Clouds Beauty Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Clouds Beauty. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)
Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
Bob Marley
Not into older guys, huh?" asked Adrian once we were alone. "You're imagining things," I said. "Clearly, my stunning beauty has clouded your mind.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud...
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
She was a beautiful dreamer. The kind of girl, who kept her head in the clouds, loved above the stars and left regret beneath the earth she walked on.
Robert M. Drake
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
John Lubbock (The Use Of Life)
Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
I painted stars and the moon and clouds and just endless, dark sky.” I finished the sixth, and was well on my way sawing through the seventh before I said, “I never knew why. I rarely went outside at night—usually, I was so tired from hunting that I just wanted to sleep. But I wonder … ” I pulled out the seventh and final arrow. “I wonder if some part of me knew what was waiting for me. That I would never be a gentle grower of things, or someone who burned like fire—but that I would be quiet and enduring and as faceted as the night. That I would have beauty, for those who knew where to look, and if people didn’t bother to look, but to only fear it … Then I didn’t particularly care for them, anyway. I wonder if, even in my despair and hopelessness, I was never truly alone. I wonder if I was looking for this place—looking for you all.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL LEE; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsman came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea. The angels, not half so happy in heaven, Went envying her and me- Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Edgar Allan Poe
This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I stood willingly and gladly in the characters of everything - other people, trees, clouds. And this is what I learned, that the world's otherness is antidote to confusion - that standing within this otherness - the beauty and the mystery of the world, out in the fields or deep inside books - can re-dignify the worst-stung heart.
Mary Oliver
Cress?" "It's beautiful out there." A hesitation, before, "Could you be more specific?" "The sky is gorgeous, intense blue color." She pressed her fingers to the glass and traced the wavy hills on the horizon. "Oh, good. You've really narrowed it down for me." "I'm sorry, it's just..." She tried to stamp down the rush of emotion. "I think we're in a desert." "Cactuses and tumbleweeds?" "No just a lot of sand. It's kind of orangish-gold, with hints of pink, and I can see tiny clouds of it floating above the ground, like...like smoke." "Piles up in lots of hills?" "Yes, exactly! And it's beautiful." Thorne snorted. "If this is how you feel about a desert, I can't wait until you see your first real tree. Your mind will explode.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Being human means throwing your whole life on the scales of destiny when need be, all the while rejoicing in every sunny day and every beautiful cloud.
Rosa Luxemburg
Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices, That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open, and show riches Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.
William Shakespeare (The Tempest)
Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. The sun might shine, or the clouds might lour: but nothing could appear to me as it had done the day before.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
we are all beautiful even as we are all part of the problem, and that to be a part of the problem is to be human
Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land)
Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.
Edward Abbey
What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can’t be trusted—? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight towards a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
We are all unkind from time to time. We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it's like chasing clouds.
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
The moon will never lie to anyone. Be like the moon. No one hates the moon or wants to kill it. The moon does not take antidepressants and never gets sent to prison. The moon never shot a guy in the face and ran away. The moon has been around a long time and has never tried to rip anyone off. The moon does not care who you want to touch or what color you are. The moon treats everyone the same. The moon never tries to get in on the guest list or use your name to impress others. Be like the moon. When others insult or belittle in an attempt to elevate themselves, the moon sits passively and watches, never lowering itself to anything that weak. The moon is beautiful and bright. It needs no makeup to look beautiful. The moon never shoves clouds out of its way so it can be seen. The moon needs not fame or money to be powerful. The moon never asks you to go to war to defend it. Be like the moon.
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
Penelope Douglas (Bully (Fall Away, #1))
strange how suffering can look beautiful if you get far enough away
Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land)
She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.
Terri St. Cloud
I'm not explaining this right. What happened was this. There were these beautiful feelings and loose little pleasures inside me. And this woman was something like an assembly line for my soul. I run these little pieces of myself through her and I come out complete. Now do you follow me?
Carson McCullers (A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud (Creative Short Stories Series))
The world is a dream, you say, and it’s lovely, sometimes. Sunset. Clouds. Sky.” “No. The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?
