Clean River Quotes

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

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver
A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, the air gold and so clean it quivers.
Leif Enger (Peace Like a River)
We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth--the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
Mist to mist, drops to drops. For water thou art, and unto water shalt thou return.
Kamand Kojouri
It's so much easier and cheaper to keep the river uncontaminated in the first place than it is to clean it up again once it's been polluted.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.” She stuck her tongue out. “Maybe after you’re clean,” he said. Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises. She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead. Now what? The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face. “No,” William said. “Bad hobo.
Ilona Andrews (Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2))
Whew,” he said. “You clean up good. You don’t look like the same girl.” She frowned right before she laughed. “Do women usually thank you for saying things like that?
Robyn Carr (Wild Man Creek (Virgin River, #12))
I am running and singing and when it’s raining I’m the only one left on the open street, smiling with my eyes fixed on the sky because it’s cleaning me. I’m the one on the other side of the party, hearing laughter and the emptying of bottles while I peacefully make my way to the river, a lonely road, following the smell of the ocean. I’m the one waking up at 4am to witness the sunrise, where the sky touches the sea, and I hold my elbows, grasping tight to whatever I’ve made of myself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
H. Ross Perot
To pray you open your whole self To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon To one whole voice that is you And know there is more That you can't see, can't hear Can't know except in moments Steadly growing, and in languages That aren't always sound but other Circles of motion. Like eagle that Sunday morning Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky In wind, swept our hearts clean With sacred wings. We see you, see ourselves and know That we must take the utmost care And kindness in all things. Breathe in, knowing we are made of All this, and breathe, knowing We are truly blessed because we Were born, and die soon within a True circle of motion, Like eagle rounding out the morning Inside us. We pray that it will be done In beauty. In beauty.
Joy Harjo
Suddenly his expression turned to alarm. He sprinted toward us. For a moment I had an absurd vision of myself on the cover of one of Gran’s old romance novels, where the damsel wilts into the arms of one half-dressed beefy guy while another stands by,casting her longing looks. Oh, the horrible choices a girl must make! I wished I’d had a moment to clean up. I was still covered in dried river muck, twine, and grass, like I’d been tarred and feathered. Then Anubis pushed past me and gripped Walt’s shoulders. Well…that was unexpected.
Rick Riordan (The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3))
I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well - or ill?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.
Thomas L. Friedman (Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America)
This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.
Joss Whedon
As Cinderella would probably tell you, even a prince who only recognizes your footwear is preferable to a lifetime of cleaning grates.
Barbara Hambly (Sold Down the River (Benjamin January, #4))
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
Thinking like a Mountain We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.…I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
Paul went to his room, gathered clean clothes and headed down the hall to the shower. He made it quick, but clean. He shaved. Then he thought, I am shaving—why? To be smooth cheeked when I pass out?
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
LOOK AROUND. GAME DEAD, RIVERS BLACK, LAND CHOKED WITH WEED. SKIES BLEEDING, RED AS BLOOD. FOR WHAT? YOUR KIND ARE BLIND. YOU SEE ONLY THE NOW. NEVER THE WILL BE. BUT SOON YOU WILL. WHEN ALL IS GONE, WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY MONKEY-CHILDREN THAT YOU MURDER FOR A SCRAP OF LAND, A DROP OF CLEAN WATER, THEN YOU WILL SEE.
Jay Kristoff (Stormdancer (The Lotus Wars, #1))
Wild Geese" You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver (Dream Work)
Will you look at us by the river! The whole restless mob of us on spread blankets in the dreamy briny sunshine skylarking and chiacking about for one day, one clear, clean, sweet day in a good world in the midst of our living. Yachts run before an unfelt gust with bagnecked pelicans riding above them, the city their twitching backdrop, all blocks and points of mirror light down to the water's edge.
Tim Winton (Cloudstreet)
Rained gently last night, just enough to wash the town clean, and then today a clean crisp fat spring day, the air redolent, the kind of green minty succulent air you'd bottle if you could and snort greedily on bleak, wet January evenings when the streetlights hzzzt on at four in the afternoon and all existence seems hopeless and sad.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, golden and so clean it quivers.
Leif Enger (Peace Like a River)
There are so many things we can’t do anything about if we think about generalities. Things won’t go well because there is a huge gap between the generalities and the particulars. If we see generalities from the top of a mountain or from a plane, we feel it’s hopeless, but if we go down, there is a nice road running about fifty meters, we feel this is a nice road, and if the weather is fine and shining, we feel we can go on… Since the people in the community are cleaning up the river in my neighborhood, I join them when I have the time. A human can often be satisfied with the particulars. That’s what I like best these days.
Hayao Miyazaki
The activist is not the person who says the river is dirty. The activist is the person who cleans up the river
H. Ross Perot
Under a low sun, pursued by fish and mounted by crows and veiled in a loud swarm of bluebottle flies, the body comes down the river like a deadfall stripped clean.
Jon Clinch (Finn)
I tried to turn myself into stone. To not feel anything. But now I realize it is better to live, to feel and have a clean break than be half-dead and cold, cracked from resentment.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
The Mississippi River towns are comely, clean, well built, and pleasing to the eye, and cheering to the spirit. The Mississippi Valley is as reposeful as a dreamland, nothing worldly about it . . . nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.
Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)
Show up for your own life, he said. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle-feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant-gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about conciousness, so honor that consciousness. Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with wilful oblivion. Try to notice something new everyday, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like; notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet fell like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbours, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
I mean honestly, who just sits around in a house with a bunch of short guys waiting for their prince to come? So your mom is a bitch and wants to kill you because her mirror told her to? Cry me a river why don't you? Your big plan is sitting around cleaning house waiting for the other shoe to drop? And speaking of shoes, everyone has been picked on by mean girls. You do not wait for some old lady to pop in and transmogrify some innocent rodents just so you can sneak in to a dance under false pretenses. And let's say you do sneak in. For the love of all that is holy take your mask off and look the guy in the face and say. “Hi, I'm Cindy from down the street, I have this thing at midnight. Can we do coffee later?” This nonsense with a shoe and searching the entire village for one girl, it's crap.
John Goode (Maybe With a Chance of Certainty (Tales from Foster High, #1))
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Out of the firelight everything was black and silver, black island, rocks and trees carved cleanly out of the sky and silver river with a flashing light rippling back and forth along the lip of the fall.
William Golding (The Inheritors)
Goal: Clean air, clean clear-running rivers, the presence of Pelican and Osprey and Gray Whale in our lives; salmon and trout in our streams; unmuddied language and good dreams.
Gary Snyder (Turtle Island)
You did this on purpose," I said to Justin as the man continued to strap me in. "Maybe," he said. "What is it you're playing at? Your girlfriend is down there at the river." "Let's jump together." "Come on Lenah!" Tony called from below. "If you jump with me, Tracy will know." Justin stood up. "Know what?" "I mean , she'll think you did it on purpose." "I did do it on purpose," he said. "You two," the bungee man said. "Keep you eyes open if you're jumping together. Don't bash heads or anything. I hate cleaning up blood." "If you jump with me-" I started to say. "I don't care anymore.
Rebecca Maizel (Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1))
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Oh fair enough are sky and plain, But I know fairer far: Those are as beautiful again That in the water are; The pools and rivers wash so clean The trees and clouds and air, The like on earth was never seen, And oh that I were there. These are the thoughts I often think As I stand gazing down In act upon the cressy brink To strip and dive and drown; But in the golden-sanded brooks And azure meres I spy A silly lad that longs and looks And wishes he were I.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
I felt clean, all the bone-beaked loneliness birds banished, their rocky nests turned to river stones. Cool, clear water bubbled over them, streams in the desert.
Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One (The Power of One, #1))
On a clear day the Oregon coast is the most beautiful place on earth—clear and crisp and clean, a rich green in the land and a bright blue in the sky, the air fat and salty and bracing, the ocean spreading like a grin. Brown pelicans rise and fall in their chorus lines in the wells of the waves, cormorants arrow, an eagle kingly queenly floats south high above the water line.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks" All those men were there inside, when she came in totally naked. They had been drinking: they began to spit. Newly come from the river, she knew nothing. She was a mermaid who had lost her way. The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh. Obscenities drowned her golden breasts. Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears. Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes. They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs, and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor. She did not speak because she had no speech. Her eyes were the colour of distant love, her twin arms were made of white topaz. Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light, and suddenly she went out by that door. Entering the river she was cleaned, shining like a white stone in the rain, and without looking back she swam again swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly-as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth-the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives.
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
Congratulations, now you know the single reason why the world is the way it is. You see the problem right away—everything we do requires cooperation in groups larger than a hundred and fifty. Governments. Corporations. Society as a whole. And we are physically incapable of handling it. So every moment of the day we urgently try to separate everyone on earth into two groups—those inside the sphere of sympathy and those outside. Black versus white, liberal versus conservative, Muslim versus Christian, Lakers fan versus Celtics fan. With us, or against us. Infected versus clean. “We simplify tens of millions of individuals down into simplistic stereotypes, so that they hold the space of only one individual in our limited available memory slots. And here is the key—those who lie outside the circle are not human. We lack the capacity to recognize them as such. This is why you feel worse about your girlfriend cutting her finger than you do about an earthquake in Afghanistan that kills a hundred thousand people. This is what makes genocide possible. This is what makes it possible for a CEO to sign off on a policy that will poison a river in Malaysia and create ten thousand deformed infants. Because of this limitation in the mental hardware, those Malaysians may as well be ants.
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It (John Dies at the End, #2))
Elsewhere there are no mobile phones. Elsewhere sleep is deep and the mornings are wonderful. Elsewhere art is endless, exhibitions are free and galleries are open twenty-four hours a day. Elsewhere alcohol is a joke that everybody finds funny. Elsewhere everybody is as welcoming as they’d be if you’d come home after a very long time away and they’d really missed you. Elsewhere nobody stops you in the street and says, are you a Catholic or a Protestant, and when you say neither, I’m a Muslim, then says yeah but are you a Catholic Muslim or a Protestant Muslim? Elsewhere there are no religions. Elsewhere there are no borders. Elsewhere nobody is a refugee or an asylum seeker whose worth can be decided about by a government. Elsewhere nobody is something to be decided about by anybody. Elsewhere there are no preconceptions. Elsewhere all wrongs are righted. Elsewhere the supermarkets don’t own us. Elsewhere we use our hands for cups and the rivers are clean and drinkable. Elsewhere the words of the politicians are nourishing to the heart. Elsewhere charlatans are known for their wisdom. Elsewhere history has been kind. Elsewhere nobody would ever say the words bring back the death penalty. Elsewhere the graves of the dead are empty and their spirits fly above the cities in instinctual, shapeshifting formations that astound the eye. Elsewhere poems cancel imprisonment. Elsewhere we do time differently. Every time I travel, I head for it. Every time I come home, I look for it.
Ali Smith (Public Library and Other Stories)
A book about books is like a poem about poetry: Books are knowledge, paid for, all. Readers - horses in a stall. Stallions should always run. Lest they stale become, in turn. Running waters are most clear. In some books, you disappear – lose yourself, and track of time. How I wish that one was mine... Mine, to have, to write, to read... Mine, just like a flying steed. Mine, forever, - to improve. Would I then, of me, approve? I would not, I can't... myself. I'm but dust, swept off a shelf. Fly, can I, just 'til I'm settled, down, beside my flower, petalled.
Will Advise (Nothing is here...)
I know what I want is impossible. If I can make my language flat enough, exact enough, if I can rinse each sentence clean enough, like washing a stone over and over again in river water, if I can find the right perch or crevice from which to record everything, if I can give myself enough white space, maybe I could do it. I could tell you this story while walking out of this story. I could—it all could—just disappear.
Maggie Nelson (The Red Parts)
When you touch river Ganga in Rishikesh, you also touch the ocean to which the river is connected. Because the distinction between the river and ocean is just in your mind. You also touch the vapours rising from ocean, You touch clouds, rains, earth, mountains, You touch eternity. You touch God. Remove the distinctions, clean the mind. God is right here, right now.
Shunya
Glanced up and caught Ammu's gaze. Centuries telescoped into one evanescent moment. History was wrong-footed, caught off guard. Sloughed off like an old snakeskin. Its marks , its scars its wouns from old wars and the walking backwards days all fell away. In its abscence it left an aura, a palpable shimmering that was as plain as water in a river or the sun in the sky. As plain to feel the heat on a hot day, or the tug of a fish on a taut line. So obvious that no-one noticed. In that brief moment, Velutha looked up and saw things that he hadn't seen before. Things that had been out of bounds so far, obscured by histor's blinkers. ...This knowing slid into him cleanly, like the sharp edge of a knife. Cold and hot at once. It only took a moment. Ammu saw that he saw. She looked away. He did too. History's fiends returned to claim them. To rewrap them in its old scarred pelt and drag them back to where they really lived. Where the Love Laws lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
I would let her...have adventures. I would let her...choose her path. It would be hard...it was hard...but I would do it. Oh, not completely, of course. Some things have to go on. Cleaning one's teeth, arithmetic. But Maia fell in love with the Amazon. It happens. THe place was for her - and the people. Of course there was some danger, but there is danger everywhere. Two years ago, in this school, there was an outbreak of typhus, and three girls died. CHildren are knocked down and killed by horses every week, here in these streets--" She broke off, gathering her thoughts. "When she was traveling and exploring...and finding her songs, Maia wasn't just happy, she was...herself. I think something broke in Maia when her parents died, and out there it healed. Perhaps I'm mad--and the professor too-- but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
This myth he'd made out of intricate movements and imagination, out of moonlight and love, out of prayers older than Adam, and gray cliffs and crimson shadows, laments and rivers of martyrs - what had it come to at last? When the waves receded, the shores of Time would spread out there clean, empty, shining with infinite grains of memory and little else.
Frank Herbert (Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2))
The world didn’t allow you clean, clear judgments very often, it seemed to Daiyan. He envied those who thought otherwise, who lived otherwise.
Guy Gavriel Kay (River of Stars (Under Heaven, #2))
Palming each side of her face, I dropped my forehead to hers. “I’m going to make things awkward. It’s kinda what I do. Just bear with me.” She licked her lips, and I was forced to kiss her again. When I finally came back up for air, I continued. “My name is Samuel Nathan Rivers. I’m twenty-seven. Aquarius. No criminal history. I have a clean bill of health. I’m a democrat, but for God’s sake, do not tell my mom. I own a furniture shop and clear six figures a year. I’m not interested in your money. I’ll show you my tax return if need be. I’m also not a super-fan interested in your fame. But, for the love of all that’s holy, I need you to come home with me.
Aly Martinez (The Fall Up (The Fall Up, #1))
And except on a certain kind of winter evening—six-thirty in the Seventies, say, already dark and bitter with a wind off the river, when I would be walking very fast toward a bus and would look in the bright windows of brownstones and see cooks working in clean kitchens and and imagine women lighting candles on the floor above and beautiful children being bathed on the floor above that—except on nights like those, I never felt poor; I had the feeling that if I needed money I could always get it.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
He’d spent the night in the boat. Next to the spaghetti queen. William glanced at the hobo girl. She sat across from him, huddled in a clump. Her stench had gotten worse overnight, probably from the dampness. Another night like the last one, and he might snap and dunk her into that river just to clear the air. She saw him looking. Dark eyes regarded him with slight scorn. William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.” She stuck her tongue out. “Maybe after you’re clean,” he said. Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises. She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead. Now what? The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face. “No,” William said. “Bad hobo.” The finger kept coming closer.
