Direction Of The Wind Quotes

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I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.
C. JoyBell C.
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Life is funny isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, just when you finally begin to plan something, get excited about something, and feel like you know what direction you’re heading in, the paths change, the signs change, the wind blows the other way, north is suddenly south, and east is west, and you’re lost. It is so easy to lose your way, to lose direction. And that’s with following all the signposts
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth...... But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself." But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
Kahlil Gibran (Le Prophète)
The wind blew my words away from you. So while I told you I love you, the phrase was carried in the opposite direction and landed 333 miles away in the ears of a confused farmer. He was nice, though. He sent me a kind letter saying that while he was flattered, I wasn’t really his type.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at one’s reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving—we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (Autocrat of the Breakfast Table)
Remember this, son, if you forget everything else. A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Love is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Jimmy Dean
Everything is connected. The wing of the corn beetle affects the direction of the wind, the way the sand drifts, the way the light reflects into the eye of man beholding his reality. All is part of totality, and in this totality man finds his hozro, his way of walking in harmony, with beauty all around him.
Tony Hillerman (The Ghostway (Leaphorn & Chee, #6))
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
Dolly Parton
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
The word of Mohammad is a voice direct from nature's own heart - all else is wind in comparison.
Thomas Carlyle
You can try to steer your life in a certain direction all you want, but ultimately, the wind is in charge of your sail.
Claire Contreras (Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts, #1))
President Wilson says a leader must treat public opinion the way a sailor deals with the wind, using it to blow the ship in one direction or another, but never trying to go directly against it.
Ken Follett (Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1))
We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.
Thomas S. Monson
A girl is like a young tree, she said. You must stand tall and listen to your mother standing next to you. That is the only way to grow strong and straight. But if you bend to listen to other people, you will grow crooked and weak. You will fall to the ground with the first strong wind. And then you will be like a weed, growing wild in any direction, running along the ground until someone pulls you out and throws you away.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
Change is inevitable and life changes as swiftly as the wind blows. It’s which direction that you let the wind blow you that matters.
Quinn Loftis (Elfin (The Elfin, #1))
Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
And he misses her Like a wind starved sail He sits knowing what direction to go But the current keeps pulling him Down river.
Rumi
Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
I follow the direction of the wind, and I cannot be blamed if a new wind begins to blow
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Gods of Jade and Shadow)
The only ship you can truly steer in this ocean is the one you're sailing. Quit trying to alter the winds; harness them.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Fashion comes and goes. Trying to live your life according to fashion is to be blown by a continually changing wind, allowing it to dictate the course of your life instead of aiming for the direction you originally intended. I know you know these things but I wanted you to know I know them too.
Aaron D. Key (Damon Ich (The Wheel of Eight Book 2))
Why do you read books?” he asked. “Why do you drink beer?” I replied without glancing in his direction,
Haruki Murakami (Wind/Pinball: Two novels)
LXXIX When I die, I want your hands on my eyes. I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands to pass their freshness over me once moreL I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny. I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep. I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together, to continue to walk on the sand we walk on. I want what I love to continue to live, and you whom I love and sang above everything else. to continue to flourish, full-flowered. So that you can reach everything my love directs you to. So that my shadow can travel along in your hair, so that everything can learn the reason for my song.
Pablo Neruda
The Layers I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.
Stanley Kunitz (The Collected Poems)
If we go that way, it seems less like we’ll be shot for trespassing. We can’t be low profile because of your shirt.” “Aquamarine is a wonderful color, and I won’t be made to feel bad for wearing it,” Gansey said. But his voice was a bit thin, and he glanced back at the church again. Just then he looked younger than she’d ever seen him, his eyes narrowed, hair messed up, features unstudied. Young and, strangely enough, afraid. Blue thought: I can’t tell him. I can never tell him. I have to just try to stop it from happening. Then Gansey, suddenly charming again, flipped a hand in the direct of her purple tunic dress. “Lead the way, Eggplant.” She found a stick to poke at the ground for snakes before they set off through the grass. The wind smelled like rain, and the ground rumbled with thunder, but the weather held. The machine in Gansey’s hands blinked red constantly, only flickering to orange when they stepped too far away from the invisible line. “Thanks for coming, Jane,” Gansey said. Blue shot him a dirty look. “You’re welcome, Dick.” He looked pained. “Please don’t.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
let the wind change direction a little bit, and their cries turned to whispers.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
But the scent of the good is blown against the wind: A good man perfumes all directions.
Anonymous (The Dhammapada)
Frederic had imagined this moment - him running to Ella with open arms, calling her name - but being as winded as he was, doubled over with his hands on his knees, all he could do was nod in her general direction.
Christopher Healy (The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1))
Life is funny isn't it? Just when you think you've got it all figured out, just when you finally begin to plan something, get excited about something, and feel like you know what direction you're heading in, the paths change, the signs change, the wind blows the other way, north is suddenly south, and east is west, and you're lost. It is easy to lose your way, to lose direction.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
To love is not to look at one another, it is to look, together, in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But, listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without doubt,I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Mary Oliver (West Wind)
As we trudge back through the woods, we reach a boulder, and both Gale and I turn our heads in the same direction, like a pair of dogs catching a scent on the wind. Cressida notices and asks what lies that way. We admit, without acknowledging each other, it's our old hunting rendez-vous place. She wants to see it, even after we tell her it's nothing really. Nothing but a place where I was happy, I think.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I hide your portrait in a closet with no holes your dress in the dresser I place the mirror on the bracket upside down remains of your hair are dancing on the windowsill in direction of the wind in my room there is always a vacant chair
Ali Abdollahi
I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!
John Muir
Winter hurled more wind and rain at the city than it ever had before. Clouds dashed about in all directions emptying their thunder, hail and rain. The horizon was choked in fog.
Ismail Kadare (Chronicle in Stone)
You who travel with the wind, what weather vane shall direct your course?
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
That happens a lot with Shakespeare. The women go after what they want; the men wind up suckered into things.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Trust what you know; have faith in where you go; if there's no wind, row; or go with the flow.
Ed Parrish III
Isolde was the wind and sea and sky of Saint's world. She was the pattern of stars that he navigated by, the sum of all directions on his compass. And he was lost without her.
Adrienne Young (Fable (Fable, #1))
I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
Jesse Owens
Sometimes the wind will take you, or sometimes the wind will carry you.
Anthony Liccione
You can. It's not a matter of feeling it, it's a matter of doing it - making the decision to bend that iron will of yours in God's direction so that He can hear your prayers and unleash blessings.
Julie Lessman (A Hope Undaunted (Winds of Change, #1))
(The wind does not like to be confused. confusion ruins its sense of direction and direction is everything to the wind.)
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
She knows her timing, always knows. The time to strike or the time to starve. Her eyes as a clock, she watches she waits she learns, and in the second she blinks, she changes her mind just like that.
Anthony Liccione
A poet is a musician that can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
His conviction of having no purpose in life other than to act as a distillation of poison was part of the ego of an eighteen-year-old. He had resolved that his beautiful white hands would never be soiled or calloused. He wanted to be like a pennant, dependent on each gusting wind. The only thing that seemed valid to him was to live for the emotions--gratuitous and unstable, dying only to quicken again, dwindling and flaring without direction or purpose.
Yukio Mishima (Spring Snow)
You know how it feels right before a tornado hits? I mean when the sky's still clear, but the wind's starting to cool off and change direction. You know something's coming, but you don't always know what. That's how things feel to me right now." -Zoey Redbird
P.C. Cast
We can't direct the wind but we can adjust the sail.
Thomas S. Monson
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.
Bertha W. Calloway
My life is a pitiful, mechanical thing without a past, like a little wind-up car, ready to run in any direction someone points me.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
GUIL (quietly): Where we went wrong was getting on a boat. We can move, of course, change direction, rattle about, but our movement is contained within a larger one that carries us along as inexorably as the wind and current…
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.
P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government)
Idris had been green and gold and russet in the autumn, when Clary had first been there. It had a stark grandeur in the winter: the mountains rose in the distance, capped white with snow, and the trees along the side of the road that led back to Alicante from the lake were stripped bare, their leafless branches making lace-like patterns against the bright sky. Sometimes Jace would slow the horse to point out the manor houses of the richer Shadowhunter families, hidden from the road when the trees were full but revealed now. She felt his shoulders tense as they passed one that nearly melded with the forest around it: it had clearly been burned and rebuilt. Some of the stones still bore the black marks of smoke and fire. “The Blackthorn manor,” he said. “Which means that around this bend in the road is …” He paused as Wayfarer summited a small hill, and reined him in so they could look down to where the road split in two. One direction led back toward Alicante — Clary could see the demon towers in the distance — while the other curled down toward a large building of mellow golden stone, surrounded by a low wall. “ … the Herondale manor,” Jace finished. The wind picked up; icy, it ruffled Jace’s hair. Clary had her hood up, but he was bare-headed and bare-handed, having said he hated wearing gloves when horseback riding. He liked to feel the reins in his hands. “Did you want to go and look at it?” she asked. His breath came out in a white cloud. “I’m not sure.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
I used to hold a fiery wind and I tried to determine the direction where poetry would fly.
Alda Merini (Love Lessons: Selected Poems)
Sometimes we can only find our true direction when we let the wind of change carry us
Mimi Novic (Your Light Is The Key)
If you were a bird, and lived on high, You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by, You'd say to the wind when it took you away: "That's where I wanted to go today!
A.A. Milne (When We Were Very Young (Winnie-the-Pooh, #3))
Like a feather in a dust storm, with no direction The Raven flies through life, helpless and omitted Until night declares and the wind expires. Then it flies to the land of stones and etchings And becomes an Ember, breaking away
Jessica Sorensen (Ember (Death Collectors, #1))
Soon the trees affected not only her mood but her understanding. Each year a trunk put on a new ring of growth, and within those rings she found the tree's own story. She listened to the scent of it, the feel, the sound, and her mind gave it words- soil, water, sap, light...and before, night and rain, dry and sun, wind and night...the drowsy stillness of leaves in a rainfall, the sparkling eagerness of leaves in the sun, and always the pulling up of the branches, the tugging down of the roots, the forever growing in tow directions, joing sky and soil, and a center to keep it strong... -Rin, Forest Born
Shannon Hale
West Wind #2 You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.
Mary Oliver (West Wind)
I hear one of my mares scream, and I turn long enough to flip open my bag and throw a handful of salt in her direction. She jerks her head up as some of it sprinkles her face; she's offended but not hurt...I turn back to the sea, and the wind throws sand in my face, hard enough to offend but not to hurt. I smile a thin smile at the irony and turn up my collar.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
We always know before the change comes. When a storm approaches, we feel it in the thickness of the air, the tension in the earth awaiting the blanket of snow. We feel the moment the wind changes direction. We sense a shift of power when it is coming. Tonight
Meagan Spooner (Hunted)
So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment. We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.
Thomas S. Monson
When American soil could be seen from the ship, the passengers breathed a collective sigh of relief so strong, it caused a change of direction in the winds, which added a day to their trip, but no matter.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
The huge round lunar clock was a gristmill. Shake down all the grains of Time—the big grains of centuries, and the small grains of years, and the tiny grains of hours and minutes—and the clock pulverized them, slid Time silently out in all directions in a fine pollen, carried by cold winds to blanket the town like dust, everywhere. Spores from that clock lodged in your flesh to wrinkle it, to grow bones to monstrous size, to burst feet from shoes like turnips. Oh, how that great machine…dispensed Time in blowing weathers.
Ray Bradbury (Farewell Summer (Green Town, #3))
Listening to intuition is similar to watching wind wiggle a pond. Allow the ripples to move you where you need to be.
Soul Dancer (Pay Me What I'm Worth)
Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite. Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody. But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements? Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction. Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing; And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes. I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house. Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both. Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows -- then let your heart say in silence, "God rests in reason." And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky -- then let your heart say in awe, "God moves in passion." And since you are a breath in God's sphere, and a leaf in God's forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.
Kahlil Gibran
I felt a bit like the vast banks of magnificent clouds I saw out of the airplane window, directionless, grounded nowhere, without any roots, empty and at the mercy of the winds that blew them any which way.
Penny De Villiers (The Woman Who Came Home)
Here, the sea strains to climb up on the land and the wind blows dust in a single direction. The trees bend themselves all one way and volcanoes explode often Why is this? Many years back a woman of strong purpose passed through this section and everything else tried to follow.