Richard Bach (Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
what's so beautiful about a fool is that a fool never knows when to give up
Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Every day was like a day out of someone else's life. Nothing had ever happened to me, and now everything was happening to me -- and by everything, I really meant Lena. An hour was both faster and slower. I felt like I had sucked the air out of a giant balloon, like my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen. Clouds were more interesting, the lunchroom less disgusting, music sounded better, the same old jokes were funnier, and Jackson went from being a clump of grayish-green industrial buildings to a map of times and places where I might run into her. I found myself smiling for no reason, keeping my earphones in and replaying our conversations in my head, just so I could listen to them again. I had seen this kind of thing before. I had just never felt it.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
When we see grey clouds and lightning causing a storm; God shows us His rainbow in its most beautiful form.
Carolyn Cutler Hughes
and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked I cried to dream again.
William Shakespeare (The Tempest)
It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: 'there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress - what did I know - until now?
Unica Zürn
Finished in a frenzy that reminded me of our last night in Cambridge. Watched my final sunrise. Enjoyed a last cigarette. Didn’t think the view could be any more perfect until I saw that beat-up trilby. Honestly, Sixsmith, as ridiculous as that thing makes you look, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. Watched you for as long as I dared. I don’t believe it was a fluke that I saw you first. I believe there is another world waiting for us, Sixsmith. A better world, and I’ll be waiting for you there. I believe we do not stay dead long. Find me beneath the Corsican stars, where we first kissed. Yours eternally, R.F.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Light is always more beautiful when it has to fight to be noticed, like sunlight fighting through the clouds after a rainstorm.
Nick Miller (Isn't It Pretty To Think So?)
Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton... I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by... If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations... What do you think you see, Linus?" "Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean... That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor... And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen... I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side..." "Uh huh... That's very good... What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?" "Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960)
There’s something beautiful about keeping certain aspects of your life hidden. Maybe people and clouds are beautiful because you can’t see everything.
Kamenashi Kazuya
You're imagining things. Clearly, my stunning beauty has clouded your mind. -Rose Hathaway
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
My experiences remind me that it's those black clouds that make the blue skies even more beautiful.
Kelly Clarkson
There are days when she mourns the prospect of another year, another decade, another century. There are nights when she cannot sleep, moments when she lies awake and dreams of dying. But then she wakes, and sees the pink and orange dawn against the clouds, or hears the lament of a lone fiddle, the music and the melody, and remembers there is such beauty in the world. And she does not want to miss it—any of it.
Victoria Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Perhaps those deprived of beauty perceive it most instinctively.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Because music, like color, or a cloud, is neither intelligent nor unintelligent - it just is. The chord, the simplest building block for even the tritest, silliest chart song, is a beautiful, perfect, mysterious thing, and when an ill-read, uneducated, uncultured, emotionally illiterate boor puts a couple of them together, he has every chance of creating something wonderful and powerful. All I ask of music is that is sounds good.
Nick Hornby (Songbook)
A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world and the responsibilities of your life. Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away. Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance. In the glare of your mind, be modest. And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
Mary Oliver (The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)
Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me" Last night the rain spoke to me slowly, saying, what joy to come falling out of the brisk cloud, to be happy again in a new way on the earth! That’s what it said as it dropped, smelling of iron, and vanished like a dream of the ocean into the branches and the grass below. Then it was over. The sky cleared. I was standing under a tree. The tree was a tree with happy leaves, and I was myself, and there were stars in the sky that were also themselves at the moment, at which moment my right hand was holding my left hand which was holding the tree which was filled with stars and the soft rain— imagine! imagine! the wild and wondrous journeys still to be ours.
Mary Oliver (What Do We Know)
Nix to Declan: Begin transcript— Testing. Hello, hellooo, anybody out there? Check, check, one, two. Soft pee. Puh, puh. Resonance! Sooooooft pee. Alpha bravo disco tango duck. This is Nïx! I’m the Ever-Knowing One, a goddess incandescent, incomparable, and irresistible. But enough about what you think of me. It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans. The wind is out of the east at a steady five knots and clouds look like rabbits … But enough about what you think of me! Now, down to business— Squirrel! Where was I? [Long pause] Why am I in Regin’s car? Bertil, you crawl right back out of that bong this minute! Oh, I remember! I am hereby laying down this track for Magister Declan Chase. If you are a mortal of the recorder peon class, know that Dekko and I go waaaaay back, and he’ll go berserk (snicker snicker) if he doesn’t receive this transmittal. … Chase, riddle me this: what’s beautiful but monstrous, long of tooth but sharp of tooth and soft of mind, and can never ever tell a lie? That’s right. The Enemy of Old can be very useful to you. So use him already. P.S. Your middle name’s about to be spelled r-e-g-r-e-t. And with that, I must bid you adieu. Don’t worry, we’ll catch up very soon. … [Muffled] Who’s mummy’s wittle echolocator? That’s right—you are! —End transcript
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers.
