Field Of Dreams Quotes

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No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.
Eugene Field
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning—— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that can not fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go life is a barren field frozen with snow.
Langston Hughes (The Collected Poems)
All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed ... No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.
Eugene Field (The Love Affairs Of A Bibliomaniac)
The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning. The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man's mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Come back to me, Tessa. Henry said that perhaps, since you had touched the soul of an angel, that you dream of Heaven now, of fields of angels and flowers of fire. Perhaps you are happy in those dreams. But I ask this out of pure selfishness. Come back to me. For I cannot bear to lose all my heart.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Nature is woman's best friend,' she [Yasmina] often said. 'If you're having troubles, you just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That's how a woman cures her fears'.
Fatema Mernissi (Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood)
What sealed the deal for me was that the cloak wouldn't come off without a generous donation of my tears. Those used to be almost impossible for me to summon, I admit, until I watched Field of Dreams. When Kevin Costner asks his dad at the end if he'd like to have a catch, I just completely lose my shit.
Kevin Hearne (Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1))
Up and down, up and down I will lead them up and down I am feared in field in town Goblin, lead them up and down
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
A friend is someone who walks into a room when everyone else is walking out.
Gary Moore (Playing With the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams)
Dream tonight of peacock tails, Diamond fields and spouter whales. Ills are many, blessings few, But dreams tonight will shelter you. Let the vampire's creaking wing Hide the stars while banshees sing; Let the ghouls gorge all night long; Dreams will keep you safe and strong. Skeletons with poison teeth, Risen from the world beneath, Ogre, troll, and loup-garou, Bloody wraith who looks like you, Shadow on the window shade, Harpies in a midnight raid, Goblins seeking tender prey, Dreams will chase them all away. Dreams are like a magic cloak Woven by the fairy folk, Covering from top to toe, Keeping you from winds and woe. And should the Angel come this night To fetch your soul away from light, Cross yourself, and face the wall: Dreams will help you not at all.
Thomas Pynchon
In a field, I am the absence of field. In a crowd, I am the absence of crowd. In a dream, I am the absence of dream. But I don't want to live as an absence. I move to keep things whole. Because sometimes I feel drunk on positivity. Sometimes I feel amazement at the tangle of words and lives, and I want to be a part of that tangle. "Game over," you say, and I don't know which I take more exception to- the fact that you say that it's over, or the fact that you say it's a game. It's only over when one of us keeps the notebook for good. It's only a game if there is an absence of meaning. And we've already gone too far for that.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
A Psalm of Life Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each tomorrow Find us farther than today. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave. In the world's broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife! Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act, - act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o'erhead! Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sand of time; Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's solenm main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. Let us then be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Voices of the Night)
In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls… generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
I think you'll have to marry me, Miss Fielding." "To save your reputation?" Derek grinned, bending to kiss the flash of pale throat revealed by the robe. "Someone has to make a respectable man of me.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind...
Ben Hecht
It is not only my dreams, my belief is that all these dreams are yours as well. The only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. And that is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about... and it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. We have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.
Werner Herzog
Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image. The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, 'The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
And still I urge you to struggle. Struggle for the memory of your ancestors. Struggle for wisdom. Struggle for the warmth of The Mecca. Struggle for your grandmother and grandfather, for your name. But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. --as quoted in THE RIVER OF WINGED DREAMS
Abraham Lincoln
Whose house is this? Whose night keeps out the light In here? Say, who owns this house? It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats; Of fields wide as arms open for me. This house is strange. Its shadows lie. Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?
Toni Morrison (Home)
Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say while some fields will blossom and others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made. And give. Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than how is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.
Kent Nerburn
Let us depart instead for the fields of Dreams and wander those blue, romantic hills where stands the abandoned tower of the Supernatural, where cool mosses clothe the ruins of Idealism. Let us, in short, indulge in a little fantasy!
Eça de Queirós (The Mandarin and Other Stories)
Eduardo Galeano notes that America was conquered, but not discovered, that the men who arrived with a religion to impose and dreams of gold never really knew where they were, and that this discovery is still taking place in our time.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in a many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses)
In a field, I am the absence of field. In a crowd, I am the absence of crowd. In a dream, I am the absence of dream. But I don't want to live as an absence. I move to keep things whole. Because sometimes I feel drunk on positivity. Sometimes I feel amazement at the tangle of words and lives, and I want to be a part of that tangle.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
He dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in Woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. It didn't matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
We'll shake, we'll shake the tree of dreams, That solitary tree of dreams In the centre of the verdant field.
Shūsaku Endō (Deep River)
Let it shine, the light in you. Oh, and that's delighting me! Various colors shining through. Elated, it fills my soul with ecstasy.
Ana Claudia Antunes (A-Z of Happiness: Tips for Living and Breaking Through the Chain that Separates You from Getting That Dream Job)
The land has a memory. Every stream and river runs with a confession of sorts, history whispered over rocks, lifted in the beaks of birds at a stream, carried out to the sea. Buffalo thunder across plains whose soil was watered with the blood of battles long since relegated to musty books on forgotten shelves. Fields once strewn with blue and gray now flower with uneasy buds. The slave master snaps the lash, and generations later, the ancestral scars remain. Under it all, the dead lie, remembering.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
She was aware of the movement of his lips as he pressed soundless words in her palm. He released her, and the look he gave her seemed to reveal the depths of his lustful, longing, bitter soul. "Good-bye, Miss Fielding," he said hoarsely.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of yore;— Turn wheresoe’er I may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more. —But there’s a tree, of many, one, A single field which I have look’d upon, Both of them speak of something that is gone: The pansy at my feet Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
William Wordsworth (Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood)
I want to be intoxicated by the darkened ether of midnight, running through my fingers as sparkling stardust. I crave the taste of the ocean's salty tears, as her temperamental tides crash and break against the rocks. I yearn for the sweet scent of sun on my skin and the earthy musk of dirt giving way under my bare feet. I want to lay naked in golden fields, as i gaze up at an endless sky, dreaming my dreams, as Mother Nature's love washes over me like spiritual sunshine.