Judy Grahn (The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn, 1964-1977)
You don’t command wind in the direction it blows, but you command a ship in the direction it sails.
Matshona Dhliwayo
It’s a strange place, The Imagination. A lot of fun by day, when there are all sorts of reassuring and familiar sights and people around. But it’s scary, and cold at night, and places you knew perfectly well by daylight aren’t the same after the sun’s gone down. You can get lost easily there, and some people never find their way back. You can hear a few of them, when the ghost moon shines, and the wind’s in the right direction. They scream for a while, and then they stop. And in the silence you hear something else: the sound of something large and quiet, tentatively beginning to feed... The imagination is a dangerous place, after all, and you can always use a guide to the territory.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
I forget what the weather was like that day, probably cloudy with a chance of emotion. All I remember is that it was windy; it was the type of wind that would blow your words in the opposite direction so they would never be heard.
Hillary Wen, Hildy Wen (Within Serenity Lies A Siren)
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.
John Muir
From the time the Joshua tree was a tiny sapling, it had been so beaten down by the whipping wind that, rather than trying to grow skyward, it had grown in the direction that the wind pushed it. It existed now in a permanent state of windblowness, leaning over so far that it seemed ready to topple, although, in fact, its roots held it firmly in place. pg. 35
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
We sleep, allowing gravity to hold us, allowing Earth- our larger body- to recalibrate our neurons, composting the keen encounters of our waking hours (the tensions and terrors of our individual days), stirring them back, as dreams, into the sleeping substance of our muscles. We give ourselves over to the influence of the breathing earth. Sleep is the shadow of the earth as it seeps into our skin and spreads throughout our limbs, dissolving our individual will into the thousand and one selves that compose it- cells, tissues, and organs taking their prime directives now from gravity and the wind- as residual bits of sunlight, caught in the long tangle of nerves, wander the drifting landscape of our earth-borne bodies like deer moving across the forested valleys.
David Abram (Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology)
There are always waves on the water. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, and sometimes they are almost imperceptible. The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)
Like the ocean, the native state of the feminine is to flow with great power and no single direction. The masculine builds canals, dams, and boats to unite with the power of the feminine ocean and go from point A to point B. But the feminine moves in many directions at once. The masculine chooses a single goal and moves in that direction. Like a ship cutting through a vast ocean, the masculine decides on a course and navigates the direction: the feminine energy itself is undirected but immense, like the wind and deep currents of the ocean, ever changing, beautiful, destructive, and the source of life.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man)
Medieval technology could raise marvels of architecture 200 feet in the air, it could conceive the mechanics of a loom capable of weaving patterned cloth, and of a gearshaft capable of harnessing the insubstantial air to turn a heavy millstone, but it failed to conceive the fore-and-aft rig and swinging boom capable of adapting sails to the direction of the wind. By such accident of the human mind, war, trade, and history are shaped.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Keep your vision all-inclusive, never allowing it to lock on any one thing...look everywhere at once, see nothing to the exclusion of all else---don't allow the enemy to direct your vision, or you will see what he wishes you to see. He will then come at you as you become bewildered, looking for his attack, and you will lose.
Instead, your vision must open to all there is, never settling, even when cutting. Know your enemy's moves by instinct, not waiting to see them. To dance with death meant to know the enemy's sword and its speed without waiting to see it. Dancing with death meant being one with the enemy, without looking fixedly, so that you could kill him. Dancing with death meant being committed to killing, committed with your heart and soul.
Terry Goodkind (Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, #4))
the wind is scary.. during a tornado or in life in general.. never know when a gust is going to come in your direction and change everything
David Walsh
Hold fast to the mountain, take root in a broken-up bluff, grow stronger after tribulations, and withstand the buffering wind from all directions.
Zheng Xie
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Jimmy Dean
Trends are about as fickle as the direction of the wind; as are the legacies of those who flow with them.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Greatness is not in where we stand but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Fate could twist you around and around if you weren't careful. Just when you thought you knew where you were headed, you'd wind up in the opposite direction, or flattened against a wall.
Alice Hoffman (Local Girls)
War was like sailing. You could learn about clouds, wind direction, and currents, but the sea remained forever unpredictable. All you could do was adapt to it and try to return home alive.
Carsten Jensen (We, the Drowned)
They are the ships, and you are the wind. You do no lower yourself to their rules or expectations. You blow in whatever direction you feel is needed and leave them with no choice but to oblige.
Elise Kova (Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens, #5))
When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart. But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God." And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Contrary to what is generally believed, meaning and sense were never the same thing, meaning shows itself at once, direct, literal, explicit, enclosed in itself, univocal, if you like, while sense cannot stay still, it seethes with second, third and fourth senses, radiating out in different directions that divide and subdivide into branches and branchlets, until they disappear from view, the sense of every word is like a star hurling spring tides out into space, cosmic winds, magnetic perturbations, afflictions.
José Saramago (All the Names)
There is a whirlwind in southern Morocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives. There is the africo, which has at times reached into the city of Rome. The alm, a fall wind out of Yugoslavia. The arifi, also christened aref or rifi, which scorches with numerous tongues. These are permanent winds that live in the present tense. There are other, less constant winds that change direction, that can knock down horse and rider and realign themselves anticlockwise. The bist roz leaps into Afghanistan for 170 days--burying villages. There is the hot, dry ghibli from Tunis, which rolls and rolls and produces a nervous condition. The haboob--a Sudan dust storm that dresses in bright yellow walls a thousand metres high and is followed by rain. The harmattan, which blows and eventually drowns itself into the Atlantic. Imbat, a sea breeze in North Africa. Some winds that just sigh towards the sky. Night dust storms that come with the cold. The khamsin, a dust in Egypt from March to May, named after the Arabic word for 'fifty,' blooming for fifty days--the ninth plague of Egypt. The datoo out of Gibraltar, which carries fragrance. There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it. And the nafhat--a blast out of Arabia. The mezzar-ifoullousen--a violent and cold southwesterly known to Berbers as 'that which plucks the fowls.' The beshabar, a black and dry northeasterly out of the Caucasus, 'black wind.' The Samiel from Turkey, 'poison and wind,' used often in battle. As well as the other 'poison winds,' the simoom, of North Africa, and the solano, whose dust plucks off rare petals, causing giddiness. Other, private winds. Travelling along the ground like a flood. Blasting off paint, throwing down telephone poles, transporting stones and statue heads. The harmattan blows across the Sahara filled with red dust, dust as fire, as flour, entering and coagulating in the locks of rifles. Mariners called this red wind the 'sea of darkness.' Red sand fogs out of the Sahara were deposited as far north as Cornwall and Devon, producing showers of mud so great this was also mistaken for blood. 'Blood rains were widely reported in Portugal and Spain in 1901.' There are always millions of tons of dust in the air, just as there are millions of cubes of air in the earth and more living flesh in the soil (worms, beetles, underground creatures) than there is grazing and existing on it. Herodotus records the death of various armies engulfed in the simoom who were never seen again. One nation was 'so enraged by this evil wind that they declared war on it and marched out in full battle array, only to be rapidly and completely interred.
Michael Ondaatje
It was as if there were no names here, as if there were no words. The desert cleansed everything in its wind, wiped everything away. The men had the freedom of the open spaces in their eyes, their skin was like metal. Sunlight blazed everywhere. The ochre, yellow, gray, white sand, the fine sand shifted, showing the direction of the wind. It covered all traces, all bones. It repelled light, drove away water, life, far from a center that no one could recognize. The men knew perfectly well that the desert wanted nothing to do with them: so they walked on without stopping, following the paths that other feet had already traveled in search of something else.
J.M.G. Le Clézio (Desert)
He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. That wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But for him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part of this world, that he was set on this world as a stranger. He sets himself apart from woman and nature. And so it is Goldilocks who goes to the home of the three bears, Little Red Riding Hood who converses with the wolf, Dorothy who befriends a lion, Snow White who talks to the birds, Cinderella with mice as her allies, the Mermaid who is half fish, Thumbelina courted by a mole. (And when we hear in the Navaho chant of the mountain that a grown man sits and smokes with bears and follows directions given to him by squirrels, we are surprised. We had thought only little girls spoke with animals.) We are the bird's eggs. Bird's eggs, flowers, butterflies, rabbits, cows, sheep; we are caterpillars; we are leaves of ivy and sprigs of wallflower. We are women. We rise from the wave. We are gazelle and doe, elephant and whale, lilies and roses and peach, we are air, we are flame, we are oyster and pearl, we are girls. We are woman and nature. And he says he cannot hear us speak. But we hear.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
I always loved running...it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
Jesse Owens
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
November came roaring in with gusty winds and more wet weather. Mandy's depression would not go away. Her garden seemed sad, too. It was virtually empty now, and the few brave flowers that remained there were flattened by rain, their yellows stalks sprawling in all directions. Most of the trees were bare, and the woods had a wet carpet of leaves.
Julie Andrews Edwards (Mandy)
As far as I could see, she had no opinion at all about anything that was not set directly in front of her (and in fact, she was extremely nearsighted).
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
But in one short span of time winds quickly shift direction,   veering back and forth.
Pindar (The Complete Odes)
The direction a cloud moves is always approved of by the wind.
Marty Rubin
I feel like an empty bottle with no purpose but to sit there....and wait for the wind to blow me in the right direction.
~Nani Vibe Fox UwU
But they hushed, all at once and quite abruptly, when he stood still at center stage, his arms straight out from his shoulders, and went rigid, and began to tremble with a massive inner dynamism. Nobody present had ever seen anyone stand so still and yet so strangely mobile. He laid his head back until his scalp contacted his spine, that far back, and opened his throat, and a sound rose in the auditorium like a wind coming from all four directions, low and terrifying, rumbling up from the ground beneath the floor, and it gathered into a roar that sucked at the hearing itself, and coalesced into a voice that penetrated into the sinuses and finally into the very minds of those hearing it, taking itself higher and higher, more and more awful and beautiful, the originating ideal of all such sounds ever made, of the foghorn and the ship’s horn, the locomotive’s lonesome whistle, of opera singing and the music of flutes and the continuous moanmusic of bagpipes. And suddenly it all went black. And that time was gone forever.
Denis Johnson (Train Dreams)
Could you unfreeze him now, please?" Magnus looked amused. "I was surprised when I got Sebastian's message this morning," he said, "Saying he was doing a favor for you, no less. How did you wind up meeting him?" "He's a cousin of some friends of the Lightwoods or something. He's nice. I promise." "Nice, bah. He's gorgeous." Magnus gazed dreamily in his direction. "You should leave him here. I could hang hats on him and things.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
New skin, a new land! And a land of liberty, if that is possible! I chose the geology of a land that was new to me, and that was young, virgin, and without drama, that of America. I traveled in America, but instead of romantically and directly rubbing the snakeskin of my body against the asperities of its terrain, I preferred to peel protected within the armor of the gleaming black crustacean of a Cadillac which I gave Gala as a present. Nevertheless all the men who admire and the women who are in love with my old skin will easily be able to find its remnants in shredded pieces of various sizes scattered to the winds along the roads from New York via Pittsburgh to California. I have peeled with every wind; pieces of my skin have remained caught here and there along my way, scattered through that "promised land" which is America; certain pieces of this skin have remained hanging in the spiny vegetation of the Arizona desert, along the trails where I galloped on horseback, where I got rid of all my former Aristotelian "planetary notions." Other pieces of my skin have remained spread out like tablecloths without food on the summits of the rocky masses by which one reaches the Salt Lake, in which the hard passion of the Mormons saluted in me the European phantom of Apollinaire. Still other pieces have remained suspended along the "antediluvian" bridge of San Francisco, where I saw in passing the ten thousand most beautiful virgins in America, completely naked, standing in line on each side of me as I passed, like two rows of organ-pipes of angelic flesh with cowrie-shell sea vulvas.
Salvador Dalí (The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí)
Lightning struck five feet away. Becca screamed. Then lightning hit the other end of the bridge, almost directly hitting the Guide. Chris froze. Another bolt, five feet off. The man darted back, away from the bridge, fighting to keep his footing in the wind. Another bolt. And another. Lightning rained from the sky, targeting their enemy. The Guide ran. "Yeah," growled a voice from behind them. "Watch that fucker run now.