Peter Matthiessen
Max," she said. He turned and briefly closed his eyes as the girl continued. There was once a strange, small man,"she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. "But there was a word shaker,too." One of the Jews on his way to Dachau had stopped walking now. He stood absolutely still as the others swerved morosely around him, leaving him completely alone. His eyes staggered, and it was so simple. The words were given across from the girl to the Jew. They climbed on to him. The next time she spoke, the questions stumbled from her mouth. Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she would not let them out. Better to stand resolute and proud. Let the words do all of it. "Is it really you? the young man asked," she said. " Is it from your cheek that I took the seed.?" Max Vandenburg remained standing. He did not drop to his knees. People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched. As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and magnificent. There were heavy beams-- planks of son-- falling randomly, wonderfully to the road. Clouds arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. "It's such a beautiful day," he said, and his voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die,like this. Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enought to reach out and hold his bearded face. "Is it really you,Max?" Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd. He let his mouth kiss her palm. "Yes, Liesel, it's me," and he held the girl's hand in his face and cried onto her fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
In Nature, things are broken with a purpose—clouds break to pour rains, rivers break to water fields, fields break to yield crops, seeds break to yield plants … so if ever you feel broken, understand that you must be part of a better and more beautiful purpose...
Debashis Dey
People give flowers as presents because flowers contain the true meaning of love. Anyone tries to possess a flower will have to watch its beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower on a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the evening and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
Tell me, enigmatical man, whom do you love best, your father, Your mother, your sister, or your brother? I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother. Your friends? Now you use a word whose meaning I have never known. Your country? I do not know in what latitude it lies. Beauty? I could indeed love her, Goddess and Immortal. Gold? I hate it as you hate God. Then, what do you love, extraordinary stranger? I love the clouds the clouds that pass up there Up there the wonderful clouds!
Charles Baudelaire
[Daniel] was still glowing, as if lit from within. She could still clearly see his violet-gray eyes and his full mouth. His strong hands and broad shoulders. She could reach out and fold herself into her love's light. He reached for her. Luce closed her eyes at his touch, expecting something too otherworldly for her human body to withstand. But no. It was simply, reassuringly, Daniel. She reached around his back to finger his wings. She reached for them nervously, as if they could burn her, but they flowed around her fingers, softer than the smoothest velvet, the plushest rug. The way she'd like to imagine that a fluffy, sun-drenched cloud would feel if she could cup it in her hands. "You're so...beautiful.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
I found every breath of air, and every scent, and every flower and leaf and blade of grass and every passing cloud, and everything in nature, more beautiful and wonderful to me than I had ever found it yet. This was my first gain from my illness. How little I had lost, when the wide world was so full of delight for me.
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn’t sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can’t fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don’t stand a chance. We’re mired in gravity, we’re earthbound. We’re ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.
Margaret Atwood
If she were (looking into my eyes), she’d have seen how absolutely floored I was the first time I finally, truly saw her. The clouds moved at just the right moment, fully lighting her face by the moon. She was dazzlingly beautiful. Underneath thick lashes were eyes blue as ice, something cool to balance out the flames in her hair. I felt a strange flutter in my chest, like the glow of a fireplace or the warmth of the afternoon. It stayed there for a moment, playing with my pulse.
Kiera Cass (The Prince (The Selection, #0.5))
Laments of an Icarus The paramours of courtesans Are well and satisfied, content. But as for me my limbs are rent Because I clasped the clouds as mine. I owe it to the peerless stars Which flame in the remotest sky That I see only with spent eyes Remembered suns I knew before. In vain I had at heart to find The center and the end of space. Beneath some burning, unknown gaze I feel my very wings unpinned And, burned because I beauty loved, I shall not know the highest bliss, And give my name to the abyss Which waits to claim me as its own.
