Clouds Gather Quotes

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She stared at the castle unflinchingly, her form silhouetted against the blazing brightness that sat on the edge of the Avery River. Clouds gathered above them and she raised her head. Through a clearing in the swirling mass, a cluster of stars could be seen. He couldn't help thinking that they gazed down at her... The image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Gather out of star-dust, Earth-dust, Cloud-dust, Storm-dust, And splinters of hail, One handful of dream-dust, Not for sale.
Langston Hughes
Adam strokes my head, my face, he kisses my tears. We are blessed. Let them all go. The sound of a bird flying low across the garden. Then nothing. Nothing. A cloud passes. Nothing again. Light falls through the window, falls onto me, into me. Moments. All gathering towards this one.
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
Mariam lay on the couch, hands tucked between her knees, watched the whirlpool of snow twisting and spinning outside the window. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
Are you sure this isn't a nightmare?" he asked quietly. "And that we won't just wake up?" I stared ahead at the road, the way the dust blowing in from the desert covered it with a faint golden sheen even as gray clouds began to gather over us. "yes," i said after some time. Because dreamers always wake up and leave their monsters behind.
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
Looking back, I wonder if mom saw it in my eyes: the storm clouds gathering, the dry crackle of electricity in the air. But it was already too late. No warning sirens were going to save me. I guess you never really know the danger, not until you’re the one left, huddled on the ground, surrounded by the pieces of your broken heart.
Melody Grace (Unbroken (Beachwood Bay, #1))
But at sunset the clouds gathered again, bringing an earlier night, and the snow began to fall straight and steadily from a sky without wind, in a soft universal diffusion more confusing than the gusts and eddies of the morning. It seemed to be a part of the thickening darkness, to be the winter night itself descending on us layer by layer.
Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome)
I saw her, once. “She passed through our village, through fields littered with dead soldiers after her forces overwhelmed the nation of Dumor. Her other Elites followed and then rows of white-robed Inquisitors, wielding the white-and-silver banners of the White Wolf. Where they went, the sky dimmed and the ground cracked—the clouds gathered behind the army as if a creature alive, black and churning in fury. As if the goddess of Death herself had come. “She paused to look down at one of our dying soldiers. He trembled on the ground, but his eyes stayed on her. He spat something at her. She only stared back at him. I don’t know what he saw in her expression, but his muscles tightened, his legs pushing against the dirt as he tried in vain to get away from her. Then the man started to scream. It is a sound I shall never forget as long as I live. She nodded to her Rainmaker, and he descended from his horse to plunge a sword through the dying soldier. Her face did not change at all. She simply rode on. “I never saw her again. But even now, as an old man, I remember her as clearly as if she were standing before me. She was ice personified. There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.” —A witness’s account of Queen Adelina’s siege on the nation of Dumor The Village of Pon-de-Terre 28 Marzien, 1402
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
Complains are like the clouds that produce no rain no matter how thick they gather. Never depend on your complaint thinking they are stair cases. Drop that thing.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
We gather at night to celebrate being human. Sometimes we call out low to the tambourine. Fish drink the sea, but the sea does not get smaller! We eat the clouds and evening light. We are slaves tasting the royal wine.
The Layers I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
Stanley Kunitz (The Collected Poems)
Close your eyes," he said into her ear. "Come with me." She did so, and suddenly she saw what he saw. She was the wind, the clouds gathering in the smoky sky, the thick snow of deep winter. She was nothing. She was everything. The power gathered somewhere in the space between them, between her flickers of awareness. There is no magic. Things are. Or they are not. She was beyond wanting anything. She didn't care whether she lived or died. She could only feel; the gathering storm, the breath of the wind.
Katherine Arden (The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2))
She gathered the books like clouds and words poured down like rain.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
All the fear in the world, and the violence that comes from the fear, and the hatred that comes from the violence, and the lonliness that comes from the hatred. All the unhappiness, all the cruelty, it gathers like clouds in the air, and grows dark and cold and heavy, and falls like grey snow in thick layers over the land. Then the world is muffled and numb, and no one can hear each other or feel each other. Think how sad and lonely that must be.
William Nicholson (Firesong (Wind On Fire, #3))
Your silence exists as does my self gathering. But so does the almost absolute silence of the world's dawning. In such suspension, before every utterance on earth, there is a cloud, an almost immobile air. The plants already breathe, while we still ask ourselves how to speak to each other, without taking breath away from them.
Luce Irigaray (To Be Two)
It is He who makes the lightning flash upon you, inspiring you with fear and hope, and gathers up the heavy clouds. The thunder sounds His praises, and the angels, too, in awe of him. He hurls his thunderbolts at whom He pleases. Yet the unbelievers wrangle about God.
Anonymous (القرآن الكريم)
I knew then that I'd been right. I had felt something changing between us in the weeks before my death—slow and steady—but just hadn't wanted to admit it. A distance had been brewing, all chilly and gray. I'd chosen to sit and watch the storm clouds gather instead of running for cover at the first hint of rain. And I had paid the price for waiting. Because the storm became a hurricane.
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up into the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke silently on the people below - As a reminder of how women like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us
Khaled Hosseini
You were lost in a storm, The clouds gathered ahead, You were crying to me - All the pain in your heart. I tried to give you, Sad girl, All the love I had left, But when push comes to shove I'm as empty as the rest
Kathleen Glasgow (Girl in Pieces)
It was not pitch-black. It was the kind of cloudy night where the clouds seem to gather up light from distant streetlights and houses below, and throw it back at the earth.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
His eyes are a hazy swirl of gray, like a thick mass of clouds gathering before an impending storm
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
For it is when calm clouds gather that thunder is made
Soroosh Shahrivar (The Rise of Shams)
When Janie looked out of her door she saw the drifting mists gathered in the west -- that cloud field of the sky -- to arm themselves with thunders and march forth against the world. Louder and higher and lower and wider the sound and motion spread, mounting, sinking, darking.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Because every day when I wake up, the clouds gather, a little darker each day, and I feel less and less equipped to do anything about them. To go anywhere. To make a change. To speak more than the occasional sentence. So I go to the bookstores. I do not want to speak and I do not want to be spoken to. I find it hurts my ears. My head. My skin. And people are quiet in bookstores. I like the anonymous, mute companionship of my fellow browsers.
Juliann Garey (Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See)
Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars. Then the breeze died too and there was no noise save the drip and tickle of water that ran out of clefts and spilled down, leaf by leaf, to the brown earth of the island. The air was cool, moist, and clear; and presently even the sound of the water was still. The beast lay huddled on the pale beach and the stains spread, inch by inch. The edge of the lagoon became a streak of phosphorescence which advanced minutely, as the great wave of the tide flowed. The clear water mirrored the clear sky and the angular bright constellations. The line of phosphorescence bulged about the sand grains and little pebbles; it held them each in a dimple of tension, then suddenly accepted them with an inaudible syllable and moved on. Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange, attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapours busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. Then it turned gently in the water. Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling; and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved further along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea.
William Golding (Lord of the Flies)
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)
A dim antagonism gathered force within him and darkened his mind as a cloud against her disloyalty: and when it passed, cloudlike, leaving his mind serene and dutiful towards her again, he was made aware dimly and without regret of a first noiseless sundering of their lives.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime. JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine. JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot. JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer. JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself. JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I'm overweight, I will eat healthfully -- if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block. JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.
Abigail Van Buren
Let tears gather in your eyes. You haven’t tears enough for what you’ve done to me. Six more mortal years, seven, eight…I might have had that shape!’ Her pointed finger flew at Madeleine, whose hands had risen to her face, whose eyes were clouded over. Her moan was almost Claudia’s name. But Claudia did not hear her. ‘Yes, that shape, I might have known what it was to walk at your side.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
White clouds gather and billow. Thin grass does for a mattress, The blue sky makes a good quilt. Happy with a stone underhead Let heaven and earth go about their changes.
Gary Snyder (Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems)
We gather at night to celebrate being human. Sometimes we call out low to the tamborine. Fish drink the sea, but the sea does not get smaller! We eat the clouds and evening light. We are slaves tasting the royal wine.
Rumiko Takahashi
Complains are like the clouds that give no rain no matter how thick they gather.
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Yet unbeknownst to all but a few, storm clouds were gathering on the horizon, and faintly in the distance wise men could hear a rumble of thunder.
George R.R. Martin (Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1))
Everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled, and yet at the same time, beautiful and awesome the world can be. Everyone should experience, even as the clouds gather, what's at stake, what could be lost, what's still here.
Anthony Bourdain
Who are you, reader, reading my poems a hundred years hence? I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. Open your doors and look abroad. From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.
Rabindranath Tagore (The Gardener)
Do Stones Feel? Do stones feel? Do they love their life? Or does their patience drown out everything else? When I walk on the beach I gather a few white ones, dark ones, the multiple colors. Don’t worry, I say, I’ll bring you back, and I do. Is the tree as it rises delighted with its many branches, each one like a poem? Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain? Most of the world says no, no, it’s not possible. I refuse to think to such a conclusion. Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.
Mary Oliver (Blue Horses)
At that time, I well remember whatever could excite - certain accidents of the weather, for instance, were almost dreaded by me, because they woke the being I was always lulling, and stirred up a craving cry I could not satisfy. One night a thunder-storm broke; a sort of hurricane shook us in our beds: the Catholics rose in panic and prayed to their saints. As for me, the tempest took hold of me with tyranny: I was roughly roused and obliged to live. I got up and dressed myself, and creeping outside the basement close by my bed, sat on its ledge, with my feet on the roof of a lower adjoining building. It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch dark. Within the dormitory they gathered round the night-lamp in consternation, praying loud. I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying with the wild hour, black and full of thunder, pealing out such an ode as language never delivered to man - too terribly glorious, the spectacle of clouds, split and pierced by white and blinding bolts.
Charlotte Brontë
I think of all that is happening elsewhere, as I lie here. Nearby, I can hear the sounds of a road crew. Somewhere else, monkeys chatter in trees. A male seahorse becomes pregnant. A diamond forms, a bee dances out directions, a windshield shatters. Somewhere a mother spreads peanut butter for her son's lunch, a lover sighs, a knitter binds off the edge of a sleeve. Clouds gather to make rain, corn ripens on the stalk, a cancer cell divides, a little league team scores. Somewhere blossoms open, a man pushes a knife in deeper, a painter darkens her blue. A cashier pours new dimes into an outstretched hand, rainbows form and fade, plates in the earth shift and settle. A woman opens a velvet box, male spiders pluck gently on the females' webs, falcons fall from the sky. Abstracts are real and time is a lie, it cannot be measured when one moment can expand to hold everything. You can want to live and end up choosing death; and you can want to die and end up living. What keeps us here, really? A thread that breaks in a breeze. And yet a thread that cannot be broken
Elizabeth Berg (Never Change)
Breathing. Only the chore and sadness of breathing and breathing, as things change from tender to dry, new to old, the night-moon that grows thin then swells, the fireless sun that lights up, the soughing of wind that transports, shatters, gathers, and drives away the clouds, raising and flattening the dust. Only the sorrow of going to sleep and waking up, feeling life without knowing where it comes from, aware that it will flee without knowing why it was given to you, why it is taken from you. Here you are: there is this and this and this. And now, enough.
Mercè Rodoreda (Death in Spring)
Fallen warriors, you might fall, but you are like eagles! You work effortlessly as you soar high into the clouds. You ride the winds of change as you gather all of your strength, courage, and patience. You develop wisdom during your challenges of transformation while you tear down your boundaries one obstacle at a time.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
My mom always said, there are two kinds of love in this world: the steady breeze, and the hurricane. The steady breeze is slow and patient. It fills the sails of the boats in the harbor, and lifts laundry on the line. It cools you on a hot summer’s day; brings the leaves of fall, like clockwork every year. You can count on a breeze, steady and sure and true. But there’s nothing steady about a hurricane. It rips through town, reckless, sending the ocean foaming up the shore, felling trees and power lines and anyone dumb or fucked-up enough to stand in its path. Sure, it’s a thrill like nothing you’ve ever known: your pulse kicks, your body calls to it, like a spirit possessed. It’s wild and breathless and all-consuming. But what comes next? “You see a hurricane coming, you run.” My mom told me, the summer I turned eighteen. “You shut the doors, and you bar the windows. Because come morning, there’ll be nothing but the wreckage left behind.” Emerson Ray was my hurricane. Looking back, I wonder if mom saw it in my eyes: the storm clouds gathering, the dry crackle of electricity in the air. But it was already too late. No warning sirens were going to save me. I guess you never really know the danger, not until you’re the one left, huddled on the ground, surrounded by the pieces of your broken heart. It’s been four years now since that summer. Since Emerson. It took everything I had to pull myself back together, to crawl out of the empty wreckage of my life and build something new in its place. This time, I made it storm-proof. Strong. I barred shutters over my heart, and found myself a steady breeze to love. I swore, nothing would ever destroy me like that summer again. I was wrong. That’s the thing about hurricanes. Once the storm touches down, all you can do is pray.
Melody Grace (Unbroken (Beachwood Bay, #1))
A cloud that has gathered over us; though 'we have wronged no man, corrupted no man, defrauded no man!' Though perhaps we have 'done that which was right in our own eyes.
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
The clouds had gathered, within the last half-hour. The light was dull; the distance was dim. The lovely face of Nature met us, soft and still and colourless – met us without a smile.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
Once I learned this truth, I began to see examples of it everywhere. A picture hung on the wall of our parlor. In it, a woman was taking a shirt from a clothesline. She had clothespins in her teeth and it was windy and a boy was tugging at her dress. The woman looked like she was in a hurry and the whole scene gave me the idea that, just outside the frame, full, dark clouds were gathering. But that was not what it was. It was paint. So I decided right then and there to see the picture as it really was. I stared at the thing long and hard, trying to only see the paint. But it was no use. All my eyes would allow me to see was the lie. In fact, the longer I gazed at the paint, the more false detail I began to imagine. The boy was crying, as if afraid, and the woman was weaker than I had first believed. I finally gave up. I understood then that it takes a powerful imagination to see a thing for what it really is.
Norm Macdonald (Based on a True Story)
I believe in Free Will, the Force Almighty by which we conduct ourselves as if we were the sons and daughters of a just and wise God, even if there is no such Supreme Being. And by free will, we can choose to do good on this earth, no matter that we all die, and do not know where we go when we die, or if a justice or explanation awaits us. I believe that we can, through our reason, know what good is, and in the communion of men and women, in which the forgiveness of wrongs will always be more significant than the avenging of them, and that in the beautiful natural world that surrounds us, we represent the best and the finest of beings, for we alone can see that natural beauty, appreciate it, learn from it, weep for it, and seek to conserve it and protect it. I believe finally that we are the only true moral force in the physical world, the makers of, ethics and moral ideas, and that we must be as good as the gods we created in the past to guide us. I believe that through our finest efforts, we will succeed finally in creating heaven on earth, and we do it every time that we love, every time that we embrace, every time that we commit to create rather than destroy, every time that we place life over death, and the natural over what is unnatural, insofar as we are able to define it. And I suppose I do believe in the final analysis that a peace of mind can be obtained in the face of the worst horrors and the worst losses. It can be obtained by faith in change and in will and in accident and by faith in ourselves, that we will do the right thing, more often than not, in the face of adversity. For ours is the power and the glory, because we are capable of visions and ideas which are ultimately stronger and more enduring than we are. That is my credo. That is my belief, for what it's worth, and it sustains me. And if I were to die right now, I wouldn't be afraid. Because I can't believe that horror or chaos awaits us. If any revelation awaits us at all, it must be as good as our ideals and our philosophy. For surely nature must embrace the visible and the invisible, and it couldn't fall short of us. The thing that makes the flowers open and the snowflakes fall must contain a wisdom and a final secret as intricate and beautiful as the blooming camellia or the clouds gathering above, so white and so pure in the blackness. If that isn't so, then we are in the grip of a staggering irony. And all the spooks of hell might as well dance. There could be a devil. People who burn other people to death are fine. There could be anything. But the world is simply to beautiful for that. At least it seems that way to me.
Anne Rice (The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1))
I'll wager at the end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are -- her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone - just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.
Truman Capote
The voice boomed from the Throne. "One more goodbye." Together, Luce and Daniel turned to acknowledge the Throne, but the second their eyes fell upon it, the stately figure of the woman blazed into white-hot glory, and they had to shield their eyes. The Throne was indiscernible again, a gathering of light too brilliant to be gazed upon by angels. "Hey, guys." Arriane sniffed. "I think she meant for you two to say goodbye to each other." "Oh," Luce said, turning to Daniel, suddenly panicked. "Right now? We have to-" He took her hand. His wings brushed hers. He kissed the centers of her cheeks. "I'm afraid," she whispered. "What did I tell you?" She sifted through the million exchanges she and Daniel had ever shared-the good, the sad, the ugly. One rose above the clouds of her mind. She was shaking. "That you will always find me." "Yes. Always. No matter what." "Daniel-" "I can't wait to make you the love of my mortal life." "But you won't know me. You won't remember. Everything will be different." He wiped away her tear with his thumb. "And you think that will stop me?" She closed her eyes. "I love you too much to say goodbye." "It isn't goodbye." He gave her one last angelic kiss and embraced her so tightly she could hear his steady heartbeat, overlapping her own. "It's until we meet again.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
My, how foolish I am!” my friend cries, suddenly alert, like a woman remembering too late she has biscuits in the over. “You know what I’ve always thought?” She asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me but at a point beyond. “I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window; pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shrine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’ll wager it never happens. I’ll wager at the very end a body realizes that the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are” – her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over bone – “just what they’ve always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.
