Family Is Like A Branches Quotes

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To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
If families resemble trees, as they say, arborescent structures with entangled roots and individual branches jutting out at awkward angles, family traumas are like thick, translucent resin dripping from a cut in the bark. They trickle down generations.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
The gingko tree leans lazily against the facing wall or perhaps it supports it; Stephen cannot be sure. The dense ridges of its bark now appear like rippled sand with, here and there, pools left behind by the tide. The bark is pocked with white spots, holed and crinkled with age, seemingly dead but for the life sprouting in its leaves, so smooth, so green, so deep. How remarkable this tree is, how changeable, how mysterious its leaves and branches and trunk … how infinite. Stephen reaches for another pipe. The smoke rubs out his yesterdays and tomorrows. There is only now, this tree, this pipe. Another pipe, ah, another pipe.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Every time she tried to branch out to new projects, they kept insisting that Asian was her brand, was what her audience expected. They never let her talk about anything other than being an immigrant, other than the fact that half her family died in Cambodia, that her dad killed himself on the twentieth anniversary of Tiananmen. Racial trauma sells, right? They treated her like a museum
R.F. Kuang (Yellowface)
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))
What a thing to acknowledge in your heart! To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures to people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing-I’m sorry, I would rather not go on.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I, too, like to read. Once a month, I go to the local branch. For myself, I pick a novel and, for Bruno, with his cataracts, a book on tape. At first Bruno was doubtful. “What am I supposed to do with this?” he said, looking at the box set of “Anna Karenina” as if I’d handed him an enema. And yet. A day or two later I was going about my business when a voice from above bellowed, ALL HAPPY FAMILIES RESEMBLE ONE ANOTHER, nearly giving me a conniption. After that, he listened to whatever I’d brought him at top volume and then returned it to me without comment. One afternoon, I came back from the library with Ulysses. For a month straight he listened. He had a habit of pressing the stop button and rewinding when he hadn’t fully grasped something. INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT. Pause, rewind. INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE. Pause, rewind. INELUCTABLE MODALITY. Pause. INELUCT.
Nicole Krauss
You can come to your friends with a problem and they will most usually blurt out a set of orders based entirely upon their own lives, which they believe you should follow. There is no thought process that goes into it, no internalization, no ingestion of your own pain into their own stomachs. I believe this is why, about a million people come to me with their problems rather than turning to their closest friends and family members; because I'm like that ancient tree with protruding roots, you can sit under my branches and as you cry I will soak your tears into me. We don't actually need humans with their many thoughtless advices. We need to be sitting under trees, asking roots to share in our pains.
C. JoyBell C.
Myth is promiscuous, not dogmatic. It moves like a lively river through swarthy packs of reindeer, great aristocratic families, and the wild gestures of an Iranian carpet seller. Myth is not much to do with the past, but a kind of magical present that can flood our lives when the conditions are just so. It is not just the neurosis of us humans trying to fathom our place on earth, but sometimes the earth actually speaking back to us. That's why some stories can be hard to approach, they are not necessarily formed from a human point of view.
Martin Shaw (A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace of Wildness)
She saw beauty in ordinary little things and took pleasure in it (and this was just as well because she had had very little pleasure in her life). She took pleasure in a well-made cake, a smoothly ironed napkin, a pretty blouse, laundered and pressed; she liked to see the garden well dug, the rich soil brown and gravid; she loved her flowers. When you are young you are too busy with yourself... you haven't time for ordinary little things but, when you leave youth behind, your eyes open and you see magic and mystery all around you: magic in the flight of a bird, the shape of a leaf, the bold arch of a bridge against the sky, footsteps at night and a voice calling in the darkness, the moment in a theatre before the curtain rises, the wind in the trees, or (in winter) an apple-branch clothed with pure white snow and icicles hanging from from a stone and sparkling with rainbow colours.
D.E. Stevenson (Vittoria Cottage (Dering Family #1))
And somehow Hallie thrived anyway--the blossom of our family, like one of those miraculous fruit trees that taps into an invisible vein of nurture and bears radiant bushels of plums while the trees around it merely go on living. In Grace, in the old days, when people found one of those in their orchard they called it the semilla besada--the seed that got kissed. Sometimes you'd run across one that people had come to, and returned to, in hopes of a blessing. The branches would be festooned like a Christmas tree of family tokens: a baby sock, a pair of broken reading glasses, the window envelope of a pension check.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
But if we are all God’s children, why does God spend so much time in history ordering one branch of his universal family to wipe out another branch? Why did his love for his Jewish children have to be expressed by the extermination of his Palestinian children? Why did he later abandon his Jewish children in favour of his Christian children and encourage his new favourites to torment their older siblings? Why did he order his Muslim children who worship him as One to persecute his pagan children who worship him as Many? Why is there so much violence in religious history, all done by groups who claim God is on their side? Unless you are prepared to believe that God actually plays favourites like some kind of demented tyrant, then there are only two ways out of this dilemma. The obvious one is to decide that there is no God. What is called God is a human invention used, among other things, to justify humankind’s love of violence and hatred of strangers. Getting rid of God won’t solve the problem of human violence but it will remove one of its pretexts.
Richard Holloway (A Little History of Religion)
They stopped right in front of a grandfather tree with a deep knothole between two arm-like branches. The kids glanced at each other, but did not speak a word.
James Barbato (The Magic Christmas Ornament)
like the branches of a tree / I am an extension of you / my heart and soul / firmly and effortlessly / embedded in your roots.
Jill Biden (Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself)
The boy went back to his family there, in the distance, in a distance he did not find there in the distance. My grandfather died counting sunsets, seasons, and heartbeats on the fingers of his withered hands. He dropped like a fruit forbidden a branch to lean its age against. They destroyed his heart. He wearied of waiting here, in Damur. He said goodbye to friends, water pipe, and children and took me and went back to find what was no longer his to find there. Here the number of aliens increased, and refugee camps got bigger. A war went by, then two, three, and four. The homeland got farther and farther away, and the children got farther and farther from mother's milk after they had tasted the milk of UNRWA. So they bought guns to get closer to a homeland flying out of their reach. They brought their identity back into being, re-created the homeland, and followed their path, only to have it blocked by the guardians of civil wars. They defended their steps, but then path parted from path, the orphan lived in the skin of the orphan, and one refugee camp went into another.
Mahmoud Darwish
This appeared to impress her, and she branched off to remark, with an irrelevance that characterised her, that she didn't care anything about a man's family if she liked the man himself; she thought families were played out.
Henry James (The Princess Casamassima)
Losing myself interests me. The fertile topsoil interests me, sprawling beneath a light dusting of snow, and the snow that crams the trunks and branches of the pines and elms and redwoods, having frozen up their roots, subdues me to consider life and death. What lurks beneath the ground? Surely dead seeds and frozen worms reside deep below that earth, and surely all those presentiments of life lying dormant, dead or dying, scattered and mute, like memories.
S.K. Kalsi
nascent, underfunded Supreme Court. Recent biographies of the great Chief Justice tell how John Marshall used the camaraderie of boardinghouse tables and common rooms, also madeira, to dispel dissent and achieve the one-voiced Opinion of the Court, which he usually composed and delivered himself. The unanimity John Marshall strived to maintain helped the swordless Third Branch fend off attacks from the political branches.9 Although Chief Justice Marshall strictly separated his Court and family life, he did not lack affection for his wife. In a letter from Philadelphia in 1797, John Marshall told Polly of his longing. “I like [the big city] well enough for a day or two,” he wrote Polly, “but I then
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (My Own Words)
Whatever are Snorks?" "Don't you really know what a Snork is?" said Snufkin in amazement. "They must be the same family as you, I should think, because they look the same, except that they aren't often white. They can be any color in the world (like an Easter egg), and they change color when they get upset." Moomintroll looked quite angry. "Well!" he said. "I've never heard of that branch of the family. A real Moomintroll is always white. Changing color indeed! What an idea!
Tove Jansson (Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, #2))
Trees are like people and give the answers to the way of Man. They grow from the top down. Children, like treetops, have flexibility of youth, and sway more than larger adults at the bottom. They are more vulnerable to the elements, and are put to the test of survival by life's strong winds, rain, freezing cold, and hot sun. Constantly challenged. As they mature, they journey down the tree, strengthening the family unit until one day they have become big hefty branches. In the stillness below, having weathered the seasons, they now relax in their old age, no longer subject to the stress from above. It's always warmer and more enclosed at the base of the tree. The members remain protected and strong as they bear the weight and give support to the entire tree. They have the endurance.
Ralph Helfer (Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived)
The little girl spent most of her hours of leisure in the branches. When her family did not know where to find her, they would go to the trees, the tall beech to start with, the one that stood to the north above the lean-to, for that was where she liked to daydream
Muriel Barbery (The Life of Elves)
Hamish’s family were unusual in that they had always celebrated Christmas—tree, turkey, presents and all. In parts of the Highlands, like Lochdubh, the old spirit of John Knox still wandered, blasting anyone with hellfire should they dare to celebrate this heathen festival. Hamish had often pointed out that none other than Luther was credited with the idea of the Christmas tree, having been struck by the sight of stars shining through the branches of an evergreen. But to no avail. Lochdubh lay silent and dark beside the black waters of the loch.
M.C. Beaton (A Highland Christmas (Hamish Macbeth, #15.5))
Your entire being is like a tree. Your family and friends only touch specific parts of it - mostly the fruits, maybe some branches. A large part of you remains untouched. You feel like a machine, you feel dead inside. You shout, snap, and sulk at random things, or silently suffer. How to tell them that you want your entire being acknowledged? Or maybe you yourself have forgotten your entire being. That’s why you need a person or a deity, a mortal or immortal, who is like air, who doesn’t want anything specific from you, who touches every inch of your being, who makes you feel alive.
Like all Arabians, the Jews spoke of God as al-Lah, the high one, and often used the honorific that would become familiar in the Quran, ar-Rahman, the merciful, just as the newly completed Babylonian Talmud used Rahmana. It seemed clear to Muhammad that Jews and Muslims were the common descendants of Abraham, the first hanif: two branches of the same monotheistic family. They were cousins, not strangers. And since the Jews were the original upholders of din Ibrahim, the tradition of Abraham, he took it for granted that he would have not merely their assent, but their enthusiastic support.
