Our instinct may be to see the impossibility of tracking everything down as frustrating, dispiriting, perhaps even appalling, but it can just as well be viewed as almost unbearably exciting. We live on a planet that has a more or less infinite capacity to surprise. What reasoning person could possibly want it any other way?
Was everyone else really as alive as she was?...If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone's thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone's claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was.
Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums?
Is a brazen and innocent confrontation with paternal authority an unbearably terrifying prospect to some? Are the consequences of a fathers anger and displeasure so catastrophic in the primal imagination that every semblance of it in the world both literally and metaphorically must be denounced in the strongest possible terms? It would seem so.
We were locked onto each other as though we had just discovered this incredible thing you could do with two mouths pressing close and moist against each other. And the taste of him... Horrifyingly, unbearably sweet -- sweet in the way crack must feel hitting the bloodstream of an addict after years of staying clean.
I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.
I was caged within a four dimensional cube that eclipsed the world around me in an icy mist. I screamed; begging someone, anyone to hear my pleas, but my voice had been extinguished and left me with a slight wheeze from what little oxygen I had. I could glimpse the field of energy as it shrank through the safety of my circle to envelop me in a blazing grip. I was alone; unbearably separated from my haven.
I watched the edges of the leaves slowly unfold, fluttering in the breeze. "How long did you wait?" It would've been unbearably romantic if he'd had he courage to look into my face and say it, but instead, he dropped his eyes to the ground and scuffed his boot in the leaves- countless possibilities for happy days- on the ground. "I haven't stopped.
Life without sex might be safer but it would be unbearably dull. It is the sex instinct which makes women seem beautiful, which they are once in a blue moon, and men seem wise and brave, which they never are at all. Throttle it, denaturalize it, take it away, and human existence would be reduced to the prosaic, laborious, boresome, imbecile level of life in an anthill.
H. L. Mencken
I remembered what Dad said once, that some people have all of life's answers worked out the day they're born and there's no use trying to teach them anything new. 'They're closed for business even though, somewhat confusingly, their doors open at eleven, Monday through Friday, ' Dad said. And the trying to change what they think, the attempt to explain, the hope they'll come to see your side of things, it was exhausting, because it never made a dent and afterward you only ached unbearably.
Grace stopped in the door, dimly silhouetted by the dull gray morning light, and looked back at me, at my eyes, my mouth, my hands, in a way that made something inside me knot and unknot unbearably. I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her.
I fought angrily against seeing particular types of poetic organization because it seemed awful to see my own life and these actual events in that way. But when you put forth an intention into the universe to speak a certain truth and narrate a certain period of your life, you start to see the sorts of symmetries that you are not usually supposed to be able to see until you are on your deathbed and your life flashes before your eyes. And you see exactly why everything happened. And even the most painful things you've ever been through can seem unbearably beautiful.
A habit of finding pleasure in thought rather than action is a safeguard against unwisdom and excessive love of power, a means of preserving serenity in misfortune and peace of mind among worries. A life confined to what is personal is likely, sooner or later, to become unbearably painful; it is only by windows into a larger and less fretful cosmos that the more tragic parts of life become endurable.
Kiss him back? That seemed like a ridiculously unobtainable goal. She'd only just remembered that the word was kiss, for God's sake. Her eyes were wide and her body had turned to stone and his mouth was so, so soft. Unbearably soft, really. He didn't push, and he didn't pressurize her into anything further, and his lips just molded against hers as though they'd always meant to get around to it.
Maybe it's not, in the end, the virtues of others that so wrenches our hearts as it is the sense of almost unbearably poignant recognition when we see them at their most base, in their sorrow and gluttony and foolishness. You need the virtues, too""some sort of virtues""but we don't care about Emma Bovary or Anna Karenina or Raskolnikov because they're good. We care about them because they're not admirable, because they're us, and because great writers have forgiven them for it.
He was resentful against all those in authority over him, and this, combined with a lazy indifference toward his work, exasperated every master in school. He grew discouraged and imagined himself a pariah; took to sulking in corners and reading after lights. With a dread of being alone he attached a few friends, but since they were not among the elite of the school, he used them simply as mirrors of himself, audiences before which he might do that posing absolutely essential to him. He was unbearably lonely, desperately unhappy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Vividly imagined, beautifully written, at times almost unbearably suspenseful-the stories in Kristiana Kahakauwila's debut collection, This Is Paradise, are boldly inventive in their exploration of the tenuous nature of human relations. These are poignant stories of 'paradise'-Hawai'i-with all that 'paradise' entails of the transience of sensuous beauty.
Joyce Carol Oates
There, sitting cross-legged on the floor, he stared absently at his legs. They began to look strange. They no longer seemed to grow from his trunk at all, but rather, completely unconnected, they sprawled rudely before him. When he got this far, he realized something he had never noticed before-that his legs were unbearably hideous. With hair growing unevenly and blue streaks running rampant, they were terribly strange creatures.
Bella, I've already expended a great deal of personal effort at this point to keep you alive. I'm not about to let you behind the wheel of a vehicle when you can't even walk straight. Besides, friends don't let friends drive drunk," he quoted with a chuckle. I could smell the unbearably sweet fragrance coming off his chest. "Drunk?" I objected. "You're intoxicated by my very presence." He was grinning that playful smirk again.
