Chalk Your Walk Quotes

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The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you've never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose — allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
You, Doctor Martin, walk from breakfast to madness. Late August, I speed through the antiseptic tunnel where the moving dead still talk of pushing their bones against the thrust of cure. And I am queen of this summer hotel or the laughing bee on a stalk of death. We stand in broken lines and wait while they unlock the doors and count us at the frozen gates of dinner. The shibboleth is spoken and we move to gravy in our smock of smiles. We chew in rows, our plates scratch and whine like chalk in school. There are no knives for cutting your throat. I make moccasins all morning. At first my hands kept empty, unraveled for the lives they used to work. Now I learn to take them back, each angry finger that demands I mend what another will break tomorrow. Of course, I love you; you lean above the plastic sky, god of our block, prince of all the foxes. The breaking crowns are new that Jack wore. Your third eye moves among us and lights the separate boxes where we sleep or cry. What large children we are here. All over I grow most tall in the best ward. Your business is people, you call at the madhouse, an oracular eye in our nest. Out in the hall the intercom pages you. You twist in the pull of the foxy children who fall like floods of life in frost. And we are magic talking to itself, noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins forgotten. Am I still lost? Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself, counting this row and that row of moccasins waiting on the silent shelf.
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
I had a professor in college who returned our graded essays, walked up to the chalkboard, and wrote in huge letters: “SO WHAT?” She threw the piece of chalk down and said, “Ask yourself that every time you turn in a piece of writing.” It’s a lesson I never forgot.
Austin Kleon (Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Austin Kleon))
For most of a day we walked through alkali flats, the white crust like a frosted layer of salt that rose in a powder when your boots punched through. We wore the chalk on us everywhere—up to our knees, in the creases of our fingers clenching the rifle strap, down in the cavity between my breasts, and in my mouth, too. I couldn’t keep it out and stopped trying. I couldn’t keep anything out, I realized, and that was something I loved about Africa. The way it got at you from the outside in and never let up, and never let you go.
Paula McLain (Circling the Sun)
Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you've never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose — allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Zane walked over to the bookshelf and picked up a tin container with pencils in it. He rattled the pencils around in a circle, then reached into the tin to pull out a piece of chalk. Then he drew a circle on the wood floor around the chair Mary sat in. “What are you doing?” “At the end of my dream, I was very old. And I shed my skin. And I became something frightening that wasn’t like me at all. If I come back, and I’ve turned into a monster, then you’ll be safe from me in there.” “Oh, I don’t like this.” She felt a little punchy, a little giggly. “And then you’re going off to the bathroom to pee? You’re going to have to hold it.” She held onto his hand. It was like her dad’s hand, maybe even a bit older. The skin was soft, and thinner than her father’s. “No, really, I have to go.” He pulled his hand. She didn’t let go. She giggled. “I’m not going to let you go. Not after you just said that to me.” Her giggling was a bit infectious. And he got the bug. He laughed. “But I have to go.” “Well, you shouldn’t have said that first. ‘I might turn into a horrible monster of which you should be so afraid that you’ll remain in a chalk . . .’” She giggle-snorted. “’Chalk ring.’ How’s that going to help me?” She giggled again. “I’m having too much fun, Zane; I’m not going to let this turn into some horrible nightmare, because then I’m going to make myself wake up and I might never see you again.” They stared and stared at each other, the grins frozen on their faces.
James T. Riley (Hill People)
A pool game mixes ritual with geometry. The slow spaciousness of the green felt mirrors some internal state you get to after a few beers. Back at school, I’d been trying to read the philosophy of art, which I was grotesquely unequipped to do but nonetheless stuck on. I loved the idea that looking at a painting or listening to a concerto could make you somehow “transcend” the day-in, day-out bullshit that grinds you down; how in one instant of pure attention you could draw something inside that made you forever larger. In those days the drug culture was pimping “expanded consciousness,” a lie that partly descended from the old postindustrial lie of progress: any change in how your head normally worked must count as an improvement. Maybe my faith in that lie slid me toward an altered state that day. Or maybe it was just the beer, which I rarely drank. In any case, walking around the pool table, I felt borne forward by some internal force or fire. My first shot sank a ball. Then I made the most unlikely bank shot in history to drop two balls at once after a wild V trajectory. Daddy whistled. The sky through the window had gone the exact blue of the chalk I was digging my cue stick in, a shade solid and luminous at once, like the sheer turquoise used for the Madonna’s robe in Renaissance paintings. Slides from art history class flashed through my head. For a second, I lent that color some credit, as if it meant something that made my mind more buoyant. But that was crazy.
