To Ulbreck’s mind, there was one thing wrong with the galaxy: people. People and droids. Well, those were two things – but then again, wasn’t it wrong to limit what was wrong with the galaxy to just one thing? How fair was that? That was how the old farmer’s thinking tended to go, even when sober. In sixty standard years of moisture farming, Ulbreck had formed one theory about life after another. But he’d spent enough of the early years working alone – odd, how not even his farmhands wanted to be around him – that all his notions had piled up, unspoken.
That was what visits to town were for: opportunities for Ulbreck to share the wisdom of a lifetime. When he wasn’t getting robbed by diabolical droids pretending to be green bartenders.
“She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.”
Going into the woods by yourself is the best way to pretend you’re in another time. It’s a thing you can only do alone…If I had a lot of money, I would buy acres of woods. I would put a wall around them and live there like it was another time. Maybe I would find one other person to live with me there. Someone who was willing to promise they’d never speak a word about anything in the present. I doubt I could find anyone like that.
It was a deal I’d made with myself months before and the only thing that allowed me to hike alone. I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid. I was working too hard to be afraid.
–Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
“I have a little problem,” said the bear. “You see, I’m afraid of the dark, alone in my cave. There are no other bears for miles around, and I don’t know anyone who wants to sleep in my cave with me. I dread the darkness all day long.”
“That really is a problem,” said the fly. “But I have a solution. It just so happens that I am looking for somewhere to live.”
This book is a parable about Rhino, who survives a terrible storm that destroys his home and everything dear to him. Rhino swallows the storm down and must learn to deal with the feelings, and tears, in the aftermath. It’s a good story for all children, but will be particularly helpful to those going through a particularly difficult time.
He understood now it was love that mattered. Love could never be lost. Love could never be shattered.
“She and Max saw me to the elevator, their arms around each other. Riding down the elevator I felt both the assurance one gets from seeing others in love, and the pang of feeling separate from the world of lovers.”
It’s hard to see a fellow human be destroyed. You find yourself needing to believe the victim earned her punishment. You want to think that an innocent girl would never be tortured, and that the world couldn’t possibly be so cruel…But I’m not like them. I watched the whole world desert me. And once you know you’re alone, you can never, ever forget.”
Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance edited by Rhoda Belleza
From the introduction:
“But bullying starts with adults. It starts with controlling parents who will do almost anything to maintain that control, and teachers who don’t tolerate kids finding their ways through natural developmental stages…Back before language we absorb through all our senses. If we grow up experiencing domestic violence, even if it isn’t aimed at us, we learn the ways of violence…It’s too easy to look for bullying kids and try to stop them from being bullies. That usually results in making them more devious. Let’s call it meanness. Let’s call it indecency. And let’s understand that it never starts with the kid.“