Bowl Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Bowl. Here they are! All 200 of them:

It's the mortal cup Jace, not the mortal toilet bowl.
Cassandra Clare
YOU COULD LOCK the Gasman in a padded cell with some dental floss and a bowl of Jell-O, and he'd find a way to make something to explode.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.
Louis C.K.
Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.
Confucius
It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.
John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog)
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
In most cases, the best strategy for a job interview is to be fairly honest, because the worst thing that can happen is that you won't get the job and will spend the rest of your life foraging for food in the wilderness and seeking shelter underneath a tree or the awning of a bowling alley that has gone out of business.
Lemony Snicket (Horseradish)
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Well then," Roen said briskly, "are you sleeping?" "Yes." "Come now. A mother can tell when her son lies. Are you eating?" "No," Brigan said gravely. "I've not eaten in two months. It's a hunger strike to protest the spring flooding in the south." "Gracious," Roen said, reaching for the fruit bowl. "Have an apple, dear.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Oh- my twitchy witchy girl I think you are so nice, I give you bowls of porridge And I give you bowls of ice Cream. I give you lots of kisses, And I give lots of hugs, But I never give you sandwiches With bugs In.
Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Albert Einstein
The psychologist, Paul Rozin, an expert on disgust, observed that a single cockroach will completely wreck the appeal of a bowl of cherries, but a cherry will do nothing at all for a bowl of cockroaches.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Life is a bowl of cherries. Some cherries are rotten while others are good; its your job to throw out the rotten ones and forget about them while you enjoy eating the ones that are good! There are two kinds of people: those who choose to throw out the good cherries and wallow in all the rotten ones, and those who choose to throw out all the rotten ones and savor all the good ones.
C. JoyBell C.
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Lao Tzu (Te Tao Ching)
Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?
D.T. Suzuki (Zen and Japanese Culture)
As she read, at peace with the world and happy as only a little girl could be with a fine book and a little bowl of candy, and all alone in the house, the leaf shadows shifted and the afternoon passed.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I don't know you. The only thing I know about you is, you're reading this. I don't know if your happy or not; I don't know whether you're young or not. I sort of hope you're young and sad. If you're old and happy, I can imagine that you'll smile to yourself when you hear me going, he broke my heart. You'll remember someone who broke your heart, and you'll think to yourself, Oh yes, i remember how that feels. But you can't, you smug old git. Oh you'll remember feeling sort of plesantly sad. You might remember listening to music and eating chocolates in your room, or walking along the embankment on your own, wrapped up in a winter coat and feeling lonely and brave. But can you remember how with every mouthful of food it felt like you were biting into your own stomach? Can you remember the taste of red wine as it came back up and into the toilet bowl? Can you remember dreaming every night that you were still together, that he was talking to you gently and touching you, so that every morning when you woke up you had to go through it all over again?
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
I watched him pitch the ball at a table neatly lined with six bowling pins, my stomach giving a little flutter when his T-shirt crept up in the back, revealing a stripe of skin. I knew from experience that every inch of him was hard, defined muscle. His back was smooth and perfect too, the scars from when he’d fallen once again replaced with wings—wings I, and every other human, couldn’t see. “Five dollars says you can’t do it again,” I said, coming up behind him. Patch looked back and grinned. “I don’t want your money, Angel.” “Hey now, kids, let’s keep this discussion PG-rated,” Rixon said. “All three remaining pins,” I challenged Patch. “What kind of prize are we talking about?” he asked. “Bloody hell,” Rixon said. “Can’t this wait until you’re alone?” Patch gave me a secret smile, then shifted his weight back, cradling the ball into his chest. He dropped his right shoulder, brought his arm around, and sent the ball flying forward as hard as he could. There was a loud crack! and the remaining three pins scattered off the table. “Aye, now you’re in trouble, lass,” Rixon shouted at me over the commotion caused by a pocket of onlookers, who were clapping and whistling for Patch. Patch leaned back against the booth and arched his eyebrows at me. The gesture said it all: Pay up. “You got lucky,” I said. “I’m about to get lucky.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father stumbling home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more...It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life - the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Clary wasn't sure what she'd expected -exclamations of delight, perhaps a smattering of applause. Instead there was silence, broken only when Jace said, "Somehow, I thought it would be bigger." Clary looked at the Cup in her hand. It was the size, perhaps, of an ordinary wineglass, only much heavier. Power thrummed through it, like blood through living veins. "It's a perfectly nice size," she said indignantly. "Oh, it's big enough," he said patronizingly, "but somehow I was expecting something… you know." He gestured with his hands, indicating something roughly the size of a house cat. "It's the Mortal Cup, Jace, not the Mortal Toilet Bowl," said Isabelle.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
And so the dentist says 'Rinse.' So you lean over, and you're lookin' at this miniature toilet bowl.
Bill Cosby
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me. --from "Tulips", written 18 March 1961
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
What happens if your choice is misguided?' I ask, softly. Miss Moore takes a pear from the bowl and offers us the grapes to devour. 'You must try to correct it.' 'But what if it’s too late? What if you can’t?' There's a sad sympathy in Miss Moore's catlike eyes as she regards my painting again. She paints the thinnest sliver of shadow along the bottom of the apple, bringing it fully to life. 'Then you must find a way to live with it.
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
We’re running out of time, he said. As if time were the kind of thing you could run out of, as if it were measured into bowls that were handed to us at birth and if we ate too much or too fast or right before jumping into the water then our time would be lost, wasted, already spent. But time is beyond our finite comprehension. It’s endless, it exists outside of us; we cannot run out of it or lose track of it or find a way to hold on to it. Time goes on even when we do not.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
The lustful glances thrown his way made me wish he wasn’t such a damned bowl of eye candy." - Cat re: Bones
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It's what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you're bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.
Stephen King (Carrie)
if you gave me half a moon of a chance i would kiss the incisors out of your mouth, clean and hold them in my own, like chippings from an old mug then pray my tongue into a bowl of holy water and ask god to never leave you thirsty.
Warsan Shire
What's wrong?" I didn't say a word." Something's up. What is it?" Nothing." His head turned, gaze going to mine. "Yeah?" Yes." A snort and he returned to his bowl…
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
I’m the frosting on America’s cake, and tonight I’m willing to let you lick the bowl.
Stephen Colbert
And Max, I've put some scraps in a bowl for your dog," Mom said. "It's on the floor, by the back door." The flock and I went still. Uh-oh, I thought. Total stomped up to me, his glare accusing. "A bowl on the floor!" he seethed. "Why don't you just chain me to a stake in the yard and throw me a bone!
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
I'm starved." -Juli "How can you be starved? You just ate a huge bowl of popcorn." -Elspeth "Popcorn isn't food, it's popcorn." -Vicki
Lynsay Sands (A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1))
Good kitty" "Why do you encourage them?" "They're good kitties." "They're your minions." "Everyone needs a minion or two" "You won't be so pleased when you find me ground up in their food bowl one day.
Abigail Roux (Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run, #6))
A wealth you cannot imagine flows through you. Do not consider what strangers say. Be secluded in your secret heart-house, that bowl of silence.
Rumi
Life is like a bowl of spaghetti. Every once in a while, you get a meatball.
Sharon Creech
Fink had a full bowl and grinned at me as he sat back on the bench. "It would help if you used words like 'please' and 'thank you.'" "Then I'll thank you to please stay out of my business.
Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Runaway King (Ascendance, #2))
I believe there is something of the divine mystery in everything that exists. We can see it sparkle in a sunflower or a poppy. We sense more of the unfathomable mystery in a butterfly that flutters from a twig--or in a goldfish swimming in a bowl. But we are closest to God in our own soul. Only there can we become one with the greatest mystery of life. In truth, at very rare moments we can experience that we ourselves are that divine mystery.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy)
You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine, is it still in use? You are wondering, has it been cleaned? You may very well ask, was it thoroughly washed?
Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)
I skimmed the pond scum with a spoon like broth in a soup bowl. Why does everything have to remind me of her?
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
If you put a bunch of chameleons on top of a bunch of chameleons on top of a bowl of Skittles what would happen? Is that science? Because if so, I finally get why people want to do science.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Yes, when I get big and have my own home, no plush chairs and lace curtains for me. And no rubber plants. I'll have a desk like this in my parlor and white walls and a clean green blotter every Saturday night and a row of shining yellow pencils always sharpened for writing and a golden-brown bowl with a flower or some leaves or berries always in it and books . . . books . . . books. . . .
Betty Smith
Son, never trust a man who doesn’t drink because he’s probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They’re the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They’re usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they’re a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can’t trust a man who’s afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It’s damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he’s heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.