Charles Baudelaire
Why did you leave him?" The sigh that was Nora’s first answer billowed out in front of her in a cloud of white. "Winter," she finally said, "can be so beautiful and so cruel. Cruel and cold. And if you live in the presence of winter you never have summer." Nora stepped close to him and put her nose at his cheek. "You smell like summer.
Tiffany Reisz (The Angel (The Original Sinners, #2))
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know. Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in the day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it’s the day that is temporary. Day is the illusion. Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self. With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins. The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark’s patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out. The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow. The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
Matthew Woodring Stover
...And I wish that while walking in your life's lane, you come across and walk with dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let all the positive spirit & energies of this universe come together this way, your way, making every journey of your life most beautiful, fulfilling and prideful. Let the world feel blessed and continue to get better by touch of your elegance.
smishra
The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
If one of the things you believe in, Is that this world's an ugly place, You must have never gone outside at, And stared up into space, You haven't felt the way the air changes, In the minutes before it rains, Or watched the world pass by below, Out the window of a plane, You've never been awake so early, That you see the moment the sun starts to rise, And you've never lain with your back on the grass, And made shapes with the clouds in the sky, But maybe if you've done all this, But still don't believe it's not true, It's because you can't see all the beauty, That I see when I look at you" ~e.h.
Erin Hanson (Reverie (The Poetic Underground #1))
One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, "How beautiful the world could be...
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
But now she loved winter. Winter was beautiful "up back" - almost intolerably beautiful. Days of clear brilliance. Evenings that were like cups of glamour - the purest vintage of winter's wine. Nights with their fire of stars. Cold, exquisite winter sunrises. Lovely ferns of ice all over the windows of the Blue Castle. Moonlight on birches in a silver thaw. Ragged shadows on windy evenings - torn, twisted, fantastic shadows. Great silences, austere and searching. Jewelled, barbaric hills. The sun suddenly breaking through grey clouds over long, white Mistawis. Ice-grey twilights, broken by snow-squalls, when their cosy living-room, with its goblins of firelight and inscrutable cats, seemed cosier than ever. Every hour brought a new revalation and wonder.
L.M. Montgomery (The Blue Castle)
The Day is Done The day is done, and the darkness Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward From an eagle in his flight. I see the lights of the village Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist: A feeling of sadness and longing, That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain. Come, read to me some poem, Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the thoughts of day. Not from the grand old masters, Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time. For, like strains of martial music, Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest. Read from some humbler poet, Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer, Or tears from the eyelids start; Who, through long days of labor, And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies. Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction That follows after prayer. Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice, And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice. And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems)
He was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons. You could see a bare tree on the skyline bent by the wind, holding up twisted branches and bent twigs, and suddenly its formless form would resolve itself into that of the trickster.
A.S. Byatt (Ragnarok: The End of the Gods)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in… And someone’s face, whom you love, will be as a star Both intimate and ultimate, And you will be heart-shaken and respectful. And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper Oh let me, for a while longer, enter the two Beautiful bodies of your lungs... Look, and look again. This world is not just a little thrill for your eyes. It’s more than bones. It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse. It’s more than the beating of a single heart. It’s praising. It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving. You have a life- just imagine that! You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe Still another… And I have become the child of the clouds, and of hope. I have become the friend of the enemy, whoever that is. I have become older and, cherishing what I have learned, I have become younger. And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know? Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
Mary Oliver (Evidence: Poems)
This is my last letter There will be no others. This is the last grey cloud That will rain on you, After this, you will never again Know the rain. This is the last drop of wine in my cup There will be no more drunkenness. This is the last letter of madness, The last letter of childhood. After me you will no longer know The purity of youth The beauty of madness. I have loved you Like a child running from school Hiding birds and poems In his pockets. With you I was a child of Hallucinations, Distractions, Contradictions, I was a child of poetry and nervous writing. As for you, You were a woman of Eastern ways Waiting for her fate to appear In the lines of the coffee cups. How miserable you are, my lady, After today You won't be in the blue notebooks, In the pages of the letters, In the cry of the candles, In the mailman's bag. You won't be Inside the children's sweets In the colored kites. You won't be in the pain of the letters In the pain of the poems. You have exiled yourself From the gardens of my childhood You are no longer poetry.