Has anyone ever told you that you're unbearably rude?" she returned, facing him again. "Why, yes. You have on several occasions, as I recall. If you care to apologize for that, however, I'll be happy to escort you wherever you wish to go." A flush crept up her cheeks, coloring her delicate, ivory skin. "I will never apologize to you, " she snapped. "And you may go straight to Hades." He hadn't expected her to apologize, yet he couldn't help suggesting it every so often. "Very well. Upstairs, first door on the left. I'll be in Hades, if you should require my services.
Acting is such a desperately futile profession anyway. Playing out the lives of other men. Knowing of their failures and successes long before they ever do. Living, suffering, murdering, dying ... all in the space of three hours. Sometimes only two. And in such a confined little area. And over and over again every night. Can you imagine anything more perfectly stupid? Squeezing a whole existence into a measly evening's entertainment on the stage? And not only that - in the middle of it all - pausing for an intermission. It makes one's own life seem unbearably preposterous, doesn't it?
She told him... how her heart had fairly skipped a beat when she'd seen him standing in the middle of the road dressed as a true Highland warrior. "If I hadna been in love wi' you already, I'd have fallen in love wi' you then." He grinned, his whiskery face unbearably bonnie even with its cuts and bruises. "So you like the sight of me in a pladdie, aye?" "Aye-and wi' braids in your hair." She leaned down and kissed him. "But I think red paint looks silly.
There's nothing wonderful or interesting about unrequited love. I think it's shitty, just plain shitty. To love someone who doesn't return your affections might be exciting in books, but in life it's unbearably boring. I'll tell you what's exciting: sweaty, passionate nights. But sitting on the veranda outside the home of a sleeping woman who isn't dreaming about you is slow moving and just plain sad.
I tumbled into the taxi alone, closing the door closed with a dull thud before I could possibly change my mind. Not like this, I remember thinking. Whatever this thing is between us, it could only be tainted and cheapened by a semi-drunken encounter on the night of our first meeting. As the car pulled away I stared back at him. The thought that I might never see him again, that I might never know what it would feel like to be kissed by him, seemed unbearably cruel. At a crossroads, I had been faced with a choice: two possible versions of my future mapped out ahead of me. But I didn't feel like I had made any sort of decision. All I had done was run away.
My friend Kate once went to a concert of Mongolian throat singers who were traveling through New York City on a rare world tour. Although she couldn't understand the words to their songs, she found the music almost unbearably sad. After the concert, Kate approached the lead Mongolian singer and asked, "What are your songs about?" He replied, "Our songs are about the same things that everyone else's songs are about: lost love, and somebody stole your fastest horse.
Many things happen in life. There are joyous days and times of suffering. Sometimes unpleasant things occur. But that's what makes life so interesting. The dramas we encounter are part and parcel of being human. If we experienced no change or drama in our lives, if nothing unexpected ever happened, we would merely be like automatons, our lives unbearably monotonous and dull. Therefore, please develop a strong self so that you can enact the drama of your life with confidence and poise in the face of whatever vicissitudes you may encounter.
(Dorothy) Dunnett is the master of the invisible, particularly in her later books. Where is this tension coming from? Why is this scene so agonizing? Why is this scene so emotional? Tension and emotion pervade the books, sometimes almost unbearably, yet when you look at the writing, at the actual words, there's nothing to show that the scene is emotional at all. I think it is because Dunnett layers her novels, meaning that each event is informed by what has come before (and what came before that, and what came before that) but Dunnett doesn't signpost in the text that this is happening, leaving it to the reader to bring the relevant information to the table
We must strive to be like the moon.' An old man in Kabati repeated this sentence often... the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others. [S]he said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon.
There's a psychological mechanism, I've come to believe, that prevents most of us from imagining the moment of our own death. For if it were possible to imagine fully that instant of passing from consciousness to nonexistence, with all the attendant fear and humiliation of absolute helplessness, it would be very hard to live. It would be unbearably obvious that death is inscribed in everything that constitutes life, that any moment of your existence may be only a breath away from being the last. We would be continuously devastated by the magnitude of that inescapable fact. Still, as we mature into our mortality, we begin to gingerly dip our horror-tingling toes into the void, hoping that our mind will somehow ease itself into dying, that God or some other soothing opiate will remain available as we venture into the darkness of non-being.
You know the reason The Beatles made it so big?...'I Wanna Hold Your Hand.' First single....brilliant. Perhaps the most...brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it. That's what everyone wants. Not 24/7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years. Not a Porsche...or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand. They have such a feeling that they can't hide. Every single successful song of the past fifty years can be traced back to 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand.' And every single successful love story has those unbearable and unbearably exciting moments of hand-holding.
Multitudes are now turning to Christ in all parts of the world. How unbearably tragic it would be, though, if the millions of Asia, South America and Africa were led to believe that the best we can hope for from the Way of Christ is the level of Christianity visible in Europe and America today, a level that has left us tottering on the edge of world destruction. The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes-a time for men and women to be heroic in faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message TOO LOW.