Lesley Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad)
Principles of Liberty 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders. 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. 6. All men are created equal. 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure. 15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. 16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people. 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. 21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. 23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education. 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Founding Fathers
Can you imagine how different things would be if our families hated each other? If they were feuding like the First Methodists and the Cavalry Baptists?” “I bet it’d be a whole lot less complicated, to tell you the truth. Heck, we probably would’ve already run off together or something by now.” “Probably so,” I say, a smile tugging at my lips.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Finally, the cognomen, a personal surname, was particular to its holder or his branch of the family. It often had a jokey or down-to-earth ring: so, for example, “Cicero” is Latin for “chickpea” and it was supposed that some ancestor had had a wart of that shape on the end of his nose. When Marcus was about to launch his career as an advocate and politician, friends advised him to change his name to something less ridiculous. “No,” he replied firmly, “I am going to make my cognomen more famous than those of men like Scaurus and Catulus.” These were two leading Romans of the day, and the point of the remark was that “Catulus” was the Latin for “whelp” or “puppy,” and “Scaurus” meant “with large or projecting ankles.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
The Atonist nobility knew it was impossible to organize and control a worldwide empire from Britain. The British Isles were geographically too far West for effective management. In order to be closer to the “markets,” the Atonist corporate executives coveted Rome. Additionally, by way of their armed Templar branch and incessant murderous “Crusades,” they succeeded making inroads further east. Their double-headed eagle of control reigned over Eastern and Western hemispheres. The seats of Druidic learning once existed in the majority of lands, and so the Atonist or Christian system spread out in similar fashion. Its agents were sent from Britain and Rome to many a region and for many a dark purpose. To this very day, the nobility of Europe and the east are controlled from London and Rome. Nothing has changed when it comes to the dominion of Aton. As Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe have proven, the Culdean monks, of whom we write, had been hired for generations as tutors to elite families throughout Europe. In their book The Knights Templar Revealed, the authors highlight the role played by Culdean adepts tutoring the super-wealthy and influential Catholic dynasties of Burgundy, Champagne and Lorraine, France. Research into the Templars and their affiliated “Salt Line” dynasties reveals that the seven great Crusades were not instigated and participated in for the reasons mentioned in most official history books. As we show here, the Templars were the military wing of British and European Atonists. It was their job to conquer lands, slaughter rivals and rebuild the so-called “Temple of Solomon” or, more correctly, Akhenaton’s New World Order. After its creation, the story of Jesus was transplanted from Britain, where it was invented, to Galilee and Judea. This was done so Christianity would not appear to be conspicuously Druidic in complexion. To conceive Christianity in Britain was one thing; to birth it there was another. The Atonists knew their warped religion was based on ancient Amenism and Druidism. They knew their Jesus, Iesus or Yeshua, was based on Druidic Iesa or Iusa, and that a good many educated people throughout the world knew it also. Their difficulty concerned how to come up with a believable king of light sufficiently appealing to the world’s many pagan nations. Their employees, such as St. Paul (Josephus Piso), were allowed to plunder the archive of the pagans. They were instructed to draw from the canon of stellar gnosis and ancient solar theologies of Egypt, Chaldea and Ireland. The archetypal elements would, like ingredients, simply be tossed about and rearranged and, most importantly, the territory of the new godman would be resituated to suit the meta plan.
Michael Tsarion (The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume One: The Servants of Truth: Druidic Traditions & Influence Explored)
There are all different kinds of crazy, but mostly I think it’s ancestral. Sometimes you can even trace it back along the dead branches of your family tree; you can find evidence in family anecdotes or documents. A sepia-stained photograph. A diary. You might think you’ve escaped its reach—you might think you’re okay. Because it can lie dormant like a tumor, until some gentle, private trauma pushes it loose inside you.
Jeanine Cummins (The Crooked Branch)
Antidepression medication is temperamental. Somewhere around fifty-nine or sixty I noticed the drug I’d been taking seemed to have stopped working. This is not unusual. The drugs interact with your body chemistry in different ways over time and often need to be tweaked. After the death of Dr. Myers, my therapist of twenty-five years, I’d been seeing a new doctor whom I’d been having great success with. Together we decided to stop the medication I’d been on for five years and see what would happen... DEATH TO MY HOMETOWN!! I nose-dived like the diving horse at the old Atlantic City steel pier into a sloshing tub of grief and tears the likes of which I’d never experienced before. Even when this happens to me, not wanting to look too needy, I can be pretty good at hiding the severity of my feelings from most of the folks around me, even my doctor. I was succeeding well with this for a while except for one strange thing: TEARS! Buckets of ’em, oceans of ’em, cold, black tears pouring down my face like tidewater rushing over Niagara during any and all hours of the day. What was this about? It was like somebody opened the floodgates and ran off with the key. There was NO stopping it. 'Bambi' tears... 'Old Yeller' tears... 'Fried Green Tomatoes' tears... rain... tears... sun... tears... I can’t find my keys... tears. Every mundane daily event, any bump in the sentimental road, became a cause to let it all hang out. It would’ve been funny except it wasn’t. Every meaningless thing became the subject of a world-shattering existential crisis filling me with an awful profound foreboding and sadness. All was lost. All... everything... the future was grim... and the only thing that would lift the burden was one-hundred-plus on two wheels or other distressing things. I would be reckless with myself. Extreme physical exertion was the order of the day and one of the few things that helped. I hit the weights harder than ever and paddleboarded the equivalent of the Atlantic, all for a few moments of respite. I would do anything to get Churchill’s black dog’s teeth out of my ass. Through much of this I wasn’t touring. I’d taken off the last year and a half of my youngest son’s high school years to stay close to family and home. It worked and we became closer than ever. But that meant my trustiest form of self-medication, touring, was not at hand. I remember one September day paddleboarding from Sea Bright to Long Branch and back in choppy Atlantic seas. I called Jon and said, “Mr. Landau, book me anywhere, please.” I then of course broke down in tears. Whaaaaaaaaaa. I’m surprised they didn’t hear me in lower Manhattan. A kindly elderly woman walking her dog along the beach on this beautiful fall day saw my distress and came up to see if there was anything she could do. Whaaaaaaaaaa. How kind. I offered her tickets to the show. I’d seen this symptom before in my father after he had a stroke. He’d often mist up. The old man was usually as cool as Robert Mitchum his whole life, so his crying was something I loved and welcomed. He’d cry when I’d arrive. He’d cry when I left. He’d cry when I mentioned our old dog. I thought, “Now it’s me.” I told my doc I could not live like this. I earned my living doing shows, giving interviews and being closely observed. And as soon as someone said “Clarence,” it was going to be all over. So, wisely, off to the psychopharmacologist he sent me. Patti and I walked in and met a vibrant, white-haired, welcoming but professional gentleman in his sixties or so. I sat down and of course, I broke into tears. I motioned to him with my hand; this is it. This is why I’m here. I can’t stop crying! He looked at me and said, “We can fix this.” Three days and a pill later the waterworks stopped, on a dime. Unbelievable. I returned to myself. I no longer needed to paddle, pump, play or challenge fate. I didn’t need to tour. I felt normal.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
By visiting their pasts, they were able to pave different futures together. She used to fantasize about what it would be like to have simple ties to her family tree instead of the twisted branches that are in theirs. But she knows now tat she wouldn't want to be any other way. They still aren't always in perfect harmony with one another, but maybe that isn't the point. Maybe being whole and authentic with the people you love is the real victory.
Saumya Dave (What a Happy Family)
Often, half in a bay of the mountains and half on a headland, a small and nearly amphibian Schloss mouldered in the failing light among the geese and the elder-bushes and the apple trees. Dank walls rose between towers that were topped with cones of moulting shingle. Weeds throve in every cranny. Moss mottled the walls. Fissures branched like forked lightning across damp masonry which the rusting iron clamps tried to hold together, and buttresses of brick shored up the perilously leaning walls. The mountains, delaying sunrise and hastening dusk, must have halved again the short winter days. Those buildings looked too forlorn for habitation. But, in tiny, creeper-smothered windows, a faint light would show at dusk. Who lived in those stone-flagged rooms where the sun never came? Immured in those six-foot-thick walls, overgrown outside with the conquering ivy and within by genealogical trees all moulting with mildew? My thoughts flew at once to solitary figures…a windowed descendant of a lady-in-waiting at the court of Charlemagne, alone with the Sacred Heart and her beads, or a family of wax-pale barons, recklessly inbred; bachelors with walrus moustaches, bent double with rheumatism, shuddering from room to room and coughing among their lurchers, while their cleft palates called to each other down corridors that were all but pitch dark.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (A Time of Gifts (Trilogy, #1))
He had not colored the leaves in yet, and the trunk and its branches looked for the moment less like a tree and more like a great brown river, the Nile, the Amazon, the Benedetto and Flynn river of blood, and there at its isthmus was this one child, so that it seemed that all of these people, from Poland, from Italy, from Ireland and the Bronx and Brooklyn, had come together for no other reason than to someday produce Robert Benedetto, in an event as meant, as important as that one in Bethlehem that he had learned about in catechism class at St. Stannie's.
Anna Quindlen (Black and Blue)
The warbling of birds emerged from the wind-swept trees flanking the road; the swishing branches tangled together overhead like kissing tongues. Children shrieked as they hopped off school buses and raced each other home. Lawn mowers purred like great mechanical cats, delighted with their dinners of shredded grass. The road unraveled through such forested neighborhoods, the kind where families host barbecues and children still ride bikes after sunset and porches creak under the weight of seasonal decor. The kind where kidnappings are flukes and horned men are freaks of nature.
Angela Panayotopulos (The Wake Up)
You know those tragic stories where two kids from feuding families fall in love? Okay, flip that inside out and turn it on its head and you’ve got our story, Ryder’s and mine. It all began like this: On April 6, 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh, Captain Jeremiah D. Marsden--that’s Ryder’s ancestor--took a minié ball in the left kneecap. Corporal Lewiston G. Cafferty--that’s mine--picked up Captain Marsden and carried him off the field of battle to safety. On his back. More than a mile. Barefoot. At least, that’s how the story goes. Frankly, I’m a little skeptical, but whatever. The point is, the Marsdens and the Caffertys have been like this ever since.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
For the first time in ten years, the March family gathered to perform the Twelfth Night Revels for the village of Blessingstoke, just as they had done in Master Shakespeare’s day. The dragon breathed fire while the Turkish Knight brandished his sword at St. George, and when it was finished, the resurrected saint and his sad dragon stood in tableau while the white-robed chorus, of which Portia and I made two, sang of the blood-berried holly and the sweetly clinging ivy. Rather like Brisbane and myself, I thought fancifully. Both evergreen and hardy, one sturdy, one tenacious, and forever undivided. But now there was a new little branch grafted to our union.
Deanna Raybourn (Twelfth Night (Lady Julia Grey, #5.6))
From the pleasure podium of Ali Qapu, beyond the enhanced enclosure, the city spread itself towards the horizon. Ugly buildings are prohibited in Esfahan. They go to Tehran or stay in Mashhad. Planters vie with planners to outnumber buildings with trees. Attracting nightingales, blackbirds and orioles is considered as important as attracting people. Maples line the canals, reaching towards each other with branches linked. Beneath them, people meander, stroll and promenade. The Safavids' high standards generated a kind of architectural pole-vaulting competition in which beauty is the bar, and ever since the Persians have been imbuing the most mundane objects with design. Turquoise tiles ennoble even power stations. In the meadow in the middle of Naghshe Jahan, as lovers strolled or rode in horse-drawn traps, I lay on my back picking four-leafed clovers and looking at the sky. There was an intimacy about its grandeur, like having someone famous in your family. The life of centuries past was more alive here than anywhere else, its physical dimensions unchanged. Even the brutal mountains, folded in light and shadows beyond the square, stood back in awe of it. At three o'clock, the tiled domes soaked up the sunshine, transforming its invisible colours to their own hue, and the gushing fountains ventilated the breeze and passed it on to grateful Esfahanis. But above all was the soaring sky, captured by this snare of arches.(p378)
Christopher Kremmer (The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes)
I bend before you like a branch bending towards the earth, pressing my body against your knees. This is the body that your wife gave birth to. Don’t send me to an early death. It is sweet to see the sun’s light. Do not force me down into the darkness of the Underworld. I was the first child to call you father, the first you called your child. I was the first to sit upon your knee while you fondly kissed me. You used to say to me, “Will I see you one day, happy in your husband’s house, bringing honor to your family?” And I would say to you, as I pulled upon your beard, the same beard I now caress, “And what about you, Father? Will I welcome you into my house, when you are an old man, and take care of you in thanks for all the years that you took care of me?” I remember every word we said, but you have forgotten them, and now you are planning to end my life.
An impressive gentleman,” he remarked casually. “The general’s kinsman, I mean. Wouldn’t think they were related to look at, would you?” Caught up in dying hope and tearing grief, William had barely noticed Colonel Fraser before the latter had so suddenly given him the hat—and been too startled to notice much about him then. He shook his head in agreement, though, having a vague recollection of a tall figure kneeling down by the bed, the firelight touching the crown of his head briefly with red. “Looks more like you than like the brigadier,” Grant added offhandedly, then laughed, a painful creak. “Sure you haven’t a Scottish branch in your family?” “No, Yorkshiremen back to the Flood on both sides, save one French great-grandmother,” William replied, grateful for the momentary distraction of light conversation. “My stepfather’s mother is half Scotch—that count, do you think?