James Crumley
It was the month of May and there was warm sunshine dripping through the holes between the clouds, like the sky was a broken blue bowl and a child was trying to keep honey in it.
Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
I'll be fine. Maybe I should make up a magic milk bath with the Golden Fruit, huh?" I laughed. Kishan considered and grinned. "A giant bowlful of milk with you in the middle might be a little too much for us cats to resist.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga, #3))
You must know nothing before you can learn something, and be empty before you can be filled. Is not the emptiness of the bowl what makes it useful? As for laws, a parrot can repeat them word for word. Their spirit is something else again. As for governing, one must first be lowest before being highest.
Lloyd Alexander (The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen)
And I don't know if Batty's gotten over it yet,' said Skye. Mr. Penderwick looked out the window to where Batty was playing vampires with Hound. Hound was on his back, trying to wiggle out of the black towel Batty had tied around his neck. Batty was leaping over Hound's water bowl, shrieking, 'Blood, blood!' 'She looks all right,' he said.
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1))
Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl…. And… I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I’m not outside my world anymore, and I’m not really inside it either. The thing is, there’s no difference between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain. I like that most of all, being rain.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
Wish You Were Here So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, Blue skys from pain. Can you tell a green field From a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? And did they get you to trade Your heros for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange A walk on part in the war For a lead role in a cage? How I wish, how I wish you were here. We're just two lost souls Swimming in a fish bowl, Year after year, Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.
Roger Waters
This started when I fell into the Spiral Garden, a body made of sparks, and now it ends at the Bowl of Bones. I'll leave as a corpse.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
Putting a damp spoon back in the bowl is the tea-drinking equivalent of sharing a needle. And I did not want to end up with the tea-drinking equivalent of AIDS.
Alan Partridge (I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan)
He prepared the richest, most indulgent and disgusting dish imaginable - a bowl of fudge ripple ice-cream topped with chocolate syrup, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, chocolate sprinkles, and, for good measure, a chocolate brownie from the pantry. He even garnished it with a handful of M&M's. (...) "Look what I made for you. A bowl of diabetes.
Melissa Landers (Alienated (Alienated, #1))
Yeah, but I forgot to take my George Orwell-shaped multivitamins along with my breakfast bowl of Big Brother Os this morning.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
And of course, when you see your brother in the toilet bowl...there's a little voice that say, 'I wonder where he would go...'...if it hadn't been for his head...
Bill Cosby
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
Lao Tzu
For a moment, I felt as if the universe had turned upside down and we were falling softly into an enormous black bowl of stars, and I knew, beyond any doubt, that everything was going to be alright.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
Oh my God! Stop eating that!” “Your trail mix tastes funny,” Trevor said with a cringe. “That wasn’t trail mix, you bastard! That was potpourri!” “Well, that explains a lot,” he said, giving her a sheepish smile as he returned the large wooden bowl back to the side table. She didn’t need to look to know that he’d already eaten half the bowl of potpourri. She didn’t even bother asking him what the hell was wrong with him since she knew the answer. The man was a Bradford. Enough said.
R.L. Mathewson (Checkmate (Neighbor from Hell, #3))
How fragile we are under the sheltering sky. Behind the sheltering sky is a vast dark universe, and we're just so small.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day- like writing a poem or saying a prayer.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
The music folded over itself like batter being poured from a bowl, one note atop another...
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
‎Pleasure is wild and sweet. She likes purple flowers. She loves the sun and the wind and the night sky. She carries a silver bowl full of liquid moonlight. She has a cat named Midnight with stars on his paws. Many people mistrust Pleasure, and even more misunderstand her. For a long time I could barely stand to be in ...the same room with her...
J. Ruth Gendler (The Book of Qualities)
It was hard to feel the right emotions at the right times. They didn’t come at all when you set a place for them, and they sacked when you weren’t ready, when you were just innocently flossing your teeth, for example, or eating a bowl of cereal.
Ann Brashares (The Last Summer (of You and Me))
The soul is the weariest part of the body.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
Mare of the Stilts died the day she fell onto a lightning shield. Mareena, the lost Silver princess, died in the Bowl of Bones. And I don’t know what new person opened her eyes on the Undertrain. I only know what she has been and what she has lost, and the weight of it is almost crushing.
Victoria Aveyard (Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2))
I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I don't know if you've noticed, but our two-party system is a bowl of shit looking at itself in the mirror.
Lewis Black
All my life I have been moving forward, and now I am here. I have a mortal’s voice, let me have the rest. I lift the brimming bowl to my lips and drink.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Was I totally against the idea of having kids with Kat one day? Other than breaking out in hives at the thought of that, the idea wasn't too horrible. Of course, I wanted the white picket fence bullshit...if it occurred a good ten years from now, and the kids didn't have weird bowl haircuts and couldn't Jedi mind-screw people.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
Women: I liked the colors of their clothing; the way they walked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding - whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
We forget that the rest of live can be just as dangerous. I think about how fragile we are here-- like fish in a glass bowl with the darkness pressing in on every side.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
I knowed a man in Paphlagonia who'd swallow a live snake every morning, when he got up. He used to say, he was certain of one thing, that nothing worse would happen to him all day. 'Course they made him eat a bowlful of hairy centipedes before they hung him, so maybe that claim was a bit presumptive.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
I would take them in a bowl,” said Mark with a winning gaze. “It has been many years since I have eaten freely at my choice, fair one, and a plate of strawberries is all that I desire.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Buy or borrow self-improvement books, but don't read them. Stack them around your bedroom and use them as places to rest bowls of cookies. Watch exercise shows on television, but don't do the exercises. Practice believing that the benefit lies in imagining yourself doing the exercises. Don't power walk. Saunter slowly in the sun, eating chocolate, and carry a blanket so you can take a nap.
S.A.R.K.
Oh, its big enough,” he said patronizingly, “but somehow I was expecting…you know.” He gestured with his hands, indicating something roughly the size of a house cat. “It’s the Mortal Cup, Jace, not the Mortal Toilet Bowl,” said Isabelle. -Jace & Isabelle, pg.349-
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.
Paul Bowles
Keeping other people's flaws in mind is like keeping a bowl of foul-smelling food they have given you; it contaminates your heart, leaving no room for positive energy.
Master Jun Hong Lu
Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, "The great thieves are leading away the little thief.
Diogenes of Sinope
I pointed to a low bowl filled with what purported to be stew, but then Noah said, “Are you going to point, or are you going to eat?” “I just like to know what I’m putting in my mouth before I swallow.” Noah arched an eyebrow, and I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Jassie, guess what I'm dancing in!' 'I don't know, a bowl?' 'Non... I am dancing in my Nuddy-pants!
Louise Rennison (Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #4))
The bowl landed, in glorious perfection, atop the head of Mrs Barnaclegoose, who was not the kind of woman to appreciate the finer points of being crowned by trifle.
Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1))
He missed you like a fish in a bowl misses the open sea.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
I sat up in bed. "What did he say?" Tyson groaned, still half asleep. He was lying facedown on the couch, his feet so far over the edge they were in the bathroom. "The happy man said...bowling practice?" I hoped he was right, but then there was an urgent knock on the suite's interior door. Annabeth stuck her head in--her blonde hair in a rat's nest. "DISEMBOWLING practice?
Rick Riordan
Tell me somethin’ you do that would shock me.” She sits back on the couch. “Shock you?” “Yeah. Shock me to the core.” She sits up on her knees and leans toward me. “I’ve thought about you, Carlos,” she whispers in my ear. “At night, in bed. I think about kissing you, our tongues sliding against each other’s, while your hands are buried in my hair. When I think about feeling those ripples in your naked chest I touch my—” “Here’s more popcorn!” Westford says, barging into the room with two big bowls filled to the rim with freshly popped popcorn. “Kiara, what are you doing?
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
Conspiracy adepts love story-tellers who want to exorcise their fear, mixing rational and irrational elements to construct a plausible narrative for people craving a meaningful decoding and a breathtaking clarification. ("What after bowling alone?" )
Erik Pevernagie
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.
Paul Bowles
Right. A tiki bar will blend in great with the whole Henry VIII vibe going on at the B&T. Bring me a scorpion bowl, wench.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
I like flowers, I also like children, but I do not chop their heads off and keep them in bowls of water around the house.
George Bernard Shaw
The morning felt like a mixing bowl just waiting for its ingredients; there was a sense of possibility to it, a promise of something more to come.
Jennifer E. Smith (This Is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like, #1))
I ate a rainbow in a bowl, because it’s better than eating rain soup. Food and water aren’t supposed to be one and the same.

Jarod Kintz (So many chairs, and no time to sit)
If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?