Mary Karr (The Liars' Club)
what I knew that morning in March 1977 as we settled around the conference table. I wasn’t even sure how these guys reached us, or how they’d arranged this meeting. “Okay, fellas,” I said, “what’ve you got?” It was a beautiful day, I remember. The light outside the room was a buttery pale yellow, and the sky was blue for the first time in months, so I was distracted, a little spring feverish, as Rudy leaned his weight on the edge of the conference table and smiled. “Mr. Knight, we’ve come up with a way to inject . . . air . . . into a running shoe.” I frowned and dropped my pencil. “Why?” I said. “For greater cushioning,” he said. “For greater support. For the ride of a lifetime.” I stared. “You’re kidding me, right?” I’d heard a lot of silliness from a lot of different people in the shoe business, but this. Oh. Brother. Rudy handed me a pair of soles that looked as if they’d been teleported from the twenty-second century. Big, clunky, they were clear thick plastic and inside were—bubbles? I turned them over. “Bubbles?” I said. “Pressurized air bags,” he said. I set down the soles and gave Rudy a closer look, a full head-to-toe. Six-three, lanky, with unruly dark hair, bottle-bottom glasses, a lopsided grin, and a severe vitamin D deficiency, I thought. Not enough sunshine. Or else a long-lost member of the Addams Family. He saw me appraising him, saw my skepticism, and wasn’t the least fazed. He walked to the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk, and began writing numbers, symbols, equations. He explained at some length why an air shoe would work, why it would never go flat, why it was the Next Big Thing. When he finished I stared at the blackboard. As a trained accountant I’d spent a good part of my life looking at blackboards, but this Rudy fella’s scribbles were something else. Indecipherable.
Phil Knight (Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE)
She stayed with buses after that, getting off only now and then to walk so she'd keep awake. What fragments of dreams came had to do with the post horn. Later, possibly, she would have trouble sorting the night into real and dreamed. At some indefinite passage in night's sonorous score, it also came to her that she would be safe, that something, perhaps only her linearly fading drunkenness, would protect her. The city was hers, as, made up and sleeked so with the customary words and images (cosmopolitan, culture, cable cars) it had not been before: she had safe-passage tonight to its far blood's branchings, be they capillaries too small for more than peering into, or vessels mashed together in shameless municipal hickeys, out on the skin for all but tourists to see. Nothing of the night's could touch her; nothing did. The repetition of symbols was to be enough, without trauma as well perhaps to attenuate it or even jar it altogether loose from her memory. She was meant to remember. She faced that possibility as she might the toy street from a high balcony, roller-coaster ride, feeding-time among the beasts in a zoo-any death-wish that can be consummated by some minimum gesture. She touched the edge of its voluptuous field, knowing it would be lovely beyond dreams simply to submit to it; that not gravity's pull, laws of ballistics, feral ravening, promised more delight. She tested it, shivering: I am meant to remember. Each clue that comes is supposed to have its own clarity, its fine chances for permanence. But then she wondered if the gemlike "clues" were only some kind of compensation. To make up for her having lost the direct, epileptic Word, the cry that might abolish the night. In Golden Gate Park she came on a circle of children in their nightclothes, who told her they were dreaming the gathering. But that the dream was really no different from being awake, because in the mornings when they got up they felt tired, as if they'd been up most of the night. When their mothers thought they were out playing they were really curled in cupboards of neighbors' houses, in platforms up in trees, in secretly-hollowed nests inside hedges, sleeping, making up for these hours. The night was empty of all terror for them, they had inside their circle an imaginary fire, and needed nothing but their own unpenetrated sense of community. They knew about the post horn, but nothing of the chalked game Oedipa had seen on the sidewalk. You used only one image and it was a jump-rope game, a little girl explained: you stepped alternately in the loop, the bell, and the mute, while your girlfriend sang: Tristoe, Tristoe, one, two, three, Turning taxi from across the sea… "Thurn and Taxis, you mean?" They'd never heard it that way. Went on warming their hands at an invisible fire. Oedipa, to retaliate, stopped believing in them.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