Diana Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross / A Breath of Snow and Ashes / An Echo in the Bone / Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #5-8))
The New York Times recently reported that the most expensive schools are paradoxically cheaper for low-income students. Take, for example, a student whose parents earn thirty thousand per year—not a lot of money but not poverty level, either. That student would pay ten thousand for one of the less selective branch campuses of the University of Wisconsin but would pay six thousand at the school’s flagship Madison campus. At Harvard, the student would pay only about thirteen hundred despite tuition of over forty thousand. Of course, kids like me don’t know this. My buddy Nate, a lifelong friend and one of the smartest people I know, wanted to go to the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, but he didn’t apply because he knew he couldn’t afford it. It likely would have cost him considerably less than Ohio State, just as Yale cost considerably less for me than any other school.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The world of the almanac was a queer one. In the real world, families branched like trees, blood mixed by marriage passed from one generation to the next, making an ever-wider net of connections. Titles, on the other hand, passed from one man to one man, and it was this narrow, linear progression that the almanac liked to highlight. On each side of the title line were a few younger brothers, nephews, cousins, who came close enough to fall within the span of the almanac’s illumination. The men who might have been lord or baronet. And, though it was not said, the men who still might, if the right string of tragedies were to occur. But after a certain number of branchings in the family tree, the names fell out of the margins and into the ether. No combination of shipwreck, plague and earthquake would be powerful enough to restore these third cousins to prominence. The almanac had its limits.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
But in good times his family saw little of him, for then he roamed, fished, hunted, searched for roots, lay in the grass or crouched in trees, sniffed, listened, imitated the voices of animals, kindled little fires and compared the shapes of the smoke clouds with the clouds in the sky, drenched his skin and hair with fog, rain, air, sun, or moonlight, and incidentally gathered, as his Master and predecessor Turu had done in his lifetime, objects whose inner character and outward form seemed to belong to different realms, in which the wisdom or whimsicality of nature seemed to reveal some fragment of her rules and secrets of creation, objects which seemed to unite symbolically widely disparate ideas: gnarled branches with the faces of men or animals, water-polished pebbles grained like wood, petrified animals of the primordial world, misshapen or twinned fruit pits, stones shaped like kidneys or hearts.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
Father Joseph had come to love the tamarisk above all trees. It had been the companion of his wanderings. All along his way through the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, wherever he had come upon a Mexican homestead, out of the sun-baked earth, against the sun-baked adobe walls, the tamarisk waved its feathery plumes of bluish green. The family burro was tied to its trunk, the chickens scratched under it, the dogs slept in its shade, the washing was hung on its branches. Father Latour had often remarked that this tree seemed especially designed in shape and colour for the adobe village. The sprays of bloom which adorn it are merely another shade of the red earth walls, and its fibrous trunk is full of gold and lavender tints. Father Joseph respected the Bishop’s eye for such things, but himself he loved it merely because it was the tree of the people, and was like one of the family in every Mexican household.
Willa Cather (Death Comes for the Archbishop)
Tradition? Kadash, did I ever tell you about my first sword trainer? Back when I was young, our branch of the Kholin family didn't have grand monasteries and beautiful practice grounds. My father found a teacher for me from two towns over. His name was Harth. Young fellow, not a true swordmaster -- but good enough. He was very focused on proper procedure, and wouldn't let me train until I'd learned how to put on a takama the right way. He wouldn't have stood for me fighting like this. You put on the skirt, then the overshirt, then you wrap your cloth belt around yourself three times and tie it. I always found that annoying. The belt was too tight, wrapped three times -- you had to pull it hard to get enough slack to tie the knot. The first time I went to duels at a neighboring town, I felt like an idiot. Everyone else had long drooping belt ends at the front of their takamas. I asked Harth why we did it differently. He said it was the right way, the true way. So, when my travels took me to Harth's hometown, I searched out his master, a man who had trained with the ardents in Kholinar. He insisted that this was the right way to tie a takama, as he'd learned from his master. I found my master's master's master in Kholinar after we captured it. The ancient, wizened ardent was eating curry and flatbread, completely uncaring of who ruled the city. I asked him. Why tie your belt three times, when everyone else thinks you should do it twice? The old man laughed and stood up. I was shocked to see that he was terribly short. 'If I only tie it twice,' he exclaimed, 'the ends hang down so low, I trip!' I love tradition, I've fought for tradition. I make my men follow the codes. I uphold Vorin virtues. But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can't just assume that because something is old it is right.
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive #3, Part 1 of 6))
I was a bird. I lived a bird's life from birth to death. I was born the thirty-second chick in the Jipu family. I remember everything in detail. I remember breaking out of the shell at birth. But I learned later that my mother had gently cracked the shell first to ease my way. I dozed under my mother's chest for the first few days. Her feathers were so warm and soft! I was strong, so I kicked away my siblings to keep the cozy spot. Just 10 days after I was born, I was given flying lessons. We all had to learn quickly because there were snakes and owls and hawks. My little brothers and sisters, who didn't practice enough, all died. My little sister looked so unhappy when she got caught. I can still see her face. Before I could fly, I hadn't known that our nest was on the second-lowest branch of a big tree. My parents chose the location wisely. Snakes could reach the lowest branch and eagles and hawks could attack us if we lived at the top. We soared through the sky, above mountains and forests. But it wasn't just for fun! We always had to watch out for enemies, and to hunt for food. Death was always nearby. You could easily starve or freeze to death. Life wasn't easy. Once, I got caught in a monsoon. I smacked into a tree and lay bleeding for days. Many of my family and friends died, one after another. To help rebuild our clan, I found myself a female and married her. She was so sweet. She laid many eggs, but one day, a human cut down the tree we lived in, crushing all the eggs and my beloved. A bird's life is an endless battle against death. I survived for many years before I finally met my end. I found a worm at some harvest festival. I came fluttering down. It was a bad mistake. Some big guy was waiting to ambush hungry little birdies like me. I heard my own guts pop. It was clear to me that I was going to die at last. And I wanted to know where I'd go when I died.
Osamu Tezuka (Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters (Buddha #2))
From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat toward the shore having caught quite a few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?” The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and [when] evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink—we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.” The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to São Paulo, where you can set up an HQ to manage your other branches.” The fisherman continues, “And after that?” The businessman laughs heartily. “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.” The fisherman asks, “And after that?” The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with [your] kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!” The fisherman was puzzled. “Isn’t that what I am doing now?
Your mother was a fool to give you away,” Hilde grumbled. Lidia arched a brow. “Is that a compliment?” “Take it as you will.” The hag flashed her rotting teeth in a nightmare of a smile. “You’re a born killer—like any true witch. That girl on the throne is as softhearted as your mother. She’ll bring down the entire Valbaran witch-dynasty.” “Alas, my father was a smart negotiator,” Lidia said, making a good show of admiring the ruby ring on her finger, the stone as red as Irithys’s flame. “But enough about me.” She gestured to the hag, then to the sprite. “Irithys, Queen of the Sprites. Hilde, Grand Hag of the Imperial Coven.” “I know who you are,” Irithys said, her voice quiet with leashed rage. She now floated in the center of the orb, her body bloodred. “You put this collar on me.” Hilde again smiled, wide enough to reveal her blackened gums. A lesser person would have cowered at that smile. “I had the honor of doing it to the little bitch who bore the crown before you, too.” Hilde didn’t mean Irithys’s mother, who had never been queen at all. No, when the last Sprite Queen had died, the line had passed to a different branch of the family, with Irithys first to inherit.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Flame and Shadow (Crescent City, #3))
A SOLAR OASIS Like everywhere else in Puerto Rico, the small mountain city of Adjuntas was plunged into total darkness by Hurricane Maria. When residents left their homes to take stock of the damage, they found themselves not only without power and water, but also totally cut off from the rest of the island. Every single road was blocked, either by mounds of mud washed down from the surrounding peaks, or by fallen trees and branches. Yet amid this devastation, there was one bright spot. Just off the main square, a large, pink colonial-style house had light shining through every window. It glowed like a beacon in the terrifying darkness. The pink house was Casa Pueblo, a community and ecology center with deep roots in this part of the island. Twenty years ago, its founders, a family of scientists and engineers, installed solar panels on the center’s roof, a move that seemed rather hippy-dippy at the time. Somehow, those panels (upgraded over the years) managed to survive Maria’s hurricane-force winds and falling debris. Which meant that in a sea of post-storm darkness, Casa Pueblo had the only sustained power for miles around. And like moths to a flame, people from all over the hills of Adjuntas made their way to the warm and welcoming light.
Naomi Klein (The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists)
Roosevelt wouldn't interfere even when he found out that Moses was discouraging Negroes from using many of his state parks. Underlying Moses' strikingly strict policing for cleanliness in his parks was, Frances Perkins realized with "shock," deep distaste for the public that was using them. "He doesn't love the people," she was to say. "It used to shock me because he was doing all these things for the welfare of the people... He'd denounce the common people terribly. To him they were lousy, dirty people, throwing bottles all over Jones Beach. 'I'll get them! I'll teach them!' ... He loves the public, but not as people. The public is just The Public. It's a great amorphous mass to him; it needs to be bathed, it needs to be aired, it needs recreation, but not for personal reasons -- just to make it a better public." Now he began taking measures to limit use of his parks. He had restricted the use of state parks by poor and lower-middle-class families in the first place, by limiting access to the parks by rapid transit; he had vetoed the Long Island Rail Road's proposed construction of a branch spur to Jones Beach for this reason. Now he began to limit access by buses; he instructed Shapiro to build the bridges across his new parkways low -- too low for buses to pass. Bus trips therefore had to be made on local roads, making the trips discouragingly long and arduous. For Negroes, whom he considered inherently "dirty," there were further measures. Buses needed permits to enter state parks; buses chartered by Negro groups found it very difficult to obtain permits, particularly to Moses' beloved Jones Beach; most were shunted to parks many miles further out on Long Island. And even in these parks, buses carrying Negro groups were shunted to the furthest reaches of the parking areas. And Negroes were discouraged from using "white" beach areas -- the best beaches -- by a system Shapiro calls "flagging"; the handful of Negro lifeguards [...] were all stationed at distant, least developed beaches. Moses was convinced that Negroes did not like cold water; the temperature at the pool at Jones Beach was deliberately icy to keep Negroes out. When Negro civic groups from the hot New York City slums began to complain about this treatment, Roosevelt ordered an investigation and an aide confirmed that "Bob Moses is seeking to discourage large Negro parties from picnicking at Jones Beach, attempting to divert them to some other of the state parks." Roosevelt gingerly raised the matter with Moses, who denied the charge violently -- and the Governor never raised the matter again.