Erma Bombeck (When God Created Mothers)
Will sat where he was, gazing at the silver bowl in front of him; a white rose was floating in it, and he seemed prepared to stare at it until it went under. In the Kitchen Bridget was still singing one of her awful sad songs; the lyrics drifted in through the door: "Twas on an evening fair I went to take the air, I heard a maid making her moan; Said, 'Saw ye my father? Or ye my mother? Or saw ye my brother John? Or saw ye the lad that I love best, And his name it is Sweet William?" I may murder her, Tessa thought. Let her make a song about that.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
He's better-looking then the last vagabond I had to take in," Eddie said, standing and carrying empty bowls to the sink. "I'll give him that." The insult slid off of Bobby like water. "So, you know, kid, according to thief culture, if you're going to court Kat, you now owe me two dozen goats." "It's a dozen," Eddie corrected. "Yeah, but Kat's worth two," Hamish said with a wink. Through it all, Hale said nothing. Then, finally, he smiled. "I'm afraid I'm all out of goats at the moment, but I've got some ruby cuff links you can have." "No." Bobby shook his head. "It's goats or nothing." "Sorry, Kat." Hale shrugged, disappointed. "It was fun while it lasted." "Don't look at me." Kat threw up her hands. "I'm officially ignoring all of you.
Ally Carter (Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3))
It’s like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you’ve got ricing pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can’t tell what’s going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody’s looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it’s only natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me, that is just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin. I suppose I’d be shocked, of course, but I don’t know, I think I’d be kind of relieved too. Or at least I think I wouldn’t be so upset, because that would feel, in some ways, a whole lot more real.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you. Do you think it’s fair? I think it’s fair. He may not be much to look at, that muse-guy, and he may not be much of a conversationalist, but he’s got inspiration. It’s right that you should do all the work and burn all the mid-night oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There’s stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
I know I can do it," Todd Downey said, helping himself to another ear of corn from the steaming bowl. "I'm sure that in time her death will be a mystery, even to me.
Stephen King (Two Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden)
And I said, “You love me?” Rhys nodded. And I wondered if love was too weak a word for what he felt, what he’d done for me. For what I felt for him. I set the bowl down before him. “Then eat.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
People want to be bowled over by something special. Nine times out of ten you might strike out, but that tenth time, that peak experience, is what people want. That's what can move the world. That's art.
Haruki Murakami
No guy in his right mind would ever choose me when there are people like Hana in the world: It would be like settling for a stale cookie when what you really want is a big bowl of ice cream, whipped cream and cherries and chocolate sprinkles included.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
In the rough-and-tumble play of politics, dog-whistle messages are copiously dispatched over the heads of the grassroots people that cannot see the writing on the wall and have to remain in the cold, like dumb puppets on a string. ("What after bowling alone?" )
Erik Pevernagie
How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
Five tender apricots in a blue bowl, a brief and exact promise of things to come.
Frances Mayes (In Tuscany)
I have loved in life and I have been loved. I have drunk the bowl of poison from the hands of love as nectar, and have been raised above life's joy and sorrow. My heart, aflame in love, set afire every heart that came in touch with it. My heart has been rent and joined again; My heart has been broken and again made whole; My heart has been wounded and healed again; A thousand deaths my heart has died, and thanks be to love, it lives yet. I went through hell and saw there love's raging fire, and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love. I wept in love and made all weep with me; I mourned in love and pierced the hearts of men; And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks, the rocks burst forth as volcanoes. The whole world sank in the flood caused by my one tear; With my deep sigh the earth trembled, and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved, I shook the throne of God in heaven. I bowed my head low in humility, and on my knees I begged of love, "Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret." She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth, and spoke softly in my ear, "My dear one, thou thyself art love, art lover, and thyself art the beloved whom thou hast adored.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Dance of the Soul)
The fight unfolded like background noise. White noise. In the foreground, even with his ghastly pale face looking dead in my hands, my fingers clenching his ragged hair, all I could see was random images of Fang, not dead. Fang telling me stupid fart jokes from the dog crate next to mine at the school, trying to make me laugh. Fang asleep at Jeb's old house, and me jumping wildly on his bed to wake him up. Him pretending to be asleep. Me laughing when I "accidentally" kicked him where it counts. Him dumping me off the bed. Fang gagging on my first attempt at cooking dinner after Jeb disappeared. Him spitting out the mac and cheese. Me dumping the rest of the bowl on him in response. Fang on the beach, that first time he was badly injured. Me realizing how I felt about him. Fang kissing me. So close I couldn't even see his dark eyes anymore. The first time. The second time. The third. I could always remember each and every one of them. Would always remember them. Fang. Not. Dead.
James Patterson (Fang (Maximum Ride, #6))
By ring-fencing a time budget for a momentous ‘breathing space’ in the flurry of our life, we may encounter ourselves and take the time to fill the gaps in the framework of our individuality so as to reconcile the qualities of our personality. ( "What after bowling alone?
Erik Pevernagie
Though no longer pregnant, she continues, at times, to mix Rice Krispies and peanuts and onions in a bowl. For being a foreigner Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy -- a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been an ordinary life, only to discover that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity of from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
I sandpapered the roof of my mouth with 3 bowls of Cap'n Crunch - had raw gobbets of mouth-beef dangling onto my tongue all day
Douglas Coupland (Microserfs)
Hoping something will happen soon, so she can sit down & watch it with a fresh bowl of popcorn.
Brian Andreas
Eve hugged her, hard. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “What happened to the old frosting?” Shane, sitting at the table, raised his hand. “Took one for the team.” “Jesus, you ate it? All of it?” “Nah.” He held up the bowl that was sitting in front of him. There was still about half a cup left. “Couldn’t finish it all.” Eve blinked and looked at Claire, who shrugged and said, “I always thought he was sweet.
Rachel Caine (Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11))
Reality may not always be a happy companion. If we learn to trust ourselves and fully put through our paces, we can discover something like a winner's soul ignoring itself and passing with flying colors. The future can be an open space with a range of surprises. ("What after bowling alone?" )
Erik Pevernagie
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell Blue skies from pain Can you tell a green field From a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Did they get you to trade Your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange A walk on part in a war For a lead role in a cage? How I wish, how I wish you were here We're just two lost souls Swimming in a fish bowl Year after year Running over the same old ground What have we found? The same old fears Wish you were here
Pink Floyd
Zach shoveled another spoonful of Fruit Loops cereal with milk into his mouth. “It is not possible!” “How do you know? Just because there’s no proof to prove it, there’s no proof to disprove it either.” “You’re trying to make me crazy, aren’t you?” “Not at all.” Sara put her bowl down. “I’m just saying there could be bunny shifters.” “There are no bunny shifters!” Shaking her head she accused, “You’re a bunny bigot.” Zach threw his spoon back in the near-empty bowl. “And there is no such thing as bunny bigots.
Shelly Laurenston (Pack Challenge (Magnus Pack, #1))
Magrat had used a lot of powder to make her face pale and interesting. It combined with the lavishly applied mascara to give the guard the impression that he was looking at two flies that had crashed into a sugar bowl.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2))
I've always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind ... I feel that life is very short and the world is there to see and one should know as much about it as possible. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.
Paul Bowles
I opened my veins. Unstoppably life spurts out with no remedy. Now I set out bowls and plates. Every bowl will be shallow. Every plate will be small. And overflowing their rims, into the black earth, to nourish the rushes unstoppably without cure, gushes poetry ...
Marina Tsvetaeva (Selected Poems (Oxford Poets))
Many politicians are tantalizing storytellers, as they mix facts with fiction, grab our emotion and tell things, they want us to believe. Their factoids are unremittingly reiterated, take a life on their own and in the end become the very truth… until the bubble bursts.("What after bowling alone?" )
Erik Pevernagie
[A]nother important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
When wounds are healed by love, The scars are beautiful.
David Bowles (Shattering and Bricolage)
Undertow" "I set out one night When the tide was low There were signs in the sky But I did not know I'd be caught in the grip Of the undertow Ditched on a beach Where the sea hates to go With a child in my arms And a chill in my soul And my heart the shape Of a begging bowl
Leonard Cohen
There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next morning when Harry went in for breakfast. It seemed to be coming from a large metal tub in the sink. He went to have a look. The tub was full of what looked like dirty rags swimming in gray water. "What's this?" he asked Aunt Petunia. "Your new school uniform," she said. Harry looked in the bowl again. "Oh," he said, "I didn't realize it had to be so wet.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I saw Hunter when I woke up. I saw Hunter as I ate a bowl of cereal. I saw him in human sexuality, where he seemed to be trying to break a record for most innuendos in one hour. I saw him at work where he assaulted my email. I saw him every night at dinner. I saw him go to and from the bathroom. I saw him at our stupid meditations, where were as pointless as socks with sandals. I. Saw. Him. EVERYWHERE.
