The chief thing about a woman - who is much of a woman - is that in the long run she is not to be had... She is not to be caught by any of the catch-words, love, beauty, honor, duty, worth, work, salvation - none of them - not in the long run. In the long run she only says Am I satisfied, or is there some beastly dissatisfaction gnawing and gnawing inside me. And if there is some dissatisfaction, it is physical, at least as much as psychic, sex as much as soul.
D. H. Lawrence
The only thing that matters is to have charm and expression. Then comes that horrible gnawing doubt of our own magnetism. Is it possible that, though we are not lovely, we are not irresistible either? That we will have to go through life belonging neither to the triumphantly beautiful nor to the triumphantly ugly?
You must master the habit of procrastination and eliminate it from your wake-up. This habit of putting off until tomorrow that which you should have done last week or last year or a score of years ago is gnawing at the very vitals of your being and you can accomplish nothing until you throw it off.
You're 82 years old. You've shrunk six centimetres, you only weigh 45 kilos yet you're still beautiful, graceful and desirable. We've lived together now for 58 years and I love you more than ever. I once more feel a gnawing emptiness in the hollow of my chest that is only filled when your body is pressed next to mine.
Nothing is quite so wretchedly corrupt as an aristocracy which has lost its power but kept its wealth and which still has endless leisure to devote to nothing but banal enjoyments. All its great thoughts and passionate energy are things of the past, and nothing but a host of petty, gnawing vices now cling to it like worms to a corpse.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Of course you realize you're leaving me in the position of being the one tell everyone - your mother, Luke, Alec, Izzy, Magnus..." "I guess I shouldn't have said there wouldn't be no risk to you," Clary said meekly. "That's right," said Simon. "Just remember, when your mothers's gnawing my ankle like a furious mama bear separated from her cub, I did it for you.
A thousand years ago the Chinese had an entirely codified kitchen while the French were still gnawing on bones. Chopsticks have been around since the fourth century B.C. Forks didn't show up in England until 1611, and even then they weren't meant for eating but just to hold the meat still while you hacked at it with your knife.
There is a line in Verlaine I shall not recall again, There is a street close by forbidden to my feet, There's a mirror that's seen me for the very last time, There is a door that I have locked till the end of the world. Among the books in my library (I have them before me) There are some that I shall never open now. This summer I complete my fiftieth year; Death is gnawing at me ceaselessly.
Jorge Luis Borges
No matter how cheerful and blameless the day's activities have been, when you wake in the middle of the night there is guilt in the air, a gnawing feeling of everything being slightly off, wrong - you in the wrong, and the world too, as if darkness is a kind of light that shows us the depth we are about to fall into.
There was nothing I hated worse than clumps of whispering girls who got quiet when I passed. I started picking scabs off my body and, when I didn't have any, gnawing the flesh around my fingernails until I was a bleeding wreck. I worried so much about how I looked and whether I was doing things right, I felt half the time I was impersonating a girl instead of really being me.
Sue Monk Kidd
Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?
I'm only trying to present as honest a portrayal of the grimness of human ambition as I can. I'd hope it's rather uplifting, actually, since I find the sort of blind optimism and empty laughter of a great deal of "contemporary culture" to be more depressing than something that admits to a potential for disappointment and a gnawing sense of existential mockery.
People move because of the wear and tear of anxiety. Because of the gnawing feeling that no matter how hard they work their efforts will yield nothing, that what they build up in one year will be torn down in one day by others. Because of the impression that the future is blocked up, that *they* might do all right but not their children. Because of the feeling that nothing will change, that happiness and prosperity are possible only somewhere else.
Tied to the physical, deaf to the eternal, riveted by my own shortcomings, I was thinking only of what a bad choice I'd made when choosing a partner for a chat. This guy was faking timidity to lure someone over. If I said victim, he was likely to start gnawing my neck. If I said vampire, he would demand proof. I hadn't the fangs enough to back that pretension.
Despite his attempts to maintain a vigorous structure of errands, golf games, visits, and meetings, there were sometimes days like this one, filled with rain and touched with a gnawing sense of parts missing from life. When the slick mud ran in the flower beds and the clouds smothered the light, he missed his wife.
We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phones, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. We fear silence like it's an invisible monster, gnawing at us, ripping us open, and showing us our dissatisfaction. Silence is terrifying.
