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Would that Christmas could just be, without presents. It is just so stupid, everyoneexhausting themselves, miserably hemorrhaging money on pointless items nobody wants: nolonger tokens of love but angst-ridden solutions to problems. (Hmm. Though must admit, pretty bloody pleased to have new handbag.) What is the point of entire nation rushing round for sixweeks in a bad mood preparing for utterly pointless Taste-of-Others exam which entire nation thenfails and gets stuck with hideous unwanted merchandise as fallout?
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite…. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then—the glory—so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories.
In my late thirties the dream of disappointment and exhaustion had been the dream of the exploding head: the dream of a noise in my head so loud and long that I felt with the brain that survived that the brain could not survive; that this was death. Now, in my early fifties, after my illness, after I had left the manor cottage and put an end to that section of my life, I began to be awakened by thoughts of death, the end of things; and sometimes not even by thoughts so specific, not even by fear rational or fantastic, but by a great melancholy. This melancholy penetrated my mind while I slept; and then, when I awakened in response to its prompting, I was so poisoned by it, made so much not a doer (as men must be, every day of their lives), that it took the best part of the day to shake it off. And that wasted or dark day added to the gloom preparing for the night.
For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you willnever be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be livingfor some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit backwith full contentment and say, "Now, I've arrived!" Your entireeducation has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparingyou for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.
She spent an astonishing amount of time in attending lectures and demonstrations, distributing literature for the Junior Anti-Sex League, preparing banners for Hate Week, making collections for the savings campaign, and such-like activities. It paid, she said; it was camouflage. If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones.
My idea of absolute happiness is to sit in a hot garden all, reading, or writing, utterly safe in the knowledge that the person I love will come home to me in the evening. Every evening.''You are a romantic, Edith,' repeated Mr Neville, with a smile.'It is you who are wrong,' she replied. 'I have been listening to that particular accusation for most of my life. I am not a romantic. I am a domestic animal. I do not sigh and yearn for extravagant displays of passion, for the grand affair, the world well lost for love. I know all that, and know that it leaves you lonely. No, what I crave is the simplicity of routine. An evening walk, arm in arm, in fine weather. A game of cards. Time for idle talk. Preparing a meal together.
Relegated as he was to a corner and as though sheltered behind the billiard table, the soldiers, their eyes fixed upon Enjolras, had not even noticed Grantaire, and the sergeant was preparing to repeat the order: 'Take aim!' when suddenly they heard a powerful voice cry out beside them, 'Vive la Republique! Count me in.' Grantaire was on his feet. The immense glare of the whole combat he had missed and in which he had not been, appeared in the flashing eyes of the transfigured drunkard. He repeated, 'Vive la Republique!' crossed the room firmly, and took his place in front of the muskets beside Enjolras. 'Two at one shot,' he said. And, turning toward Enjolras gently, he said to him, 'Will you permit it?' Enjolras shook his hand with a smile. The smile had not finished before the report was heard. Enjolras, pierced by eight bullets, remained backed up against the wall is if the bullets had nailed him there. Except that his head was tilted. Grantaire, struck down, collapsed at his feet.
The day of the full moon, when the moon is neither increasing nor decreasing, the Babylonians called Sa-bat, meaning "heart-rest." It was believed that on this day, the woman in the moon, Ishtar, as the moon goddess was known in Babylon, was menstruating, for in Babylon, as in virtually every ancient and primitive society, there had been since the earliest times a taboo against a woman working, preparing food, or traveling when she was passing her monthly blood. On Sa-bat, from which comes our Sabbath, men as well as women were commanded to rest, for when the moon menstruated, the taboo was on everyone. Originally (and naturally) observed once a month, the Sabbath was later to be incorporated by the Christians into their Creation myth and made conveniently weekly. So nowadays hard-minded men with hard muscles and hard hats are relieved from their jobs on Sundays because of an archetypal psychological response to menstruation.
I should like to ask you: Does your childhood seem far off? Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee seem days of very long ago?” Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. For as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in the circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of kind smoothings and preparings of the way…
Indeed, ask every man separately whether he thinks it laudable and worthy of a man of this age to hold a position from which he receives a salary disproportionate to his work; to take from the people--often in poverty--taxes to be spent on constructing cannon, torpedoes, and other instruments of butchery, so as to make war on people with whom we wish to be at peace, and who feel the same wish in regard to us; or to receive a salary for devoting one's whole life to constructing these instruments of butchery, or to preparing oneself and others for the work of murder.
Anna had been preparing herself for this meeting, had thought what she would say to him, but she did not succeed in saying anything of it; his passion mastered her. She tried to calm him, to calm herself, but it was too late. His feeling infected her. Her lips trembled so that for a long while she could say nothing."Yes, you have conquered me, and I am yours," she said at last, pressing his hands to her bosom."So it had to be," he said. "So long as we live, it must be so. I know it now.
In my twenties if even a tenth reading of Mallarm failed to yield up its treasures, the fault was mine, not his. If my eyes swooned shut while I read The Sweet Cheat Gone, Proust’s pacing was never called into question, just my intelligence and dedication and sensitivity. And I still entertain these sacralizing preconceptions about high art. I still admire what is difficult, though I now recognize it as a “period” taste and that my generation was the last to give a damn. Though we were atheists, we were, strangely enough, preparing ourselves for God’s great Quiz Show; we had to know everything because we were convinced we would be tested on it—in our next life.
I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.
He had often felt anguish before, and it would be no wonder if it came at such a moment, when he was preparing, the very next day, having suddenly broken with everything that had drawn him there, to make another sharp turn, entering upon a new, completely unknown path, again quite as lonely as before, having much hope, but not knowing for what, expecting much, too much, from life, but unable himself to define anything either in his expectations or even in his desires.
Well, it's a choice like any other, even though it's stupid to believe we can control the world and to allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security that leaves us totally unprepared for life; because then, when you least expect it, an earthquake throws up a range of mountains, a bolt of lightning kills a tree that was preparing for its summer rebirth, or a hunting accident puts paid to the life of an honest man.
The Government simply cannot make up their mind or they cannot get the prime minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful for impotency. And so we go on preparing more months more years precious perhaps vital for the greatness of Britain for the locusts to eat. - Speaking in the Address in Reply debate, after giving some specific instances of Germany's war preparedness
America stands before the world as an impetuous void, a fatality without substance. Nothing prepared her for hegemony; yet she tends toward it, not without a certain hesitation. Unlike the other nations which have had to pass through a whole series of humiliations and defeats, she has known till now only the sterility of an uninterrupted good fortune. If, in the future, everything should continue to go as well, her appearance on the scene will have been an accident without influence. Those who preside over her destiny, those who take her interests to heart, should prepare her for bad times; in order to cease being a superficial monster, she requires an ordeal of major scope. Perhaps she is not far from one now. Having lived, hitherto, outside hell, she is preparing to descend into it. If she seeks a destiny for herself, she will find it only on the ruins of all that was her raison d'tre.
To know that our Father in heaven has ordained our pain is not a comfoftable truth, but it is comforting. That our pain has a loving and wise and all-powerful purpose behind it is better than any other view--weak God, cruel God, bumbling God, no God. To know that in his hands "this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17) is profoundly reassuring.
The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallow subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of telephone books.