Brigid Kemmerer (Storm (Elemental, #1))
She waited with Billy Slick while Carrot went on the errand, and for something to say, she said, ‘Billy Slick doesn’t sound much like a goblin name?’ Billy made a face. ‘Too right! Granny calls me Of the Wind Regretfully Blown. What kind of name is that, I ask you? Who’s going to take you seriously with a name like that? This is modern times, right?’ He looked at her defiantly, and she thought: and so one at a time we all become human – human werewolves, human dwarfs, human trolls... the melting pot melts in one direction only, and so we make progress.
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8))
The Reason for Skylarks It was nearly morning when the giant Reached the tree of children. Their faces shone like white apples On the cold dark branches And their dresses and little coats Made sodden gestures in the wind. He did not laugh or weep or stamp His heavy feet. He set to work at once Lifting them tenderly down Into a straw basket which was fixed By a golden strap to his shoulder. Only one did he drop - a soft pretty child Whose hair was the color of watered milk. She fell into the long grass And he could not find her Though he searched until his fingers Bled and the full light came. He shook his fist at the sky and called God a bitter name. But no answer was made and the giant Got down on his knees before the tree And putting his hands about the trunk Shook Until all the children had fallen Into the grass. Then he pranced and stamped Them to jelly. And still he felt no peace. He took his half-full basket and set it afire, Holding it by the handle until Everything had been burned. He saw now Two men on steaming horses approaching From the direction of the world And taking a little silver flute Out of his pocket he played tune After tune until they came up to him.
Kenneth Patchen
…I must say that "Right" has no meaning to me whatsoever! Truth has meaning - as a direction. But one of the peculiar imbecilities of our time is the grid of morality we have placed on human behavior: so that every act of man must be measured against an arbitrary latitude of right and longitude of wrong - in exact minutes, seconds, and degrees!... -Henry Drummond, a character in Inherit The Wind
Jerome Lawrence
For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face. The by-standers look askance on him in the public street or in the friend’s parlour. If this aversation had its origin in contempt and resistance like his own, he might well go home with a sad countenance; but the sour faces of the multitude, like their sweet faces, have no deep cause, but are put on and off as the wind blows and a newspaper directs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Resilient strength is the opposite of helplessness. The tree is made strong and resilient by its grounded root system. These roots take nourishment from the ground and grow strong. Grounding also allows the tree to be resilient so that it can yield to the winds of change and not be uprooted. Springiness is the facility to ground and ‘unground’ in a rhythmical way. This buoyancy is a dynamic form of grounding. Aggressiveness is the biological ability to be vigorous and energetic, especially when using instinct and force. In the immobility (traumatized) state, these assertive energies are inaccessible. The restoration of healthy aggression is an essential part in the recovery from trauma. Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies. Mastery is the possession of skillful techniques in dealing successfully with threat. Orientation is the process of ascertaining one’s position relative to both circumstance and environment. In these ways the residue of trauma is renegotiated.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Whether by chance conjunction or not, the “wind-up bird” was a powerful presence in Cinnamon’s story. The cry of this bird was audible only to certain special people, who were guided by it toward inescapable ruin. The will of human beings meant nothing, then, as the veterinarian always seemed to feel. People were no more than dolls set on tabletops, the springs in their backs wound up tight, dolls set to move in ways they could not choose, moving in directions they could not choose. Nearly all within range of the wind-up bird’s cry were ruined, lost. Most of them died, plunging over the edge of the table.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
He had laid his head back until his scalp had contacted his spine, that far back, and opened his throat, and a sound rose in the auditorium like a wind coming from all four directions, low and terrifying, rumbling up from the ground beneath the floor, and it gathered into a roar that sucked at the hearing itself, and coalesced into a voice that penetrated into the sinuses, and finally into the very minds of those hearing it, taking itself higher and higher, more and more awful and beautiful, the originating ideal of all such sounds ever made, of the foghorn and the ship's horn, the locomotive's lonesome whistle, of opera singing and the music of flutes and the continuous moaning of bagpipes. And suddenly it all went black. And the time was gone forever.
Denis Johnson (Train Dreams)
Its hurtful and wonderful how our jokes survive us. Since I left home on this journey, I've thought a lot about this-how a big part of any life is about the hows and whys of setting up machinery. it's building systems, devices, motors. Winding up the clockwork of direct debits, configuring newspaper deliveries and anniversaries and photographs and credit card repayments and anecdotes. Starting their engines, setting them in motion and sending them chugging off into the future to do their thing at a regular or irregular intervals. When a person leaves or dies or ends, they leave an afterimage; their outline in the devices they've set up around them. The image fades to the winding down of springs, the slow running out of fuel as the machines of a life lived in certain ways in certain places and from certain angles are shut down or seize up or blink off one by one. It takes time. Sometimes, you come across the dusty lights or electrical hum of someone else's machine, maybe a long time after you ever expected to, still running, lonely in the dark. Still doing its thing for the person who started it up long, long after they've gone. A man lives so many different lengths of time.
Steven Hall (The Raw Shark Texts)
But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you? You who travel with the wind, what weathervane shall direct your course? What man's law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man's prison door? What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains? And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path? People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
Kahlil Gibran
We wind a simple ring of iron with coils; we establish the connections to the generator, and with wonder and delight we note the effects of strange forces which we bring into play, which allow us to transform, to transmit and direct energy at will. We arrange the circuits properly, and we see the mass of iron and wires behave as though it were endowed with life,
Nikola Tesla (Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency A Lecture Delivered before the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London)
In the dark he glimmered with starlight. When they altered directions the swelling hush of the wind filled her ears, but when they glided, when they rode the wings of the air itself, she heard only him. The whispered resonance of his flight, respiration, heartbeat. Quiet. As if the cosmos had never held anything but them, as if above and below, in all the black glittering solitude of the universe, there would never be anyone else but them.
Shana Abe (The Smoke Thief (Drakon, #1))
Walking: it hits you at first like an immense breathing in the ears. You feel the silence as if it were a great fresh wind blowing away clouds. There’s the silence of woodland. Clumps and groves of trees form shifting, uncertain walls around us. We walk along existing paths, narrow winding strips of beaten earth. We quickly lose our sense of direction. That silence is tremulous, uneasy. Then there’s the silence of tough summer afternoon walks across the flank of a mountain, stony paths, exposed to an uncompromising sun.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
If your Lord calls you to suffering, do not be dismayed, for He will provide a deeper portion of Christ in your suffering. The softest pillow will be placed under your head though you must set your bare feet among thorns. Do not be afraid at suffering for Christ, for He has a sweet peace for a sufferer. God has called you to Christ's side, and if the wind is now in His face, you cannot expect to rest on the sheltered side of the hill. You cannot be above your Master who received many an innocent stroke. The greatest temptation out of hell is to live without trials. A pool of standing water will turn stagnant. Faith grows more with the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withers without adversity. You cannot sneak quietly into heaven without a cross. Crosses form us into His image. They cut away the pieces of our corruption. Lord cut, carve, wound; Lord do anything to perfect Your image in us and make us fit for glory! We need winnowing before we enter the kingdom of God. O what I owe to the file, hammer, and furnace! Why should I be surprised at the plough that makes such deep furrows in my soul? Whatever direction the wind blows, it will blow us to the Lord. His hand will direct us safely to the heavenly shore to find the weight of eternal glory. As we look back to our pains and suffering, we shall see that suffering is not worthy to be compared to our first night's welcome home in heaven. If we could smell of heaven and our country above, our crosses would not bite us. Lay all your loads by faith on Christ, ease yourself, and let Him bear all. He can, He does, and He will bear you. Whether God comes with a rod or a crown, He comes with Himself. "Have courage, I am your salvation!" Welcome, welcome Jesus!
Samuel Rutherford
The most indisputable beauty may be the one that people cannot ever touch. That God exists up there somehow, in the peaks and remote lakes and the sharp wind. Who knows why that picture stirs joy. It speaks directly to our impermanence and our smallness.
Peter Heller (Celine)
And, pleased th’ Almighty’s orders to perform, Rides in the whirl-wind, and directs the storm.
Joseph Addison
Land and sea. We may think of them as opposites; as complements. But there is a difference in how we think of them; the sea, and the land. If we are walking around in a forest, a meadow or a town, we see our surroundings as being made up of individual elements. There are many different kinds of trees in varying sizes, those buildings, these streets. The meadow, the flowers, the bushes. Our gaze lingers on details, and if we are standing in a forest in the autumn, we become tongue-tied if we try to describe the richness around us. All this exists on land. But the sea. The sea is something completely different. The sea is one. We may note the shifting moods of the sea. What the sea looks like when the wind is blowing, how the sea plays with the light, how it rises and falls. But still it is always the sea we are talking about. We have given different parts of the sea different names for navigation and identification, but if we are standing before the sea, there is only one whole. The Sea. If we are taken so far out in a small boat that no land is visible in any direction, we may catch sight of the sea. It is not a pleasant experience. The sea is a god, an unseeing, unhearing deity that does not even know we exist. We mean less than a grain of sand on an elephant's back, and if the sea wants us, it will take us. That's just the way it is. The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us. To other gods we send our prayer: Protect us from the sea.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Harbor)
The blue mountains are constantly walking." Dōgen is quoting the Chan master Furong. -- "If you doubt mountains walking you do not know your own walking." -- Dōgen is not concerned with "sacred mountains" - or pilgrimages, or spirit allies, or wilderness as some special quality. His mountains and streams are the processes of this earth, all of existence, process, essence, action, absence; they roll being and non-being together. They are what we are, we are what they are. For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. Roots, stems, and branches are all equally scratchy. No hierarchy, no equality. No occult and exoteric, no gifted kids and slow achievers. No wild and tame, no bound or free, no natural and artificial. Each totally its own frail self. Even though connected all which ways; even because connected all which ways. This, thusness, is the nature of the nature of nature. The wild in wild. So the blue mountains walk to the kitchen and back to the shop, to the desk, to the stove. We sit on the park bench and let the wind and rain drench us. The blue mountains walk out to put another coin in the parking meter, and go down to the 7-Eleven. The blue mountains march out of the sea, shoulder the sky for a while, and slip back to into the waters.
Gary Snyder (Practice of the Wild)
There are gigantic trees that have grown tall into the winds and the clouds over the thousands of years of their lives, their tops are rustled and tossed by the mists of the atmosphere! Then there are the short trees that don't live for long, they are young with no deep roots and only a few annual rings to tell their stories.The tall, ancient trees sway in the realm of freedom while the short young trees cannot even raise their branches into that direction of the sky! Now, you are the bird who needs a tree to live in; if you choose to live in the tree which thrives in the realm of freedom, that doesn't mean you are not committed to that tree. You are still committed to your tree, but together you and your tree live in freedom. Freedom is not the absence of commitment. If you are the bird who chooses to fly around amongst the short trees and live in them, that's because your wings are too short to make it any higher and your vision too near to see any further into the clouds. And if you move from one short tree to the next short tree, that doesn't mean you are free, you are still down there below, freedom is still nowhere near you.
C. JoyBell C.
There are people we meet in life who miss being important to us by inches, days, or heartbeats. Another place or time or a different emotional frame of mind and we would willingly fall into their arms; gladly take up their challenge or invitation. But as it is, we encounter them when we are discontent or content and they are not. Whatever they are, we are not and vice versa. Two trains going in different directions that pass for a few powerful moments at full speed, blasting noise and wind but then they are gone. Whatever serious chemistry might have been possible if, isn’t.
Jonathon Carroll
I don't think any of the things that happened are coincidence. I think life is a series of stepping stones that branch out in all different directions. We have no idea what path we're supposed to follow, so we tend to walk a straight line and follow the biggest stones, because that's the easiest thing to do. Coincidences are the smaller stones that lead you on a path that veers off. If you're brave enough, you follow those stones, and you wind up exactly where you're supposed to be.