even the formidable deputy seemed lost for words – or was saving them for later. Maths followed a similar pattern. While the others struggled over algebra, Janet spent the first half of the lesson hidden behind her ponytail of tangled hair – ‘looking for split ends,’ she explained to Edie afterwards – until Mr Robinson, a nervous young teacher who had joined the school the previous term, invited her to come to the front of the class and write an answer to the question he had just chalked up on the board. ‘Why are you picking on me?’ Janet asked sulkily. ‘Because I don’t think you’ve been paying attention,’ Mr Robinson replied. Janet scraped back her chair, and walked to the front of the class with her shoulders swaying. ‘What’s the point trying to work out the answer when the question doesn’t make sense?’ she said, and proceeded to insert a missing bracket into Mr Robinson’s equation. ‘That was awesome,’ said Belinda later, over tea. ‘He looked so embarrassed! Oh, Janet, you should have seen him when you were walking back to your desk – his face was like strawberry jam!’ ‘I felt sorry for him,’ said Anastasia. ‘He’s so shy, and sometimes I think he’s frightened of us. Do you remember that time he was on supper duty last term and
Esme Kerr (Knight's Haddon 2: Mischief at Midnight)
Red Elephant" When am I supposed to say so long? When am I supposed to say so long? When I fall in love 'fore dusk is dawn When you take my hand across the lawn With the eyes so sweet they're like a fawn Red elephant is wet & long... How am I supposed to wash you off? Rungs of bad poems I've hacked & coughed But I have to spare a breath for you Which I'll take, before we make anew Our hearts will take a stroll for two Our feet will take the avenue & Walk in unison, so cute Red elephant is turning blue Why am I here when you're over there? Let's meet at the fountains In Dundas Square Who am I supposed to be with you? I'll wait 'til you say & pretend I knew Because if it's true that walls can talk How mine would brag of tears I've sobbed When thinking of the way we walked Along the paths of sideway chalk Forever under ticking clock Where you & I are free to flock What can I write when I know it's wrong? Slapping my knee to my own damn song Where can we go when the sinking stops? To the pit of my chest As it drops and drops... Put your head upon my chest, it breathes & My fingers through your hair they weave & Your shoulders are the perfect sea In which I get lost invariably Oh the elephant is up to sea If it meets the peach fish underneath & When I am you and you are me We are stirred as spoons in lover's tea
Born Ruffians
CHRISTMAS EVE MENU Foie Gras with Caramelized Apples Salmon with Lemon, Cucumber, and Dill, served on Small Rounds of Toasted Bread Escargots de Bourgogne Oysters with a Mignonette Sauce Oysters with Pimento Peppers and Apple Cider Vinegar Oysters Rockefeller, deglazed with Pernod, served with Spinach, Pimento Peppers, and Lardons Sophie's Spiced Langouste (Spiny Lobster) à l'Armoricaine Crayfish, Crab, and Shrimp with a Saffron-Infused Aioli Dipping Sauce Moules à la Plancha with Chorizo Selection of the Château's Cheeses Three Varieties of Bûche de Noël The kitchen staff walked in as I threw the chalk on the counter. Phillipa snuck up behind me. "Oh my God. That menu looks wicked incredible. I'm already drooling." Clothilde nodded her head in approval. "It's perfect. You've made your grandmother proud." "How many bûches do you think we'll need?" asked Gustave, referring to the celebrated and traditional log cakes served in every French restaurant and household sometime during the holiday season. "Twenty?" I answered. "Good thing I started on them a few days ago," he said. "Pineapple and mango, chocolate and praline, and vanilla and chestnut." "No alcohol?" I asked. "Maybe just a pinch of Armagnac." He held up his forefinger and thumb. Looked like more than a pinch.