Jaeda DeWalt
The anarch is oriented to facts, not ideas. He fights alone, as a free man, and would never dream of sacrificing himself to having one inadequacy supplant another and a new regime triumph over the old one. In this sense, he is closer to the philistine; the baker whose chief concern is to bake good bread; the peasant, who works his plow while armies march across his fields.
Ernst Jünger (Eumeswil)
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field, You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex: We cannot fight for love, as men ay do; We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo. I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell, To die upon the hand I love so well.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering you gloom…But it was all a dream: no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone.
Mary Shelly (Frankenstein)
Tell yourself that the world is outside, that it's not to be hidden from you, that you are going to thrust yourself forward and be relaxed in the world. You have chosen a field where you're going to be hurt to the blood. But to retreat from the pain is death
Stella Adler (The Art of Acting)
down the dank mouldering paths and past the Ocean's streams they went and past the White Rock and the Sun's Western Gates and past the Land of Dreams, and soon they reached the fields of asphodel where the dead, the burnt-out wraiths of mortals make their home
Homer (The Odyssey)
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,” he said, “That from the nunnery, Of they chaste breast and quiet mind.” I looked up at him, and said the next line, “To war and arms I fly.” “True, a new mistress now I chase,” he said. “The first foe in the field,” I said, and let him draw me closer. “And with a stronger faith embrace,” he said. “A sword, a horse, a shield.” And the last word was whispered against his chest, still looking up into those eyes, searching his face. “Yet this inconstancy is such, As thou too shalt adore,” he whispered against my hair. I finished the poem with my face pressed against his chest, listening to the beat of his heart, that truly beat with my blood. “I could not love thee, dear, so much, Loved I not honor more.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12))
The agnostic does not simply say, "l do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. He insists that you are trading on the ignorance of others, and on the fear of others. He is not satisfied with saying that you do not know, -- he demonstrates that you do not know, and he drives you from the field of fact -- he drives you from the realm of reason -- he drives you from the light, into the darkness of conjecture -- into the world of dreams and shadows, and he compels you to say, at last, that your faith has no foundation in fact.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Today the game is rigged—rigged to work for those who have money and power. Big corporations hire armies of lobbyists to get billion-dollar loopholes into the tax system and persuade their friends in Congress to support laws that keep the playing field tilted in their favor. Meanwhile, hardworking families are told that they’ll just have to live with smaller dreams for their children.
Elizabeth Warren (A Fighting Chance)
the bouquet Between me and the world you are a bay, a sail the faithful ends of a rope you are a fountain, a wind, a shrill childhood cry. Between me and the world you are a picture frame, a window a field covered in wildflowers you are a breath, a bed, a night that keeps the stars company. Between me and the world, you are a calendar, a compass a ray of light that slips through the gloom you are a biographical sketch, a book mark a preface that comes at the end. between me and the world you are a gauze curtain, a mist a lamp shining in my dreams you are a bamboo flute, a song without words a closed eyelid carved in stone. Between me and the world you are a chasm, a pool an abyss plunging down you are a balustrade, a wall a shield’s eternal pattern.
Bei Dao
D'you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?' I ask. At Jack's puzzled look I continue. 'If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?' 'Can't say it's ever crossed my mind,' Jack shrugs. 'I used to think about it a lot,' I sigh. 'Dreams of living in a world with no more discrimination, no more prejudice, a fair police force, an equal justice system, equality of education, equality of life, a level playing field...
Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1))
It is a sad hardship and slavery to people who live in towns, that in their movements they know of one dimension only; they walk along the line as if they were led on a string. The transition from the line to the plane into the two dimensions, when you wander across a field or through a wood, is a splendid liberation to the slaves, like the French Revolution. But in the air you are taken into the full freedom of the three dimensions; after long ages of exile and dreams the homesick heart throws itself into the arms of space.
Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)
December is a bewitching month. The grey of cold teases to explode into something worthwhile, into a dream of cold, a starlight shower you can taste, a cold that does not chill. I've lost my memory of my first snow-- did I gasp at a field of white? Or scream at the freeze untill my cheeks reddened? The crunch underfoot is satisfying and the thrill of virgin snow near leaves.
Joseph Coelho (A Year of Nature Poems)
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for—business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principle)
Fathers... Rise at dawn. Stand up strong. Fix and build. Plow the field. Carry the weight. Work 'til late. Encourage our dreams. Provide the means. Fight with might. Defend what's right. Protect the home. Refuse to roam. Forge the way. Take time to play. Spoil our moms. Keep homelife calm. And all because of selfless love.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
When you’re connected to the power of intention, everywhere you go, and everyone you meet, is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams being fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more.
Wayne W. Dyer (The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way)
In this impossible alternate world where time moves in another direction, where the fields are endless, and where the ground beneath us has never been more unstable. Although I’m beginning to lose track of which way is up or down, it’s a wonderful sense of relief to have someone else here with me. Someone who can look, see what I see, and tell me I’m not dreaming. Or maybe we’re dreaming together, I’m not sure. But it doesn’t matter right now. Neither of us wants to wake up from this.