Vi Keeland (The Invitation)
Oh come now," Bast reproached, his smile falling away. "That's just insulting." "By earth and stone, I abjure you!" Kote dipped his fingers into the cup by his side and flicked droplets casually in Bast's direction. "Glamour be banished!" "With cider?" Bast managed to look amused and annoyed at the same time as he daubed a bead of liquid from the front of his shirt. "This better not stain.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
My belief assumed a form that it commonly assumes among the educated people of our time. This belief was expressed by the word "progress." At the time it seemed to me that this word had meaning. Like any living individual, I was tormented by questions of how to live better. I still had not understood that in answering that one must live according to progress, I was talking just like a person being carried along in a boat by the waves and the wind; without really answering, such a person replies to the only important question-"Where are we to steer?"-by saying, "We are being carried somewhere.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
There is still time to veer, to sally forth, knapsack on back, for unknown hills over which…only the wind knows what lies. Shall she, shall she veer? There will be time, she says, knowing that in her beginning is her end and the seeds of destruction perhaps now dormant may even today begin sprouting malignantly within her. She turns away from action in one direction to that in another, knowing all the while that some day she must face, behind the door of her choosing, perhaps the lady, perhaps the tiger...
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
To judge from the entrance the dawn was making, it promised to be a very iffy day -- that is, blasts of angry sunlight one minute, fits of freezing rain the next, all of it seasoned with sudden gusts of wind -- one of those days when someone who is sensitive to abrupt shifts in weather and suffers them in his blood and brain is likely to change opinion and direction continuously, like those sheets of tin, cut in the shape of banners and roosters, that spin every which way on rooftops with each new puff of wind.
Andrea Camilleri (The Terra-Cotta Dog (Inspector Montalbano, #2))
Suddenly, the wind changed course. Dora’s hair slowly changed direction too, whipping over to the opposite side. The breeze carried her scent to my nose. It was a scent I hadn’t smelled before. It smelled like fallen leaves, or the first buds in spring. The kind of smell that evoked contrary images all at once. I
Won-pyung Sohn (Almond)
Words have to find a man’s mind before they can touch his heart, and some men’s minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
A ship, like a human being, moves best when it is slightly athwart the wind, when it has to keep its sails tight and attend its course. Ships, like men, do poorly when the wind is directly behind, pushing them sloppily on their way so that no care is required in steering or in the management of sails; the wind seems favorable, for it blows in the direction one is heading, but actually it is destructive because it induces a relaxation in tension and skill. What is needed is a wind slightly opposed to the ship, for then tension can be maintained, and juices can flow and ideas can germinate, for ships, like men, respond to challenge.
James A. Michener (Chesapeake)
Usually when you’re steering a boat, it’s like steering a car – you aim yourself in the right direction and move the tiller a little this way or that way on keep on course. Occasionally a stronger puff of wind or a sudden wave pushes you off – like a bump in the road or a car that swings too far into your lane. But you correct. You get back on course. And you start again with the little movements. It’s easy. Anyone can do it.
M.H. Herlong (The Great Wide Sea)
It has often been remarked of the Scottish character, that the stubbornness with which it is moulded shows most to advantage in adversity, when it seems akin to the native sycamore of their hills, which scorns to be biassed in its mode of growth even by the influence of the prevailing wind, but, shooting its branches with equal boldness in every direction, shows no weather-side to the storm, and may be broken, but can never be bended.
Walter Scott (Old Mortality)
But there was never any knowing or any certitude; the time to come always had more than one possible direction. One could not even give up hope. The wind would blow, the sand would settle, and in some as yet unforeseen manner time would bring about a change which could only be terrifying, since it would not be a continuation of the present.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
There will be snow driving in from all directions, fierce winds, and cold colder than you have ever imagined cold could be, an icy cold so cold your lungs will ache when you breathe, so cold that the tears in your eyes will freeze. There will be no spring to relieve it, no summer, no autumn. Only winter, followed by winter, followed by winter.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
Most people are afflicted with an inability to say what they see or think. They say there’s nothing more difficult than to define a spiral in words; they claim it is necessary to use the unliterary hand, twirling it in a steadily upward direction, so that human eyes will perceive the abstract figure immanent in wire spring and a certain type of staircase. But if we remember that to say is to renew, we will have no trouble defining a spiral; it’s a circle that rises without ever closing. I realize that most people would never dare to define it this way, for they suppose that defining is to say what others want us to say rather than what’s required for the definition. I’ll say it more accurately: a spiral is a potential circle that winds round as it rises, without ever completing itself. But no, the definition is still abstract. I’ll resort to the concrete, and all will become clear: a spiral is a snake without a snake, vertically wound around nothing. All literature is an attempt to make life real. All of us know, even when we act on what we don’t know, life is absolutely unreal in its directly real form; the country, the city and our ideas are absolutely fictitious things, the offspring of our complex sensation of our own selves. Impressions are incommunicable unless we make them literary. Children are particularly literary, for they say what they feel not what someone has taught them to feel. Once I heard a child, who wished to say that he was on the verge of tears, say not ‘I feel like crying’, which is what an adult, i.e., an idiot, would say but rather, ’ I feel like tears.’ And this phrase -so literary it would seem affected in a well-known poet, if he could ever invent it - decisively refers to the warm presence of tears about to burst from eyelids that feel the liquid bitterness. ‘I feel like tears’! The small child aptly defined his spiral. To say! To know how to say! To know how to exist via the written voice and the intellectual image! This is all that matters in life; the rest is men and women, imagined loves and factitious vanities, the wiles of our digestion and forgetfulness, people squirming- like worms when a rock is lifted - under the huge abstract boulder of the meaningless blue sky.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
The Chancellor looked down at the paper in front of him. He cleared his throat. 'Re'lar Ambrose, are you a donkey?' Ambrose went stiff. 'No, sir,' he said. 'Are you possessed of,' he cleared his throat and read directly off the page. 'A pizzle bound to fizzle?' A few of the masters struggled to control smiles. Elodin grinned openly. Ambrose flushed. 'No sir.' 'Then I'm afraid I don't see the problem,' the Chancellor said curtly, letting the paper settle to the table.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I remember, in no particular order: - a shiny inner wrist; - steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; - gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house; - a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams; - another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface; - bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. This last isn't something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Far worse, though, was the low, powerful moaning at dusk. The wind off the sea and the odd interior stillness dulled our ability to gauge direction, so that the sound seemed to infiltrate the black water that soaked the cypress trees. This water was so dark we could see our faces in it, and it never stirred, set like glass, reflecting the beards of gray moss that smothered the cypress trees. If you looked out through these areas, toward the ocean, all you saw was the black water, the gray of the cypress trunks, and the constant, motionless rain of moss flowing down. All you heard was the low moaning. The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you Desolation tries to colonize you.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. Art is the aesthetic ordering of experience to express meanings in symbolic terms, and the reordering of nature--the qualities of space and time--in new perceptual and material form. Art is an end in itself; its values are intrinsic. Technology is the instrumental ordering of human experience within a logic of efficient means, and the direction of nature to use its powers for material gain. But art and technology are not separate realms walled off from each other. Art employs techne, but for its own ends. Techne, too, is a form of art that bridges culture and social structure, and in the process reshapes both.
Daniel Bell (The Winding Passage: Essays and Sociological Journeys, 1960-1980)
Was her God up there in the sky as she believed? Did he truly hear man's whispers,his thoughts? Hunter could see his own Gods,Mother Earth,Mother Moon, Father Sun, the wind coming from four directions. It was easy to believe in what he could see. Why did Loretta's God hide himself?
Catherine Anderson
Remember this, son, if you forget everything else. A poet is a musician who can’t sing. Words have to find a man’s mind before they can touch his heart, and some men’s minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
As you go down the water,’ he said, ‘you will find that the trees will fail, and you will come to a barren country. There the River flows in stony vales amid high moors, until at last after many leagues it comes to the tall island of the Tindrock, that we call Tol Brandir. There it casts its arms about the steep shores of the isle, and falls then with a great noise and smoke over the cataracts of Rauros down into the Nindalf, the Wetwang as it is called in your tongue. That is a wide region of sluggish fen where the stream becomes tortuous and much divided. There the Entwash flows in by many mouths from the Forest of Fangorn in the west. About that stream, on this side of the Great River, lies Rohan. On the further side are the bleak hills of the Emyn Muil. The wind blows from the East there, for they look out over the Dead Marshes and the Noman-lands to Cirith Gorgor and the black gates of Mordor.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Hush!’ said the Cabby. They all listened. In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it… ‘Gawd!’ said the Cabby. ‘Ain’t it lovely?’ Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it , as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing. ‘Glory be!’ said the Cabby. ‘I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.’ …Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn grey. A light wind, very fresh, began to stir. The sky, in that one place, grew slowly and steadily paler. You could see shapes of hills standing up dark against it. All the time the Voice went on singing…The eastern sky changed from white to pink and from pink to gold. The Voice rose and rose, till all the air was shaking with it. And just as it swelled to the mightiest and most glorious sound it had yet produced, the sun arose. Digory had never seen such a sun…You could imagine that it laughed for joy as it came up. And as its beams shot across the land the travellers could see for the first time what sort of place they were in. It was a valley through which a broad, swift river wound its way, flowing eastward towards the sun. Southward there were mountains, northward there were lower hills. But it was a valley of mere earth, rock and water; there was not a tree, not a bush, not a blade of grass to be seen. The earth was of many colours: they were fresh, hot and vivid. They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer himself, and then you forgot everything else. It was a Lion. Huge, shaggy, and bright it stood facing the risen sun. Its mouth was wide open in song and it was about three hundred yards away.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6))
I tried to hold fire once...see from a distance it mesmerized me captivated me for hours at a time The more it danced with the wind, I felt my body sway to its rhythm I tried to hold fire once It's glow drew me in closer And although I know full well the damage that fire can do... Staring directly at it, I know it's beauty too It's warmth was now on my face and I couldn't imagine being in any other place I reached out with my bare hands & it danced even more And suddenly I felt it's heat deep within my core Rising like a volcano ready to erupt But somehow balanced & purposeful I tried to hold fire once until I realized that fire held me Passionately and I was it's guiding force. If you look close enough, you'll see it dancing in my eyes, feel it in my touch, even hear it in my voice...but don't ever forget that fire consumes and cannot be contained so I must master my energetic output to control the flames.
Sanjo Jendayi
Tributaries A river on a map is a simple thing. Our river starts at Trewsbury Mead, and follows a course of some two hundred and thirty-six miles to reach the sea at Shoeburyness. But anyone who takes the trouble to follow its route, whether by boat or on foot, cannot help being aware that, furlong by furlong, singleness of direction is not its most obvious feature. En route the river does not seem particularly intent on reaching its destination. Instead it winds its way
Diane Setterfield (Once Upon a River)
Follow the fulsome fumes from the tanners and the reek from the brewery, butterscotch rotten, drifting across Seven Dials. Keep on past the mothballs at the cheap tailor’s and turn left at the singed silk of the maddened hatter. Just beyond you’ll detect the unwashed crotch of the overworked prostitute and the Christian sweat of the charwoman. On every inhale a shifting scale of onions and scalded milk, chrysanthemums and spiced apple, broiled meat and wet straw, and the sudden stench of the Thames as the wind changes direction and blows up the knotted backstreets. Above all, you may notice the rich and sickening chorus of shit.
Jess Kidd (Things in Jars)
NO ONE EVER says it’ll be easy. All you can do is close your eyes and feel the wind sweep through your hair and savor the salty, sweet treats life tosses in your direction. Don’t become bitter, and never ever hold on too tight, because you’ll not only blister your hands, you’ll choke the precious love you hold within them.