It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, what agonies I endured in that struggle! I did not believe it was the same with other people, and all my life I hid this fact about myself as a secret. I was ashamed (even now, perhaps, I am ashamed): I got to the point of feeling a sort of secret abnormal, despicable enjoyment in returning home to my corner on some disgusting Petersburg night, acutely conscious that that day I had committed a loathsome action again, that what was done could never be undone, and secretly, inwardly gnawing, gnawing at myself for it, tearing and consuming myself till at last the bitterness turned into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last-into positive real enjoyment! Yes, into enjoyment, into enjoyment! I insist upon that. I have spoken of this because I keep wanting to know for a fact whether other people feel such enjoyment? I will explain; the enjoyment was just from the too intense consciousness of one's own degradation; it was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into. And the worst of it was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing. Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were any consolation to the scoundrel once he has come to realise that he actually is a scoundrel.
I thought of all the magazine article I'd read on mothers who worked and constantly felt guilty about leaving their children with someone else. I had trained myself to read pieces like that and silently say to myself, 'See how lucky you are?' But it had been gnawing at the inside, that part that didn't fit, that I never let myself even think about. After all, wasn't it a worse kind of guilt to be with your child and to know that you wanted to be anywhere but there?
Missing someone has to be one of the worst human emotions. All the other feelings like anger and fear and horror get some much more airplay, as if their intensity gives them more value, but whereas those emotions come in violent bursts and are gone again, the gnawing ache of loss has to be simply endured. It's like background noise, it's always there, it never goes away. You just have to try to block it out, distract yourself, hope that tomorrow the hole they left behind has grown a little smaller.
The idea for each of the stories in this book came in a moment of belief and was written in a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism. Those positive feelings have their dark analogues, however, and the fear of failure is a long way from the worst of them. The worst - for me, at least - is the gnawing speculation that I may have already said everything that I have to say, and am now only listening to the steady quacking of my own voice because the silence when it stops is just too spooky.
The Brit's face shares a heritage with a junkyard butt-sniffing mutt. It's a hard-earned moonshine mug, dotted with a hairy mole that looks like a rat's been gnawing on it. His beard looks like a white sneeze. The teeth are jagged and out of alignment, having opened quarts at Jiffy Quick Lube for half a decade.
One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
I'll call if I break a leg or get eaten by a bear." "Play like a rock." "Now?" "No, if a bear starts eating you." I thought for a moment before replying. "Do they have screaming, sobbing rocks, 'cause that's probably what I'll be doing if a bear is gnawing my arm off." "It would be difficult to just lay there and be eaten alive, huh?" "Ya think?
Once we were happy in our own country and we were seldom hungry, for then the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds lived together like relatives, and there was plenty for them and for us. But the Wasichus came, and they have made little islands for us and other little islands for the four-leggeds, and always these islands are becoming smaller, for around them surges the gnawing flood of the Wasichu; and it is dirty with lies and greed.
The Green Shore is an engrossing novel about political oppression, played out on an intimate family scale. Bakopoulos charts the subtle, gnawing pressures of life under the Greek junta""the steady drip of daily coercion""with an exacting empathy. In particular, her depiction of love under tyranny""by turns hesitant, furtive and liberating""is as astute as it is moving,
Peter Ho Davies
When I was in college, I remember fearing that the dreary grind of adulthood would feature infinitely more existential dread than frat parties had, but the opposite has been true for me. I'm much less likely to feel that gnawing fear of aimlessness and nihilism than I used to be and that's partly because education gave me job opportunities, but it's mostly because education gave me perspective and context.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
Play me something that makes me feel; This soul inside me is made of steel. Brain is breathing, but heart's not beating And, babe, I need you to make things real. Walk inside me without silence, Kill the past and change the tense. Empty gnawing and the ache is soaring; Take me places that make more sense.
To be read. To be heard. To be seen. I want to be read, I want to be heard. I don't need to be seen. To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones. Words have a weight to them. How you choose to present them and to whom is a matter of style and choice.