Robert A. Caro (The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York)
He kisses me even though I try to raise my hand to stop him. And then I don’t stop him. His lips mold against mine like they’re perfectly shaped for each other. He tastes like mint and smells like himself. I want him to hold me forever. I want him to make everything better. And then I realize this is all wrong. Because the truth is, I’m not really mad at Jamie. I mean, I’m mad that he lied, but I’m not really mad at him. I’m mad because I need him. I need him to be perfect and strong and to protect me from everything in the world that’s terrifying. I need him to hold my hand as I walk through life because it’s so much easier than doing it alone. And needing him is a mistake. I don’t want to need anyone. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want control of my own life and my own emotions. I don’t want to be a branch in someone else’s life anymore—I want to be the tree on my own. I want all the strength to come from me. I don’t want to depend on anyone for anything ever again. I pull my face away from Jamie and it literally hurts so much I have to grip the desk to keep from falling over. I can’t hide from the truth anymore. I let Jamie become my crutch. I let him fill all the voids in my life—family, friendship, love—and it hurts so much to know what I need to do now. Panic is in his eyes. He senses what I’m going to say next. Because even when we’re hurt, we still know each other. We know each other without words.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
Lord Gareth?" He froze. It was she, staring out at him with an expression of astounded disbelief on her lovely face. Gareth was caught totally unprepared. He knew he must look like an arse because he certainly felt like one. But the comic ridiculousness of the situation suddenly hit him, and his lips began twitching uncontrollably. He gazed up at her with perfect innocence. "Hello, Juliet." A chorus of out-of-tune voices came up from below. "Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?" Gareth flung his crop down at their heads. Cokeham let out a yelp, then fell to laughing. The girl's smooth, high brow pleated in a frown as she took in the scene. Perry down there with the horses. The other Den of Debauchery members all gathered below, beaming stupidly up at her. And Gareth, grinning, sprawled full-length along a tree branch just outside her window. "Just what on earth are you doing, Lord Gareth?" The way she said it made his cheeks warm with embarrassment. So he was a pillock. Who cared? Instead, he gave her his most devastating grin and said with cheerful earnestness, "Why, I have come to rescue you, of course." "Rescue me?" "Surely you didn't think I'd allow Lucien to banish you into obscurity, now, did you?" "Well, I —  The duke didn't ban—"  She gave a disbelieving little laugh and leaned out the window, grasping the blanket tightly at her breasts. Her hair, caught in a long, dark braid, swung tantalizingly out over her bosom. "Really, Lord Gareth. This is ... highly irregular!" "Yes, but the hour is late, and as it took me all day to find you, I was feeling rather impatient. I do hope you'll forgive me for resorting to such desperate measures. May I come in and talk?" "Of course not! I — I cannot have a man in my bedroom!" "Why not, my sweet?" He pushed aside a small, leafy twig in order to see her better and grinned cajolingly up at her. "I had you in mine." She shook her head, torn between what she wanted to do — and what she ought to do. "Really, Lord Gareth ... your brother will never approve of this. You should go home. After all, you're the son of a duke and I'm just a — " " — beautiful young woman with nowhere else to go. A beautiful young woman who should be a part of my family. Now, do collect Charlotte and your things, Miss Paige — I fear we must make haste, if we are to marry before Lucien catches up to us." "Marry?!" she cried, forgetting to whisper. He gazed at her in blank, perfect innocence. "Well, yes, of course," he said, clinging to the branch as it dropped another few inches. "Surely you don't think I'd be hanging out of a tree for anything less, do you?" "But —" "Come now."  He smiled disarmingly. "Surely, you must see there is really no other option for you. And I won't have my niece growing up without a father. What kind of a man do you think I am? Now, gather up Charlotte and get your things, my dear Miss Paige, and come outside. I am growing most uncomfortable." Juliet
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. My aim is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread all over the U.S. (I have set a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the most important is because gung fu is part of myself. … Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future. I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in a basement, but once my imagination has got up a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.
Bruce Lee
In your war, the first, how did you endure?" asked Sebastian. "My war was nothing," said Hilary hastily, "nothing at all compared with yours, or even David's. Yet I had a way, then, that helped with other things later. For there is always the Thing, you know, the hidden Thing, some fear or pain or shame, temptation or bit of self-knowledge that you can never explain to another. . . . And even in those very few healthy insensitives who do not seem to suffer, a love of something—of their work, perhaps—that they would not want to talk about and could not if they would. For it is the essence of it that it is, humanly speaking, a lonely thing. . . . Returning to the sensitives, if you just endure it simply because you must, like a boil on the neck, or fret yourself to pieces trying to get rid of it, or cadge sympathy for it, then it can break you. But if you accept it as a secret burden borne secretly for the love of Christ, it can become your hidden treasure. For it is your point of contact with Him, your point of contact with that fountain of refreshment down at the root of things. "Oh Lord, thou fountain of living waters.' That fountain of life is what Christians mean by grace. That is all. Nothing new, for it brings us back to where we were before. In those deep green pastures where cool waters are there is no separation. Our point of contact with the suffering Christ is our point of contact with every other suffering man and woman, and is the source of our life. " "You could put it another way," said Sebastian. "We are all the branches of the vine, and the wine runs red for the cleansing of the world." "The symbols are endless," agreed Hilary. "Too many, perhaps. They complicate the simplicity of that one act of secret acceptance and dedication.
Elizabeth Goudge (The Heart of the Family (Eliots of Damerosehay, #3))
I’m really not in the mood for your bullshit, Patrick. Go, before Ryder sees your car in the driveway or something.” “Oh, you expectin’ Ryder?” he slurs. “He gonna ride in on his white horse like a knight and save you? Is that what your hopin’ for? Maybe that’s why you been holdin’ out on me. You wanna give it to him instead.” His eyes are glassy, slightly unfocused. It’s obvious I can’t let him drive home like this. Shit. Ignoring his drunken little tirade, I reach for his hand and drag him into the living room, pushing him toward the velvet sofa. “C’mon, Patrick, you need to lie down. I’m going to call someone to come pick you up.” His legs buckle the minute they hit the cushions, and he crumples into a heap--half on the floor, half on the sofa. He starts to make a retching noise, and I hurriedly slip off my hoodie and shove it under his face. “I swear, if you puke on my sofa, I’m going to freaking kill you.” Mercifully, he doesn’t. Instead, he starts making a quiet, snuffling noise. Like he’s passed out cold. I run upstairs and grab my cell from my bedroom, trying to decide who to call. Obviously, Ryder makes the most sense, since he lives just up the road and can be here in a matter of minutes. But what if he mentions it to his mom? I mean, I can tell him not to, but then it makes me look guilty, like I’m trying to hide something. It’s not my fault that Patrick showed up on my doorstep unannounced. I run through the other options in my head. Calling Ben or Mason is about the same as calling Ryder. They’re his best friends. They talk. I could try Tanner. He is my cousin, so I could invoke some sort of family loyalty oath of silence or something. Only problem is, Tanner lives on the far side of town--about as far away from here as anyone can be and still live in Magnolia Branch. Which means leaving a passed-out, about-to-puke Patrick on my couch for a good twenty minutes, waiting for a ride. Nope. Not gonna happen. With a sigh of resignation, I dial Ryder’s number. Exactly seven minutes later, he knocks on the door. Ryder to the rescue. I resist the urge to look around for his white horse.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Here you go,” Ryder says, startling me. He holds out a sweating bottle of water, and I take it gratefully, pressing it against my neck. “Thanks.” I glance away, hoping he’ll take the hint and leave me in peace. His presence makes me self-conscious now, but it wasn’t always like this. As I look out at Magnolia Landing’s grounds, I can’t help but remember hot summer days when Ryder and I ran through sprinklers and ate Popsicles out on the lawn, when we rode our bikes up and down the long drive, when we built a tree fort in the largest of the oaks behind the house. I wouldn’t say we’d been friends when we were kids--not exactly. We had been more like siblings. We played; we fought. Mostly, we didn’t think too much about our relationship--we didn’t try to define it. And then adolescence hit. Just like that, everything was awkward and uncomfortable between us. By the time middle school began, I was all too aware that he wasn’t my brother, or even my cousin. “Mind if I sit?” Ryder asks. I shrug. “It’s your house.” I keep my gaze trained straight ahead, refusing to look in his direction as he lowers himself into the chair beside me. After a minute or two of silence but for the creaking rockers, he sighs loudly. “Can we call a truce now?” “You’re the one who started it,” I snap. “Last night, I mean.” “Look, I’ve been thinking about what you said. You know, about eighth grade--” “Do we have to talk about this?” “Because we didn’t really hang out in middle school, except for family stuff,” he continues, ignoring my protest. “Until the end of eighth grade, maybe. Right around graduation.” My entire body goes rigid, my face flushing hotly with the memory. It had all started during Christmas break that year. We’d gone to the beach with the Marsdens. I can’t really explain it, but there’d been a new awareness between us that week--exchanged glances and lingering looks, an electrical current connecting us in some way. The two of us sort of tiptoed around each other, afraid to get too close, but also afraid to lose that hint of…something. And then Ryder asked me to go with him to the graduation dance. There was no way we were telling our parents.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
It doesn’t feel right. Not now.” “But you’re the same, Jemma. You haven’t changed. This is what you want, remember?” “See, that’s where you’re wrong. I have changed. And”--I shake my head--“I don’t even know what I want anymore.” He opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something, but closes it just as quickly. A muscle in his haw flexes as he eyes me sharply, his brow furrowed. “I thought you were stronger than this,” he says at last. “Braver.” I start to protest, but he cuts me off. “When I get home, I’m going to e-mail you these video files. I don’t know anything about making films, but if you need any help, well…” He shrugs. “You know my number.” With that, he turns and walks away. I leap to the ground. “Ryder, wait!” He stops and turns to face me. “Yeah?” “I…about Patrick. And then…you and me. I feel awful about it. Things were so crazy during the storm, like it wasn’t real life or something.” I take a deep, gulping breath, my cheeks burning now. “I don’t want you think that I’m, you know, some kind of--” “Just stop right there.” He holds out one hand. “I don’t think anything like that, okay? It was…” He trails off, shaking his head. “Shit, Jemma. I’m not going to lie to you. It was nice. I’m glad I kissed you. I’m pretty sure I’ve been wanting to for…well, a long time now.” “You did a pretty good job hiding it, that’s for sure.” “It’s just that…well, I’ve had to listen to seventeen years’ worth of how you’re the perfect girl for me. And goddamn, Jem. My mom already controls enough in my life. What food I eat. What clothes I wear. Hell, even my underwear. You wouldn’t believe the fight she put up a few years back when I wanted to switch to boxer briefs instead of regular boxers.” I swallow hard, remembering the sight of him wearing the underwear in question. Yeah, I’m glad he won that particular battle. “Anyway, if my parents want it for me, it must be wrong. So I convinced myself that you were wrong for me. You had to be.” His gaze sweeps across my face, and I swear I feel it linger on my lips. “No matter what I felt every single time I looked at you.” Oh my God. I did the exact same thing--thinking he had to be wrong for me just because Mama insisted we were a perfect match. Now I don’t know what to think. What to feel. What’s real and what’s a trying-to-prove-something fabrication. But Ryder…he gets it. He’s lived it too. I let out a sigh. “Can you imagine how different things would be if our families hated each other? If they were feuding like the First Methodists and the Cavalry Baptists?” “I bet it’d be a whole lot less complicated, to tell you the truth. Heck, we probably would’ve already run off together or something by now.” “Probably so,” I say, a smile tugging at my lips.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I awake with a start, shaking the cobwebs of sleep from my mind. It’s pitch-dark out, the wind howling. It takes a couple seconds to get my bearings, to realize I’m in my parents’ bed, Ryder beside me, on his side, facing me. Our hands are still joined, though our fingers are slack now. “Hey, you,” he says sleepily. “That one was loud, huh?” “What was?” “Thunder. Rattled the windows pretty bad.” “What time is it?” “Middle of the night, I’d say.” I could check my phone, but that would require sitting up and letting go of his hand. Right now, I don’t want to do that. I’m too comfortable. “Have you gotten any sleep at all?” I ask him, my mouth dry and cottony. “I think I drifted off for a little bit. Till…you know…the thunder started up again.” “Oh. Sorry.” “It should calm down some when the eye moves through.” “If there’s still an eye by the time it gets here. The center of circulation usually starts breaking up once it goes inland.” Yeah, all those hours watching the Weather Channel occasionally come in handy. He gives my hand a gentle squeeze. “Wow, maybe you should consider studying meteorology. You know, if the whole film-school thing doesn’t work out for you.” “I could double major,” I shoot back. “I bet you could.” “What are you going to study?” I ask, curious now. “I mean, besides football. You’ve got to major in something, don’t you?” He doesn’t answer right away. I wonder what’s going through his head--why he’s hesitating. “Astrophysics,” he says at last. “Yeah, right.” I roll my eyes. “Fine, if you don’t want to tell me…” “I’m serious. Astrophysics for undergrad. And then maybe…astronomy.” “What, you mean in graduate school?” He just nods. “You’re serious? You’re going to major in something that tough? I mean, most football players major in something like phys ed or underwater basket weaving, don’t they?” “Greg McElroy majored in business marketing,” he says with a shrug, ignoring my jab. “Yeah, but…astrophysics? What’s the point, if you’re just going to play pro football after you graduate anyway?” “Who says I want to play pro football?” he asks, releasing my hand. “Are you kidding me?” I sit up, staring at him in disbelief. He’s the best quarterback in the state of Mississippi. I mean, football is what he does…It’s his life. Why wouldn’t he play pro ball? He rolls over onto his back, staring at the ceiling, his arms folded behind his head. “Right, I’m just some dumb jock.” “Oh, please. Everyone knows you’re the smartest kid in our class. You always have been. I’d give anything for it to come as easily to me as it does to you.” He sits up abruptly, facing me. “You think it’s easy for me? I work my ass off. You have no idea what I’m working toward. Or what I’m up against,” he adds, shaking his head. “Probably not,” I concede. “Anyway, if anyone can major in astrophysics and play SEC ball at the same time, you can. But you might want to lose the attitude.” He drops his head into his hands. “I’m sorry, Jem. It’s just…everyone has all these expectations. My parents, the football coach--” “You think I don’t get that? Trust me. I get it better than just about anyone.” He lets out a sigh. “I guess our families have pretty much planned out our lives for us, haven’t they?” “They think they have, that’s for sure,” I say.