Dustin Thao (You've Reached Sam)
I wanted to play ball," he stated in a way that my body got very still and my eyes, already locked to his, became glued there. "It wasn't the money. It wasn't the fame. It was the game. The goddamned game. I didn't feel like I was breathin' right if I wasn't playin' or practicin'. Felt like life was still, someone hit pause, then I'd put on my pads and jersey and walk on the field and then everything would come alive. Dad and I were Eagles fans since I could remember. Puttin' that fuckin' jersey on, Christ, Laurie...Christ.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
As I walked out one harvest night About the stroke of One, The Moon attained to her full height Stood beaming like the Sun. She exorcised the ghostly wheat To mute assent in Love's defeat Whose tryst had now begun. The fields lay sick beneath my tread, A tedious owlet cried; The nightingale above my head With this or that replied, Like man and wife who nightly keep Inconsequent debate in sleep As they dream side by side. Your phantom wore the moon's cold mask, My phantom wore the same, Forgetful of the feverish task In hope of which they came, Each image held the other's eyes And watched a grey distraction rise To cloud the eager flame. To cloud the eager flame of love, To fog the shining gate: They held the tyrannous queen above Sole mover of their fate, They glared as marble statues glare Across the tessellated stair Or down the Halls of State. And now cold earth was Arctic sea, Each breath came dagger keen, Two bergs of glinting ice were we, The broad moon sailed between; There swam the mermaids, tailed and finned, And Love went by upon the wind As though it had not been. - Full Moon
Robert Graves (Poems Selected by Himself)
If there was magic in this world, it happened within sight of the three bases and home plate. All the gems in my world that decorated the walls and floors of dragons' lairs, the sword hilts of privileged princes, and crowns worn by emperors and kings, were nothing compared to the beauty and splendor of the diamond in Wrigley Stadium. It wasn't just a yard with dirt, chalk lines, bases, and a small hill in its center. Wrigley was a field of dreams. Dreams of eternal glory for the men who ran to the outfield, who took their respective bases, and prepared for battle against those who would dare enter their hallowed realm. Dreams for the kids in the stands, all wanting to don a uniform, kiss their moms goodbye, and wield their bats as enchanted weapons destined to knock the cover off the ball. And for the adults who had already selected their lot in life, Wrigley made the dreams of past innocence, lost wonder, and the promise that there was something inherently good still left in the world, come true. Yeah, corny as hell. But all true.
Tee Morris (The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Myster)
When she fell asleep, she dreamed of death-- not just for her, not just for her species, but for every living thing she had ever known. The earth was flat and brown, a field of dirt as barren as the moon, a single road stretching in the distance. the last to fall were the buildings, distant and solemn, the gravestones for an entire world. Then they disappeared, and there was nothing left but nothing.
Dan Wells (Partials (Partials Sequence, #1))
She touched the edge of its voluptuous field, knowing it would be lovely beyond dreams simply to submit to it; that not gravity's pull, laws of ballistics, feral ravening, promised more delight. She tested it, shivering: I am meant to remember. Each clue that comes is supposed to have its own clarity, its fine chances for permanence. But then she wondered if the gemlike "clues" were only some kind of compensation. To make up for her having lost the direct, epileptic Word, the cry that might abolish the night.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
It’s easy to look at the contours of a forest and feel a bone deep love for nature. It’s less easy to remember that the contours of your own body represent the exact same nature. The pathways of your mind. Your dreams, dark and strange as sprouts curling beneath a flat rock. Your regret, bitter as the citrus rot of old cut grass. It’s the same as the nature you make time to love. That you practice loving. The forest. The meadow. The sweeping arm of a galaxy. You are as natural as any postcard landscape and deserve the same love.
Jarod K. Anderson (Field Guide to the Haunted Forest (Haunted Forest Trilogy))
For those who dispair that their lives are without meaning and without purpose, for those who dwell in a lonelines so terrible that it has withered their hearts, for those who hate because they have no recognition of the destiny they share with all humanity, for those who would squander their lives in self-pity and in self-destruction because they have lost the saving wisdom with which they are born, for all these and many more, hope waits in the dreams of a dog, where the scared bature of life may be clearly experienced without all but binding filter of human need, desire, greed, envy and endless fear. And here, in dream woods and fields, along with the shores of dream seas, with the profound awareness of the playful presence abiding in all things, Curtis is able to prove what she thus far only dared to hope is true: that although her mother never loved her, there is one who always has.
Dean Koontz (One Door Away from Heaven)
There are a whole lot of religious people in America, including the majority of Democrats. When we abandon the field of religious discourse—when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations toward one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome—others will fill the vacuum. And those who do are likely to be those with the most insular views of faith, or who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist‘s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
When you left you left behind a field of silent flowers under a sky full of unstirred clouds...you left a million butterflies mid-silky flutters You left like midnight rain against my dreaming ears Oh and how you left leaving my coffee scentless and my couch comfortless leaving upon my fingers the melting snow of you you left behind a calendar full of empty days and seasons full of aimless wanders leaving me alone with an armful of sunsets your reflection behind in every puddle your whispers upon every curtain your fragrance inside every petal you left your echoes in between the silence of my eyes Oh and how you left leaving my sands footless and my shores songless leaving me with windows full of moistened moonlight nights and nights of only a half-warmed soul and when you left... you left behind a lifetime of moments untouched the light of a million stars unshed and when you left you somehow left my poem...unfinished. (Published in Taj Mahal Review Vol.11 Number 1 June 2012)
Sanober Khan
That over these sea pastures, wide rolling watery prairies, and Potters' Fields of all four continents, the waves should rise and fall, and ebb and flow unceasingly; for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like some slumberers in their beds; the ever rolling waves but made so by the restlessness.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
The War Sonnets: V. The Soldier If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert Brooke (If I Should Die (Phoenix 60p Paperbacks))
Have you ever felt as if your dreams were more memorable, more alive, than what you knew to be reality? Have your dreams ever seemed so tangible as to make you question upon waking if you’d truly only dreamt them? Have they at times been addictive enough to consume your waking hours; blurring actuality and pretend together until your wishes and passions stare back at you with open eyes? If only dreams could be reality, that beautiful garden of sweet-smelling roses we all long for. But reality for me is no such bed of roses. It is nothing but a field of unwanted dandelions." - From the thoughts of Annabelle Fancher
Richelle E. Goodrich (Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher)
I endeavoured to crush these fears and to fortify myself for the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo; and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts ; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abondoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him."---Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein (Illustrated Classic Editions))
A question. So what are people supposed to do if they want to avoid a collision (thud!) but still lie in the field, enjoying the clouds drifting by, listening to the grass grow—not thinking, in other words? Sound hard? Not at all. Logically, it’s easy. C’est simple. The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time. In dreams you don’t need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don’t exist. So in dreams there are hardly any collisions. Even if there are, they don’t hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites. Reality, reality.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
A couple of months ago I had a dream, which I remember with the utmost clarity. (I don't usually remember my dreams.) I dreamed I had died and gone to Heaven. I looked about and knew where I was-green fields, fleecy clouds, perfumed air, and the distant, ravishing sound of the heavenly choir. And there was the recording angel smiling broadly at me in greeting. I said, in wonder, "Is this Heaven?" The recording angel said, "It is." I said (and on waking and remembering, I was proud of my integrity), "But there must be a mistake. I don't belong here. I'm an atheist." "No mistake," said the recording angel. "But as an atheist how can I qualify?" The recording angel said sternly, "We decide who qualifies. Not you." "I see," I said. I looked about, pondered for a moment, then turned to the recording angel and asked, "Is there a typewriter here that I can use?" The significance of the dream was clear to me. I felt Heaven to be the act of writing, and I have been in Heaven for over half a century and I have always known this.
Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
You're thinking of revolution as a great all-or-nothing. I think of it as one more morning in a muggy cotton field, checking the undersides of leaves to see what's been there, figuring out what to do that won't clear a path for worse problems next week. Right now that's what I do. You ask why I'm not afraid of loving and losing, and that's my answer. Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work--that goes on, it adds up. It goes into the ground, into crops, into children's bellies and their bright eyes. Good things don't get lost. Codi, here's what I've decided: the very least you can do in you life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyer nor the destroyed.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
I want to get good grades. Graduate. Get a job in whichever field my strengths lie." His brows furrow, like he doesn't quite believe me. "Not what you're passionate about?" he asks delicately. I lift my chin. "I'm passionate about being good at things." There's a defensive edge in my voice, and Mr. Chen must hear it. He drops the subject. "Well, all right then. I suppose I should let you go to lunch..." "Thanks, Mr. Chen." But as I turn to leave, he adds, very quietly, "You're still a kid, you know." I falter. "what?" His eyes are kind, almost sad when he looks at me. "Even if it doesn't feel that way now, you're still only a kid." He shakes his head. "you're too young to be this hardened by the world. You should be free to dream. To hope.
Ann Liang (If You Could See the Sun)
The Trial By Existence Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise; And where they sought without the sword Wide fields of asphodel fore’er, To find that the utmost reward Of daring should be still to dare. The light of heaven falls whole and white And is not shattered into dyes, The light for ever is morning light; The hills are verdured pasture-wise; The angel hosts with freshness go, And seek with laughter what to brave;— And binding all is the hushed snow Of the far-distant breaking wave. And from a cliff-top is proclaimed The gathering of the souls for birth, The trial by existence named, The obscuration upon earth. And the slant spirits trooping by In streams and cross- and counter-streams Can but give ear to that sweet cry For its suggestion of what dreams! And the more loitering are turned To view once more the sacrifice Of those who for some good discerned Will gladly give up paradise. And a white shimmering concourse rolls Toward the throne to witness there The speeding of devoted souls Which God makes his especial care. And none are taken but who will, Having first heard the life read out That opens earthward, good and ill, Beyond the shadow of a doubt; And very beautifully God limns, And tenderly, life’s little dream, But naught extenuates or dims, Setting the thing that is supreme. Nor is there wanting in the press Some spirit to stand simply forth, Heroic in its nakedness, Against the uttermost of earth. The tale of earth’s unhonored things Sounds nobler there than ’neath the sun; And the mind whirls and the heart sings, And a shout greets the daring one. But always God speaks at the end: ’One thought in agony of strife The bravest would have by for friend, The memory that he chose the life; But the pure fate to which you go Admits no memory of choice, Or the woe were not earthly woe To which you give the assenting voice.’ And so the choice must be again, But the last choice is still the same; And the awe passes wonder then, And a hush falls for all acclaim. And God has taken a flower of gold And broken it, and used therefrom The mystic link to bind and hold Spirit to matter till death come. ‘Tis of the essence of life here, Though we choose greatly, still to lack The lasting memory at all clear, That life has for us on the wrack Nothing but what we somehow chose; Thus are we wholly stripped of pride In the pain that has but one close, Bearing it crushed and mystified.
Robert Frost
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
There is only a black fence and a wide field and a barn of Wyeth red. The smell of anger chokes the air. Ravens of September rain descend. Some say a mad mad hermit man lived here talking to himself and the woodchuck. But he's gone. No reason. No sense. He just wandered off one day, past the onions, past the fence. Forget the letters. Forget love. Troy is nothing more than a black finger of charcoal frozen in lake ice. And near where the owl watches and the old bear dreams, the parapet of memory burns to the ground taking heaven with it.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Our field is the sky, tilled by the sweat of motors, in the face of night, at the risk of our dreams--- …. … … … … Who lived there? Whose hands were pure? Who glowed in the night, A ghost to other ghosts? Who lives down below? Who cries…. Who has lost the key to their house? Who can’t find their bed, who is sleeping on the steps of the stairs? When morning comes, who will dare interpret the silvery trace: look above me…When the water pushes the watermill wheel once again, who will dare remember the night?
Ingeborg Bachmann (In the Storm of Roses: Selected Poems by Ingeborg Bachmann)
Laila remembered how Mammy had dropped to the ground, how she’d screamed, torn at her hair. But Laila couldn’t even manage that. She could hardly move. She could hardly move a muscle. She sat on the chair instead, hands limp in her lap, eyes staring at nothing, and let her mind fly on. She let it fly on until it found the place, the good and safe place, where the barley fields were green, where the water ran clear and the cottonwood seeds danced by the thousands in the air; where Babi was reading a book beneath an acacia and Tariq was napping with his hands laced across his chest, and where she could dip her feet in the stream and dream good dreams beneath the watchful gaze of gods of ancient, sun-bleached rock.
Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
Here is my favorite biblical direction: Be not afraid. It's truly the secret of life. Fear is what stunts our growth, narrows our ambitions, kills our dreams. So fear not. ...You are surely afraid: of leaving what you know, of seeking what you want, of taking the wrong path, of failing the right one. But you can't allow any of that to warp your life. You must have the strength to say no to the wrong things and to embrace the right ones, even if you are the only one who seems to know the difference, even if you find the difference hard to calculate. Acts of bravery don't always take place on battle fields. They can take place in your heart, when you have the courage to honor your character, your intellect, your inclinations, and yes, your soul by listening to its clean, clear voice of direction instead of following the muddied messages of a timid world. So carry your courage in an easily accessible place, the way you do your cellphone or your wallet. You may still falter or fail, but you will always know that you pushed hard and aimed high. Take a leap of faith. Fear not. Courage is the ultimate career move.
Anna Quindlen
If this were a different time, a different place, I would take you to bed with me and make love to you for days," he said, his voice slow and deep and intent. "I would use my mouth on you, until no part of your skin went untouched, and I would make you come, over and over again until you could stand no more, and then I'd let you sleep in my arms until you were rested and then I would start all over again. I would kiss your wounds, I would drink your tears, I could make love to you in ways that haven't even been invented yet. I would make love to you in fields of flowers and under starry skies, where there is no death or pain or sorrow. I would show you things you haven't even dreamed of, and there would be no one in the world but you and me, between your legs, in your mouth, everywhere.
Anne Stuart (Black Ice (Ice, #1))
I do not believe we can stop them, Samori, because they must ultimately stop themselves. And still I urge you to struggle. Struggle for the memory of your ancestors. Struggle for wisdom. Struggle for the warmth of The Mecca. Struggle for your grandmother and grandfather, for your name. But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all. The Dream is the same habit that endangers this planet, the same habit that sees our bodies stowed away in prisons and ghettos.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Here is the soundless cypress on the lawn: It listens, listens. Taller trees beyond Listen. The moon at the unruffled pond Stares. And you sing, you sing. That star-enchanted song falls through the air From lawn to lawn down terraces of sound, Darts in white arrows on the shadowed ground; And all the night you sing. My dreams are flowers to which you are a bee As all night long I listen, and my brain Receives your song, then loses it again In moonlight on the lawn. Now is your voice a marble high and white, Then like a mist on fields of paradise, Now is a raging fire, then is like ice, Then breaks, and it is dawn.
Harold Monro (Collected poems;)
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural – that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world -- not even in infinite space. I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts -- free to live to my own ideal -- free to live for myself and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, all my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from popes and priests -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies -- free from the fear of eternal pain -- free from the winged monsters of the night -- free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought -- no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back -- no fires for my flesh -- no master's frown or threat – no following another's steps -- no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds. And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain -- for the freedom of labor and thought -- to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains -- to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs -- to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn -- to those by fire consumed -- to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
Robert G. Ingersoll
I am the wind and the wind is invisible, all the leaves tremble but I am invisible, blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible, what fills the balloon and what it moves through, knot without rope, bloom without flower, galloping without the horse, the spirit of the thing without the thing, location without dimension, without a within, song without throat, word without ink, wingless flight, dark boat in the dark night, shine without light, pure velocity, as the hammer is a hammer when it hits the nail and the nail is a nail when it meets the wood and the invisible table begins to appear out of mind, pure mind, out of nothing, pure thinking, hand of the mind, hand of the emperor, arm of the empire, void and vessel, sheath and shear, and wider, and deeper, more vast, more sure, through silence, through darkness, a vector, a violence, and even farther, and even worse, between, before, behind, and under, and even stronger, and even further, beyond form, beyond number, I labor, I lumber, I fumble forward through the valley as winter, as water, a shift in the river, I mist and frost, flexible and elastic to the task, a fountain of gravity, space curves around me, I thirst, I hunger, I spark, I burn, force and field, force and counterforce, agent and agency, push to your pull, parabola of will, massless mass and formless form, dreamless dream and nameless name, intent and rapturous, rare and inevitable, I am the thing that is hurtling towards you…
Richard Siken
When I was twelve, my sixth-grade English class went on a field trip to see Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. From that moment forward I dreamed that someday I’d meet my own Juliet. I’d marry her and I would love her with the same passion and intensity as Romeo. The fact that their marriage lasted fewer than three days before they both were dead didn’t seem to affect my fantasy. Even if they had lived, I don’t think their relationship could have survived. Let’s face it, being that emotionally aflame, sexually charged, and transcendentally eloquent every single second can really start to grate on a person’s nerves. However, if I could find someone to love just a fraction of the way that Montague loved his Capulet, then marrying her would be worth it.
Annabelle Gurwitch (You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story)
The Eye-Mote Blameless as daylight I stood looking At a field of horses, necks bent, manes blown, Tails streaming against the green Backdrop of sycamores. Sun was striking White chapel pinnacles over the roofs, Holding the horses, the clouds, the leaves Steadily rooted though they were all flowing Away to the left like reeds in a sea When the splinter flew in and stuck my eye, Needling it dark. Then I was seeing A melding of shapes in a hot rain: Horses warped on the altering green, Outlandish as double-humped camels or unicorns, Grazing at the margins of a bad monochrome, Beasts of oasis, a better time. Abrading my lid, the small grain burns: Red cinder around which I myself, Horses, planets and spires revolve. Neither tears nor the easing flush Of eyebaths can unseat the speck: It sticks, and it has stuck a week. I wear the present itch for flesh, Blind to what will be and what was. I dream that I am Oedipus. What I want back is what I was Before the bed, before the knife, Before the brooch-pin and the salve Fixed me in this parenthesis; Horses fluent in the wind, A place, a time gone out of mind. --written 1959
Sylvia Plath (The Colossus and Other Poems)
God abides in men" "God abides in men, These are men who are simple, they are fields of corn... Such men have minds like wide grey skies, they have the grandeur that the fools call emptiness. God abides in men. Some men are not simple, they live in cities among the teeming buildings, wrestling with forces as strong as the sun and the rain. Often they must forgo dream upon dream... Christ walks in the wilderness in such lives. God abides in men, because Christ has put on the nature of man, like a garment, and worn it to his own shape. He has put on everyone's life... to the workman's clothes to the King's red robes, to the snowy loveliness of the wedding garment... Christ has put on Man's nature, and given him back his humanness... God abides in man.