Chelsea M. Cameron (My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1))
Apollo's lips spread into a smile. "Sorry. I'll try to come after dinner next time." The bowl disappeared from his hands, and I wondered where it went. "Well, it's good to see the Scooby gang all in one piece. Warms my heart and all that jazz, but let's get to the point.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
You want to see safe hands?' her dad asked. He went to the fruit bowl on the side of the table, took two apples and proceeded to juggle them. 'See? Safe as anything.' 'Are you proposing you juggle our newborn child?' 'Of course not,' he said. 'I'd only be able to juggle her if you'd had twins. Otherwise it would just be throwing.' (...) 'From this moment on, I will be the best father the world has ever seen. Wifey, may I please hold my child?' Valkyrie's mum looked at him suspiciously. 'When you hold a baby, what's the most important thing to remember?' 'Not to drop it,' he said proudly. 'Well, yes, well done dear, but I was thinking more about how you hold the baby.' 'Ah,' he said, 'Of course. The secret to holding a baby is to pick it up by the scruff of its neck.' 'You're thinking of kittens.' 'Pick it up by the ears, then.' 'You're thinking of nothing.' 'Can I please just hold her?' 'I don't think that's wise.' 'A lot of things aren't wise, Melissa. Is crossing the road with your eyes closed wise? No, but I do it anyway.' His wife nodded. 'Stephanie, you are in charge of teaching Alice how to cross the road.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
What if I promise to make you a batch of brownies tomorrow?" she asked, deciding to use his love of baked goods against him. He snorted in disbelief as he got to his feet. "I'm not some whore you can buy with a pan of yummy baked goods, woman. How dare you insult me?" he said on a sniff as he folded his arms over his chest and did his best to look put out. "Fine," Haley said with a sigh. "What if I promise to make a big bowl of frosting tomorrow and let you lick it off me?" She had to bite back a smile as Jason shifted anxiously while he licked his lips and ran his eyes hungrily down her body. "Buttercream?" he croaked out. "Mmmmhmm," she said, walking over to him. She cupped the back of his head and gently tugged him down for a quick kiss. "And if you're good I might lick some off you," she said, loving the idea. "Get your own bowl of frosting. I don't share," he simply said, giving her one last kiss before walking out the door, whistling happily, no doubt thinking about the large bowl of frosting he was going to devour tomorrow.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
I lean forward and grab the bowl of ice cream she didn't finish and pull it to my, then take a bite. She watches me as I close my lips around the spoon and pull it out of my mouth. She scrunches up her nose staring at the spoon. "I could have herpes, you know," she says. I grin at her and wink. "You somehow just made herpes sound appealing.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.
Paul Bowles
All male friendships are essentially quixotic: they last only so long as each man is willing to polish the shaving-bowl helmet, climb on his donkey, and ride off after the other in pursuit of illusive glory and questionable adventure.
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
Where do you think the money went?” he repeated. “Guns?” asked Jesper. “Ships?” queried Inej. “Bombs?” suggested Wylan. “Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered. He shrugged. “They all seem like practical choices.” “Sugar,” said Kaz. Jesper nudged the sugar bowl down the table to him. Kaz rolled his eyes. “Not for my coffee, you podge. I used the money to buy up sugar shares and placed them in private accounts for all of us—under aliases, of course.” “I don’t like speculation,” said Matthias. “Of course you don’t. You like things you can see. Like piles of snow and benevolent tree gods.” “Oh, there it is!” said Inej, resting her head on Nina’s shoulder and beaming at Matthias. “I missed his glower.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Anyway, here.” He handed me a bag. “Thought you might be hungry. Since you’re our guests, it would be impolite if we didn’t share our food with you. That’s your rations for the week. Try to make it last.” At my surprised look, he rolled his eyes. “Not all of us live on oil and electricity, you know.” “What about Ash and Puck?” “Well, I’m pretty sure eating our food won’t melt their insides to gooey paste. But you never know.” (Glitch) ----------------- Puck sat and gazed mournfully into the bowl I handed him. “Not an apple slice to be found,” he sighed, picking through the gooey mess with his fingers. “How can mortals even pass this off as fruit? It’s like a peach farmer threw up in a bowl.” Ash picked up the spoon, gazing at it like it was an alien life form.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
This Path to God Made me such an old sweet beggar. I was starving until one night My love tricked God Himself To fall into my bowl. Now Hafiz is infintely rich, But all I ever want to do Is keep emptying out My emerald-filled Pockets Upon This tear-stained World.
The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz
She was saved from prettiness by the intensity of her gaze.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
Helen's modest. She wanted to dress herself," Ariadne said, drizzling honey over a bowl of oatmeal and putting it down in front of Helen. "Modest? Sure she is," Hector said sarcastically as he passed Lucas the bacon. "That was YOUR SISTER'S nightgown, wasn't it?" Lucas asked without skipping a beat as he served Helen and himself. Hector wisely shut his mouth. "Yeah," Ariadne replied for him, not getting it. "So comfortable! What? What are you all laughing at?
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
How much more of the mosque, of prayer and fasting? Better go drunk and begging round the taverns. Khayyam, drink wine, for soon this clay of yours Will make a cup, bowl, one day a jar. When once you hear the roses are in bloom, Then is the time, my love, to pour the wine; Houris and palaces and Heaven and Hell- These are but fairy-tales, forget them all.
Omar Khayyám
What is meditation?... It is fleeing from the self, it is a short escape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against the pain and the pointlessness of life. The same escape, the same short numbing is what the driver of an ox-cart finds in the inn, drinking a few bowls of rice wine or fermented coconut-milk.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
If people but knew their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and how free from any grudge against the religion of others.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (The Bowl of Saki: Thoughts for Daily Contemplation from the Sayings and Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan)
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favourite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man pianted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and dishevelled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready. They placed their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its centre was an ornate bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ’Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ’My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ’Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us,’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ’You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ’there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a clueless little twat.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
I'm so glad you're okay." "So, how do we celebrate my okayness? It's my day off. Let's go crazy. Glow-in-the-dark bowling?" "No" "I'll let you use the kiddie ball." "Shut up. I do NOT need the kiddie ball." "The way you bowl, I think you might." He grabbed her in an exaggerated formal dance pose and whirled her around, backpack and all, which didn't make her any more graceful. "Ballroom dancing?" "Are you INSANE?" "Hey, girls who tango are hot." "You think I'm not hot because I don't tango?" He dropped the act. Shane was a smart boy. "I think you are too hot for ballroom or bowling. So you tell me. What do you want to do? And don't say study.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
I gave my mother a matching set [of mugs] for Christmas, and she accepted them as graciously as possible, announcing that they would make the perfect pet bowls. The mugs were set on the kitchen floor and remained there until the cat chipped a tooth and went on a hunger strike.
David Sedaris
I'll cab it home." "Naw. I'll hang until you're through. Then I'll drag you back to your apartment. Watch you throw up for an hour. Push you into bed. Before I leave I'll get the coffee machine set up. Aspirin will be right next to the sugar bowl." "I don't have a sugar bowl." "So it'll be next to the bag." Butch smiled. "You'd have made a great wife, Jose." "That's what mine tells me.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
There is a way to master silence Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners And listen to the hiss of time outside
Paul Bowles
Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
Silently, I lifted my doggy bowl off the floor. Then, with a quick, powerful flip of my wrist, I threw it into the back of Blondie’s head so hard that – with an earsplitting bang – it smashed flat before it ricocheted across the room and snapped the round top piece off the thick newel post at the foot of the stairs.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4))
Some cry out against the majority's despotism that knocks them off their feet and hacks into their fundamental values. Since the unbearable intrusion on their lifestyle's quality frightens them, they are obsessed with losing their integrity through the backlash of an overpowering "democratorship." Spearheading a reconciliation between freethinking and mediation is of supreme importance because mere resentment can be an evil counselor. ("What after bowling alone?" )
Erik Pevernagie
I glanced out the window at the signs of spring. The sky was almost blue, the trees were almost budding, the sun was almost bright.
Millard Kaufman (Bowl of Cherries)
Melody exploded. "THIS ISN'T LIKE GETTING A FISH TO SEE IF I COULD BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH FOR A PUPPY!" She took a deep breath, calmed herself and lowered her voice. She then repeated the statement as if doing so removed the stink of the outburst. "I'm well aware of that," said Lonnie. "And not to poke it with a stick, but you don't see any puppies sniffing around that empty fish bowl, do you?
