She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit)
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why, - when it did not seem worthwhile to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation. - Kate Chopin
I seemed fated to pass through the world without colliding with it or moving it - and I’m sure I can’t tell you whether the fate’s good or evil. I don’t die - I don’t fall in love. And if other people die or fall in love they always do it when I’m just not there.
- E.M. Forster: Where Angels Fear To Tread
Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it - which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? I don’t know."
— Paulo Coelho
Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. Time and distance blur the edges; then suddenly the beloved has arrived, and its noon with its merciless light, and every spot and pore and wrinkle and bristle stands clear.
Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin
“Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything.”
Karen Marie Moning: Shadowfever
“...almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear...these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose...There is no reason not to follow your heart” - Steve Jobs
He hated to think of his own life stretching ahead of him that way, a long succession of days and nights that were fine - not good, not bad, not great, not lousy, not exciting, not anything.
Robert Cormier: The Chocolate War
“You see, there’s responsibility in being a person. It’s more than just taking up space where air would be.” East Of Eden
“It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you” - Lillian Hellman
“A girl becomes a comma like that, with wrong boy after wrong boy; she becomes a pause, something quick before the real thing.” - Lisa Glatt, A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That
“To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness - though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.”
— Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot
— Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot
Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it’s the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose that is why people always want other people to say “I love you.” I think just the opposite - that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them, that it is best for them to stay in the dark climate-controlled airport chapel of your mind, that if they’re released into the air and light they will be affected in a way that alters them, like film accidentally exposed.
Peter Cameron: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You