The thing that I was experiencing and dwelling on the entire time is that there are so many things that are not OK and that will never be OK again. But there's also so many things that are OK and good that sometimes it makes you crumple over with being alive. We are allowed such an insane depth of beauty and enjoyment in this lifetime. It's what my dad talks about sometimes. He says the only way that he knows there's a God is that there's so much gratuitous joy in this life. And that's his only proof. There's so many joys that do not assist in the propagation of the race or self-preservation. There's no point whatsoever. They are so excessively, mind-bogglingly joy-producing that they distract from the very functions that are supposed to promote human life. They can leave you stupefied, monastic, not productive in any way, shape or form. And those joys are there and they are unflagging and they are ever-growing. And still there are these things that you will never be able to feel OK about-unbearably awful, sad, ugly, unfair things.
Writing ... is an addiction, an illusory release, a presumptuous taming of reality, a way of expressing lightly the unbearable. That we age and leave behind this litter of dead, unrecoverable selves is both unbearable and the commonest thing in the world - it happens to everybody. In the morning light one can write breezily, without the slight acceleration of one's pulse, about what one cannot contemplate in the dark without turning in panic to God. In the dark one truly feels that immense sliding, that turning of the vast earth into darkness and eternal cold, taking with it all the furniture and scenery, and the bright distractions and warm touches, of our lives. Even the barest earthly facts are unbearably heavy, weighted as they are with our personal death. Writing, in making the world light - in codifying, distorting, prettifying, verbalizing it - approaches blasphemy.
Adventuring turned out to be boring. Zach thought back to all the fantasy books he'd read where a team of questers traveled overland, and realized a few things. First he'd pictured himself with a loyal steed that would have done most of the walking, so he hadn't anticipated the blister forming on his left heel or the tiny pebble that seemed to have worked its way under his sock, so that even when he stripped off his sneaker he couldn't find it. He hadn't thought about how hot the sun would be either. When he put together his bunch of provisions, he never thought about bringing sunblock. Aragorn never wore sunblock. Taran never wore sunblock. Percy never wore sunblock. But despite all that precedent for going without, he was pretty sure his nose would be lobster-red the next time he looked in the mirror. He was thirsty, too, something that happened a lot in books, but his dry throat bothered him more than it had ever seemed to bother any character. And, unlike in books where random brigands and monsters jumped out just when things got unbearably dull, there was nothing to fight except for the clouds of gnats, several of which Zach was pretty sure he'd accidentally swallowed.
Years later I saw a film - poignantly sad, and for me unbearably so - about a scientist who had invented a kind of total sense recorder, not just video but audio and smellio and touchio and the rest, which he set to play every afternoon in a given place a given time, for as long as the mechanism lasted. The scene he projected was that of a dozen or so young couples dancing on a terrace in the same holiday house, on the same island, where the recorder itself was kept. Then this young man comes across it while it is playing and at first is convinced he is watching a real occurrence: he sees this beautiful girl, in her slinky 1930s outfit, dancing and laughing and chattering with her friends, and he falls in love with her on the spot. Second day, same time around, he comes to the island at a slightly different time so he sees a slightly different excerpt, and still doesn't twig and falls deeper in love. And so on and so forth for various days until he happens on a duplicate bit and realises something is wrong. But by then, of course, he is irretrievably hooked. So what does he do? He digs out the machine, fiddles with its insides until he has grasped its workings, and then sets it up in recording mode and records himself into the scene in a desperate last-ditch attempt to join the dancers. Which works, and there he stays: trapped there amongst them in a virtual dimension, forever young, forever re-enacting the same little loop of life, over and over.
Take terrorism, one example among the methods used in that struggle. We know that leftist tradition condemns terrorism and political assassination. When the colonized uses them, the leftist colonizer becomes unbearably embarrassed. He makes an effort to separate them from the colonized's voluntary action; to make an epiphenomenon out of his struggle. They are spontaneous outbursts of masses too long oppressed, or better yet, acts by unstable, untrustworthy elements which the leader of the movement has difficulty in controlling. Even in Europe, very few people admitted that the oppression of the colonized was so great, the disproportion of forces so overwhelming, that they had reached the point, whether morally correct or not, of using violent means voluntarily. The leftist colonizer tried in vain to explain actions which seemed incomprehensible, shocking and politically absurd. For example, the death of children and persons outside of the struggle, or even of colonized persons who, without being basically opposed, disapproved of some small aspect of the undertaking. At first he was so disconcerted that the best he could do was to deny such actions; for they would fit nowhere in his view of the problem. That it could be the cruelty of oppression which explained the blind fury of the reaction hardly seemed to be an argument to him; he can't approve acts of the colonized which he condemns in the colonizers because these are exactly why he condemns colonization. Then, after having suspected the information to be false, he says, as a last resort, that such deeds are errors, that is, they should not belong to the essence of the movement. He bravely asserts that the leaders certainly disapprove of them. A newspaper-man who always supported the cause of the colonized, weary of waiting for censure which was not forthcoming, finally called on certain leaders to take a public stand against the outrages, Of course, received no reply; he did not have the additional naivete to insist.