B.M.B. Johnson (Melody Jackson v. the Woman in White (It happened on Lafayette Street Book 1))
We’re all risking something.” There was so little of the friend he’d grown up with. The prince glanced at his pocket watch. “I need to go.” Dorian stalked to the stairs, and there was no fear in his face, no doubt, as he said, “You gave me the truth today, so I’ll share mine: even if it meant us being friends again, I don’t think I would want to go back to how it was before — who I was before. And this...” He jerked his chin toward the scattered crystals and the bowl of water. “I think this is a good change, too. Don’t fear it.” Dorian left, and Chaol opened his mouth, but no words came out. He was too stunned. When Dorian had spoken, it hadn't been a prince who looked at him. It had been a king.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Everyone is isolated from everyone else. The concept of society is like a cushion to protect us from the knowledge of that isolation. A fiction that serves as an anesthetic.
Paul Bowles
Something’s different,” Carlos continued. “Tonight you came in with no scowling or growling. Why the change?” Robby shrugged one shoulder. “I’m trying to convince you I’m no’ crazy. If I kept doing the same thing when it wasna working, would that no’ be crazy?” “Good point.” Carlos rinsed the bowl and placed it in the dishwasher. “So you’re trying a new strategy tonight.” Robby removed the bottled blood from the microwave and filled a glass. “Tonight I saw an angel.” Carlos’s eyes widened. “And you’re still trying to convince me you’re not crazy?
Kerrelyn Sparks (The Vampire and the Virgin (Love at Stake, #8))
Brod's life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside of her. But there was no release. Table, ivory, elephant charm, rainbow, onion, hairdo, mollusk, Shabbos, violence, cuticle, melodrama, ditch, honey, doily...None of it moved her. She addressed her world honestly, searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her, but to each she would have to say, I don't love you. Bark-brown fence post: I don't love you. Poem too long: I don't love you. Lunch in a bowl: I don't love you. Physics, the idea of you, the laws of you: I don't love you. Nothing felt like anything more than what it actually was. Everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness. If we were to open a random page in her journal- which she must have kept and kept with her at all times, not fearing that it would be lost, or discovered and read, but that she would one day stumble upon that thing which was finally worth writing about and remembering, only to find that she had no place to write it- we would find some rendering of the following sentiment: I am not in love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
Now that lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room And twists one in her fingers while she talks. "Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know What life is, you who hold it in your hands"; (slowly twisting the lilac stalks) "You let it flow from you, you let it flow, And youth is cruel, and has no remorse And smiles at situations which it cannot see." I smile, of course, And go on drinking tea.
T.S. Eliot (Prufrock and Other Observations)
You gave me the truth today, so I’ll share mine: even if it meant us being friends again, I don’t think I would want to go back to how it was before—who I was before. And this…” He jerked his chin toward the scattered crystals and the bowl of water. “I think this is a good change, too. Don’t fear it.” Dorian left, and Chaol opened his mouth, but no words came out. He was too stunned. When Dorian had spoken, it hadn’t been a prince who looked at him. It had been a king.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Odd choice of a word, isn’t it? Fish is either singular, or plural. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the study and found not one fish in a tiny fish bowl, but an entire aquarium.” She practically vibrated for the need to fight. “Otto was lonely and you were practicing animal cruelty. He was too isolated. Now, he has friends and a place to swim.” “Yes, nice little tunnels and rocks and algae to play hide and seek with his buddies.
Jennifer Probst (The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1))
Mornings at Blackwater For years, every morning, I drank from Blackwater Pond. It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt, the feet of ducks. And always it assuaged me from the dry bowl of the very far past. What I want to say is that the past is the past, and the present is what your life is, and you are capable of choosing what that will be, darling citizen. So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination, or the harbor of your longing, and put your lips to the world. And live your life.
Mary Oliver (Red Bird)
So this is the young man who has intentions toward my little girl." Bobby shifted in his seat and crossed his legs. "It is not fun on this side of the table, is it, Robert?" Uncle Eddie huffed, and Kat had to remember that once upon a time her mother had been a dark-haired girl in that kitchen, and her dad had been the stray she'd brought home. She watched the two men looking at Hale as if they'd never before laid eyes on him. "He's better-looking than the last vagabond I had to take in," Eddie said, standing and carrying empty bowls to the sink. "I'll give him that.
Ally Carter (Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
She reached up and lay her hand on my cheek. "You have the sweetest face," she said, looking at me dreamily. "It's like the perfect kitchen." I fought not to smile. This was the delirium. She'd fade in and out of it before the profound exhaustion dragged her down into unconsciousness. If you see someone spouting nonsense to themselves in an alleyway in Tarbean, odds are they're not actually crazy, just a sweet-eater deranged by too much denner. "A kitchen?" "Yes," she said. "Everything matches and the sugar bowl is right where it should be.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Heart’s blood and bitter pain belong to love, And tales of problems no one can remove; Cupbearer, fill the bowl with blood, not wine - And if you lack the heart’s rich blood take mine. Love thrives on inextinguishable pain, Which tears the soul, then knits the threads again. A mote of love exceeds all bounds; it gives The vital essence to whatever lives. But where love thrives, there pain is always found; Angels alone escape this weary round - They love without that savage agony Which is reserved for vexed humanity.
عطار نیشابوری (The Conference of the Birds)
Then there came a faraway, booming voice like a low, clear bell. It came from the center of the bowl and down the great sides to the ground and then bounced toward her eagerly. 'You see I am fate,' it shouted, 'and stronger than your puny plans; and I am how-things-turn-out and I am different from your little dreams, and I am the flight of time and the end of beauty and unfulfilled desire; all the accidents and imperceptions and the little minutes that shape the crucial hours are mine. I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Cut Glass Bowl and Other Stories (Macmillan Readers: Upper Level))
I invited Intuition to stay in my house when my roommates went North. I warned her that I am territorial and I keep the herb jars in alphabetical order. Intuition confessed that she has a ‘spotty employment record.’ She was fired from her last job for daydreaming. When Intuition moved in, she washed all the windows, cleaned out the fireplace, planted fruit trees, and lit purple candles. She doesn’t cook much. She eats beautiful foods, artichokes, avocadoes, persimmons and pomegranates, wild rice with wild mushrooms, chrysanthemum tea. She doesn’t have many possessions. Each thing is special. I wish you could see the way she arranged her treasures on the fireplace mantle. She has a splendid collection of cups, bowls, and baskets. Well, the herbs are still in alphabetical order, and I can’t complain about how the house looks. Since Intuition moved in, my life has been turned inside out.
J. Ruth Gendler (The Book of Qualities)
One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, "How beautiful the world could be...
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
There was a proud Teapot, proud of being made of porcelain, proud of its long spout and its broad handle. It had something in front of it and behind it; the spout was in front, and the handle behind, and that was what it talked about. But it didn't mention its lid, for it was cracked and it was riveted and full of defects, and we don't talk about our defects - other people do that. The cups, the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl - in fact, the whole tea service - thought much more about the defects in the lid and talked more about it than about the sound handle and the distinguished spout. The Teapot knew this.
Hans Christian Andersen (Fairy Tales)
You're getting better, my lady." "Don't patronize me." "No, really, Your Highness. When you started painting five years ago, I could never tell what it was you were trying to depict." "And this is a painting of . ." Ashe paused. "A bowl of fruit?" he asked hopefully. Sarene sighed in frustration. _______________________________ "Beautifully—which is more than I can say for the painting." He paused for a moment. "It's a horse, right?" Sarene scowled. "A house?" he asked. "It is not a bowl of fruit either, my lord," Ashe said. "I already tried that." "Well, she said it was one of the paintings in this room," Lukel said. "All we have to do is keep guessing until we find the right one." "Brilliant deduction, Master Lukel." Ashe said.
Brandon Sanderson (Elantris (Elantris, #1))
In prehistoric times, early man was bowled over by natural events: rain, thunder, lightning, the violent shaking and moving of the ground, mountains spewing deathly hot lava, the glow of the moon, the burning heat of the sun, the twinkling of the stars. Our human brain searched for an answer, and the conclusion was that it all must be caused by something greater than ourselves - this, of course, sprouted the earliest seeds of religion. This theory is certainly reflected in faery lore. In the beautiful sloping hills of Connemara in Ireland, for example, faeries were believed to have been just as beautiful, peaceful, and pleasant as the world around them. But in the Scottish Highlands, with their dark, brooding mountains and eerie highland lakes, villagers warned of deadly water-kelpies and spirit characters that packed a bit more punch.