Ilona Andrews (Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2))
The mind will say this forever. But I mostly fish rivers these dayas. In so doing, movement becomes stasis, flux is the constant, and everything flows around, through, and beyond me, escaping ungrasped, unnamed, and unscathed. The river's clean escape does not prevent belief in its reality. On the contrary, there is nothing I love more than the feel of a wholeness sliding toward, around, and past me while I stand like an idiot savant in its midst, focusing on tiny, idiot-savantic bits of what is so beautiful to me, and so close, yet so wondrously ungraspable.
David James Duncan (My Story as told by Water: Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections, Bird-watchings, Fish-stalkings, Visions, Songs and Prayers Refracting Light, from Living Rivers, in the Age of the Industrial Dark)
Flight is many things. Something clean and swift, like a bird skimming across the sky. Or something filthy and crawling; a series of crablike movements through figurative and literal slime, a process of creeping ahead, jumping sideways, running backward. It is sleeping in fields and river bottoms. It is bellying for miles along an irrigation ditch. It is back roads, spur railroad lines, the tailgate of a wildcat truck, a stolen car and a dead couple in lovers' lane. It is food pilfered from freight cars, garments taken from clotheslines; robbery and murder, sweat and blood. The complex made simple by the alchemy of necessity
Jim Thompson (The Getaway)
If I’m broken, the break will be clean and easily mended. If he breaks, I’m not sure if there will be enough pieces to approximate. I can afford to go along with what he thinks will protect him. I can have this, and I can give him what he thinks he needs, even if he may deserve better.
Mary Ann Rivers (The Story Guy)
The important things in life always happened by accident. At fifteen she didn’t know much, in fact, with each passing year she was a lot less clear about most things. But this much she did know. You could worry yourself sick trying to be a better person, spend a thousand sleepless nights figuring out how to live clean and decent and honest, you could make a plan and bolt it in place, kneel by your bed every night and swear to God you’d stick to it, hell, you could go to church and promise properly. You could cross your heart seven times with your eyes tight shut, cut your thumb and squeeze it and pen solemn vows on a rock with your own blood then throw it in the river at the stroke of midnight. And then, out of the black beyond, like a hawk on a rat, some nameless catastrophe would swoop into your life and turn everything upside down and inside out forever.
Nicholas Evans (The Smoke Jumper)
Tatiana fretted over him before he left as if he were a five-year-old on his first day of school. Shura, don't forget to wear your helmet wherever you go, even if it's just down the trail to the river. Don't forget to bring extra magazines. Look at this combat vest. You can fit more than five hundred rounds. It's unbelievable. Load yourself up with ammo. Bring a few extra cartridges. You don't want to run out. Don't forget to clean your M-16 every day. You don't want your rifle to jam." Tatia, this is the third generation of the M-16. It doesn't jam anymore. The gunpowder doesn't burn as much. The rifle is self-cleaning." When you attach the rocket bandolier, don't tighten it too close to your belt, the friction from bending will chafe you, and then irritation follows, and then infection... ...Bring at least two warning flares for the helicopters. Maybe a smoke bomb, too?" Gee, I hadn't thought of that." Bring your Colt - that's your lucky weapon - bring it, as well as the standard -issue Ruger. Oh, and I have personally organized your medical supplies: lots of bandages, four complete emergency kits, two QuickClots - no I decided three. They're light. I got Helena at PMH to write a prescription for morphine, for penicillin, for -" Alexander put his hand over her mouth. "Tania," he said, "do you want to just go yourself?" When he took the hand away, she said, "Yes." He kissed her. She said, "Spam. Three cans. And keep your canteen always filled with water, in case you can't get to the plasma. It'll help." Yes, Tania" And this cross, right around your neck. Do you remember the prayer of the heart?" Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Good. And the wedding band. Right around your finger. Do you remember the wedding prayer?" Gloria in Excelsis, please just a little more." Very good. Never take off the steel helmet, ever. Promise?" You said that already. But yes, Tania." Do you remember what the most important thing is?" To always wear a condom." She smacked his chest. To stop the bleeding," he said, hugging her. Yes. To stop the bleeding. Everything else they can fix." Yes, Tania.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Neither a land nor a people ever starts over clean. Country is compact of all its past disasters and strokes of luck–of flood and drouth, of the caprices of glaciers and sea winds, of misuse and disuse and greed and ignorance and wisdom–and though you may doze away the cedar and coax back the bluestem and mesquite grass and side-oats grama, you're not going to manhandle it into anything entirely new. It's limited by what it has been, by what's happened to it. And a people, until that time when it's uprooted and scattered and so mixed with other peoples that it has in fact perished, is much the same in this as land. It inherits.
John Graves (Goodbye to a River: A Narrative)
Why was it so hard for Christians to come clean about the sins that had them by their throats? Because of pride? Because every Christian wanted every other Christian to think they were doing it right? That they were strong and good? If so, that was idiotic. His pastor liked to say that the church wasn't about helping sick people become well. It was about bringing dead people to life. Every single one of them was dead except for Christ.
Becky Wade (Stay with Me (A Misty River Romance, #1))
A river remains clean because it goes on flowing
Osho (Love, Freedom, and Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships)
Humans are caught--in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too--in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well--or ill?
John Steinbeck
Here are some of the essential take-homes: we all need nearby nature: we benefit cognitively and psychologically from having trees, bodies of water, and green spaces just to look at; we should be smarter about landscaping our schools, hospitals, workplaces and neighborhoods so everyone gains. We need quick incursions to natural areas that engage our senses. Everyone needs access to clean, quiet and safe natural refuges in a city. Short exposures to nature can make us less aggressive, more creative, more civic minded and healthier overall. For warding off depression, lets go with the Finnish recommendation of five hours a month in nature, minimum. But as the poets, neuroscientists and river runners have shown us, we also at times need longer, deeper immersions into wild spaces to recover from severe distress, to imagine our futures and to be our best civilized selves.
Florence Williams (The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative)
With ceremony, with forms of politeness and reassurance, they borrowed the waters of the River and its little confluents to drink and be clean and irrigate with, using water mindfully, carefully. They lived in a land that answers greed with drought and death. A difficult land: aloof yet sensitive.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Always Coming Home)
The quiet troubling of the river, and the clean, washed stones, and the green all about, and the trees trying to drown their shadows, and the mountain going up and up behind, there is beautiful it was.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
You have heard, of course, of those tiny fish in the rivers of Brazil that attack the unwary swimmer by thousands and with swift little nibbles clean him up in a few minutes, leaving only an immaculate skeleton? Well, that's what their organization is. "Do you want a good clean life? Like everybody else?" You say yes, of course. How can one say no? "O.K. You'll be cleaned up. Here's a job, a family, and organized leisure activities." And the little teeth attack the flesh, right down to the bone. But I am unjust. I shouldn't say their organization. It is ours, after all: it's a question of which will clean up the other.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
I’m not sure what to say about struggle except that it feels like a long, dark tunnel with no light at the end. You never notice until it’s over the ways it has changed you, and there is no going back. We struggled a lot this year. For everyone who picked a fight with life and got the shit kicked out of them: I’m proud of you for surviving. This year I learned that cities are beautiful from rooftops even when you’re sad and that swimming in rivers while the sun sets in July will make you feel hopeful, no matter what’s going on at home. I found out my best friend is strong enough to swing me over his shoulder like I’m weightless and run down the street while I’m squealing and kicking against his chest. I found out vegan rice milk whipped cream is delicious, especially when it’s licked off the stomach of a boy you love. This year I kissed too many people with broken hearts and hands like mousetraps. If I could go back and unhurt them I would. If I could go back even farther and never meet them I would do that too. I turned 21. There’s no getting around it. I’m an adult now. Navigating the world has proved harder than I expected. There were times I was reckless. In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages. I’m not sure what to say about change except that it reminds me of the Bible story with the lions’ den. But you are not named Daniel and you have not been praying, so God lets the beasts get a few deep, painful swipes at you before the morning comes and you’re pulled into the light, exhausted and cut to shit. The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself. You just have to find a stiff drink and a clean needle before you bleed out. And then you get up. And start over.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
These mod cons, despite the brief excitement they generated, were basically chutes leading down to clay pipes, which in turn acted as simple conduits to the river, depositing the waste of the rich next to the waste of the poor, where the distinction was lost on the kholics, who attempted, each day, to clean it up.
Brent Hayward (The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter)
You Don't Know What Love Is But you know how to raise it in me like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to wash off the sludge, the stench of our past. How to start clean. This love even sits up and blinks; amazed, she takes a few shaky steps. Any day now she'll try to eat solid food. She'll want to get into the fast car, one low to the ground, and drive to some cinderblock shithole in the desert where she can drink and get sick and then dance in nothing but her underwear. You know where she's headed, you know she'll wake up with an ache she can't locate and no money and a terrible thirst. So to hell with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt and your tongue down my throat like an oxygen tube. Cover me in black plastic. Let the mourners through.
Kim Addonizio
Dante watched Tess eat the thick, caramel-laced brownie, feeling her pleasure radiate across the small space that separated them on the river-walk bench. She’d offered him a bite, and although his kind could not consume crude human food in anything more than a mouthful, he accepted a small taste of the sticky chocolate confection if only to share in Tess’s unabashed enjoyment. He swallowed the heavy, pretty much revolting bit of pasty sweetness with a tight smile. “Good, huh?” Tess licked her chocolate-coated fingers, slipping one after the other into her mouth and sucking them clean. “Delicious,” Dante said, watching her with his own brand of hunger. “You can have some more if you want it.” “No.” He drew back, shaking his head. “No, it’s all yours. Please. Enjoy it.
Lara Adrian (Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2))
Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with willful oblivion. Try to notice something new every day, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like, notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet feel like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbors, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge. You can never become a real man if you have a careless and destructive attitude, Eustace said, but maturity will follow mindfulness even as day follows night.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
He took a fine fresh fig from his pocket and washed it meticulously in a glass of water; then he peeled it open before our eyes. Inside, the beautiful fig was crawling with maggots. The imam concluded his lesson by saying, ‘It’s not a question of washing your bodies, but your souls, young men. If you’re rotten inside, neither rivers nor oceans will suffice to make you clean.
Yasmina Khadra (The Sirens of Baghdad)
That Which Cannot Be Stilled (excerpt) All my life I’ve been working, to get clean—to be clean is to be good, in America. To be clean is the grind. Except my desert is made of sand, my skin the color of sand. It gets everywhere. America is the condition—of the blood and of the rivers, of what we can spill and who we can spill it from. A dream they call it, what is American.
Natalie Díaz (Postcolonial Love Poem)
There is an old adage that says, "You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day. You can teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time."... "Well, I like what Pedro Noguera had to add. He says, "Don't stop there."..."Help her understand why the river is polluted so that she and her friends can organize to get the river clean and make it possible for the entire community to eat too." - Sabrina
Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together)
The line of the horizon was clear and hard against the sky,and in one particular quarter it showed black against a silvery climbing phosphorescence that grew and grew. At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces - meadows widespread, and quiet gardens; and the river itself from bank to bank, all softy disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Amy Martin (ladysky) and Daniel Baciagalupo had a month to spend on Charlotte Turner's island in Georgian Bay; it was their wilderness way of getting to know each other before their life together in Toronto began. We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth--the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives. Little Joe was gone, but not a day passed in Daniel Baciagalupo's life when Joe wasn't loved or remembered. The cook had been murdered in his bed, but Dominic Baciagalupo had had the last laugh on the cowboy. Ketchum's left hand would lvie forever in Twisted River, and Six-Pack had known what to do with the rest of her old friend
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
I don’t know how to talk because I’m feeling. I’m listening to my voice as if it were someone else’s, And my voice is speaking about her as if she were speaking. She has hair as blond as yellow wheat in the sun, And when she speaks her mouth says things that aren’t words. She laughs, and her teeth are as clean as stones in a river.
Alberto Caeiro (O Pastor Amoroso)
A child may ask, “What is the world’s story about?” And a grown man or woman may wonder, “What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?” I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Grief does not come in clean stages: It is more like the current of a river, sweeping us into new emotional terrain, twisting and turning unexpectedly.
Valarie Kaur (See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love)
The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "The Killers", "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", "A Clean Well-Lighted Place", "Big Two-Hearted River
null
As Matt walked Rick outside, he whispered, "Don't forget my little secret." He wiggled his eyebrows. "A happy wife. A happy life. Got it?" Rick nodded. "Got it.
Linda Weaver Clarke (The Shamrock Case (Amelia Moore Detective Series #2))
She knew even before she opened her eyes that she was home—or not home, but in her woods at least. She knew they were her woods by the smell of pines and the quality of the air, a scrubbed, cool, clean sensation that she associated with the Merrimack River. She could hear the river, distantly, a gentle, soothing rush of sound that was really in no way like static.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
People who have never canoed a wild river, or who have done so only with a guide in the stern, are apt to assume that novelty, plus healthful exercise, account for the value of the trip. I thought so too, until I met the two college boys on the Flambeau. Supper dishes washed, we sat on the bank watching a buck dunking for water plants on the far shore. Soon the buck raised his head, cocked his ears upstream, and then bounded for cover. Around the bend now came the cause of his alarm: two boys in a canoe. Spying us, they edged in to pass the time of day. ‘What time is it?’ was their first question. They explained that their watches had run down, and for the first time in their lives there was no clock, whistle, or radio to set watches by. For two days they had lived by ‘sun-time,’ and were getting a thrill out of it. No servant brought them meals: they got their meat out of the river, or went without. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed whether or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a nightlong breeze, and which a nightlong misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clean coals, and which only smoke. Before our young adventurers pushed off downstream, we learned that both were slated for the Army upon the conclusion of their trip. Now the motif was clear. This trip was their first and last taste of freedom, an interlude between two regimentations: the campus and the barracks. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. These boys were ‘on their own’ in this particular sense. Perhaps every youth needs an occasional wilderness trip, in order to learn the meaning of this particular freedom.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from Round River)
Most people simply didn't realize they could do things that bent their reality. It was kind of like growing up in a land with no deep rivers or lakes. If you never tried, how would you know if you could swim? But
Ilona Andrews (Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1))
The city had grown, implacably, spreading its concrete and alloy fingers wider every day over the dark and feral country. Nothing could stop it. Mountains were stamped flat. Rivers were dammed off or drained or put elsewhere. The marshes were filled. The animals shot from the trees and then the trees cut down. And the big gray machines moved forward, gobbling up the jungle with their iron teeth, chewing it clean of its life and all its living things. Until it was no more. Leveled, smoothed as a highway is smoothed, its centuries choked beneath millions and millions of tons of hardened stone. The birth of a city... It had become the death of a world.