Samantha Verant (The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux (Sophie Valroux, #1))
A visitor at a school for the deaf was writing questions on the board for the children. Soon he wrote this sentence: “Why has God made me able to hear and speak, and made you deaf?” The shocking sentence hit the children like a cruel slap on the face. They sat paralyzed, pondering the dreadful word “Why?” And then a little girl arose. With her lip trembling and her eyes swimming with tears, she walked straight to the board. Picking up the chalk, she wrote with a steady hand these precious words: “Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure” (Matt. 11:26). What a reply! It reaches up and claims an eternal truth upon which the most mature believer, and even the youngest child of God, may securely rest—the truth that God is your Father.
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden" Last night the apple trees shook and gave each lettuce a heart Six hard red apples broke through the greenhouse glass and Landed in the middle of those ever-so-slightly green leaves That seem no mix of seeds and soil but of pastels and light and Chalk x’s mark our oaks that are supposed to be cut down I’ve seen the neighbors frown when they look over the fence And see our espalier pear trees bowing out of shape I did like that They looked like candelabras against the wall but what’s the sense In swooning over pruning I said as much to Mrs. Jones and I swear She threw her cane at me and walked off down the street without It has always puzzled me that people coo over bonsai trees when You can squint your eyes and shrink anything without much of A struggle ensued with some starlings and the strawberry nets So after untangling the two I took the nets off and watched birds With red beaks fly by all morning at the window I reread your letter About how the castles you flew over made crenellated shadows on The water in the rainbarrel has overflowed and made a small swamp I think the potatoes might turn out slightly damp don’t worry If there is no fog on the day you come home I will build a bonfire So the smoke will make the cedars look the way you like them To close I’m sorry there won’t be any salad and I love you
Matthea Harvey (Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form)
Other Kinds of Fun LARGE MOTOR SKILLS ♦  Take a walk on a balance beam, along the curb, or even down a line on the sidewalk. ♦  Play catch (start with a large, slightly deflated ball). ♦  Jump over things (anything more than a few inches, though, will be too high for most kids this age). ♦  Throw, kick, roll, and toss balls of all sizes. ♦  Ride a tricycle. ♦  Spin around till you drop. ♦  Pound, push, pull, and kick. ♦  Make music using drums, xylophones, flutes, and anything else you have handy. ♦  Play Twister. SMALL MOTOR SKILLS ♦  Puzzles (fewer than twenty pieces is probably best). You might even want to cut up a simple picture from a magazine and see whether your toddler can put it back together. ♦  Draw on paper or with chalk on the sidewalk. ♦  Sculpt with clay or other molding substance. ♦  Finger paint. ♦  Play with string and large beads. ♦  Pour water or sand or seeds from one container to another. ♦  Get a big box (from a dishwasher or refrigerator), then build, paint and decorate a house together. THE BRAIN ♦  Matching games. ♦  Alphabet and number games (put colorful magnetic letters and numbers on the fridge and leave them low enough for the child to reach). ♦  Lots of dress-up clothes. ♦  Dolls of all kinds (including action figures). ♦  Pretending games with “real” things (phones, computer keyboards). ♦  Imaginary driving trips where you talk about all the things you see on the road. Be sure to let your toddler drive part of the way. ♦  Sorting games (put all the pennies, or all the triangles, or all the cups together). ♦  Arranging games (big, bigger, biggest). ♦  Smelling games. Blindfold your toddler and have him identify things by their scent. ♦  Pattern games (small-big/small-big). ♦  Counting games (How many pencils are there?). A FEW FUN THINGS FOR RAINY DAYS (OR ANYTIME) ♦  Have pillow fights. ♦  Make a really, really messy art project. ♦  Cook something—kneading bread or pizza dough is especially good, as is roasting marshmallows on the stove (see pages 214–20 for more). ♦  Go baby bowling (gently toss your toddler onto your bed). ♦  Try other gymnastics (airplane rides: you’re on your back, feet up in the air, baby’s tummy on your feet, you and baby holding hands). ♦  Dance and/or sing. ♦  Play hide-and-seek. ♦  Stage a puppet show. ♦  If it’s not too cold, go outside, strip down to your underwear, and paint each other top-to-bottom with nontoxic, water-based paints. Otherwise, get bundled up and go for a long, wet, sloppy, muddy stomp in the rain. If you don’t feel like getting wet, get in the car and drive through puddles.