Caryll Houselander (Flowering Tree (Prayer & Practice))
And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost, even for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being members of Animal Farm. They were still the only farm in the whole county-in all England!-owned and operated by animals. Not one of them, not even the youngest, not even the newcomers who had been brought from farms ten or twenty miles away, ever ceased to marvel at that. And when they heard the gun booming and saw the green flag fluttering at the masthead, their hearts swelled with imperishable pride, and the talk turned always towards the old heroic days, the expulsion of Jones, the writing of the Seven Commandments, the great battles in which the human invaders had been defeated. None of the old dreams had been abandoned. The Republic of the Animals which Major had foretold, when the green fields of England should be untrodden by human feet, was still believed in. Some day it was coming: it might not be soon, it might not be with in the lifetime of any animal now living, but still it was coming. Even the tune of Beasts of England was perhaps hummed secretly here and there: at any rate, it was a fact that every animal on the farm knew it, though no one would have dared to sing it aloud. It might be that their lives were hard and that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled; but they were conscious that they were not as other animals. If they went hungry, it was not from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they worked hard, at least they worked for themselves. No creature among them went upon two legs. No creature called any other creature "Master." All animals were equal.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… . And one fine morning —— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
SPRING POEM It is spring, my decision, the earth ferments like rising bread or refuse, we are burning last year's weeds, the smoke flares from the road, the clumped stalks glow like sluggish phoenixes / it wasn't only my fault / birdsongs burst from the feathered pods of their bodies, dandelions whirl their blades upwards, from beneath this decaying board a snake sidewinds, chained hide smelling of reptile sex / the hens roll in the dust, squinting with bliss, frogbodies bloat like bladders, contract, string the pond with living jelly eyes, can I be this ruthless? I plunge my hands and arms into the dirt, swim among stones and cutworms, come up rank as a fox, restless. Nights, while seedlings dig near my head I dream of reconciliations with those I have hurt unbearably, we move still touching over the greening fields, the future wounds folded like seeds in our tender fingers, days I go for vicious walks past the charred roadbed over the bashed stubble admiring the view, avoiding those I have not hurt yet, apocalypse coiled in my tongue, it is spring, I am searching for the word: finished finished so I can begin over again, some year I will take this word too far.
Margaret Atwood (You are Happy)
They laughed and put their arms around each other and kissed, first gently, then more passionately, and Harry pulled his face back a few inches and looked lovingly at Marion, I love you, and kissed her on the tip of her nose, her eyelids, her cheeks, then her soft lips, her chin, her neck, her ears, then nuzzled his face in her hair and caressed her back with his hands and breathed her name in her ear, Marion, Marion, I love you, and she gently moved with the flow and felt his words and kisses and feelings flow through her, easing away all her problems, her doubts, her fears, her anxieties and she felt warm and alive and vital. She felt loved. She felt necessary. Harry felt real and substantial. He could feel all the loose pieces starting to fall into place. He felt on the verge of something momentous. They felt whole. They felt united. Though they were still on the couch they felt a part of the vastness of the sky and the stars and moon. They were somehow on the crest of a hill with a gentle breeze blowing Marions hair flowingly; and walking through a sunlit woods and flower studded field feeling the freedom of the birds as they flew through the air chirping and singing and the night was comfortingly warm as the soft filtered light continued to push the darkness into the shadows as they held each other and kissed and pushed each others darkness into the corner, believing in each others light, each others dream.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
Certainly not! I didn't build a machine to solve ridiculous crossword puzzles! That's hack work, not Great Art! Just give it a topic, any topic, as difficult as you like..." Klapaucius thought, and thought some more. Finally he nodded and said: "Very well. Let's have a love poem, lyrical, pastoral, and expressed in the language of pure mathematics. Tensor algebra mainly, with a little topology and higher calculus, if need be. But with feeling, you understand, and in the cybernetic spirit." "Love and tensor algebra?" Have you taken leave of your senses?" Trurl began, but stopped, for his electronic bard was already declaiming: Come, let us hasten to a higher plane, Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn, Their indices bedecked from one to n, Commingled in an endless Markov chain! Come, every frustum longs to be a cone, And every vector dreams of matrices. Hark to the gentle gradient of the breeze: It whispers of a more ergodic zone. In Reimann, Hilbert or in Banach space Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways. Our asymptotes no longer out of phase, We shall encounter, counting, face to face. I'll grant thee random access to my heart, Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love; And so we two shall all love's lemmas prove, And in bound partition never part. For what did Cauchy know, or Christoffel, Or Fourier, or any Boole or Euler, Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers, Of thy supernal sinusoidal spell? Cancel me not--for what then shall remain? Abscissas, some mantissas, modules, modes, A root or two, a torus and a node: The inverse of my verse, a null domain. Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine! The product of our scalars is defined! Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind Cuts capers like a happy haversine. I see the eigenvalue in thine eye, I hear the tender tensor in thy sigh. Bernoulli would have been content to die, Had he but known such a^2 cos 2 phi!
Stanisław Lem (The Cyberiad)
When Ronan was young and didn’t know any better, he thought everyone was like him. He made rules for humanity based upon observation, his idea of the truth only as broad as his world was. Everyone must sleep and eat. Everyone has hands, feet. Everyone’s skin is sensitive; no one’s hair is. Everyone whispers to hide and shouts to be heard. Everyone has pale skin and blue eyes, every man has long dark hair, every woman has long golden hair. Every child knows the stories of Irish heroes, every mother knows songs about weaver women and lonely boatmen. Every house is surrounded by secret fields and ancient barns, every pasture is watched by blue mountains, every narrow drive leads to a hidden world. Everyone sometimes wakes with their dreams still gripped in their hands. Then he crept out of childhood, and suddenly the uniqueness of experience unveiled itself. Not all fathers are wild, charming schemers, wiry, far-eyed gods; and not all mothers are dulcet, soft-spoken friends, patient as buds in spring. There are people who don’t care about cars and there are people who like to live in cities. Some families do not have older and younger brothers; some families don’t have brothers at all. Most men do not go to Mass every Sunday and most men do not fall in love with other men. And no one brings dreams to life. No one brings dreams to life. No one brings dreams to life.