Signe Pike (Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World)
I remembered what Morrie said during our visit: “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” "Morrie true to these words, had developed his own culture – long before he got sick. Discussion groups, walks with friends, dancing to his music in the Harvard Square church. He started a project called Greenhouse, where poor people could receive mental health services. He read books to find new ideas for his classes, visited with colleagues, kept up with old students, wrote letters to distant friends. He took more time eating and looking at nature and wasted not time in front of TV sitcoms or “Movies of the Week.” He had created a cocoon of human activities– conversations, interaction, affection–and it filled his life like an overflowing soup bowl.
Mitch Albom
Just this one bowl,” Qibli said grumpily. “Because it’s the stupidest bowl in Pyrrhia.” Peril edged a little closer and peered at it. “Huh,” she said. “Looks like a norm — nope!” she interrupted herself, seeing the look on his face. “You’re right! Stupidest bowl I’ve ever seen! Can I join in? HEY, BOWL, YOUR SHAPE IS INANE! FOOD PROBABLY FALLS OUT OF YOU ALL THE TIME! I BET YOU DON’T EVEN STACK WELL IN CABINETS! YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT, YOU’RE THE WORST! Ooh, this is great. Let’s do it every day! I feel much better.
Tui T. Sutherland (Darkness of Dragons (Wings of Fire, Book 10))
You were just a beautiful woman. Now you're my beautiful woman. What you got under your clothes is for me. No one else. They don't look. They don't touch. That's the deal. Yeah?" I stared at him, speechless, which was a good thing because if I had words, I would have said them so loudly the neighbors would hear. "Now," he went on, either not feeling or not caring about the badder than bad vibes emanating from me directly toward him, "go put on a tank." That’s when I found my words. "Maybe I should go put on my ragged white dress and stone necklace and you can put on your leopard skin tunic and we can pedal in our stone car to the roadhouse before you go bowling with Barney and I go shopping with Betty, Fred.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Regret (Rock Chick, #7))
My idea is this, that when you only love a little you’re naturally not jealous-or are only jealous also a little, so that it doesn’t matter. But when you love in a deeper and intenser way, then you’re in the very same proportion jealous; your jealousy has intensity and, no doubt, ferocity. When however you love in the most abysmal and unutterable way of all – whey then you’re beyond everything, and nothing can pull you down.
Henry James (The Golden Bowl)
Janey was planning a short engagement, she'd simpered, and so, of course, the inevitable collection for the wedding present would soon follow. Of all the compulsory financial contributions, that is the one that irks me most. Two people wander around John Lewis picking out lovely items for themselves, and then they make other people pay for them. It's bare-faced effrontery. They choose things like plates, bowls and cutlery—I mean, what are they doing at the moment: shoveling food from packets into their mouths with their bare hands? I simply fail to see how the act of legally formalizing a human relationship necessitates friends, family and coworkers upgrading the contents of their kitchen for them.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
I want you to stop being subhuman and become 'yourself'. 'Yourself,' I say. Not the newspaper you read, not your vicious neighbor's opinion, but 'yourself.' I know, and you don't, what you really are deep down. Deep down, you are what a deer, your God, your poet, or your philosopher is. But you think you're a member of the VFW, your bowling club, or the Ku Klux Klan, and because you think so, you behave as you do. This too was told you long ago, by Heinrich Mann in Germany, by Upton Sinclair and John Dos Passos in the United States. But you recognized neither Mann nor Sinclair. You recognize only the heavyweight champion and Al Capone. If given your choice between a library and a fight, you'll undoubtedly go to the fight.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
Anyway, it seems to me that the way most people go on living (I suppose there are a few exceptions), they think that the world of life (or whatever) is this place where everything is (or is supposed to be) basically logical and consistent.... It's like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you've got rice pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can't tell what's going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody's looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it's natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me that's just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know. Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?” <...> Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present.
T.S. Eliot
Look, you're small-town. I've had over 50 jobs, maybe a hundred. I've never stayed anywhere long. What I am trying to say is, there is a certain game played in offices all over America. The people are bored, they don't know what to do, so they play the office-romance game. Most of the time it means nothing but the passing of time. Sometimes they do manage to work off a screw or two on the side. But even then, it is just an offhand pasttime, like bowling or t.v. or a New Year's Eve party. You've got to understand that it doesn't mean anything and then you won't get hurt. Do you understand what I mean?" I think that Mr. Partisan is sincere." You're going to get stuck with that pin, babe, don't forget what I told you. Watch those slicks. They are as phony as a lead dime.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
When I was young” … “Before I was twenty, I mean, I used to think that life was a thing that kept gaining impetus, it would get richer and deeper each year. You kept learning more, getting wiser, having more insight, going further into the truth” – she hesitated. Port laughed abruptly. – “And now you know it’s not like that. Right? It’s more like smoking a cigarette. The first few puffs it tasted wonderful, and you don’t even think of its ever being used up. Then you begin taking it for granted. Suddenly you realize it’s nearly burned down to the end. And then’s when you’re conscious of the bitter taste.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes — gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another’s umbrellas in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest. Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds. Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look. The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
What kind of knife is this?” Locke held a rounded buttering utensil up for Chains’ inspection. “It’s all wrong. You couldn’t kill anyone with this.” “Well, not very easily, I’ll grant you that, my boy.” Chains guided Locke in the placement of the butter knife and assorted small dishes and bowls. “But when the quality get together to dine, it’s impolite to knock anybody off with anything but poison. That thing is for scooping butter, not slicing windpipes.” “This is a lot of trouble to go to just to eat.” “Well, in Shades’ Hill you may be able to eat cold bacon and dirt pies off one another’s asses for all your old master cares. But now you’re a Gentleman Bastard, emphasis on the Gentleman. You’re going to learn how to eat like this, and how to serve people who eat like this.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
we had goldfish and they circled around and around in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes covering the picture window and my mother, always smiling, wanting us all to be happy, told me, “be happy, Henry!” and she was right: it’s better to be happy if you can but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while raging inside his 6-foot-2 frame because he couldn’t understand what was attacking him from within. my mother, poor fish, wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a week, telling me to be happy: “Henry, smile! why don’t you ever smile?” and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the saddest smile I ever saw. one day the goldfish died, all five of them, they floated on the water, on their sides, their eyes still open, and when my father got home he threw them to the cat there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother smiled. A smile to remember
Charles Bukowski (The Pleasures of the Damned)
We're running out of time, he said. As if time were the kind of thing you could run out of, as if it were measured into bowls that were handed to us at birth and if we ate too much or too fast or right before jumping into the water then our time would be lost, wasted, already spent. But time is beyond our finite comprehension. It's endless, it exists outside of us; we cannot run out of it or lose track of it or find a way to hold on to it. Time goes on even when we do not. We have plenty of time, is what Castle should have said. We have all the time in the world, is what he should have said to me. But he didn't because what he meant tick tock is that our time tick tock is shifting. It's hurtling forward heading in an entirely new direction slamming face-first into something else and tick tick tick tick tick it's almost time for war
Tahereh Mafi
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
I sought a soul that might resemble mine, and I could not find it. I scanned all the crannies of the earth: my perseverance was useless. Yet I could not remain alone. There had to be someone who would approve of my character; there had to be someone with the same ideas as myself. It was morning. The sun in all his magnificence rose on the horizon, and behold, there also appeared before my eyes a young man whose presence made flowers grow as he passed. He approached me and held out his hand: “I have come to you, you who seek me. Let us give thanks for this happy day.” But I replied: “Go! I did not summon you. I do not need your friendship… .” It was evening. Night was beginning to spread the blackness of her veil over nature. A beautiful woman whom I could scarcely discern also exerted her bewitching sway upon me and looked at me with compassion. She did not, however, dare speak to me. I said: “Come closer that I may discern your features clearly, for at this distance the starlight is not strong enough to illumine them.” Then, with modest demeanour, eyes lowered, she crossed the greensward and reached my side. I said as soon as I saw her: “I perceive that goodness and justice have dwelt in your heart: we could not live together. Now you are admiring my good looks which have bowled over more than one woman. But sooner or later you would regret having consecrated your love to me, for you do not know my soul. Not that I shall be unfaithful to you: she who devotes herself to me with so much abandon and trust — with the same trust and abandon do I devote myself to her. But get this into your head and never forget it: wolves and lambs look not on one another with gentle eyes.” What then did I need, I who rejected with disgust what was most beautiful in humanity!