Terry Tempest Williams
A writer with her work needs to be like a dog with a bone all the time. She needs to know where she's hidden it. Where she's stored the good stuff. She needs to keep gnawing at it, even after all the meat seems to be gone. When a student of mine says (okay, whines) that she's impatient, or tired, or the worst: isn't it good enough? this may be harsh, but she loses just a little bit of my respect. Because there is no room for impatience, or exhaustion, or self-satisfaction, or laziness. All of these really mean, simply, that the inner censor has won the day.
At night, in the garden, it occurs to you that it might have been your heart that left you as you reached the capital. Your heart might not have travelled well, closed up in its cavity, quivering and gnawing at the bars of your ribcage during the commute. It might be tracking north now, along edgelands, past spoil-heaps and stands of pylons, under motorway passes, back to the higher ground. Back to him.
Practicing love often means feeling through fear: intentionally opening yourself when you would rather close down, giving yourself when you would rather hide. Love means recognizing yourself as the open fullness of this moment regardless of its contents -- trenchant thoughts, enchanting pleasures, heavy emotions, or gnawing pains -- and surrendering all hold on the familiar act you call 'me'.
Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.
Bessel van der Kolk
Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.' (p.97)
Bessel A. van der Kolk
He could feel sweat trickling down his back. It was a sensation he hadn't felt in a long time. A gut-gnawing fear that started in your belly and spread out through your nervous system like a virus. The kind of fear that, if you didn't get a hold on it, could paralyse you. That wasn't a good kind of fear that pumped you up with adrenalin and supercharged you to fight or run. It was the kind that got you killed.
We are all prone to brood on the evil done us. That brooding becomes as a gnawing and destructive canker. Is there a virtue more in need of application in our time than the virtue of forgiving and forgetting? There are those who would look upon this as a sign of weakness. Is it? I submit that it takes neither strength nor intelligence to brood in anger over wrongs suffered, to go through life with a spirit of vindictiveness, to dissipate one's abilities in planning retribution. There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can 'get even.
Gordon B. Hinckley
The assumption is that life doesn't need to be navigated with lessons. You can just do it intuitively. After all, you only need to achieve autonomy from your parents, find a moderately satisfying job, form a relationship, perhaps raise some children, watch the onset of mortality in your parents' generation and eventually in your own, until one day a fatal illness starts gnawing at your innards and you calmly go to the grave, shut the coffin and are done with the self-evident business of life.
Alain de Botton
A sharp bolt of hunger hit Luther hard. His knees almost buckled, his poker face almost grimaced. For two weeks now his sense of smell had been much keener, no doubt a side effect of a strict diet. Maybe he got a whiff of Mabel's finest, he wasn't sure, but a craving came over him. Suddenly, he had to have something to eat. Suddenly, he wanted to snatch the bag from Kendall, rip open a package, and start gnawing on a fruitcake.
There are different kinds of anger. There is the kind that flares bright, like a fire devouring dry wood - an anger that dies as quickly as it ignites. There is the kind that takes its time to rise, but leaves devastation in its wake when it does. And then, there is the anger that is always there, in the pit of your belly - gnawing, biting and twisting - and reminding you of its presence every waking moment. This is the kind that can kill you, if given enough time.
Sam J. Charlton
At last the cold crept up my spine; at last it filled me from foot to head; at last I grew so chill and desolate that all thought and pain and awareness came to a standstill. I wasn't miserable anymore: I wasn't anything at all. I was a nothing-- a random configuration of molecules. If my heart still beat I didn't know it. I was aware of one thing only; next to the gaping fact called Death, all I knew was nothing, all I did meant nothing, all I felt conveyed nothing. This was no passing thought. It was a gnawing, palpable emptiness more real than the cold.
David James Duncan
At last the cold crept up my spine; at last it filled me from foot to head; at last I grew so chill and desolate that all thought and pain and awareness came to a standstill. I wasn't miserable anymore: I wasn't anything at all. I was a nothing- a random configuration of molecules. If my heart still beat I didn't know it. I was aware of one thing only; next to the gaping fact called Death, all I knew was nothing, all I did meant nothing, all I felt conveyed nothing. This was no passing thought. It was a gnawing, palpable emptiness more real than the cold.