Charles Beaumont (Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories)
My vagina was green water, soft pink fields, cow mooing sun resting sweet boyfriend touching lightly with soft piece of blond straw. There is something between my legs. I do not know what it is. I do not know where it is. I do not touch. Not now. Not anymore. Not since. My vagina was chatty, can't wait, so much, so much saying, words talking, can't quit trying, can't quit saying, oh yes, oh yes. Not since I dream there's a dead animal sewn in down there with thick black fishing line. And the bad dead animal smell cannot be removed. And its throat is slit and it bleeds through all my summer dresses. My vagina singing all girl songs, all goat bells ringing songs, all wild autumn field songs, vagina songs, vagina home songs. Not since the soldiers put a long thick rifle inside me. So cold, the steel rod canceling my heart. Don't know whether they're going to fire it or shove it through my spinning brain. Six of them, monstrous doctors with black masks shoving bottles up me too. There were sticks, and the end of a broom. My vagina swimming river water, clean spilling water over sun-baked stones over stone clit, clit stones over and over. Not since I heard the skin tear and made lemon screeching sounds, not since a piece of my vagina came off in my hand, a part of the lip, now one side of the lip is completely gone. My vagina. A live wet water village. My vagina my hometown. Not since they took turns for seven days smelling like feces and smoked meat, they left their dirty sperm inside me. I became a river of poison and pus and all the crops died, and the fish. My vagina a live wet water village. They invaded it. Butchered it and burned it down. I do not touch now. Do not visit. I live someplace else now. I don't know where that is.
Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues)
I made the coffee myself in Armande's curious small kitchen with its cast-iron range and low ceiling. Everything is clean there, but the one tiny window looks onto the river, giving the light a greenish underwater look. Hanging from the dark, unpainted beams are bunches of dry herbs in their muslin sachets. On the whitewashed walls, copper pans hang from hooks. The door- like all the doors in the house- has a hole cut into the base to allow free passage to her cats.
Joanne Harris (Chocolat (Chocolat, #1))
He tasted like summertime - of wicked thunderstorms, fresh clover, and wild honeysuckle - and I had the sensation of falling, my stomach tumbling over and over again until calm finally reached in, rooting deep and stretching out to encompass everything: my mind, my body. And my soul - whatever that was. The same clean, almost scentless breeze whipped over us again, just like it had the first night we’d met, and I could physically feel one chapter of my life closing and another beginning.
Angela B. Wade (Fallen River)
Cara sipped her juice and then said, "Talking about de-stressing oneself..." She laughed softly. "You've got to see the River Dancing Festival tonight at the park. It's great entertainment. They might even teach you how to River Dance. Sometimes they do that.:
Linda Weaver Clarke (The Shamrock Case (Amelia Moore Detective Series #2))
Work? Scribbling and mucking around on a stage is hardly in the same league as collecting night soil or fishing bodies out of the river.” “Great art is the mark of civilization.” “I thought that was a working sewerage system and clean drinking water but have it your way.
K.T. Davies (From Hell's Heart (The Chronicles of Breed #4))
That was the old Ellen Gulden, the girl who would walk over her mother in golf shoes, who scared students away from writing seminars, who started work on Monday after graduating from Harvard with honors on a Thursday, who loved the moments in the office when she would look out at the impenetrable black of the East River, starred with the reflected lights of Queens, with only the cleaning crew for company, and think of her various superiors out at dinner parties and restaurants and her various similars out at downtown clubs or cheap but authentic places in Chinatown and say to herself, 'I'm getting ahead.' That Ellen Gulden, the one her boss suspected of using the dying-mother ploy to get more money or a better job title, would have covered every inch of [this datebook] with the frantic scribble of unexamined ambition.
Anna Quindlen (One True Thing)
felt that he just wanted somebody to keep a house clean for him and do the shopping and the cooking. He was always in the garage with his cars, working on them, doing something. All he wanted was food and sex, and that was it. Any time we did talk, it would end up in arguments.
Ann Rule (Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer)
They never thought to think that a striped anachronism, one of the old gods, walked unseen among them. The old ones had forgotten; the children had never known. A great thing from an age almost passed, searching for a last place where the deer were plenty and the rivers ran clean.
Paul Rosolie (The Girl and the Tiger)
Aubade to Langston" When the light wakes & finds again the music of brooms in Mexico, when daylight pulls our hands from grief, & hearts cleaned raw with sawdust & saltwater flood their dazzling vessels, when the catfish in the river raise their eyelids towards your face, when sweetgrass bends in waves across battlefields where sweat & sugar marry, when we hear our people wearing tongues fine with plain greeting: How You Doing, Good Morning when I pour coffee & remember my mother’s love of buttered grits, when the trains far away in memory begin to turn their engines toward a deep past of knowing, when all I want to do is burn my masks, when I see a woman walking down the street holding her mind like a leather belt, when I pluck a blues note for my lazy shadow & cast its soul from my page, when I see God’s eyes looking up at black folks flying between moonlight & museum, when I see a good-looking people who are my truest poetry, when I pick up this pencil like a flute & blow myself away from my death, I listen to you again beneath the mercy of a blue morning’s grammar. Originally published in the Southern Humanities Review, Vol. 49.3
Rachel Eliza Griffiths
She was glad she'd missed the river of corpses that must have filled the city streets during the initial phase of clean-up - wagon after wagon groaning beneath the weight of crushed bodies, white flesh seared by fire and slashed by sword, rat-gnawed and raven-pecked - men, women, and children.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
So here, twisted in steel, and spoiled with red your sunlight hide, smelling of death and fear, they crushed out your throat the terrible song you sang in the dark ranges. With what crying you mourned him! - the drinker of blood, the swift death-bringer who ran with you so many a night; and the night was long. I heard you, desperate poet, Did you hear my silent voice take up the cry? - replying: Achilles is overcome, and Hector dead, and clay stops many a warrior's mouth, wild singer. Voice from the hills and the river drunken with rain, for your lament the long night was too brief. Hurling your woes at the moon, that old cleaned bone, till the white shorn mobs of stars on the hill of the sky huddled and trembled, you tolled him, the rebel one. Insane Andromache, pacing your towers alone, death ends the verse you chanted; here you lie. The lover, the maker of elegies is slain, and veiled with blood her body's stealthy sun.
Judith A. Wright
It has been Anita’s style as a geologist to begin with an outcrop and address herself to history from there—to begin with what she can touch, and then to reason her way back through time as far as she can go. A river conglomerate, as tangible rock, unarguably presents the river. The river speaks of higher ground. The volume of sediment that the river has carried can imply a range of mountains. To find Precambrian jaspers in the beds of younger rivers means that the Precambrian, the so-called basement rock, was lifted to form the mountains. These are sensible inferences drawn cleanly through an absence of alternatives. To go back in this way, retrospectively, from scene to shifting scene, is to go down the rock column, groping toward the beginning of the world. There is firm ground some of the way. Eventually, there comes a point where inference will shade into conjecture. In recesses even more remote, conjecture may usurp the original franchise of God.
John McPhee (Annals of the Former World)
It seems a simple task. We all know what water looks like, feels like in our mouth. Water is ubiquitous. Describing a cup of water feels a little like doing a still life painting. As a child I used to wonder: Why do people spend so much time painting bowls of fruit, when they could be painting dragons? Why learn to describe a cup of water, when the story is about cool magic and (well) dragons? It’s a thing I had trouble with as a teenage writer—I’d try to rush through the “boring” parts to get to the interesting parts, instead of learning how to make the boring parts into the interesting parts. And a cup of water is vital to this. Robert Jordan showed me that a cup of water can be a cultural dividing line–the difference between someone who grew up between two rivers, and someone who’d never seen a river before a few weeks ago. A cup of water can be an offhand show of wealth, in the shape of an ornamented cup. It can be a mark of traveling hard, with nothing better to drink. It can be a symbol of better times, when you had something clean and pure. A cup of water isn’t just a cup of water, it’s a means of expressing character. Because stories aren’t about cups of water, or even magic and dragons. They’re about the people painted, illuminated, and changed by magic and dragons.
Brandon Sanderson
I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill? [...] In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world. We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Humans are caught -- in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too -- in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any chances we may impose of field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I don well -- or ill?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
This money could have paid for health care for everyone and for programs to create jobs for all. Instead of giving out contracts for companies to build bombers and nuclear submarines, the government could have given contracts to nonprofit agencies to hire people to build homes, clean up rivers, and construct public transportation systems. Instead,
Howard Zinn (A Young People's History of the United States)
Hoisting sail, it glided down the Acushenet River.. On one side, New Bedford rose in terraces of streets, their ice-covered trees all glittering in the clean, cold air. Huge Hills and mountains of casks on casks were piled upon her wharves , and side by side the world-wandering whale-ships lay silent and safely moored at last; while from others came a sound of carpenters and coopers, with blended noises of fires and forges to melt the pitch, all betokening that new cruises were on the start; that one most perilous and long voyage ended, only begins a second, and a second ended, only begins a third, and so on, for ever and aye. Such is th endlessness,yea, the intolerableness of all earthly effort.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Don't you think our society is designed to kill in that way? Of course, you've surely heard about those tiny fish in the rivers of Brazil which attack the swimmer by the thousands, eat him up in a few moments in quick little mouthfuls and leave only a perfectly clean skeleton behind? So, that's the way they're constituted. 'Do you want a clean life, like everyone else?' Of course the answer is yes. How could you not? 'Fine. We'll clean you up. Here's a job, here's a family, here's some organized leisure.' And the little teeth bite into the flesh, right down to the bone. But i'm being unfair. I shouldn't have said, 'the way they're constituted', because after all, it's our way, too: it's a case of who strips whom.
Albert Camus
These days my desire, overpowering sometimes, is for some land. An acre or two, some bean rows. A pasture, broadleaved trees, a view of a river. A small house, my kids running about. Solidity, hard ground beneath me, something there to stop me sinking. Clean air, food, meat water. Family, earth, mud, all the small wonders and irritations of life rising up to meet me as i come home. Having a home.
Paul Kingsnorth (Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays)
Her mother had smelled of cold and scales, her father of stone dust and dog. She imagined her husband's mother, whom she had never met, had a whiff of rotting apples, though her stationary had stunk of baby powder and rose perfume. Sally was starch, cedar, her dead grandmother sandalwood, her uncle, swiss cheese. People told her she smelled like garlic, like chalk, like nothing at all. Lotto, clean as camphor at his neck and belly, like electrified pennies at the armpit, like chlorine at the groin. She swallowed. Such things, details noticed only on the edges of thought would not return. 'Land,' Mathilde said, 'odd name for a guy like you.' 'Short for Roland,' the boy said. Where the August sun had been steaming over the river, a green cloud was forming. It was still terrifically hot, but the birds had stopped singing. A feral cat scooted up the road on swift paws. It would rain soon. 'Alright Roland,' Mathilde said, suppressing as sigh, 'sing your song.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you—daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Long I have known and feared this day would come. Like the circle of Earth, the circle of life is changing. Here in the north, there are those who can still feel, see, and smell the changes wrought in and around Earth by Money Chiefs. The air is no longer clean, winter grows warmer, rivers flood without a sign, and the soil, once dark and rich, lies pale and weak. Bears, wolves, and other forest Spirits will soon go the way of the buffalo, for their food dwindles like birds that once ruled the skies.
Frederic M. Perrin (Rella Two Trees - The Money Chiefs)
In another couple of hours we can go on board.” He looked longingly at the lighted ship, ready for her start at dawn. She looked so clean, so nice, so British… Mr. Low came to stand beside him. “Decent bunks, decent food, people speaking English. You can’t believe it.” But in spite of the relief of being on the way home, the crows were broken men. Mr. Low was still feverish, Mr. Trapwood’s insect bites had spread in an infected mass over his face and neck, and neither of them could keep down their food.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
So much dung, filth, and entrails of dead beasts and other corruptions is cast into ditches, rivers and other waterways, and many other places, within about and near to the cities, boroughs and towns of the realm… that the air is greatly corrupted and infected and many maladies and other intolerable diseases do daily happen…’64 They ordered fines of £20 to be levied on all those who had not remedied the situation within a year, and passed the responsibility for keeping the streets clean to local officers.
Ian Mortimer (Henry IV: The Righteous King)
NATURAL MUSIC   The old voice of the ocean, the bird-chatter of little rivers, (Winter has given them gold for silver To stain their water and bladed green for brown to line their banks) From different throats intone one language. So I believe if we were strong enough to listen without Divisions of desire and terror To the storm of the sick nations, the rage of the hunger-smitten cities, Those voices also would be found Clean as a child’s; or like some girl’s breathing who dances alone By the ocean-shore, dreaming of lovers.3
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his  holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive  =blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
In silent agreement we squeeze into the window to study our valley. Unlovely in the early spring, crusted with think rime of muddy snow, the river still choked with ice, a single dark thread of water at it’s centre. Sleeping tangle of grey saplings, dead shrubs of sepia or amber or faded dogwood red. Brown sparrows and dust-colored pigeons. The only real color is magpipes, repeated shouts of iridescence, irritatingly clean in their black and white suits. Like photographs of actor or spies. How do they stay so clean in this crap, I always wonder.
Premee Mohamed (The Annual Migration of Clouds)
I had a magical day during one Sunday when I walked out in nature. On the outside this day only consisted of taking a walk out in the beautiful sunny weather and cleaning my apartment, but on the inside everything suddenly changed. When I walked out in nature in the sunny weather, a silent explosion suddenly happened within me and my whole perception of reality changed. In a single moment, everything had changed, although nothing on the outside had really changed. Everything on the outside was exactly as before, but my way of seeing had changed. The difference was that before I did not see and now I could see. My eyes were open. Suddenly I was one with everything, one with the stones, one with the trees and one with the people that I meet on my walk. My heart danced with joy together with a feeling of: ”I am God”. Not that I am the creator of everything, but that I am part of the Whole, part of the divine. It felt like coming home, that Existence is my home. I also saw that even if the people that I meet did not understand that they are a part of the Whole, they still are a part of the Whole. I felt the waves of Existence in my own heart and being and I felt like a small wave in a great ocean. It gave a taste of the eternal, a taste of the limitless and boundless source of creativity. In just a few moments, I learnt more than during 20 years in university. Wisdom is basically the understanding that we all are part of the Whole. We are all small rivers moving towards the ocean. I laughed at the fact that enlightenment is really our innate birthright, and that small children already live in this mystical unity with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
She could kill someone else. Who’s to know?” Once again the detective turned and squinted out across the river. “It’s a problem,” he said quietly and morosely. “What to do? Hypothetically, I mean. Just forget it? Forget it and hope she gets”—Kinderman paused—“gets well?” He reached for a handkerchief and blew his nose. “Oh, well, I just don’t know. I don’t know. It’s a terrible decision,” he said as he searched for a clean, unused section of the handkerchief. “Yes, it’s awful. Just awful. Horrific. And I hate to be the one who has to make it.” He again
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
Congress was forced to take action, passing the Clean Water Act in 1972. Gradually the state of America’s waterways improved, to the point where they now hardly ever catch fire. In a rare example of a happy ending in this book, people actually did what they needed to do to make things better, and hahaha, there’s absolutely no chance that the Trump administration would ever attempt to overturn clean water standards because they’re worried industries aren’t allowed to pollute rivers enough. [Puts finger to ear.] Oh, I’m being told that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Tom Phillips (Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up)
He had a point. The planet was being destroyed by manufacturing processes, and what was being manufactured was lousy, by and large. Then Trout made a good point, too. 'Well,' he said, 'I used to be a conservationist. I used to weep and wail about people shooting bald eagles with automatic shotguns from helicopters and all that, but I gave it up. There's a river in Cleveland which is so polluted that it catches fire about once a year. That used to make me sick, but I laugh about it now. When some tanker accidentally dumps its load in the ocean and kills millions of birds and billions of fish, I say, 'More power to Standard Oil' or whoever it was that dumped it.' Trout raised his arms in celebration. 'Up your ass with Mobil gas,' he said... 'I realized,' said Trout, 'that God wasn't any conservationist, so for anybody else to be one was sacrilegious and a waste of time. You ever see one of His volcanoes or tornadoes or tidal waves? Anybody ever tell you about the Ice Ages he arranges for every half-million years? How about Dutch Elm disease? There's a nice conservation measure for you. That's God, not man. Just about the time we got our rivers cleaned up, he'd probably have the whole galaxy go up like a celluloid collar...
