Curtains Musical Quotes

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I danced. I danced without music. I screamed without sound. I celebrated in silence, in the dark, behind the curtains where no one could see.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside-- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond-- only a glimpse-- and heard a note of unearthly music.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
I wrapped my arms around my knees and stared through the window's wavy glass. The red velvet curtains were drawn around the tiny alcove, and I was enveloped by an odd sense of peace, knowing that in twenty minutes, the halls were going to be crowded; music was going to be blaring; and I was going to go from being an only child to one of a hundred sisters, so I knew to savor the silence while it lasted.
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1))
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Not as the plants and flowers of Earth, growing peacefully beneath a simple sun, were the blossoms of the planet Lophai. Coiling and uncoiling in double dawns; tossing tumultuously under vast suns of jade green and balas-ruby orange; swaying and weltering in rich twilights, in aurora-curtained nights, they resembled fields of rooted serpents that dance eternally to an other-worldly music.
Clark Ashton Smith (Lost Worlds)
I learned that music comes from the voice, the rhythm and the heart of each person, and that the musicality of those unrecorded melodies could lift the curtain of fog, pass through windows and screens to waken us as gently as a morning lullaby.
Kim Thúy (Ru)
What is our life? A play of passion. Our mirth the music of division. Our mother's wombs the tyring houses be, Where we are drest for this short Comedy. Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is, That sits and marks still who doth act amiss, Our graves that hide us from the searching sun, Are like drawn curtains when the play is done. Thus march we playing to our latest rest, Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.
Walter Raleigh
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
I’m not good, little muse. My obsession with you is the only pure thing about me. Never forget that I’m your demon of music, Scarlett. You can’t expect me to behave like a gentleman when you beg like my whore.
Greer Rivers (Phantom (Tattered Curtain, #1))
Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June’s long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the mutilated world. You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long trip ahead of it, while salty oblivion awaited others. You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere, You’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully. You should praise the mutilated world. Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered. Return in thought to the concert where music flared. You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth's scars. Praise the mutilated world and the gray feathers a thrush lost, and the gentle light that strays and vanishes and returns.
Adam Zagajewski
But I have never had the privilege of unhappiness in Happy Valley. California is about the good life. So a bad life there seems so much worse than a bad life anywhere else. Quality is an obsession there—good food, good wine, good movies, music, weather, cars. Those sound like the right things to shoot for, but the never-ending quality quest is a lot of pressure when you’re uncertain and disorganized and, not least, broker than broke. Some afternoons a person just wants to rent Die Hard, close the curtains, and have Cheerios for lunch.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
She always says I'm the best friend that she's ever had... how do you hang up on someone who needs you that bad? ~From 'Laura' on The Nylon Curtain
Billy Joel
And now, having endeavoured to suit everyone by many weddings, few deaths, and as much prosperity as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall for ever on the March family.
Louisa May Alcott (Jo's Boys)
There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they've ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever – mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ's kingdom on earth, the workers' paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it's tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it's tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
Opportunities may come along for you to convert something -something that exists into something that didn't yet. That might be the beginning of it. Sometimes you just want to do things your way, want to see for yourself what lies behind the misty curtain. It's not like you see songs approaching and invite them in. It's not that easy. You want to write songs that are bigger than life. You want to say something about strange things that have happened to you, strange things you have seen. You have to know and understand something and then go past the vernacular.
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
Do you hear it?" Samuel asked, his eyes penetrating. "I don't hear it...but I know it's there." I struggled to express something that I'd never put into words. "Sometimes I think if I could just SEE without my eyes, the way I FEEL without my hands, I would be able to HEAR the music. I don't use my hands to feel love or joy or heartache - but I still feel them all the same. My eyes let me see incredibly beautiful things, but sometimes I think that what I SEE gets in the way of what's...what's just beyond the beauty. Almost like the beauty I can SEE is just a very lovely curtain, distracting me from what's on the other side...and if I just knew how to push that curtain aside, there the music would be." I threw up my hands in frustration. "I can't really explain it.
Amy Harmon (Running Barefoot)
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and her hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond-only a glimpse and heard a note of unearthly music.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Annotated))
Kissing him is like falling into a river, some great fierce current carrying me outside of my body, and all around us the music of the water rises and rises, and I can hear the wind moving over the sand, the distant singing of the stars veiled behind their curtain of blue sky, the slow, resonant chords of the earth turning on its axis.
Sarah McCarry (All Our Pretty Songs (Metamorphoses, #1))
This. This is exactly it. "It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside — but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond — only a glimpse — and heard a note of unearthly music. This moment came rarely — went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it — never summon it — never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing. Tonight the dark boughs against that far-off sky had given it. It had come with a high, wild note of wind in the night, with a shadow wave over a ripe field, with a grey bird lighting on her windowsill in a storm, with the singing of “Holy, holy, holy” in church, with a glimpse of the kitchen fire when she had come home on a dark autumn night, with the spirit-like blue of ice palms on a twilit pane, with a felicitous new word when she writing down a ‘description’ of something. And always when the flash came to her Emily felt that life was a wonderful, mysterious thing of persistent beauty.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
He was rowed down from the north in a leather skiff manned by a crew of trolls. His fur cape was caked with candle wax, his brow stained blue by wine - though the latter was seldom noticed due to the fox mask he wore at-all times. A quill in his teeth, a solitary teardrop a-squirm in his palm, he was the young poet prince of Montreal, handsome, immaculate, searching for sturdier doors to nail his poignant verses on. In Manhattan, grit drifted into his ink bottle. In Vienna, his spice box exploded. On the Greek island of Hydra, Orpheus came to him at dawn astride a transparent donkey and restrung his cheap guitar. From that moment on, he shamelessly and willingly exposed himself to the contagion of music. To the secretly religious curiosity of the traveler was added the openly foolhardy dignity of the troubadour. By the time he returned to America, songs were working in him like bees in an attic. Connoisseurs developed cravings for his nocturnal honey, despite the fact that hearts were occasionally stung. Now, thirty years later, as society staggers towards the millennium - nailing and screeching at the while, like an orangutan with a steak knife in its side - Leonard Cohen, his vision, his gift, his perseverance, are finally getting their due. It may be because he speaks to this wounded zeitgeist with particular eloquence and accuracy, it may be merely cultural time-lag, another example of the slow-to-catch-on many opening their ears belatedly to what the few have been hearing all along. In any case, the sparkle curtain has shredded, the boogie-woogie gate has rocked loose from its hinges, and here sits L. Cohen at an altar in the garden, solemnly enjoying new-found popularity and expanded respect. From the beginning, his musical peers have recognized Cohen´s ability to establish succinct analogies among life´s realities, his talent for creating intimate relationships between the interior world of longing and language and the exterior world of trains and violins. Even those performers who have neither "covered" his compositions nor been overtly influenced by them have professed to admire their artfulness: the darkly delicious melodies - aural bouquets of gardenia and thistle - that bring to mind an electrified, de-Germanized Kurt Weill; the playfully (and therefore dangerously) mournful lyrics that can peel the apple of love and the peach of lust with a knife that cuts all the way to the mystery, a layer Cole Porter just could`t expose. It is their desire to honor L. Cohen, songwriter, that has prompted a delegation of our brightest artists to climb, one by one, joss sticks smoldering, the steep and salty staircase in the Tower of Song.
Tom Robbins
Within this restless, hurried, modern world We took our hearts' full pleasure—You and I, And now the white sails of our ship are furled, And spent the lading of our argosy. Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan, For very weeping is my gladness fled, Sorrow has paled my young mouth's vermilion, And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed. But all this crowded life has been to thee No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell Of viols, or the music of the sea That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.