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
The problem is that children believe what adults say and once they're adults themselves they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realize that's not true it's too late. The mystery remains intact but all your available energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anesthetize yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life and then the better to convince yourself you deceive your own children. ... People aim for the stars and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adultnot to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience i.e. the goldfish bowl.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
JERRY: Look at the way you're looking at me. I can't wait for you. I'm bowled over, I'm totally knocked out, you dazzle me, you jewel, my jewel, I can't ever sleep again, no, listen, it's the truth, I won't walk, I'll be a cripple, I'll descend, I'll diminish, into total paralysis, my life is in your hands, that's what you're banishing me to, a state of catatonia, do you know the state of catatonia? do you? do you? the state of...where the reigning prince is the prince of emptiness, the prince of absence, the prince of desolation. I love you. EMMA: My husband is at the other side of that door. JERRY: Everyone knows. The world knows. It knows. But they'll never know, they'll never know, they're in a different world. I adore you. I'm madly in love with you. I can't believe that what anyone is at this moment saying has ever happened has ever happened. Nothing has ever happened. Nothing. Your eyes kill me. I'm lost. You're wonderful.
Harold Pinter (Betrayal)
Beth stared at the bowl, a fragile piece of the past, such a delicate object in Ian’s large, blunt fingers. “Are you certain?” “Of course I’m certain.” His frown returned. “Do you not want it?” “I do want it,” Beth said hastily. She held her hands out for it. “I’m honored.” The frown faded, to be replaced by a slight quirk of his lips. “Is it better than a new carriage and horses and a dozen frocks?” “What are you talking about? It’s a hundred times better.” “It’s only a bowl.” “It’s special to you, and you gave it to me.” Beth took it carefully and smiled at the dragons chasing one another in eternal determination. “It’s the best gift in the world.” Ian took it gently back from her and replaced it in its slot. That made sense; in here it would stay safe and unbroken. But the kiss Ian gave her after that was anything but sensible. It was wicked and bruising, and she had no idea why he smiled so triumphantly.
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
The deep roar of the ocean. The break of waves on farther shores that thought can find. The silent thunders of the deep. And from among it, voices calling, and yet not voices, humming trillings, wordlings, and half-articulated songs of thought. Greetings, waves of greetings, sliding back down into the inarticulate, words breaking together. A crash of sorrow on the shores of Earth. Waves of joy on--where? A world indescribably found, indescribably arrived at, indescribably wet, a song of water. A fugue of voices now, clamoring explanations, of a disaster unavertable, a world to be destroyed, a surge of helplessness, a spasm of despair, a dying fall, again the break of words. And then the fling of hope, the finding of a shadow Earth in the implications of enfolded time, submerged dimensions, the pull of parallels, the deep pull, the spin of will, the hurl and split of it, the fight. A new Earth pulled into replacement, the dolphins gone. Then stunningly a single voice, quite clear. "This bowl was brought to you by the Campaign to Save the Humans. We bid you farewell." And then the sound of long, heavy, perfectly gray bodies rolling away into an unknown fathomless deep, quietly giggling.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore (The Night Before Christmas)
And the child, Francie Nolan, was of all the Rommelys and all the Nolans. She had the violent weaknesses and passion for beauty of the shanty Nolans. She was a mosaic of her grandmother Rommely's mysticism, her tale-telling, her great belief in everything and her compassion for the weak ones. She had a lot of her grandfather Rommely's cruel will. She had some of her Aunt Evy's talent for mimicking, some of Ruthie Nolan's possessiveness. She had Aunt Sissy's love for life and her love for children. She had Johnny's sentimentality without his good looks. She had all of Katie's soft ways and only half of the invisible steel of Katie. She was made up of all these good and these bad things. She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Kitie's secret, desparing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more that did not come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only- the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life- the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Annabelle, what happened to you?” Lillian asked the next morning. “You look dreadful. Why aren’t you wearing your riding habit? I thought you were going to try out the jumping course this morning. And why did you disappear so suddenly last night? It’s not like you to simply vanish without saying—” “I didn’t have a choice in the matter,” Annabelle said testily, folding her fingers around the delicate bowl of a porcelain teacup. Looking pale and exhausted, her blue eyes ringed with dark shadows, she swallowed a mouthful of heavily sweetened tea before continuing. “It was that blasted perfume of yours—as soon as he caught one whiff of it, he went berserk.” Shocked, Lillian tried to take in the information, her stomach plummeting. “It… it had an effect on Westcliff, then?” she managed to ask. “Good Lord, not Lord Westcliff.” Annabelle rubbed her weary eyes. “He couldn’t have cared less what I smelled like. It was my husband who went completely mad. After he caught the scent of that stuff, he dragged me up to our room and…well, suffice it to say, Mr. Hunt kept me awake all night. All night ,” she repeated in sullen emphasis, and drank deeply of the tea. “Doing what?” Daisy asked blankly. Lillian, who was feeling a rush of relief that Lord Westcliff had not been attracted to Annabelle while she was wearing the perfume, gave her younger sister a derisive glance. “What do you think they were doing? Playing a few hands of Find-the-Lady?
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
poetry readings have to be some of the saddest damned things ever, the gathering of the clansmen and clanladies, week after week, month after month, year after year, getting old together, reading on to tiny gatherings, still hoping their genius will be discovered, making tapes together, discs together, sweating for applause they read basically to and for each other, they can't find a New York publisher or one within miles, but they read on and on in the poetry holes of America, never daunted, never considering the possibility that their talent might be thin, almost invisible, they read on and on before their mothers, their sisters, their husbands, their wives, their friends, the other poets and the handful of idiots who have wandered in from nowhere. I am ashamed for them, I am ashamed that they have to bolster each other, I am ashamed for their lisping egos, their lack of guts. if these are our creators, please, please give me something else: a drunken plumber at a bowling alley, a prelim boy in a four rounder, a jock guiding his horse through along the rail, a bartender on last call, a waitress pouring me a coffee, a drunk sleeping in a deserted doorway, a dog munching a dry bone, an elephant's fart in a circus tent, a 6 p.m. freeway crush, the mailman telling a dirty joke anything anything but these.
Charles Bukowski
The weather had freshened almost to coldness, for the wind was coming more easterly, from the chilly currents between Tristan and the Cape; the sloth was amazed by the change; it shunned the deck and spent its time below. Jack was in his cabin, pricking the chart with less satisfaction than he could have wished: progress, slow, serious trouble with the mainmast-- unaccountable headwinds by night-- and sipping a glass of grog; Stephen was in the mizentop, teaching Bonden to write and scanning the sea for his first albatross. The sloth sneezed, and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed upon him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. 'Try a piece of this, old cock,' he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. 'It might put a little heart into you.' The sloth sighed, closed its eyes, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again. Some minutes later he felt a touch upon his knee: the sloth had silently climbed down and it was standing there, its beady eyes looking up into his face, bright with expectation. More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem. After this, as soon as the drum had beat the retreat, the sloth would meet him, hurrying toward the door on its uneven legs: it was given its own bowl, and it would grip it with its claws, lowering its round face into it and pursing its lips to drink (its tongue was too short to lap). Sometimes it went to sleep in this position, bowed over the emptiness. 'In this bucket,' said Stephen, walking into the cabin, 'in this small half-bucket, now, I have the population of Dublin, London, and Paris combined: these animalculae-- what is the matter with the sloth?' It was curled on Jack's knee, breathing heavily: its bowl and Jack's glass stood empty on the table. Stephen picked it up, peered into its affable bleary face, shook it, and hung it upon its rope. It seized hold with one fore and one hind foot, letting the others dangle limp, and went to sleep. Stephen looked sharply round, saw the decanter, smelt to the sloth, and cried, 'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.
Patrick O'Brian (H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey & Maturin #3))
Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy "To go outside, and there perchance to stay Or to remain within: that is the question: Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather That Nature rains on those who roam abroad, Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet, And so by dozing melt the solid hours That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state A wish to venture forth without delay, Then when the portal's opened up, to stand As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep; To choose not knowing when we may once more Our readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball; For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob, Or work a lock or slip a window-catch, And going out and coming in were made As simple as the breaking of a bowl, What cat would bear the houselhold's petty plagues, The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom, The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears, The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks That fur is heir to, when, of his own will, He might his exodus or entrance make With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear, Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard, But that the dread of our unheeded cries And scraches at a barricaded door No claw can open up, dispels our nerve And makes us rather bear our humans' faults Than run away to unguessed miseries? Thus caution doth make house cats of us all; And thus the bristling hair of resolution Is softened up with the pale brush of thought, And since our choices hinge on weighty things, We pause upon the threshold of decision.