Armin A. Brott (Fathering Your Toddler: A Dad's Guide To The Second And Third Years (New Father Series))
Alex.” She couldn’t look up at him. “Alexandra. Look at me.” With a sigh, she did, meeting his gaze as he spoke firmly. “You don’t have to apologize for any of that. I incited you…I know that now as much as I knew it then. I’m sorry that I was boorish. I should have checked my behavior long before it came to our arguing in the middle of a ball.” He reached out and took the candle from her hands, setting it on a nearby table before taking her hands in his. “I’m the one who should be apologizing. I don’t know what got into me about Freddie. I’ve always quite liked him. But this season…seeing him flirting with you…it’s been…difficult to watch. And I know my behavior has been reprehensible.” “You have to stop thinking of me as your sister, Gavin.” He offered her a half smile. “That seems to be the singular problem.” Confusion clouded her emerald eyes as he continued, “You see, I haven’t been thinking of you as my sister. In fact, the way I’ve been thinking when it comes to you is the very opposite of brotherly.” The words hung in the air and Alex’s eyes widened as understanding dawned. He offered a self-deprecating smile. “I see you take my meaning.” He let go of her hands and ran his fingers through his hair as though he didn’t know what to do with them. “You needn’t worry. I’m not going to act on my feelings.” “Why?” Alex asked the question without thinking. “If only I knew why. It began at the start of the season, and at first I chalked it up to my missing you while I was in mourning. Which I did. But instead of the feelings dissipating as I spent time in your company”—he slashed a hand through the air in frustration—“they only seemed to grow stronger.” Alex looked up at him, meeting his frustrated grey eyes. “Not why are you feeling the way you are, Gavin. Why aren’t you going to act on those feelings?” He froze. Neither of them moved, each afraid to take the next step. The first step. The moment stretched out into what seemed like an eternity and Alex began to feel awkward, as though she had said the wrong thing. “I—I’m sorry. I—I don’t know what prompted me to ask such a thing.” She started to take a step backward. “No.” The word was soft, but brooked no refusal. She went still as he continued, “There are a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t act on them.” He lifted his hands to cradle her face between them. “A hundred reasons why I should turn around and walk out of this room.” He leaned down until he was a hairbreadth away from her. “But I’m through listening to them.” And, with that, he kissed her. The
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
Hi,” I say quietly. I’m surprised that noise crept past the emotion in my throat because I still feel like it’s going to choke me. “Hi,” he says quietly. He looks over at Jill, and she gives him a thumbs-up. She doesn’t get up, though. I see her wipe a tear from her cheek. “Did you meet my friend, Hayley?” I ask. He nods. Paul keeps trying to catch my eyes with his, but I won’t let him. “I’m Friday,” I say. I’m your mother, and I love you more than anything, anywhere, anytime. The words rush to my lips, but I bite them back. “What’s your name?” Jacob runs over to his mother and says something to her. She reaches into the big bag at her feet and takes out a box. She hands it to him, and he runs back over. He never did tell me his name, but that’s okay. I’d rather he have a little stranger danger. And I’m a stranger, after all. Jacob sits down on the sidewalk and opens his box. He takes out a clunky piece of chalk and says, “Do you want to draw with me?” I sit down beside him and say, “What color should I use?” He gives me a blue piece of chalk. “This one.” So I sit for hours and draw with my son in chalk on the sidewalk. We draw rainbows and dragons, and we even make some flowers for his mom. I look around and see that the sidewalk is completely full of our art. There’s not an available space to be had. “You’re a really good drawer,” he says. He grins up at me, and I see the space where his missing tooth should be. “So are you.” I reach out a tentative hand and touch the top of his head. I close my eyes and breathe, letting my hand riffle through the silky strands. I pull back way sooner than I want to because he’s looking at me funny. I look over and see Paul sitting and talking quietly with Jill. He gets up and yells over to us. “We’re going to get some lunch! We’ll be right back!” I give him a thumbs-up and get up to chase Hayley and Jacob over to the swings. “Push me!” Hayley cries. “Push me!” Jacob calls at the same time. He laughs, and I put my hand in the center of both their backs, standing between them, and give them both a shove. It’s only a minute or two later when Paul and Jill come back carrying hot dogs and drinks. The kids race to the table. I jam my hands into my pockets and walk over a little more slowly. Paul and Jill sit side by side on one side of the picnic table, and Hayley and Jacob sit on the other. “Sit beside me!” Hayley cries. “No, me!” Jacob says. I put my legs over the bench and sit between them, and Paul hands me a hot dog. Jacob scoots so close to me that I can feel his thigh against mine. The heat of his little body seeps into the cold of mine and warms me everywhere. I close my eyes for a moment and just breathe, enjoying the feel of having my living, breathing child pressed into my side.