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Chapter 1 Death on the Doorstep LIVY HINGE’S AUNT lay dying in the back yard, which Aunt Neala thought was darned inconvenient. “Nebula!” she called, hoping her weakened voice would reach the barn where that lazy cat was no doubt taking a nap. If Neala had the energy to get up and tap her foot she would. If only that wretched elf hadn’t attacked her, she’d have made her delivery by now. Instead she lay dying. She willed her heart to take its time spreading the poison. Her heart, being just as stubborn as its owner, ignored her and raced on. A cat with a swirling orange pattern on its back ran straight to Neala and nuzzled her face. “Nebula!” She was relieved the cat had overcome its tendency to do the exact opposite of whatever was most wanted of it. Reaching into her bag, Neala pulled out a delicate leaf made of silver. She fought to keep one eye cracked open to make sure the cat knew what to do. The cat took the leaf in its teeth and ran back toward the barn. It was important that Neala stay alive long enough for the cat to hide the leaf. The moment Neala gave up the ghost, the cat would vanish from this world and return to her master. Satisfied, Neala turned her aching head toward the farmhouse where her brother’s family was nestled securely inside. Smoke curled carelessly from the old chimney in blissful ignorance of the peril that lay just beyond the yard. The shimmershield Neala had created around the property was the only thing keeping her dear ones safe. A sheet hung limply from a branch of the tree that stood sentinel in the back of the house. It was Halloween and the sheet was meant to be a ghost, but without the wind it only managed to look like old laundry. Neala’s eyes followed the sturdy branch to Livy’s bedroom window. She knew what her failure to deliver the leaf meant. The elves would try again. This time, they would choose someone young enough to be at the peak of their day dreaming powers. A druid of the Hinge bloodline, about Livy’s age. Poor Livy, who had no idea what she was. Well, that would change soon enough. Neala could do nothing about that now. Her willful eyes finally closed. In the wake of her last breath a storm rose up, bringing with it frightful wind and lightning. The sheet tore free from the branch and flew away. The kitchen door banged open. Livy Hinge, who had been told to secure the barn against the storm, found her lifeless aunt at the edge of the yard. ☐☐☐ A year later, Livy still couldn’t think about Aunt Neala without feeling the memories bite at her, as though they only wanted to be left alone. Thankfully, Livy wasn’t concerned about her aunt at the moment. Right now, Rudus Brutemel was going to get what was coming to him. Hugh, Livy’s twin, sat next to her on the bus. His nose was buried in a spelling book. The bus lurched dangerously close to their stop. If they waited any longer, they’d miss their chance. She looked over her shoulder to make sure Rudus was watching. Opening her backpack, she made a show of removing a bologna sandwich with thick slices of soft homemade bread. Hugh studied the book like it was the last thing he might ever see. Livy nudged him. He tore his eyes from his book and delivered his lines as though he were reading them. “Hey, can I have some? I’m starving.” At least he could make his stomach growl on demand.
Jennifer Cano (Hinges of Broams Eld (Broams Eld, #1))
The Tale of Human Evolution The subject most often brought up by advocates of the theory of evolution is the subject of the origin of man. The Darwinist claim holds that modern man evolved from ape-like creatures. During this alleged evolutionary process, which is supposed to have started 4-5 million years ago, some "transitional forms" between modern man and his ancestors are supposed to have existed. According to this completely imaginary scenario, four basic "categories" are listed: 1. Australopithecus 2. Homo habilis 3. Homo erectus 4. Homo sapiens Evolutionists call man's so-called first ape-like ancestors Australopithecus, which means "South African ape." These living beings are actually nothing but an old ape species that has become extinct. Extensive research done on various Australopithecus specimens by two world famous anatomists from England and the USA, namely, Lord Solly Zuckerman and Prof. Charles Oxnard, shows that these apes belonged to an ordinary ape species that became extinct and bore no resemblance to humans. Evolutionists classify the next stage of human evolution as "homo," that is "man." According to their claim, the living beings in the Homo series are more developed than Australopithecus. Evolutionists devise a fanciful evolution scheme by arranging different fossils of these creatures in a particular order. This scheme is imaginary because it has never been proved that there is an evolutionary relation between these different classes. Ernst Mayr, one of the twentieth century's most important evolutionists, contends in his book One Long Argument that "particularly historical [puzzles] such as the origin of life or of Homo sapiens, are extremely difficult and may even resist a final, satisfying explanation." By outlining the link chain as Australopithecus > Homo habilis > Homo erectus > Homo sapiens, evolutionists imply that each of these species is one another's ancestor. However, recent findings of paleoanthropologists have revealed that Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus lived at different parts of the world at the same time. Moreover, a certain segment of humans classified as Homo erectus have lived up until very modern times. Homo sapiens neandarthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) co-existed in the same region. This situation apparently indicates the invalidity of the claim that they are ancestors of one another. Stephen Jay Gould explained this deadlock of the theory of evolution although he was himself one of the leading advocates of evolution in the twentieth century: What has become of our ladder if there are three coexisting lineages of hominids (A. africanus, the robust australopithecines, and H. habilis), none clearly derived from another? Moreover, none of the three display any evolutionary trends during their tenure on earth. Put briefly, the scenario of human evolution, which is "upheld" with the help of various drawings of some "half ape, half human" creatures appearing in the media and course books, that is, frankly, by means of propaganda, is nothing but a tale with no scientific foundation. Lord Solly Zuckerman, one of the most famous and respected scientists in the U.K., who carried out research on this subject for years and studied Australopithecus fossils for 15 years, finally concluded, despite being an evolutionist himself, that there is, in fact, no such family tree branching out from ape-like creatures to man.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
It will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar….” —Ezekiel 17:23 (NIV) I e-mailed my siblings: “Prayers appreciated for a talk I’m giving on Thursday afternoon.” Several responded, relaying the sentiment “God is with you, and so are we.” At the appointed hour, I encouraged participants to compare their prayers to trees. I displayed photographs and artists’ renderings of gnarly olive trees, weeping willows, deserted palms, orange-laden orchards…. I handed out colored pencils and suggested they draw a tree that represented their recent prayers. “Imagine Jesus as the trunk—the core ‘vine’—and your prayers as the branches. Then consider the big picture: Whom is your prayer tree shading or protecting? Where is it in the seasonal cycles—producing hopeful spring blossoms or mature fruit? Do your prayer-branches reach for the sky in praise or bend close to the ground with requests? Is your tree in a solitary setting, or do you prefer praying when you’re surrounded by peers, as in a grove?” Eventually I asked them to explain their pictures. A husband had sketched two leafy trees side by side, representing his prayers with his wife. A mother had envisioned a passel of umbrella-shaped twigs, symbolizing parental prayers of protection. When I was packing up, a woman who’d held back earlier showed me a nearly hidden detail of her flourishing tree. At the base of the trunk, underneath grassy cover, she’d outlined deep roots. “They represent the grounding of my family, my upbringing.” “Oh my!” I smiled. “You introduced a whole new dimension.” I drove home with a revitalized prayer—like limbs stretching upward with thanksgiving—for my natal family and many others who have enriched my relationship with God. Lord, thank You for the grounding of my faith through my family and the family of God. —Evelyn Bence Digging Deeper: Ps 103:17–18; Prv 22:6
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
First, there’s “San Francisquito Canyon Road,” which weaves down through the mountains for about 20 miles and puts you right at the edge of Valencia. Then there’s “Spunky Canyon Road,” which most of the other streets in the town branch off of as it connects up the neighborhoods. Commuters traveling between the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley drive up and down San Francisquito Canyon every day which also provides a quick way for families and teenagers to get to Magic Mountain from Palmdale or Lancaster, if they don’t feel like taking the freeway.
He made his way down to the creek, down a five-foot muddy bank to a band of sand too narrow to lie down on. He had to force his way through honeysuckle vines and the branches of low wild cherry trees, so his approach was clumsy, noisy. As he slid to his feet, a great blue heron croaked loudly just off to his left and at the same time rose out and flew away — complaining — to land on the far side of the creek. From there, the bird stared at Jeff. Jeff stared back, not moving, except for the smile on his mouth. The bird decided Jeff was harmless and paced slowly upstream, its attention on the shallow water where prey might be found. The long stilty legs, the long curved neck, the awkward perfect body moved inland, away from Jeff. He watched it. He watched it not find anything to eat, watched it come to a rest and blend into the stillness of a dead tree that had fallen out into the creek. The two men were still inside when Jeff rejoined them. The Professor looked at his face and said, “You like it.” Jeff nodded. “I saw a blue heron.” “They’re common around here,” the agent said. “You-all birdwatchers?” But the Professor remembered and understood what Jeff meant. “You take that as a sign from the gods?” Jeff nodded.
Cynthia Voigt (A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Family, #3))
When we reached the street that branched off into the western section of the city, I expected Saadi to conintue north, but he did not. We dismounted and walked side by side, leading our horses, until my house came into view. “You should leave,” I said to him, hoping I didn’t sound rude. “Let me help you take King to your stable.” I hesitated, unsure of the idea, then motioned for him to follow me as I cut across the property to approach the barn from the rear. After putting King in his private stall at the back of the building, sectioned off from the mares, I lit a lantern and grabbed a bucket. While Saadi watched me from the open door of the building, I went to the well to fill it. “You should really go now,” I murmured upon my return, not wanting anyone to see us or the light. He nodded and hung the lantern on its hook, but he did not leave. Instead, he took the bucket from me, placing it in King’s stall, and I noticed he had tossed in some hay. Brushing off his hands, he approached me. “Tell your family I returned the horse to your care, that our stable master found him too unruly and disruptive to serve us other than to sire an occasional foal.” “Yes, I will,” I mumbled, grateful for the lie he had provided. I had been so focused on recovering the stallion that explaining his reappearance had not yet entered my mind. Then an image of Rava, standing outside the barn tapping the scroll against her palm, surfaced. What was to prevent her return? “And your sister? What will you tell her?” He smirked. “You seem to think Rava is in charge of everything. Well, she’s not in charge of our stables. And our stable master will be content as long as we can still use the stallion for breeding. As for Rava, keep the horse out of sight and she’ll likely never know he’s back in your hands.” “But what if you’re wrong and she does find out?” “Then I’ll tell her that I have been currying a friendship with you. That you have unwittingly become an informant. That the return of the stallion, while retaining Cokyrian breeding rights, furthered that goal.” I gaped at him, for his words flowed so easily, I wondered if there was truth behind them. “And is that what this is really all about?” I studied his blue eyes, almost afraid of what they might reveal. But they were remarkably sincere when he addressed the question. “In a way, I suppose, for I am learning much from you.” He smiled and reached out to push my hair back from my face. “But it is not the sort of information that would be of interest to Rava.” His hand caressed my cheek, and he slowly leaned toward me until his lips met mine. I moved my mouth against his, following his lead, and a tingle went down my spine. With my knees threatening to buckle, I put my hands on his chest for balance, feeling his heart beating beneath my palms. Then he was gone. I stood dumbfounded, not knowing what to do, then traced my still-moist lips, the taste of him lingering. This was the first time I’d been kissed, and the experience, I could not deny, had been a good one. I no longer cared that Saadi was Cokyrian, for my feelings on the matter were clear. I’d kiss him again if given the chance.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
We're used to picturing the genealogy of a text like a family tree: one original at the base ascending like a single trunk, with copies branching off it, and copies of copies branching off them. And so on throughout the generations. We imagine an original from which all the generations of diversity spring as scribes make revisions and introduce copying errors. But the reverse seems to be the case when it comes to the origins of the Bible: the further you go back in its literary history, the less uniformity there is. Scriptural traditions are rooted, quite literally, in diversity.