David James Duncan
I return one last time to the places of death all around us, the places of slaughter to which, in a huge communal effort, we close our hearts. Each day a fresh holocaust, yet, as far as I can see, our moral being is untouched. We do not feel tainted. We can do anything, it seems, and come away clean. We point to the Germans and Poles and Ukrainians who did and did not know of the atrocities around them. We like to think they were inwardly marked by the after-effects of that special form of ignorance. We like to think that in their nightmares the ones whose suffering they had refused to enter came back to haunt them. We like to think they woke up haggard in the mornings and died of gnawing cancers. But probably it was not so. The evidence points in the opposite direction: that we can do anything and get away with it; that there is no punishment.
Dear Heavenly Father, I have a friend who stands as close as a brother, a brave soul. I have seen in him the heart of a warrior... He is gallant, loyal, and true, sacrificing his esteem, forfeiting his comfort, even spilling his blood. But, what color is his soul? My friend has a desperate need, and I have seen it. How can I be his accuser, condemning the one who has gladly poured out his blood in my stead? But shall I deny my witness? There is a darkness, a gnawing void behind those eyes of steel... Will you make him a knight, dressed in holy raiment, fit to take a seat at your table?
The sun was up, the room already too warm. Light filtered in through the net curtains, hanging suspended in the air, sediment in a pond. My head felt like a sack of pulp. Still in my nightgown, damp from some fright I'd pushed aside like foliage, I pulled myself up and out of my tangled bed, then forced myself through the usual dawn rituals - the ceremonies we perform to make ourselves look sane and acceptable to other people. The hair must be smoothed down after whatever apparitions have made it stand on end during the night, the expression of staring disbelief washed from the eyes. The teeth brushed, such as they are. God knows what bones I'd been gnawing in my sleep.
A swishing is often heard in the Carpathians, the sound as of a thousand mill wheels turning in the water. It is the dead men gnawing at the dead man, in the abyss without issue, which no man has ever seen, fearing to pass near it. It happens not seldom in the world that the earth shakes from one end to the other: learned people say it is because somewhere by the sea there is a mountain out of which flames burst and burning rivers flow. But the old men who live in Hungary and the land of Galicia know better and say that the earth shakes because there is a dead man grown great and huge in it who wants to rise.
The capitalist mind perceives the world purely in terms of material resources to be used for its benefit, to increase productivity and profit without thought of long term consequence. If there is still a vague and oppressive sense of guilt, of wrongness and imbalance, this gnawing guilt spurs capitalism on to greater acts of consumption, more... Read moreviolent attempts to subjugate nature, more totalizing efforts to create distractions. To the "rational materialist" mind, death is the end of everything; this thought feeds its rage against nature, which has placed it in this position of despair.
Murder was deeply human. A person was killed and a person killed. And what powered the final thrust wasn't a whim, wasn't an event. It was an emotion. Something once healthy and human had become wretched and bloated and finally buried. But not put to rest. It lay there, often for decades, feeding on itself, growing and gnawing, grim and full of grievance. Until it finally broke free of all human restraint. Not conscience, not fear, not social convention could contain it. When that happened, all hell broke loose. And a man became a monster.
You read all kinds of books and see all kinds of movies about the man who is obsessed and devoted, whose focus is a single solid beam, same as the lighthouse and that intense, too. It is Heathcliff with Catherine. It is a vampire with a passionate love stronger than death. We crave that kind of focus from someone else. We'd give anything to be that "loved." But that focus is not some soul-deep pinnacle of perfect devotion - it's only darkness and the tormented ghosts of darkness. It's strange, isn't it, to see a person's gaping emotional wounds, their gnawing needs, as our romance? We long for it, I don't know why, but when we have it, it is a knife at our throat on the banks of Greenlake. It is an unwanted power you'd do anything to be rid of. A power that becomes the ultimate powerlessness.
It is always as it was between Achilles and Homer: one person has the experience, the sensation, the other describes it. A real writer only gives words to the affects and experiences of others; he is an artist in divining a great deal from the little that he has felt. Artist are by no means people of great passion, but they frequently present themselves as such, unconsciously sensing that others give greater credence to the passions they portray if the artist's own life testifies to his experience in this area. We need only let ourselves go, not control ourselves, give free play to our wrath or our desire, and the whole world immediately cries: how passionate he is! But there really is something significant in a deeply gnawing passion that consumes and often swallows up an individual: whoever experiences this surely does not describe it in dramas, music, or novels. Artists are frequently unbridled individuals, insofar, that is, as they are not artists: but that is something different.