Alexia Purdy (Keep Breathing)
I first met Winston Churchill in the early summer of 1906 at a dinner party to which I went as a very young girl. Our hostess was Lady Wemyss and I remember that Arthur Balfour, George Wyndman, Hilaire Belloc and Charles Whibley were among the guests… I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he seemed sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though, “he added, as if to comfort himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is this allotted span for all we must cram into it!” And he burst forth into an eloquent diatribe on the shortness of human life, the immensity of possible human accomplishment—a theme so well exploited by the poets, prophets, and philosophers of all ages that it might seem difficult to invest it with new and startling significance. Yet for me he did so, in a torrent of magnificent language which appeared to be both effortless and inexhaustible and ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow worm.” By this time I was convinced of it—and my conviction remained unshaken throughout the years that followed. Later he asked me whether I thought that words had a magic and music quite independent of their meaning. I said I certainly thought so, and I quoted as a classic though familiar instance the first lines that came into my head. Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. His eyes blazed with excitement. “Say that again,” he said, “say it again—it is marvelous!” “But I objected, “You know these lines. You know the ‘Ode to a Nightengale.’ ” He had apparently never read or heard of it before (I must, however, add that next time I met him he had not learned not merely this but all of the odes to Keats by heart—and he recited them quite mercilessly from start to finish, not sparing me a syllable). Finding that he liked poetry, I quoted to him from one of my own favorite poets, Blake. He listened avidly, repeating some lines to himself with varying emphases and stresses, then added meditatively: “I never knew that old Admiral had found so much time to write such good poetry.” I was astounded that he, with his acute susceptibility to words and power of using them, should have left such tracts of English literature entirely unexplored. But however it happened he had lost nothing by it, when he approached books it was “with a hungry, empty mind and with fairly srong jaws, and what I got I *bit*.” And his ear for the beauty of language needed no tuning fork. Until the end of dinner I listened to him spellbound. I can remember thinking: This is what people mean when they talk of seeing stars. That is what I am doing now. I do not to this day know who was on my other side. Good manners, social obligation, duty—all had gone with the wind. I was transfixed, transported into a new element. I knew only that I had seen a great light. I recognized it as the light of genius… I cannot attempt to analyze, still less transmit, the light of genius. But I will try to set down, as I remember them, some of the differences which struck me between him and all the others, young and old, whom I have known. First and foremost he was incalculable. He ran true to no form. There lurked in his every thought and world the ambush of the unexpected. I felt also that the impact of life, ideas and even words upon his mind, was not only vivid and immediate, but direct. Between him and them there was no shock absorber of vicarious thought or precedent gleaned either from books or other minds. His relationship wit
Violet Bonham Carter
Echoing streets melt into dark autumn rooms—melt to black plastic bags inflated by the wind and spinning on playground blacktop like free-floating punctuation...the horizon is just a line and past it there's only black dark...that rolls toward her as she walks in its direction...smooth-worn wooden chairs at the bakery where ella sits tea on the table in front of her, it's getting dark but the girl behind the counter hasn't turned on a single light yet...Ella animal staring into the street: “Did I ever touch him?
Michael Cisco (The Tyrant)
Always lost, always striking out in the wrong direction, always going around in circles. You have suffered from a life-long inability to orient yourself in space, and even in New York, the easiest of cities to negotiate, the city where you have spent the better part of your adulthood, you often run into trouble. Whenever you take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan (assuming you have boarded the correct train and are not traveling deeper into Brooklyn), you make a special point to stop for a moment to get your bearings once you have climbed the stairs to the street, and still you will head north instead of south, go east instead of west, and even when you try to outsmart yourself, knowing that your handicap will set you going the wrong way and therefore, to rectify the error, you do the opposite of what you were intending to do, go left instead of right, go right instead of left, and still you find yourself moving in the wrong direction, no matter how many adjustments you have made. Forget tramping alone in the woods. You are hopelessly lost within minutes, and even indoors, whenever you find yourself in an unfamiliar building, you will walk down the wrong corridor or take the wrong elevator, not to speak of smaller enclosed spaces such as restaurants, for whenever you go to the men’s room in a restaurant that has more than one dining area, you will inevitably make a wrong turn on your way back and wind up spending several minutes searching for your table. Most other people, your wife included, with her unerring inner compass, seem to be able to get around without difficulty. They know where they are, where they have been, and where they are going, but you know nothing, you are forever lost in the moment, in the void of each successive moment that engulfs you, with no idea where true north is, since the four cardinal points do not exist for you, have never existed for you. A minor infirmity until now, with no dramatic consequences to speak of, but that doesn’t mean a day won’t come when you accidentally walk off the edge of a cliff.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
The explosion of paperwork, in turn, is a direct result of the introduction of corporate management techniques, which are always justified as ways of increasing efficiency, by introducing competition at every level. What these management techniques invariably end up meaning in practice is that everyone winds up spending most of their time trying to sell each other things: grant proposals; book proposals; assessments of our students’ job and grant applications; assessments of our colleagues; prospectuses for new interdisciplinary majors, institutes, conference workshops, and universities themselves, which have now become brands to be marketed to prospective students or contributors. Marketing and PR thus come to engulf every aspect of university life.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
In every drop of water, gust of air, speck of earth, and crackle of lightning, she hears the same thing: This world is alive. And it loves her. A little while later, the storm notices that Jael has fallen asleep. The rain tapers off. The clouds sneak away like they're trying not to wake her. The wind caresses her cheek one last time, then disperses in all directions. It carries with it the memory of this funny girl with the sad green eyes. And it carries with it a little bit of hope that things might change. That the world might become what it was supposed to be.
Jon Skovron (Misfit)
A panther poised in the cypress tree about to jump is a panther poised in a cypress tree about to jump. The panther is a poem of fire green eyes and a heart charged by four winds of four directions. The panther hears everything in the dark: the unspoken tears of a few hundred human years, storms that will break what has broken his world, a bluebird swaying on a branch a few miles away. He hears the death song of his approaching prey: I will always love you, sunrise. I belong to the black cat with fire green eyes. There, in the cypress tree near the morning star.
Joy Harjo (Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems)
Did I ever tell you about Asin? She is the wild woman of the woods. It's an old story of the People. My mom used to tell me about Asin. Asin couldn't bear being married or having children or having friends. She always wanted to run wild. She ran wild through the woods. If you saw her running you had to run to water as fast as you could and drink or her restlessness would come into you like a thirst that could never be quenched. She was happy and unhappy. She had wild long hair and she was very tall and she ran like the wind. When you saw dunegrass rippling in a line she was running through it. When the wind changed direction suddenly that was Asin. She was never satisfied or content and so she ran and ran and ran. She would grab men who were fishing alone and make love to them and then throw them down on the ground and run away weeping. She would grab children who wandered too far alone in the woods but she would return them to the same spot after three days and run away again. She would listen to women talking by the fire or working in the village or gathering berries but if they invited her to join them she ran away. You could hear her crying sometimes when the sun went down. She wanted something but she never knew what it was so she had nothing. She was as free as anyone ever could be and she was trapped. When I was young I wanted to be Asin. Many times I wanted to be Asin. So do you, Nora. I know. It's okay. It's alright. My sweet love. Poor Asin. Sometimes I think to be Asin would be the saddest thing in the world. Poor thing.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.
Susan Dennard (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1))
When the air gets heavy so it's hard to breathe, you know what's coming. The birds come down from the ridges and hide in the hollows and in the pines. Heavy black clouds float over the mountain, and you run for the cabin. From the cabin porch we would watch the big bars of light that stand for a full second, maybe two, on the mountaintop, running out feelers or lightning wire in all directions before they're jerked back into the sky. Cracking claps of sound, so sharp you know something has split wide open--then the thunder rolls and rumbles over the ridges and back through the hollows. I was pretty near sure, a time or two, that the mountains was falling down, but Granpa said they wasn't. Which of course, they didn't. Then it comes again--and rolls blue fireballs of rocks on the ridge tops and splatters the blue in the air. The trees whip and bend in the sudden rushes of wind, and the sweep of heavy rain comes thunking from the clouds in big drops, letting you know there's some real frog-strangling sheets of water coming close behind.
Forrest Carter (The Education of Little Tree)
False faith is the major cause of most of our misfortunes. The purpose of a human life is to bring the irrational beginning of our life to a rational beginning. In order to succeed in this, two things are important: (1) to see all irrational, unwise things in life and direct your attention to them and study them; (2) to understand the possibility of a rational, wise life. The major purpose of all teachers of mankind was the understanding of the irrational and rational beginnings in our life. We should be ready to change our views at any time, and slough off prejudices, and live with an open and receptive mind. A sailor who sets the same sails all the time, without making changes when the wind changes, will never reach his harbor. —HENRY GEORGE Accept the teaching of Christ as it is, clear and simple; then you will see that we live among big lies.
Leo Tolstoy (A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Se)
A Wild Woman Is Not A Girlfriend. She Is A Relationship With Nature. But can you love me in the deep? In the dark? In the thick of it? Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle and slip through the crack in the floorboard? Can you love me when I’m bigger than you, when my presence blazes like the sun does, when it hurts to look directly at me? Can you love me then too? Can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight? Can you love me when I am howling and furry, standing on my haunches, my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill? When I call down the lightning, when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet, can you still love me then? What happens when I freeze the land, and cause the dirt to harden over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted? Will you trust that Spring will return? Will you still believe me when I tell you I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your dreams and call them to the surface of your life? Can you trust me, even though you cannot tame me? Can you love me, even though I am all that you fear and admire? Will you fear my shifting shape? Does it frighten you, when my eyes flash like your camera does? Do you fear they will capture your soul? Are you afraid to step into me? The meat-eating plants and flowers armed with poisonous darts are not in my jungle to stop you from coming. Not you. So do not worry. They belong to me, and I have invited you here. Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight and arrive safely to the hut of Baba Yaga: the wild old wise one… she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart. You cannot be with the wild one if you fear the rumbling of the ground, the roar of a cascading river, the startling clap of thunder in the sky. If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny room — the night sky is not for you. If you want to be torn apart, come in. Be broken open and devoured. Be set ablaze in my fire. I will not leave you as you have come: well dressed, in finely-threaded sweaters that keep out the cold. I will leave you naked and biting. Leave you clawing at the sheets. Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching. So, come to me, and be healed in the unbearable lightness and darkness of all that you are. There is nothing in you that can scare me. Nothing in you I will not use to make you great. A wild woman is not a girlfriend. She is a relationship with nature. She is the source of all your primal desires, and she is the wild whipping wind that uproots the poisonous corn stalks on your neatly tilled farm. She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster. She will see to it that you shall rise again. She is the lover who restores you to your own wild nature.
Alison Nappi
Her attention was drawn to a movement in the woods in the direction of the river. The trees were slowly coming back into bud, but they were still bare enough that she could make out a shape. "Moose," she said, almost in a whisper. "Moose. Moose." She tugged Nate's sleeve. "Moose," she repeated. The object moved away, out of sight. Stevie blinked. It had just been there, the massive antlers moving through the trees. "My moose," she said in a low voice. "I finally got it. The universe paid me in moose." With one backward glance at the magical spot, Stevie Bell resumed walking toward her class. Anatomy was still ahead of her. Lots of things were ahead of her, but this one was the closest. "That wasn't a moose, was it?" Janelle said when Stevie was out of earshot. "That's a branch, right? It moved in the wind?" "It's a branch," Nate replied. "Like, that's obviously a branch," Vi said. "Should we tell her? She seems really invested in this." "Definitely not," Nate said as Stevie vanished in the direction of the classroom buildings, earbuds already in her ears. "Let her have her moose.
Maureen Johnson (The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3))
I want you to know one thing.   You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me.   Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little.   If suddenly you forget me do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you.   If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land.   But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda (Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook))
sky. And the tiny stars. Amar shivered. “I don’t think I will make it,” Amar said. “I’m sorry.” “Of course you can’t come back inside, Amar—you can hardly sit up.” “No, I mean to the other place. The next place. I don’t think I’ll make it. I don’t think you’ll find me there.” He had left the path. His parents had given him a map, and directions, and he had abandoned it all. Now his heart was so ink-dark he could be lost and not know it, and not care, and never know how to find his way back. “Listen to me.” Baba held on to his arm. “You could never be more wrong, Amar. We taught you one way, but there could be others. We don’t even know, even we can only hope. How many names are there for God?” “Ninety-nine.” He knew all of this by heart. Didn’t that count for something? “And are they all the same kind of name?” “No.” “Some contradict each other, remember? Didn’t you just say to me—what if this is meant to show us more? What if we are meant to look closer?” Amar nodded. Wind rustled the leaves. He sniffled and wiped his nose on his shirtsleeve. “We will wait until you are allowed in,” Baba said, as if to himself. “I will wait.” Baba pointed at the sky, and Amar looked, past the stars and past the lighter patch of the Milky Way, past the moon, and maybe God was there and maybe God wasn’t, but when Baba said to him, “I don’t think He created us just to leave some of us behind,” Amar believed him. Amar wanted to.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
A writer's will is the winds of dead calm in the Western Lands. Point way out he can start stirring of the sail. Writer, where are you going? To write. Here we are in texts already written on the sky. Where he doesn't need to write anymore. A slight seismic with the cat book. Always remember, the work is the mainsail to reach the Western Lands. The texts sing. Everything is grass and bushes, a desert or a maze of texts. Here you are ... never use the same door twice. Sky in all directions ... on the word for word. The word for word is word. The western sail stirs candles on 1920 country club table. Each page is a door to everything is permitted. The fragile lifeboat between this and that. Your words are the sails.