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Finally, every society develops a system of aesthetic standards that get manifested in everything from decorative art, music, and dance to the architecture and planning of buildings and communities. There are many different ways we could examine artistic systems. One way of thinking about it is to observe the degree to which a society's aesthetics reflect clear lines and solid boundaries versus fluid ones. Many Western cultures favor clean, tight boundaries whereas many Eastern cultures prefer more fluid, indiscriminate lines. In most Western homes, kitchen drawers are organized so that forks are with forks and knives are with knives. The walls of a room are usually uniform in color, and when a creative shift in color does occur, it usually happens at a corner or along a straight line midway down the wall. Pictures are framed with straight edges, molding covers up seams in the wall, and lawns are edged to form a clear line between the sidewalk and the lawn. Why? Because we view life in terms of classifications, categories, and taxonomies. And cleanliness itself is largely defined by the degree of order that exists. It has little to do with sanitation and far more to do with whether things appear to be in their proper place. Maintaining boundaries is essential in the Western world; otherwise categories begin to disintegrate and chaos sets in.13 Most Americans want dandelion-free lawns and roads with clear lanes prescribing where to drive and where not to drive. Men wear ties to cover the adjoining fabric on the shirts that they put on before going to the symphony, where they listen to classical music based on a scale with seven notes and five half steps. Each note has a fixed pitch, defined in terms of the lengths of the sound waves it produces.14 A good performance occurs when the musicians hit the notes precisely. In contrast, many Eastern cultures have little concern in everyday life for sharp boundaries and uniform categories. Different colors of paint may be used at various places on the same wall. And the paint may well “spill” over onto the window glass and ceiling. Meals are a fascinating array of ingredients where food is best enjoyed when mixed together on your plate. Roads and driving patterns are flexible. The lanes ebb and flow as needed depending on the volume of traffic. In a place like Cambodia or Nigeria, the road space is available for whichever direction a vehicle needs it most, whatever the time of day. And people often meander along the road in their vehicles the same way they walk along a path. There are many other ways aesthetics between one place and another could be contrasted. But the important point is some basic understanding of how cultures differ within the realm of aesthetics. Soak in the local art of a place and chalk it up to informing your strategy for international business.
David Livermore (Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success)
Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
The Ballad of Philippe Petit —for the world's greatest rope dancer Philippe Petit hangs his high wire in the third eye of God, fills the dull air with blue fire, all alone on the big city street, Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Philippe Petit, high priest of daring, feels wind pulse in his feet, flying high on his mystical string, between tall towers above the street. Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Little Phillip by the Golden Fleece, making Seventh Avenue sing. He draws a magic circle of chalk, rides his cycle around in a ring, Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Little Phillip, clown gargoyle, spewing light on the grey street, rope dances twirling sticks of fire, bright sparkle of the dark street, Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Philippe Petit juggles fire and balls, winks at Zeus, laughs at Mars, pulls Newton's beard, sups with God, cycling his way from heaven to street. Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Little Phillip, when we get there, you'll surely be on high, juggling molecules for your maker on the wide streets of the sky, Little Phillip, Philippe Petit. Philippe Petit, The King of Heaven has a brilliant little fool juggling fire at his footstool. A light on the dark city street, A light, a light, Philippe Petit.
