me into my socks. There was a tinge of evil to it, a lot of sex, but under that was a little boy peeking out, an uncertain little boy. That was it. That was the attraction. Nothing is more appealing than a handsome man who is also uncertain of himself. It appeals not only to the woman in us all, but the mother. A dangerous combination."
"Men don't settle down because of the right woman. They settle down because they are finally ready for it. Whatever woman they're dating when they get ready is the one they settle down with, not necessarily the best one or the prettiest, just the one who happened to be on hand when the time got to be right. Unromantic, but still true."
Monday, September 07, 2009
All quotes from the book 'Handle With Care' by Jodi Picoult
Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever. Promises break. Hearts break.
It's not that I don't feel like breaking down. It's that someone's got to be the strong one, so that you all don't have to be.
Folks who are trying to be kind would rather do it with macaroni-and-cheese bake than any personal involvement. You hand off a serving dish and you've done your job. No need to get personally involved, and your conscience is clean. Food is the currency of aid.
Facebook is supposed to be a social network, but the truth is, most people I know who use it spend so much time online tweaking our profiles and writing graffiti on other people's walls or poking them that we never leave our computers to actually socially interact.
People who didn't talk about their problems got to pretend they didn't have any. People who discussed what was wrong, on the other hand, fought and ached and felt miserable.
When you showed someone how you felt, it was fresh and honest. When you told someone how you felt, there might be nothing behind the words but habit or expectation.
Maybe it did take a crisis to get to know yourself; maybe you needed to get whacked hard by life before you understood what you wanted out of it.
Families were never what you wanted them to be. We all wanted what we couldn't have: the perfect child, the doting husband, the mother who'd let us go. We lived in our own grown-up dollhouses completely unaware that, at any moment, a hand might come in and change around everything we'd become accustomed to.
Maybe that's what we do to the people we love: we take shots in the dark and realize too late we've wounded the people we are trying to protect.
It was one thing to make a mistake; it was another to keep making it. I knew what happened when you let yourself get close to someone, when you started to believe they loved you; you'd be disappointed. Depend on someone, and you might as well admit you're going to be crushed, because when you really needed them, they wouldn't be there. Either that, or you'd confide in them and you added to their problems. All you ever really had was yourself, and that sort of sucked if you were less than reliable.
I told myself that if I didn't care, this wouldn't have hurt so much. Surely that proved that I was alive and human and all those touchy-feely things, for once and for all. But that wasn't a relief, not when I felt like a skyscraper with dynamite on every floor.
When you don't have what you want, you have to want what you have.
Love wasn't about sacrifice, and it wasn't about falling short of someone's expectations. By definition, love made you better and good enough; it redefined perfection to include your traits, instead of excluding them.
People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that's not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
All lyrics by Colbie Caillat
You say it's easier to burn than to build
You say it's easier to hurt than to heal
But I say you lose when you give up what you love
And I've lived my life without you long enough
So let's just try to cool it down
The fighting this feeling of flames
So let's try to slow it down
We crash when we race
As I'm standing here
And you hold my hand
Pull me towards you
And we start to dance
All around us
I see nobody
Here in silence
It's just you and me
--'Fallin' For You'
I'm still feelin' the rain fall
And bouncin' off my skin
How long do I have to wait for
The sun to shine again
Come on, paint me the rainbows
I can follow it
I don't know where it'll take me
But I like wonderin'
I'm gonna stop in the middle
Hang my feet off the edge
I got no reason to worry
Then that's the way it is
We live with what we miss
We learn to build another wall
'Till it falls
No, I don't want to break when I speak
I don't want to shake while I'm standing
I don't want to crawl into another hole
I don't know what I'm hiding for
No, I don't want to fall when I stand
I don't want to have to hold your hand
I just want to be the girl I use to be when I was me and worry free
I know these burnings on my own
--'It Stops Today'
I kind of like the challenge, I don't need help
I'm going to make it past the very start
Its always been my hardest part
--'It Stops Today'
Friday, September 04, 2009
"Within ourselves lies a drive, a force that only makes sense to us. It is that force, that drive that can make a person crazy. Crazy is only what you make of it, in the past, most people have been trained to think that crazy is a negative thing... but I repeat, crazy is only what you make of it. Crazy is a state of mind comprised of desire, anger, knowledge, courage, fear, and devotion. Crazy makes a man and woman fall in love, crazy makes musicians and artists talented. Crazy makes a dying man take his own life. Make what you will of this but I cannot believe I would be any better off 'sane'. Therefore I am, and will remain, crazy."