William S. Burroughs (My Education: A Book of Dreams)
When In The Soul Of The Serene Disciple When in the soul of the serene disciple With no more Fathers to imitate Poverty is a success, It is a small thing to say the roof is gone: He has not even a house. Stars, as well as friends, Are angry with the noble ruin. Saints depart in several directions. Be still: There is no longer any need of comment. It was a lucky wind That blew away his halo with his cares, A lucky sea that drowned his reputation. Here you will find Neither a proverb nor a memorandum. There are no ways, No methods to admire Where poverty is no achievement. His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction. What choice remains? Well, to be ordinary is not a choice: It is the usual freedom Of men without visions.
Thomas Merton (A Thomas Merton Reader)
Used to be a hobo right smart. back in the thirties. They wasnt no work I dont care what you could do. I was ridin through the mountains one night, state of Colorado. Dead of winter it was and bitter cold. I had just a smidgin of tobacco, bout enough for one or two smokes. I was in one of them old slatsided cars and I'd been up and down in it like a dog tryin to find some place where the wind wouldnt blow. Directly I scrunched up in a corner and rolled me a smoke and lit it and thowed the match down. Well, they was some sort of stuff in the floor about like tinder and it caught fire. I jumped up and stomped on it and it aint done nothin but burn faster. Wasnt two minutes the whole car was afire. I run to the door and got it open and we was goin up this grade through the mountains in the snow with the moon on it and it was just blue looking and dead quiet out there and them big old black pine trees going by. I jumped for it and lit in a snowbank and what I'm goin to tell you you'll think peculiar but it's the god's truth. That was in nineteen and thirty one and if I live to be a hunnerd year old I dont think I'll ever see anything as pretty as that train on fire goin up that mountain and around the bend and them flames lightin up the snow and the trees and the night.
Cormac McCarthy (Suttree)
Billos ran. He tore down the shore, bounded up on the rock, and dove into the air. The warm water engulfed him. A boiling heat knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock alone might kill him. But it was pleasure that surged through his body, not pain. The sensations coursed through his bones in great unrelenting waves. Elyon. How he was certain, he did not know. But he knew. Elyon was in this lake with him. Billos opened his eyes. Gold light drifted by. He lost all sense of direction. The water pressed in on every inch of his body, as intense as any acid, but one that burned with pleasure instead of pain. He sank into the water, opened his mouth and laughed. He wanted more, much more. He wanted to suck the water in and drink it. Without thinking, he did just that. The liquid hit his lungs. Billos pulled up, panicked. He tried to hack the water from his lungs, but inhaled more instead. No pain. He carefully sucked more water and breathed it out slowly. Then again, deep and hard. Out with a soft whoosh. He was breathing the water! Billos shrieked with laughter. He swam into the lake, deeper and deeper. The power contained in this lake was far greater than anything he'd ever imagined. "I made this, Billos." Billos whipped his body around, searching for the words' source. "Elyon?" His voice was muffled, hardly a voice at all. "Do you like it?" "Yes!" Billos said. He might have spoken; he might have shouted--he didn't know. He only knew that his whole body screamed it. Billos looked around. "Elyon?" "Why do you doubt me, Billos?" In that single moment the full weight of Billos's foolishness crashed on him like a sledgehammer. "I see you, Billos." "I made you." "I love you." The words crashed over him, reaching into the deepest folds of his flesh, caressing each hidden synapse, flowing through every vein, as though he had been given a transfusion. "I choose you, Billos." Billos began to weep. The feeling was more intense than any pain he had ever felt. The current pulled at him, tugging him up through the colors. His body trembled with pleasure. He wanted to speak, to yell, to tell the whole world that he was the most fortunate person in the universe. That he was loved by Elyon. Elyon himself. "Never leave me, Billos." "Never! I will never leave you." The current pushed him through the water and then above the surface not ten meters from the shore. He stood on the sandy bottom. For a moment he had such clarity of mind that he was sure he could understand the very fabric of space if he put his mind to it. He was chosen. He was loved.
Ted Dekker (Renegade (The Lost Books, #3))
My Floating Sea" "Pastel colors reflect in my opening eyes and draw my gaze to a horizon where the waters both begin and end. This early in the day I can easily stare without blinking. The pale sea appears calm, but it is stormy just as often. I awe at the grandeur, how it expands beyond my sight to immeasurable depths. In every direction that I twist my neck, a beauteous blue is there to console me. Flowing, floating ribbons of mist form on these pale waters. In harmony they pirouette, creating a stretch of attractive, soft swirls. Swoosh! The wind, its strength in eddies and twisters, smears the art of dancing clouds, and the white disperses like startled fairies fleeing into the forest. Suddenly all is brilliant blue. The waters calm and clear. It warms me. Pleases me. Forces my eyes to close at such vast radiance. My day is spent surrounded by this ethereal sea, but soon enough the light in its belly subsides. Rich colors draw my gaze to the opposite horizon where the waters both begin and end. I watch the colors bleed and deepen. They fade into black. Yawning, I cast my eyes at tiny gleams of life that drift within the darkened waters. I extend my reach as if I could will my arm to stretch the expanse between me and eons. How I would love to brush a finger over a ray of living light, but I know I cannot. Distance deceives me. These little breathing lights floating in blackness would truly reduce me to the tiniest size, like a mountain stands majestic over a single wild flower. I am overwhelmed by it all and stare up, in love with the floating sea above my head.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
The Words of an Angel As I sit in a world of darkness I look around to see no one The cold wind has filled my soul The rivers have poured inside my body And the weight of the waters holds me back from seeing the light of day What should I do? I feel helpless, Paralyzed in my own fears And lost with no directions or roads to take Suddenly, a felt a laser of energy bolt though my body I yelled, “I’m so tired of feeling this way, I need help” Suddenly, gold light appeared And a man stood before me You foolish man, You choose this path the moment you chose to give up and wallow in your sorrows I cannot help you You need to help yourself. There are no rivers in your soul holding you back from light of the world The strength lies within you Look in my eyes and tell me what you see The lost man looked into the angels eyes and said, I see a man who gets his strength from helping others He does not waste time focusing on useless matters If you dig deep enough my child You will find precious gift inside yourself Gifts you never knew you had Learn from others Then help yourself Once you helped yourself Go out and help the world around you Because many people feel as you do The angel suddenly disappeared The lost man was no longer lost He was determined to waste no time He was going to use his time to help others Just as the angel helped him The man got up He realized the only thing holding him down was himself The room was no longer dark The light of life had entered Dig deep in yourself and lift yourself The answer to your problems lies within Use your gifts For the greatest gift is the gift of giving.
Stacey Chillemi (Life's Missing Instruction Manual)
The psychoanalyst W. R. Bion came up with the term containment to describe a mother’s ability to manage her baby’s pain. Remember, babyhood is not a time of bliss; it’s one of terror. As babies we are trapped in a strange, alien world, unable to see properly, constantly surprised at our bodies, alarmed by hunger and wind and bowel movements, overwhelmed by our feelings. We are quite literally under attack. We need our mother to soothe our distress and make sense of our experience. As she does so, we slowly learn how to manage our physical and emotional states on our own. But our ability to contain ourselves directly depends on our mother’s ability to contain us—if she had never experienced containment by her own mother, how could she teach us what she did not know? Someone who has never learned to contain himself is plagued by anxious feelings for the rest of his life, feelings that Bion aptly titled nameless dread. Such a person endlessly seeks this unquenchable containment from external sources—he needs a drink or a joint to “take the edge off” this endless anxiety. Hence my addiction to marijuana.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
Beidleman knew they were on the eastern, Tibetan side of the Col and that the tents lay somewhere to the west. But to move in that direction it was necessary to walk directly upwind into the teeth of the storm. Wind-whipped granules of ice and snow struck the climbers’ faces with violent force, lacerating their eyes and making it impossible to see where they were going. “It was so difficult and painful,” Schoening explains, “that there was an inevitable tendency to bear off the wind, to keep angling away from it to the left, and that’s how we went wrong.
Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air)
People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it. That is what Miploris is: a kingdom where lone storytelling travelers come slowly wandering from all directions, dragging unwieldy luggage full of sorrow. A place where they can put it down and go back to life. And when the travelers turn back, they do so with lighter steps, because Miploris is constructed in such a way that irrespective of what direction you leave it, you always have the sun up ahead and the wind at your back.
Fredrik Backman
And then I realize: this isn’t dirty water falling from the sky. It is—literally—blood. I look up, and a droplet of blood splashes directly into my eye. I curse, rubbing my face, trying to get the blood out, but it’s everywhere, it’s like trying to dry off in the middle of the ocean. Shielding my face as best I can, I stare up into the sky. I am in the center of a cyclone. Giant white clouds swirl like a spiraling galaxy above me, the eye a tiny dark speck. The storm rages, throwing out bloody rain like punches, the wind so vicious it tears my clothes and cuts my skin. Representative Belles’s mind is swirling with dark thoughts—bloody thoughts—and they have created the biggest storm I have ever seen. I have to stop the cyclone. I have to get him into a peaceful reverie, something that he can hold on to while I root around his brain, looking for answers. I focus all of my concentration on stopping the bloody rain. The drops come slower and slower. I take a deep breath, imagining the clouds breaking up, spinning into fluffy bits of cotton-candy like clouds. I don’t open my eyes until the sounds of beating rain disappear and I can feel the warmth of the Mediterranean sun on my face.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
Mister Geoffrey, my experiment shows that the dynamo and the bulb are both working properly," I said. "So why won't the radio play?" "I don't know," he said. "Try connecting them here." He was pointing toward a socket on the radio labeled "AC," and when I shoved the wires inside, the radio came to life. We shouted with excitement. As I pedaled the bicycle, I could hear the great Billy Kaunda playing his happy music on Radio Two, and that made Geoffrey start to dance. "Keep pedaling," he said. "That's it, just keep pedaling." "Hey, I want to dance, too." "You'll have to wait your turn." Without realizing it, I'd just discovered the difference between alternating and direct current. Of course, I wouldn't know what this meant until much later. After a few minutes of pedaling this upside-down bike by hand, my arm grew tired and the radio slowly died. So I began thinking, "What can do the pedaling for us so Geoffrey and I can dance?