Timothy Beal (The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book)
Nee and I walked on in silence for a time, then she said in a guarded voice, “What think you of my cousin?” “So that is the famous Lady Tamara Chamadis! Well, she really is as pretty as I’d heard,” I said. “But…I don’t know. Somehow she embodies everything I’d thought a courtier would be.” “Fair enough.” Nee nodded. “Then I guess it’s safe for me to say--at risk of appearing a detestable gossip--watch out.” I touched the top of my hand where I could still feel the Duke of Savona’s kiss. “All right. But I don’t understand why.” “She is ambitious,” Nee said slowly. “Even when we were young she never had the time for any of lower status. I believe that if Galdran Merindar had shown any interest in sharing his power, she would have married him.” “She wants to rule the kingdom?” I asked, glancing behind us. The secluded little pool was bounded by trees and hidden from view. “She wants to reign over Court,” Nee stated. “Her interest in the multitudes of ordinary citizens extends only to the image of them bowing down to her.” I whistled. “That’s a pretty comprehensive judgment.” “Perhaps I have spoken ill,” she said contritely. “You must understand that I don’t like my cousin, having endured indifference or snubs since we were small, an heir’s condescension for a third child of a secondary branch of the family who would never inherit or amount to much.” “She seemed friendly enough just now.” “The first time she ever addressed me as cousin in public,” Nee said. “My status appears to have changed since I went away to Tlanth, affianced to a count, with the possible new king riding escort.” Her voice took on an acidic sort of humor. “And what about the Duke of Savona?” I asked, his image vivid in my mind’s eye. “In what sense?” She paused, turning to study my face. “He is another whose state of mind is impossible to guess.” I was still trying to disentangle all my observations from that brief meeting. “Is he, well, twoing with Lady Tamara?” She smiled at the term. “They both are experts at dalliance, but until last year I had thought they had more interest in each other than in anyone else,” she said carefully. “Though even that is difficult to say for certain. Interest and ambition sometimes overlap and sometimes not.” As we wound our way along the path back toward Athanarel in the deepening gloom, I saw warm golden light inside the palace windows. With a glorious flicker, glowglobes appeared along the pathway, suspended in the air like great rainbow-sheened bubbles, their light soft and benevolent. “I’m not certain what you mean by that last bit,” I said at last. “As for the first, you said ‘until last year.’ Does that mean that Lady Tamara has someone else in view?” “But of course,” Nee said blandly. “The Marquis of Shevraeth.” I laughed all the way up the steps into the Residence.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I wasn't an ever-knowing adult; I was just expected to act like one. And, yeah. a real nice family tree I had. Murder and mayhem on every gnarled branch. Hardly seemed fair.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
The phosphorescence was particularly good that night. By plunging your hand into the water and dragging it along you could draw a wide golden-green ribbon of cold fire across the sea, and when you dived as you hit the surface it seemed as though you had plunged into a frosty furnace of glinting light. When we were tired we waded out of the sea, the water running off our bodies so that we seemed to be on fire, and lay on the sand to eat. Then, as the wine was opened at the end of the meal, as if by arrangement, a few fireflies appeared in the olives behind us – a sort of overture to the show. First of all there were just two or three green specks, sliding smoothly through the trees, winking regularly. But gradually more and more appeared, until parts of the olive-grove were lit with a weird green glow. Never had we seen so many fireflies congregated in one spot; they flicked through the trees in swarms, they crawled on the grass, the bushes and olive-trunks, they drifted in swarms over our heads and landed on the rocks, like green embers. Glittering streams of them flew out over the bay, swirling over the water, and then, right on cue, the porpoises appeared, swimming in line into the bay, rocking rhythmically through the water, their backs as if painted with phosphorus. In the centre of the bay they swam around, diving and rolling, occasionally leaping high in the air and falling back into a conflagration of light. With the fireflies above and illuminated porpoises below it was a fantastic sight. We could even see the luminous trails beneath the surface where the porpoises swam in fiery patterns across the sandy bottom, and when they leapt high in the air drops of emerald glowing water flicked from them, and you could not tell if it was phosphorescence or fireflies you were looking at. For an hour or so we watched this pageant, and then slowly the fireflies drifted back inland farther down the coast. Then the porpoises lined up and sped out to sea, leaving a flaming path behind them flickered and glowed, and then died slowly, like a glowing branch laid across the bay.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals: Abridged Version)
He kisses me even though I try to raise my hand to stop him. And then I don’t stop him. His lips mold against mine like they’re perfectly shaped for each other. He tastes like mint and smells like himself. I want him to hold me forever. I want him to make everything better. And then I realize this is all wrong. Because the truth is, I’m not really mad at Jamie. I mean, I’m mad that he lied, but I’m not really mad at him. I’m mad because I need him. I need him to be perfect and strong and to protect me from everything in the world that’s terrifying. I need him to hold my hand as I walk through life because it’s so much easier than doing it alone. And needing him is a mistake. I don’t want to need anyone. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want control of my own life and my own emotions. I don’t want to be a branch in someone else’s life anymore—I want to be the tree on my own. I want all the strength to come from me. I don’t want to depend on anyone for anything ever again. I pull my face away from Jamie and it literally hurts so much I have to grip the desk to keep from falling over. I can’t hide from the truth anymore. I let Jamie become my crutch. I let him fill all the voids in my life—family, friendship, love—and it hurts so much to know what I need to do now. Panic is in his eyes. He senses what I’m going to say next. Because even when we’re hurt, we still know each other. We know each other without words.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
He kisses me even though I try to raise my hand to stop him. And then I don’t stop him. His lips mold against mine like they’re perfectly shaped for each other. He tastes like mint and smells like himself. I want him to hold me forever. I want him to make everything better. And then I realize this is all wrong. Because the truth is, I’m not really mad at Jamie. I mean, I’m mad that he lied, but I’m not really mad at him. I’m mad because I need him. I need him to be perfect and strong and to protect me from everything in the world that’s terrifying. I need him to hold my hand as I walk through life because it’s so much easier than doing it alone. And needing him is a mistake. I don’t want to need anyone. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want control of my own life and my own emotions. I don’t want to be a branch in someone else’s life anymore—I want to be the tree on my own. I want all the strength to come from me. I don’t want to depend on anyone for anything ever again. I pull my face away from Jamie and it literally hurts so much I have to grip the desk to keep from falling over. I can’t hide from the truth anymore. I let Jamie become my crutch. I let him fill all the voids in my life—family, friendship, love—and it hurts so much to know what I need to do now. Panic is in his eyes. He senses what I’m going to say next. Because even when we’re hurt, we still know each other. We know each other without words.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
They would linger in everyone’s memory, tied to the family tree like two flimsy kites caught in some branches.
Elif Shafak (Honor)
When all the collateral branches of the family are added together, the Al Saud number well over 100,000. Far from being a small, isolated group like the Shah of Iran’s family, they comprise at least one half of one percent of the entire Saudi population and a much larger portion of the nation’s political, social, and economic elites.
David Rundell (Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads)
Cactus Andante In the desert of Peru grows a cactus with legs. This plant from the Cactus family is the only highly developed flowering plant that has been noticed walking. Cactus Andante is also known as “the crawling devil.” It has a snake-like body branching out in all directions.
Христина Мирчева (Ускорени пейзажи)
In his family he kept up a very strict discipline in prayer and exhortation; being in this like Joshua, as the good man expresses it, viz., Whatsoever others did, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord: and indeed a blessing waited on his labours and endeavours, so that his wife, as the Psalmist says, was like a pleasant vine upon the walls of his house, and his children like olive branches round his table; for so shall it be with the man that fears the Lord, and though by reason of the many losses he sustained by imprisonment and spoil, of his chargeable sickness, etc., his earthly treasure swelled not to excess; he always had sufficient to live decently and creditably, and with that he had the greatest of all treasures, which is content; for as the wise man says, That is a continual feast.
John Bunyan (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners)
The title on the front of the sketchbook was written in bold cursive: 'Libby's Book of Butterflies.' One of the edges was folded, and she smoothed it with her hand, reverently, to honor the sister she'd never known. Then she stepped back under the light and flipped through the first pages. There were beautiful paintings of butterflies, their wings bright from the watercolors. Did her sister create this book or did someone make it for her? Mum had loved her gardens, but Heather had never known her to do any kind of artwork. She'd always been busy planting her flowers and working as a hairdresser and caring well for their family. Intrigued, Heather slowly turned the pages. The butterflies were unique in their brilliance, each one with a magical name. Golden Shimmer. Moonlit Fairy. Lavender Lace. Under the butterflies were short descriptions. Like they all had different personalities. Her favorite was the Autumn Dancer, colored a vibrant orange and red with speckles of teal. It reminded her of a leaf, clinging to its branch before the autumn winds blew it away.
Melanie Dobson (Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor)
This was the problem with a small school in a small town. Not only did the students all look like each other, they’d all developed the same nervous tics. It made me wonder about inbreeding. Take off their shoes, and did they have webbed feet? Was the weird-looking fish boy who’d stolen my book just a relative on the more damaged branch of the family tree?
Daryl Gregory (Harrison Squared)
The protagonist imagines her life before her like a fig tree, the tip of every branch representing a wonderful future that beckons and winks—relationships, family, careers, travel, athletic pursuits, and many more figs that can’t quite be made out from the position she’s in. We can find ourselves wanting each and every one of these futures, and when society tells us we can have it all—through advertisements, media, or upbringing—perhaps we expect it. Yet in spite of the messaging, we sense that making a decision to pursue one life means forgoing other options. As Plath wrote, “I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest.” The Latin root of the verb decide literally means “to cut off”—and in the metaphorical sense “to kill.” No wonder we hesitate—it can bring a sense of comfort to keep our options alive. We can make a cosy nook out of our indecision where no wrong turn can be made, where all our futures can exist safely, and we can rest our head on diaphanous pillows of possibility. But as Plath’s fig tree metaphor shows, we might find out too late that indecision isn’t all that comforting— it’s stifling and we risk never reaching for any opportunity: “I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death,” wrote Plath, “just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.