Oscar Wilde (The Ballad of Reading Gaol)
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
Once she called to invite me to a concert of Liszt piano concertos. The soloist was a famous South American pianist. I cleared my schedule and went with her to the concert hall at Ueno Park. The performance was brilliant. The soloist's technique was outstanding, the music both delicate and deep, and the pianist's heated emotions were there for all to feel. Still, even with my eyes closed, the music didn't sweep me away. A thin curtain stood between myself and pianist, and no matter how much I might try, I couldn't get to the other side. When I told Shimamoto this after the concert, she agreed. "But what was wrong with the performance?" she asked. "I thought it was wonderful." "Don't you remember?" I said. "The record we used to listen to, at the end of the second movement there was this tiny scratch you could hear. Putchi! Putchi! Somehow, without that scratch, I can't get into the music!" Shimamoto laughed. "I wouldn't exactly call that art appreciation." "This has nothing to do with art. Let a bald vulture eat that up, for all I care. I don't care what anybody says; I like that scratch!" "Maybe you're right," she admitted. "But what's this about a bald vulture? Regular vultures I know about--they eat corpses. But bald vultures?" In the train on the way home, I explained the difference in great detail.The difference in where they are born, their call, their mating periods. "The bald vulture lives by devouring art. The regular vulture lives by devouring the corpses of unknown people. They're completely different." "You're a strange one!" She laughed. And there in the train seat, ever so slightly, she moved her shoulder to touch mine. The one and only time in the past two months our bodies touched.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
After lunch, he rose and gave me the tips of his fingers, saying he would like to show me over his flat; but I snatched away my hand and gave a cry. What I had touched was cold and, at the same time, bony; and I remembered that his hands smelt of death. ‘Oh, forgive me!’ he moaned. And he opened a door before me. ‘This is my bedroom, if you care to see it. It is rather curious.’ His manners, his words, his attitude gave me confidence and I went in without hesitation. I felt as if I were entering the room of a dead person. The walls were all hung with black, but, instead of the white trimmings that usually set off that funereal upholstery, there was an enormous stave of music with the notes of the DIES IRAE, many times repeated. In the middle of the room was a canopy, from which hung curtains of red brocaded stuff, and, under the canopy, an open coffin. 'That is where I sleep,’ said Erik. 'One has to get used to everything in life, even to eternity.’ The sight upset me so much that I turned away my head” - Chapter 12: Apollo’s Lyre
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Think of the jazz improv artist responding to the musical banter among her fellow players onstage. Aside from whatever training they've done in advance, as soon as the curtain opens, they move into unknown territory together, creating something new each time by remaining in a state of undivided presence.
Donna Quesada (Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers)
Again I waited - oh, but for a brief interval: I presently distinguished an extraordinary shuffling and stamping of feet on the staircase, on the floors, on the carpets; a sound not only of boots and' human shoes, but tapping of crutches, of crutches of wood, and knocking of iron crutches which clanged like cymbals. And behold, I perceived, all at once, on the door sill, an armchair, my large reading chair, which came waddling out. Right into the garden it went, followed by others, the chairs of my drawing room, then the comfortable settee, crawling like crocodiles on their short legs; next, all my chairs bounding like goats,and the small footstools which followed like rabbits. Oh, what a hideous surprise! I stepped back behind the shrubs, where I stayed, crouched and watching this procession of my furniture; for out they all came, one behind the other, quickly or slowly according to their form and weight. My piano - my large grand piano - passed at a canter like a horse, with a faint murmur of music from within; the smallest objects crawled on the gravel like ants - brushes, glasses and cups glistening in the rays of the moon with phosphorescence like glowworms. The curtains, tablecloths and, draperies wriggled along, with their feelers in the puddles like the cuttle-fish in the sea. Suddenly I beheld my pet bureau, a rare specimen of the last century, and which contained all my correspondence, all my love letters, the whole history of my heart, an old history of how much I have suffered! And within, besides, were, above all, certain photographs! ("Who Knows?")
Guy de Maupassant (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall for ever on the March family
Louisa May Alcott (Jo's Boys)
The stars have us to bed: Night draws the curtain; which the sun withdraws. Music
Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Prehistory isn't like a 'veil' or a 'curtain' that 'lifts’ to reveal the pre-set 'stage' of history. Rather, prehistory is an absence of something: an absence of writing. So a better image of the ‘dawn of history’ might be an AM radio in the pre-dawn hours: you recognize wisps of words or music across the dial, inter blending, and noise obscures even the few clear-channel stations. The first ones we find, when we switch on the radio of history about 3200B.C.E., come from Mesopotamia, and those from Egypt soon emerge. Eventually the neighbouring lands produce records, with the effect that the ancient Near East is probably the best documented civilization before the invention of printing.” (Daniels and Bright, page 19)
Peter T. Daniels (The World's Writing Systems)
We all came up out of the ground and took our forms. So much harder for us to have a form because we have one on the outside and too many inside. Depth, surface, power, fragility, direction, indirection, arrogance, servility, rocks, roots, grass, blossoms, dirt. We are a tangle of roots, a young branch, a flower, a moldy spore. You want to say, This is me; this is who I am. But you don’t even know what it is, or what it’s for. Time parts its shabby curtain: There is my father, listening to his music hard enough to break his own heart. Trying to borrow shapes for his emotions so that he may hold them out to the world and the world might say, Yes, we see. We feel. We understand. I touch the hazelnut bush gently as I pass.
Mary Gaitskill (Veronica (Vintage Contemporaries))
EARLY IN THE MORNING While the long grain is softening in the water, gurgling over a low stove flame, before the salted Winter Vegetable is sliced for breakfast, before the birds, my mother glides an ivory comb through her hair, heavy and black as calligrapher’s ink. She sits at the foot of the bed. My father watches, listens for the music of comb against hair. My mother combs, pulls her hair back tight, rolls it around two fingers, pins it in a bun to the back of her head. For half a hundred years she has done this. My father likes to see it like this. He says it is kempt. But I know it is because of the way my mother’s hair falls when he pulls the pins out. Easily, like the curtains when they untie them in the evening.
Li-Young Lee (Rose)
We have entered a world of shorthand, precis, digest, summary, news flash, comic strip. We are bombarded with visual images, cutting from one to another, stabbing at the mind and put out with the rubbish sacks at the end of the week. The novel that took a man or woman years to create - in research, in planning of the plot and counter-plot, in construction - each word chosen, each phrase weighed against another, themes recurring, climaxes achieved - is now reduced to a four part serial, produced with pride in the accuracy of its sets and costumes, brilliantly acted, the music of the background authentic to the period. The words, but not the minds. The science, but not the significance. THE BOOK HAS BEEN MADE A THING TO WATCH, NOT TO LIVE. WE must FIGHT to save the WRITTEN WORD as we fight to save the whale. We must keep in our minds, a place apart, a sanctuary, where a lamp lights only the table at which we sit, where the curtains are drawn against the present time. Let us begin.
Pamela Brown
I will conclude this chapter with a remark that I am sincerely proud to be able to make—and glad, as well, that my comrades cordially endorse it, to wit: by far the handsomest women we have seen in France were born and reared in America. I feel now like a man who has redeemed a failing reputation and shed luster upon a dimmed escutcheon, by a single just deed done at the eleventh hour. Let the curtain fall, to slow music.
Mark Twain (The Innocents Abroad)
The Conqueror Worm Lo! 'tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly— Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Wo! That motley drama—oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore, By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And the angels sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out—out are the lights—out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, And the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Conqueror Worm)
God Will, I wish you'd stop telling me what to do. What if I like watching television? What if I don't want to do much else other than read a book?" My voice had become shrill. "What if I'm tired when I get home? What if I don't need to fill my days with activity?" "Bur one day you might wish you had", he said quietly. "Do you know what I would do if I were you?" I put down my peeler. "I suspect you're going to tell me." "Yes. And I'm completely unembarrassed about telling you. I'd be doing night school. I'd be training as a seamstress or a fashion designer or whatever it is that taps into what you really love." He gestured at my minidress, a Sixties-inspired Pucci-type dress, made with the fabric that had once been a pair of Grandad's curtains. The first time Dad had seen it he had pointed at me and yelled, "Hey, Lou, pull yourself together!" It had taken him a full five minutes to stop laughing. "I'd be finding out what I could do that didn't cost much - keep-fit classes, swimming, volunteering, whatever. I'd be teaching myself music or going for long walks with somebody else's dog, or -" "Okay, okay, I get the message," I said, irritably. "But I'm not you, Will." "Luckily for you.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
I pick the path through the trees, and it's like stepping into a fairy tale. Girl in a gown walks into a forest. It's strange how secluded this feels, even with the pavilion directly behind me. The trees are so thick, they're practically a curtain, and the music sounds like it's beaming in from another galaxy.
Becky Albertalli (Leah on the Offbeat (Simonverse, #3))
The Gift Time wants to show you a different country. It's the one that your life conceals, the one waiting outside when curtains are drawn, the one Grandmother hinted at in her crochet design, the one almost found over at the edge of the music, after the sermon. It's the way life is, and you have it, a few years given. You get killed now and then, violated in various ways. (And sometimes it's turn about.) You get tired of that. Long-suffering, you wait and pray, and maybe good things come-maybe the hurt slackens and you hardly feel it any more. You have a breath without pain. It is called happiness. It's a balance, the taking and passing along, the composting of where you've been and how people and weather treated you. It's a country where you already are, bringing where you have been. Time offers this gift in its millions of ways, turning the world, moving the air, calling, every morning, "Here, take it, it's yours.