Nizar Qabbani (Arabian Love Poems: Full Arabic and English Texts (Three Continents Press))
It may be laid down as a general rule that if a man begins to sing, no one will take any notice of his song except his fellow human beings. This is true even if his song is surpassingly beautiful. Other men may be in raptures at his skill, but the rest of creation is, by and large, unmoved. Perhaps a cat or a dog may look at him; his horse, if it is an exceptionally intelligent beast, may pause in cropping the grass, but that is the extent of it. But when the fairy sang, the whole world listened to him. Stephen felt clouds pause in their passing; he felt sleeping hills shift and murmur; he felt cold mists dance. He understood for the first time that the world is not dumb at all, but merely waiting for someone to speak to it in a language it understands. In the fairy's song the earth recognized the names by which it called itself.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
When I start reading I'm somewhere completely different, I'm in the text, it's amazing, I have to admit I've been dreaming, dreaming in a land of great beauty, I've been in the very heart of truth. Ten times a day, every day, I wonder at having wandered so far, and then, alienated from myself, a stranger to myself, I go home, walking the streets silently and in deep meditation, passing trams and cars and pedestrians in a cloud of books, the books I found that day and am carrying home in my briefcase.
Bohumil Hrabal (Too Loud a Solitude)
She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable? You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers. (kindle location 2950)
Eowyn Ivey (The Snow Child)
The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as with think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it us utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that event the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity---so much lower than that of daylight---makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
One of the strangest things is the act of creation. You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument. You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena. And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form. It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble. You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing. You have glimpsed the divine.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was a light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
I know you all, and will awhile uphold The unyoked humour of your idleness. Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wished-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off And pay the debt I never promisèd, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes; And like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I’ll so offend to make offence a skill, Redeeming time when men think least I will.
William Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1)
I came out of the park. The city streets rose up around me. There was a hotel with a courtyard with metal tables and chairs for people to sit in more clement weather. Today they were snow-strewn and forlorn. A lattice of wire was strung across the courtyard. Paper lanterns were hanging from the wires, spheres of vivid orange that blew and trembled in the snow and the thin wind; the sea-grey clouds raced across the sky and the orange lanterns shivered against them. The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
In spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them. In summer the nights. Not only when the moon shines, but on dark nights too, as the fireflies flit to and fro, and even when it rains, how beautiful it is! In autumn, the evenings, when the glittering sun sinks close to the edge of the hills and the crows fly back to their nests in threes and fours and twos; more charming still is a file of wild geese, like specks in the distant sky. When the sun has set, one's heart is moved by the sound of the wind and the hum of the insects. In winter the early mornings. It is beautiful indeed when snow has fallen during the night, but splendid too when the ground is white with frost; or even when there is no snow or frost, but it is simply very cold and the attendants hurry from room to room stirring up the fires and bringing charcoal, how well this fits the season's mood! But as noon approaches and the cold wears off, no one bothers to keep the braziers alight, and soon nothing remains but piles of white ashes.
Sei Shōnagon
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river? Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air - An armful of white blossoms, A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies, Biting the air with its black beak? Did you hear it, fluting and whistling A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall Knifing down the black ledges? And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds - A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river? And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for? And have you changed your life?
Mary Oliver (Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
i am standing upon the seashore. a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. she is an object of beauty and strength. i stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. then someone at my side says: "there, she is gone!" "gone where?" gone from my sight. that is all. she is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port. her diminished size is in me, not in her. and just at the moment when someone at my side says: "there, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "here she comes!" and that is dying.