Madeleine Dore (I Didn't Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt)
The way he learned to sing was by imitating the songbirds: their warbles and whistles, their scolds. Before his stroke he'd been able to imitate certain notes and melodies of their calls, but never whole songs. I was sitting under the umbrella with him, in early March-March second, the day the Texas Declaration of Independence had been signed, when Grandfather began to sing. A black-and-white warbler had flown in right in front of us and was sitting on a cedar limb, singing-relieved, I think, that we weren't owls. Cedar waxwings moved through the brush behind it, pausing to wipe the bug juice from their bills by rubbing their beaks against branches (like men dabbing their mouths with napkins after getting up from the table). Towhees were hopping all around us, scratching through the cedar duff for pill bugs, pecking, pecking, pecking, and still the vireo stayed right there on that branch, turning its head sideways at us and singing, and Grandfather made one deep sound in his throat-like a stone being rolled away-and then he began to sing back to the bird, not just imitating the warbler's call, but singing a whole warbler song, making up warbler sentences, warbler declarations. Other warblers came in from out of the brush and surrounded us, and still Grandfather kept whistling and trilling. More birds flew in. Grandfather sang to them, too. With high little sounds in his throat, he called in the mourning doves and the little Inca doves that were starting to move into this country, from the south, and whose call I liked very much, a slightly younger, faster call that seemed to complement the eternity-becking coo of the mourning dove. Grandfather sang until dark, until the birds stopped answering his songs and instead went back into the brush to go to roost, and the fireflies began to drift out of the bushes like sparks and the coyotes began to howl and yip. Grandfather had long ago finished all the tea, sipping it between birdsongs to keep his voice fresh, and now he was tired, too tired to even fold the umbrella. .... I was afraid that with the miracle of birdsong, it was Grandfather's last night on earth-that the stars and the birds and the forest had granted him one last gift-and so I drove slowly, wanting to remember the taste, smell, and feel of all of it it, and to never forget it. But when I stopped the truck he seemed rested, and was in a hurry to get out and go join Father, who was sitting on the porch in the dark listening to one of the spring-training baseball games on the radio.
Rick Bass (The Sky, The Stars, The Wilderness)
The following are all foods you should feel welcome to eat freely (unless, of course, you know they bother your stomach): Alliums (Onions, Leeks, Garlic, Scallions): This category of foods, in particular, is an excellent source of prebiotics and can be extremely nourishing to our bugs. If you thought certain foods were lacking in flavor, try sautéing what you think of as that “boring” vegetable or tofu with any member of this family and witness the makeover. Good-quality olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil can all help with the transformation of taste. *Beans, Legumes, and Pulses: This family of foods is one of the easiest ways to get a high amount of fiber in a small amount of food. You know how beans make some folks a little gassy? That’s a by-product of our bacterial buddies chowing down on that chili you just consumed for dinner. Don’t get stuck in a bean rut. Seek out your bean aisle or peruse the bulk bin at your local grocery store and see if you can try for three different types of beans each week. Great northern, anyone? Brightly Colored Fruits and Vegetables: Not only do these gems provide fiber, but they are also filled with polyphenols that increase diversity in the gut and offer anti-inflammatory compounds that are essential for disease prevention and healing. Please note that white and brown are colors in this category—hello, cauliflower, daikon radish, and mushrooms! Good fungi are particularly anti-inflammatory, rich in beta-glucans, and a good source of the immune-supportive vitamin D. Remember that variety is key here. Just because broccoli gets a special place in the world of superfoods doesn’t mean that you should eat only broccoli. Branch out: How about trying bok choy, napa cabbage, or an orange pepper? Include a spectrum of color on your plate and make sure that some of these vegetables are periodically eaten raw or lightly steamed, which may have greater benefits to your microbiome. Herbs and Spices: Not only incredibly rich in those anti-inflammatory polyphenols, this category of foods also has natural digestive-aid properties that can help improve the digestibility of certain foods like beans. They can also stimulate the production of bile, an essential part of our body’s mode of breaking down fat. Plus, they add pizzazz to any meal. Nuts, Seeds, and Their Respective Butters: This family of foods provides fiber, and it is also a good source of healthy and anti-inflammatory fats that help keep the digestive tract balanced and nourished. It’s time to step out of that almond rut and seek out new nutty experiences. Walnuts have been shown to confer excellent benefits on the microbiome because of their high omega-3 and polyphenol content. And if you haven’t tasted a buttery hemp seed, also rich in omega-3s and fantastic atop oatmeal, here’s your opportunity. Starchy Vegetables: These hearty vegetables are a great source of fiber and beneficial plant chemicals. When slightly cooled, they are also a source of something called resistant starch, which feeds the bacteria and enables them to create those fantabulous short-chain fatty acids. These include foods like potatoes, winter squash, and root vegetables like parsnips, beets, and rutabaga. When was the last time you munched on rutabaga? This might be your chance! Teas: This can be green, white, or black tea, all of which contain healthy anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial for our microbes and overall gut health. It can also be herbal tea, which is an easy way to add overall health-supportive nutrients to our diet without a lot of additional burden on our digestive system. Unprocessed Whole Grains: These are wonderful complex carbohydrates (meaning fiber-filled), which both nourish those gut bugs and have numerous vitamins and minerals that support our health. Branch out and try some new ones like millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. FOODS TO EAT IN MODERATION
Mary Purdy (The Microbiome Diet Reset: A Practical Guide to Restore and Protect a Healthy Microbiome)
The magnolia tree loomed vast over the house, its branches full of white blooms, like a hundred miniature reflections of the moon, and their thick, sweet scent hung over the veranda languorously, the scent that was an enchantment luring you out into the mysterious, moonlit countryside.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy #1))
The event had shaken the family up, a true disaster, and was forbidden to speak of. It hovered like a bird around the family tree that could not linger on any of its branches.
Yossi Sucary (Benghazi-Bergen-Belsen: The Lost Story of the Holocaust of North African Jews)
That’s the trouble round here,’ snapped Larry. ‘Nobody counts! And before you know where you are you’re knee deep in animals. It’s like the bloody creation all over again, only worse. One owl turns into a battalion before you know where you are; sex-mad pigeons defying Marie Stopes in every room of the house; the place is so full of birds it’s like a bloody poulterer’s shop, to say nothing of snakes and toads and enough small fry to keep Macbeth’s witches in provender for years. And on top of all that you go and get twelve more dogs. It’s a perfect example of the streak of lunacy that runs in this family.’ ‘Nonsense, Larry, you do exaggerate,’ said Mother. ‘Such a lot of fuss over a few puppies.’ ‘You call eleven puppies a few? The place will look like the Greek branch of Crufts’ Dog Show and they’ll probably all turn out to be bitches and come into season simultaneously. Life will deteriorate into one long canine sexual orgy.
Gerald Durrell (The Corfu Trilogy)
Master Wang is a strange fellow. He’s full of riddles. I have no idea why I’m his only student. I like Meizhen though, we did some watercolor painting today. I miss you Dad.’ Zara reads her diary entry, and as she does a memory plays out in her mind, in the Wang family courtyard in Beijing… Meizhen demonstrates the technique, her slender but steady hands painting the tree before them, when she stops dead in her tracks gazing at two birds in the tree. “Look Zara, look at those two birds, see how one hops from branch to branch tasting the fruits. Tell me, what do you see?” “Birds, I see two birds.” “Good, but the bird on the highest branch, see how it simply observes the other bird flittering to and fro. It just watches.” Meizhen breathes in deeply and smiles, her eyes widen, “See that! The lower bird just stopped in its tracks to take a look at the higher bird watching; as if it had seen a mirror image of itself. Tell me, if one of those birds was dreaming it was the other, which one would it be?” “I think it’s the higher bird dreaming the life of the lower bird—” Zara pauses for thought— “Meizhen, does the Universe dream up the life of the higher bird?” Meizhen smiles at Zara, giving her an affectionate hug, “The Universe as we know it, is as we are—think of it like a never-ending painting.” “So, the Universe paints itself?” “I suppose it does, Zara. I suppose it does.
J.L. Haynes
The caliphate of al-Nasir saw the first sustained involvement by the Umayyads in North African politics.26 Morocco at this stage was, compared with Muslim Spain, a very underdeveloped country. There had been very little Arab settlement and the country remained over-whelmingly Berber and largely rural, the inhabitants living either as pastoral nomads or settled farmers. Tribal allegiances and rival-ries remained the basis of political activity. Only Fes, settled in the ninth century by colonists from Qayrawan and Cordoba, was a really urban community, although Sijilmassa, the great entrepot for Saharan trade far to the south, was a large oasis settlement. In theory much of the area was under the authority of the Idrisids, based in Fes. The Idrisids were descendants of 'Ali, who had fled west in 786 after a failed rebellion against the Abbasids.27 They did not rule a state in the conventional sense but, somewhat like the traditional Zaydi Imams of Yemen, enjoyed a certain prestige among the tribal leaders because of their religious status and were acknowledged as mediators if not rulers. They seem to have had no organized administration or government apparatus. By the beginning of the tenth century, the Idrisid family had split into many different branches which vied ineffectually for such authority as the family name could still command. Smaller but more coherent were the political units based on Sijilmassa and Nakur. Sijilmassa on the fringes of the Sahara was ruled by the Midrarids, a Berber dynasty of Kharijite persuasions. Nakur on the Mediterranean coast was a small city-state ruled by a popular Sunni dynasty, the Banu Witt, who had had contacts with the Umayyads in the previous century. There had certainly been commercial and personal contacts between al-Andalus and North Africa in the ninth century, especially with the Rustamid dynasty of Tahert in central Algeria.
Hugh Kennedy
My grandmother swaddled her baby, as they did two thousand years ago, and let him swing on a tree branch so she could do backbreaking work for fifteen cents a day. Lizzie talked about working, herself, too, starting when she was eight or nine years old, long before the era of child labor laws, at the Milford Shoe Company. “My first day, they put me at a sewing machine and give me two pieces a leathuh. They told me how to stitch the pieces togethuh—paht of a man’s shoe. Each time I did that, they told me, drop it inna drawa. I thought, this is easy. Zip, zip, zip, one afta anuthuh. End of the day comes, my drawa is full. Lady next to me, olda woman—she didn’t have so many done. The boss fired her right then. They gave me her job afta that.” From that day on, my aunt worked in factories all her life. Like my mother, she was heavy set but solid, as sturdy and muscled as the men who worked beside her, first at Milford Shoe and later at William Lapworth & Sons, a manufacturer of elastic fabrics, whose British-born owner berated her whenever a needle broke on her sewing machine. Later she worked at Archer Rubber, where a chemical spray left a small scar on her cheek. Her final employer was the Stylon Tile Company, known for making pink and black bathroom tiles, which were hard to handle without cutting her hands. She always called her place of work “the shop.” She was “working down at the shop.” Before I left her house, she always gave me something to take with me, like a bag of her hand-made swiss-chard ravioli, or if it was close to Christmas, a plate of her own Italian cookies. My favorites were the ceci, little fried cookies that looked like ravioli but were stuffed with sweet chestnut and honey filling, or the ones that looked like bowties, called cenci, dusted with powdered sugar. No matter how busy she was, she never let anyone leave her house hungry or empty-handed. Once I accompanied Lizzie to the Sacred Heart Cemetery to help her with all the flower baskets she wanted to lay on the gravestones of lost family members. There’s something about Italians and cemeteries. I was never attracted to cemeteries, never finding any comfort in visiting the dead, but for most of my family, it was like attending a family reunion. Seeing Lizzie moving
Catherine Marenghi (Glad Farm)
And so Ivy grew like a wayward branch. Planted to the same root as her family but reaching for something beyond their grasp.
Susie Yang, White Ivy
Family secrets were like a root rot that slowly withered branches and eventually killed the tree.
Raquel V. Reyes (Mango, Mambo, and Murder (A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery, #1))
Hidden behind a veil of velvet shadows pooling beneath low-hanging branches, Violet waited until Em had turned the corner of the path toward the sunlight, then collected the gifts. Wool black as night, glass like ice threaded on silk, and a jangle of pins the color of last autumn's leaves. She held each reverently, the potential of transformation shining in each. The girl had changed, her soft freckled face gaining the planes of an adult's and the sharp timbre of her laugh softening, transformed by the magic of the earthbound that couldn't touch Fae. But something of Fae remained in the girl-turned-woman, a thread binding them together as surely as blood might have. Violet smiled softly, pride in the girl she'd sent from Fae into her earthbound fate swelling like the bloom of magic.
