There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.
It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.
Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need. First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind's way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door. Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying 'time heals all wounds' is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door. Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.
It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.
Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.
My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you're lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day. The image of them gently swaying to the music is how I picture love in my mind even after all these years.
I have known her longer, my smile said. True, you have been inside the circle of her arms, tasted her mouth, felt the warmth of her, and that is something I have never had. But there is a part of her that is only for me. You cannot touch it, no matter how hard you might try. And after she has left you I will still be here, making her laugh. My light shining in her. I will still be here long after she has forgotten your name.
There are so many men, all endlessly attempting to sweep me off my feet. And there is one of you, trying just the opposite. Making sure my feet are firm beneath me, lest I fall.
The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.
If you want to write a fantasy story with Norse gods, sentient robots, and telepathic dinosaurs, you can do just that. Want to throw in a vampire and a lesbian unicorn while you're at it? Go ahead. Nothing's off limits. But the endless possibility of the genre is a trap. It's easy to get distracted by the glittering props available to you and forget what you're supposed to be doing: telling a good story. Don't get me wrong, magic is cool. But a nervous mother singing to her child at night while something moves quietly through the dark outside her house? That's a story. Handled properly, it's more dramatic than any apocalypse or goblin army could ever be.
No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.
Fear tends to come from ignorance. Once I knew what the problem was, it was just a problem, nothing to fear.
It’s not over if you’re still here,” Chronicler said. “It’s not a tragedy if you’re still alive.
Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut at the right times.
I’d heard you were dead.
Hespe's mouth went firm. She didn't scowl exactly, but it looked like she was getting all the pieces of a scowl together in one place, just in case she needed them in a hurry.
... for most practical purposes, Tarbean had two parts: Waterside and Hillside. Waterside is where people are poor. That makes them beggars, thieves and whores. Hillside is where people are rich. That makes them solicitors, politicians and courtesans.
But no. There is a difference between the truth and what we wish were true.
I've always liked the moonless night best. It's easier to say things in the dark. It's easier to be yourself.