Daniela Gioseffi
You are not the only one,” he said to himself. “At this moment, in Europe, you are not the only man forcing himself to walk round a cell. Not by a long chalk. So drop all your self-pity. You are lucky compared to some.
Helen MacInnes (Assignment in Brittany)
willing to close large distances in response to calls. Does that make them stupid? No! Due to the vastness of the landscape these birds often call home, it’s not uncommon for a walk-about tom to respond and come to a live-hen call that barely tickles his eardrums. When calling Merriam’s birds, I prefer to run calls that carry great distances and cut the all-to-often howling western wind. My favorite reach-out-and-touch-their-ears Merriam’s call is a trusty box call. Box calls get a bad rap. When I give seminars, I hear a lot of negative comments about them. They’re too easy to use. Every hunter on the planet hammers away on them. They don’t work on public land. You can’t get the exact pitch you want. I could go on forever with the complaints I’ve heard from hunters about box calls. Here’s my opinion on the matter. They work great to cut the western winds. They also work great when trying to raise the interest of a distant tom. On multiple occasions, I’ve been able to sit behind a quality spotting scope and watch a tom 500 yards away take notice of my box call. Once you master them, box calls can produce pitch-perfect tones. I especially feel this is the case when using a true chalk-on-wood system. Another Merriam’s eardrum ringer is an aluminum pot-and-peg call. I’ve found aluminum pot calls carry great distances. I’m also a fan of glass. What I love about pot-and-peg calls is that I can easily adjust the volume and pitch simply by swapping strikers. And that’s not all. Once you really know what you’re doing, these calls produce, in my opinion, simply the best turkey tones. Like many turkey fanatics, my go-to call is a diaphragm. Through this wonderful
Jace Bauserman (Turkey Hunting Tales, Tips and Tactics: Your Guide To Spring Success)
After pushing the appliances into place, I emptied our hamper into the washer and started a cycle. As the remarkably quiet load finished, I observed that many of Nia’s clothes, particularly her undergarments, appeared old and worn. “Nia,” I stated, holding up a blouse with an obvious hole in it, “This is unacceptable. You need to go out right now and buy yourself some new clothes.” I didn’t have to ask her twice. The next morning, she went out shopping for a new wardrobe with her friends. While she was gone, my friend Erick and I cleaned up the flower beds in front of our house, planting fresh flowers and shrubs. When we were done, the kids and I decorated the driveway with sidewalk chalk, leaving messages of appreciation for Nia. After putting the kids to bed, I cleaned the house, intent on making everything sparkle on her return. With shopping bags draped over her shoulders, Nia approached the front, radiating a happiness and gratitude I hadn’t seen in her since the day before my confessions to her two weeks prior. Her gaze fell upon her new flower bed. “It’s beautiful,” she said. As she entered the house that smelled brand new, she turned to me with misty eyes and said something that overwhelmed me with emotion. “You’ve been so sweet to me,” she said after dropping her bags, covering her face with her hands. I didn’t deserve to hear those words; the things I was doing should have been done long ago, but they immediately brought me to tears. I walked over and wrapped her up as she sobbed into my shoulder. I reassured her of my undying love for her and reminded her that I was no longer the man I had described in my confessions. “I know you may think I’m doing this stuff just to win you back,” I said, “but I hope time will show how much I truly love you.” I wouldn’t need much time at all. An opportunity to demonstrate my physical and emotional faithfulness to her was on the horizon. 33 Shiny Boxes As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
Samuel Paul Rader (Sam and Nia | Live in Truth: Public Scandal | Secret Vows | Restored Hearts)