Maggie Stiefvater (Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1))
THE ROSE TOTHE ROSE UPON THE ROOD OF TIME Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days! Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways: Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide; The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed, Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold; And thine own sadness, where of stars, grown old In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea, Sing in their high and lonely melody. Come near, that no more blinded by man’s fate, I find under the boughs of love and hate, In all poor foolish things that live a day, Eternal beauty wandering on her way. Come near, come near, come near — Ah, leave me still A little space for the rose-breath to fill! Lest I no more bear common things that crave; The weak worm hiding down in its small cave, The field-mouse running by me in the grass, And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass; But seek alone to hear the strange things said By God to the bright hearts of those long dead, And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know. Come near; I would, before my time to go, Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways: Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days. A king is but a foolish labourer Who wastes his blood to be another’s dream.
W.B. Yeats
The big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake. That the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism.... Governments led by liberal democrats passed laws which changed the air I breathe for the better. Okay I'm for them and not for the party that is as we speak plotting to abolish the E.P.A. And I don't need to pretend that both sides have a point here, and I don't care what left or right commentators say about it. I only care what climate scientists say about it. Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King speaks on that wall in the capital and he didn't say "Remember folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point too." No, he said, "I had a dream and they had a nightmare." This isn't Team Edward & Team Jacob. Liberals like the ones on that field must stand up and be counted and not pretend that we're as mean or greedy or shortsighted or plain batched as they are. And if that is too polarizing for you and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right ... Try Church.
Bill Maher
Movies are made out of darkness as well as light; it is the surpassingly brief intervals of darkness between each luminous still image that make it possible to assemble the many images into one moving picture. Without that darkness, there would only be a blur. Which is to say that a full-length movie consists of half an hour or an hour of pure darkness that goes unseen. If you could add up all the darkness, you would find the audience in the theater gazing together at a deep imaginative night. It is the terra incognita of film, the dark continent on every map. In a similar way, a runner’s every step is a leap, so that for a moment he or she is entirely off the ground. For those brief instants, shadows no longer spill out from their feet, like leaks, but hover below them like doubles, as they do with birds, whose shadows crawl below them, caressing the surface of the earth, growing and shrinking as their makers move nearer or farther from that surface. For my friends who run long distances, these tiny fragments of levitation add up to something considerable; by their own power they hover above the earth for many minutes, perhaps some significant portion of an hour or perhaps far more for the hundred-mile races. We fly; we dream in darkness; we devour heaven in bites too small to be measured.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
It's moments like this, when you need someone the most, that your world seems smallest. I'm told there's no going back. So I’m choosing forward The exhaustion of living was just too much for me to talk any longer It still might be a shock. To realize you are just one story walking among millions Why is it so much easier to talk to a stranger? Why do we feel we need that disconnect in order to connect? I had done it. I had embraced danger. The experience might have been an epic disaster, but it was still…an experience We are reading the story of our lives/ as though we were in it, /as though we had written it Like dogs and lions, small children can sense fear. The slightest flinch, the slightest disinclination, and they will jump atop you and devour you I might have liked to share a dance with you. If I may be so bold to say In a field, I am the absence of field. In a crowd, I am the absence of crowd. In a dream, I am the absence of dream. But I don’t want to live as an absence. I move to keep things whole. Because sometimes I feel drunk on positivity. Sometimes I feel amazement at the tangle of words and lives, and I want to be a part of that tangle…It’s only a game if there is an absence of meaning. And we’ve already gone too far for that You restore my faith in humanity Do you want to go get coffee or something tomorrow and discuss and analyze the situation at length? Let’s just wander and see what happens It was rather awkward, insofar as we were both teetering between the possibility of something and the possibility of nothing. Fate has a strange way of making plans I love a man who doesn’t let go of the leash, even when it leads him to ruin
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you that I charge the white man. I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth. There is no place in this world that this man can go and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone, he's created havoc. Everywhere he's gone, he's created destruction. So I charge him. I charge him with being the greates kidnapper on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth. The greatest drunkard on this earth! He can't deny the charges! You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof *of* those charges! You and I are the proof. You're not an American, you are the victim of America. You didn't have a choice coming over here. He didn't say, "Black man, black woman, come on over and help me build America". He said, "N(i)gger, get down in the bottom of that boat and I'm taking you over there to help me build America". Being born here does not make you an American. I am not an American, you are not an American. You are one of the 22 million black people who are the *victims* of America. You and I, we've never see any democracy. We didn't see any... democracy on the-the cotton fields of Georgia, wasn't no democracy down there. We didn't see any democracy. We didn't see any democracy on the streets of Harlem or on the streets of Brooklyn or on the streets of Detroit or Chicago. Ain't no democracy down there. No, we've never seem democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!