William Kamkwamba (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
When I think of highly plotted novels I think of detective fiction or mystery fiction, the kind of work that always produces a few dead bodies. But these bodies are basically plot points, not worked-out characters. The book's plot either moves inexorably toward a dead body of flows directly from it, and the more artificial the situation the better. Readers can play off their fears by encountering the death experience in a superficial way. A mystery novel localizes the awesome force of the real death outside the book, winds it tightly in a plot, makes it less fearful by containing it in a kind of game format. [from an interview with DeCurtis]
Don DeLillo
When the wind stops, the trees still move, the way my heart creaks long after it bends. Iam always surprised at the aftereffect of being moved deeply by something. I can be hurt or disappointed or feel the warmth of being loved or the gentle sway of being temporarily left, and then I'm ready to chew on something else, seldom allowing for the feelings to digest completely. In fact, I've come to see that much of my confusion in life comes from giving my attention to the next thing too soon, and then wrapping new experience in the remnants of feeling that are not finished with me. For example, the other day I felt sad because an old friend is ill. I addressed my sadness directly and thought I'd been with this mood enough, so I continued on my way. The next day I found myself in the usual frustration of traffic and shopping, and the indifferent reactions of waitresses and clerks were suddenly making me sad. Or so I thought. Though it seems obvious here in the telling, it wasn't in the happening, and I spent a good deal of misguided energy wondering if it was time to change my lifestyle. But really I was feeling ripples of sadness about my friend's illness. The deeper lesson involves nature's sway: its approach, its impact, and, especially, its echo. Everything living encounters it, especially us in the unseeable ripples of what we think and feel. Being alive takes time.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Everyday i get closer to our meeting i feel like i've been walking this path for a thousand years towards you.. and yet i'm still not there so close, and yet so far but i keep walking despite the tears despite the wind despite the skinned knees and broken bones despite the bruises and scars that made this heart what it is today i keep walking towards you there's only one direction one direction: towards you... from you, to you i have nothing else nothing that is my poverty i keep walking because behind every sun's setting is a rising behind every storm is a refuge behind every fall is a rise behind every tear is a cleansing of the eyes and in every spot i've ever been stabbed, is a healing and the creation of skin stronger than it was i keep walking because WALLAHI i've nothing but your mercy i've nothing but your promise your words your promise that: يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ - 84:6 O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it. [Quran 84:6]
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
But now I speculate re the ants' invisible organ of aggregate thought... if, in a city park of broad reaches, winding paths, roadways, and lakes, you can imagine seeing on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon the random and unpredictable movement of great numbers of human beings in the same way... if you watch one person, one couple, one family, a child, you can assure yourself of the integrity of the individual will and not be able to divine what the next moment will bring. But when the masses are celebrating a beautiful day in the park in a prescribed circulation of activities, the wider lens of thought reveals nothing errant, nothing inconstant or unnatural to the occasion. And if someone acts in a mutant un-park manner, alarms go off, the unpredictable element, a purse snatcher, a gun wielder, is isolated, surrounded, ejected, carried off as waste. So that while we are individually and privately dyssynchronous, moving in different ways, for different purposes, in different directions, we may at the same time comprise, however blindly, the pulsing communicating cells of an urban over-brain. The intent of this organ is to enjoy an afternoon in the park, as each of us street-grimy urbanites loves to do. In the backs of our minds when we gather for such days, do we know this? How much of our desire to use the park depends on the desires of others to do the same? How much of the idea of a park is in the genetic invitation on nice days to reflect our massive neuromorphology? There is no central control mechanism telling us when and how to use the park. That is up to us. But when we do, our behavior there is reflective, we can see more of who we are because of the open space accorded to us, and it is possible that it takes such open space to realize in simple form the ordinary identity we have as one multicellular culture of thought that is always there, even when, in the comparative blindness of our personal selfhood, we are flowing through the streets at night or riding under them, simultaneously, as synaptic impulses in the metropolitan brain. Is this a stretch? But think of the contingent human mind, how fast it snaps onto the given subject, how easily it is introduced to an idea, an image that it had not dreamt of thinking of a millisecond before... Think of how the first line of a story yokes the mind into a place, a time, in the time it takes to read it. How you can turn on the radio and suddenly be in the news, and hear it and know it as your own mind's possession in the moment's firing of a neuron. How when you hear a familiar song your mind adopts its attitudinal response to life before the end of the first bar. How the opening credits of a movie provide the parameters of your emotional life for its ensuing two hours... How all experience is instantaneous and instantaneously felt, in the nature of ordinary mind-filling revelation. The permeable mind, contingently disposed for invasion, can be totally overrun and occupied by all the characteristics of the world, by everything that is the case, and by the thoughts and propositions of all other minds considering everything that is the case... as instantly and involuntarily as the eye fills with the objects that pass into its line of vision.
E.L. Doctorow (City of God)
It's almost unbelievable when you think of it, how they live there in all that ice and sand and mountainous wilderness. Look at it,' he says. 'Huge barren deserts, huge oceans. How do they endure all those terrible things? The floods alone. The earthquakes alone make it crazy to live there. Look at those fault systems. They're so big, there's so many of them. The volcanic eruptions alone. What could be more frightening than a volcanic eruption? How do they endure avalanches, year after year, with numbing regularity? It's hard to believe people live there. The floods alone. You can see whole huge discolored areas, all flooded out, washed out. How do they survive, where do they go? Look at the cloud buildups. Look at that swirling storm center. What about the people who live in the path of a storm like that? It must be packing incredible winds. The lightning alone. People exposed on beaches, near trees and telephone poles. Look at the cities with their spangled lights spread in all directions. Try to imagine the crime and violence. Look at the smoke pall hanging low. What does that mean in terms of respiratory disorders? It's crazy. Who would live there? The deserts, how they encroach. Every year they claim more and more arable land. How enormous those snowfields are. Look at the massive storm fronts over the ocean. There are ships down there, small craft, some of them. Try to imagine the waves, the rocking. The hurricanes alone. The tidal waves. Look at those coastal communities exposed to tidal waves. What could be more frightening than a tidal wave? But they live there, they stay there. Where could they go?
Don DeLillo (The Angel Esmeralda)
the beaches. In literally hundreds of instances, a vessel’s ignorance of her longitude led swiftly to her destruction. Launched on a mix of bravery and greed, the sea captains of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries relied on “dead reckoning” to gauge their distance east or west of home port. The captain would throw a log overboard and observe how quickly the ship receded from this temporary guidepost. He noted the crude speedometer reading in his ship’s logbook, along with the direction of travel, which he took from the stars or a compass, and the length of time on a particular course, counted with a sandglass or a pocket watch. Factoring in the effects of ocean currents, fickle winds, and errors in judgment, he then determined his longitude. He routinely missed his mark, of course—searching
Dava Sobel (Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time)
And what nags me about this is that the source of my anxiety was exactly what Kierkegaard says the source of anxiety is, and what he praised in direct proportion to the volume any person possesses: possibility. The awareness that life is a series of choices any one of which could be either aggrandizing or disastrous. That this happens to be true I have no trouble signing on to. Any who has lived past the age of ten knows that even piddling actions can wind up having big consequences, and that even when you are super-conscious of your behaviors you can't know how things are going to turn out in the short- or the long-run. That's the drama of it all. On the one hand, your very existence means you can and will change things in your life and others. On the other hand, you aren't God, so everything is always going to be drenched in uncertainty and doubt.
Daniel B. Smith (Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety)
Do you know where we are Papa? the boy said. Sort of. How sort of? Well. I think we're about two hundred miles from the coast. As the crow flies. As the crow flies? Yes. It means going in a straight line. Are we going to get there soon? Not real soon. Pretty soon. We're not going as the crow flies. Because crows don't have to follow roads? Yes. They can go wherever they want. Yes. Do you think there might be crows somewhere? I dont know. But what do you think? I think it's unlikely. Could they fly to Mars or someplace? No. They couldnt. Because it's too far? Yes. Even if they wanted to. Even if they wanted to. What if they tried and they just got half way or something and then they were too tired. Would they fall back down? Well. They really couldnt get halfway because they'd be in space and there's not any air in space so they wouldnt be able to fly and besides it would be too cold and they'd freeze to death. Oh. Anyway they wouldnt know where Mars was. DO we know where Mars is? Sort of. If we spaceship could we go there? Well. If you had a really good spaceship and you had people to help you I suppose you could go. Would there be good and stuff when you got there? No. There's nothing there. Oh. They sat there for a long time. They sat on their folded blankets and watched the road in both directions. No wind. Nothing. After a while the boy said: There's not any crows. Are there? No.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Lightness. Let the winds of evidence blow you about as though you are a leaf, with no direction of your own. Beware lest you fight a rearguard retreat against evidence, grudgingly conceding each foot of ground only forced, feeling cheated. Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can. Do this the instant you realize what you are resisting; the instant you see which quarter the winds of evidence are blowing against you. Be faithless to your cause and betray it to a stronger enemy. If you regard evidence as a constraint and seek to free yourself, you sell yourself into the chains of your whims. For you cannot make a true map of a city by sitting in your bedroom with your eyes shut and drawing lines upon paper according to impulse. You must walk through the city and draw lines on paper that correspond with what you see. If seeing the city unclearly, you think you can shift line just a little to the right, just a little to the left, according to caprice this is just the same mistake.
Eliezer Yudkowsky
The eccentric passion of Shankly was underlined for me by my England team-mate Roger Hunt's version of the classic tale of the Liverpool manager's pre-game talk before playing Manchester United. The story has probably been told a thousand times in and out of football, and each time you hear it there are different details, but when Roger told it the occasion was still fresh in his mind and I've always believed it to be the definitive account. It was later on the same day, as Roger and I travelled together to report for England duty, after we had played our bruising match at Anfield. Ian St John had scored the winner, then squared up to Denis Law, with Nobby finally sealing the mood of the afternoon by giving the Kop the 'V' sign. After settling down in our railway carriage, Roger said, 'You may have lost today, but you would have been pleased with yourself before the game. Shanks mentioned you in the team talk. When he says anything positive about the opposition, normally he never singles out players.' According to Roger, Shankly burst into the dressing room in his usual aggressive style and said, 'We're playing Manchester United this afternoon, and really it's an insult that we have to let them on to our field because we are superior to them in every department, but they are in the league so I suppose we have to play them. In goal Dunne is hopeless- he never knows where he is going. At right back Brennan is a straw- any wind will blow him over. Foulkes the centre half kicks the ball anywhere. On the left Tony Dunne is fast but he only has one foot. Crerand couldn't beat a tortoise. It's true David Herd has got a fantastic shot, but if Ronnie Yeats can point him in the right direction he's likely to score for us. So there you are, Manchester United, useless...' Apparently it was at this point the Liverpool winger Ian Callaghan, who was never known to whisper a single word on such occasions, asked, 'What about Best, Law and Charlton, boss?' Shankly paused, narrowed his eyes, and said, 'What are you saying to me, Callaghan? I hope you're not saying we cannot play three men.