Henry Van Dyke
When I could hold my eyes open long enough, I did stare up at the rain pelting down on me. I’ve never looked at it like that, straight up into the sky, and while I flinched more than I could actually see, when I could see it was absolutely beautiful. Like each drop rocketing towards me was separate from the thousands of others and for a suspended moment in time, I could glimpse it and see its delicate facets. I saw the gray clouds churning above me and felt the car shake when the wind from the traffic pushed against it. I shivered even though it’s warm enough to swim. But nothing I saw or felt or heard was as warm and fascinating as Andrew’s closeness.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Where am I going? I don't quite know. Down to the stream where the king-cups grow- Up on a hill where the pine-trees blow- Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know. Where am I going? The clouds sail by, Little ones, baby ones, over the sky. Where am I going? The shadows pass, Little ones, baby ones, over the grass. If you were a cloud, and sailed up there, You'd sail on the water as blue as air. And you'd see me here in the fields and say: "Doesn't the sky look green today?" Where am I going? The high rooks call: "It's awful fun to be born at all. Where am I going? The ring-doves coo: "We do have beautiful things to do." If you were a bird, and lived on high, You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by, You'd say to the wind when it took you away: "That's where I wanted to go today!" Where am I going? I don't quite know. What does it matter where people go? Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow- Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
A.A. Milne (When We Were Very Young (Winnie-the-Pooh, #3))
Love is the only bow on Life’s dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart – builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody – for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to Joy, and makes royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike topped walls and treble-bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule-drivers, mules and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunch-backed makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed form kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges. Gulls fly through clouds of steam from laundries' vats; over kites unthreading corpses of cats; over scholars glimpsing truth in fragile patterns; over bath-house adulterers, heartbroken slatterns; fishwives dismembering lobsters and crabs; their husbands gutting mackerel on slabs; woodcutters' sons sharpening axes; candle-makers, rolling waxes; flint-eyed officials milking taxes; etiolated lacquerers; mottle-skinned dyers; imprecise soothsayers; unblinking liars; weavers of mats; cutters of rushes; ink-lipped calligraphers dipping brushes; booksellers ruined by unsold books; ladies-in-waiting; tasters; dressers; filching page-boys; runny-nosed cooks; sunless attic nooks where seamstresses prick calloused fingers; limping malingerers; swineherds; swindlers; lip-chewed debtors rich in excuses; heard-it-all creditors tightening nooses; prisoners haunted by happier lives and ageing rakes by other men's wives; skeletal tutors goaded to fits; firemen-turned-looters when occasion permits; tongue-tied witnesses; purchased judges; mothers-in-law nurturing briars and grudges; apothecaries grinding powders with mortars; palanquins carrying not-yet-wed daughters; silent nuns; nine-year-old whores; the once-were-beautiful gnawed by sores; statues of Jizo anointed with posies; syphilitics sneezing through rotted-off noses; potters; barbers; hawkers of oil; tanners; cutlers; carters of night-soil; gate-keepers; bee-keepers; blacksmiths and drapers; torturers; wet-nurses; perjurers; cut-purses; the newborn; the growing; the strong-willed and pliant; the ailing; the dying; the weak and defiant; over the roof of a painter withdrawn first from the world, then his family, and down into a masterpiece that has, in the end, withdrawn from its creator; and around again, where their flight began, over the balcony of the Room of Last Chrysanthemum, where a puddle from last night's rain is evaporating; a puddle in which Magistrate Shiroyama observes the blurred reflections of gulls wheeling through spokes of sunlight. This world, he thinks, contains just one masterpiece, and that is itself.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
Do you know what a summer rain is? To start with, pure beauty striking the summer sky, awe-filled respect absconding with your heart, a feeling of insignificance at the very heart of the sublime, so fragile and swollen with the majesty of things, trapped, ravished, amazed by the bounty of the world. And then, you pace up and down a corridor and suddenly enter a room full of light. Another dimension, a certainty just given birth. The body is no longer a prison, your spirit roams the clouds, you possess the power of water, happy days are in store, in this new birth. Just as teardrops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer rain as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person's soul something like endless breathing.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful. Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance. Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs. Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for they will be crowned.
Francis of Assisi
You shall suffer for ever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle! And you shall be loved by my lovers, courted by my courtiers. You shall be the queen of all men that have green eyes, whose necks also I have clasped in my nocturnal caresses; of those who love the sea, the sea that is immense, tumultuous and green, the formless and multiform streams, the place where they are not, the woman whom they do not know, sinister flowers that resemble the censers of a strange religion, perfumes that confound the will; and the savage and voluptuous animals which are the emblems of their dementia.