William Stafford
One might have supposed one’s self at an opera in listening to the voices in my aviary. There were duets and trios, and quartetts and choruses, all arranged as in one piece of music. Did I want silence from the birds? I had but to draw a curtain over the aviary, and their song hushed as they found themselves left in the dark.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)
I loved you when you were only music sheets, roses, and letters. You’ve been here for me longer than I ever knew. I never want to let you go again. I want to be yours.” The words feel beautifully final as they leave my lips. His right hand strokes my jaw once. “Forever? One love, beyond this lifetime?” “Forever with you, Sol, my demon of music.
Greer Rivers (Phantom (Tattered Curtain, #1))
Outside the window of the balcony room, three metal guys were building a new patio for the defunct pool. The pool was slowly filling with red dust carried across the highway by intermittent breezes. At some point I stood up from the table and pulled back the curtain a bit and watched the half naked bodies of the guys climbing in and out of their trucks for tools or to turn up the volume of the music. I felt like a detective with only the window glass and the curtains camouflaging my desire. For a moment I was afraid the intensity of my sexual fantasies would become strangely audible; the energy of the thought images would become so loud that all three guys would turn simultaneously like witnesses to a nearby car crash.
David Wojnarowicz
Dear Rick, I've never thought math was a miracle. The things we study simply are. They were the rules of the universe before we were here to understand them. They operate the world behind the curtain, whether we look behind it or not. The rules are already there. Music is a miracle. It adds something to the world that didn't have to be here. Language is a miracle. Every sentence ever spoken and every song ever sung is a new invention. Not only do they add something new to the world, they transmit thoughts and emotions that would otherwise be locked within one person. I hear a song and feel something a composer felt 200 years ago. I read your letter and hear your voice saying the words. I feel you in the room with me. That's the miracle.
Ethan Chatagnier (Singer Distance)
He was again showing recklessness in giving voice to these spasmodic outbursts of worldly knowledge. The champagne perhaps caused this intermittent pulling aside of the curtain that concealed some, apparently considerable, volume of practical information about unlikely people: a little storehouse, the existence of which he was normally unwilling to admit, yet preserved safely at the back of his mind in case of need.
Anthony Powell (A Buyer's Market (A Dance to the Music of Time, #2))
Sappho isn't really meant to be read. It's meant to be sung and there were dances for the songs, also. Sappho was a performance artist, and now she exists as a textual project. She was saved by her critics, and by people who wrote of her in letters to each other. As the morning sun lathers the pool through the long windows and stripes the opposite walls in gold, I look at the fragment translations. She's paper, too. A paper poet for a paper boy. People claim to be translating her but they don't, really, they use her to write poems from as they fill in the gaps in the fragments. A duet. She may have meant for these to be solos but they're duets now, though the second singer blends in with the first. The first singer in this case is offstage, like in the old days of stars who couldn't sing, a real singer hidden behind a curtain, which is the velvet drape of history.
Alexander Chee (Edinburgh)
A night breeze ruffled a curtain. Arin’s bedroom--she realized with soft surprise--had come to feel like her own. He was lazily tracing circles on her belly. It hypnotized her into a rare, pure unthinking. He settled back on the bed, propped on one elbow. “It occurs to me that there is something we have never done.” Her thoughts rushed back. She arched one brow. He moved to whisper in her ear. “Yes,” she laughed. “Let’s.” “Now?” “Now.” So they reached for dressing robes and the bedside lamp, and padded barefoot through his suite, rushing slightly, and then through the silent house, suppressing giddy breaths. They couldn’t look each other in the face; a wild, loud joyousness threatened to break free if they did. They wound down the staircase and into the parlor. They shut the door behind them, but still… “We are going to wake the whole house,” Kestrel said. “How should we do this?” She led him to her piano. “Easy.” He placed a palm on the instrument as if already feeling it vibrate with music. He cleared his throat. “Now that I think about it, I’m a little nervous.” “You’ve sung for me before.” “Not the same.” “Arin. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.” Her words silenced him, steadied him. Anticipation lifted within her like the fragrance of a garden under the rain. She sat at the piano, touching the keys. “Ready?” He smiled. “Play.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
What is soft power? It is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our soft power is enhanced. America has long had a great deal of soft power. Think of the impact of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms in Europe at the end of World War II; of young people behind the Iron Curtain listening to American music and news on Radio Free Europe; of Chinese students symbolizing their protests in Tiananmen Square by creating a replica of the Statue of Liberty; of newly liberated Afghans in 2001 asking for a copy of the Bill of Rights; of young Iranians today surreptitiously watching banned American videos and satellite television broadcasts in the privacy of their homes. These are all examples of America’s soft power. When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive. As General Wesley Clark put it, soft power “gave us an influence far beyond the hard edge of traditional balance-of-power politics.” But attraction can turn to repulsion if we act in an arrogant manner and destroy the real message of our deeper values.
Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics)
And all this time I was keeping my eyes open, or trying to, only they kept closing, because I wanted to go on watching the stars, where the most extraordinary things were happening. A bright satellite, a man-made star, very slowly and somehow carefully crossed the sky in a great arc, from one side to the other, a close arc, one knew it was not far away, a friendly satellite slowly going about its business round and round the globe. And then, much much farther away, stars were quietly shooting and tumbling and disappearing, silently falling and being extinguished, lost utterly silent falling stars, falling from nowhere to nowhere into an unimaginable extinction. How many of them there were, as if the heavens were crumbling at last and being dismantled. And I wanted to show all these things to my father. Later I knew that I had been asleep and I opened my eyes with wonder and the sky had utterly changed again and was no longer dark but bright, golden, gold-dust golden, as if curtain after curtain had been removed behind the stars I had seen before, and now I was looking into the vast interior of the universe, as if the universe were quietly turning itself inside out. Stars behind stars and stars behind stars behind stars until there was nothing between them, nothing beyond them, but dusty dim gold of stars and no space and no light but stars. The moon was gone. The water lapped higher, nearer, touching the rock so lightly it was audible only as a kind of vibration. The sea had fallen dark, in submission to the stars. And the stars seemed to move as if one could see the rotation of the heavens as a kind of vast crepitation, only now there were no more events, no shooting stars, no falling stars, which human senses could grasp or even conceive of. All was movement, all was change, and somehow this was visible and yet unimaginable. And I was no longer I but something pinned down as an atom, an atom of an atom, a necessary captive spectator, a tiny mirror into which it was all indifferently beamed, as it motionlessly seethed and boiled, gold behind gold behind gold. Later still I awoke and it had all gone; and for a few moments I thought that I had seen all those stars only in a dream. There was a weird shocking sudden quiet, as at the cessation of a great symphony or of some immense prolonged indescribable din. Had the stars then been audible as well as visible and had I indeed heard the music of the spheres? The early dawn light hung over the rocks and over the sea, with an awful intent gripping silence, as if it had seized these faintly visible shapes and were very slowly drawing tgem out of a darkness in which they wanted to remain. Even the water was now totally silent, not a tap, not a vibration. The sky was a faintly lucid grey and the sea was a lightless grey, and the rocks were a dark fuzzy greyish brown. The sense of loneliness was far more intense than it had been under the stars. Then I had felt no fear. Now I felt fear. I discovered that I was feeling very stiff and rather cold. The rock beneath me was very hard and I felt bruised and aching. I was surprised to find my rugs and cushions were wet with dew. I got up stiffly and shook them. I looked around me. Mountainous piled-up rocks hid the house. And I saw myself as a dark figure in the midst of this empty awfully silent dawn, where light was scarcely yet light, and I was afraid of myself and quickly lay down again and settled my rug and closed my eyes, lying there stiffly and not imagining that I would sleep again.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
I reviewed in thought the modern era of raps and apparitions, beginning with the knockings of 1848, at the hamlet of Hydesville, N.Y., and ending with grotesque phenomena at Cambridge, Mass.; I evoked the anklebones and other anatomical castanets of the Fox sisters (as described by the sages of the University of Buffalo ); the mysteriously uniform type of delicate adolescent in bleak Epworth or Tedworth, radiating the same disturbances as in old Peru; solemn Victorian orgies with roses falling and accordions floating to the strains of sacred music; professional imposters regurgitating moist cheesecloth; Mr. Duncan, a lady medium's dignified husband, who, when asked if he would submit to a search, excused himself on the ground of soiled underwear; old Alfred Russel Wallace, the naive naturalist, refusing to believe that the white form with bare feet and unperforated earlobes before him, at a private pandemonium in Boston, could be prim Miss Cook whom he had just seen asleep, in her curtained corner, all dressed in black, wearing laced-up boots and earrings; two other investigators, small, puny, but reasonably intelligent and active men, closely clinging with arms and legs about Eusapia, a large, plump elderly female reeking of garlic, who still managed to fool them; and the skeptical and embarrassed magician, instructed by charming young Margery's "control" not to get lost in the bathrobe's lining but to follow up the left stocking until he reached the bare thigh - upon the warm skin of which he felt a "teleplastic" mass that appeared to the touch uncommonly like cold, uncooked liver. ("The Vane Sisters")
Vladimir Nabokov (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
When the music stopped, the curtains to their booth flew open. Jax, the devastatingly handsome Nordic wolf, leered down on the lovers, who smiled up at him in amusement. “I said pretend to be her mate. At any point, did you hear me say, ‘Come up to New York and fuck my sister in public…during one of my company events?’ Did I say that? I really don’t recall saying that.” Jax scrubbed his fingers over his tightly cropped hair. He moved to the balcony, overlooking the patrons who were shuffling into the lobby for the intermission. “Sorry.” Dimitri laughed. He knew that they should have been slightly less conspicuous but the draw of his mate had been too much to resist. “Sorry? Really? That’s all you’ve got?” He turned to Gillian, who scrambled up to her feet, adjusting her dress. “And you? What’s your excuse, little sister? Seriously, every shifter in the room could hear you.” “Um, well, yeah, sorry about that. But technically this is your fault. I mean, what did you expect? You asked Dimitri to come here…to pretend to be my mate.” Gillian reasoned that her comeback sounded solid, inexperienced in dealing with her Alpha brother.