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the muck by petty men. Many have traded the enrichment of vision for a gray fog of mediocrity--the fertile inspiration of striving and growth, for mindless stagnation and slow decay--the brave new ground of the attempt, for the timid quagmire of apathy. Many of you have traded freedom not even for a bowl of soup, but worse, for the spoken empty feelings of others who say that you deserve to have a full bowl of soup provided by someone else. Happiness, joy, accomplishment, achievement . . . are not finite commodities, to be divided up. Is a child’s laughter to be divided and allotted? No! Simply make more laughter! Every person’s life is theirs by right. An individual’s life can and must belong only to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man’s throat and dictate how he must live his life. No society can be more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fancy of the society, at a never-ending cost of lives. Reason and reality are the only means to just laws; mindless wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters. Surrendering reason to faith in unreasonable men sanctions their use of force to enslave you--to murder you. You have the power to decide how you will live your life. Those mean, unreasonable little men are but cockroaches, if you say they are. They have no power to control you but that which you grant them!
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
Breakfast! My favorite meal- and you can be so creative. I think of bowls of sparkling berries and fresh cream, baskets of Popovers and freshly squeezed orange juice, thick country bacon, hot maple syrup, panckes and French toast - even the nutty flavor of Irish oatmeal with brown sugar and cream. Breaksfast is the place I splurge with calories, then I spend the rest of the day getting them off! I love to use my prettiest table settings - crocheted placemats with lace-edged napkins and old hammered silver. And whether you are inside in front of a fire, candles burning brightly on a wintery day - or outside on a patio enjoying the morning sun - whether you are having a group of friends and family, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace of the whole day. And Sunday is my day. Sometimes I think we get caught up in the hectic happenings of the weeks and months and we forget to take time out to relax. So one Sunday morning I decided to do things differently - now it's gotten to be a sort of ritual! This is what I do: at around 8:30 am I pull myself from my warm cocoon, fluff up the pillows and blankets and put some classical music on the stereo. Then I'm off to the kitchen, where I very calmly (so as not to wake myself up too much!) prepare my breakfast, seomthing extra nice - last week I had fresh pineapple slices wrapped in bacon and broiled, a warm croissant, hot chocolate with marshmallows and orange juice. I put it all on a tray with a cloth napkin, my book-of-the-moment and the "Travel" section of the Boston Globe and take it back to bed with me. There I spend the next two hours reading, eating and dreaming while the snowflakes swirl through the treetops outside my bedroom window. The inspiring music of Back or Vivaldi adds an exquisite elegance to the otherwise unruly scene, and I am in heaven. I found time to get in touch with myself and my life and i think this just might be a necessity! Please try it for yourself, and someone you love.
Susan Branch (Days from the Heart of the Home)
There was nothing left for me to do, but go. Though the things of the world were strong with me still. Such as, for example: a gaggle of children trudging through a side-blown December flurry; a friendly match-share beneath some collision-titled streetlight; a frozen clock, a bird visited within its high tower; cold water from a tin jug; towering off one’s clinging shirt post-June rain. Pearls, rags, buttons, rug-tuft, beer-froth. Someone’s kind wishes for you; someone remembering to write; someone noticing that you are not at all at ease. A bloody ross death-red on a platter; a headgetop under-hand as you flee late to some chalk-and-woodfire-smelling schoolhouse. Geese above, clover below, the sound of one’s own breath when winded. The way a moistness in the eye will blur a field of stars; the sore place on the shoulder a resting toboggan makes; writing one’s beloved’s name upon a frosted window with a gloved finger. Tying a shoe; tying a knot on a package; a mouth on yours; a hand on yours; the ending of the day; the beginning of the day; the feeling that there will always be a day ahead. Goodbye, I must now say goodbye to all of it. Loon-call in the dark; calf-cramp in the spring; neck-rub in the parlour; milk-sip at end of day. Some brandy-legged dog proudly back-ploughs the grass to cover its modest shit; a cloud-mass down-valley breaks apart over the course of a brandy-deepened hour; louvered blinds yield dusty beneath your dragging finger, and it is nearly noon and you must decide; you have seen what you have seen, and it has wounded you, and it seems you have only one choice left. Blood-stained porcelain bowl wobbles face down on wood floor; orange peel not at all stirred by disbelieving last breath there among that fine summer dust-layer, fatal knife set down in pass-panic on familiar wobbly banister, later dropped (thrown) by Mother (dear Mother) (heartsick) into the slow-flowing, chocolate-brown Potomac. None of it was real; nothing was real. Everything was real; inconceivably real, infinitely dear. These and all things started as nothing, latent within a vast energy-broth, but then we named them, and loved them, and in this way, brought them forth. And now we must lose them. I send this out to you, dear friends, before I go, in this instantaneous thought-burst, from a place where time slows and then stops and we may live forever in a single instant. Goodbye goodbye good-
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future And time future contained in time past. (I) What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know. (I) Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. (I) At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is... At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance. I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. (II) All is always now. Time past and time future Allow but a little consciousness. To be conscious is not to be in time But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden, The moment in the arbour where the rain beat, The moment in the draughty church at smokefall Be remembered; involved with past and future. Only through time time is conquered. (II) Words move, music moves Only in time; but that which is only living Can only die. Words, after speech, reach Into the silence. (V) Or say that the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there Before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now. Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Will not stay still. (V) Desire itself is movement Not in itself desirable; Love is itself unmoving, Only the cause and end of movement, Timeless, and undesiring Except in the aspect of time Caught in the form of limitation Between un-being and being. (V)
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke at about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routine jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds that he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summer-house by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years. Like many other sailors Jack Aubrey had long dreamed of lying in his warm bed all night long; yet although he could now do so with a clear conscience he often rose at unChristian hours, particularly if he were moved by strong emotion, and crept from his bedroom in a watch-coat, to walk about the house or into the stables or to pace the bowling-green. Sometimes he took his fiddle with him. He was in fact a better player than Stephen, and now that he was using his precious Guarnieri rather than a robust sea-going fiddle the difference was still more evident: but the Guarnieri did not account for the whole of it, nor anything like. Jack certainly concealed his excellence when they were playing together, keeping to Stephen's mediocre level: this had become perfectly clear when Stephen's hands were at last recovered from the thumb-screws and other implements applied by French counter-intelligence officers in Minorca; but on reflexion Stephen thought it had been the case much earlier, since quite apart from his delicacy at that period, Jack hated showing away. Now, in the warm night, there was no one to be comforted, kept in countenance, no one could scorn him for virtuosity, and he could let himself go entirely; and as the grave and subtle music wound on and on, Stephen once more contemplated on the apparent contradiction between the big, cheerful, florid sea-officer whom most people liked on sight but who would have never been described as subtle or capable of subtlety by any one of them (except perhaps his surviving opponents in battle) and the intricate, reflective music he was now creating. So utterly unlike his limited vocabulary in words, at times verging upon the inarticulate. 'My hands have now regained the moderate ability they possessed before I was captured,' observed Maturin, 'but his have gone on to a point I never thought he could reach: his hands and his mind. I am amazed. In his own way he is the secret man of the world.
Patrick O'Brian (The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, #17))
Immediately when you arrive in Sahara, for the first or the tenth time, you notice the stillness. An incredible, absolute silence prevails outside the towns; and within, even in busy places like the markets, there is a hushed quality in the air, as if the quiet were a conscious force which, resenting the intrusion of sound, minimizes and disperses sound straightaway. Then there is the sky, compared to which all other skies seem fainthearted efforts. Solid and luminous, it is always the focal point of the landscape. At sunset, the precise, curved shadow of the earth rises into it swiftly from the horizon, cutting into light section and dark section. When all daylight is gone, and the space is thick with stars, it is still of an intense and burning blue, darkest directly overhead and paling toward the earth, so that the night never really goes dark. You leave the gate of the fort or town behind, pass the camels lying outside, go up into the dunes, or out onto the hard, stony plain and stand awhile alone. Presently, you will either shiver and hurry back inside the walls, or you will go on standing there and let something very peculiar happen to you, something that everyone who lives there has undergone and which the French call 'le bapteme de solitude.' It is a unique sensation, and it has nothing to do with loneliness, for loneliness presupposes memory. Here in this wholly mineral landscape lighted by stars like flares, even memory disappears...A strange, and by no means pleasant, process of reintergration begins inside you, and you have the choice of fighting against it, and insisting on remaining the person you have always been, or letting it take its course. For no one who has stayed in the Sahara for a while is quite the same as when he came. ...Perhaps the logical question to ask at this point is: Why go? The answer is that when a man has been there and undergone the baptism of solitude he can't help himself. Once he has been under the spell of the vast luminous, silent country, no other place is quite strong enough for him, no other surroundings can provide the supremely satisfying sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute. He will go back, whatever the cost in time or money, for the absolute has no price.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)