"He knew better than anyone that you could not trust a woman who said she was telling the truth. But what if you knew, from the start, that she was lying?"
--Jodi Picoult, 'Salem Falls'
"If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today."
--E. Joseph Cossman
The best way to discover who you are is to be someone you are not.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
“The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.”
Do not give up; the beginning is always the hardest.
"His heart is breaking right now and I come in here, and I sit in silence and hear the echoes of who we used to be. So I wish for patience and grace and strength to just let him be happy. And mostly I pray for the strength to not make his life worse 'cause of what I want. That’s the toughest part… letting go, you know, that’s the part of grace that really sucks."
--'One Tree Hill'
Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.
Bob Marley had this idea. It was kind of a virologist idea. He believed that you could cure racism and hate - literally cure it by injecting music and love into people's lives. When he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally, a gunman came to his house and shot him down. Two days later he walked out on that stage and sang, and when they asked him why, he said, "The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.”
“They are the proof of something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they'll still be there looking at you.”
--Diane Arbus, talking about photographs
No one feels another's grief, no one understands another's joy. People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.
"But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way to find that what I really sought was something I left behind."
Stable as long as nothing else in the whole world shifts (so don't get your hopes up).
Counted up all the things she was afraid of one night & it took so long she fell asleep from exhaustion.
I always imagine the worst possible thing that can happen, she told me. It gives me a great excuse to stay home & have tea.
This is a secret potion that makes you see the world differently & she's found it safest to use only on the weekends.
She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things. Her heart glowed with a degree of happy assurance. To: the world
Perfect bliss. She dreams of mermaids and motorcycles and meeting a man who can dance. This is the employment my soul delights in.
“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.”
"Real love, I've learned, is a very, very strong form of forgiveness. I don't think people yearn for love because they hate staying home alone on Saturday night or because they dread going into restaurants alone. People want love because they want their taped-together glasses or the extra pounds to be forgiven. They want someone to look past the surface stuff like bad-hair days, a too-loud laugh or potato chips crunching in their living room couch when anyone sits down."
--Lois Smith Brady
"It seems so much of my time and my energy have been focused on making or trying to make other people love me. The unspoken belief was that if I could make myself lovable to others I would feel loved. The truth is, I can only feel loved by others when I love myself."
There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing.
Love is a homeless guy searching for treasure in the middle of the rain and finding a bag of gold coins and slowly finding out that they're all filled with chocolate. And even though he's heartbroken he can't complain because he was hungry in the first place.
“Love is like a Rubix Cube, there are countless numbers of wrong twists and turns, but when you get it right, it looks perfect no matter what way you look at it.”
"What we learned as children - that one plus one equals two - we know to be false. One plus one equals one. We even have a word for when you plus another equals one. That word is love.”
All quotes from 'Plain Truth' by Jodi Picoult
"It was supposed to be a love movie - such a funny concept, for a two hour movie. Love wasn't supposed to be about a moment where you looked into a boy's eyes and felt the world spin from beneath your feet; when you saw in his soul all the things that were missing from yours. Love came slow and surefooted and was made of equal measure of comfort and respect."
"You can be happy for someone else's good fortune, but that doesn't mean you forget your own bad luck."
"It's hard to change the way you've always thought about things."
"You're unwilling to go out on a limb because it just might break underneath you."