Kym Grosso (Dimitri (Immortals of New Orleans, #6))
Yugoslavia marched into hell because its leaders took it there. When Communist dogma lost its already tenuous hold on people’s minds with the fall of the Iron Curtain, the more ideologically flexible and unscrupulous of the fading Communist elite, led by Milošević, switched to nationalism. The leaders packaged it as a new emotional certainty in the face of the chaos and fear left by the collapse of the old order. The challenges of converting a totalitarian state into a democracy, or turning a command economy into a free market, were waved away with colorful flags, hazy nostalgia, and folk music. Political
Julian Borger (The Butcher's Trail: How the Search for Balkan War Criminals Became the World's Most Successful Manhunt)
Juliet and Romeo Awake the scene, a twilight chamber’d dream, Two angels both alike in dignity: One imaged misadventure on the screen; The second struck by moonlight’s alchemy. A pair of star-crossed lovers spends their night; He in deed dreams such a sight as she, Swing crystal scales to crispest fair delight. In his eyes her merry fragrant dance: she Civil thoughts and civil music meet; on Fair Lansdowne Street where love lays its scene, Romeo and Juliet did greet; within Their airy eyes on hopes and thoughts unseen. The curtain lifts on this sweet poem with woe, For love to find Juliet and her Romeo.
Tiger Lewis (Under the Sun)
He is tangled in Isabelle's arms, he is curtained by Isabelle's hair, he is touching Isabelle's body, he is lost in Isabelle, in her smell and her taste and the silk of her skin. He is onstage, the music pounding, the floor shaking, the audience cheering, his heart beating beating beating in time with the drumbeat. He is laughing with Clary, dancing with Clary, eating with Clary, running through the streets of Brooklyn with Clary, they are children together, they are one half of a whole, they hold hands and squeeze tight and pledge never to let go. He is going cold, stiff, the life draining out of him, he is below, in the dark, clawing his way to the light, fingernails scraping dirt, mouth filled with dirt, eyes clogged with dirt, he is straining, reaching, dragging himself up toward the sky, and when he reaches it, he opens his mouth wide but does not breathe, for he no longer needs to breathe, only to feed. And he is so very hungry. He is sinking his teeth into the neck of an angel's child, he is drinking the light. He is bearing a Mark, and it burns. He is raising his face to meet the gaze of an angel, he is flayed by the fury of angel fire, and yet still, impudent and bloodless, he lives. He is in a cage. He is in hell. He is bent over the broken body of a beautiful girl, he is praying to whatever god that will listen, please let her live, anything to let her live. He is giving away that which is most precious to him, and he is doing so willingly, so that his friends will survive. He is, again, with Isabelle, always with Isabelle, the holy flame of their love encompassing them both, and there is pain, and there is exquisite joy, and his veins burn with angel fire and he is the Simon he once was and the Simon he now will be, he endures and he is reborn, he is blood and flesh and a spark of the divine. He is Nephilim.
Cassandra Clare (Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #10))
The Shakers had indeed left the land that would become Shaker Heights long before, and by the summer of 1997 there were exactly twelve left in the world. But Shaker Heights had been founded, if not on Shaker principles, with the same idea of creating a utopia. Order—and regulation, the father of order—had been the Shakers’ key to harmony. They had regulated everything: the proper time for rising in the morning, the proper color of window curtains, the proper length of a man’s hair, the proper way to fold one’s hands in prayer (right thumb over left). If they planned every detail, the Shakers had believed, they could create a patch of heaven on earth, a little refuge from the world, and the founders of Shaker Heights had thought the same. In advertisements they depicted Shaker Heights in the clouds, looking down upon the grimy city of Cleveland from a mountaintop at the end of a rainbow’s arch. Perfection: that was the goal, and perhaps the Shakers had lived it so strongly it had seeped into the soil itself, feeding those who grew up there with a propensity to overachieve and a deep intolerance for flaws. Even the teens of Shaker Heights—whose main exposure to Shakers was singing “Simple Gifts” in music class—could feel that drive for perfection still in the air.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
I am nothing--nothing--nothing. She was clinging to that, she found, as to a sort of anchor, because it kept her from having to face the terrible possibility that God Himself was not, and the realization of God's nothingness would be the final horror that could not be borne. Yet as time passed she knew that that possibility, too, must be faced. She must let go of the very last thing left her, the knowledge of her own nothingness, and face it. And she let go, and looked around for God and did not find Him; and then there was nothing, except the dark night. But there was the dark night. Very slowly she became conscious of it, and then she found that she was hugging it to her, wrapping herself in it as though it were a cloak to hide her in this hour of her humiliation. For a long while the night was all that she had, and then suddenly, like a sword stabbing the darkness, came a trill of music. It was a bird welcoming the dawn. That, too, was added. She drew back one of the curtains of her bed and saw a patch of grey light where the window was. That also. During the hours of the night she had been completely stripped, and now one by one a few things were being handed to her for the clothing of her naked, shivering, humiliated soul. For a few things one must have to make one decent if one was to step forth again upon the highway. For that, obviously, impossible though the task seemed to her at this moment, was what she had to do as soon as the full day came, because there wasn't anything else that she could do. She had to go on living and serving, with the living and serving stripped of all pleasure...But there would be something. There would be darkness and light, night and day, both sweet things, and music linking them together. The full glory of the dawn chorus seemed all about was full day by the time she pulled back the muslin curtains that covered her window and flung it wide and leaned out, the scent of the spring earth rushing up to meet her. That also was given back...By whom?
Elizabeth Goudge (Green Dolphin Street)
There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they’ve ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever—mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ’s kingdom on earth, the workers’ paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it’s tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes. Naturally,
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
We each took a cup as we passed and drank the sweet chilled beverage- it was refreshing and tasted like ginger ale with a swirl of summer peaches. Then Peaseblossom waved us through the open door. "Wow," said Henry. We stepped into an enchanted culinary forest. The walls had been painted to look like a thicket of trees, and the ceiling resembled the summer sky in the woods, complete with overhanging branches. There were topiaries and baskets overflowing with wildflowers. The tables were grouped to one side, still draped in their shimmering coverings. Dreamy music floated through the air, and piney, herby scents wafted on gentle currents. Butterflies flitted around and landed on people's heads and shoulders. And everywhere we looked, there were trays of baked goods- most of them, I realized, straight from the pages of Puffy Fay's cookbook. The pastry case and the counter near it were hidden behind curtains that looked like a wall of evergreens.