Rowenna Miller (The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill)
And he won't come any more?" her mother sighed, with reserved censure. "Oh, I think he will. He couldn't very well come the next night. But he has the habit of coming, and with Mr. Beaton habit is everything—even the habit of thinking he's in love with some one." "Alma," said her mother, "I don't think it's very nice for a girl to let a young man keep coming to see her after she's refused him." "Why not, if it amuses him and doesn't hurt the girl?" "But it does hurt her, Alma. It—it's indelicate. It isn't fair to him; it gives him hopes." "Well, mamma, it hasn't happened in the given case yet. If Mr. Beaton comes again, I won't see him, and you can forbid him the house." "If I could only feel sure, Alma," said her mother, taking up another branch of the inquiry, "that you really knew your own mind, I should be easier about it." "Then you can rest perfectly quiet, mamma. I do know my own mind; and, what's worse, I know Mr. Beaton's mind." "What do you mean?" "I mean that he spoke to me the other night simply because Mr. Fulkerson's engagement had broken him all up." "What expressions!" Mrs. Leighton lamented. "He let it out himself," Alma went on. "And you wouldn't have thought it was very flattering yourself. When I'm made love to, after this, I prefer to be made love to in an off-year, when there isn't another engaged couple anywhere about." "Did you tell him that, Alma?" "Tell him that! What do you mean, mamma? I may be indelicate, but I'm not quite so indelicate as that." "I didn't mean you were indelicate, really, Alma, but I wanted to warn you. I think Mr. Beaton was very much in earnest." "Oh, so did he!" "And you didn't?" "Oh yes, for the time being. I suppose he's very much in earnest with Miss Vance at times, and with Miss Dryfoos at others. Sometimes he's a painter, and sometimes he's an architect, and sometimes he's a sculptor. He has too many gifts—too many tastes." "And if Miss Vance and Miss Dryfoos—" "Oh, do say Sculpture and Architecture, mamma! It's getting so dreadfully personal!" "Alma, you know that I only wish to get at your real feeling in the matter." "And you know that I don't want to let you—especially when I haven't got any real feeling in the matter. But I should think—speaking in the abstract entirely—that if either of those arts was ever going to be in earnest about him, it would want his exclusive devotion for a week at least." "I didn't know," said Mrs. Leighton, "that he was doing anything now at the others. I thought he was entirely taken up with his work on 'Every Other Week.'" "Oh, he is! he is!" "And you certainly can't say, my dear, that he hasn't been very kind—very useful to you, in that matter." "And so I ought to have said yes out of gratitude? Thank you, mamma! I didn't know you held me so cheap." "You know whether I hold you cheap or not, Alma. I don't want you to cheapen yourself. I don't want you to trifle with any one. I want you to be honest with yourself." "Well, come now, mamma! Suppose you begin. I've been perfectly honest with myself, and I've been honest with Mr. Beaton. I don't care for him, and I've told him I didn't; so he may be supposed to know it. If he comes here after this, he'll come as a plain, unostentatious friend of the family, and it's for you to say whether he shall come in that capacity or not. I hope you won't trifle with him, and let him get the notion that he's coming on any other basis." Mrs. Leighton felt the comfort of the critical attitude far too keenly to abandon it for anything constructive. She only said, "You know very well, Alma, that's a matter I can have nothing to do with." "Then you leave him entirely to me?" "I hope you will regard his right to candid and open treatment." "He's had nothing but the most open and candid treatment from me, mamma. It's you that wants to play fast and loose with him. And, to tell you the truth, I believe he would like that a good deal better.
William Dean Howells
Diamond Hill—what a glorious name for a place. No one outside of Hong Kong would have guessed it was the moniker of a squatter village in Kowloon East. In the fifties and sixties, it was a ghetto with its share of grime and crime, and sleaze oozing from brothels, opium dens, and underground gambling houses. There and then, you found no diamonds but plenty of poor people residing on its muddy slopes. Most refugees from mainland China settled in dumps like this because the rent was dirt cheap. Hong Kong began prospering in the seventies and eighties, and its population exploded, partly due to the continued influx of refugees. Large-scale urbanization and infrastructure development moved at breakneck speed. There was no longer any room for squatter villages or shantytowns. By the late eighties, Diamond Hill was chopped into pieces and demolished bit by bit with the construction of the six-lane Lung Cheung Road in its north, the Tate’s Cairn Tunnel in its northwest, and its namesake subway station in its south. Only its southern tip had survived. More than two hundred families and businesses crammed together in this remnant of Diamond Hill, where the old village’s flavor lingered. Its buildings remained a mishmash of shoddy low-rise brick houses and bungalows, shanties, tin huts, and illegal shelters made of planks and tar paper occupying every nook and cranny. There was not a single thoroughfare wide enough for cars. The only access was by foot using narrow lanes flanked by gutters. The lanes branched out and merged, twisted and turned, and dead-ended at tall fences built to separate the village from the outside world. The village was like a maze. The last of Diamond Hill’s residents were on borrowed time and borrowed land. They had already received eviction notices from the Hong Kong government, and all had made plans for the future. The government promised to compensate longtime residents for vacating the land, but not the new arrivals.
Jason Y. Ng (Hong Kong Noir)
Flanked on both sides, the relentless pursuit of the creatures intensified, their rampage tearing through the forest with a destructive force. The deafening cacophony of snapping branches and splintering trees reverberated through the air, echoing like the collision of runaway locomotives, piercing their very souls with terror. During the chaos, Ajax's presence remained steadfast. His strident barks kept reminding the family of his valiant presence as he kept up with the attackers. His resiliency to defend his family-pack resonated throughout the turmoil. God knows what they’ll do to him if they get their… hands on him, now thought Carter, fully admitting to himself that these were indeed Sasquatches—the dreaded Bigfoots of legend.
Kyle Steel (The Siege at Simeon Heights: Bigfoot Fiction Thriller - Drama Novel - Family Adventure - Action Adventure - Sasquatch - Cryptid Suspense)
For Ethan, words carried secrets, the stories of how they came to be, all their past selves. He would find the mysterious ways they connected, tracing their family tree back to pinpoint the unlikeliest cousins. It was proof that despite the chaos around them, there was logic and order to the world; there was a system, and that system could be deciphered. She loved this about him, this unshakable belief that the world was a knowable place. That by studying its branches and byways, the tracks it had rutted in the dust, you could understand it. For her the magic was not what words had been, but what they were capable of: their ability to sketch, with one sweeping brushstroke, the contours of an experience, the form of a feeling. How they could make the ineffable effable, how they could hover a shape before you for an eyeblink, before it dissolved into the air. And this, in turn, was what he loved about her—her insatiable curiosity about the world, how for her it could never be fully unraveled, it held infinite mysteries and wonders and sometimes all you could do was stand agape, rubbing your eyes, trying to see properly. Holed up in the apartment, they read, pulling one dictionary or another from the shelf and poring over it, stretched across the futon, one’s head pillowed on the other’s thigh. Reading passages aloud, dissecting meanings, each of them digging: she mining words like precious gems, arranging them around the outlines of the world; he excavating the layers fossilized within. All the traces of people trying to explain the world to themselves, trying to explain themselves to each other. Testify had its roots in the word for three: two sides and a third person, standing by, witnessing. Author originally meant one who grows: someone who nurtured an idea to fruition, harvesting poems, stories, books. Poet, if you traced back far enough, came from the word for to pile up—the earliest, most basic, form of making.
Celeste Ng (Our Missing Hearts)
I can draw a seedling with two tiny branches. Yours and mine. We’ll be on our own brand-new, tiny family tree—one that starts with us.” I feel heat behind my eyes, so I grab my sunglasses off the dash and put them on. “A whole new family tree that starts with us. I like it.
Colleen Hoover (It Starts with Us (It Ends with Us, #2))
To suggest, therefore, that as Christians we should support the state of Israel because it is the fulfilment of prophecy is, in a quite radical way, to cut off the branch on which we are sitting. It is directly analogous to the mistake of the Galatians, who thought that if they were members of Abraham’s family they should go the whole way and get circumcised. It is similar to the mistake of which the Reformers accused the mediaeval Catholics, of supposing that in every Mass they were actually re-crucifying Jesus, when Jesus’ death had been once and for all, never to be repeated, on Calvary. It is a way of saying that in the cross and resurrection God did not actually fulfil his whole saving purpose; that Jesus did not in fact achieve the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy; that his resurrection was not the start of God’s new age; that Acts is wrong, Romans is wrong, Galatians is wrong, the letter to the Hebrews is wrong, Revelation is wrong. Say that if you like, but don’t claim to be Christian in doing so.
N.T. Wright (The Way of the Lord: Christian Pilgrimage Today)
...If you are alone in this land, on foot, in miles of coming snow, wind, and branches and don't even know in which direction you'd run If from birth you've seen what men with guns, knives, and bombs are capable of doing for reasons you never wanted to understand If in this very same county's court of all-white witnesses, counsel, judge, and jurors it will forever be your word against theirs because there was no forensic testimony over who shot first If, yes, sometimes you can hear voices, not because you're insane, but in your culture you are a shaman, a spiritual healer, though in this very different land of goods and fears, your only true worth seems to be as a delivery man and soldier If, upon that first fateful exchange in these woods, your instinct, pushing pin to balloon, were to tell you it's now either you and your fatherless family of fourteen, or all of them Would you set your rifle down; hope the right, the decent, the fair thing on this buried American soil will happen? Or would you stay low, one knee cold, and do precisely as your whole life and history have trained? And if you did, would anyone even care what really happened that afternoon eight bodies plummeted to earth like deer?
Ed Bok Lee (Whorled)
If families resemble trees, as they say, arborescent structures with entangled roots and individual branches jutting out at awkward angles, family traumas are like thick, translucent resin dripping from a cut in the bark. They trickle down generations. They ooze down slowly, a flow so slight as to be imperceptible, moving across time and space, until they find a crack in which to settle and coagulate. The path of an inherited trauma is random; you never know who might get it, but someone will. Among children growing up under the same roof, some are affected by it more than others. Have you ever met a pair of siblings who have had more or less the same opportunities, and yet one is more melancholic and reclusive? It happens. Sometimes family trauma skips a generation altogether and redoubles its hold on the following one. You may encounter grandchildren who silently shoulder the hurts and sufferings of their grandparents.
Elif Shafak (The Island of Missing Trees)
When Amana was about three years old, she'd taken her back to her parents' house. One day, while they were sitting face-to-face playing cat's cradle in the room with the grandfather clock, she saw capillaries growing out of their bodies like tiny branches. Slender as gossamer from a spider's web, they spread out along the walls and up to the ceiling, twining themselves around the grandfather clock. Quaking in fear, Marika stood up. Until then, she had never seriously thought about the history of that house. Generations of people whose names she didn't know, whom she'd never cared about, had been born and died there. The sweat of women forced to work like slaves drenched the walls; the pillars were splattered with the semen of masters of this house who had forced themselves on young servants. She smelled the cold sweat of a son who had strangled his bedridden father to get his inheritance. The walls and ceiling that had witnessed these atrocities glared down on her. The misery of married couples trickling down into the pipes connecting the toilet to the sewer. A mother who has chemically transformed her loneliness into ambition chokes her son, squeezing his slender neck between her sweaty thighs. A wife who never lets on what she knows about her husband's affairs mixes her own turds into his miso soup. That handsome arsonist seen loitering around the house might be a former employee, fired for no good reason. The umbilical cord binding the generations of a respectable old family is also a rope around the neck. And she had wanted to cut her ties to all these bloody forebearers, now taking such pleasure in sharing old family secrets... My real family, she thought, are those people I just happened to meet in that coffee shop.
Yōko Tawada (The Emissary)