Bobby Charlton (Sir Bobby Charlton: The Autobiography: My Manchester United Years)
The wind rose, whipping at Gregori's solid form, lashing his body,ripping at the waves of black hair so that it streamed around his face. His expression was impassive, the pale silver eyes cold and merciless, unblinking and fixed on his prey. The attack came from sky and ground simultaneously; slivers of sharpened wood shot through the air on the wild winds,aimed directly at Gregori. The wolves leapt for him,eyes glowing hotly in the night. The army of the dead moved relentlessly forward, pressing toward Gregori's lone figure. His hands moved, a complicated pattern drected at the approaching army;then he was whirling, a flowing wind of motion beautiful to the eye,so fast that he blurred. Yelps and howls accompanied bodies flying through the air. Wolves landed to lie motionless at his feet. His expression never changed. There was no hint of anger or emotion,no sign of fear,no break in concentration. He simply acted as the need arose. The skeletons were mowed down by a wall of flame, an orange-red conflagration that rose in the night sky and danced furiously for a brief moment. The army withered into ashes, leaving only a pile of blackened dust that spewed across the street in the ferocious onslaught of the wind. Savannah felt Gregori wince, the pain that sliced though him just before he shut out all sensation.She whirled to face him and saw a sharpened stake portruding from his right shoulder. Even as she saw it, Gregori jerked it free.Blood gushed,spraying the area around him.Just as quickly it stopped,as if cut off midstream. The winds rose to a thunderous pitch, a whirling gale of debris above their heads like the funnel cloud of a tornado. The black cloud spun faster and paster,threatening to suck everything and everyone up into its center where the malevolent red eye stared at them with hatred. The tourists screamed in fear,and even the guide grabbed for a lamppost to hang on grimly.Gregori stood alone,the winds assaulting him,tearing at him, reaching for him.As the whirling column threatened him from above, sounding like the roar of a freight train, he merely clapped his hands, then waved to send a backdraft slamming into the dark entity.The vampire screamed his rage. The thick black cloud sucked in on itself with an audible soumd, hovering in the air, waiting, watching, silent. Evil.No one moved.No one dared to breathe. Suddenly the churning black entity gathered itself and streamed across the night sky,racing away from the hunter over the French Quarter and toward the swamp.Gregori launched himself into the air,shape-shifting as he did so,ducking the bolts of white-hot energy and slashing stakes flying in the turbulant air.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
She was too compelling to look at directly. Bright like the sun, bright and terrible. Only one other being could look upon her, and that was Death. And so…they became lovers.” He said the word like a caress, like velvet again, and my face began to heat. “Together they forged great and hellish things,” Jesse murmured. “Lightning and waterfalls that churned into clouds off the tip of the world. Chasms so winding deep that daylight never traced their endings. They dreamed through golden days and silvered nights. All the other creatures envied or adored them, because Death and the Elemental were destruction and creation joined as One. In the natural order of things, they should not have been stronger joined. And yet they were.” He shifted, coming closer to me. A hand settled lightly atop my chest, directly over my heart. At our feet the seawater splashed a little, as if disturbed by something rolling over in the dark, distant deep. “Centuries passed, and mankind began to devour the earth, even the wildest places. They had tools to invent and wars to fight and grubby, short lives. Nothing about them dwelled in the magic of the ancient spirits. So although Death, the Great Hunter, prospered as he sieved through their villages, the Elemental, strong as she once was, thinned into a web of gossamer. Human lives simply tore her apart.” His hand was so warm. Warmer than I, warmer than the air, and still just barely touching me. The light behind my lids never lifted, so I knew he wasn’t glowing, but it felt as if he held a tame coal to my skin. It felt like something painless and ablaze, drawing my heart upward into it. “The time had come for them to divide. Like all the rest of her kind, the goddess would cease to exist; she had no other course. So Death and the Elemental severed their joined hearts. For a few generations more, she drifted alone through the last of the sacred places, deserts, and fjords, lands so savage no human had yet desecrated them.” Jesse’s voice dropped to a whisper. Without moving his hand, he bent down, his breath in my ear. “And Death, who had tasted her brightness, who would never cease to crave it-who knew her better than all the collected souls of all mankind’s weeping dead-became her Hunter.” I was hot and strange. I was light and lighter, and curiously my breath came so slow. “Until at last, one starry night beneath the desert moon, she surrendered to him. She allowed him to come to her, to make love to her. To unravel her…” It was happening. He sat next to her and bore witness to her change, her pulse slowing, her skin blanching, the fans of her lashes stark against the contours of her face. He kept his palm there against her chest, up and down with her respiration, and watched the smoke begin to curl around his fingers. “And by his hand, in the bliss of her unraveling, she touched the stars…” Lora’s breath hitched. Her heart skipped-then stopped. If I could take this from you, Jesse thought fiercely. If I could take this one moment away from you and keep the agony for myself- Her eyes opened, went instantly to his. Panic lit her gaze. Then she was gone. His fingers sank to the floor through her empty blouse, and the blue dragon smoke that was all of Eleanore Jones rose into strands above him.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
It's a fine day for a prayer. But then, most days are.' 'That's what you were doing? Praying?' At his nod, I asked, 'For what do you petition the gods?' He raised his brows. 'Petition?' 'Isn't that what prayer is? Begging the gods to give you what you want?' He laughed, his voice deep as a booming wind, but kinder. 'I suppose that is how some men pray. Not I. Not anymore.' 'What do you mean?' 'Oh, I think that children pray so, to find a lost doll or that Father will bring home a good haul of fish, or that no one will discover a forgotten chore. Children think they know what is best for themselves, and do not fear to ask the divine for it. But I have been a man for many years, and I should be shamed if I did not know better by now.' I eased my back into a more comfortable position against the railing. I suppose if you are used to the swaying of a ship, it might be restful. My muscles constantly fought against it, and I was beginning to ache in every limb. 'So. How does a man pray, then?' He looked on me with amusement, then levered himself down to sit beside me. 'Don't you know? How do you pray, then?' 'I don't.' And then I rethought, and laughed aloud. 'Unless I'm terrified. Then I suppose I pray as a child does. 'Get me out of this, and I'll never be so stupid again. Just let me live.' He laughed with me. 'Well, it looks as if, so far, your prayers have been granted. And have you kept your promise to the divine?' I shook my head, smiling ruefully. 'I'm afraid not. I just find a new direction to be foolish in.' 'Exactly. So do we all. Hence, I've learned I am not wise enough to ask the divine for anything.' 'So. How do you pray then, if you are not asking for something?' 'Ah. Well, prayer for me is more listening than asking. And, after all these years, I find I have but one prayer left. It has taken me a lifetime to find my prayer, and I think it is the same one that all men find, if they but ponder on it longer enough.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
The Sun burned down in a warm contrasting world of white and black, of white Sun against black sky and white rolling ground mottled with black shadow. The bright sweet smell of the Sun on every exposed square centimeter of metal contrasting with the creeping death-of-aroma on the other side. He lifted his hand and stared at it, counting the fingers. Hot-hot-hot-turning, putting each finger, one by one, into the shadow of the others and the hot slowly dying in a change in tactility that made him feel the clean, comfortable vacuum. Yet not entirely vacuum. He straightened and lifted both arms over his head, stretching them out, and the sensitive spots on either wrist felt the vapors- the thin, faint touch of tin and lead rolling through the cloy of mercury. The thicker taste rose from his feet; the silicates of each variety, marked by the clear separate-and-together touch and tang of each metal ion. He moved one foot slowly through the crunchy, caked dust, and felt the changes like a soft, not quite random symphony. And over all the Sun. He looked up at it, large and fat and bright and hot, and heard its joy. He watched the slow rise of prominences around its rim and listened to the crackling sound of each; and to the other happy noises over the broad face. When he dimmed the background light, the red of the rising wisps of hydrogen showed in bursts of mellow contralto, and the deep bass of the spots amid the muted whistling of the wispy, moving faculae, and the occasional thin keening of a flare, the ping-pong ticking of gamma rays and cosmic particles, and over all in every direction the soft, fainting, and ever-renewed sigh of the Sun's substance rising and retreating forever in a cosmic wind which reached out and bathed him in glory. He jumped, and rose slowly in the air with a freedom he had never felt, and jumped again when he landed, and ran, and jumped, and ran again, with a body that responded perfectly to this glorious world, this paradise in which he found himself.
Isaac Asimov (The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories)
After All This" After all this love, after the birds rip like scissors through the morning sky, after we leave, when the empty bed appears like a collapsed galaxy, or the wake of disturbed air behind a plane, after that, as the wind turns to stone, as the leaves shriek, you are still breathing inside my own breath. The lighthouse on the far point still sweeps away the darkness with the brush of an arm. The tides inside your heart still pull me towards you. After all this, what are these words but mollusk shells a child plays with? What could say more than the eloquence of last night’s constellations? or the storm anchored by its own flashes behind the far mountains? I remember the way your body wavers under my touch like the northern lights. After all this, I want the certainty of hidden roots spreading in all directions from their tree. I want to hear again the sky tangled in your voice. Some nights I can hear the footsteps of the stars. How can these words ever reveal the secret that waits in their sleeping light? The words that walk through my mind say only what has already passed. Beyond, the swallows are still knitting the wind. After a while, the smokebush will turn to fire. After a while, the thin moon will grow like a tear in a curtain. Under it, a small boy kicks a ball against the wall of a burned out house. He is too young to remember the war. He hardly knows the emptiness that kindles around him. He can speak the language of early birds outside our window. Someday he will know this kind of love that changes the color of the sky, and frees the earth from its moorings. Sometimes I kiss your eyes to see beyond what I can imagine. Sometimes I think I can speak the language of unborn stars. I think the whole earth breathes with you. After all this, these words are all I have to say what is impossible to think, what shy dreams hide in the rafters of my heart, because these words are only a form of touch, only tell you I have no life that isn’t yours, and no death you couldn’t turn into a life.
Richard Jackson (Resonance)
Reflecting back on the journey to the “Great Outdoors” places me in a different tonal mood, filled up with hope and passion, not resentful, suppressed relics of anger unresolved Did you listen to the winds? What did you hear? Did you listen to the trees? What knowledge did they bring you? Did you listen to the birds? What songs did they sing to you? Did you listen to the Universe(s)? What messages did they bring you? Did you listen to the ancestors? What hope did they send you? Did you really listen? Close your eyes and open up your full heart and listen again Not for me Do it 4 UrSelf Do it 4 tha Future Look beyond UrSelf Open up UrSelf Love ThySelf Quiet the chatter of your mind, close the racing tracks and be still and quiet so that U can hear what they’re trying to say to U. Be appreciative for what U have been bestowed and blessed to be stewards of, please do not take this to mean: Destroy, dominate, and control. Let it mean be cognizant of the complexity, respect true biodiversity, respect and honor all Life, allow for balance, and recognize evolutionary adaptability in all of Creation. The winds are blowing good tidings and blessings in this here direction as this one poem comes to a close while striving for the rootedness of an ancient Sequoia so high up in the sky and deeply rooted in our common Mother. Listen to my woes of loneliness and see that will Life all around, NO one is truly lonely or alone.
Irucka Ajani Embry (Balancing the Rift: Reconnectualizing the Pasenture)
The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what’s to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come. Each time you haul yourself up to what you think must surely be the crest, you find that there is in fact more hill beyond, sloped at an angle that kept it from view before, and that beyond that slope there is another, and beyond that another and another, and beyond each of those more still, until it seems impossible that any hill could run on this long. Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs—nearly there now!—but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do? When, after ages and ages, you finally reach the telltale world of truly high ground, where the chilled air smells of pine sap and the vegetation is gnarled and tough and wind bent, and push through to the mountain’s open pinnacle, you are, alas, past caring. You sprawl face down on a sloping pavement of gneiss, pressed to the rock by the weight of your pack, and lie there for some minutes, reflecting in a distant, out-of-body way that you have never before looked this closely at lichen, not in fact looked this closely at anything in the natural world since you were four years old and had your first magnifying glass. Finally, with a weary puff, you roll over, unhook yourself from your pack, struggle to your feet, and realize—again in a remote, light-headed, curiously not-there way—that the view is sensational: a boundless vista of wooded mountains, unmarked by human hand, marching off in every direction. This really could be heaven.
Bill Bryson
I know that everyone in this room, Bernie Fain included, thinks I'm some kind of a nut with my so-called fixation on this vampire thing. OK, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he only thinks he is. But there are things here that can't be explained away by so-called common sense. Not even Bernie's report can explain some of them. 'I was at the hospital yesterday.' I looked directly at Butcher. 'Your own people fired maybe fifty or sixty rounds at him, some at point-blank range. How come this man never even slowed down? How come a man seventy years old can outrun police cars for more than fifteen blocks? How come when he gets clubbed on the head he doesn't bleed like other people? Look at these photos! There's a gash on his forehead... and whatever is trickling down from the cut is clear... it isn't blood. 'How come three great, big, burly hospital orderlies weighing an estimated total of nearly seven-hundred fifty pounds couldn't bring one, skinny one-hundred sixty pound man to his knees? How come an ex-boxer, a light-heavyweight not long out of the ring, couldn't even faze him with his best punch, a right hook that should have broken his jaw? 'Face it. Whether it's science, witchcraft or black magic, this character has got something going for him you don't know anything about. He doesn't seem to feel pain. Or get winded. And he doesn't seem to be very frightened by guns, or discouraged by your efforts to trap him. 'Look at these photos! Look at that face! That isn't fear there. It's hate. Pure hate! This man is evil incarnate. He is insane and he may be something even worse although you'd laugh at me because I have no scientific documentation to back me up. Hell, even Regenhaus and Mokurji have all but confirmed that he sucks blood. 'Whatever he is, he's been around a long time and this seems to be the closest any police force has come to putting the finger on him. If you want to go on operating the way you've been doing by treating him like an ordinary man, go ahead. But, I'll bet you any amount of money you come up empty handed again. If you try to catch him at night he'll get away just like he did last night. He'll...' 'Jesus Christ!' bellowed Butcher. 'This son of a bitch has diarrhea of the mouth. Can't one of you people shut him up?
Jeff Rice (The Night Stalker)
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam’s waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream, and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch, and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam’s curse. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing toward Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down. All at once, I saw what looked like a Martian spaceship whirling towards me in the air. It flashed borrowed light like a propeller. Its forward motion greatly outran its fall. As I watched, transfixed, it rose, just before it would have touched a thistle, and hovered pirouetting in one spot, then twirled on and finally came to rest. I found it in the grass; it was a maple key…Hullo. I threw it into the wind and it flew off again, bristling with animate purpose, not like a thing dropped or windblown, pushed by the witless winds of convection currents hauling round the world’s rondure where they must, but like a creature muscled and vigorous, or a creature spread thin to that other wind, the wind of the spirit that bloweth where it listeth, lighting, and raising up, and easing down. O maple key, I thought, I must confess I thought, o welcome, cheers. And the bell under my ribs rang a true note, a flourish of blended horns, clarion, sweet, and making a long dim sense I will try at length to explain. Flung is too harsh a word for the rush of the world. Blown is more like it, but blown by a generous, unending breath. That breath never ceases to kindle, exuberant, abandoned; frayed splinters spatter in every direction and burgeon into flame. And now when I sway to a fitful wind, alone and listing, I will think, maple key. When I see a photograph of earth from outer space, the planet so startlingly painterly and hung, I will think, maple key. When I shake your hand or meet your eyes, I will think two maple keys. If I am maple key falling, at least I can twirl. Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It’s no self-conscious, so apparently moral, simple to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Ezekiel excoriates false prophets who have “not gone up into the gaps.” The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once blind man unbound. The gaps are the cliffs in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fjords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock- more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend the afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)