Malcolm X
The children in my dreams speak in Gujarati turn their trusting faces to the sun say to me care for us nurture us in my dreams I shudder and I run. I am six in a playground of white children Darkie, sing us an Indian song! Eight in a roomful of elders all mock my broken Gujarati English girl! Twelve, I tunnel into books forge an armor of English words. Eighteen, shaved head combat boots - shamed by masis in white saris neon judgments singe my western head. Mother tongue. Matrubhasha tongue of the mother I murder in myself. Through the years I watch Gujarati swell the swaggering egos of men mirror them over and over at twice their natural size. Through the years I watch Gujarati dissolve bones and teeth of women, break them on anvils of duty and service, burn them to skeletal ash. Words that don't exist in Gujarati : Self-expression. Individual. Lesbian. English rises in my throat rapier flashed at yuppie boys who claim their people “civilized” mine. Thunderbolt hurled at cab drivers yelling Dirty black bastard! Force-field against teenage hoods hissing F****ing Paki bitch! Their tongue - or mine? Have I become the enemy? Listen: my father speaks Urdu language of dancing peacocks rosewater fountains even its curses are beautiful. He speaks Hindi suave and melodic earthy Punjabi salty rich as saag paneer coastal Kiswahili laced with Arabic, he speaks Gujarati solid ancestral pride. Five languages five different worlds yet English shrinks him down before white men who think their flat cold spiky words make the only reality. Words that don't exist in English: Najjar Garba Arati. If we cannot name it does it exist? When we lose language does culture die? What happens to a tongue of milk-heavy cows, earthen pots jingling anklets, temple bells, when its children grow up in Silicon Valley to become programmers? Then there's American: Kin'uh get some service? Dontcha have ice? Not: May I have please? Ben, mane madhath karso? Tafadhali nipe rafiki Donnez-moi, s'il vous plait Puedo tener….. Hello, I said can I get some service?! Like, where's the line for Ay-mericans in this goddamn airport? Words that atomized two hundred thousand Iraqis: Didja see how we kicked some major ass in the Gulf? Lit up Bagdad like the fourth a' July! Whupped those sand-niggers into a parking lot! The children in my dreams speak in Gujarati bright as butter succulent cherries sounds I can paint on the air with my breath dance through like a Sufi mystic words I can weep and howl and devour words I can kiss and taste and dream this tongue I take back.
Shailja Patel (Migritude)
The Loneliness of the Military Historian Confess: it's my profession that alarms you. This is why few people ask me to dinner, though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary. I wear dresses of sensible cut and unalarming shades of beige, I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's: no prophetess mane of mine, complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. If I roll my eyes and mutter, if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene, I do it in private and nobody sees but the bathroom mirror. In general I might agree with you: women should not contemplate war, should not weigh tactics impartially, or evade the word enemy, or view both sides and denounce nothing. Women should march for peace, or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery, spit themselves on bayonets to protect their babies, whose skulls will be split anyway, or,having been raped repeatedly, hang themselves with their own hair. There are the functions that inspire general comfort. That, and the knitting of socks for the troops and a sort of moral cheerleading. Also: mourning the dead. Sons,lovers and so forth. All the killed children. Instead of this, I tell what I hope will pass as truth. A blunt thing, not lovely. The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner, though I am good at what I do. My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same. Wars happen because the ones who start them think they can win. In my dreams there is glamour. The Vikings leave their fields each year for a few months of killing and plunder, much as the boys go hunting. In real life they were farmers. The come back loaded with splendour. The Arabs ride against Crusaders with scimitars that could sever silk in the air. A swift cut to the horse's neck and a hunk of armour crashes down like a tower. Fire against metal. A poet might say: romance against banality. When awake, I know better. Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters, or none that could be finally buried. Finish one off, and circumstances and the radio create another. Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently to God all night and meant it, and been slaughtered anyway. Brutality wins frequently, and large outcomes have turned on the invention of a mechanical device, viz. radar. True, valour sometimes counts for something, as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right - though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition, is decided by the winner. Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades and burst like paper bags of guts to save their comrades. I can admire that. But rats and cholera have won many wars. Those, and potatoes, or the absence of them. It's no use pinning all those medals across the chests of the dead. Impressive, but I know too much. Grand exploits merely depress me. In the interests of research I have walked on many battlefields that once were liquid with pulped men's bodies and spangled with exploded shells and splayed bone. All of them have been green again by the time I got there. Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day. Sad marble angels brood like hens over the grassy nests where nothing hatches. (The angels could just as well be described as vulgar or pitiless, depending on camera angle.) The word glory figures a lot on gateways. Of course I pick a flower or two from each, and press it in the hotel Bible for a souvenir. I'm just as human as you. But it's no use asking me for a final statement. As I say, I deal in tactics. Also statistics: for every year of peace there have been four hundred years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
In The Garret Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, All fashioned and filled, long ago, By children now in their prime. Four little keys hung side by side, With faded ribbons, brave and gay When fastened there, with childish pride, Long ago, on a rainy day. Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain. 'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair. I look in with loving eyes, For folded here, with well-known care, A goodly gathering lies, The record of a peaceful life-- Gifts to gentle child and girl, A bridal gown, lines to a wife, A tiny shoe, a baby curl. No toys in this first chest remain, For all are carried away, In their old age, to join again In another small Meg's play. Ah, happy mother! Well I know You hear, like a sweet refrain, Lullabies ever soft and low In the falling summer rain. 'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn, And within a motley store Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn, Birds and beasts that speak no more, Spoils brought home from the fairy ground Only trod by youthful feet, Dreams of a future never found, Memories of a past still sweet, Half-writ poems, stories wild, April letters, warm and cold, Diaries of a wilful child, Hints of a woman early old, A woman in a lonely home, Hearing, like a sad refrain-- 'Be worthy, love, and love will come,' In the falling summer rain. My Beth! the dust is always swept From the lid that bears your name, As if by loving eyes that wept, By careful hands that often came. Death canonized for us one saint, Ever less human than divine, And still we lay, with tender plaint, Relics in this household shrine-- The silver bell, so seldom rung, The little cap which last she wore, The fair, dead Catherine that hung By angels borne above her door. The songs she sang, without lament, In her prison-house of pain, Forever are they sweetly blent With the falling summer rain. Upon the last lid's polished field-- Legend now both fair and true A gallant knight bears on his shield, 'Amy' in letters gold and blue. Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain. Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, Four women, taught by weal and woe To love and labor in their prime. Four sisters, parted for an hour, None lost, one only gone before, Made by love's immortal power, Nearest and dearest evermore. Oh, when these hidden stores of ours Lie open to the Father's sight, May they be rich in golden hours, Deeds that show fairer for the light, Lives whose brave music long shall ring, Like a spirit-stirring strain, Souls that shall gladly soar and sing In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)