Rajani LaRocca (Midsummer's Mayhem)
Lo! ’tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly — Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Wo! That motley drama! — oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased forever more, By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout, A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! — it writhes! — with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out — out are the lights — out all! And over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, And the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe (Tales Of The Grotesque and Arabesque)
New York is a city of eight million people, approximately seven million of whom will be furious when they hear you were in town and didn’t meet them for an expensive dinner, five million furious you didn’t visit their new baby, three million furious you didn’t see their new show, one million furious you didn’t call for sex, but only five actually available to meet you. It is completely reasonable to call none of them. You could instead sneak off to a terrible, treacly Broadway show that you will never admit you paid two hundred dollars to see. This is what Less does on his first night, eating a hot dog dinner to make up for the extravagance. You cannot call it a guilty pleasure when the lights go down and the curtain goes up, when the adolescent heart begins to beat along with the orchestra, not when you feel no guilt. And he feels none; he feels only the shiver of delight when there is nobody around to judge you. It is a bad musical, but, like a bad lay, a bad musical can still do its job perfectly well. By the end, Arthur Less is in tears, sobbing in his seat, and he thinks he has been sobbing quietly until the lights come up and the woman seated beside him turns and says, “Honey, I don’t know what happened in your life, but I am so so sorry,” and gives him a lilac-scented embrace. Nothing happened to me, he wants to say to her. Nothing happened to me. I’m just a homosexual at a Broadway show
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
Brian and Avis deliver their stacks and try to refuse dinner, but the waiters bring them glasses of burgundy, porcelain plates with thin, peppery steaks redolent of garlic, scoops of buttery grilled Brussels sprouts, and a salad of beets, walnuts, and Roquefort. They drag a couple of lawn chairs to a quiet spot on the street and they balance the plates on their laps. Some ingredient in the air reminds Avis of the rare delicious trips they used to make to the Keys. Ten years after they'd moved to Miami they'd left Stanley and Felice with family friends and Avis and Brian drove to Key West on a sort of second honeymoon. She remembers how the land dropped back into distance: wetlands, marsh, lazy-legged egrets flapping over the highway, tangled, sulfurous mangroves. And water. Steel-blue plains, celadon translucence. She and Brian had rented a vacation cottage in Old Town, ate small meals of fruit, cheese, olives, and crackers, swam in the warm, folding water. Each day stirring into the next, talking about nothing more complicated than the weather, spotting a shark off the pier, a mysterious constellation lowering in the west. Brian sheltered under a celery-green umbrella while Avis swam: the water formed pearls on the film of her sunscreen. They watched the night's rise, an immense black curtain from the ocean. Up and down the beach they hear the sounds of the outdoor bars, sandy patios switching on, distant strains of laughter, bursts of music. Someone played an instrument- quick runs of notes, arpeggios floating in soft ovals like soap bubbles over the darkening water.
Diana Abu-Jaber (Birds of Paradise)
Then I’ll sing, though that will likely have the child holding his ears and you running from the room.” This, incongruously, had her lips quirking up. “My father isn’t very musical. You hold the baby, I’ll sing.” She took the rocking chair by the hearth. Vim settled the child in his arms and started blowing out candles as he paced the room. “He shall feed his flock, like a shepherd…” More Handel, the lilting, lyrical contralto portion of the aria, a sweet, comforting melody if ever one had been written. And the baby was comforted, sighing in Vim’s arms and going still. Not deathly still, just exhausted still. Sophie sang on, her voice unbearably lovely. “And He shall gather the lambs in his arm… and gently lead those that are with young.” Vim liked music, he enjoyed it a great deal in fact—he just wasn’t any good at making it. Sophie was damned good. She had superb control, managing to sing quietly even as she shifted to the soprano verse, her voice lifting gently into the higher register. By the second time through, Vim’s eyes were heavy and his steps lagging. “He’s asleep,” he whispered as the last notes died away. “And my God, you can sing, Sophie Windham.” “I had good teachers.” She’d sung some of the tension and worry out too, if her more peaceful expression was any guide. “If you want to go back to your room, I can take him now.” He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want to leave her alone with the fussy baby; he didn’t want to go back to his big, cold bed down the dark, cold hallway. “Go to bed, Sophie. I’ll stay for a while.” She frowned then went to the window and parted the curtain slightly. “I think it’s stopped snowing, but there is such a wind it’s hard to tell.” He didn’t dare join her at the window for fear a chilly draft might wake the child. “Come away from there, Sophie, and why haven’t you any socks or slippers on your feet?” She glanced down at her bare feet and wiggled long, elegant toes. “I forgot. Kit started crying, and I was out of bed before I quite woke up.” They shared a look, one likely common to parents of infants the world over. “My Lord Baby has a loyal and devoted court,” Vim said. “Get into bed before your toes freeze off.” She gave him a particularly unreadable perusal but climbed into her bed and did not draw the curtains. “Vim?” “Hmm?” He took the rocker, the lyrical triple meter of the aria still in his head. “Thank you.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Sorrow walked in my clothes before I did. Flocks of shadows followed me. One night I looked at the stars I thought were gods until they disappeared. Some say I smashed my father’s idols and walked away. Or walked towards a desert of barren promises. Or promises that are hummingbirds hovering for a moment then drifting away. Even now, walking towards that mountain, sometimes I will watch my shadow sitting beneath a plane tree, casting dice, ignoring my steps. Some of you made me a founder but it was only that shadow. Some of you made me your father, but it was yourselves you were describing. You plant a tree, you dig a well, and it brings life, that’s all. Everything else is the heart’s mirage. Except what begins inside you. Except Sarah. When she stepped inside my dream the curtains shivered, whole mountains entered the room. It always seemed a question of which love to honor. The land I loved fills with fire. Who should we listen to? It’s true, He offered the world and I offered only myself. But I thought His words were coffins. I was frantic for any scrap of shade. Now everything is shade. Your old newspapers are taken up by the wind like pairs of broken wings. Each window, each door is a wound. One track erases another track. One bomb. One rock, one rubber bullet. What can I tell you? Where have you left your own morning of promises? You remember Isaac, maybe Ishmael, but not the love that led me there. Not Sarah. Just to hear the sound of her eyelids opening, or her plants pushing the air aside as they reach for the sun, twilight filling her fingers like fruit. This afternoon a flock of doves settled on my porch. Their silence took the shape of all I ever wanted to say. Today, the miracle you want aches inside the trees. Why believe anything except what is unbelievable? I never thought of it as a trial, not any of it. Now the leaves turn into messages that are simply impossible to read. The roots turn into roads as they break through the surface. How can I even know what I mean? Beneath the hem of night the rain falls asleep on the grass. We have to turn into each other. One heart inside the other’s heart. One love. One word. Inside us, our shadows will walk into water, the water will walk into the sky. Blind. Faithful. Inside us the music turns into a flock of birds. Theirs is a song whose promise we must believe the way the moon believes the earth, the fire believes the wood, that is, for no reason, for no reason at all.
Richard Jackson
We have to learn to apply wisdom in every situation and not "spiritualize" every temptation. Sometimes we need to overcome temptation by prayer and receiving grace; other times we need to put on some cheery music, open the curtains, and make a pot of coffee. God has given us the blessing of food when we are hungry, Advil when we have a headache, and Starbucks when we need a serious perk-up. We should avail ourselves of these blessings with gratitude to God our Creator, and not think we are somehow being unspiritual if we look to His creation for help and comfort.
Nancy Wilson (Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women (Marigold))
In me . . . peace. (John 16:33) There is a vast difference between pleasure and blessedness. Paul experienced imprisonment, pain, sacrifice, and suffering to their very limits, yet through it all he was blessed. All the beatitudes became real in his heart and life, in the midst of his difficult circumstances. Paganini, the great Italian violinist, once stepped onstage only to discover there was something wrong with his violin, just as the audience was ending their applause. He looked at the instrument for a moment and suddenly realized it was not his best and most valuable one. In fact, the violin was not his at all. Momentarily he felt paralyzed, but he quickly turned to his audience, telling them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain, thinking he must have left it backstage, but discovered that someone had stolen his and left the inferior one in its place. After remaining behind the curtain for a moment, Paganini stepped onstage again to speak to the audience. He said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I will now demonstrate to you that the music is not in the instrument but in the soul.” Then he played as never before, and beautiful music flowed from that inferior instrument until the audience was so enraptured that their enthusiastic applause nearly lifted the ceiling of the concert hall. He had indeed revealed to them that the music was not in his instrument but in his own soul! Dear tested and tried believer, it is your mission to walk onto the stage of this world in order to reveal to all of heaven and earth that the music of life lies not in your circumstances or external things but in your own soul.