Truman Capote
The truest love that ever heart Felt at its kindled core, Did through each vein, in quickened start, The tide of being pour. Her coming was my hope each day, Her parting was my pain; The chance that did her steps delay Was ice in every vein. I dreamed it would be nameless bliss, As I loved, loved to be; And to this object did I press As blind as eagerly. But wide as pathless was the space That lay our lives between, And dangerous as the foamy race Of ocean-surges green. And haunted as a robber-path Through wilderness or wood; For Might and Right, and Woe and Wrath, Between our spirits stood. I dangers dared; I hindrance scorned; I omens did defy: Whatever menaced, harassed, warned, I passed impetuous by. On sped my rainbow, fast as light; I flew as in a dream; For glorious rose upon my sight That child of Shower and Gleam. Still bright on clouds of suffering dim Shines that soft, solemn joy; Nor care I now, how dense and grim Disasters gather nigh. I care not in this moment sweet, Though all I have rushed o'er Should come on pinion, strong and fleet, Proclaiming vengeance sore: Though haughty Hate should strike me down, Right, bar approach to me, And grinding Might, with furious frown, Swear endless enmity. My love has placed her little hand With noble faith in mine, And vowed that wedlock's sacred band Our nature shall entwine. My love has sworn, with sealing kiss, With me to live--to die; I have at last my nameless bliss. As I love--loved am I!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
When that part of the woman meets with a man, all the flowers in the world suddenly bloom! All the birds of the world gather together and sing. The entire world turns golden, and your body becomes completely relaxed and you're not sure whether you're floating on clouds of feathers. The universe comes alive, like fireworks in the night.
Kim Dong Hwa (The Color of Earth (Color Trilogy, #1))
Of all the things we fashioned for them that they might be comforted, dawn is the one that works. When darkness sifts from the air like fine soft soot and light spreads slowly out of the east then all but the most wretched of humankind rally. It is a spectacle we immortals enjoy, this minor daily resurrection, often we will gather at the ramparts of the clouds and gaze down upon them, our little ones, as they bestir themselves to welcome the new day. What silence falls upon us then, the sad silence of our envy.
John Banville (The Infinities)
I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as coloured glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don't know it's getting dark. And it's been a spooky feeling. But I'll wager it never happens. I'll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are' - her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone - 'just what they've always senn, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.
Truman Capote (A Christmas Memory)
Each thing organizes the space around it, rebuffing or sidling up against other things; each thing calls, gestures, beckons to other beings or battles them for our attention; things expose themselves to the sun or retreat among the shadows, shouting with their loud colors or whispering with their seeds; rocks snag lichen spores from the air and shelter spiders under their flanks; clouds converse with the fathomless blue and metamorphose into one another; they spill rain upon the land, which gathers in rivulets and carves out canyons…
David Abram (Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology)
Seasons may change winter to spring, but I love you until the end of time Come what may, come what may, I will love you until my dying day Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace Suddenly my life doesn’t seem such a waste, it all revolves around you. And there’s no mountain too high no river too wide Sing out this song and I’ll be there by your side Storm clouds may gather and stars may collide But I love you until the end of time
Ewan McGregor
She drifted, feather-like, in tenuous radiance… Her gown, it seemed a thing made out of mist, As though the dewy air Had gathered in a cloud about her form To clothe a shape so fair That nothing coarser could adorn it than A layer of atmosphere.
Theodora Goss (Songs for Ophelia)
He took a breath. “I want you to stay. I want you to … I want you.” “You want me.” She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?” He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting. “How will you have me?” she repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?” He released her hand, his shoulders bunching, his gaze angry and ashamed as he turned his face to the sea. Maybe it was because his back was to her that she could finally speak the words. “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.” Speak, she begged silently. Give me a reason to stay. For all his selfishness and cruelty, Kaz was still the boy who had saved her. She wanted to believe he was worth saving, too. The sails creaked. The clouds parted for the moon then gathered back around her. Inej left Kaz with the wind howling and dawn still a long while away.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The end of things, the real end, is never a neat turn of the screw, never a door that is suddenly shut, but more like an atmospheric change, clouds that slowly gather - more a whimper than a bang.
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
Little by little they all gathered around him, entering through the cracks like moonbeams...[b]ut once the wind of misfortune blows, people disperse like little clouds around the moon when the wind blows off the mountains.
Grazia Deledda (Reeds in the Wind)
Now that I've said this, I can't help but say more, can't help but speak the words that have been gathering in my head like dark clouds before the storm, building pressure and growing, and rolling over themselves in chaos.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
I learned to build bookshelves and brought books to my room, gathering them around me thickly. I read by day and into the night. I thought about perfectibility, and deism, and adjectives, and clouds, and then foxes. I locked my door, from the inside, and leaped from the roof and went to the woods, by day or darkness.
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
That is, adoration was patient and waiting while love or, if you liked, plain sexual passion banged everything about. It either shouted or thought it knew too much, and it had always left him cold and had not involved his heart. Therefore, if he wanted to get involved now it would be on his own terms and at his own pace.
Bessie Head (When Rain Clouds Gather (African Writers Series))
The contradictions were apparent to Makhaya, and perhaps there was no greater crime as yet than all the lies Western civilization had told in the name of Jesus Christ. It seemed to Makhaya far preferable for Africa if it did without Christianity and Christian double-talk, fat priests, golden images, and looked around at all the thin naked old men who sat under trees weaving baskets with shaking hands. People could do without religions and Gods who died for the sins of the world and thereby left men without any feeling of self-responsibility for the crimes they committed. This seemed to Makhaya the greatest irony of Christianity. It meant that a white man could forever go on slaughtering black men simply because Jesus Christ would save him from his sins. Africa could do without a religion like that. 135
Bessie Head (When Rain Clouds Gather (African Writers Series))
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void. But as you might expect, an occasional thought will slip into this void. People’s minds can’t be a complete blank. Human beings’ emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum. What I mean is, the kinds of thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void. Lacking content, they are just random thoughts that gather around that central void. The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
the words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms...
Barack Obama (The Inaugural Address, 2009: Together with Abraham Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses and The Gettysburg Address and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance)
When I heard stories of the atrocities in Afghanistan I felt proud to be in Swat. “Here a girl can go to school,” I used to say. But the Taliban were right around the corner and were Pashtuns like us. For me the valley was a sunny place and I couldn’t see the clouds gathering behind the mountains. My father used to say, “I will protect your freedom, Malala. Carry on with your
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
This is the hope the Maoists offered, the hope of dark clouds gathering over parched, fractured soil; it could rain or it could not, but they brought something new into their lives: possibility.
Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others)
Although secular fundamentalist “progressives” might believe in a future “golden age,” such an age does not exist. The future that they herald is merely one of gathering gloom and ever darkening clouds. This fate has ever been so for those who proclaim their “Pride.” They have nothing to expect in the future but their fall. As for the Christian, he has nothing to fear but his falling into the pride of despair. If he avoids becoming despondent and retains his humility, he will receive the gift of hope which is its fruit. Where there is hope there is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Joseph Pearce
My stuff. Now. Or I'll sow you how funny a flaming dwarf is." His hands caught fire. "Now we're talking." Jason thrust his sword into the sky. Dark clouds began to gather over the piazza. Thunder boomed
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
I saw the first light, fore-running the sun, gather in a cup of the eastern cloud, gather and grow and brim, till at last it spilled like milk over the golden lip, to smear the dark face of heaven from end to end. From east to north, and back to south again, the clouds slackened, the stars, trembling on the verge of extinction, guttered in the dawn wind, and the gates of day were ready to open at the trumpet. . .
Mary Stewart (Madam, Will You Talk?)
I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.
Thomas S. Monson
A heavy thunder shattered the deep sleep in my head, so that I came to myself, like someone woken by force, and standing up, I moved my eyes, now refreshed, and looked round, steadily, to find out what place I was in. I found myself, in truth, on the brink of the valley of the sad abyss that gathers the thunder of an infinite howling. It was so dark, and deep, and clouded, that I could see nothing by staring into its depths.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Alone" Lying, thinking Last night How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing And I don’t believe I’m wrong That nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. There are some millionaires With money they can’t use Their wives run round like banshees Their children sing the blues They’ve got expensive doctors To cure their hearts of stone. But nobody No, nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone. Now if you listen closely I’ll tell you what I know Storm clouds are gathering The wind is gonna blow The race of man is suffering And I can hear the moan, ‘Cause nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.
Maya Angelou
Are you what is called a lucky man? Well, you are sad every day. Each day has its great grief or its little care. Yesterday you were trembling for the health of one who is dear to you, today you fear for your own; tomorrow it will be an anxiety about money, the next day the slanders of a calumniator, the day after the misfortune of a friend; then the weather, then something broken or lost, then a pleasure for which you are reproached by your conscience or your vertebral column; another time, the course of public affairs. Not to mention heartaches. And so on. One cloud is dissipated, another gathers. Hardly one day in a hundred of unbroken joy and sunshine. And you are of that small number who are lucky! As for other men, stagnant night is upon them.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside? If you will listen I will tell you a story-one whose ghost cannot be banished by the comfort of a roaring fire, I will tell you the story of how we found ourselves in a realm where dreams are formed, destiny is chosen, and magic is as real as your handprint in the snow. I will tell you how we unlocked the Pandora's box of ourselves, tasted freedom, stained our souls with blood and choice, and unleashed a horror on the world that destroyed its dearest Order. These pages are a confession of all that has led to this cold, gray dawn. What will be now, I cannot say. Is your heart beating faster? Do the clouds seem to be gathering on the horizons? Does the skin on your neck feel stretched tight, waiting for a kiss you both fear and need? Will you be scared? Will you know the truth? Mary Dowd, April 7, 1871
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
For as long as we have been a species, whether with medicine or technology, by gathering power, by embarking on journeys, or by telling stories, we humans have tried to defeat death. None of us ever has.” They reach the top of the tower
Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land)
These solitary ones who are free in spirit know thatin one thing or another they must constantly put on an appearance that is different from the way they think; although they want nothing but truth and honesty, they are entangled in a web of misunderstandings. And despite their keen desire, they cannot prevent a fog of false opinions, of accommodation, of halfway concessions, of indulgent silence, of erroneous interpretation from settling on everything they do. And so a cloud of melancholy gathers around their brow, for such natures hate the necessity of appearances more than death, and their persistent bitterness about this makes them volatile and menacing. From time to time they take revenge for their violent selfconcealment, for their coerced constraint. They emerge from their caves with horrible expressions on their faces; at such times their words and deeds are explosions, and it is even possible for them to destroy themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
As we drew nearer we could see that the three men fishing seemed old and solemn-looking men. They sat on three chairs in the punt and watched intently their lines. And the red sunset threw a mystic light upon the waters and tinged with fire the towering woods and made a golden glory of the piled-up clouds. It was an hour of deep enchantment of ecstatic hope and longing. The little sail stood out against the purple sky the gloaming lay around us wrapping the world in rainbow shadows and behind us crept the night. We seemed like knights of some old legend sailing across some mystic lake into the unknown realm of twilight unto the great land of the sunset. We did not go into the realm of twilight we went slap into that punt where those three old men were fishing. We did not know what had happened at first because the sail shut out the view but from the nature of the language that rose up upon the evening air we gathered that we had come into the neighbourhood of human beings and that they were vexed and discontented.
Jerome K. Jerome
Unnoticed There's a winter wren in Alaska No man has laid eyes on her beauty She sings in the spruce pine where she lives No man has heard her song She flies down to gather a twig for her home No man has built her a house She comes upon a bite to eat A worm has a misfortunate morning No man has thrown seed for her food Overhead clouds cast a shadow in the dawn She returns home No man has noticed
Eric Overby (Journey)
Lying there, I close my eyes for a time, then open them. I silently breathe in, then out. A thought begins to form in my mind, but in the end I think of nothing. Not that there was much difference between the two, thinking and not thinking. I find I can no longer distinguish between one thing and another, between things that existed and things that did not. I look out the window. Until the sky turns white, clouds float by, birds chirp, and a new day lumbers up, gathering together the sleepy minds of the people who inhabit this planet.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
The world can change so quickly,” Jia said. “One day the future seems hopeful, and the next day clouds of hate and bigotry have gathered as if blown in from some as yet unimagined sea.” “They were always there, Jia,” said Diana. “Even if we did not want to acknowledge them. They were always on the horizon.” Jia looked weary, [...] “I do not know if we can gather enough strength to clear the skies again.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Ravens and crows. Rats Mists and clouds. Insects and corruption. Strange events and odd occurrences. The ordinary twisted and strange. Wonders! The dead are beginning to walk and some see them. Others do not, but more and more, we all fear the night. These have been our days. They rain upon us beneath a dead sky, crushing us with their fury, until as one we beg: "Let it begin!" -Journal of the Unknown Scholar, entry for The Feast of Freia, 1000 NE
Brandon Sanderson (The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, #12))
Colors of spring have turned upside down. Red once burned underfoot, now hangs over the horizon--a blood bruise where sky smashed itself against hills. Green once gathered in the quick-shaping clouds carrying a mix of sand and rain and left quickly as it arrived; now it cushions your steps, hides the evidence of bones.
D.A. Gray (Contested Terrain)
Milton's Eve! Milton's Eve! ... Milton tried to see the first woman; but Cary, he saw her not ... I would beg to remind him that the first men of the earth were Titans, and that Eve was their mother: from her sprang Saturn, Hyperion, Oceanus; she bore Prometheus" -- "Pagan that you are! what does that signify?" "I say, there were giants on the earth in those days: giants that strove to scale heaven. The first woman's breast that heaved with life on this world yielded the daring which could contend with Omnipotence: the stregth which could bear a thousand years of bondage, -- the vitality which could feed that vulture death through uncounted ages, -- the unexhausted life and uncorrupted excellence, sisters to immortality, which after millenniums of crimes, struggles, and woes, could conceive and bring forth a Messiah. The first woman was heaven-born: vast was the heart whence gushed the well-spring of the blood of nations; and grand the undegenerate head where rested the consort-crown of creation. ... I saw -- I now see -- a woman-Titan: her robe of blue air spreads to the outskirts of the heath, where yonder flock is grazing; a veil white as an avalanche sweeps from hear head to her feet, and arabesques of lighting flame on its borders. Under her breast I see her zone, purple like that horizon: through its blush shines the star of evening. Her steady eyes I cannot picture; they are clear -- they are deep as lakes -- they are lifted and full of worship -- they tremble with the softness of love and the lustre of prayer. Her forehead has the expanse of a cloud, and is paler than the early moon, risen long before dark gathers: she reclines her bosom on the ridge of Stilbro' Moor; her mighty hands are joined beneath it. So kneeling, face to face she speaks with God. That Eve is Jehova's daughter, as Adam was His son.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
The hills below crouched on all fours under the weight of the rainforest where liana grew and soldier ants marched in formation. Straight ahead they marched, shamelessly single-minded, for soldier ants have no time for dreaming. Almost all of them are women and there is so much to do - the work is literally endless. So many to be born and fed, then found and buried. There is no time for dreaming. The life of their world requires organization so tight and sacrifice so complete there is little need for males and they are seldom produced. When they are needed, it is deliberately done by the queen who surmises, by some four-million-year-old magic she is heiress to, that it is time. So she urges a sperm from the private womb where they were placed when she had her one, first and last copulation. Once in life, this little Amazon trembled in the air waiting for a male to mount her. And when he did, when he joined a cloud of others one evening just before a summer storm, joined colonies from all over the world gathered fro the marriage flight, he knew at last what his wings were for. Frenzied, he flied into the humming cloud to fight gravity and time in order to do, just once, the single thing he was born for. Then he drops dead, having emptied his sperm into his lady-love. Sperm which she keeps in a special place to use at her own discretion when there is need for another dark and singing cloud of ant folk mating in the air. Once the lady has collected the sperm, she too falls to the ground, but unless she breaks her back or neck or is eaten by one of a thousand things, she staggers to her legs and looks for a stone to rub on, cracking and shedding the wings she will never need again. Then she begins her journey searching for a suitable place to build her kingdom. She crawls into the hollow of a tree, examines its walls and corners. She seals herself off from all society and eats her own wing muscles until she bears her eggs. When the first larvae appear, there is nothing to feed them, so she gives them their unhatched sisters until they are old enough and strong enough to hunt and bring their prey back to the kingdom. That is all. Bearing, hunting, eating, fighting, burying. No time for dreaming, although sometimes, late in life, somewhere between the thirtieth and fortieth generation she might get wind of a summer storm one day. The scent of it will invade her palace and she will recall the rush of wind on her belly - the stretch of fresh wings, the blinding anticipation and herself, there, airborne, suspended, open, trusting, frightened, determined, vulnerable - girlish, even, for and entire second and then another and another. She may lift her head then, and point her wands toward the place where the summer storm is entering her palace and in the weariness that ruling queens alone know, she may wonder whether his death was sudden. Or did he languish? And if so, if there was a bit of time left, did he think how mean the world was, or did he fill that space of time thinking of her? But soldier ants do not have time for dreaming. They are women and have much to do. Still it would be hard. So very hard to forget the man who fucked like a star.
Toni Morrison (Tar baby)
O Moon that rid'st the night to wake Before the dawn is pale, The hamadryad in the brake, The Satyr in the vale, Caught in thy net of shadows What dreams hast thou to show? Who treads the silent meadows To worship thee below? The patter of the rain is hushed, The wind's wild dance is done, Cloud-mountains ruby-red were flushed About the setting sun: And now beneath thy argent beam The wildwood standeth still, Some spirit of an ancient dream Breathes from the silent hill. Witch-Goddess Moon, thy spell invokes The Ancient Ones of night, Once more the old stone altar smokes, The fire is glimmering bright. Scattered and few thy children be, Yet gather we unknown To dance the old round merrily About the time-worn stone. We ask no Heaven, we fear no Hell, Nor mourn our outcast lot, Treading the mazes of a spell By priests and men forgot.
Gerald B. Gardner (The Meaning of Witchcraft)
You said it was twenty feet!” “Yeah. You’ll have to trust me. Put your arms around my neck and hang on.” “How can you possibly—” “There!” cried a voice behind them. “Kill the ungrateful tourists!” The children of Nyx had found them. Annabeth wrapped her arms around Percy’s neck. “Go!” With her eyes closed, she could only guess how he managed it. Maybe he used the force of the river somehow. Maybe he was just scared out of his mind and charged with adrenaline. Percy leaped with more strength than she would have thought possible. They sailed through the air as the river churned and wailed below them, splashing Annabeth’s bare ankles with stinging brine. Then—CLUMP. They were on solid ground again. “You can open your eyes,” Percy said, breathing hard. “But you won’t like what you see.” Annabeth blinked. After the darkness of Nyx, even the dim red glow of Tartarus seemed blinding. Before them stretched a valley big enough to fit the San Francisco Bay. The booming noise came from the entire landscape, as if thunder were echoing from beneath the ground. Under poisonous clouds, the rolling terrain glistened purple with dark red and blue scar lines. “It looks like…” Annabeth fought down her revulsion. “Like a giant heart.” “The heart of Tartarus,” Percy murmured. The center of the valley was covered with a fine black fuzz of peppery dots. They were so far away, it took Annabeth a moment to realize she was looking at an army—thousands, maybe tens of thousands of monsters, gathered around a central pinpoint of darkness. It was too far to see any details, but Annabeth had no doubt what the pinpoint was. Even from the edge of the valley, Annabeth could feel its power tugging at her soul. “The Doors of Death.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet. Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation to thee. Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee. Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
Let me wander here forever, through the glades where once I played, Long ago in carefree seasons, mid the noontide sun and shade. I will see again before me, all those smiling friends I knew, gone alas to memory's keeping, faithful comrades good and true. Oh, those days of youth and splendour, when we dreamed of glorious war, vows were made to keep forever, and return back here once more. Then the clouds began to gather, winter came, we marched away, singing songs of love and valour, off we went into the fray. Comes a warrior returning, to autumn's gold-clad trees, where the leaves do fall like teardrops, on the gently sighing breeze. Casting sword and shield aside now, I stand weary and forlorn, In the silence of the woodlands, I will rest until the dawn. Let me sleep and dream forever, of the golden days of yore, and those friends who marched off with me, who'll return alas no more.
Brian Jacques (Eulalia! (Redwall, #19))
humans deserve a night sky, a sky full of possibilities—sometimes of clouds, often the moon, occasionally planets, nearly always stars and the Milky Way in which we live.
Heather E. Heying (A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life)
I’ve been told since that there’s a name for something like it—a murmuration—a rare bird gathering that looks like a dancing cloud.
Lynda Rutledge (West with Giraffes)
I’ve come to accept the voices in my head… I just wish they didn’t spit when they talk.
Gibson Michaels (Storm Clouds Gathering (Sentience, #1))
It's always amazed me how so many can people have more degrees than a thermometer, but if common sense was explosive... they couldn't blow their nose.
Gibson Michaels (Storm Clouds Gathering (Sentience, #1))
And then we no longer distinguish far nor near They sleep dream gather branches for this fire the cloud brews against the powerless day — Long line of fugitives beneath the snow
Deborah Heissler (Près d’eux, la nuit sous la neige)
Langston Hughes: Gather out of star-dust Earth-dust, Cloud-dust, Storm-dust, And splinters of hail, One handful of dream-dust Not for sale.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
O Cloud, in all the lands you choose, gathering greater glory in the rains; may you never be parted from the lightning even for an instant.
Kālidāsa (The Loom of Time: A Selection of His Plays and Poems)
We are not only slaves of the culture in which we have been brought up; we are also slaves to the vast cloud of misery and sorrow of all humanity, to the vastness of its confusion, violence and brutality. We never seem to pay attention to the accumulated sorrow of man. Nor are we aware of the terrible violence which has been gathering generation after generation.
J. Krishnamurti (Meeting Life: Writings and Talks on Finding Your Path Without Retreating from Society)
Despite the perturbations of the world, life goes on. The sky presents an endless canopy of translucent blue. The still air is suffused with sunshine. Perhaps tomorrow the beneficent clouds will gather and it will finally rain. The earth will cool and revive and in that seminal moment all our sins perchance will be washed away. It might happen. But somehow I doubt it.
John Dolan (Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, #1))
God is a wise husbandman, who "waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it (James 5:7). He cannot gather the fruit until it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive the blessing to our profit and His glory. Waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen the soul for His blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial, that breaks in showers of blessing, is as necessary. Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. God waited four thousand years, until the fullness of time, before He sent His Son. Our times are in His hands. He will avenge His elect speedily. He will make haste for our help and not delay one hour too long.
Andrew Murray (Waiting on God)
1) Did the people of Viet Nam use lanterns of stone? 2) Did they hold ceremonies to reverence the opening of buds? 3) Were they inclined to quiet laughter? 4) Did they use bone and ivory, jade and silver, for ornament? 5) Had they an epic poem? 6) Did they distinguish between speech and singing? 1) Sir, their light hearts turned to stone. It is not remembered whether in gardens stone lanterns illumined pleasant ways. 2) Perhaps they gathered once to delight in blossom, but after the children were killed there were no more buds. 3) Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth. 4) A dream ago, perhaps. Ornament is for joy. All the bones were charred. 5) It is not remembered. Remember, most were peasants; their life was in rice and bamboo. When peaceful clouds were reflected in the paddies and the water buffalo stepped surely along terraces, maybe fathers told their sons old tales. When bombs smashed those mirrors there was time only to scream. 6) There is an echo yet of their speech which was like a song. It was reported their singing resembled the flight of moths in moonlight. Who can say? It is silent now.
Denise Levertov (Poems of Denise Levertov, 1960-1967)
The stars are spinning their threads, And the clouds are the dust that flies, And the suns are weaving them up For the time when the sleepers shall rise. The ocean in music rolls, And gems are turning to eyes, And the trees are gathering souls For the day when the sleepers shall rise. The weepers are learning to smile, And laughter to glean the sighs; Burn and bury the care and guile, For the day when the sleepers shall rise. Oh, the dews and the moths and the daisy red, The larks and the glimmers and flows! The lilies and sparrows and daily bread, And the something that nobody knows!
George MacDonald (The Princess and Curdie (Princess Irene and Curdie, #2))
This earth eats men and women, and yet we are sent to eat the world, this place that tries to fool us with tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow, which we outwit by enjoying only this now. We gather at night to celebrate being human. Sometimes we call out low to the tambourine. Fish drink the sea, but the sea does not get smaller! We eat the clouds and evening light. We are slaves tasting the royal wine.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
I curse him silently for moving my hands as he raises them to study the scars. He kisses them, his lips a fluid brush along sensitive flesh, then places them on his cheeks. Mouth inches from mine, he whispers, "Forgive me for bringing you into this. There was no other way." His skin is softer than clouds must feel, and the tears gathering around my fingertips are hot and tangible. But are they sincere? Our breaths swirl between us, and his black eyes swallow me whole. My heart knocks against the bottom of his rib cage. I know what's coming next. I fear it. But it's the surest way to distract him and get the wish. And if it has to happen, I'm going to be the instigator. Rising up on my toes, I press my mouth to his. He moans, frees my wrists, and sweep-s me into his arms—sealing the teddy bear between us.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Am I so difficult to understand and so easy to misunderstand in all my intentions, plans, and friendships? Ah, we lonely ones and free spirits—it is borne home to us that in some way or other we constantly appear different from what we think. Whereas we wish for nothing more than truth and straightforwardness, we are surrounded by a net of misunderstanding, and despite our most ardent wishes we cannot help our actions being smothered in a cloud of false opinion, attempted compromises, semi-concessions, charitable silence, and erroneous interpretations. Such things gather a weight of melancholy on our brow; for we hate more than death the thought that pretence should be necessary, and such incessant chafing against these things makes us volcanic and menacing. From time to time we avenge ourselves for all our enforced concealment and compulsory self-restraint. We emerge from our cells with terrible faces, our words and deeds are then explosions, and it is not beyond the verge of possibility that we perish through ourselves. Thus dangerously do I live! It is precisely we solitary ones that require love and companions in whose presence we may be open and simple, and the eternal struggle of silence and dissimulation can cease.
Friedrich Nietzsche
To Autumn" Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
John Keats (To Autumn)
[T]his jealousy gave him, if anything, an agreeable chill, as, to the sad Parisian who is leaving Venice behind him to return to France, a last mosquito proves that Italy and summer are still not too remote. But, as a rule, with this particular period of his life from which he was emerging, when he made an effort, if not to remain in it, at least to obtain a clear view of it while he still could, he discovered that already it was too late; he would have liked to glimpse, as though it were a landscape that was about to disappear, that love from which he had departed; but it was so difficult to enter into a state of duality and to present to oneself the lifelike spectacle of a feeling one has ceased to possess, that very soon, the clouds gathering in his brain, he could see nothing at all, abandoned the attempt, took the glasses from his nose and wiped them; and he told himself that he would do better to rest for a little, that there would be time enough later on, and settled back into his corner with the incuriosity, the torpor of the drowsy sleeper in the railway-carriage that is drawing him, he feels, faster and faster out of the country in which he has lived for so long and which he had vowed not to allow to slip away from him without looking out to bid it a last farewell.
Marcel Proust (Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1))
I bent down and sang Tihas, tihas, kai tihas, kai tihas, over and over, and found myself falling into the sound of the birthday song about living a hundred years. That sounds absurd, but the rhythm of it was easy and familiar, comforting. I stopped having to think about the words: they filled my mouth and spilled over like water out of a cup. I forgot to remember Jerzy’s mad laughter, and the green vile cloud that had drowned the light inside him. There was only the easy movement of the song, the memory of faces gathered around a table laughing. And then finally the magic flowed, but not the same way as when the Dragon’s spell-lessons dragged it in a rush out of me. Instead it seemed to me the sound of the chanting became a stream made to carry magic along, and I was standing by the water’s edge with a pitcher that never ran dry, pouring a thin silver line into the rushing current.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
Lamium Migraine dreams, jagged seams, A badge of love and pain. Or dreamy eyes, sleepy eyes, Drooping, closing, losing light. Packages scattered under the tree, Some torn open, some tied tight. Is there a heartbeat in those purple veins? Are those embryos or mouths or rosary beads? The color of my first dress, gathered with love, Fairy cups stirred with blades of grass, notes clustered on a windy score, Three blooms, three friends, alas! Grape flowers, cloud flowers, love flowers, Paper parasols upside down, a butterfly herd Stopped to rest by a deep green pool. Petals small as a child's tears good-bye, Dropped stitches everywhere From a blanket the color of sky.
Louise Hawes (The Language of Stars)
Yes," he replied, "absolutely sans mademoiselle; for I am to take mademoiselle to the moon, and there I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there, and only me." "She will have nothing to eat--you will starve her," observed Adèle. "I shall gather manna for her morning and night; the plains and hell-sides in the moon are bleached with manna, Adèle." "She will want to warm herself; what will she do for a fire?" "Fire rises out of the lunar mountains; when she is cold, I'll carry her up to a peak and lay her down on the edge of a crater." "Oh, she'll be uncomfortable there! And her clothes, they will wear out; how can she get new ones?" Mr. Rochester professed to be puzzled. "Hem!" said he. "What would you do, Adèle? Cudgel your brains for an expedient. How would a white or a pink cloud answer for a gown, do you think? And one could cut a pretty enough scarf out of a rainbow." "She is far better as she is," concluded Adèle, after musing some time; "besides, she would get tired of living with only you in the moon. If I were mademoiselle, I would never consent to go with you.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The innocent brightness of a new-born day Is lovely yet: The clouds that gather round the setting sun 19 Do take a sober coloring from an eye That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality; Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
James Baldwin (Six Centuries of English Poetry from Tennyson to Chaucer: Typical Selections from the Great Poets)
Once, while cleaning the trout before I went home in the almost night, I had a vision of going over to the poor graveyard and gathering up grass and fruit jars and tin cans and markers and wilted flowers and bugs and weeds and clods and going home and putting a hook in the vise and tying a fly with all that stuff and then going outside and casting it up into the sky, watching it float over clouds and then into the evening star. (from Trout Fishing on the Bevel, page 21)
Richard Brautigan (Trout Fishing in America / The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster / In Watermelon Sugar)
I felt in that moment as if it were all a dream—the training, my former life, the world I had left behind. None of that mattered anymore. Only this place mattered, only this moment, and not because the psychologist had hypnotized me. In the grip of that powerful emotion, I stared out toward the coast, through the jagged narrow spaces between the trees. There, a greater darkness gathered, the confluence of the night, the clouds, and the sea. Somewhere beyond, another border.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
Are you sure this isn’t a nightmare?” he asked quietly. “And that we won’t just wake up?” I stared ahead at the road, the way the dust blowing in from the desert covered it with a faint golden sheen even as gray clouds began to gather over us. “Yes,
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight: Book 3 (A Darkest Minds Novel))
Pearl spent the passing days buried so deep in the musty, dusty sorcery tomes that sometimes when she emerged, she spoke in archaic english. "Hast thou a light?" she'd asked him this afternoon when her study room had grown dark with gathering clouds.
Gail Dayton (Heart's Blood (Blood Magic, #2))
Adèle heard him, and asked if she was to go to school “sans mademoiselle?” “Yes,” he replied, “absolutely sans mademoiselle; for I am to take mademoiselle to the moon, and there I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there, and only me.” “She will have nothing to eat: you will starve her,” observed Adèle. “I shall gather manna for her morning and night: the plains and hillsides in the moon are bleached with manna, Adèle.” “She will want to warm herself: what will she do for a fire?” “Fire rises out of the lunar mountains: when she is cold, I’ll carry her up to a peak, and lay her down on the edge of a crater.” “Oh, qu’ elle y sera mal—peu comfortable!  And her clothes, they will wear out: how can she get new ones?” Mr. Rochester professed to be puzzled.  “Hem!” said he.  “What would you do, Adèle?  Cudgel your brains for an expedient.  How would a white or a pink cloud answer for a gown, do you think?  And one could cut a pretty enough scarf out of a rainbow.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Behold now, let the Dead and Living meet! Across the gulf of Time they still are one. Time hath no power against Identity, though sleep the merciful hath blotted out the tablets of our mind, and with oblivion sealed the sorrows that else would hound us from life to life, stuffing the brain with gathered griefs till it burst in the madness of uttermost despair. Still are they one, for the wrappings of our sleep shall roll away as thunder-clouds before the wind; the frozen voice of the past shall melt in music like mountain snows beneath the sun; and the weeping and the laughter of the lost hours shall be heard once more most sweetly echoing up the cliffs of immeasurable time. Ay, the sleep shall roll away, and the voices shall be heard, when down the completed chain, whereof our each existence is a link, the lightning of the Spirit hath passed to work out the purpose of our being; quickening and fusing those separated days of life, and shaping them to a staff whereon we may safely lean as we wend to our appointed fate. - Ayesha
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
A breakfast-room adjoined the drawing-room, I slipped in there.  It contained a bookcase: I soon possessed myself of a volume, taking care that it should be one stored with pictures.  I mounted into the window-seat: gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk; and, having drawn the red moreen curtain nearly close, I was shrined in double retirement. Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to the right hand; to the left were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the drear November day.  At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon.  Afar, it offered a pale blank of mist and cloud; near a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast. I
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. PSALM 25:9 JUNE 22 After a speaking engagement in Florida, my hosts assigned a Navy captain to fly me home. En route, the captain told me that there was a very heavy overcast in New York. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “we’ll have to go in on instruments.” We went down, down, down. And finally, I saw the lights of the runway and we came right up to the ramp. It was a beautiful landing. The captain said, “The primary ingredient for a good landing is faith. I have to have faith in these instruments. If I didn’t, I might think, ‘Well, maybe this instrument isn’t exactly right, so I’ll make this adjustment.’ And that could have tragic consequences.” Your religious education is your instrument panel for safe navigation through the long flight of the years. When clouds gather, storms develop, and trouble looms, if you lose faith in your instruments, you can be lost. But if you have faith in the teachings of the Bible, in prayer, in the church, in goodness, love, and hope, your instruments will bring you through.
Norman Vincent Peale (Positive Living Day by Day)
That evening we sat around the campfire. The clouds that had gathered overhead all day broke up and the moonlight shimmered on the Cocus River. The current glittered a silvery reflection. Nor was the Jungle dark. Hundreds of fireflies danced about - it was a magnificent evening
Yossi Ghinsberg (Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival)
She sees the cloud above him grow darker, gather its horrible rank strength. She wants to reach across the table then, to lay her hand on his arm. She wants to say, I am here. But what if her words are not enough? What if she is not enough of a salve for his nameless pain? For the first
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
her. It was a lump of glass with a storm cloud trapped inside. In the lobby, the people gathered at the bar clinked their glasses together. “To Arthur,” they said. They drank for a few more minutes and then went their separate ways in the storm. Of all of them there at the bar that night, the
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
I am totally lost in the folds of Love, totally free of worry and care. I have passed beyond the four qualities. My heart has torn away the veil of pretense. There was a time I circled with the nine spheres, rolling with the stars across the sky. There was a time I stayed by his side— I lived in his world and he gave me everything. With the best of intentions I became a prisoner in this form. How else did I get here? What crime did I commit? But I’d rather be in a prison with my Friend than in a rosegarden all alone. I came to this world To have a sight of Joseph’s purity. Like a baby born of its mother’s womb, I was brought here with blood and tears. People think they are born only once But they have been here so many times. In the cloak of this ragged body I have walked countless paths. How many times I have worn out this cloak! With ascetics in the desert I watched night turn into day. With pagans in the temple I slept at the foot of idols. I’ve been a charlatan and a king; I’ve been a healer, and fraught with disease. I’ve been on my death-bed so many times. . . . Floating up like the clouds Pouring down like the rain. As a darvish I sought the dust of annihilation but it never touched my robe. So I gathered armfuls of roses in this faded garden of existence. I am not of wind nor fire nor of the stormy seas. I am not formed out of painted clay. I am not even Shams-e Tabriz— I am the essence of laughter, I am pure light. Look again if you see me— It’s not me you have seen!
Rumi (Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved)
The saints are little pieces of mystical Christ, sick of love for union. The wife of youth, that wants her husband some years, and expects he shall return to her from oversea lands, is often on the shore; every ship coming near shore is her new joy; her heart loves the wind that shall bring him home. She asks at every passenger news: "Oh! saw ye my husband? What is he doing? When shall he come? Is he shipped for a return?" Every ship that carrieth not her husband, is the breaking of her heart. What desires hath the Spirit and Bride to hear, when the husband Christ shall say to the mighty angels, "Make you ready for the journey; let us go down and divide the skies, and bow the heaven: I will gather my prisoners of hope unto me; I can want my Rachel and her weeping children no longer. Behold, I come quickly to judge the nations." The bride, the Lamb's wife, blesseth the feet of the messengers that preach such tidings, "Rejoice, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments; thy King is coming." Yea, she loveth that quarter of the sky, that being rent asunder and cloven, shall yield to her Husband, when he shall put through his glorious hand, and shall come riding on the rainbow and clouds to receive her to himself.
Samuel Rutherford (The Trial and Triumph of Faith)
It is the duty of God’s people to trust in Him when in darkness…It may look as though God has forsaken them and does not hear their prayers. Many clouds may gather and many enemies may surround them formidably, threatening to swallow them up. All events of providence seem to be against them and all circumstances seem to render the promises of God too difficult to be fulfilled. Yet God must be trusted when He is out of sight, when we cannot see how it is possible for Him to fulfill His word. When everything but God’s Word makes it look so unlikely, it is then that people must believe with hope against hope.10
Gary L. Thomas (Thirsting for God)
I see the eight of us within our “Secret Annex” as if we were a little piece of blue heaven, surrounded by black, black rain clouds. The round, clearly defined spot where we stand is still safe, but the clouds gather more closely about us and the circle which separates us from the approaching dangers closes more and more tightly. Now we are so surrounded by danger and darkness that we bump against each other, as we search desperately for a means of escape. We all look down below, where people are fighting each other, we look above, where it is quiet and beautiful, and meanwhile we are cut off by the great dark mass.
Francine Prose (Anne Frank)
 If Pelimburg was a city of impossible times, MallenIve in summer is a pocket-watch. By three the clouds begin to gather low and black, rumbling ominously to each other as they convene, and within the hour, they release their downpour on the sweating city. A fat blob of rain splatters on the glass. Four o’clock, then.
Cat Hellisen (House of Sand and Secrets (Hobverse #2))
The weather is certainly unpredictable here,isn't it?" "It's always unpredictable when the MacLeans are involved." She turned to look at him. "You've heard the rumors of the curse?" "I've heard them and believe them." He moved beside her. "Don't you?" The pocket she needed to reach was on his other side, blast it. "Do you think one of the MacLeans might be angry now?" He looked over her head to the gathering clouds, a frown settling between his eyes. "Yes," he said quietly. "One of them is growing more furious by the moment." A fresh wind now tossed the treetops about, the grass rippled like an angry ocean, and the clouds filled the entire sky.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
I burn the clouds, Knowing that remembrance has thorny flasks. I plough the sky by sea, Knowing that tears are bluer than my joy. I watch my follies in fancy, hoping that sparrows inherit my maze, And listen to those who rouse war from its nap. I see my blood trundled at the borders, I plead to words to gather it on the page.
Basim Furat
At evening the autumnal forests resound With deadly weapons, the golden plains And blue lakes, above them the sun Rolls more darkly by; night enfolds The dying warriors, the wild lament Of their broken mouths. But in the grassy vale the spilled blood, Red clouds in which an angry god lives, Gathers softly, lunar coldness; All roads lead to black decay. Beneath the golden boughs of night and stars The sister’s shadow reels through the silent grove To greet the ghosts of heroes, their bleeding heads; And the dark flutes of autumn sound softly in the reeds. O prouder sorrow! you brazen altars Today an immense anguish feeds the mind’s hot flame, The unborn descendants.
Georg Trakl
The air is heavy, sweet with perfume, stirred only by a scratchy music that soars and glides and stuns itself against the walls. Large leaded windows look out over the garden at the rear of the house, gray clouds piling up beyond a cupola. Chairs and chaise longues have been gathered around the fire, young women draped over them like wilted orchids, smoking cigarettes and clinging to their drinks. The mood in the room is one of restless agitation rather than celebration. About the only sign of life comes from an oil painting on the far wall, where an old woman with coals for eyes sits in judgment of the room, her expression conveying her distaste for this gathering.
Stuart Turton (The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
Redefining Realness is my attempt to extend that nakedness and vulnerability to you. It is about those parts of ourselves that we silence every day; those parts that we all store away in boxes deep within, where they gather the dust of shame that clouds us. In this book, I aim to open those boxes, display their contents, and be accountable to my truth.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More)
October" I remember how I would say, “I will gather These pieces together, Any minute now I will make A knife out of a cloud.” Even then the days Went leaving their wounds behind them, But, “Monument,” I kept saying to the grave, “I am still your legend.” There was another time When our hands met and the clocks struck And we lived on the point of a needle, like angels. I have seen the spider’s triumph In the palm of my hand. Above My grave, that thoroughfare, There are words now that can bring My eyes to my feet, tamed. Beyond the trees wearing names that are not their own The paths are growing like smoke. The promises have gone, Gone, gone, and they were here just now. There is the sky where they laid their fish. Soon it will be evening.
W.S. Merwin (The Moving Target)
Those men have never done anything in their lives except stare at the clouds and the stars. The Indians take them food and tobacco, and on certain evenings gather around the fire as they tell their tribesmen all the strange thoughts and dreams which they have had. Huicholes believe that men cannot have pure thoughts if they are required to participate in the daily tasks of life.
Warren Eyster (The Goblins of Eros)
24So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD.  bAnd he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25Then  cthe LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
This arrogant, conceited history strides with her head in the clouds and never looks down. She does not realize how she crushes millions of people beneath her feet. The common people. She doesn't understand that one may cut a mountain in two, but people? It's a hard task, Bhai, to cute one people in two. They bleed." A deep sigh coursed through the gathering. Master Fazal said, "History will keep on marching like this. The names of a few people will stick to her fabric. She will register those. there was Hitler, there was Mussolini, Churchill and Joseph Stalin, among others. this time the names maybe Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jinnah, Subhash Bose! But the names of the lakhs and crores who have lost their lives will be nowhere. They will be mere numbers in which all of us will be included!".
गुलज़ार (Two)
Sometime after midnight, another band of soldiers broke into the tiny chapel in the Imperial Park which had become Rasputin’s tomb and exhumed the coffin. They took it to a clearing in the forest, pried off the lid and, using sticks to avoid touching the putrefying corpse, lifted what remained of Rasputin onto a pile of pine logs. The body and logs were drenched with gasoline and set on fire. For more than six hours, the body burned while an icy wind howled through the clearing and clouds of pungent smoke rose from the pyre. Along with the soldiers, a group of peasants gathered, silent and afraid, to watch through the night as the final scene of this baleful drama was played. It had happened as Rasputin once predicted: he would be killed and his body not left in peace, but burned, with his ashes scattered to the winds.
Robert K. Massie (Nicholas and Alexandra)
Ghost Dancers Rise: At the 500th anniversary of Columbus's landing, tribal leaders gathered in Washington, DC, for a ceremony in front of the Capitol. They could have dwelt on the catastrophes that were Columbus's legacy, but instead they closed the ceremony with these words: We stand young warriors In the circle At dawn all storm clouds disappear The future brings all hope and glory, Ghost dancers rise Five-hundred years.
Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger
Perhaps it increased his annoyance that there was a certain unusual liveliness about the usually languid figure of Fisher. The ordinary image of him in March's mind was that of a pallid and bald-browed gentleman, who seemed to be prematurely old as well as prematurely bald. He was remembered as a man who expressed the opinions of a pessimist in the language of a lounger. Even now March could not be certain whether the change was merely a sort of masquerade of sunshine, or that effect of clear colors and clean-cut outlines that is always visible on the parade of a marine resort, relieved against the blue dado of the sea. But Fisher had a flower in his buttonhole, and his friend could have sworn he carried his cane with something almost like the swagger of a fighter. With such clouds gathering over England, the pessimist seemed to be the only man who carried his own sunshine.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Knew Too Much)
There is a man in China who gathers stones, without ceasing. He sheds abundant tears, and as the tears fall on the ground they change into stones, which again he gathers. If the clouds were to weep tears like these it would be a . matter for sorrow and sighing. Real knowledge becomes the possession of the true seeker. If it is necessary to seek knowledge in China, then go. But when knowledge is distorted by the formal mind, it becomes petrified, like stones. How long must real knowledge continue to be misunderstood? This world, this house of sorrows, is in darkness; but true knowledge is a jewel, it will burn like a lamp and guide you in this gloomy place. If you spurn this jewel, you will ever be a prey to regret. If you lag behind, you will weep bitter tears. But if you sleep little by night, and fast by day, you may find what you seek. Seek, then, and be lost in the quest.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Returning to the arched window, she lifted her eyes- scowling, poor dim-sighted Hepzibah, in the face of heaven!- and strove hard to send up a prayer through the dense grey pavement of clouds. Those mists had gathered , as if to symbolize a great, brooding mass of human trouble, doubt, confusion, and chill indifference, between earth and the better regions. Her faith was too weak; the prayer to heavy to be thus uplifted. It fell back, a lump of lead, upon her heart. It smote her with the wretched conviction that Providence intermeddled not in these petty wrongs of one individual to his fellow, nor had any balm for these little agonies of a solitary soul; but shed it's justice , and it's mercy, in a broad, sunlike sweep, over half the universe at once. It's vastness made it nothing. But Hepzibah did not see that, just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every cottage window, so comes a lovebeam of God's care and pity for every separate need
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The House of the Seven Gables)
The best benchside exoticisms January could offer were all on show—the starling, the dandelion, the blown seeds and the birds skeining against the grey clouds, hazing it and mazing it, a featherlight kaleidoscope noon-damp and knowing the sky was never truly grey, just filled with a thousand years of birds’ paths, and wishful seeds, a bird-seed sky as something meddled and ripe and wish-hot, the breeze bird-breath soft like a—what—heart stopped in a lobby above one’s lungs as well it might, as might it will—seeds take a shape too soft to be called a burr, like falling asleep on a bench with the sun on your face, seeds in a shape too soft to be called a globe, too breakable to be a constellation, too tough to not be worth wishing upon, the crowd of birds, an unheard murmuration (pl. n.) not led by one bird but a cloud-folly of seeds, blasted by one of countless breaths escaping from blasted wished-upon clock as a breath, providing a clockwork with no regard to time nor hands, flocking with no purpose other than the clotting and thrilling and thrumming, a flock as gathered ellipses rather than lines of wing and bone and beak, falling asleep grey-headed rather than young and dazzling—more puff than flower—collecting the ellipses of empty speech bubbles, the words never said or sayable, former pauses in speech as busy as leaderless birds, twisting, blown apart softly, to warm and colour even the widest of skies.
Eley Williams (The Liar's Dictionary)
Our bodies are in constant, rhythmic change, but because so much of this is happening beneath our waking consciousness, we can feel out of control, or ‘all at sea’. When we begin to notice the pattern of these cycles, their repetitive nature, their connection to nature beyond us, we can begin to feel not like victims unprepared for the weather, but like adventurers of days gone by, who navigate by nature—the pull of the tides, the placing of the stars and the gathering storm clouds.
Lucy H. Pearce (Moon Time: harness the ever-changing energy of your menstrual cycle)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Once, Maher says, in his home village, a stranger appeared on a hilltop and claimed he would fly. All day a crowd gathered, he says, and every now and then the man would announce, “Soon I will fly,” and would point out various places in the distance he would fly to, and he walked around stretching and shaking his arms. When the crowd had grown large, so large that not everyone could see, and the sun was nearly down, the man, not knowing what to do, pulled down his pants and showed everybody his ass. Omeir
Anthony Doerr (Cloud Cuckoo Land)
February 12 MORNING “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 1:5 HERE is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales — in this side He puts His people’s trials, and in that He puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to His crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart — He finds it full — He begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this — then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening—Classic KJV Edition: A Devotional Classic for Daily Encouragement)
Sometime that night the winds came back. Everything in the world had a strong rattle, sharp and short like Stew Beef vibrating the drum head near the edge with his fingers. By morning Gabriel was playing the deep tones in the center of the drum. So when Janie looked out of her door she saw the drifting mists gathered in the west – that cloud field of the sky – to arms themselves with thunders and march forth against the world. Louder and higher and lower and wider the sound and motion spread, mounting, sinking, darking.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Where does our laughter travel to? Does it search out monkeys in the zoo? Or settle on the heart like dew? Or cling to lip-glossed smiles on me and you? Does it hang around throughout the day? Or spread its wings and fly away? Or gather-in like puffy clouds of gray? Perhaps it hooks a rainbow’s end And melts to make the colors blend. Or paints a happy face upon a friend. Does it turn to stardust when it’s late? Or in a windstorm, circulate? Or does it simply fade and dissipate? What is our laughter’s merrymaking fate?
Richelle E. Goodrich (A Heart Made of Tissue Paper)
The wind rose, whipping at Gregori's solid form, lashing his body,ripping at the waves of black hair so that it streamed around his face. His expression was impassive, the pale silver eyes cold and merciless, unblinking and fixed on his prey. The attack came from sky and ground simultaneously; slivers of sharpened wood shot through the air on the wild winds,aimed directly at Gregori. The wolves leapt for him,eyes glowing hotly in the night. The army of the dead moved relentlessly forward, pressing toward Gregori's lone figure. His hands moved, a complicated pattern drected at the approaching army;then he was whirling, a flowing wind of motion beautiful to the eye,so fast that he blurred. Yelps and howls accompanied bodies flying through the air. Wolves landed to lie motionless at his feet. His expression never changed. There was no hint of anger or emotion,no sign of fear,no break in concentration. He simply acted as the need arose. The skeletons were mowed down by a wall of flame, an orange-red conflagration that rose in the night sky and danced furiously for a brief moment. The army withered into ashes, leaving only a pile of blackened dust that spewed across the street in the ferocious onslaught of the wind. Savannah felt Gregori wince, the pain that sliced though him just before he shut out all sensation.She whirled to face him and saw a sharpened stake portruding from his right shoulder. Even as she saw it, Gregori jerked it free.Blood gushed,spraying the area around him.Just as quickly it stopped,as if cut off midstream. The winds rose to a thunderous pitch, a whirling gale of debris above their heads like the funnel cloud of a tornado. The black cloud spun faster and paster,threatening to suck everything and everyone up into its center where the malevolent red eye stared at them with hatred. The tourists screamed in fear,and even the guide grabbed for a lamppost to hang on grimly.Gregori stood alone,the winds assaulting him,tearing at him, reaching for him.As the whirling column threatened him from above, sounding like the roar of a freight train, he merely clapped his hands, then waved to send a backdraft slamming into the dark entity.The vampire screamed his rage. The thick black cloud sucked in on itself with an audible soumd, hovering in the air, waiting, watching, silent. Evil.No one moved.No one dared to breathe. Suddenly the churning black entity gathered itself and streamed across the night sky,racing away from the hunter over the French Quarter and toward the swamp.Gregori launched himself into the air,shape-shifting as he did so,ducking the bolts of white-hot energy and slashing stakes flying in the turbulant air.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
A. There are people who collect elements. These collectors try to gather physical samples of as many of the elements as possible into periodic-table-shaped display cases.1 Of the 118 elements, 30 of them—like helium, carbon, aluminum, and iron—can be bought in pure form in local retail stores. Another few dozen can be scavenged by taking things apart (you can find tiny americium samples in smoke detectors). Others can be ordered over the Internet. All in all, it’s possible to get samples of about 80 of the elements—90, if you’re willing to take some risks with your health, safety, and arrest record. The rest are too radioactive or short-lived to collect more than a few atoms of them at once. But what if you did? The periodic table of the elements has seven rows.2 You could stack the top two rows without much trouble. The third row would burn you with fire. The fourth row would kill you with toxic smoke. The fifth row would do all that stuff PLUS give you a mild dose of radiation. The sixth row would explode violently, destroying the building in a cloud of radioactive, poisonous fire and dust. Do not build the seventh row.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
I REMEMBER the day the Aleut ship came to our island. At first it seemed like a small shell afloat on the sea. Then it grew larger and was a gull with folded wings. At last in the rising sun it became what it really was—a red ship with two red sails. My brother and I had gone to the head of a canyon that winds down to a little harbor which is called Coral Cove. We had gone to gather roots that grow there in the spring. My brother Ramo was only a little boy half my age, which was twelve. He was small for one who had lived so many suns and moons, but quick as a cricket. Also foolish as a cricket when he was excited. For this reason and because I wanted him to help me gather roots and not go running off, I said nothing about the shell I saw or the gull with folded wings. I went on digging in the brush with my pointed stick as though nothing at all were happening on the sea. Even when I knew for sure that the gull was a ship with two red sails. But Ramo’s eyes missed little in the world. They were black like a lizard’s and very large and, like the eyes of a lizard, could sometimes look sleepy. This was the time when they saw the most. This was the way they looked now. They were half-closed, like those of a lizard lying on a rock about to flick out its tongue to catch a fly. “The sea is smooth,” Ramo said. “It is a flat stone without any scratches.” My brother liked to pretend that one thing was another. “The sea is not a stone without scratches,” I said. “It is water and no waves.” “To me it is a blue stone,” he said. “And far away on the edge of it is a small cloud which sits on the stone.” “Clouds do not sit on stones. On blue ones or black ones or any kind of stones.” “This one does.” “Not on the sea,” I said. “Dolphins sit there, and gulls, and cormorants, and otter, and whales too, but not clouds.” “It is a whale, maybe.” Ramo was standing on one foot and then the other, watching the ship coming, which he did not know was a ship because he had never seen one. I had never seen one either, but I knew how they looked because I had been told. “While you gaze at the sea,” I said, “I dig roots. And it is I who will eat them and you who will not.” Ramo began to punch at the earth with his stick, but as the ship came closer, its sails showing red through the morning mist, he kept watching it, acting all the time as if he were not. “Have you ever seen a red whale?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, though I never had. “Those I have seen are gray.” “You are very young and have not seen everything that swims in the world.” Ramo picked up a root and was about to drop it into the basket. Suddenly his mouth opened wide and then closed again. “A canoe!” he cried. “A great one, bigger than all of our canoes together. And red!” A canoe or a ship, it did not matter to Ramo. In the very next breath he tossed the root in the air and was gone, crashing through the brush, shouting as he went. I kept on gathering roots, but my hands trembled as I dug in the earth, for I was more excited than my brother. I knew that it was a ship there on the
Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight, And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly, The surface glittered out of heart of light, And they were behind us, reflected in the pool. Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty. Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children, 40 Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present.   II   Garlic and sapphires in the mud Clot the bedded axle-tree. The trilling wire in the blood Sings below inveterate scars And reconciles forgotten wars. The dance along the artery The circulation of the lymph Are figured in the drift of stars Ascend to summer in the tree We move above the moving tree In light upon the figured leaf And hear upon the sodden floor Below, the boarhound and the boar Pursue their pattern as before 60 But reconciled among the stars.   At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
And what is the nature of these other worlds? As we have discovered in previous chapters, they are infinitely varied and ever-changing, and often fail to comply with the conventions of our present world, which we are arrogant enough to call the physical laws of the universe. There are places where men and women are winged and red-skinned, and places where there is no such thing as man and woman but only persons somewhere in between. There are worlds where the continents are carried on the backs of vast turtles swimming through freshwater oceans, where snakes speak riddles, where the lines between the dead and living are blurred to insignificance. I have seen villages where fire itself had been tamed, and followed at men's heels like an obedient hound, and cities with glass spires so high they gathered clouds around their spiral points. (If you are wondering why other worlds seem so brimful of magic compared to your own dreary Earth, consider how magical this world seems from another perspective. To a world of sea people, your ability to breathe air is stunning; to a world of spear throwers, your machines are demons harnessed to work tirelessly in your service; to a world of glaciers and clouds, summer itself is a miracle.)
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
He did not want to fail, when the Bee Master had trusted him with the home and the possessions and the occupation that were all he had of his very own, and he did not know that as the storm drew nearer, as the clouds grew blacker, as the heat waves resolved themselves into definite flashes of lightning, as the night closed down black as velvet around him, he did not realize that his moral and mental forces were rising with the tide of the storm, that all the remnants of manhood left in his shaken body were gathering together for some sort of culmination, just as presently the storm would reach its height and then subside.
Gene Stratton-Porter (The Keeper of the Bees)
The Garden of Proserpine" Here, where the world is quiet; Here, where all trouble seems Dead winds' and spent waves' riot In doubtful dreams of dreams; I watch the green field growing For reaping folk and sowing, For harvest-time and mowing, A sleepy world of streams. I am tired of tears and laughter, And men that laugh and weep; Of what may come hereafter For men that sow to reap: I am weary of days and hours, Blown buds of barren flowers, Desires and dreams and powers And everything but sleep. Here life has death for neighbour, And far from eye or ear Wan waves and wet winds labour, Weak ships and spirits steer; They drive adrift, and whither They wot not who make thither; But no such winds blow hither, And no such things grow here. No growth of moor or coppice, No heather-flower or vine, But bloomless buds of poppies, Green grapes of Proserpine, Pale beds of blowing rushes Where no leaf blooms or blushes Save this whereout she crushes For dead men deadly wine. Pale, without name or number, In fruitless fields of corn, They bow themselves and slumber All night till light is born; And like a soul belated, In hell and heaven unmated, By cloud and mist abated Comes out of darkness morn. Though one were strong as seven, He too with death shall dwell, Nor wake with wings in heaven, Nor weep for pains in hell; Though one were fair as roses, His beauty clouds and closes; And well though love reposes, In the end it is not well. Pale, beyond porch and portal, Crowned with calm leaves, she stands Who gathers all things mortal With cold immortal hands; Her languid lips are sweeter Than love's who fears to greet her To men that mix and meet her From many times and lands. She waits for each and other, She waits for all men born; Forgets the earth her mother, The life of fruits and corn; And spring and seed and swallow Take wing for her and follow Where summer song rings hollow And flowers are put to scorn. There go the loves that wither, The old loves with wearier wings; And all dead years draw thither, And all disastrous things; Dead dreams of days forsaken, Blind buds that snows have shaken, Wild leaves that winds have taken, Red strays of ruined springs. We are not sure of sorrow, And joy was never sure; To-day will die to-morrow; Time stoops to no man's lure; And love, grown faint and fretful, With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful Weeps that no loves endure. From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be That no life lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea. Then star nor sun shall waken, Nor any change of light: Nor sound of waters shaken, Nor any sound or sight: Nor wintry leaves nor vernal, Nor days nor things diurnal; Only the sleep eternal In an eternal night.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in Calydon)
They pay their bill, gather their number, and, hand in hand, arm in arm, drift out into the night. Kady Grant pauses by the door, turning for one last look at the vidwall. Her eyes are clouded as she watches the truth she fought so hard to tell now playing on the wall for all the universe to see. Ezra Mason walks back into the restaurant, takes her hand in his. "You okay?" he asks softly. She turns and looks at him. Blue eyes shining bright. "I love you, Ezra Mason," she says. He blinks in surprise. His smile says more than any words could, but still he speaks. "I love you too, beautiful." She squeezes his hand. Kisses his lips. And together, they walk toward their distant shore. Some place fine and far from here.
Amie Kaufman (Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3))
Miriam gave her hair a preliminary drying, gathered her dressing-gown together and went upstairs. From the schoolroom came unmistakable sounds. They were evidently at dinner. She hurried to her attic. What was she to do with her hair? She rubbed it desperately—fancy being landed with hair like that, in the middle of the day! She could not possibly go down.... She must. Fraulein Pfaff would expect her to—and would be disgusted if she were not quick—she towelled frantically at the short strands round her forehead, despairingly screwed them into Hinde's and towelled at the rest. What had the other girls done? If only she could look into the schoolroom before going down—it was awful—what should she do?... She caught sight of a sodden-looking brush on Mademoiselle's bed. Mademoiselle had put hers up—she had seen her... of course... easy enough for her little fluffy clouds—she could do nothing with her straight, wet lumps—she began to brush it out—it separated into thin tails which flipped tiny drops of moisture against her hands as she brushed. Her arms ached; her face flared with her exertions. She was ravenous—she must manage somehow and go down. She braided the long strands and fastened their cold mass with extra hairpins. Then she unfastened the Hinde's—two tendrils flopped limply against her forehead. She combed them out. They fell in a curtain of streaks to her nose. Feverishly she divided them, draped them somehow back into the rest of her hair and fastened them.
Dorothy M. Richardson
LECHLADE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE. (Composed September, 1815. Published with “Alastor”, 1816.) The wind has swept from the wide atmosphere Each vapour that obscured the sunset’s ray; And pallid Evening twines its beaming hair In duskier braids around the languid eyes of Day: Silence and Twilight, unbeloved of men,    5 Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen. They breathe their spells towards the departing day, Encompassing the earth, air, stars, and sea; Light, sound, and motion own the potent sway, Responding to the charm with its own mystery.    10 The winds are still, or the dry church-tower grass Knows not their gentle motions as they pass. Thou too, aereal Pile! whose pinnacles Point from one shrine like pyramids of fire, Obeyest in silence their sweet solemn spells,    15 Clothing in hues of heaven thy dim and distant spire, Around whose lessening and invisible height Gather among the stars the clouds of night. The dead are sleeping in their sepulchres: And, mouldering as they sleep, a thrilling sound,    20 Half sense, half thought, among the darkness stirs, Breathed from their wormy beds all living things around, And mingling with the still night and mute sky Its awful hush is felt inaudibly. Thus solemnized and softened, death is mild    25 And terrorless as this serenest night: Here could I hope, like some inquiring child Sporting on graves, that death did hide from human sight Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep That loveliest dreams perpetual watch did keep.    30
Percy Bysshe Shelley (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
But now, while we have loitered, the clouds have gathered again, and a few straggling snowflakes are beginning to descend. Faster and faster they fall, shutting out the distant objects from sight. The snow falls on every wood and field, and no crevice is forgotten; by the river and the pond, on the hill and in the valley. Quadrupeds are confined to their coverts and the birds sit upon their perches this peaceful hour. There is not so much sound as in fair weather, but silently and gradually every slope, and the gray walls and fences, and the polished ice, and the sere leaves, which were not buried before, are concealed, and the tracks of men and beasts are lost. With so little effort does nature reassert her rule and blot out the traces of men. — A Winter Walk
Henry David Thoreau (Excursions)
I travel your body, like the world, your belly is a plaza full of sun, your breasts two churches where blood performs its own, parallel rites, my glances cover you like ivy, you are a city the sea assaults, a stretch of ramparts split by the light in two halves the color of peaches, a domain of salt, rocks and birds, under the rule of oblivious noon, dressed in the color of my desires, you go your way naked as my thoughts, I travel your eyes, like the sea, tigers drink their dreams in those eyes, the hummingbird burns in those flames, I travel your forehead, like the moon, like the cloud that passes through your thoughts, I travel your belly, like your dreams, your skirt of corn ripples and sings, your skirt of crystal, your skirt of water, your lips, your hair, your glances rain all through the night, and all day long you open my chest with your fingers of water, you close my eyes with your mouth of water, you rain on my bones, a tree of liquid sending roots of water into my chest, I travel your length, like a river, I travel your body, like a forest, like a mountain path that ends at a cliff I travel along the edge of your thoughts, and my shadow falls from your white forehead, my shadow shatters, and I gather the pieces and go with no body, groping my way, the endless corridors of memory, the doors that open into an empty room where all the summers have come to rot, jewels of thirst burn at its depths, the face that vanishes upon recall, the hand that crumbles at my touch, the hair spun by a mob of spiders over the smiles of years ago,
Octavio Paz (Sunstone/Piedra De Sol)
THE ANTHEM OF HOPE Tiny footprints in mud, metal scraps among thistles Child who ambles barefooted through humanity’s war An Elderflower in mud, landmines hidden in bristles Blood clings to your feet, your wee hands stiff and sore You who walk among trenches, midst our filth and our gore Box of crayons in hand, your tears tumble like crystals Gentle, scared little boy, at the heel of Hope Valley, The grassy heel of Hope Valley. And the bombs fall-fall-fall Down the slopes of Hope Valley Bayonets cut-cut-cut Through the ranks of Hope Valley Napalm clouds burn-burn-burn All who fight in Hope Valley, All who fall in Hope Valley. Bullets fly past your shoulder, fireflies light the sky Child who digs through the trenches for his long sleeping father You plant a kiss on his forehead, and you whisper goodbye Vain corpses, brave soldiers, offered as cannon fodder Nothing is left but a wall; near its pallor you gather Crayon ready, you draw: the memory of a lie Kind, sad little boy, sketching your dream of Hope Valley Your little dream of Hope Valley. Missiles fly-fly-fly Over the fields of Hope Valley Carabines shoot-shoot-shoot The brave souls of Hope Valley And the tanks shell-shell-shell Those who toiled for Hope Valley, Those who died for Hope Valley. In the light of gunfire, the little child draws the valley Every trench is a creek; every bloodstain a flower No battlefield, but a garden with large fields ripe with barley Ideations of peace in his dark, final hour And so the child drew his future, on the wall of that tower Memories of times past; your tiny village lush alley Great, brave little boy, the future hope of Hope Valley The only hope of Hope Valley. And the grass grows-grows-grows On the knolls of Hope Valley Daffodils bloom-bloom-bloom Across the hills of Hope Valley The midday sun shines-shines-shines On the folk of Hope Valley On the dead of Hope Valley From his Aerodyne fleet The soldier faces the carnage Uttering words to the fallen He commends their great courage Across a wrecked, tower wall A child’s hand limns the valley And this drawing speaks volumes Words of hope, not of bally He wipes his tears and marvels The miracle of Hope Valley The only miracle of Hope Valley And the grass grows-grows-grows Midst all the dead of Hope Valley Daffodils bloom-bloom-bloom For all the dead of Hope Valley The evening sun sets-sets-sets On the miracle of Hope Valley The only miracle of Hope Valley (lyrics to "the Anthem of Hope", a fictional song featured in Louise Blackwick's Neon Science-Fiction novel "5 Stars".
Louise Blackwick (5 Stars)
Phases of the Love Cloud Week 1: A cloud of feelings form around you. Week 2: It has the texture of cotton candy with an implied sweetness and suggestion of sensuality. Week 3: It lightens to a blinding brightness, as if barely covering the sun. Week 4: The texture become less permeable and hardens like sugar caramelized when making leche flan on too high a fire. Week 5: The cloud darkens gradually and lightning blinks intermittently like a firefly convention in Georgia. Week 6: There’s an eerie silence gathering around the cloud which is growing way out of proportion. Week 8: 200 MPH winds hit, torrential rains and the roof comes off the house. Week 10: There’s not a cloud in the sky. The sun appears. Weeks11-25: Inside you there's a storm of tears that makes Noah's flood look a kiddie-pool. Week 26: A new cloud of feelings form around you...
Beryl Dov
Ludmilla, now you are being read. Your body is being subjected to a systematic reading, through channels of tactile information, visual, olfactory, and not without some intervention of the taste buds. Hearing also has its role, alert to your gasps and your trills. It is not only the body that is, in you, the object of raeding: the body matters insofar as it is part of a complex of elaborate elements, not all visible and not all present, but manifested in visible and present events: the clouding of your eyes, your laughing, the words you speak, your way of gathering and spreading your hair, your initiatives and your reticences, and all the signs that are on the frontier between you and usage and habits and memory and prehistory and fashion, all codes, all the poor alphabets by which one human being believes at certain moments that he is reading another human being.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
All about the hills the hosts of Mordor raged. The Captains of the West were foundering in a gathering sea. The sun gleamed red, and under the wings of the Nazgul the shadows of death fell dark upon the earth. Aragorn stood beneath his banner, silent and stern, as one lost in thought of things long past or far away; but his eyes gleamed like stars that shine the brighter as the night deepens. Upon the hill-top stood Gandalf, and he was white and cold and no shadow fell on him. The onslaught of Mordor broke like a wave on the beleaguered hills, voices roaring like a tide amid the wreck and crash of arms. As if to his eyes some sudden vision had been given, Gandalf stirred; and he turned, looking back north where the skies were pale and clear. Then he lifted up his hands and cried in a loud voice ringing above the din: The Eagles are coming! And many voices answered crying: The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming! The hosts of Mordor looked up and wondered what this sign might mean. There came Gwaihir the Windlord, and Landroval his brother, greatest of all the Eagles of the North, mightiest of the descendants of old Thorondor, who built his eyries in the inaccessible peaks of the Encircling Mountains when Middle-earth was young. Behind them in long swift lines came all their vassals from the northern mountains, speeding on a gathering wind. Straight down upon the Nazgul they bore, stooping suddenly out of the high airs, and the rush of their wide wings as they passed over was like a gale. But the Nazgul turned and fled, and vanished into Mordor's shadows, hearing a sudden terrible call out of the Dark Tower; and even at that moment all the hosts of Mordor trembled, doubt clutched their hearts, their laughter failed, their hands shook and their limbs were loosed. The Power that drove them on and filled them with hate and fury was wavering, its will was removed from them; and now looking in the eyes of their enemies they saw a deadly light and were afraid. Then all the Captains of the West cried aloud, for their hearts were filled with a new hope in the midst of darkness. Out from the beleaguered hills knights of Gondor, Riders of Rohan, Dunedain of the North, close-serried companies, drove against their wavering foes, piercing the press with the thrust of bitter spears. But Gandalf lifted up his arms and called once more in a clear voice: 'Stand, Men of the West! Stand and wait! This is the hour of doom.' And even as he spoke the earth rocked beneath their feet. Then rising swiftly up, far above the Towers of the Black Gate, high above the mountains, a vast soaring darkness sprang into the sky, flickering with fire. The earth groaned and quaked. The Towers of the Teeth swayed, tottered, and fell down; the mighty rampart crumbled; the Black Gate was hurled in ruin; and from far away, now dim, now growing, now mounting to the clouds, there came a drumming rumble, a roar, a long echoing roll of ruinous noise. 'The realm of Sauron is ended!' said Gandalf. 'The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.' And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell. The Captains bowed their heads...
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
A dark cloud of grief fell upon Achilles as he listened. He filled both hands with dust from off the ground, and poured it over his head, disfiguring his comely face, and letting the refuse settle over his shirt so fair and new. He flung himself down all huge and hugely at full length, and tore his hair with his hands. The bondswomen whom Achilles and Patroclus had taken captive screamed aloud for grief, beating their breasts, and with their limbs failing them for sorrow. Antilochus bent over him the while, weeping and holding both his hands as he lay groaning for he feared that he might plunge a knife into his own throat. Then Achilles gave a loud cry and his mother heard him as she was sitting in the depths of the sea by the old man her father, whereon she screamed, and all the goddesses daughters of Nereus that dwelt at the bottom of the sea, came gathering round her.
The Iliad (The Iliad)
And Athena, daughter of Zeus who wields the aegis, let fall her rippling robe upon her father's floor, elaborate with embroidery, which she herself had made and labored on with her own hands, and putting on the cloak of Zeus who gathers clouds, she armed herself for tearful war. Around her shoulders she flung the tasseled aegis a thing of dread, crowned on every side with Panic all around, and Strife was on it, and Battle Spirit and chilling Flight, and on it too the terrible monstrous Gorgon head, a thing of awe and terror, portent of Zeus who wields the aegis; and on her head Athena placed her helmet, ridged on both sides, with four golden bosses, adorned with fighters of a hundred cities; she made her way on foot toward the flame-bright chariot, and seized her spear heavy, massive, powerful, with which she beats down the ranks of warrior men, with whom she, born of the mighty Father, might be angered.
Caroline Alexander (The Iliad)
Spring was a long time unfolding. During the last weeks of Lent the weather was clear and frosty. In the daytime it thawed in the sun, but at night it went down to seven below; there was such a crust that carts could go over it where there was no road. There was still snow at Easter. Then suddenly, on Easter Monday, a warm wind began to blow, dark clouds gathered, and for three days and nights warm, heavy rain poured down. On Thursday the wind dropped, and a thick grey mist gathered, as if concealing the mysteries of the changes taking place in nature. Under the mist waters flowed, ice blocks cracked and moved off, the muddy, foaming streams ran quicker, and on the eve of Krasnaya Gorka the mist scattered, the dark clouds broke up into fleecy white ones, the sky cleared, and real spring unfolded. In the morning the bright sun rose and quickly ate up the thin ice covering the water, and the warm air was all atremble, filled with the vapours of the reviving earth. The old grass and the sprouting needles of new grass greened, the buds on the guelder-rose, the currants and the sticky, spiritous birches swelled, and on the willow, all sprinkled with golden catkins, the flitting, newly hatched bee buzzed. Invisible larks poured trills over the velvety green fields and the ice-covered stubble, the peewit wept over the hollows and marshes still filled with brown water; high up the cranes and geese flew with their spring honking. Cattle, patchy, moulted in all but a few places, lowed in the meadows, bow-legged lambs played around their bleating, shedding mothers, fleet-footed children ran over the drying paths covered with the prints of bare feet, the merry voices of women with their linen chattered by the pond, and from the yards came the knock of the peasants’ axes, repairing ploughs and harrows. The real spring had come.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Why can’t we use wood?” Jacob asked. I knew he was thinking of the thick pine woods to the east of the cottage, and how quickly we could cut down a dozen trees and haul them back to Father. But Father shook his head. “Wood’s not strong enough for what’s coming.” What was coming? We knew better than to ask Father, but we talked about it on the long walk back from the bay, Woof trotting obediently at our heels and Flick plodding along in front of us, the cart creaking beneath the weight of the stones we had gathered. “It’s the war,” Jacob said. He looked over toward the mainland as he said it. You can’t see the mainland from the island—even on a clear day, it’s too far, over the horizon of the sea—but sometimes at night you can see the orange glow of the fires reflecting back at you from the clouds, or see the planes flying far overhead with their payload of bombs and gas. “It’s getting closer,” he said, and I nodded.
Ruth Ware (Snowflakes)
I prop my guitar up against the nightstand. Then I turn toward the bed and fall into it face first. The mattress is soft but firm, like a sheet of steel wrapped in a cloud. I roll around, moaning loud and long. “Oh, that’s good. Really, really good. What a grand bed!” Sarah clears her throat. “Well. We should probably get to sleep, then. Big day tomorrow.” The pillow smells sweet, like candy. I can only imagine it’s from her. I wonder if I pressed my nose to the crook of her neck, would her skin smell as delicious? I brush away the thought as I watch her stiffly gather a pillow and blanket from the other side of the bed, dragging them to . . . the nook. “What are you doing?” She looks up, her doe eyes widening. “Getting ready for bed.” “You’re going to sleep there?” “Of course. The sofa’s very uncomfortable.” “Why can’t we share the bed?” She chokes . . . stutters. “I . . . I can’t sleep with you. I don’t even know you.” I throw my arms out wide. “What do you want to know? Ask me anything—I’m an open book.” “That’s not what I mean.” “You’re being ridiculous! It’s a huge bed. You could let one rip and I wouldn’t hear it.” And the blush is back. With a vengeance. “I’m not . . . I don’t . . .” “You don’t fart?” I scoff. “Really? Are you not human?” She curses under her breath, but I’d love to hear it out loud. I bet uninhibited Sarah Von Titebottum would be a stunning sight. And very entertaining. She shakes her head, pinning me with her eyes. “There’s something wrong with you.” “No.” I explain calmly, “I’m just free. Honest with myself and others. You should try it sometime.” She folds her arms, all tight, trembling indignation. It’s adorable. “I’m sleeping in the nook, Your Highness. And that’s that.” I sit up, pinning her gaze right back at her. “Henry.” “What?” “My name is not Highness, it’s fucking Henry, and I’d prefer you use it.” And she snaps. “Fine! Fucking Henry—happy?” I smile. “Yes. Yes, I am.” I flop back on the magnificent bed. “Sleep tight, Titebottum.” I think she growls at me, but it’s muffled by the sound of rustling bed linens and pillows. And then . . . there’s silence. Beautiful, blessed silence. I wiggle around, getting comfy. I turn on my side and fluff the pillow. I squeeze my eyes tight . . . but it’s hopeless. “Fucking hell!” I sit up. And Sarah springs to her feet. “What? What’s wrong?” It’s the guilt. I’ve barged into this poor girl’s room, confiscated her bed, and have forced her to sleep in a cranny in the wall. I may not be the man my father was or the gentleman my brother is, but I’m not that much of a prick. I stand up, rip my shirt over my head. and march toward the window seat. I feel Sarah’s eyes graze my bare chest, arms. and stomach, but she circles around me, keeping her distance. “You take the bloody bed,” I tell her. “I’ll sleep in the bloody nook.” “You don’t have to do that.” I push my hand through my hair. “Yes, I do.” Then I stand up straight and proper, an impersonation of Hugh Grant in one of his classic royal roles. “Please, Lady Sarah.” She blinks, her little mouth pursed. “Okay.” Then she climbs onto the bed, under the covers. And I squeeze onto the window bench, knees bent, my elbow jammed against the icy windowpane, and my neck bent at an odd angle that I’m going to be feeling tomorrow. The light is turned down to a very low dim, and for several moments all I hear is Sarah’s soft breaths. But then, in the near darkness, her delicate voice floats out on a sigh. “All right, we can sleep in the bed together.” Music to my ears. I don’t make her tell me twice—I’ve fulfilled my noble quota for the evening. I stumble from the nook and crash onto the bed. That’s better.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life. Else you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste. But Zeus in the anger of his heart hid it, because Prometheus the crafty deceived him; therefore he planned sorrow and mischief against men. He hid fire; but that the noble son of Iapetus stole again for men from Zeus the counsellor in a hollow fennel-stalk, so that Zeus who delights in thunder did not see it. But afterwards Zeus who gathers the clouds said to him in anger: `Son of Iapetus, surpassing all in cunning, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire -- a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be. But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction.
Hesiod (Work and Days)
Although I have afflicted you, . . . I will afflict you no more. (Nahum 1:12) There is a limit to our affliction. God sends it and then removes it. Do you complain, saying, “When will this end?” May we quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He comes. Our Father takes away the rod when His purpose in using it is fully accomplished. If the affliction is sent to test us so that our words would glorify God, it will only end once He has caused us to testify to His praise and honor. In fact, we would not want the difficulty to depart until God has removed from us all the honor we can yield to Him. Today things may become “completely calm” (Matt. 8:26). Who knows how soon these raging waves will give way to a sea of glass with seagulls sitting on the gentle swells? After a long ordeal, the threshing tool is on its hook, and the wheat has been gathered into the barn. Before much time has passed, we may be just as happy as we are sorrowful now. It is not difficult for the Lord to turn night into day. He who sends the clouds can just as easily clear the skies. Let us be encouraged—things are better down the road. Let us sing God’s praises in anticipation of things to come. Charles H. Spurgeon “The Lord of the harvest” (Luke 10:2) is not always threshing us. His trials are only for a season, and the showers soon pass. “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17). Trials do serve their purpose. Even the fact that we face a trial proves there is something very precious to our Lord in us, or else He would not spend so much time and energy on us. Christ would not test us if He did not see the precious metal of faith mingled with the rocky core of our nature, and it is to refine us into purity and beauty that He forces us through the fiery ordeal. Be patient, O sufferer! The result of the Refiner’s fire will more than compensate for our trials, once we see the “eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Just to hear His commendation, “Well done” (Matt. 25:21); to be honored before the holy angels; to be glorified in Christ, so that I may reflect His glory back to Him—ah! that will be more than enough reward for all my trials. from Tried by Fire Just as the weights of a grandfather clock, or the stabilizers in a ship, are necessary for them to work properly, so are troubles to the soul. The sweetest perfumes are obtained only through tremendous pressure, the fairest flowers grow on the most isolated and snowy peaks, the most beautiful gems are those that have suffered the longest at the jeweler’s wheel, and the most magnificent statues have endured the most blows from the chisel. All of these, however, are subject to God’s law. Nothing happens that has not been appointed with consummate care and foresight. from Daily Devotional Commentary
Jim Reimann (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
It was one of those rare moments where one has a vision of the scope of the wild ocean. Not just small cylinders firing to keep a tiny engine running, but rather the giant, massive gears of nature, each one with its own reasoning, its own meta-logic, spinning in its particular circle in competition or in confluence with the gear below it. We zeroed in on the school, but our progress was painfully slow, It would have been foolish to speed into the tumult-we would have ruined our baits in the process and doomed our chances of hooking a tuna. But luckily, the commotion did not subside. If anything it only grew more frantic and exhuberant on our approach. Beneath the birds, beneath the dolphins, beneath the menhaden, there should have been an equally vast school of giant bluefin tuna, collaborating with vertebrates of the so-called higher orders of life to form the floor of the prey trap, sealing the baitfish in from below, while the dolphins and birds made up the trap's walls and ceiling. A strike from a giant tuna seemed the boat moved forward, I saw seabirds gathering up ahead into a cloud, the size and violence of which I had never seen before. Gannets - big, albatross-like pelagic birds - flew hundreds of feet above the churning surface of the water. In a flock of many thousands, they whirled in unison and then, as if on command from some brigadier general of bird life, dropped in an arc, bird after bird, into the water beneath. The gyre of gannets turned in a clockwise direction, and down below, spinning counterclockwise, was the largest school of dolphins I'd ever seen. There in the angry blue-green sea, the dolphins had corralled a vast school of menhaden-small herringlike creatures that, when bitten, release globules of oil that float on the surface. Oil slicks flattened the water everywhere as the dolphins swirled around, using their exceptional intelligence and wolf-pack cooperation to befuddle and surround the fish, which in turn whirled in a clockwise direction.
Paul Greenberg (Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food)
For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. 16I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: NIV, New International Version)
We are here this afternoon to mourn the passing of two good friends, Terrence Dace and Felix Beider. They were homeless. Their ways were not those we most desire for ourselves, but that didn’t make them wrong. We seem determined to save the homeless, to fix them, to change them into something other than what they are. We want them to be like us, but they are not. The homeless do not want our pity, nor do they deserve our scorn. Our judgments about them, for good or for ill, negate their right to live as they please. Both the urge to rescue and the need to condemn fail to take into account the concept of their personal liberty, which they may exercise as they see fit as long as their actions fall within the law. The homeless are not lesser mortals. For Terrence and Felix, their battles were within and their victories hard-won. I think of these two men as soldiers of the poor, part of an army of the disaffiliated. The homeless have established a nation within a nation, but we are not at war. Why should we not coexist in peace when we may be in greater need of salvation than they? This is what the homeless long for: respect, freedom from hunger, shelter from the elements, safety, the companionship of the like-minded. They want to live without fear. They want to enjoy the probity of the open air without the risk of bodily harm. They want to be warm. They want the comfort of a clean bed when they are ill, relief from pain, a hand offered in friendship. Ordinary conversation. Simple needs. Why are their choices so hard for us to accept? What you see before you is their home. This is their dwelling place. This grass, this sunlight, these palms, this mighty ocean, the moon, the stars, the clouds overhead though they sometimes harbor rain. Under this canopy they have staked out a life for themselves. For Terrence and for Felix, this is also the wide bridge over which they passed from life into death. Their graves will be unmarked but that does not mean they are forgotten. The Earth remembers them, even as it gathers them tenderly into its
Sue Grafton (W is for Wasted (Kinsey Millhone #23))
Karl was the last to be with him. He found him calm and almost gay. After he had gone, Ludwig put his few things in order and wrote for some time. Then he drew a chair to the window and set a basin with warm water on the table beside him. He locked the door, sat himself on the settle and with his arm in the water, he cut the artery. The pain was slight. He saw the blood flowing, a scene he had often thought on—to let this hateful, poisoned blood pour out of his body. His room became very clear. He saw every hook, every nail, every glint of the quartzes, the iridescence, the colours; he absorbed it: his room. It gathered about him, it passed in with his breath and was one with his life. Then it receded, uncertain. His youth began, in pictures. Eichendorff, the woods, homesickness. Reconciled, without pain. Beyond the woods rose up barbed-wire entanglements, little white shrapnel clouds, the burst of heavier shells. But they alarmed him no longer. They were muffled, almost like bells. The bells became louder, but the woods were still there. The bells pealed in his head so loudly that he felt it must burst. Then it grew darker. The pealing sounded fainter, and the evening came in at the window, clouds floated up under his feet. He had wished once in his life to see flamingoes; now he knew; these were flamingoes, with broad, pinkish-grey wings, lots of them, a phalanx—Did wild ducks not once fly so toward the very red moon, red as poppies in Flanders? —The landscape receded farther and farther, the woods sank deeper, rivers rose up, gleaming, silver, and islands; the pinkish-grey wings flew ever higher and higher, and the horizon became ever brighter—Now, suddenly, a dark cry swelled in his throat, hot, insistent, a last thought spilled over out of the brain into the failing consciousness: fear, rescue, bind it up! —He tried to rise, staggering, to lift his hand; the body jerked, but already it was too weak. —It spun round and spun round, then it vanished; and the giant bird with dark pinions came very gently with slow sweeps and the wings closed noiselessly over him. A
Erich Maria Remarque (The Road Back)
For the mob is a congregation of compulsions. It does not matter who or what squats upon the altar: Robespierre, Beelzebub, Mussolini, Belial, any political or social savior with the sibilant speech and the slick tongue, hissing out every other word with its suffix -ism. The people will be saved not by the grace of God, not by any act of faith, hope, or charity. They will be saved because they belong to the right mob. They think they have pulled the lever of righteousness, but they are themselves the levers that are pulled. A mob is not a great cloud of witnesses. It is not a gathering of friends for a wedding feast. It is a herd of enemies who have fused their enmity with the cause, whereof they are the willing effects. Witness the goings-on when a politician dies. No one, in Life Under Compulsion, says to himself, “The fearful reckoning he meets may be mine, soon.” They turn the funeral into a political event. They must: they are marionettes and they will dance. They look over the shoulder to see who gets the prime time for the moist eye and the hitch in the voice.
Anthony Esolen (Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child)
This movement to which he had dedicated his life could not be snuffed out by a few opportunists, a sackful of dollars and a cunt in the Kremlin. It was as old and as strong as the human spirit itself. It would come back, with fresh vigour, soon, very soon. It might have a different name, a different banner. But men and women would always want to walk that path, that tricky uphill path across the river of stones and through the damp cloud, because they knew that at the end they would burst into the bright sunshine and see the mountain top clear above them. Men and women dreamed of that moment. They would link arms again. They would have a new song – no longer ‘Stepping the Red Pathway’ as it had been on Rykosha Mountain. But they would sing this new song to the old tune. And they would gather themselves to make that mighty second jump. Then the ground would shake and all the capitalists and imperialists and plant-loving Fascists and filth and scum and renegades and fucking intellectuals and boy prosecutors and Judases with birdshit on their skulls would shit themselves one final, mighty time.
Julian Barnes (The Porcupine)
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 hunchbacked makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed from 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; etoliated lacquerers; mottled-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 the 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)
In those days there were two dark elves who lived in a fortress by the sea. They did magic there, and feats of alchemy. Like all dwarfs, they built things, wonderful, remarkable things, in their workshop and their forge. But there were things they had not yet made, and making those things obsessed them. They were brothers, and were called Fjalar and Galar. When they heard that Kvasir was visiting a town nearby, they set out to meet him. Fjalar and Galar found Kvasir in the great hall, answering questions for the townsfolk, amazing all who listened. He told the people how to purify water and how to make cloth from nettles. He told one woman exactly who had stolen her knife, and why. Once he was done talking and the townsfolk had fed him, the dwarfs approached. “We have a question to ask you that you have never been asked before,” they said. “But it must be asked in private. Will you come with us?” “I will come,” said Kvasir. They walked to the fortress. The seagulls screamed, and the brooding gray clouds were the same shade as the gray of the waves. The dwarfs led Kvasir to their workshop, deep within the walls of their fortress. “What are those?” asked Kvasir. “They are vats. They are called Son and Bodn.” “I see. And what is that over there?” “How can you be so wise when you do not know these things? It is a kettle. We call it Odrerir—ecstasy-giver.” “And I see over here you have buckets of honey you have gathered. It is uncapped, and liquid.” “Indeed we do,” said Fjalar. Galar looked scornful. “If you were as wise as they say you are, you would know what our question to you would be before we asked it. And you would know what these things are for.” Kvasir nodded in a resigned way. “It seems to me,” he said, “that if you were both intelligent and evil, you might have decided to kill your visitor and let his blood flow into the vats Son and Bodn. And then you would heat his blood gently in your kettle, Odrerir. And after that you would blend uncapped honey into the mixture and let it ferment until it became mead—the finest mead, a drink that will intoxicate anyone who drinks it but also give anyone who tastes it the gift of poetry and the gift of scholarship.” “We are intelligent,” admitted Galar. “And perhaps there are those who might think us evil.” And with that he slashed Kvasir’s throat, and they hung Kvasir by his feet above the vats until the last drop of his blood was drained. They warmed the blood and the honey in the kettle called Odrerir, and did other things to it of their own devising. They put berries into it, and stirred it with a stick. It bubbled, and then it ceased bubbling, and both of them sipped it and laughed, and each of the brothers found the verse and the poetry inside himself that he had never let out.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
Planted rows went turning past like giant spokes one by one as they ranged the roads. The skies were interrupted by dark gray storm clouds with a flow like molten stone, swept and liquid, and light that found its way through them was lost in the dark fields but gathered shining along the pale road, so that sometimes all you could see was the road, and the horizon it ran to. Sometimes she was overwhelmed by the green life passing in such high turbulence, too much to see, all clamoring to have its way. Leaves sawtooth, spade-shaped, long and thin, blunt-fingered, downy and veined, oiled and dusty with the day—flowers in bells and clusters, purple and white or yellow as butter, star-shaped ferns in the wet and dark places, millions of green veilings before the bridal secrets in the moss and under the deadfalls, went on by the wheels creaking and struck by rocks in the ruts, sparks visible only in what shadow it might pass over, a busy development of small trailside shapes tumbling in what had to be deliberately arranged precision, herbs the wildcrafters knew the names and market prices of and which the silent women up in the foothills, counterparts whom they most often never got even to meet, knew the magic uses for. They lived for different futures, but they were each other’s unrecognized halves, and what fascination between them did come to pass was lit up, beyond question, with grace.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
Dog Talk … I have seen Ben place his nose meticulously into the shallow dampness of a deer’s hoofprint and shut his eyes as if listening. But it is smell he is listening to. The wild, high music of smell, that we know so little about. Tonight Ben charges up the yard; Bear follows. They run into the field and are gone. A soft wind, like a belt of silk, wraps the house. I follow them to the end of the field where I hear the long-eared owl, at wood’s edge, in one of the tall pines. All night the owl will sit there inventing his catty racket, except when he opens pale wings and drifts moth-like over the grass. I have seen both dogs look up as the bird floats by, and I suppose the field mouse hears it too, in the pebble of his tiny heart. Though I hear nothing. Bear is small and white with a curly tail. He was meant to be idle and pretty but learned instead to love the world, and to romp roughly with the big dogs. The brotherliness of the two, Ben and Bear, increases with each year. They have their separate habits, their own favorite sleeping places, for example, yet each worries without letup if the other is missing. They both bark rapturously and in support of each other. They both sneeze to express plea- sure, and yawn in humorous admittance of embarrassment. In the car, when we are getting close to home and the smell of the ocean begins to surround them, they both sit bolt upright and hum. With what vigor and intention to please himself the little white dog flings himself into every puddle on the muddy road. Somethings are unchangeably wild, others are stolid tame. The tiger is wild, the coyote, and the owl. I am tame, you are tame. The wild things that have been altered, but only into a semblance of tameness, it is no real change. But the dog lives in both worlds. Ben is devoted, he hates the door between us, is afraid of separation. But he had, for a number of years, a dog friend to whom he was also loyal. Every day they and a few others gathered into a noisy gang, and some of their games were bloody. Dog is docile, and then forgets. Dog promises then forgets. Voices call him. Wolf faces appear in dreams. He finds himself running over incredible lush or barren stretches of land, nothing any of us has ever seen. Deep in the dream, his paws twitch, his lip lifts. The dreaming dog leaps through the underbrush, enters the earth through a narrow tunnel, and is home. The dog wakes and the disturbance in his eyes when you say his name is a recognizable cloud. How glad he is to see you, and he sneezes a little to tell you so. But ah! the falling-back, fading dream where he was almost there again, in the pure, rocky weather-ruled beginning. Where he was almost wild again, and knew nothing else but that life, no other possibility. A world of trees and dogs and the white moon, the nest, the breast, the heart-warming milk! The thick-mantled ferocity at the end of the tunnel, known as father, a warrior he himself would grow to be. …
Mary Oliver (Dog Songs: Poems)
Blessedness is within us all It lies upon the long scaffold Patrols the vaporous hall In our pursuits, though still, we venture forth Hoping to grasp a handful of cloud and return Unscathed, cloud in hand. We encounter Space, fist, violin, or this — an immaculate face Of a boy, somewhat wild, smiling in the sun. He raises his hand, as if in carefree salute Shading eyes that contain the thread of God. Soon they will gather power, disenchantment They will reflect enlightenment, agony They will reveal the process of love They will, in an hour alone, shed tears. His mouth a circlet, a baptismal font Opening wide as the lips of a damsel Sounding the dizzying extremes. The relativity of vein, the hip of unrest For the sake of wing there is shoulder. For symmetry there is blade. He kneels, humiliates, he pierces her side. Offering spleen to the wolves of the forest. He races across the tiles, the human board. Virility, coquetry all a game — well played. Immersed in luminous disgrace, he lifts As a slave, a nymph, a fabulous hood As a rose, a thief of life, he will parade Nude crowned with leaves, immortal. He will sing of the body, his truth He will increase the shining neck Pluck airs toward our delight Of the waning The blossoming The violent charade But who will sing of him? Who will sing of his blessedness? The blameless eye, the radiant grin For he, his own messenger, is gone He has leapt through the orphic glass To wander eternally In search of perfection His blue ankles tattooed with stars.
Patti Smith
Carrying her over to his bed, he slowly laid her on it. She sank into the mattress with a dreamy murmur of a sigh. Though the protective impulse he had felt toward her earlier had returned full force, the soft and sensual moan from her lips filled him with a moment's blinding lust. Dear God. A tremor of hunger ran through him. His stare traveled over her lax face and down her white neck to her creamy chest. He swallowed hard, gazing at her breasts. Somehow, he became fixated on them again. Heart pounding, he moved slowly and with caution sat on the edge of the bed. Desire slammed through his veins, but he only meant to look. She was a harlot, she wouldn't care, as long as he had money, which he did, lots of it. Yet it amazed him that such beauty could be purchased for the taking. She was exquisite, with the dusky fringe of her lashes fanned above her cheeks in sleep. The thick and wavy cloud of her satiny brown hair flowed back from the pale oval of her face and spilled across his pillow. He marveled at the creamy shimmer of her complexion in the firelight, her flushed cheeks like delicate pink-tinted porcelain. His gaze traveled over her smooth forehead, the delicate twin arches of her light brown eyebrows, and her small, prettily formed nose. He would not have guessed her any common sort of wench. Then his attention strayed to her pink lips in ever-growing desire, a gathering smolder darkening his eyes. She had a very charming chin, slightly pronounced, and hinting at a firm stubbornness of character. He wanted to nibble its smooth rounded curve.
Gaelen Foley (My Dangerous Duke (Inferno Club, #2))
Stronghammer is my name,” he said. With a single deft movement, he gathered up the knucklebones, tossed them skyward, and caught three on his hand. “Roran Stronghammer, and Eragon Shadeslayer is my cousin. You might have heard mention of him, if not of me.” A rustle of unease spread among the line of horsemen, and Roran thought he saw Tharos’s eyes widen for an instant. “An impressive claim, that, but how can we be sure of its veracity? Any man might say he is another if it served his purpose.” Roran drew his hammer and slammed it down on the table with a muffled thump. Then, ignoring the soldiers, he resumed his game. He uttered a noise of disgust as two of the bones fell from the back of his hand, costing him the round. “Ah,” said Tharos, and coughed, clearing his throat. “You have a most illustrious reputation, Stronghammer, although some argue that it has been exaggerated beyond all reason. Is it true, for example, that you single-handedly felled nigh on three hundred men in the village of Deldarad in Surda?” “I never learned what the place was called, but if Deldarad it was, then yes, I slew many a soldier there. It was only a hundred ninety-three, however, and I was well guarded by my own men while I fought.” “Only a hundred ninety-three?” Tharos said in a wondering tone. “You are too modest, Stronghammer. Such a feat might earn a man a place in many a song and story.” Roran shrugged and lifted the horn to his mouth, feigning the action of swallowing, for he could not afford to have his mind clouded by the potent dwarf brew. “I fight to win, not to lose.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
Darkness: I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd, And men were gather'd round their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The flashes fell upon them; some lay down And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd; And others hurried to and fro, and fed Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up With mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again With curses cast them down upon the dust, And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd And twin'd themselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. And War, which for a moment was no more, Did glut himself again: a meal was bought With blood, and each sate sullenly apart Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; All earth was but one thought—and that was death Immediate and inglorious; and the pang Of famine fed upon all entrails—men Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, And he was faithful to a corse, and kept The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, But with a piteous and perpetual moan, And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand Which answer'd not with a caress—he died. The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies: they met beside The dying embers of an altar-place Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things For an unholy usage; they rak'd up, And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath Blew for a little life, and made a flame Which was a mockery; then they lifted up Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died— Even of their mutual hideousness they died, Unknowing who he was upon whose brow Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, The populous and the powerful was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless— A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd They slept on the abyss without a surge— The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before; The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
Lord Byron
How did wheat convince Homo sapiens to exchange a rather good life for a more miserable existence? What did it offer in return? It did not offer a better diet. Remember, humans are omnivorous apes who thrive on a wide variety of foods. Grains made up only a small fraction of the human diet before the Agricultural Revolution. A diet based on cereals is poor in minerals and vitamins, hard to digest, and really bad for your teeth and gums. Wheat did not give people economic security. The life of a peasant is less secure than that of a hunter-gatherer. Foragers relied on dozens of species to survive, and could therefore weather difficult years even without stocks of preserved food. If the availability of one species was reduced, they could gather and hunt more of other species. Farming societies have, until very recently, relied for the great bulk of their calorie intake on a small variety of domesticated plants. In many areas, they relied on just a single staple, such as wheat, potatoes or rice. If the rains failed or clouds of locusts arrived or if a fungus infected that staple species, peasants died by the thousands and millions. Nor could wheat offer security against human violence. The early farmers were at least as violent as their forager ancestors, if not more so. Farmers had more possessions and needed land for planting. The loss of pasture land to raiding neighbours could mean the difference between subsistence and starvation, so there was much less room for compromise. When a foraging band was hard-pressed by a stronger rival, it could usually move on. It was difficult and dangerous, but it was feasible. When a strong enemy threatened an agricultural village, retreat meant giving up fields, houses and granaries. In many cases, this doomed the refugees to starvation. Farmers, therefore, tended to stay put and fight to the bitter end.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
personal equation. Thorndyke's brain was not an ordinary brain. Facts of which his mind instantly perceived the relation remained to other people unconnected and without meaning. His powers of observation and rapid inference were almost incredible, as I had noticed again and again, and always with undiminished wonder. He seemed to take in everything at a single glance and in an instant to appreciate the meaning of everything that he had seen. Here was a case in point. I had myself seen all that he had seen, and, indeed, much more; for I had looked on the very people and witnessed their actions, whereas he had never set eyes on any of them. I had examined the little handful of rubbish that he had gathered up so carefully, and would have flung it back under the grate without a qualm. Not a glimmer of light had I perceived in the cloud of mystery, nor even a hint of the direction in which to seek enlightenment. And yet Thorndyke had, in some incomprehensible manner, contrived to piece together facts that I had probably not even observed, and that so completely that he had already, in these few days, narrowed down the field of inquiry to quite a small area. From these reflections I returned to the objects on the table. The spectacles, as things of which I had some expert knowledge, were not so profound a mystery to me. A pair of spectacles might easily afford good evidence for identification; that I perceived clearly enough. Not a ready-made pair, picked up casually at a shop, but a pair constructed by a skilled optician to remedy a particular defect of vision and to fit a particular face. And such were the spectacles before me. The build of the frames was peculiar; the existence of a cylindrical lens—which I could easily make out from the remaining fragments—showed that one glass had been cut to a prescribed shape and almost certainly ground to a particular formula, and also that the distance between centres must have
R. Austin Freeman (The Mystery of 31 New Inn)
Let us suppose that this ounce of mud is left in perfect rest, and that its elements gather together, like to like, so that their atoms may get into the closest relations possible. Let the clay begin. Ridding itself of all foreign substance, it gradually becomes a white earth, already very beautiful; and fit, with help of congealing fire, to be made into finest porcelain, and painted on, and be kept in kings’ palaces. But such artificial consistence is not its best. Leave it still quiet to follow its own instinct of unity, and it becomes not only white, but clear; not only clear, but hard; not only clear and hard, but so set that it can deal with light in a wonderful way, and gather out of it the loveliest blue rays only, refusing the rest. We call it then a sapphire. Such being the consummation of the clay, we give similar permission of quiet to the sand. It also becomes, first, a white earth, then proceeds to grow clear and hard, and at last arranges itself in mysterious, infinitely fine, parallel lines, which have the power of reflecting not merely the blue rays, but the blue, green, purple, and red rays in the greatest beauty in which they can be seen through any hard material whatsoever. We call it then an opal. In next order the soot sets to work; it cannot make itself white at first, but instead of being discouraged, tries harder and harder, and comes out clear at last, and the hardest thing in the world; and for the blackness that it had, obtains in exchange the power of reflecting all the rays of the sun at once in the vividest blaze that any solid thing can shoot. We call it then a diamond. Last of all the water purifies or unites itself, contented enough if it only reach the form of a dew-drop; but if we insist on its proceeding to a more perfect consistence, it crystallizes into the shape of a star. And for the ounce of slime which we had by political economy of competition, we have by political economy of co-operation, a sapphire, an opal, and a diamond, set in the midst of a star of snow.
John Ruskin (Modern Painters: Volume 5. Of Leaf Beauty. Of Cloud Beauty. Of Ideas of Relation)
We need to leave as soon as possible." "Okay," Luce said. "I have to go home, then, pack, get my passport..." Her mind whirled in a hundred directions as she started making a mental to-do list. Her parents would be at the mall for at least another couple of hours, enough time for her to dash in and get her things together... "Oh, cute." Annabelle laughed, flitting over to them, her feet inches off the ground. Her wings were muscular and dark silver like a thundercloud, protruding through the invisible slits in her hot-pink T-shirt. "Sorry to butt in've never traveled with an angel before, have you?" Sure she had. The feeling of Daniel's wings soaring her body through the air was as natural as anything. Maybe her flights had been brief, but they'd been unforgettable. They were when Luce felt closest to him: his arms threaded around her waist, his heart beating close to hers, his white wings protecting them, making Luce feel unconditionally and impossibly loved. She had flown with Daniel dozens of times in dreams, but only three times in her waking hours: once over the hidden lake behind Sword & Cross, another time along the coast at Shoreline, and down from the clouds to the cabin just the previous night. "I guess we've never flown that far together," she said at last. "Just getting to first base seems to be a problem for you two," Cam couldn't resist saying. Daniel ignored him. "Under normal circumstances, I think you'd enjoy the trip." His expression turned stormy. "But we don't have room for normal for the next nine days." Luce felt his hands on the backs of her shoulders, gathering her hair and lifting it off her neck. He kissed her along the neckline of her sweater as he wrapped his arms around her waist. Luce closed her eyes. She knew what was coming next. The most beautiful sound there was-that elegant whoosh of the love of her life letting out his driven-snow-white wings. The world on the other side of Luce's eyelids darkened slightly under the shadow of his wings, and warmth welled in her heart. When she opened her eyes, there they were, as magnificent as ever. She leaned back a little, cozying into the wall of Daniel's chest as he pivoted toward the window. "This is only a temporary separation," Daniel announced to the others. "Good luck and wingspeed.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
He was taking his time on his way to the arena, which meant there was likely something he was waiting for. He didn’t intend to actually fight me, obviously, just as I didn’t intend to fight him. If all was going according to plan, and Yma had slipped the contents of the vial into the calming tonic he drank with his breakfast, the iceflowers were already swimming through his body. The timing would not be exact; that depended on the person. I would have to be ready for the potion to surprise me, or fail entirely. “You’re dawdling,” I said, hoping that calling him out would speed him up. “What is it you’re waiting for?” “I am waiting for the right blade,” Ryzek said, and he dropped down to the arena floor. Dust rose up in a cloud against his feet. He rolled up his left sleeve, baring his kill marks. He had run out of space on his arm, and started a second row next to the first, near his elbow. He claimed every kill that he ordered as his own, even if he himself had not brought about the death. Ryzek drew his currentblade slowly, and as he raised his arm, the crowd around us exploded into cheers. Their roar clouded my thoughts. I couldn’t breathe. He didn’t look pale and unfocused, like he had actually consumed the poison. He looked, if anything, more focused than ever. I wanted to run at him with blade extended, like an arrow released from a bow, a transport vessel breaking through the atmosphere. But I didn’t. And neither did he. We both stood in the arena, waiting. “What are you waiting for, sister?” Ryzek said. “Have you lost your nerve?” “No,” I said. “I’m waiting for the poison you swallowed this morning to settle in.” A gasp rattled through the crowd, and for once--for the first time--Ryzek’s face went slack with shock. I had finally truly surprised him. “All my life you’ve told me I have nothing to offer but the power that lives in my body,” I said. “But I am not an instrument of torture and execution; I am the only person who knows the real Ryzek Noavek.” I stepped toward him. “I know how you fear pain more than anything else in this world. I know that you gathered these people here today, not to celebrate a successful scavenge, but to witness the murder of Orieve Benesit.” I sheathed my blade. I held my hands out to my sides so the crowd could see that they were empty. “And the most important thing I know, Ryzek, is that you can’t bear to kill someone unless you drug yourself first. Which is why I poisoned your calming tonic this morning.” Ryzek touched his stomach, as if he could feel the hushflower eating away at his guts through his armor. “You made a mistake, valuing me only for my currentgift and my skill with a knife,” I said. And for once, I believed it.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
The village square teemed with life, swirling with vibrant colors and boisterous chatter. The entire village had gathered, celebrating the return of their ancestral spirit. Laughter and music filled the air, carrying with it an energy that made Kitsune smile. Paper lanterns of all colors floated lazily above, their delicate glow reflecting on the smiling faces below. Cherry blossoms caught in the playful breeze, their sweet, earthy scent settling over the scene. At the center, villagers danced with unbridled joy, the rhythm of the taiko drums and the melody of flutes guiding their steps. To the side, a large table groaned under the weight of a feast. Sticky rice balls, steamed dumplings, seaweed soup, sushi, and more filled the air with a mouthwatering aroma. As she approached the table, she was greeted warmly by the villagers, who offered her food, their smiles genuine and welcoming. She filled a plate and sat at a table with Goro and Sota, overlooking the celebration. The event brought back a flood of memories of a similar celebration from her childhood—a time when everything was much simpler and she could easily answer the question who are you? The memory filled her heart with a sweet sadness, a reminder of what she lost and what had carved the road to where she was now. Her gaze fell on the dancing villagers, but she wasn’t watching them. Not really. Her attention was fully embedded in her heart ache, longing for the past, for the life that was so cruelly ripped away from her. “I think... I think I might know how to answer your question,” she finally said, her voice soft and steady, barely audible over the cacophony of festivity around them. “Oh?” Goro responded, his face alight with intrigue. “I would have to tell you my story.” Kitsune’s eyes reflected the somber clouds of her past. Goro swallowed his bite of food before nodding. “Let us retire to the dojo, and you can tell me.” They retreated from the bustling square, leaving behind the chaos of the celebration. The sounds of laughter and chatter and drums carried away by distance. The dojo, with its bamboo and sturdy jungle planks, was bathed in the soft luminescence of the moonlight, the surface of its wooden architecture glistening faintly under the glow. They stepped into the silent tranquility of the building, and Kitsune made her way to the center, the smooth, cool touch of the polished wooden floor beneath her providing a sense of peace. Assuming the lotus position, she calmed herself, ready to speak of memories she hadn’t confronted in a long time. Not in any meaningful way at least. Across from her, Goro settled, his gaze intense yet patient, encouraging her with a gentle smile like he somehow already understood her story was hard to verbalize.
Pixel Ate (Kitsune the Minecraft Ninja: A middle-grade adventure story set in a world of ninjas, magic, and martial arts)
The Big Picture: From Abraham to Armageddon Down through the ages, the sons of Jacob have survived trials, persecution, and thousands of years in exile from their homeland. The Scriptures foretold the dispersion of the Jews and also of their regathering toward the end of the age. After a long absence from a country left in desolation, the Jews have come home to the land that God promised to Abraham: “…a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.” (Ezekiel 38:8). The other branch of Abraham’s family—the sons of Ishmael— are the Islamic Arabs that inhabit the lands surrounding Israel. Ishmael’s descendants epitomize the spirit and temperament that the Bible predicted more than three millennia ago: “…his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12). The Prophet Ezekiel tells us that these same sons of Ishmael will be among the enemies who seek to destroy Israel in the end times: “And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land…” (Ezekiel 38:16). The day is soon coming when Ishmael’s descendants will unite as one: “…they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.” Their ultimate purpose being the fulfillment of a long-held dream: the annihilation of Israel. Muslims have been taught for centuries that the Last Day will not come until they wage a final war against the Jews and rid the world of them once and for all. They believe that only after this is accomplished will Muslims enjoy a golden age of peace, justice, and worldwide Islamic rule. However, the Bible tells us that God has other plans: Before Israel can be destroyed He is going to intervene, and bring to ruin those who seek her destruction. On that day, multitudes of Jews will realize that Jesus is Messiah, and many Muslims will realize that they have made a fateful mistake. Though most are unaware, we, today, are witnessing the fruition of seeds that were planted nearly four thousand years ago with the birth of Abraham’s sons. God promised Abraham that He would make great nations of both Isaac and Ishmael. To be sure, one would be hard pressed to argue that He did not. The Jewish and Arabic peoples have had an immeasurable impact on the world and can now be found at center stage in the arena of world politics and conflict. Thus, the history of mankind will reach its pinnacle, essentially where it began, in a region literally located at the center of the globe; more specifically, Israel and the nations that surround her.
T.W. Tramm (From Abraham to Armageddon: The Convergence of Current Events, Bible Prophecy, and Islam)
Suddenly he felt his foot catch on something and he stumbled over one of the trailing cables that lay across the laboratory floor. The cable went tight and pulled one of the instruments monitoring the beam over, sending it falling sideways and knocking the edge of the frame that held the refractive shielding plate in position. For what seemed like a very long time the stand wobbled back and forth before it tipped slowly backwards with a crash. ‘Take cover!’ Professor Pike screamed, diving behind one of the nearby workbenches as the other Alpha students scattered, trying to shield themselves behind the most solid objects they could find. The beam punched straight through the laboratory wall in a cloud of vapour and alarm klaxons started wailing all over the school. Professor Pike scrambled across the floor towards the bundle of thick power cables that led to the super-laser, pulling them from the back of the machine and extinguishing the bright green beam. ‘Oops,’ Franz said as the emergency lighting kicked in and the rest of the Alphas slowly emerged from their hiding places. At the back of the room there was a perfectly circular, twenty-centimetre hole in the wall surrounded by scorch marks. ‘I am thinking that this is not being good.’ Otto walked cautiously up to the smouldering hole, glancing nervously over his shoulder at the beam emitter that was making a gentle clicking sound as it cooled down. ‘Woah,’ he said as he peered into the hole. Clearly visible were a series of further holes beyond that got smaller and smaller with perspective. Dimly visible at the far end was what could only be a small circle of bright daylight. ‘Erm, I don’t know how to tell you this, Franz,’ Otto said, turning towards his friend with a broad grin on his face, ‘but it looks like you just made a hole in the school.’ ‘Oh dear,’ Professor Pike said, coming up beside Otto and also peering into the hole. ‘I do hope that we haven’t damaged anything important.’ ‘Or anyone important,’ Shelby added as she and the rest of the Alphas gathered round. ‘It is not being my fault,’ Franz moaned. ‘I am tripping over the cable.’ A couple of minutes later, the door at the far end of the lab hissed open and Chief Dekker came running into the room, flanked by two guards in their familiar orange jumpsuits. Otto and the others winced as they saw her. It was well known already that she had no particular love for H.I.V.E.’s Alpha stream and she seemed to have a special dislike for their year in particular. ‘What happened?’ she demanded as she strode across the room towards the Professor. Her thin, tight lips and sharp cheekbones gave the impression that she was someone who’d heard of this thing called smiling but had decided that it was not for her. ‘There was a slight . . . erm . . . malfunction,’ the Professor replied with a fleeting glance in Franz’s direction. ‘Has anyone been injured?’ ‘It doesn’t look like it,’ Dekker replied tersely, ‘but I think it’s safe to say that Colonel Francisco won’t be using that particular toilet cubicle again.’ Franz visibly paled at the thought of the Colonel finding out that he had been in any way responsible for whatever indignity he had just suffered. He had a sudden horribly clear vision of many laps of the school gym somewhere in his not too distant future.
Mark Walden (Aftershock (H.I.V.E., #7))
We kissed again, and I shivered in the cold night air. Wanting to get me out of the cold, he led me to his pickup and opened the door so we could both climb in. The pickup was still warm and toasty, like a campfire was burning in the backseat. I looked at him, giggled like a schoolgirl, and asked, “What have you been doing all this time?” “Oh, I was headed home,” he said, fiddling with my fingers. “But then I just turned around; I couldn’t help it.” His hand found my upper back and pulled me closer. The windows were getting foggy. I felt like I was seventeen. “I’ve got this problem,” he continued, in between kisses. “Yeah?” I asked, playing dumb. My hand rested on his left bicep. My attraction soared to the heavens. He caressed the back of my head, messing up my hair…but I didn’t care; I had other things on my mind. “I’m crazy about you,” he said. By now I was on his lap, right in the front seat of his Diesel Ford F250, making out with him as if I’d just discovered the concept. I had no idea how I’d gotten there--the diesel pickup or his lap. But I was there. And, burying my face in his neck, I quietly repeated his sentiments. “I’m crazy about you, too.” I’d been afflicted with acute boy-craziness for over half my life. But what I was feeling for Marlboro Man was indescribably powerful. It was a primal attraction--the almost uncontrollable urge to wrap my arms and legs around him every time I looked into his eyes. The increased heart rate and respiration every time I heard his voice. The urge to have twelve thousand of his babies…and I wasn’t even sure I wanted children. “So anyway,” he continued. That’s when we heard the loud knocking on the pickup window. I jumped through the roof--it was after 2:00 A.M. Who on earth could it be? The Son of Sam--it had to be! Marlboro Man rolled down the window, and a huge cloud of passion and steam escaped. It wasn’t the Son of Sam. Worse--it was my mother. And she was wearing her heather gray cashmere robe. “Reeee?” she sang. “Is that yoooou?” She leaned closer and peered through the window. I slid off of Marlboro Man’s lap and gave her a halfhearted wave. “Uh…hi, Mom. Yeah. It’s just me.” She laughed. “Oh, okay…whew! I just didn’t know who was out here. I didn’t recognize the car!” She looked at Marlboro Man, whom she’d met only one time before, when he picked me up for a date. “Well, hello again!” she exclaimed, extending her manicured hand. He took her hand and shook it gently. “Hello, ma’am,” he replied, his voice still thick with lust and emotion. I sank in my seat. I was an adult, and had just been caught parking at 2:00 A.M. in the driveway of my parents’ house by my robe-wearing mother. She’d seen the foggy windows. She’d seen me sitting on his lap. I felt like I’d just gotten grounded. “Well, okay, then,” my mom said, turning around. “Good night, you two!” And with that, she flitted back into the house. Marlboro Man and I looked at each other. I hid my face in my hands and shook my head. He chuckled, opened the door, and said, “C’mon…I’d better get you home before curfew.” My sweaty hands still hid my face. He walked me to the door, and we stood on the top step. Wrapping his arms around my waist, he kissed me on the nose and said, “I’m glad I came back.” God, he was sweet. “I’m glad you did, too,” I replied. “But…” I paused for a moment, gathering courage. “Did you have something you wanted to say?” It was forward, yes--gutsy. But I wasn’t going to let this moment pass. I didn’t have many more moments with him, after all; soon I’d be gone to Chicago. Sitting in coffee shops at eleven at night, if I wanted. Working. Eventually going back to school. I’d be danged if I was going to miss what he’d started to say a few minutes earlier, before my mom and her cashmere robe showed up and spoiled everything.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
At the end of the lane Elizabeth put down her side of the trunk and sank down wearily beside Lucinda upon its hard top, emotionally exhausted. A wayward chuckle bubbled up inside her, brought on by exhaustion, fright, defeat, and the last remnants of triumph over having gotten just a little of her own back from the man who’d ruined her life. The only possible explanation for Ian Thornton’s behavior today was that he was a complete madman. With a shake of her head Elizabeth made herself stop thinking of him. At the moment she had so many new worries she hardly knew how to begin to cope. She glanced sideways at her stalwart duenna, and an amused smile touched her lips as she recalled Lucinda’s actions at the cottage. On the one hand, Lucinda rejected all emotional displays as totally unseemly-yet at the same time she herself was possessed of the most formidable temper Elizabeth had ever witnessed. It was as if Lucinda did not regard her own outbursts of ire as emotional. Without the slightest hesitation or regret Lucinda could verbally flay a wrongdoer into small, bite-sized pieces and then mentally stamp him into the ground and grind him beneath the heel of her sturdy shoe. On the other hand, were Elizabeth to exhibit the smallest bit of fear right now over their daunting predicament, Lucinda would instantly stiffen up with disapproval and deliver one of her sharp reprimands. Cognizant of that, Elizabeth glanced worriedly at the sky, where black clouds were rolling in, heralding a storm; but when she spoke she sounded deliberately and absurdly bland. “I believe it’s starting to rain, Lucinda,” she remarked while cold drizzle began to slap the leaves of the tree over their heads. “So it would seem,” said Lucinda. She opened her umbrella with a smart snap, holding it over them both. “It’s fortunate you have your umbrella.” “We aren’t likely to drown from a little rain.” “I shouldn’t think so.” Elizabeth drew a steadying breath, looking around at the harsh Scottish cliffs. In the tone of one asking someone’s opinion on a rhetorical question, Elizabeth said, “Do you suppose there are wolves out here?” “I believe,” Lucinda replied, “they probably constitute a larger threat to our health at present than the rain.” The sun was setting, and the early spring air had a sharp bite in it; Elizabeth was almost positive they’d be freezing by nightfall. “It’s a bit chilly.” “Rather.” “We have warmer clothes in the trunks, though.” “I daresay we won’t be too uncomfortable, in that case.” Elizabeth’s wayward sense of humor chose that unlikely moment to assert itself. “No, we shall be snug as can be while the wolves gather around us.” “Quite.” Hysteria, hunger, and exhaustion-combined with Lucinda’s unswerving calm and her earlier unprecedented entry into the cottage with umbrella flailing-were making Elizabeth almost giddy. “Of course, if the wolves realize how hungry we are, there’s every change they’ll give us a wide berth.” “A cheering possibility.” “We’ll build a fire,” Elizabeth said, her lips twitching. “That will keep them at bay, I believe.” When Lucinda remained silent for several moments, occupied with her own thoughts, Elizabeth confided with an odd surge of happiness. “Do you know something, Lucinda? I don’t think I would have missed today for anything.” Lucinda’s thin gray brows shot up, and she cast a dubious sideways glance at Elizabeth. “I realize that must sound extremely peculiar, but can you imagine how absolutely exhilarating it was to have that man at the point of a gun for just a few minutes? Do you find that-odd?” Elizabeth asked when Lucinda stared straight ahead in angry, thoughtful silence. “What I find off,” she said in a tone of frosty disapproval mingled with surprise, “is that you evoke such animosity in that man.” “I think he’s quite demented.” “I would have said embittered.” “About what?” “That is an interesting question.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The earth provides not just a little, but all. The very body and mind with which I tend the earth are themselves of the earth. I am but earth tending earth. Were the earth not to roll this garden toward the sun today, were the clouds not to gather above the sea, the waters not to flow, the soil not to brim with its billions of microorganisms, were all or any part of this to fail, I would fail as well, my body numbed to a fixed stillness, my slightest thought cancelled. This truth is so obvious that it is a wonder we can forget it so often and so easily. The fact of it defines who we are. To forget this is to forget who we are, a species suffering from amnesia that bewildered seeks its own name.
Lin Jensen (Bad Dog!: A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places)
And this is their story. One of boys becoming men and waking to the prospects of life. One of flight. Of breaking ties to the earth and gliding over the hills of western North Carolina and over cities with unfamiliar names, like Schweinfurt and Regensburg, and through skies thick with flak. Of touching the clouds, the moon, and the stars. One of enduring friendship, duty, and honor.
Rona Simmons (A Gathering of Men)
In order to construct a flawless imitation, the first step was to gather as much video data as possible with a web crawler. His ideal targets were fashionable Yoruba girls, with their brightly colored V-neck buba and iro that wrapped around their waists, hair bundled up in gele. Preferably, their videos were taken in their bedrooms with bright, stable lighting, their expressions vivid and exaggerated, so that AI could extract as many still-frame images as possible. The object data set was paired with another set of Amaka’s own face under different lighting, from multiple angles and with alternative expressions, automatically generated by his smartstream. Then, he uploaded both data sets to the cloud and got to work with a hyper-generative adversarial network. A few hours or days later, the result was a DeepMask model. By applying this “mask,” woven from algorithms, to videos, he could become the girl he had created from bits, and to the naked eye, his fake was indistinguishable from the real thing. If his Internet speed allowed, he could also swap faces in real time to spice up the fun. Of course, more fun meant more work. For real-time deception to work, he had to simultaneously translate English or Igbo into Yoruba, and use transVoice to imitate the voice of a Yoruba girl and a lip sync open-source toolkit to generate corresponding lip movement. If the person on the other end of the chat had paid for a high-quality anti-fake detector, however, the app might automatically detect anomalies in the video, marking them with red translucent square warnings
Kai-Fu Lee (AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future)
Taking care of the gut starts in the brain, where annoying, exasperating, enraging, or furious thoughts gather like storm clouds and cause a rise in your sympathetic nervous system. This invariably leads to muscle tension, higher blood pressure, sweaty palms, cold hands and feet, irregular heart rhythm, confused thinking, and gut and immune system problems.
Daniel G. Amen (You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type)
Let there be light. Gen. 1:3 Let there be enlightenment; let there be understanding. Darkness. Gen. 1:4 Ignorance; lack of enlightenment and understanding. Eden. Gen. 2:8 A delightful place; temporal life. Garden. Gen. 2:8 Metaphorically—a wife; a family. Tree of life in the midst of the garden. Gen. 2:9 Sex; posterity, progeny. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gen. 2:9 Moral law; the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life. Gen. 2:9 Eternal life. The tree of good and evil. Gen. 2:17 Metaphorically—sexual relationship. Good. Gen. 2:17 Anything perfect. Evil. Gen. 2:17 Anything imperfect; contrary to good; immature. Naked. Gen. 2:25 Exposed; ashamed. Serpent. Gen. 3:1 An enemy; deception. Thorns and thistles. Gen. 3:18 Grievances and difficulties. Sent forth from the garden. Gen. 3:23 A loss of harmony; a lost paradise. God took him away. Gen. 5:24 He died painlessly. He had a heart attack. Sons of God. Gen. 6:2 Good men; the descendants of Seth. My spirit shall not dwell in man forever. Gen. 6:3 I have become weary and impatient. (A scribal note.) The Lord was sorry that He made man. Gen. 6:6 (A scribal note. See Old Testament Light—Lamsa.) I set my bow in the clouds. Gen. 9:13 I set the rainbow in the sky. I have lifted up my hands. Gen. 14:22 I am taking a solemn oath. Thy seed. Gen. 17:7 Your offspring; your teaching. Angels. Gen. 19:1 God’s counsel; spirits; God’s thoughts. Looking behind. Gen. 19:17 Regretting; wasting time. A pillar of salt. Gen. 19:26 Lifeless; stricken dead. As the stars of heaven. Gen. 22:17 Many in number; a great multitude. Went in at the gate. Gen. 23:18 Mature men who sat at the counsel. Hand under thigh. Gen. 24:2 Hand under girdle; a solemn oath. Tender eyed. Gen. 29:17 Attractive eyes. He hath sold us. Gen. 31:15 He has devoured our dowry. Wrestling with an angel. Gen. 32:24 Being suspicious of a pious man. Coat of many colors. Gen. 37:23 A coat with long sleeves meaning learning, honor and a high position. Spilling seed on the ground. Gen. 38:9 Spilling semen on the ground. (An ancient practice of birth control.) No man shall lift up his hand or foot. Gen. 41:44 No man shall do anything without your approval. Put his hand upon thine eyes. Gen. 46:4 Shall close your eyes upon your death bed. Laying on of hands. Gen. 48:14 Blessing and approving a person. His right hand upon the head. Gen. 48:17 A sincere blessing. Unstable as water. Gen. 49:4 Undecided; in a dilemma. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah. Gen. 49:10 There shall always be a king from the lineage of Judah. Washed his garments in wine. Gen. 49:11 He will become an owner of many vineyards. His teeth white with milk. Gen. 49:12 He will have abundant flocks of sheep. His bow abode in strength. Gen. 49:24 He will become a valiant warrior. The stone of Israel. Gen. 49:24 The strong race of Israel. He gathered up his feet. Gen. 49:33 He stretched out his feet—He breathed his last breathe; he died.
George M. Lamsa (Idioms in the Bible Explained and a Key to the Original Gospels)