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
I do love Oregon." My gaze wanders over the quiet, natural beauty surrounding us, which isn't limited to just this garden. "Being near the river, and the ocean, and the rocky mountains, and all this nature ... the weather." He chuckles. "I've never met anyone who actually loves rain. It's kind of weird. But cool, too," he adds quickly, as if afraid to offend me. "I just don't get it." I shrug. "It's not so much that I love rain. I just have a healthy respect for what if does. People hate it, but the world needs rain. It washes away dirt, dilutes the toxins in the air, feeds drought. It keeps everything around us alive." "Well, I have a healthy respect for what the sun does," he counters with a smile." "I'd rather have the sun after a good, hard rainfall." He just shakes his head at me but he's smiling. "The good with the bad?" "Isn't that life?" He frowns. "Why do I sense a metaphor behind that?" "Maybe there is a metaphor behind that." One I can't very well explain to him without describing the kinds of things I see every day in my life. The underbelly of society - where twisted morals reign and predators lurk, preying on the lost, the broken, the weak, the innocent. Where a thirteen-year-old sells her body rather than live under the same roof as her abusive parents, where punks gang-rape a drunk girl and then post pictures of it all over the internet so the world can relive it with her. Where a junkie mom's drug addiction is readily fed while her children sit back and watch. Where a father is murdered bacause he made the mistake of wanting a van for his family. In that world, it seems like it's raining all the time. A cold, hard rain that seeps into clothes, chills bones, and makes people feel utterly wretched. Many times, I see people on the worst day of their lives, when they feel like they're drowing. I don't enjoy seeing people suffer. I just know that if they make good choices, and accept the right help, they'll come out of it all the stronger for it. What I do enjoy comes after. Three months later, when I see that thirteen-year-old former prostitute pushing a mower across the front lawn of her foster home, a quiet smile on her face. Eight months later, when I see the girl who was raped walking home from school with a guy who wants nothing from her but to make her laugh. Two years later, when I see the junkie mom clean and sober and loading a shopping cart for the kids that the State finally gave back to her. Those people have seen the sun again after the harshest rain, and they appreciate it so much more.
K.A. Tucker (Becoming Rain (Burying Water, #2))
The baking wind tore at his hat and he held it by the brim with one hand. It relieved him to look at it, for the great river was like a long tale, of both great joy and great woe. And it seemed to be a story road that a person could take, and it would take him to some place where he could free his mind. Men had striven against one another to control the unreeling river-road, battling at New Madrid and Island Number Ten, at Baton Rouge and Vicksburg, in the heat of the summer and the humid choking air of the malarial swamps. But the river carried away men and guns and the garbage of war, covering it over, washing itself clean again as if they had never been.
Paulette Jiles (Enemy Women)
Thanksgiving List Prairie birds, the whistle of gophers, the wind blowing, the smell of grass and spicy earth, friends like Mad Dog, the cattle down in the river, water washing over their hooves, the sky so big, so full of shifting clouds, the cloud shadows creeping over the fields, Daddy’s smile, and his laugh, and his songs, Louise, food without dust, Daddy seeing to Ma’s piano, newly cleaned and tuned, the days when my hands don’t hurt at all, the thank-you note from Lucille in Moline, Kansas, the sound of rain, Daddy’s hole staying full of water as the windmill turns, the smell of green, of damp earth, of hope returning to our farm.
Karen Hesse (Out of the Dust)
The Drunken Fisherman" Wallowing in this bloody sty, I cast for fish that pleased my eye (Truly Jehovah's bow suspends No pots of gold to weight its ends); Only the blood-mouthed rainbow trout Rose to my bait. They flopped about My canvas creel until the moth Corrupted its unstable cloth. A calendar to tell the day; A handkerchief to wave away The gnats; a couch unstuffed with storm Pouching a bottle in one arm; A whiskey bottle full of worms; And bedroom slacks: are these fit terms To mete the worm whose molten rage Boils in the belly of old age? Once fishing was a rabbit's foot-- O wind blow cold, O wind blow hot, Let suns stay in or suns step out: Life danced a jig on the sperm-whale's spout-- The fisher's fluent and obscene Catches kept his conscience clean. Children, the raging memory drools Over the glory of past pools. Now the hot river, ebbing, hauls Its bloody waters into holes; A grain of sand inside my shoe Mimics the moon that might undo Man and Creation too; remorse, Stinking, has puddled up its source; Here tantrums thrash to a whale's rage. This is the pot-hole of old age. Is there no way to cast my hook Out of this dynamited brook? The Fisher's sons must cast about When shallow waters peter out. I will catch Christ with a greased worm, And when the Prince of Darkness stalks My bloodstream to its Stygian term . . . On water the Man-Fisher walks.
Robert Lowell
Then he said something about how L.A. is dust and exhaust and the hot, dry wind that sets your nerves on edge and pushes fire up the hillsides in ragged lines like tears in the paper that separates us from hell, and it’s towering clouds of smoke, and it’s sunshine that won’t let up and cool ocean fog that gets unrolled at night over the whole basin like a clean white hospital sheet and peeled back again in the morning. It’s a crescent moon in a sky bruised green after the sunset has beaten the shit out of it. It’s a lazy hammock moon rising over power lines, over the skeletal silhouettes of pylons, over shaggy cypress trees and the spiky black lionfish shapes of palm-tree crowns on too-skinny trunks. It’s the Big One that’s coming to turn the city to rubble and set the rubble on fire but not today, hopefully not today. It’s the obviousness of pointing out that the freeway looks like a ruby bracelet stretched alongside a diamond one, looks like a river of lava flowing counter to a river of champagne bubbles. People talk about the sprawl, and, yeah, the city is a drunk, laughing bitch sprawled across the flats in a spangled dress, legs kicked up the canyons, skirt spread over the hills, and she’s shimmering, vibrating, ticklish with light. Don’t buy a star map. Don’t go driving around gawking because you’re already there, man. You’re in it. It’s all one big map of the stars.
Maggie Shipstead (Great Circle)
Wild Geese You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver
I walk the shelves, but no book makes me want to stop and pick it up. They're too new and alphabetically ordered and they smell too clean. I need a chaos of books. So I leave the shop, cross the river, and walk along the south keys. I turn onto Parliament Street and go into the second-hand charity bookshop. The books here are different shapes and sizes and feels. They smell of their previous owners in the same way dogs look like their owners or undertakers look like corpses. I buy a large hardback book with watercolor drawings of birds and a softback book about how to get things done. I would like to get things done and ticked off of lists. Some of my projects are endlessly roaming like lemmings without a leader.
Caitriona Lally (Eggshells)
Ms. Mori offered me her cheek to kiss and Sonny offered me his hand to shake. He showed me the door and I slid home through the cool sheets of night and into my own bed, Bon asleep and hovering above me in his rack. I closed my eyes and, after a spell of darkness, floated on my mattress across a black river to the foreign country that needed no passport to visit. Of its many gnomic features and shady denizens I now recall only one, my mind wiped clean except for this fatal fingerprint, an ancient kapok tree that was my final resting place and on whose arthritic bark I laid my cheek. I was almost asleep within my sleep when I gradually understood that the knot of gnarled wood on which my ear rested was actually an ear itself, curled and stiff, the wax of its auditory history encrusted in the green moss of its twisted canal. Half of the kapok tree towered above me, half was invisible below me in the rooted earth, and when I looked up I saw not just one ear but many ears swelling from the bark of its thick trunk, hundreds of ears listening and having listened to things I could not hear, the sight of those ears so horrible it hurled me back into the black river. I woke drenched and gasping, clutching the sides of my head. Only after I kicked off the damp sheets and looked under the pillow could I lie down again, trembling. My heart still beat with the force of a savage drummer, but at least my bed was not littered with amputated ears.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS but you know how to raise it in me like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to wash off the sludge, the stench of our past. How to start clean. This love even sits up and blinks; amazed, she takes a few shaky steps. Any day now she’ll try to eat solid food. She’ll want to get into a fast car, one low to the ground, and drive to some cinderblock shithole in the desert where she can drink and get sick and then dance in nothing but her underwear. You know where she’s headed, you know she’ll wake up with an ache she can’t locate and no money and a terrible thirst. So to hell with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt and your tongue down my throat like an oxygen tube. Cover me in black plastic. Let the mourners through.
Kim Addonizio (What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems)
I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain
NAMING THE EARTH (a poem of light for national poetry day) And the world will be born again in circles of steaming breath and beams of light as each one of us directs our inner eye upon its name. Hear the cry of wings, the sigh of leaves and grass, smell the new sweet mist rising as the pathway is cleared at last. Stones stand ready - they have known since ages and ages ago that they were not alone. Water carries the planet's energy into skies and down to earth and bones. The cold parts steadily as we come together, bodies and hearts warm, hands tingling. We are silent but our eyes are singing. We look, we feel, we know, we trust each other's souls, we have no need to speak. Not now, but later, when the time is right, the name will ring within the iron core of each other's listening - and the very earth's being. Every creature, every plant, will hear it calling, tolling like a bell - a sound we've always felt but never dared to hope to hear reverberating - true at last, at every level of existence. The poets come together to open the intimate centre. Believe in life and air - breathe the light itself, for these are the energies and rhythms that we need to see, to touch, to reach, to identify, to say, the NAME. Colours on your skin fuse and dissolve - leave the river clean for pure space and time to enter and flow in. We all become one fluid stream of stillness and motion, of flaring thought pulses discovering weird pools and twists within where darkness hides from the flames in our eyes but will not snare us. We probe deeper still, journeying towards a unity which will be more raw and yet also more formed than anything written or spoken before. Our fragile bodies fall away - and the trees, and the roots of trees, guide us - lead us away from the faces we remember seeing each day in the mirror - into an ocean of dreams seething with warmth, love, where the beginning is real, ripe, evolving. And the world is born again in circles of steaming breath and beams of light. An ache - a signal - a trembling moment - and the time is right to say the name. We sing as one whole voice of the universal - all the words, the names of every tiny thirsting thing, and they ring out together as one sound, one energy, one sense, one vibration, one breath. And the world listens, beats, shines, glows - IS - Exists!
Jay Woodman
In the deep woods of the far North, under feathery leaves of fern, was a great fairyland of merry elves, sometimes called forest brownies. These elves lived joyfully. They had everything at hand and did not need to worry much about living. Berries and nuts grew plentiful in the forest. Rivers and springs provided the elves with crystal water. Flowers prepared them drink from their flavorful juices, which the munchkins loved greatly. At midnight the elves climbed into flower cups and drank drops of their sweet water with much delight. Every elf would tell a wonderful fairy tale to the flower to thank it for the treat. Despite this abundance, the pixies did not sit back and do nothing. They tinkered with their tasks all day long. They cleaned their houses. They swung on tree branches and swam in forested streams. Together with the early birds, they welcomed the sunrise, listened to the thunder growling, the whispering of leaves and blades of grass, and the conversations of the animals. The birds told them about warm countries, sunbeams whispered of distant seas, and the moon spoke of treasures hidden deeply in the earth. In winter, the elves lived in abandoned nests and hollows. Every sunny day they came out of their burrows and made the forest ring with their happy shouts, throwing tiny snowballs in all directions and building snowmen as small as the pinky finger of a little girl. The munchkins thought they were giants five times as large as them. With the first breath of spring, the elves left their winter residences and moved to the cups of the snowdrop flowers. Looking around, they watched the snow as it turned black and melted. They kept an eye on the blossoming of hazel trees while the leaves were still sleeping in their warm buds. They observed squirrels moving their last winter supplies from storage back to their homes. Gnomes welcomed the birds coming back to their old nests, where the elves lived during winters. Little by little, the forest once more grew green. One moonlight night, elves were sitting at an old willow tree and listening to mermaids singing about their underwater kingdom. “Brothers! Where is Murzilka? He has not been around for a long time!” said one of the elves, Father Beardie, who had a long white beard. He was older than others and well respected in his striped stocking cap. “I’m here,” a snotty voice arose, and Murzilka himself, nicknamed Feather Head, jumped from the top of the tree. All the brothers loved Murzilka, but thought he was lazy, as he actually was. Also, he loved to dress in a tailcoat, tall black hat, boots with narrow toes, a cane and a single eyeglass, being very proud of that look. “Do you know where I’m coming from? The very Arctic Ocean!” roared he. Usually, his words were hard to believe. That time, though, his announcement sounded so marvelous that all elves around him were agape with wonder. “You were there, really? Were you? How did you get there?” asked the sprites. “As easy as ABC! I came by the fox one day and caught her packing her things to visit her cousin, a silver fox who lives by the Arctic Ocean. “Take me with you,” I said to the fox. “Oh, no, you’ll freeze there! You know, it’s cold there!” she said. “Come on.” I said. “What are you talking about? What cold? Summer is here.” “Here we have summer, but there they have winter,” she answered. “No,” I thought. “She must be lying because she does not want to give me a ride.” Without telling her a word, I jumped upon her back and hid in her bushy fur, so even Father Frost could not find me. Like it or not, she had to take me with her. We ran for a long time. Another forest followed our woods, and then a boundless plain opened, a swamp covered with lichen and moss. Despite the intense heat, it had not entirely thawed. “This is tundra,” said my fellow traveler. “Tundra? What is tundra?” asked I. “Tundra is a huge, forever frozen wetland covering the entire coast of the Arctic Ocean.
Anna Khvolson
I just helped with a birthing." Amber flames lit his angry dark eyes. "Women have no business doing that kind of work. It's not decent!" Thoroughly provoked by his unreasonable attitude, Willow completely forgot Miriam's presence. "Well, that's a lamebrain thing to say, considering it's us females who do the birthing. All men do is prime their-" "Willow!" Miriam interjected. "That is quite enough!" Seemingly disgusted with both of them, Miriam waved Rider off dismissively. "Mr. Sinclair, you've seen for yourself she's quite all right so I suggest you take yourself elsewear." "Fine! It's a little too whiffy around here for me anyway." He jerked Sultan around and rode off in a monstrous huff. Willow was pricked by his disdain more than she cared to admit. "Did you hear what he said? He said I stink! You'd think I'd just climbed out of a pig sty! Hell, how would he know if I stink? He wasn't even close enough to sniff me." Miriam exhaled a deep sigh and wrinkled her nose. "Well, believe me, I'm close enough!" Miriam bristled but then recognized the teasing twinkle in Miriam's soft hazel eyes and broke into a grin. "It'll never do to stick you in a tub," the landlady observed. "I'd kill myself, filling and dumping it before we got you clean. Stay here and don't move. I'll be right back." Miriam returned, loaded down with towels, soap, and clean clothes. "Lead the way to that swimming hole you were telling me about." The two women silently traipsed down the narrow path to the river, Willow brooding over Rider's sarcasm and Miriam wondering if Willow's clothes could be laundered or if she should just burn them.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky-tonks, restaurants and whore-houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flop-houses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peep-hole he might have said: "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing. In the morning when the sardine fleet has made a catch, the purse-seiners waddle heavily into the bay blowing their whistles. The deep-laden boats pull in against the coast where the canneries dip their tails into the bay. The figure is advisedly chosen, for if the canneries dipped their mouths into the bay the canned sardines which emerge from the other end would be metaphorically, at least, even more horrifying. Then cannery whistles scream and all over the town men and women scramble into their clothes and come running down to the Row to go to work. Then shining cars bring the upper classes down: superintendents, accountants, owners who disappear into offices. Then from the town pour Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women in trousers and rubber coats and oilcloth aprons. They come running to clean and cut and pack and cook and can the fish. The whole street rumbles and groans and screams and rattles while the silver rivers of fish pour in out of the boats and the boats rise higher and higher in the water until they are empty. The canneries rumble and rattle and squeak until the last fish is cleaned and cut and cooked and canned and then the whistles scream again and the dripping, smelly, tired Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women, straggle out and droop their ways up the hill into the town and Cannery Row becomes itself again-quiet and magical. Its normal life returns. The bums who retired in disgust under the black cypress-tree come out to sit on the rusty pipes in the vacant lot. The girls from Dora's emerge for a bit of sun if there is any. Doc strolls from the Western Biological Laboratory and crosses the street to Lee Chong's grocery for two quarts of beer. Henri the painter noses like an Airedale through the junk in the grass-grown lot for some pan or piece of wood or metal he needs for the boat he is building. Then the darkness edges in and the street light comes on in front of Dora's-- the lamp which makes perpetual moonlight in Cannery Row. Callers arrive at Western Biological to see Doc, and he crosses the street to Lee Chong's for five quarts of beer. How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise-- the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream-- be set down alive? When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will on to a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book-- to open the page and to let the stories crawl in by themselves.
John Steinbeck
I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Territories in the wild are large not as a matter of taste but of necessity. In a zoo, we do for animals what we have done for ourselves with houses: we bring together in a small space what in the wild is spread out. Whereas before for us the cave was here, the river over there, the hunting grounds a mile that way, the lookout next to it, the berries somewhere else—all of them infested with lions, snakes, ants, leeches and poison ivy—now the river flows through taps at hand’s reach and we can wash next to where we sleep, we can eat where we have cooked, and we can surround the whole with a protective wall and keep it clean and warm. A house is a compressed territory where our basic needs can be fulfilled close by and safely. A sound zoo enclosure is the equivalent for an animal (with the noteworthy absence of a fireplace or the like, present in every human habitation).
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
MAMEEN Be infinitessimal under that sky, a creature even the sailing hawk misses, a wraith among the rocks where the mist parts slowly. Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed by circumstance, how great reputations dissolve with infirmity and how you, in particular, live a hairsbreadth from losing everyone you hold dear. Then, look back down the path as if seeing your past and then south over the hazy blue coast as if present to a wide future. Remember the way you are all possibilities you can see and how you live best as an appreciator of horizons, whether you reach them or not. Admit that once you have got up from your chair and opened the door, once you have walked out into the clean air toward that edge and taken the path up high beyond the ordinary, you have become the privileged and the pilgrim, the one who will tell the story and the one, coming back from the mountain, who helped to make it.
David Whyte (River Flow: New & Selected Poems 1984-2007)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
Cairo: the future city, the new metropole of plants cascading from solar-paneled roofs to tree-lined avenues with white washed facades abut careful restorations and integrated innovations all shining together in a chorus of new and old. Civil initiatives will soon find easy housing in the abandoned architectural prizes of Downtown, the river will be flooded with public transportation, the shaded spaces underneath bridges and flyovers will flower into common land connected by tramways to dignified schools and clean hospitals and eclectic bookshops and public parks humming with music in the evenings. The revolution has begun and people, every day, are supplanting the regime with their energy and initiative in this cement super colony that for decades of state failure has held itself together with a collective supraintelligence keeping it from collapse. Something here, in Cairo's combination of permanence and piety and proximity, bound people together.
Omar Robert Hamilton (The City Always Wins)
The northern boreal world was unique and unlike any other on earth, still undisturbed, with deep linkages to other sub-artic cultures and its unbroken chain of story-lives going back into the pre-Columbian past. The forests are as yet uncut, the greed of great cities for water and power has, as yet, dammed up only a few of its rivers. It has not been trampled by gold-seekers and ideology-mad politicos and marked by the uncounted deaths that has made Siberia a land of tears and terror and pollution. It is still clean and mostly aboriginal and the call of the wild is a melody arriving from inside us, out of our own distant past. Somewhere in the world there are rock paintings created by the ancestors of each one of us, and there are songs behind the dancing figures, and thoughts behind the songs. It is a past to be reckoned with, replete with action, violence, wars, discord, resolution, and courage, star-legends with episodes following one on the heels of another.
Paulette Jiles (North Spirit: Sojourns Among the Cree and Ojibway)
Watcha doin’?” “Making stuff…” “Do you like to cook?” She nodded and turned toward him. “I like to cook on the real stobe, but only wif Mommy or Grandma.” “Sounds like a good policy,” he agreed. She walked toward him, holding the pan in one hand and a spoon in the other. She stretched the spoon toward his mouth. “What is it?” he asked. “Chicken,” she said, pushing the spoon at his lips. He wondered where that spoon had been and made a slight face at the possibilities. “It’s bery good!” she insisted. He opened his mouth a bit and let her spoon in some imaginary chicken. “Mmm. That is good. Are you supposed to be cleaning your room right now?” She turned back to her stove before saying, “No. I’m making stuff.” And he thought, Yeah, right. “Want some help in here? Putting away toys and your things?” “No.” She turned back to him again, pan and spoon in hand, and lifted the spoon to his lips. “More chicken?” “Brocc’li. It’s bery good for you.” “Hm. And not too filling, either,” he observed.
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
Transformation! Now there’s an interesting idea. But is it appropriate to think like that? Are Christians supposed to regard their lives in that way? Isn’t that suggesting that there’s a way across from the present to the future, across that wide river called The Rest of My Life—a bridge put up in the old days when people thought you could use your own moral effort to make yourself good enough for God? But if moral effort doesn’t count for anything, what is then the point of being a Christian—other than to go to heaven one day, and perhaps to persuade a few others to go with you? Is there any reason for doing anything much, after you believe, except to keep your nose reasonably clean until the time comes to die and go to be with Jesus forever? Some people who ponder this also face another concern. Jesus himself, followed by the writers of the New Testament, seems to have made some pretty stringent moral demands on the early disciples. Where does all that fit in? If we are already saved, why does what we do matter? And are the demands realistic in our day and age?
N.T. Wright (After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters)
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women, nor the likes of the parts of you, I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul, (and that they are the soul,) I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems, and that they are my poems, Man’s, woman’s, child’s, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s, young man’s, young woman’s poems, Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears, Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking or sleeping of the lids, Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges, Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition, Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue, Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders, and the ample side-round of the chest, Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones, Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger, finger-joints, finger-nails, Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side, Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone, Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round, man-balls, man-root, Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above, Leg fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg, Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel; All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body or of any one’s body, male or female, The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean, The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame, Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity, Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman, The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping, love-looks, love-perturbations and risings, The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud, Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming, Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening, The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes, The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair, The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body, The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out, The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips, and thence downward toward the knees, The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow in the bones, The exquisite realization of health; O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul, O I say now these are the soul!
Walt Whitman (I Sing the Body Electric)
In the chapter entitled “You Can’t Pray a Lie” in Twain’s beloved novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn has helped hide Miss Watson’s runaway slave, Jim. But Huck thought he was committing a sin in helping a runaway slave. Huck had learned in Sunday school “that people that acts as I’d been acting … goes to everlasting fire.” So in an act of repentance in order to save his soul, Huck wrote a note to Miss Watson and told her where she could find her runaway slave. Now Huck was ready to pray his “sinner’s prayer” and “get saved.” I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn’t do it straight off but laid the paper down and set there thinking—thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I’d see him standing my watch on top of his’n, ‘stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world and the only he’s got now; and then I happened to look around and see the paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.1 Huck Finn had been shaped by the Christianity he’d found in his Missouri Sunday school—a Christianity focused on heaven in the afterlife while preserving the status quo of the here and now. Huck thought that helping Jim escape from slavery was a sin, because that’s what he had been taught. He knew he couldn’t ask God to forgive him until he was ready to “repent” and betray Jim. Huck didn’t want to go to hell; he wanted to be saved. But Huck loved his friend more, so he was willing to go to hell in order to save his friend from slavery.
Brian Zahnd (A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace)
The walls were lined with books from floor to ceiling. Stacks of books stood neatly arranged on every horizontal surface—tables, windowsills, even the top of an unplugged television. Since Sophie had been forbidden to explore the library at home, her only real experience with books had come at school and from the few children's books that lay on the bottom shelf of a cabinet in the nursery. She sensed immediately that this was something altogether different. It was a library, yes, but she knew these books had been read. They weren't arranged in long lines of matching bindings like the ones in Bayfield House, and almost every volume had slips of paper protruding from the top. she wondered if Uncle Bertram had marked all the best bits. "Shall we have a story?" said her uncle, when he had hung up their coats. "Yes, please," said Sophie. "What would you like?" he asked. "You pick." And so he did. They settled onto the couch, Bertram with a cup of tea and Sophie with a mug of cocoa. He began to read and Sophie's world was transformed—this was not like the insubstantial children's stories her mother read to her at bedtime. This was ever so much more. "The Wind in the Willows," read Uncle Bertram. "Chapter One, The River Bank. The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home." Sophie closed her eyes and fell into the story.
Charlie Lovett (First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen)
that night she dreamed of employing an army of women cleaners who would set forth across the planet on a mission to clean up all the damage done to the environment they came from all over Africa and from North and South and South America, they came from India and China and all over Asia, they came from Europe and the Middle East, from Oceania, and from the Antarctic, too she imagined them all descending in their millions on the Niger Delta and driving out the oil companies with their mop and broom handles transformed into spears and poison-tipped swords and machine guns she imagined them demolishing al the equipment used for oil production, including the flare stacks that rose into the skies to burn the natural gas, her cleaners setting charges underneath each one, detonating from a safe distance and watching them being blown up she imagined the local people cheering and celebrating with dancing, drumming and roasted fish she imagined the international media filming it- CNN, BBC, NBC she imagined the government unable to mobilize the poorly paid local militia because they were terrified by the sheer numbers of her Worldwide Army of Women Cleaners who could vaporize them with their superhuman powers afterwards, she imagined legions of singing women sifting the rivers and creeks to remove the thick slicks of grease that had polluted them and digging up the land until they'd removed the toxic sublayers of soil she imagined the skies opening when the job was fone and the pouring of pure water from the now hygienic clouds for as long as it took for the region to be thoroughly cleansed and replenished
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
The Blue Mind Rx Statement Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans. The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71% of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and well-being. In addition to fostering more widely documented ecological, economic, and cultural diversities, our mental well-being, emotional diversity, and resiliency also rely on the global ecological integrity of our waters. Blue space gives us half of our oxygen, provides billions of people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and is the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history. Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and wild waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, sociality and romance, peace and freedom, play and creativity, learning and memory, innovation and insight, elation and nostalgia, confidence and solitude, wonder and awe, empathy and compassion, reverence and beauty — and help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more. Chronic stress and anxiety cause or intensify a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. Being on, in, and near water can be among the most cost-effective ways of reducing stress and anxiety. We encourage healthcare professionals and advocates for the ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers to go deeper and incorporate the latest findings, research, and insights into their treatment plans, communications, reports, mission statements, strategies, grant proposals, media, exhibits, keynotes, and educational programs and to consider the following simple talking points: •Water is the essence of life: The ocean, healthy rivers, lakes, and wetlands are good for our minds and bodies. •Research shows that nature is therapeutic, promotes general health and well-being, and blue space in both urban and rural settings further enhances and broadens cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits. •All people should have safe access to salubrious, wild, biodiverse waters for well-being, healing, and therapy. •Aquatic biodiversity has been directly correlated with the therapeutic potency of blue space. Immersive human interactions with healthy aquatic ecosystems can benefit both. •Wild waters can serve as medicine for caregivers, patient families, and all who are part of patients’ circles of support. •Realization of the full range and potential magnitude of ecological, economic, physical, intrinsic, and emotional values of wild places requires us to understand, appreciate, maintain, and improve the integrity and purity of one of our most vital of medicines — water.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
Yet this religious outcast, this man who was thought to be in a state of perpetual uncleanliness, had gotten his hands on a sacred scroll and found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that resonated profoundly with his own experience: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth. ACTS 8:32–33 When Philip heard the eunuch reading these words aloud, he approached the chariot and asked if the eunuch understood them. “How can I unless someone guides me?” the eunuch replied. Philip climbed into the chariot, and as it rumbled through the wilderness, told the eunuch about Jesus—about how when God became one of us, God suffered too. Overcome, the eunuch looked out at the rugged landscape that surrounded them and shouted, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” We don’t know how long that question, brimming with such childlike joy it wrenches the heart, hung vulnerable as a drop of water in the desert air. At another time in his life, Philip might have pointed to the eunuch’s ethnicity, or his anatomy, or his inability to gain access to the ceremonial baths that made a person clean. But instead, with no additional conversation between the travelers, the chariot lumbered to a halt and Philip baptized the eunuch in the first body of water the two could find. It might have been a river, or it might have been a puddle in the road. Philip got out of God’s way. He remembered that what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
You can have no idea what it feels like to live in an ordinary woman’s skin. From the moment a girl is born she is tutored by her mother on what she may and may not do. The list of what she is allowed to do keeps on shrinking as she grows older—cover your head, lower your neck, conceal your breasts, hide your ankles, don’t go to the river alone, don’t step out in the evening, don’t laugh loudly, don’t ask questions, don’t expect answers … Then she marries and it only gets worse. A mother-in-law takes over to enforce the rules. Wake up first, sleep last. Cook feasts, eat leftovers. Feed sons, starve daughters. And when finally she grows older and the baton passes on to her, she starts battering the next generation with it, having seen nothing else in her life!’ ‘So are you saying women oppress women?’ I was surprised that her tirade was directed at mothers and mothers-in-law rather than at men. ‘Yes, precisely. Why blame the men alone? Why will they try to change an existing order in which they get a bonded slave to cook their food, wash their clothes, clean their homes, warm their beds, look after their aging parents and bear them children? But what reason do women have? Why do they fall all over themselves to tyrannise other women? Women can rescue each other. Women can refuse to starve, scare and suppress their daughters. They can be friends and comrades with their daughters-in-law. Women can look out for the safety of their house maids and farm labourers. Women can insist that other women be treated with respect and dignity. But for that they first need to stop feeling helpless and scared themselves. They need to stop needing a man to protect them. The price of that protection is just too high.
Manjul Bajaj (In Search of Heer)
Toward an Organic Philosophy SPRING, COAST RANGE The glow of my campfire is dark red and flameless, The circle of white ash widens around it. I get up and walk off in the moonlight and each time I look back the red is deeper and the light smaller. Scorpio rises late with Mars caught in his claw; The moon has come before them, the light Like a choir of children in the young laurel trees. It is April; the shad, the hot headed fish, Climbs the rivers; there is trillium in the damp canyons; The foetid adder’s tongue lolls by the waterfall. There was a farm at this campsite once, it is almost gone now. There were sheep here after the farm, and fire Long ago burned the redwoods out of the gulch, The Douglas fir off the ridge; today the soil Is stony and incoherent, the small stones lie flat And plate the surface like scales. Twenty years ago the spreading gully Toppled the big oak over onto the house. Now there is nothing left but the foundations Hidden in poison oak, and above on the ridge, Six lonely, ominous fenceposts; The redwood beams of the barn make a footbridge Over the deep waterless creek bed; The hills are covered with wild oats Dry and white by midsummer. I walk in the random survivals of the orchard. In a patch of moonlight a mole Shakes his tunnel like an angry vein; Orion walks waist deep in the fog coming in from the ocean; Leo crouches under the zenith. There are tiny hard fruits already on the plum trees. The purity of the apple blossoms is incredible. As the wind dies down their fragrance Clusters around them like thick smoke. All the day they roared with bees, in the moonlight They are silent and immaculate. SPRING, SIERRA NEVADA Once more golden Scorpio glows over the col Above Deadman Canyon, orderly and brilliant, Like an inspiration in the brain of Archimedes. I have seen its light over the warm sea, Over the coconut beaches, phosphorescent and pulsing; And the living light in the water Shivering away from the swimming hand, Creeping against the lips, filling the floating hair. Here where the glaciers have been and the snow stays late, The stone is clean as light, the light steady as stone. The relationship of stone, ice and stars is systematic and enduring: Novelty emerges after centuries, a rock spalls from the cliffs, The glacier contracts and turns grayer, The stream cuts new sinuosities in the meadow, The sun moves through space and the earth with it, The stars change places. The snow has lasted longer this year, Than anyone can remember. The lowest meadow is a lake, The next two are snowfields, the pass is covered with snow, Only the steepest rocks are bare. Between the pass And the last meadow the snowfield gapes for a hundred feet, In a narrow blue chasm through which a waterfall drops, Spangled with sunset at the top, black and muscular Where it disappears again in the snow. The world is filled with hidden running water That pounds in the ears like ether; The granite needles rise from the snow, pale as steel; Above the copper mine the cliff is blood red, The white snow breaks at the edge of it; The sky comes close to my eyes like the blue eyes Of someone kissed in sleep. I descend to camp, To the young, sticky, wrinkled aspen leaves, To the first violets and wild cyclamen, And cook supper in the blue twilight. All night deer pass over the snow on sharp hooves, In the darkness their cold muzzles find the new grass At the edge of the snow.
Kenneth Rexroth (The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth)
Fatigue has built up after all this training, and I can’t seem to run very fast. As I’m leisurely jogging along the Charles River, girls who look to be new Harvard freshmen keep on passing me. Most of these girls are small, slim, have on maroon Harvard-logo outfits, blond hair in a ponytail, and brand-new iPods, and they run like the wind. You can definitely feel a sort of aggressive challenge emanating from them. They seem to be used to passing people, and probably not used to being passed. They all look so bright, so healthy, attractive, and serious, brimming with self-confidence. With their long strides and strong, sharp kicks, it’s easy to see that they’re typical mid-distance runners, unsuited for long-distance running. They’re more mentally cut out for brief runs at high speed. Compared to them I’m pretty used to losing. There are plenty of things in this world that are way beyond me, plenty of opponents I can never beat. Not to brag, but these girls probably don’t know as much as I do about pain. And, quite naturally, there might not be a need for them to know it. These random thoughts come to me as I watch their proud ponytails swinging back and forth, their aggressive strides. Keeping to my own leisurely pace, I continue my run down along the Charles. Have I ever had such luminous days in my own life? Perhaps a few. But even if I had a long ponytail back then, I doubt if it would have swung so proudly as these girls’ ponytails do. And my legs wouldn’t have kicked the ground as cleanly and as powerfully as theirs. Maybe that’s only to be expected. These girls are, after all, brand-new students at the one and only Harvard University. Still, it’s pretty wonderful to watch these pretty girls run. As I do, I’m struck by an obvious thought: One generation takes over from the next. This is how things are handed over in this world, so I don’t feel so bad if they pass me. These girls have their own pace, their own sense of time. And I have my own pace, my own sense of time. The two are completely different, but that’s the way it should be.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
When trying to understand why people acted in a certain way, you might use a short checklist to guide your probing: their knowledge, beliefs and experience, motivation and competing priorities, and their constraints. •​Knowledge. Did the person know something, some fact, that others didn’t? Or was the person missing some knowledge you would take for granted? Devorah was puzzled by the elderly gentleman’s resistance until she discovered that he didn’t know how many books could be stored on an e-book reader. Mitchell knew that his client wasn’t attuned to narcissistic personality disorders and was therefore at a loss to explain her cousin’s actions. Walter Reed’s colleagues relied on the information that mosquitoes needed a two- to three-week incubation period before they could infect people with yellow fever. •​Beliefs and experience. Can you explain the behavior in terms of the person’s beliefs or perceptual skills or the patterns the person used, or judgments of typicality? These are kinds of tacit knowledge—knowledge that hasn’t been reduced to instructions or facts. Mike Riley relied on the patterns he’d seen and his sense of the typical first appearance of a radar blip, so he noticed the anomalous blip that first appeared far off the coastline. Harry Markopolos looked at the trends of Bernie Madoff’s trades and knew they were highly atypical. •​Motivation and competing priorities. Cheryl Cain used our greed for chocolate kisses to get us to fill in our time cards. Dennis wanted the page job more than he needed to prove he was right. My Procter & Gamble sponsors weren’t aware of the way the homemakers juggled the needs for saving money with their concern for keeping their clothes clean and their families happy. •​Constraints. Daniel Boone knew how to ambush the kidnappers because he knew where they would have to cross the river. He knew the constraints they were operating under. Ginger expected the compliance officer to release her from the noncompete clause she’d signed because his company would never release a client list to an outsider.
Gary Klein (Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights)
He was forever wallowing in the mire, dirtying his nose, scrabbling his face, treading down the backs of his shoes, gaping at flies and chasing the butterflies (over whom his father held sway); he would pee in his shoes, shit over his shirt-tails, [wipe his nose on his sleeves,] dribble snot into his soup and go galumphing about. [He would drink out of his slippers, regularly scratch his belly on wicker-work baskets, cut his teeth on his clogs, get his broth all over his hands, drag his cup through his hair, hide under a wet sack, drink with his mouth full, eat girdle-cake but not bread, bite for a laugh and laugh while he bit, spew in his bowl, let off fat farts, piddle against the sun, leap into the river to avoid the rain, strike while the iron was cold, dream day-dreams, act the goody-goody, skin the renard, clack his teeth like a monkey saying its prayers, get back to his muttons, turn the sows into the meadow, beat the dog to teach the lion, put the cart before the horse, scratch himself where he ne’er did itch, worm secrets out from under your nose, let things slip, gobble the best bits first, shoe grasshoppers, tickle himself to make himself laugh, be a glutton in the kitchen, offer sheaves of straw to the gods, sing Magnificat at Mattins and think it right, eat cabbage and squitter puree, recognize flies in milk, pluck legs off flies, scrape paper clean but scruff up parchment, take to this heels, swig straight from the leathern bottle, reckon up his bill without Mine Host, beat about the bush but snare no birds, believe clouds to be saucepans and pigs’ bladders lanterns, get two grists from the same sack, act the goat to get fed some mash, mistake his fist for a mallet, catch cranes at the first go, link by link his armour make, always look a gift horse in the mouth, tell cock-and-bull stories, store a ripe apple between two green ones, shovel the spoil back into the ditch, save the moon from baying wolves, hope to pick up larks if the heavens fell in, make virtue out of necessity, cut his sops according to his loaf, make no difference twixt shaven and shorn, and skin the renard every day.]
François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Trying to get to 124 for the second time now, he regretted that conversation: the high tone he took; his refusal to see the effect of marrow weariness in a woman he believed was a mountain. Now, too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn't count. They came in her yard anyway and she could not approve or condemn Sethe's rough choice. One or the other might have saved her, but beaten up by the claims of both, she went to bed. The whitefolks had tired her out at last. And him. Eighteen seventy-four and whitefolks were still on the loose. Whole towns wiped clean of Negroes; eighty-seven lynchings in one year alone in Kentucky; four colored schools burned to the ground; grown men whipped like children; children whipped like adults; black women raped by the crew; property taken, necks broken. He smelled skin, skin and hot blood. The skin was one thing, but human blood cooked in a lynch fire was a whole other thing. The stench stank. Stank up off the pages of the North Star, out of the mouths of witnesses, etched in crooked handwriting in letters delivered by hand. Detailed in documents and petitions full of whereas and presented to any legal body who'd read it, it stank. But none of that had worn out his marrow. None of that. It was the ribbon. Tying his flatbed up on the bank of the Licking River, securing it the best he could, he caught sight of something red on its bottom. Reaching for it, he thought it was a cardinal feather stuck to his boat. He tugged and what came loose in his hand was a red ribbon knotted around a curl of wet woolly hair, clinging still to its bit of scalp. He untied the ribbon and put it in his pocket, dropped the curl in the weeds. On the way home, he stopped, short of breath and dizzy. He waited until the spell passed before continuing on his way. A moment later, his breath left him again. This time he sat down by a fence. Rested, he got to his feet, but before he took a step he turned to look back down the road he was traveling and said, to its frozen mud and the river beyond, "What are these people? You tell me, Jesus. What are they?" When he got to his house he was too tired to eat the food his sister and nephews had prepared. He sat on the porch in the cold till way past dark and went to his bed only because his sister's voice calling him was getting nervous. He kept the ribbon; the skin smell nagged him, and his weakened marrow made him dwell on Baby Suggs' wish to consider what in the world was harmless. He hoped she stuck to blue, yellow, maybe green, and never fixed on red. Mistaking her, upbraiding her, owing her, now he needed to let her know he knew, and to get right with her and her kin. So, in spite of his exhausted marrow, he kept on through the voices and tried once more to knock at the door of 124. This time, although he couldn't cipher but one word, he believed he knew who spoke them. The people of the broken necks, of fire-cooked blood and black girls who had lost their ribbons. What a roaring.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
But Dave Wain that lean rangy red head Welchman with his penchant for going off in Willie to fish in the Rogue River up in Oregon where he knows an abandoned mining camp, or for blattin around the desert roads, for suddenly reappearing in town to get drunk, and a marvelous poet himself, has that certain something that young hip teenagers probably wanta imitate–For one thing is one of the world's best talkers, and funny too–As I'll show–It was he and George Baso who hit on the fantastically simple truth that everybody in America was walking around with a dirty behind, but everybody, because the ancient ritual of washing with water after the toilet had not occurred in all the modern antisepticism–Says Dave "People in America have all these racks of drycleaned clothes like you say on their trips, they spatter Eau de Cologne all over themselves, they wear Ban and Aid or whatever it is under their armpits, they get aghast to see a spot on a shirt or a dress, they probably change underwear and socks maybe even twice a day, they go around all puffed up and insolent thinking themselves the cleanest people on earth and they're walkin around with dirty azzoles–Isnt that amazing?give me a little nip on that tit" he says reaching for my drink so I order two more, I've been engrossed, Dave can order all the drinks he wants anytime, "The President of the United States, the big ministers of state, the great bishops and shmishops and big shots everywhere, down to the lowest factory worker with all his fierce pride, movie stars, executives and great engineers and presidents of law firms and advertising firms with silk shirts and neckties and great expensive traveling cases in which they place these various expensive English imported hair brushes and shaving gear and pomades and perfumes are all walkin around with dirty azzoles! All you gotta do is simply wash yourself with soap and water! it hasn't occurred to anybody in America at all! it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard of! dont you think it's marvelous that we're being called filthy unwashed beatniks but we're the only ones walkin around with clean azzoles?"–The whole azzole shot in fact had spread swiftly and everybody I knew and Dave knew from coast to coast had embarked on this great crusade which I must say is a good one–In fact in Big Sur I'd instituted a shelf in Monsanto's outhouse where the soap must be kept and everyone had to bring a can of water there on each trip–Monsanto hadnt heard about it yet, "Do you realize that until we tell poor Lorenzo Monsanto the famous writer that he is walking around with a dirty azzole he will be doing just that?"–"Let's go tell him right now!"–"Why of course if we wait another minute...and besides do you know what it does to people to walk around with a dirty azzole? it leaves a great yawning guilt that they cant understand all day, they go to work all cleaned up in the morning and you can smell all that freshly laundered clothes and Eau de Cologne in the commute train yet there's something gnawing at them, something's wrong, they know something's wrong they dont know just what!"–We rush to tell Monsanto at once in the book store around the corner. (Big Sur, Chap. 11)
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
The two of them were close enough that Vern could examine her properly, lick up the little details of her. She savored these intricacies in people, always had: the way the clock face of her brother Carmichael’s watch never faced up, the band too big on his thin wrist despite being set to the tightest notch. Lucy’s dark sideburns, the little beads of hair like black pearls. Mam’s gospel humming, ever so quiet, so as not to be heard until you were right up close. Even a few feet away, Vern would always have to strain to catch the notes, the words. Gogo smelled mostly of shampoo, something generic and clean. Rainfall or Spring Zest or Mountain Air.
Rivers Solomon (Sorrowland)
Though rarely acknowledged as such, LBJ is arguably the patriarch of our contemporary environmental movement, as Theodore Roosevelt was of an earlier environmental crusade. LBJ put plenty of laws on the books: Clean Air, Water Quality, and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Act, Aircraft Noise Abatement Act, and Highway Beautification Act. The 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects more than two hundred rivers in thirty-eight states;19 the 1968 Trail System Act established more than twelve hundred recreation, scenic, and historic trails covering fifty-four thousand miles.20 These laws are critical to the quality of the water we drink and swim in, the air we breathe, and the trails we hike. Even more sweeping than those laws is LBJ’s articulation of the underlying principle for a “new conservation” that inspires both today’s environmentalists and the opponents who resist their efforts: The air we breathe, our water, our soil and wildlife, are being blighted by the poisons and chemicals which are the by-products of technology and industry. . . . The same society which receives the rewards of technology, must, as a cooperating whole, take responsibility for control. To deal with these new problems will require a new conservation. We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities.21
Joseph A. Califano Jr. (The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years)
White Man, to you my voice is like the unheard call in the wilderness. It is there, though you do not hear it. But, this once, take the time to listen to what I have to say. Your history is highlighted by your wars. Why is it all right for your nations to conquer each other in your attempts at domination? When you sailed to our lands, you came with your advanced weapons. You claimed you were a progressive, civilized people. And today, White Man, you have the ultimate weapons. Warfare which could destroy all men, all creation. And you allow such power to be in the hands of those few who have such little value in true wisdom. White Man, when you first came, most of our tribes began with peace and trust in dealing with you, strange white intruders. We showed you how to survive in our homelands. We were willing to share with you our vast wealth. Instead of repaying us with gratitude, you, White Man, turned on us, your friends. You turned on us with your advanced weapons and your cunning trickery. When we, the Indian people, realized your intentions, we rose to do battle, to defend our nations, our homes, our food, our lives. And for our efforts, we are labelled savages, and our battles are called massacres. And when our primitive weapons could not match those which you had perfected through centuries of wars, we realized that peace could not be won, unless our mass destruction took place. And so we turned to treaties. And this time, we ran into your cunning trickery. And we lost our lands, our freedom, and were confined to reservations. And we are held in contempt. 'As long as the Sun shall rise...' For you, White Man, these are words without meaning. White Man, there is much in the deep, simple wisdom of our forefathers. We were here for centuries. We kept the land, the waters, the air clean and pure, for our children and our children's children. Now that you are here, White Man, the rivers bleed with contamination. The winds moan with the heavy weight of pollution in the air. The land vomits up the poisons which have been fed into it. Our Mother Earth is no longer clean and healthy. She is dying. White Man, in your greedy rush for money and power, you are destroying. Why must you have power over everything? Why can't you live in peace and harmony? Why can't you share the beauty and the wealth which Mother Earth has given us? You do not stop at confining us to small pieces of rock an muskeg. Where are the animals of the wilderness to go when there is no more wilderness? Why are the birds of the skies falling to their extinction? Is there joy for you when you bring down the mighty trees of our forests? No living things seems sacred to you. In the name of progress, everything is cut down. And progress means only profits. White Man, you say that we are a people without dignity. But when we are sick, weak, hungry, poor, when there is nothing for us but death, what are we to do? We cannot accept a life which has been imposed on us. You say that we are drunkards, that we live for drinking. But drinking is a way of dying. Dying without enjoying life. You have given us many diseases. It is true that you have found immunizations for many of these diseases. But this was done more for your own benefit. The worst disease, for which there is no immunity, is the disease of alcoholism. And you condemn us for being its easy victims. And those who do not condemn us weep for us and pity us. So, we the Indian people, we are still dying. The land we lost is dying, too. White Man, you have our land now. Respect it. As we once did. Take care of it. As we once did. Love it. As we once did. White Man, our wisdom is dying. As we are. But take heed, if Indian wisdom dies, you, White Man, will not be far behind. So weep not for us. Weep for yourselves. And for your children. And for their children. Because you are taking everything today. And tomorrow, there will be nothing left for them.
Beatrice Mosionier (In Search of April Raintree - Critical Edition)
Well, that was certainly a disgusting display worthy of your father's family." "Shut up, Ma," Lisa Livia said, her hands on her hips. "Like you weren't born in the Bronx, and the Fortunatos weren't a big step up for you. Now you listen to me. You try to move this wedding away from Two Rivers again, I'm gonna clean every skeleton out of every closet you got and make them dance, you hear me? I'll dig up everything you ever buried, including my daddy, and then I'll sink that beat-up rowboat you're living on so you'll be out in the street with nothing. Do not fuck with my kid and do not fuck with my friend, they are all the family I got, and they are off-limits to you. Understand?
Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman (The Organization, #0))
His colour subsided a little. He didn’t look at me. ‘To sit in peace. To drink in the silent hills. Listen to the murmur of the river. Breathe in the clean air. A chance for the things I’ve seen or done to be picked up and rolled away and buried deep.
Jodi Taylor (Long Shadows (Elizabeth Cage #3))
For the sake of a clean description, Kolmogorov imagined that these eddies fill the whole space of the fluid, making the fluid everywhere the same. This assumption, the assumption of homogeneity, turns out not to be true, and even Poincaré knew it forty years earlier, having seen at the rough surface of a river that the eddies always mix with regions of smooth flow. The vorticity is localized. Energy actually dissipates only in part of the space. At each scale, as you look closer at a turbulent eddy, new regions of calm come into view. Thus the assumption of homogeneity gives way to the assumption of intermittency. The intermittent picture, when idealized somewhat, looks highly fractal, with intermixed regions of roughness and smoothness on scales running down from the large to the small. This picture, too, turns out to fall somewhat short of the reality.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
—Have you ever seen the sunrise here? and as though she'd answered she hadn't, as though she'd answered at all —especially in winter. You'll see it in winter, it's moved south where the river's its widest and it comes up so fast, it's as if it just wanted to prove the day, get it established so it can loiter through the rest of it, spend the first damned half of your life complicating things in that eagerness to take on everything and straighten all of it out and the second half cleaning up the mess you've made of the first, that's what they won't understand. Finally realize you can't leave things better than you found them the best you can do is try not to leave them any worse but they won't forgive you, get toward the end of the day like the sun going down in Key West if you've ever seen that? They're all down there for the sunset, watching it drop like a bucket of blood and clapping and cheering the instant it disappears, cheer you out the door and damned glad to see the last of you.
William Gaddis (Carpenter's Gothic)
He served Adaira the first slice and grinned when she cast a wary look his way. “You made this?” “Aye,” he said, standing close to her, waiting. Adaira took her spoon and poked at the pie. “What’s in it, Jack?” “Oh, what all did we dump in there, Frae? Blackberries, strawberries, pimpleberries—” “Pimpleberries?” Frae gasped in alarm. “What’s a pim—” “Honey and butter and a dash of good luck,” he finished, his gaze remaining on Adaira. “All of your favorite things, as I recall, heiress.” Adaira stared at him, her face composed save for her pursed lips. She was trying not to laugh, he realized. He was suddenly flustered. “Heiress, I did not put pimpleberries in there,” Frae frantically said. “Oh, sweet lass, I know you didn’t,” Adaira said, turning a smile upon the girl. “Your brother is teasing me. You see, when we were your age, there was a great dinner in the hall one night. And Jack brought me a piece of pie, to say sorry for something he had done earlier that day. He looked so contrite that I foolishly believed him and took a bite, only to realize something was very strange about it.” “What was it?” Frae asked, as if she could not imagine Jack doing something so awful. “He called it a ‘pimpleberry’, but it was actually a small skin of ink,” Adaira replied. “And it stained my teeth for a week and made me very ill.” “Is this true, Jack?” Mirin cried, setting her teacup down with a clatter. “‘Tis truth,” he confessed, and before any of the women could say another word, he took the plate and the spoon from Adaira and ate a piece of the pie. It was delicious, but only because he and Frae had found and harvested the berries and rolled out the dough and talked about swords and books and baby cows while they made it. He swallowed the sweetness and said, “I believe this one is exceptional, thanks to Frae.” Mirin bustled into the kitchen to cut a new slice for Adaira and find her a clean utensil, muttering about how the mainland must have robbed Jack of all manners. But Adaira didn’t seem to hear. She took the plate from his hands, as well as the spoon, and ate after him.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
I peel the flax into strands and weave them into a short length of cord, which I then use to lash together a framework for the butterflied trout, a technique I learned on a course Mike and I went on before one of our Norway trips. I gather some wood and get a fire going, and I cook the fish. As banal as all that sounds, I am loving every minute of this. So I am going to repeat myself. Every second is infused with this heart-swelling awareness of my surroundings. Not only am I in this place of exceptional beauty, of tranquillity, of unsullied nature at its best, I am also cooking (over a fire I started from scratch) a fish that I caught in this river less than an hour ago, a fish that I then gutted, cleaned, butterflied and tethered to a tool of foraged wood that I bound together with cord I made from leaves that were, until not long ago, happily growing beside this river. I needed to reiterate that. It’s the most natural thing in the world, man as hunter-gatherer, living off the land. But it’s nearly all stuff that most of us have forgotten about, stuff that has been regrettably replaced with technology and noise and materialism.
Royd Tolkien (There's a Hole in my Bucket: A Journey of Two Brothers)
The Border: A Double Sonnet The border is a line that birds cannot see. The border is a beautiful piece of paper folded carelessly in half. The border is where flint first met steel, starting a century of fires. The border is a belt that is too tight, holding things up but making it hard to breathe. The border is a rusted hinge that does not bend. The border is the blood clot in the river’s vein. The border says Stop to the wind, but the wind speaks another language, and keeps going. The border is a brand, the “Double-X” of barbed wire scarred into the skin of so many. The border has always been a welcome stopping place but is now a Stop sign, always red. The border is a jump rope still there even after the game is finished. The border is a real crack in an imaginary dam. The border used to be an actual place but now it is the act of a thousand imaginations. The border, the word border, sounds like order, but in this place they do not rhyme. The border is a handshake that becomes a squeezing contest. The border smells like cars at noon and woodsmoke in the evening. The border is the place between the two pages in a book where the spine is bent too far. The border is two men in love with the same woman. The border is an equation in search of an equals sign. The border is the location of the factory where lightning and thunder are made. The border is “NoNo” the Clown, who can’t make anyone laugh. The border is a locked door that has been promoted. The border is a moat but without a castle on either side. The border has become Checkpoint Chale. The border is a place of plans constantly broken and repaired and broken. The border is mighty, but even the parting of the seas created a path, not a barrier. The border is a big, neat, clean, clear black line on a map that does not exist. The border is the line in new bifocals: below, small things get bigger; above, nothing changes. The border is a skunk with a white line down its back.
Alberto Alvaro Ríos (A Small Story about the Sky)
The ground was as clear and clean as Sal's own yard.
Kate Grenville (The Secret River)
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things
Mary Oliver
Whitehouse Road" Early in the morning when the sun does rise Layin' in the bed with bloodshot eyes Late in the evenin' when the sun sinks low Well that's about time my rooster crows I got women up and down this creek And they keep me going and my engine clean Run me ragged but I don't fret Cause there ain't been one slow me down none yet Get me drinking' that moonshine Get me higher than the grocery bill Take my troubles to the highwall Throw 'em in the river and get your fill We been sniffing that cocaine Ain't nothin' better when the wind cuts cold Lord it's a mighty hard livin' But a damn good feelin' to run these roads I got people try to tell me, Red Keep this livin' and you'll wind up dead Cast your troubles on the Lord of Lord's Or wind up laying on a coolin' board But I got buddies up White House Road And they keep me strutting when my feet hang low Rotgut whiskey gonna ease my pain 'N all this runnin's gonna keep me sane Get me drinking' that moonshine Get me higher than the grocery bill Take my troubles to the highwall Throw 'em in the river and get your fill We been sniffing that cocaine Ain't nothin' better when the wind cuts cold Lord it's a mighty hard livin' But a damn good feelin' to run these roads It's a damn good feelin' to run these roads When they lay me in the cold hard clay Won't ya sing them hymns while the banjo plays You can tell them ladies that they ought not frown Cause there ain't been nothing ever held me down Lawmen, women or a shallow grave Same ol' blues just a different day Get me drinking' that moonshine Get me higher than the grocery bill Take my troubles to the highwall Throw 'em in the river and get your fill We been sniffing that cocaine Ain't nothin' better when the wind cuts cold Lord it's a mighty hard livin' But a damn good feelin' to run these roads It's a damn good feelin' to run these roads It's a damn good feelin' to run these roads Tyler Childers, Purgatory (2017)
Tyler Childers
Ashes clean brass, copper by tamarind is cleaned, menstruation cleans a woman, a river by its speeding flow is cleaned.
Rajen Jani (Old Chanakya Strategy: Aphorisms)
I have some items of clothing I need to clean. Which I’m going to go do. Down at the stream. By myself.”   “Didn’t everything you own get soaked when you took a dive into the river earlier?”   “Getting something wet doesn’t make it clean. You don’t do laundry by dipping it in water and hoping for the best.”   “You don’t?”   Kyra grabbed her pack and set off down the hill.   “You need some help?” He called after her. “I’m really good at dipping things in water and hoping for the best.”   “I’ll be just fine, thank you.”   Fred shrugged and put another twig on the fire.
Bridget Zinn (Poison)
Drink and be drunk with me, Melanippos. Do you think when you have crossed the great fuming river, you will ever return from Hell to see the clean bright light of the sun? Do not strive for wild hopes. Even the son of Aiolos, King Sisyphos, wisest of men, thought he had eluded death. But for all his brains Fate made him recross Acheron, and the son of Kronos assigned him a terrible trial below the dark earth. Come, I beg you not to brood about these hopeless matters while we are young. We will suffer what must be suffered. When the wind is waiting in the north, a good captain will not swing into the open sea.
Alcaeus
Without taking use of ox or man, Or of creature as Mary desired, Without spinning thread of silk or of satin, Without sowing, without harrowing, without reaping, Without rowing, without games, without fishing, Without going to the hunting hill, Without trimming arrows on the Lord's Day, Without cleaning byre, without threshing corn, Without kiln, without mill on the Lord's Day. Whosoever would keep the Lord's Day, Even would it be to him and lasting, From setting of sun on Saturday Till rising of sun on Monday.17 Beltaine remained the central festival in the cycle of the agricultural pastoral year, the season of light, the time of growth. It was then that the sheep and cattle would be driven up to the summer pastures, the “shielings” in Scotland, the “hafods” in Wales. This was a virtual migration since these might be six or eight or even twelve or fourteen miles away, and it often meant crossing land that was rough and rugged or full of swamps, even sometimes having to swim across channels or rivers. The procession included the men carrying spades, ropes, and other things that might be needed to repair their summer huts, while the women carried the bedding, meal, and dairy utensils. As they went, there were songs to be sung on the journey, a dedicatory hymn to the Trinity and to the most familiar of the saints, Michael, Bride, and Columba, respectively the protector, the woman who knew about dairies, the guardian of their cattle—and, of course, to Mary herself, who on this occasion they address as mother of the White Lamb: Valiant Michael of the white steeds, Who subdued the Dragon of blood, For love of God, for pains of Mary's Son, Spread
Esther de Waal (The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination)
You talked about some stones you found a while ago,” he says. “Three years.” Mee-Hae quickly turns around to face him, holding her unwashed panties. From this close, they smell prominently feminine to the Monk’s highly evolved nose. Mee-Hae Ra throws them with her faultless aim to a basket twenty feet away; she’ll have to wash them in the river later. “Your a while ago is actually three years,” she says. “You didn’t pay attention then. I wonder what happened? You even brought the rarest tea on the planet!” She throws a piercing gaze at him. Her pouty lips make her look angry. Abandoning her cleaning, she approaches the balcony, holding the tea package. “It looks hand-procured,” she mutters. “By any chance, did you pluck it yourself?” She looks at the Monk and already gets the answer that a modest monk won’t provide.
Misba (The Oldest Dance (Wisdom Revolution, #2))
I became aware that I was repeating certain actions: checking that doors were locked, cookers were turned off, basins and toilet bowls were clean. Connected with these things were strange, repetitive rituals:
Jeremy Wade (River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones that Didn't Get Away)
president Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug cartels in 2006, just two weeks after taking office in the most closely contested election in Mexican history. Calderón campaigned on a promise to “clean up the streets,” and more than 100,000 murders were officially tallied by the end of his six-year tenure.
Francisco Cantú (The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border)
I took a step back. He was right. I did have a problem. I… I… I was racist. I’d become that which I’d hated all my life. These guys didn’t see themselves as black and white and brown as I did. They simply saw themselves as Latinos, as cubanos and panameños and mexicanos, and… and as brothers. I gripped my head. My mind was reeling. I decided to go outside to get some fresh air. The air was crisp and clean. I took a big, deep breath. Then it hit me like a sledgehammer between the eyes. Then words weren’t reality. They were “labels” that were placed on reality. I began to shiver, this thought WAS SO GREAT! Then words were like maps, and a map could tell us about a state or nation, but a map wasn’t that state or nation any more than words were the person or place we were referring to. I mean, I could get a map that laid out the freeway systems of California, the towns and cities, and I could get another map that laid out the rivers and mountain ranges, the valleys, the different types of vegetation at different elevations, and yet all this information would still never give me the reality of California.