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
I wish I had the words to paint the strange enchantment of İzmir: the little crooked streets with their air of secrecy and squalor; the haphazard shops in the side ways; the open carriages and the noisy trams and the hooting of the boats, overriding all other sounds; the casinos fronting the harbor, with the never ending strains of music issuing from them; the hot sunlight and the blue sky and the golden sands, the tree-lined roads and the wistaria and bougainvillaea that hangs everywhere like a scented purple curtain.
Irfan Orga (Portrait Of A Turkish Family)
ave you noticed the focus these days is back on the simple things of life? What's the first thing you do when you pick a rose? You smell the fragrance. Maybe it brings back a memory of the time you picked flowers for your mom. Perhaps it's time to recapture some of that girlhood simplicity. A lavender sachet in your drawer can be an unexpected and simple pleasure. Spray a little cologne on your notepaper or even on the bathroom throw rug. Or better yet, boil a little pot of cinnamon and enjoy the aroma. Put on lively music while you do your housework. Light candles for a quiet yet festive atmosphere. When we find satisfaction in the little things in life, we are happier and more willing to look for the positive in bigger things. olor in your home can make a world of difference. It can help you redefine spaces. If an area is too large, add a throw rug in a complementary color and create a "get together" spot. Add some soft colored curtains for a change of seasons. The idea is to create intimacy, a place that's inviting on a chilly evening or a warm spring afternoon. The richer the colors, the more welcoming the space. Red is great for warmth. Go for it! And shades of cranberry and plum work well. Experiment and step out of your comfort zone. Your home can be a place that gives you a feeling of quiet for thinking about what really counts in life and also be a festive atmosphere for celebrating. on't put all your emotional eggs in one basket. Our work consumes much of our time, and that's natural. And for some of you, that's 95 percent of your awake hours. Is it time to change your focus-to make life a little easier and less stressful for
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
humiliated. Given Beethoven’s actions, the whole town now knew of the family dispute. More than that, his intended wife saw her name being dragged through the mud. Illegitimate daughter she might have, but this she did not deserve. According to Thayer, Johann decided to confront his brother. In the large room he had given him in his own house, he remonstrated with him, ordering him to keep his nose out of his affairs, to mind his own business. Instead of contrition over the extreme action he had taken, Beethoven argued back. Tempers flared and ... ‘A scene ensued on which – let the curtain be drawn,’ Thayer diplomatically writes. There can be no doubt that the two brothers came to blows. Europe’s most renowned musical
John Suchet (Beethoven: The Man Revealed)
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside-- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond-- only a glimpse-- and heard a note of unearthly music.
L.M. Montgomery
CONCERT CHECKLIST 1. Secure a date on the calendar. Be sure it is listed on the official school calendar to protect it. 2. Reserve a performance venue for the concert and for final rehearsals. 3. Have tickets printed if they are to be used. 4. Plan the printed program and get it to the printer by the deadline date. 5. Plan the publicity. The following types of publicity can be utilized to draw a sizable concert audience: Radio releases Television releases Newspaper releases Online listings School announcements Notices to other schools and/or organizations in the area Posters for public placement 6. Send complimentary tickets to: Civic leaders Board of Education Superintendent People who have helped in some way Key supporters Key people to stimulate their interest 7. Have the president of the choir send personal letters of invitation to people that are special to the music program (newspaper editor, Board of Education, Superintendent, civic club presidents, supporters etc.). 8. Appoint a stage manager. He should be someone who can control the stage lighting, pull curtains, shut off air circulation fans that are noisy, and see that the stage is ready for the concert. 9. Arrange for ushers. 10. Check wearing apparel. Be sure that all singers have the correct accessories (same type and color of shoes, no gaudy jewelry for girls, etc.). 11. Post on bulletin board and tell students the time they will meet for a pre-concert warm-up. High school students will perform best if they meet together at least forty-five minutes before the concert.
Gordon Lamb (Choral Techniques)
We're born to die, but don't know why or what it's all about And, the more we try to learn, the less we know. Life's a very funny proposition, you can bet, And no one's ever solved the problem properly, as yet; Young for a day, then old and gray, Like the rose that buds and blooms, and fades and falls away. Losing health, to gain our wealth, as through this dream we tour; Ev'rything's a guess and nothing's absolutely sure. Battles exciting, and fates we're fighting, until the curtain fall; Life's a very funny proposition, after all.
George M. Cohan (George M. Cohan: In His Own Words - Biographical Musical (A Musical Play))
After he left, I tried not to let my mind wander, tried not to think about the small things I'd lot in the tornado especially not with Mrs. Dempsey covered by a shower curtain a couple houses down, but I couldn't help myself. My clothes, my earrings, my music. Granted, I didn't have trendy clothes or expensive earrings, but if it had all blown away...I had nothing. Even a few cheap somethings is better than nothing.
Jennifer Brown (Torn Away)
By 1950, Brennan was settling into a schedule that saw him making three films a year, giving him more time on his ranch and with a new business he started in Joseph, a 487-seat movie theater that opened on July 27, 1950. It was housed in a Quonset hut made out of surplus war materials also used to build the civic center. “The reason he got the theater built,” Mike recalled, “was because the civic center was the same size, and they [Frank McCully and Walter] got the chance to buy two of them for half the price.” At the theater’s grand opening, actors Chill Wills and Forrest Tucker said a few words and signed autographs, and Joseph’s mayor and other local dignitaries attended the event. A La Grande radio station broadcast the event. Curtain Call at Cactus Creek was the feature, following a musical short with the Nat King Cole trio.
Carl Rollyson (A Real American Character: The Life of Walter Brennan (Hollywood Legends))
Mrs. Cliffe-Wynrowe, the would-be leader of musical activities. She had all the lights on and the curtains drawn back as far as they would go, and she was to be seen thrashing the piano, flinging her long, thin arms up and down and contorting her body like an epileptic for the benefit of passers-by.
George Bellairs (Outrage on Gallows Hill (Thomas Littlejohn #13))
If Miss Nameless minded, she wasn't letting on. And if her name was really Frances, I didn't find out. The evening went a different direction from there. The music was still going like notes from a faraway horn, and her hands were all over me. That's what I remembered. Light shone through the gap in the curtain, through which people came and went - night after cheap, careless night, most likely - to the room on the other side. In the end, I was back there, alone.
Annette Valentine (Eastbound from Flagstaff: A Novel)
Robert Patterson. One day in New York in 1974 I got a call from Robert and his wife, Sybille, asking me to come to the Plaza Hotel for drinks and dinner. When I got there, they explained that Duke (Ellington) was terribly sick and that he was going to call in a few minutes to talk to Robert about canceling his upcoming tour in the United Kingdom. We began our dinner, and the call came. Then Robert passed the phone to me. I remember standing near the long velvet curtains by the window, looking out at the lights in Central Park twinkling through the trees. Duke’s voice was weak, but he spoke to me so kindly, and asked me about my upcoming record, about my touring. How did I like working in Europe? Did I have family? Wasn’t I glad I was a musician so I could lead this kind of life doing what I loved and making people happy? The next week Duke died, never having left the hospital.
Judy Collins (Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music)
Shut the curtains, turn on some good music, and let the dong fly as I dance my ass off.” I blink a few times. “Please don’t tell me you actually do that.” “I’m not ashamed. You’re not living until you feel your dick slap your legs to a good beat.
Meghan Quinn (That Secret Crush (Getting Lucky, #3))
I know Skinny is here, too, because whether I like it or not, she will always be a part of me. I just don't have to listen to her. Besides, there's too much else in my mind, and in my heart to listen to faint echoes. Instead I think of my entrance. My moments. My lines. My music. Those brilliant lights shining on the other side of that curtain tonight will change me forever. I know it. Surgery changed my stomach, Losing weight changed my body. Rat's love changed my heart. But saying good-bye to Skinny changed me most of all. Because Skinny is... was... me. Now it's her turn to listen. She needs to hear what's going to happen on this stage tonight.
Donna Cooner (Skinny)
The man was high yellow In public, afraid of himself, pretending his music Was material when in fact, it was the opposite: Like a breath that comes so quickly you know You’re breathing ether: either atmospheric And anonymous as the air against a window, Or indefinite & mute as a curtain of wind.