Charles Baudelaire
This story was written many moons ago under an apple tree in an orchard in Kent, which is one of England's prettiest counties . . . I had read at least twenty of the [fairy tales] when I noticed something that had never struck me before--I suppose because I had always taken it for granted. All the princesses, apart from such rare exceptions as Snow White, were blond, blue-eyed, and beautiful, with lovely figures and complexions and extravagantly long hair. This struck me as most unfair, and suddenly I began to wonder just how many handsome young princes would have asked a king for the hand of his daughter if that daughter had happened to be gawky, snub-nosed, and freckled, with shortish mouse-colored hair? None, I suspected. They would all have been of chasing after some lissome Royal Highness with large blue eyes and yards of golden hair and probably nothing whatever between her ears! It was in that moment that a story about a princess who turned out to be ordinary jumped into my mind, and the very next morning I took my pencil box and a large rough-notebook down to the orchard and, having settled myself under an apple tree in full bloom, began to write . . . the day was warm and windless and without a cloud in the sky. A perfect day and a perfect place to write a fairy story.
M.M. Kaye (The Ordinary Princess)
We've done so much together, wherever I go and whatever I see, I think of you. Newborn babies; the pattern on the plate that you can see under a paper-thin slice of sashimi; fireworks in August. The moon hidden behind the clouds over the ocean at night. When I'm sitting down someplace, inadvertently stepping on someone's toes, and have to apologize. And when someone picks up something I've dropped, and I thank him. When I see an elderly man tottering along,and wonder how much longer he has to live. Dogs and cats peeking out from alleyways. A beautiful view from a tall building. The warm blast of air you feel when you go down into a subway station. The phone ringing in the middle of the night. Even when I have crushes on other men, I always see you in the curve of their eyebrows." "Yet I must remain calm, detached. It's a little like trying to ignore a plate of delicious food when you're really hungry. When it beckons you, there's no problem with enjoying the aroma and appreciating it with your eyes, but at some point you have to separate yourself and realize, like a professional waiter does, that it's not your own. It's my job to ignore those plates heaped with delicious morsels and just carry them where they need to go.
Banana Yoshimoto
There's a peculiar thing that happens every time you get clean. You go through this sensation of rebirth. There's something intoxicating about the process of the comeback, and that becomes an element in the whole cycle of addiction. Once you've beaten yourself down with cocaine and heroin, and you manage to stop and walk out of the muck you begin to get your mind and body strong and reconnect with your spirit. The oppressive feeling of being a slave to the drugs is still in your mind, so by comparison, you feel phenomenal. You're happy to be alive, smelling the air and seeing the beauty around you...You have a choice of what to do. So you experience this jolt of joy that you're not where you came from and that in and of itself is a tricky thing to stop doing. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you know that every time you get clean, you'll have this great new feeling. Cut to: a year later, when you've forgotten how bad it was and you don't have that pink-cloud sensation of being newly sober. When I look back, I see why these vicious cycles can develop in someone who's been sober for a long time and then relapses and doesn't want to stay out there using, doesn't want to die, but isn't taking the full measure to get well again. There's a concept in recovery that says 'Half-measures avail us nothing.' When you have a disease, you can't take half the process of getting well and think you're going to get half well; you do half the process of getting well, you're not going to get well at all, and you'll go back to where you came from. Without a thorough transformation, you're the same guy, and the same guy does the same shit. I kept half-measuring it, thinking I was going to at least get something out of this deal, and I kept getting nothing out of it
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks. My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive power to the mad pace. They are fortunate beings. They do not need to apprehend the significance of things. They do not grow weary nor miss step, nor do they fall out of rank and sink by the wayside to be left contemplating the moving procession. Ah! that moving procession that has left me by the road-side! Its fantastic colors are more brilliant and beautiful than the sun on the undulating waters. What matter if souls and bodies are failing beneath the feet of the ever-pressing multitude! It moves with the majestic rhythm of the spheres. Its discordant clashes sweep upward in one harmonious tone that blends with the music of other worlds--to complete God's orchestra. It is greater than the stars--that moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon. Oh! I could weep at being left by the wayside; left with the grass and the clouds and a few dumb animals. True, I feel at home in the society of these symbols of life's immutability. In the procession I should feel the crushing feet, the clashing discords, the ruthless hands and stifling breath. I could not hear the rhythm of the march. Salve! ye dumb hearts. Let us be still and wait by the roadside.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