Victor Villaseñor (Crazy Loco Love)
To put my explanation in its boldest and most surprising form: bad news is manmade, top–down, purposed stuff, imposed on history. Good news is accidental, unplanned, emergent stuff that gradually evolves. The things that go well are largely unintended; the things that go badly are largely intended. Let me give you two lists. First: the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Versailles Treaty, the Great Depression, the Nazi regime, the Second World War, the Chinese Revolution, the 2008 financial crisis: every single one was the result of top–down decision-making by relatively small numbers of people trying to implement deliberate plans – politicians, central bankers, revolutionaries and so on. Second: the growth of global income; the disappearance of infectious diseases; the feeding of seven billion; the clean-up of rivers and air; the reforestation of much of the rich world; the internet; the use of mobile-phone credits as banking; the use of genetic fingerprinting to convict criminals and acquit the innocent. Every single one of these was a serendipitous, unexpected phenomenon supplied by millions of people who did not intend to cause these big changes.
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
A broken cloud of small birds can't make up its mind which tree to land in. First they fly to one, then the other, then back again. Like me, they are vagrant, having no focus. And the world is new again, and I feel clean and happy that nearly every morning for the last sixty-odd years I have popped into the world for a while and at the end of the day popped out again, and eventually the day will come when my song will end and that is all fine. I don't need to do anything, I don't need to be Sisyphus rolling his stone. I can be happy, just watching and listening and tasting the air without thinking, without doing. My beard is white, through sun or years; my head as smooth as a river stone. My autumn has come and I'm ripening - how sweet that is! How sweet a flower I'll try to be.
Marc Hamer (Seed to Dust: A Gardener's Story)
The number of Thine own complete, Sum up and make an end; Sift clean the chaff, and house the wheat— And then, O Lord, descend. “Descend, and solve by that descent, This mystery of life; Where good and ill, together blent, Wage an undying strife. “For rivers twain are gushing still, And pour a mingled flood; Good in the very depths of ill— Ill in the heart of good. “The last are first, the first are last, As angel eyes behold; These from the sheepcote sternly cast, Those welcomed to the fold. “No Christian home, no pastor’s eye, No preacher’s vocal zeal, Moved Thy dear martyr to defy The prison and the wheel. “Forth from the heathen ranks she stepped The forfeit throne to claim Of Christian souls who had not kept Their birthright and their name. “Grace formed her out of sinful dust; She knelt a soul defiled; She rose in all the faith and trust And sweetness of a child. “And in the freshness of that love She preached by word and deed, The mysteries of the world above— Her new-found glorious creed. “And running, in a little hour, Of life the course complete, She reached the throne of endless power, And sits at Jesus’ feet. “Her spirit there, her body here, Make one the earth and sky; We use her name, we touch her bier, We know her God is nigh.
John Henry Newman (Callista: Historical Novel - A Tale of the Third Century)
Soft washed river sand is still the best toy ever invented for children. It serves countless other purposes too. It cannot be beat for scouring dirty pots and pans and for cleaning wooden floors. Mixed with burnt powdered clam shells, you have the finest cement. Take a smooth slab of wood and cover it with tree or bush resin, sprinkle different colored river sand on the sticky resin to form colored pictures. River sand laid under animal traps prevent them from freezing down even in the coldest weather. River sand makes fine sidewalks and good insulation under buildings.
George Leonard Herter (How to Get out of the Rat Race and Live on $10 a Month)
for the government to clean and bring life back to the Río Magdalena. All of it. That’s what we want. And that’s what the country needs.
Wade Davis (Magdalena: River of Dreams)
It was tough. I was trying to walk away from guilt and shame, and it wasn’t easy: guilt and shame had more guns than I did. But fear lies, hiding self-disgust in self-justification, and sometimes you don’t know how afraid you were, until you leave all your fearful friends. I felt things that I’d justified and rationalised for too long fall like leaves, washed from my body by a waterfall. Alone is a current in truth’s river, like togetherness. Alone has its own fidelity. But when you navigate that closer view of the shore, it often seems that the faith you have in yourself is all the faith there is. I took a deep breath, put my heart in the decision, and made a mental note to clean and load my gun.
Gregory David Roberts (The Mountain Shadow)
The First Water is the Body (excerpt) The Colorado River is the most endangered river in the United States—also, it is a part of my body. I carry a river. It is who I am: ‘Aha Makav. This is not metaphor. When a Mojave says, Inyech ‘Aha Makavch ithuum, we are saying our name. We are telling a story of our existence. The river runs through the middle of my body. --- What threatens white people is often dismissed as myth. I have never been true in America. America is my myth. --- When Mojaves say the word for tears, we return to our word for river, as if our river were flowing from our eyes. A great weeping is how you might translate it. Or a river of grief. --- I mean river as a verb. A happening. It is moving within me right now. --- The body is beyond six senses. Is sensual. An ecstatic state of energy, always on the verge of praying, or entering any river of movement. Energy is a moving river moving my moving body. In Mojave thinking, body and land are the same. The words are separated only by the letters ‘ii and ‘a: ‘iimat for body, ‘amat for land. In conversation, we often use a shortened form for each: mat-. Unless you know the context of a conversation, you might not know if we are speaking about our body or our land. You might not know which has been injured, which is remembering, which is alive, which was dreamed, which needs care. You might not know we mean both. --- What is this third point, this place that breaks a surface, if not the deep-cut and crooked bone bed where the Colorado River runs—a one-thousand-four-hundred-and-fifty-mile thirst—into and through a body? Berger called it the pre-verbal. Pre-verbal as in the body when the body was more than body. Before it could name itself body and be limited, bordered by the space body indicated. Pre-verbal is the place where the body was yet a green-blue energy greening, greened and bluing the stone, red and floodwater, the razorback fish, the beetle, and the cottonwoods’ and willows’ shaded shadows. Pre-verbal was when the body was more than a body and possible. One of its possibilities was to hold a river within it. --- If I was created to hold the Colorado River, to carry its rushing inside me, if the very shape of my throat, of my thighs is for wetness, how can I say who I am if the river is gone? --- Where I come from we cleanse ourselves in the river. I mean: The water makes us strong and able to move forward into what is set before us to do with good energy. We cannot live good, we cannot live at all, without water. If your builder could place a small red bird in your chest to beat as your heart, is it so hard for you to picture the blue river hurtling inside the slow muscled curves of my long body? Is it too difficult to believe it is as sacred as a breath or a star or a sidewinder or your own mother or your beloveds? If I could convince you, would our brown bodies and our blue rivers be more loved and less ruined? The Whanganui River in New Zealand now has the same legal rights of a human being. In India, the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers now have the same legal status of a human being. Slovenia’s constitution now declares access to clean drinking water to be a national human right. While in the United States, we are teargassing and rubber-bulleting and kenneling Natives trying to protect their water from pollution and contamination at Standing Rock in North Dakota. We have yet to discover what the effects of lead-contaminated water will be on the children of Flint, Michigan, who have been drinking it for years. America is a land of bad math and science. The Right believes Rapture will save them from the violence they are delivering upon the earth and water; the Left believes technology, the same technology wrecking the earth and water, will save them from the wreckage or help them build a new world on Mars. ---
Natalie Díaz (Postcolonial Love Poem)
I had bad feelings about an election in the year of the monkey. Don't worry, everyone said, the majority rules. No so, I retaliated, the silent rule and it will be decided by them, those who do not vote. And who can blame them, when it's all a pack of lies, a tainted election lined in waste? A true darkening of days. All of the resources that could be used to scrape away lead from the walls of crumbling schools, to shelter the homeless, or to clean a foul river. Instead, one candidate desperately shovels money down a pit, and the other builds empty edifices in his own name, another kind of immoral waste. Nonetheless, despite the misgivings, I voted.
Patti Smith (Year of the Monkey)
The boundary between now and not yet will softly blur. And the clean line between your discrete body and all creation will someday be no more.
Lawrence Kushner (The River of Light: Jewish Mystical Awareness)
When she was teaching us to garden, cook, read, clean, sew, she said she was preparing us for life. Well, life has changed a lot in the years since she was my age, but somehow the lessons haven’t really changed. They’ve evolved. And I want to be part of that.
Robyn Carr (Wild Man Creek (Virgin River, #12))
Likewise, Peony knew that neither Miss Alice nor Mr. Franklin would notice at all—because to them both, Peony was an invisible presence in the house—a nonperson who did the cooking and the serving and the cleaning up, but who was not supposed to cause any unfortunate ripples in the mirror-calm surface of the family home. So Peony went back to slicing the tomatoes and wiping her eyes, and all because of what she had in her apron pocket—a letter from her big sister, Pansy. From her sister in prison.
Augusta Trobaugh (River Jordan)
Your right is to work, and not to expect the fruit. The slave-owner tells the slave: ‘Mind your work, but beware lest you pluck a fruit from the garden. Yours is to take what I give.’ God has put us under restriction in the same manner. He tells us that we may work if we wish, but that the reward of work is entirely for Him to give. Our duty is to pray to Him, and the best way in which we can do this is to work with the pick-axe, to remove scum from the river and to sweep and clean our yards. This, certainly, is a difficult lesson to learn.
Mahatma Gandhi (Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi)
clean-cut. She has freckles!
Robyn Carr (Wild Man Creek (Virgin River, #12))
Does anyone come to New York clean? I'm afraid not. But crossing the Hudson I thought of crossing Lethe, milky river of forgetting.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
Overcome, the eunuch looked out at the rugged landscape that surrounded them and shouted, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” We don’t know how long that question, brimming with such childlike joy it wrenches the heart, hung vulnerable as a drop of water in the desert air. At another time in his life, Philip might have pointed to the eunuch’s ethnicity, or his anatomy, or his inability to gain access to the ceremonial baths that made a person clean. But instead, with no additional conversation between the travelers, the chariot lumbered to a halt and Philip baptized the eunuch in the first body of water the two could find. It might have been a river, or it might have been a puddle in the road. Philip got out of God’s way. He remembered that what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth--the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives
John Irving (Dernière Nuit à Twisted River (Cadre vert))
Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill? Herodotus,
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Are you good to go? Because I should get that nap or I’ll be useless tonight.” “Go,” he said. “We’re going to do stuff.” “Now remember, always—” “Wear seat belts, make frequent bathroom stops, never let her out of my sight,” he finished for her. “And never—” “Send her into the ladies’ room. I will take her into the men’s room with me, if necessary, make sure it’s clean and private and, when possible, use the handicapped facility for privacy. And plenty of vegetables and nothing that tastes fun.” “You don’t have to be a wise a—” He grinned. But
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
Your river is gorgeous.” I leaned through a cloud of clean-smelling hair tonic to kiss his cheek. “It was gleaming with fish when we crossed it.” “Glad you’re keen on the trout.
Paula McLain (Circling the Sun)
Who were you before they touched you? Kissed your whole mouth clean? Pressed you into the quiet concave of The Earth? Pinned your wings there? I loved you before it happened. That soft un-stripping of yourself. How they poured concrete into your hollows. Pushed you into every river they could find." - "Feathers
Azra. T
Who were you before they touched you? Kissed your whole mouth clean? Pressed you into the quiet concave of The Earth? Pinned your wings there? I loved you before it happened. That soft un-stripping of yourself. How they poured concrete into your hollows. Pushed you into every river they could find." - "Feathers
Azra. T
if every individual sweeps in front of their house, the community will be clean. If the community is clean; our coastal ecosystems (rivers, lagoons, wetlands etc) shall be clear clean waters.
Lailah Gifty Akita
People came to our house from far and wide. Party and military bigwigs, some guy known as the “combat commander,” the village headman, and various hangers-on all made an appearance. Though our house was in the depths of the mountains, they somehow all managed to get there. They were no fools. They knew we had delicious food and drink to share. They knew that our crummy Japanese house was—shock and horror—clean. And, perhaps most important, they knew that there was an abundance of alcohol to be had.
Masaji Ishikawa (A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea)
It magnifies your carbon footprint. If you cut back your animal food intake, you can make a big impact on planet Earth. Each year we eat billions of pounds of meat and drink billions of gallons of dairy products from billions of animals. In doing so, we not only contribute to inhumane animal practices, but we are responsible for the use of large amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to produce animal feed, as well as large volumes of water and fuel to take animals to market. Byproducts of animal food production include greenhouse gas emissions, toxic manure lagoons, deforestation, and pollution of groundwater, rivers, streams, and oceans. According to a recent analysis conducted by CleanMetrics for the Environmental Working Group, greenhouse gas emissions generated by conventionally raising lamb, beef, cheese, pork, and farmed salmon—from growing the animals’ food to disposing of the unused food—far exceed those from other food choices like lentils and beans.26
Sharon Palmer (The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today)
September 12   Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan . . . and you will be cleansed. —2 Kings 5:10       The Lord of Israel will never heal an arrogant sinner who thinks he is better than others. In God’s view, there is only one class of sinners: the worst class. Whether publican or Pharisee, the Jewish Saul or the Syrian leper Naaman, every sinner must repent and believe in Jesus Christ. No proud sinner will ever be saved unless he first humbles himself and trusts in Christ alone. In 2 Kings 5, we read that Naaman came to Elisha with his own view of salvation. Asserting that he was a “first-class” sinner, he thought he should come through a different gate than others. He wanted a more dignified gospel, not the gospel of the cross. No, Naaman. You must surrender totally to God’s way of salvation. God had to humble the arrogant Naaman. So instead of sending Elisha personally to greet him, he sent Elisha’s servant Gehazi with the following message: “Mr. Naaman, it is clear that you are a leper. Here is the cure for your leprosy. Go down to the Jordan River—not to the rivers of Damascus, which you think have cleaner water—and immerse yourself in the Jordan seven times, and you will be healed.” Naaman was offended because Elisha did not give him preferential treatment. In fact, he almost missed his healing because of his pride. His wise servants, though, persuaded him to heed the prophet’s counsel. And so he humbled himself, went to the Jordan, and stripped off his regalia, displaying his leprosy for all to see. He immersed himself in the muddy waters of the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. Where there is obedience, there is faith. Where there is faith, there is obedience. And as he obeyed, Naaman was cured of his leprosy. If we seek salvation our own way, whether in materialism, philosophy, science, good deeds, or in any other religion, we will not find it. Jesus Christ alone is Savior. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I urge you, do not be offended by the gospel and die in your sins. Follow Naaman into the river Jordan. Call upon the name of the Lord, and be washed clean.
P.G. Mathew (Daily Delight: Meditations from the Scriptures)
The "you're wrong and I'm right" thinking keeps us in a certain kind of prison... This righteous indignation, this dogma you feel that the world will go under if things don't go your way, is actually a form of aggression. This is true even if the belief is so-called good; for instance, the belief that we need to clean up pollution in the rivers. When we hold on tightly to a certain way of seeing things, we're poisoning ourselves and it doesn't bring any happiness to ourselves or anyone else. Our good views don't produce good results because they're coming from such panic, such aggression, and such determination to have it our way. And there's so much sense of an enemy.
Pema Chödrön