Terrance Hayes (American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin)
Sam’s hand brushed her shoulder, and she almost jumped out of her skin as he brought his mouth close to her ear and murmured, “You look beautiful. Though I bet you already know that.” She most certainly did. She gave him a sidelong glare and found him grinning as he leaned back into his seat. Suppressing her urge to smile, Celaena turned toward the stage as the music established the setting for them. A world of shadows and mist. A world where creatures and myths dwelled in the dark moments before dawn. Celaena went still as the gold curtain drew back, and everything she knew and everything she was faded away to nothing.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
These boozy and licentious variety halls thrived on the patronage of civil War soldiers on furlough, prompting moralists to persuade the city to require in 1862 that all theatrical and musical performing spaces be licensed and that the sale of liquor and employment of “waitresses” be banned wherever a curtain separated performers from customers. Entrepreneurs of leisure promptly dove through this loophole by inaugurating nightspots that featured a raised platform in the rear, a piano, and an open dance floor surrounded by tables and chairs.
Mike Wallace (Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898)
They were teaching the horse to work cattle, and Graver showed her son how to ride in concert with the animal, not against it. She saw that was the way a person must move through the world, while across the hills, the evening fog drifted like an exhaled breath and the peepers began their rhythmic chirring music as the night horses pulled the dark curtain across the sky until they slept and awakened once more, rising like dreamers out of the mist to claim the world again.
Jonis Agee (The Bones of Paradise)
At other academies,” he declared, “children are only taught how to survive. Reading skills, mathematics, art and music lessons—such a waste of a student’s time! Here at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened,” Mr. Curtain boomed, writing the name out on a chalkboard and circling all the capital letters, “we show our students how to L.I.V.E.!” There followed another great round of applause, but Reynie was still thinking, Everything’s backward. And gazing at the circled letters on the chalkboard, he felt a sudden, terrible chill. For LIVE, spelled backward, is EVIL.
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1))
Happily there are ways to keep costs down and sustainable kudos up – like Lofty Frocks’ vintage fabric library, or the growing numbers of free patterns and tutorials available to download from sites like Hobbycraft and You can always do a Sound of Music with an old pair of curtains (try charity shops), or follow the lead of blogger Kari Greaves, @east_london_style, who upcycles vintage finds into entirely new pieces, like a kind of glam high-fashion Dr Frankenstein.
Lauren Bravo (How To Break Up With Fast Fashion: A guilt-free guide to changing the way you shop – for good)
The first thing you do to get over your depression is open up the curtains, put on some good music, take you a shower, get up, put on a good face, and open the door and go out and see the world. Everything that’s kicking you, kick it back.
Tyler Perry (Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life)
The eye of the movie camera is an evil eye. When you act in front of it, that cyclops keeps taking from you, until you feel empty. On the stage, you give something to the audience, more comes back. When the curtain comes down in a theater, you have a feeling of exhilaration - something's been completed, fulfilled. It's so different from an exhausting day of shooting at the studio. You come home tired, drained. Making a =movie is like making a mosaic - laboriously putting little pieces together, jumping from one part of the picture to another, never seeing the whole, whereas in a ply, the momentum of the continuity works with you, takes you along. Doing a play is like dancing to music. Making a movie is like dancing in wet cement.
Kirk Douglas (The Ragman's Son)
The Creator is the greatest pianist and we must dance daily according to each tune played by Him. Until the moment we get spiritually drunken and wait for the curtains to fall on the stage.
Mwanandeke Kindembo
Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered. Return in thought to the concert where music flared. You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars. Praise the mutilated world and the gray feather a thrush lost, and the gentle light that strays and vanishes and returns. —Adam Zagajewski, from “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” Without End: New and Selected Poems. (Straus & Giroux, LLC, 2002)
Adam Zagajewski (Without End: New and Selected Poems)
I'm pregnant with my demon of music's baby. He's my fiance and I'm living the life I've always dreamed of. Where happiness is just happines and his dakrness sings to mind. I am his muse, and he is mine. My Phantom of the French Quarter. My demon of music.
Greer Rivers (Phantom (Tattered Curtain, #1))
Whites were safely isolated from our concerns. When they chose, they could lift the racial curtain that separated us. They could indulge in sexual escapades, increase our families with mulatto bastards, make fortunes out of our music and eunuchs out of our men, then in seconds they could step away, and return unscarred to their pristine security.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
The day arrived. A raging winter day, that shook the old house, sometimes, as if it shivered in the blast. A day to make home doubly home. To give the chimney-corner new delights. To shed a ruddier glow upon the faces gathered round the hearth, and draw each fireside group into a closer and more social league, against the roaring elements without. Such a wild winter day as best prepares the way for shut-out night; for curtained rooms, and cheerful looks; for music , laughter, dancing, light, and jovial entertainment!
Charles Dickens
A god of war is also the god of those who are caught in the wheel of eternal struggle, who fight on despite knowledge of certain defeat, who stand with their companions against spear and catapult and gleaming metal, armed with only their pride, who strive and assay and press and toil, all the while knowing that they cannot win.’ ‘You are not only the god of the strong, but also the god of the weak. Courage is better displayed when it seems all is lost, when despair appears the only rational course.’ ‘True courage is to insist on seeing when all around you is darkness.’ And Fithowéo stood up and ululated. As his voice filled the cave walls and bounced back to his ears, he seemed to see the stalactites hanging overhead like bejeweled curtains, the stalagmites growing out of the ground like bamboo shoots, the bats careening through the air like battle kites, the night-blooming orchids and cave roses blooming like living treasure—the cave was filled with light. The god of war laughed and bowed down to the orchid and kissed her. ‘Thank you for showing me how to see.’ ‘I am but the lowest of the Hundred Flowers,’ said the orchid. ‘But the tapestry of Dara is woven not only from the proud chrysanthemum or the arrogant winter plum, the bamboo who holds up great houses or the coconut who provides sweet nectar and pleasing music. Chicory, dandelion, butter-and-eggs, ten thousand species of orchids, and countless other flowers—we have no claim to the crests of the great noble families, and we are not cultivated in gardens and not gently caressed by the fingers of great ladies and eager courtiers. But we also fight our war against hail and storm, against drought and deprivation, against the sharp blade of the weeding hoe and the poisonous emanations of the herbicide-sprayer. We also have a claim on time, and we deserve a god who understands that every day in the life of the common flower is a day of battle.’ And Fithowéo continued to ululate, letting his throat and ears be his eyes, until he strode out of the cave, emerged into the sunlight, and picked up two pieces of darkest obsidian and placed them in his eye sockets so that he had eyes again. Though they were blind to light, they sowed fear into all who gazed into them.
Ken Liu (The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty, #2))
In the story of Wagner and Wagnerism, we see both the highest and the lowest impulses of humanity entangled. It is the triumph of art over reality and the triumph of reality over art; it is a tragedy of flaws set so deep that after two centuries they still infuriate us as if the man were in the room. To blame Wagner for the horrors committed in his wake is an inadequate response to historical complexity: it lets the rest of civilization off the hook. At the same time, to exonerate him is to ignore his insidious ramifications. It is no longer possible to idealize Wagner: the ugliness of his racism means that posterity's picture of him will always be cracked down the middle. In the end, the lack of a tidy moral resolution should make us more honest about the role that art plays in the world. In Wagner's vicinity, the fantasy of artistic autonomy falls to pieces and the cult of genius comes undone. Amid the wreckage, the artist is liberated from the mystification of "great art”. He becomes something more unstable, fragile, and mutable. Incomplete in himself, he requires the most active and critical kind of listening. So it goes with all art that endures: it is never a matter of beauty proving eternal. When we look at Wagner, we are gazing into a magnifying mirror of the soul of the human species. What we hate in it, we hate in ourselves; what we love in it, we love in ourselves also. In the distance we may catch glimpses of some higher realm, some glimmering temple, some ecstasy of knowledge and compassion. But it is only a shadow on the wall, an echo from the pit. The vision fades, the curtain falls, and we shuffle back in silence to the world as it is.
Alex Ross (Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music)
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside – but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond – only a glimpse – and heard a note of unearthly music.
L.M. Montgomery
Cassilda: (speaking to herself) We strain our ears for the sound of love, but must all mothers bear the horror of seeing their Children grow from wonderful possibility to grim reality? Stranger: (Stands mutely in the shadows, his hands folding across his chest) Cassilda: If only we could stay a moment behind the veil of time, and live in that moment of indecision. Stranger: (Whispers so Cassilda cannot hear) Existence is decision. (...) [Te Child appears before the closed curtain] 1 Te Child: I am not the Prologue, nor the Afterword; call me the Prototaph. My role is this: to tell you it is now too late to close the book or quit the theatre. You already thought you should have done so earlier, but you stayed. How harmless it all is! No definite principles are involved, no doctrines promulgated in these pristine pages, no convictions outraged…but the blow has fallen, and now it is too late. And shall I tell you where the sin lies? It is yours. You listened to us; and all the say you stay to see the Sign. Now you are ours, or, since the runes also run backwards, we are yours…forever. (...) Along the shore the cloud waves break, The twin suns sink behind the lake, The shadows lengthen In Carcosa. Strange is the night where black stars rise, And strange moons circle through the skies But stranger still is Lost Carcosa. Songs that the Hyades shall sing, Where flap the tatters of the King, Must die unheard in Dim Carcosa. Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa. (...) [As the gong continues to strike, everyone begins to unmask. There are murmurs and gestures of surprise, real or polite, as identities are recognized or revealed. Ten there is a wave of laugher. The music becomes louder and increases in tempo.] Camilla: You, sir, should unmask. Stranger: Indeed? Camilla: Indeed, it’s time. We have all laid aside disguise but you. Stranger: I wear no mask. Camilla: No mask? No mask! Stranger: I, I am the Pallid Mask itself. I, I am the Phantom of Truth. I came from Alar. My star is Aldebaran. Truth is our invention; it is our weapon of war. And see–by this sign we have conquered, and the siege of good and evil is ended… § [On the horizon, the towers of Carcosa begin to glow] Noatalba: (Pointing) Look, look! Carcosa, Carcosa is on fire! (...) The King: Te Phantom of ruth shall be laid. Te scalloped tattersof Te King must hide Haita forever. As for thee, Yhtill– All: No! No, no! Te King: And as for thee, we tell you this; it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living god. (...) Te Stranger falls, and everyone else sinks slowly to the ground after him. Te King can now be seen, although only faintly. He stands in state upon the balcony. He has no face, and is twice as tall as a man. He wears painted shows under his tattered, fantastically colored robes, and a streamer of silk appears to fall from the pointed tip of his hood. Behind his back he holds inverted a torch with a turned and jeweled shaft, which emits smoke, but no light. At times he appears to be winged; at others, haloed. These details are for the costumier; at no point should Te King be sufficiently visible to make themall out. Behind him, Carcosa and the Lake of Hali have vanished. Instead, there appears at his back a huge sculptured shield, in shape suggesting a labrys of onyx, upon which the Yellow Sign is chased in gold. Te rest of the stage darkens gradually, until, at the end, it is lit only by the decomposed body of the Stranger, phosphorescing bluely.]
Talbot Estus
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside—but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond—only a glimpse—and heard a note of unearthly music.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon)
Dark Child by Stewart Stafford Moondust down the fire curtain Carried Syd to the darkest side, Trespass became a prison term, A non-compos mentis dark child. From gambolling nymph with a lute, To an imp falling over instruments, A thousand-yard stare sucked in, Vacant eyes drew like a black hole. Riderless horse, a living déjà vu, The spectral shell of our brother, Ambled towards us at his nadir, We wept for the shuffling stranger. © Stewart Stafford, 2023. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
There you are,” I told my mother, standing in the hot breeze that had entered along with the rattle of traffic and the voices in the street. “Brooklyn.” My mother turned to Gabe, who was holding her hand. “Show me,” she said again. The strain of this vigil was evident in the shape of his shoulders and the weariness in his eyes. He glanced up at me where I stood by the window and then down at her again. “All right,” he said softly. He got up slowly, pushing back the old dining-room chair. He leaned over the bed, slipping his hands beneath her. I watched in some astonishment as he lifted her, the bedclothes trailing. “Get the door,” he said over his shoulder as he made his way out of the room with our mother in his arms like a child. He turned to his side to fit them both through the passageway, and I overtook them in the living room. We had lined the woodwork here with boric acid, to keep the roaches at bay, and there was something of its pale dust over everything in those days. It sometimes made me recall: sand of Syria and Mount Lebanon. I went ahead to open the door. Gabe slipped through it, our mother in his arms. I followed them down the stairs, astonished, full of objections, but unable to object. I watched him as he gently negotiated the turnings. I wondered briefly if he planned to carry her all the way to the hospital. In the vestibule, the door to the parlor-floor apartment was still patched with plywood. Gabe turned to me and nodded toward the street. My mother’s eyes were closed. In my brother’s arms she seemed as small and light as an infant. I went ahead to pull the first door open, and then slipped around them to get the outer door as well. There was a blast of heat. Gabe carried my mother into the sunlight and down the steps. There were kids on the stoop across the street, there was the tinny music from their transistor radios. They glared, open-mouthed. A pair of dark men passing by looked up as Gabe came down the stairs with my mother in his arms. They walked to the curb, glancing over their shoulders, giving him wide berth. Gabe, too, went to the curb and then turned around to look back up at the house. I rushed to scoop up the sheet and the blanket that was now brushing the sidewalk. “You’re here, Momma,” I heard him say. “Where we’ve always lived.” My mother raised her head. She extricated one thin hand from the winding bedclothes and raised it to her eyes against the sun. She looked down the street and then up at our building, the blue summer light reflecting in the glass of the front door, the bowed parlor window—some plywood there, too—and then up to the fourth floor, where a bit of lace curtain, her handiwork, had been drawn through the opened window. “Not home,” I heard Gabe tell her, reassuring her. “Brooklyn.
Alice McDermott (Someone)
Second, as anyone who has ever participated in a dramatic production or a group musical performance or even a team sport can attest, something happens in the act of performance that transcends the experience of private rehearsal. The curtain goes up, the audience reacts, the interaction with other performers takes on an unforeseeable chemistry, and by the end of the play we have learned something we had not known before. In the best case—the serious performance of the great text—we learn something not only about the text but about ourselves as well.31
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
We had to convince these guys to perform, but they were easy to win over.” She points to the curtain, and it opens slowly. “I give you the Reeds, performing to Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong with Me.’” The curtain opens, and Paul, Matt, Logan, Sam, and Pete are all standing in a line. They’re all dressed in jeans and sleeveless T-shirts, and you can see all their tattoos and they’re so fucking handsome that I can’t even believe they’re mine. I see Hayley, Joey, and Mellie standing on the side of the stage, all waiting anxiously to watch their daddies and uncles. Seth starts the music, and he’s underlaid some kind of hip-hop track beneath the beat, but you can still pick out the music. It’s a song about unrequited love and realizing that what you wanted was right there in front of you the whole time, but you were being too stupid to see it. It’s told from a girl’s point of view, so some of the words don’t exactly fit the boys, but it makes it all the funnier. The Reeds have moves. Serious moves. I think everyone woman in the auditorium sits forward in her seat so she doesn’t miss seeing the shaking hips and flexing muscles. Paul even picks Matt up and spins him around one time, and Sam does the same to Pete. I can’t stop laughing. Even Logan dances, and I can imagine the kind of work it took for him to learn this routine when he can’t even hear the music the same way everyone else can. He can appreciate music, just in a different way. As the song starts to close, Matt, Pete, Logan, and Paul all point out at the audience when the words, “You belong with me,” play. Matt points to Sky. Pete points to Reagan, and Logan points to Emily, who is holding the baby in her lap. And Paul points in my direction. Those four men jump off the stage and come toward us. They sing and dance all the way down the aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Kelly get up to intercept Paul, but he doesn’t even notice her. He points past her, and sings out the last line, “You belong with me,” in my ear. He picks me up and spins me around, and I have never felt more happiness in my whole life. The music stops, and everyone looks to the stage. Sam has sat down on the side of it, and he looks pretty dejected. He’s holding a sign above his head that says, Available. After this, he won’t be available for long, because every woman there now has a crush on all the Reeds, and he’s the only one who isn’t taken. I love that they can be so silly, and so loving, and so…them. They don’t hide it. They don’t make a game of it. They just love. They love hard. “I love you so hard,” I say to Paul. His eyes jerk to meet mine, and he almost looks surprised. “You do?” he asks. I nod. “I do.” “Will you come home tonight?” he asks quietly. I nod. “Good. That’s where you belong.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
The listener was absorbed by the sounds of Broadway: the car horns, police whistles, the people milling about. Up Broadway to 42nd Street, where an attendant shouted, “Have your tickets ready, please! have your tickets ready, please! … Good evening, Mr. First Nighter, the usher will show you to your box.” Then, in the “fourth-row center” seats, the First Nighter gave a quick reading of the program—title, cast, author—and the “famous First Nighter orchestra” played a few bars of music. An usher came down the aisle, shouting “Curtain! Curtain!” Buzzers sounded. Ushers reminded people that smoking was permitted in the lobby only. Then, listeners were told, the lights were dimmed and the play began. Afterward, the effect was reversed, with Mr. First Nighter weaving his way through the still-humming crowd and melting away into the street.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)