I saw thee once - only once - years ago: I must not say how many - but not many. It was a July midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber, Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared stir, unless on tiptoe - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light, Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death - Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in the parterre, enchanted By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell upon the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd - alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight - Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footsteps stirred: the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven! - oh, G**! How my heart beats in coupling those two words!) Save only thee and me. I paused - I looked - And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind the garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out: The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All - all expired save thee - save less than thou: Save only divine light in thine eyes - Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them - they were the world to me. I saw but them - saw only them for hours - Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a wo! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition! yet how deep - How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into a western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go - they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me - they lead me through the years. They are my ministers - yet I their slave. Their office is to illumine and enkindle - My duty, to be saved by their bright fire, And purified in their electric fire, And sanctified in their elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope,) And are far up in Heaven - the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still - two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven and Other Poems)
I suppose you think you know what autumn looks like. Even if you live in the Los Angeles dreamed of by September’s schoolmates, you have surely seen postcards and photographs of the kind of autumn I mean. The trees go all red and blazing orange and gold, and wood fires burn at night so everything smells of crisp branches. The world rolls about delightedly in a heap of cider and candy and apples and pumpkins and cold stars rush by through wispy, ragged clouds, past a moon like a bony knee. You have, no doubt, experienced a Halloween or two. Autumn in Fairyland is all that, of course. You would never feel cheated by the colors of a Fairyland Forest or the morbidity of a Fairyland moon. And the Halloween masks! Oh, how they glitter, how they curl, how their beaks and jaws hook and barb! But to wander through autumn in Fairyland is to look into a murky pool, seeing only a hazy reflection of the Autumn Provinces’ eternal fall. And human autumn is but a cast-off photograph of that reflecting pool, half burnt and drifting through the space between us and Fairyland. And so I may tell you that the leaves began to turn red as September and her friends rushed through the suddenly cold air on their snorting, roaring high wheels, and you might believe me. But no red you have ever seen could touch the crimson bleed of the trees in that place. No oak gnarled and orange with October is half as bright as the boughs that bent over September’s head, dropping their hard, sweet acorns into her spinning spokes. But you must try as hard as you can. Squeeze your eyes closed, as tight as you can, and think of all your favorite autumns, crisp and perfect, all bound up together like a stack of cards. That is what it is like, the awful, wonderful brightness of Fairy colors. Try to smell the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, green smoke into the afternoon. To feel to mellow, golden sun on your skin, more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of your favorite reading nook at the close of the day.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
To Helen I saw thee once-once only-years ago; I must not say how many-but not many. It was a july midnight; and from out A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring, Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven, There fell a silvery-silken veil of light, With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber Upon the upturn'd faces of a thousand Roses that grew in an enchanted garden, Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That gave out, in return for the love-light Thier odorous souls in an ecstatic death- Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted by thee, by the poetry of thy prescence. Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses And on thine own, upturn'd-alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate that, on this july midnight- Was it not Fate (whose name is also sorrow) That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses? No footstep stirred; the hated world all slept, Save only thee and me. (Oh Heaven- oh, God! How my heart beats in coupling those two worlds!) Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked- And in an instant all things disappeared. (Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!) The pearly lustre of the moon went out; The mossy banks and the meandering paths, The happy flowers and the repining trees, Were seen no more: the very roses' odors Died in the arms of the adoring airs. All- all expired save thee- save less than thou: Save only the divine light in thine eyes- Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes. I saw but them- they were the world to me. I saw but them- saw only them for hours- Saw only them until the moon went down. What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres! How dark a woe! yet how sublime a hope! How silently serene a sea of pride! How daring an ambition!yet how deep- How fathomless a capacity for love! But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight, Into western couch of thunder-cloud; And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained. They would not go- they never yet have gone. Lighting my lonely pathway home that night, They have not left me (as my hopes have) since. They follow me- they lead me through the years. They are my ministers- yet I thier slave Thier office is to illumine and enkindle- My duty, to be saved by thier bright light, And purified in thier electric fire, And sanctified in thier Elysian fire. They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope), And are far up in heaven- the stars I kneel to In the sad, silent watches of my night; While even in the meridian glare of day I see them still- two sweetly scintillant Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!
Edgar Allan Poe
NINA Your life is beautiful. TRIGORIN I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib