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One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: "Wouldn't you like to have that?"
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.
See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?
See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”
Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.
Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.
See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
And lastly, let me ask you this:
If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?
That’s asking too much —
this is only our first date.
The fish is my friend too... I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. But imagine if a man each day should have to try to kill the sun? We were born lucky; he thought
Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea)
I used to love the ocean.
Everything about her.
Her coral reefs, her white caps, her roaring waves, the rocks they lap, her pirate legends and mermaid tails,
Treasures lost and treasures held...
Of her fish
In the sea.
Yes, I used to love the ocean,
Everything about her.
The way she would sing me to sleep as I lay in my bed
then wake me with a force
That I soon came to dread.
Her fables, her lies, her misleading eyes,
I'd drain her dry
If I cared enough to.
I used to love the ocean,
Everything about her.
Her coral reefs, her white caps, her roaring waves, the rocks they lap, her pirate legends and mermaid tails, treasures lost and treasures held.
Of her fish
In the sea.
Well, if you've ever tried navigating your sailboat through her stormy seas, you would realize that her white caps
are your enemies. If you've ever tried swimming ashore when your leg gets a cramp and you just had a huge meal of In-n-Out burgers that's weighing you down, and her roaring waves are knocking the wind out of you, filling your lungs with water as you flail your arms, trying to get someone's attention, but your
back at you?
And if you've ever grown up with dreams in your head about life, and how one of these days you would pirate your own ship and have your own crew and that all of the mermaids
Well, you would realize...
Like I eventually realized...
That all the good things about her?
All the beautiful?
It's not real.
So you keep your ocean,
I'll take the Lake.
Maybe i would become a mermaid... i would live in the swirling blue-green currents, doing exotic underwater dances for the fish, kissed by sea anemones, caressed by seaweed shawls. I would have a doliphin friend. He would have merry eyes and thick flesh of a god. My fingernails would be tiny shells and my skin would be like jade with light shining through it I would never have to come back up
Francesca Lia Block
You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone's so friendly. It's such simple stuff, but... If i could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, i think I'd restart it like this. For everyone.
Alex Garland (The Beach)
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason?
I am a Jew.
Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not
If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.
If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge.
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example?
The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
will better the instruction.
William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
What it looks like is that you’re having sex with one of my oldest friends in the linen closet of our reception hall. Unless, of course, she’s lost something in her vagina and you were gallant enough to try and fish it out for her. With your penis. If that’s the case, I suggest using a larger lure.
Christine Bell (Down for the Count (Dare Me, #1))
When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing. I told him I wanted to be a real Major League baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I KNOW THE WAY YOU CAN GET
I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
And into one's self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!
Odd choice of a word, isn’t it? Fish is either singular, or plural. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the study and found not one fish in a tiny fish bowl, but an entire aquarium.”
She practically vibrated for the need to fight. “Otto was lonely and you were practicing animal cruelty. He was too isolated. Now, he has friends and a place to swim.”
“Yes, nice little tunnels and rocks and algae to play hide and seek with his buddies.
Jennifer Probst (The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1))
A man who tosses worms in the river isn’t 't necessarily a friend of the fish. All the fish who take him for a friend, who think the worm’s got no hook in it, usually end up in the frying pan.
There's nothing sweeter than a real friend:
Not only is he prompt to lend—
An angler delicate, he fishes
The very deepest of your wishes,
And spares your modesty the task
His friendly aid to ask.
A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear,
When pointing at the object dear.
Jean de la Fontaine (Fables)
A doctor, a logician and a marine biologist had also just arrived, flown in at phenomenal expense from Maximegalon to try to reason with the lead singer who had locked himself in the bathroom with a bottle of pills and was refusing to come out till it could be proved conclusively to him that he wasn't a fish. The bass player was busy machine-gunning his bedroom and the drummer was nowhere on board.
Frantic inquiries led to the discovery that he was standing on a beach on Santraginus V over a hundred light years away where, he claimed, he had been happy for over half an hour now and had found a small stone that would be his friend.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
The fish is my friend too," he said aloud. "I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.
Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea)
Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.
Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)
I said, "I'll take the T-bone steak."
A soft voice mooed, "Oh wow."
And I looked up and realized
The waitress was a cow.
I cried, "Mistake--forget the the steak.
I'll take the chicken then."
I heard a cluck--'twas just my luck
The busboy was a hen.
I said, "Okay no, fowl today.
I'll have the seafood dish."
Then I saw through the kitchen door
The cook--he was a fish.
I screamed, "Is there anyone workin' here
Who's an onion or a beet?
No? Your're sure? Okay then friends,
A salad's what I'll eat."
They looked at me. "Oh,no," they said,
"The owner is a cabbage head.
We all want expanded consciousness and bliss. It's a natural, human desire. And a lot of people look for it in drugs. But the problem is that the body, the physiology, takes a hard hit on drugs. Drugs injure the nervous system, so they just make it harder to get those experiences on your own.
I have smoked marijuana, but I no longer do. I went to art school in the 1960s, so you can imagine what was going on. Yet my friends were the ones who said, "No, no, no, David, don't you take those drugs." I was pretty lucky.
Besides, far more profound experiences are available naturally. When your consciousness stars expanding, those experiences are there. All those things can be seen. It's just a matter of expanding that ball of consciousness. And the ball of consciousness can expand to be infinite and unbounded. It's totality. You can have totality. So all those experiences are there for you, without the side effects of drugs.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
I have human friends, obviously. But everything's easier with a cat. He wants a little fish soup in a saucer and the occasional scratch on the head. I want the illusion that an animal bred to trade affection for food can understand the inquietudes of my soul.
Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno)
And the only sign of life is the ticking of the pen, introducing characters to memory like old friends.
Slowly, it came into focus. This small web of people keeping one another afloat. All these minuscule interactions- a friendly wave, a pencil sketch, some plastic beads strung up a nylon cord- they might not look like much from the outside, but for the people caught inside that web? They might be everything, the very tethers that keep one bound to this planet.
Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life)
REAL LIFE vs THE MOVIES
Breaking Up in the Movies:
Boy #1: This isn’t working out, is it?
Boy #2: Sort of not, huh?
Boy #1: You can’t say we didn’t try.
Boy #2: We sure did. Besides, we’re still best friends.
Boy #1: Forever.
Boy #2: This is terrific pasta.
Breaking Up for Real:
Boy #1: Are you asleep?
Boy #2: Does it sound like it?
Boy #1: I’m sorry about the tuna fish.
Boy #2: It isn’t the tuna fish! It’s the last six months!
Boy #1: You’re an asshole.
Boy #2: Let go of my cock.
Steve Kluger (Almost Like Being in Love)
I became an ifrit to save the lives of my fellow jinn. What kind of life saver would I be if I let you sit here and wither away in paradise?”
Just an obstacle. Just an obstacle.
I meet the ifrit’s eyes. “What happened to all your talk about birds and fish having nowhere to live?”
The ifrit shrugs. “I suggest you start holding your breath, my friend,” he says, then pushes through the hearing room doors.
Jackson Pearce (As You Wish (Genies #1))
it was necessary to bait the hook to suit the fish.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
If this were a fairy tale, this would be the part where the fishboy appears and Diana shoots him through the heart. Because he is a tragic hero, he's our fucking Gatsby, and he lived for his fish and he has to die for his fish. He would never let my fake authority, condoning his abandonment, making up rules about what's okay just to save his life, convince him to give up his family. He would never leave.
He would know that without him, none of us will be as good. Me, without a friend; and the fish, without a brother; and the island, without a story; and Diana, without her something real, we will all be a little bit less than we were before we knew him.
So he wouldn't leave. Not until I could come with him. And I have never been less able to leave than I am now.
But this isn't a fairy tale, and he doesn't appear. We stand here for a long time.
He really left.
Because it was all that we could do.
Hannah Moskowitz (Teeth)
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them.
"Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years."
"Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?"
"OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?"
You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point:
And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!"
"I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said.
"Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said.
But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"
Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes:
"God put those here to test our faith."
"I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out."
Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:
"Did you believe in dinosaurs?"
"Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!"
"You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!"
"It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!"
"Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!"
They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it.
Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet.
"Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
I heard that when white folks go fishin they do somethin called 'catch and release.'
Catch and release? I nodded solemnly, suddenly nervous and curious at the same time.
'That really bothers me', Denver went on. 'I just can't figure it out. 'Cause when colored folks go fishin, we really proud of what we catch, and we take it and show it off to everybody that'll look. Then we eat what we catch...in other words, we use it to SUSTAIN us. So it really bothers me that white folks would go to all the trouble to catch a fish, when when they done caught it, just throw it back in the water.'
He paused again, and the silence between us stretched a full minute. Then: 'Did you hear what I said?'
I nodded, afraid to speak, afraid to offend.
Denver looked away, searching the blue autumn sky, then locked onto me again with that drill-bit start. 'So, Mr. Ron, it occurred to me: If you is fishin for a friend you just gon' catch and release, then I ain't got no desire to be your friend.'
I returned Denver's gaze with what I hoped was a receptive expression and hung on.
Suddenly his eyes gentled and he spoke more softly than before: 'But if you is lookin for a REAL friend, then I'll be one. Forever.
Ron Hall (Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together)
The Oldest Thirst There Is
Give us gladness that connects
with the Friend, a taste of the quick,
you that makes a cypress strong
and jasmine jasmine.
Give us the inner listening
that is a way in itself
and the oldest thirst there is.
Don't measure it out with a cup.
I am a fish. You are the moon.
You cannot touch me, but your light
can fill the ocean where I live.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Essential Rumi)
A Kite is a Victim
A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.
A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won't give up,
or the wind die down.
A kite is the last poem you've written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don't let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.
A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so you make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.
You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me
There are some men
There are some men
who should have mountains
to bear their names through time
Grave markers are not high enough
and sons go far away to lose the fist
their father’s hand will always seem
I had a friend he lived and died
in mighty silence and with dignity
left no book son or lover to mourn.
Nor is this a mourning song
but only a naming of this mountain
on which I walk
fragrant, dark and softly white
under the pale of mist
I name this mountain after him.
-Believe nothing of me
Except that I felt your beauty
more closely than my own.
I did not see any cities burn,
I heard no promises of endless night,
I felt your beauty
more closely than my own.
Promise me that I will return.-
-When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.-
I almost went to bed
the four white violets
I put in the button-hole
of your green sweater
and how i kissed you then
and you kissed me
shy as though I'd
never been your lover
-Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart.
Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and
fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
We are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide,
To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died,
Sometime at eve when the tide is low,
The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow,
Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts,
Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart,
We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale,
With no response to our friendly hail,
We raise our sails and search for majestic light,
While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night,
Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea,
Back to the place that he asked us to be,
Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near,
In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears,
Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine,
The wasted tales of wishful time,
Are we a fish on a line lured with bait,
Is life the grind, a heartless fate,
Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar,
Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star,
It danced on the abyss of the evening sky,
The sparkle of heaven shining on high,
Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray,
From the bow to the mast they heard him say,
"Hope is above, not found in the deep,
I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep,
I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile,
I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile,
My friends, have no fear, my work was done well,
In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell,
I found faith in those that I called my crew,
My love will be the compass that will see you through,
So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find,
I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind,
For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song,
I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.
Shannon L. Alder
Are you born again?" he asked, as we taxied down the runway. He was rather prim and tense, maybe a little like David Eisenhower with a spastic colon. I did not know how to answer for a moment.
"Yes," I said. "I am."
My friends like to tell each other that I am not really a born-again Christian. They think of me more along the lines of that old Jonathan Miller routine, where he said, "I'm not really a Jew -- I'm Jew-ish." They think I am Christian-ish. But I'm not. I'm just a bad Christian. A bad born-again Christian. And certainly, like the apostle Peter, I am capable of denying it, of presenting myself as a sort of leftist liberation-theology enthusiast and maybe sort of a vaguely Jesusy bon vivant. But it's not true. And I believe that when you get on a plane, if you start lying you are totally doomed.
So I told the truth; that I am a believer, a convert. I'm probably about three months away from slapping an aluminum Jesus-fish on the back of my car, although I first want to see if the application or stickum in any way interferes with my lease agreement. And believe me, all this boggles even *my* mind. But it's true. I could go to a gathering of foot-wash Baptists and, except for my dreadlocks, fit right in. I would wash their feet; I would let them wash mine.
A true friend never asks you to feed their imaginary fish. Or fertilize their imaginary crops.
Teresa Medeiros (Goodnight Tweetheart)
What is there to see if I go outside? Don't tell me. I know. I can see other people. I don't want to see other people. They look awful. The men look like slobs and the women look like men. The men have mush faces framed by long hair and the women have big noses, big jaws, big heads, and stick-like bodies. That depresses me. Its no fun to people-watch anymore because there's so little variety in types.
You say it's good to get a change of scenery. What scenery? New buildings? New cars? New freeways? New shopping malls? Go to the woods or a park? I saw a tree once. The new ones look the same, which is fine. I even remember what the old ones look like. My memory isn't that short. But it's not worth going to see a squirrel grab a nut, or fish swimming around in a big tank if I must put up with the ugly contemporary human pollution that accompanies each excursion. The squirrel may enliven me and remind me of better vistas but the price in social interaction isn't worth it. If, on my way to visit the squirrel, I encounter a single person who gains stimulation by seeing me, I feel like I have given more than I've received and I get sore.
If every time I go somewhere to see a fish swimming, I become someone else's stimulation, I feel shortchanged. I'll buy my own fish and watch it swim. Then, I can watch the fish, the fish can watch me, we can be friends, and nobody else interferes with the interaction, like trying to hear what the fish and I are talking about. I won't have to get dressed a certain way to visit the fish. I needn't dress the way my pride dictates, because who's going to see me? I needn't wear any pants. The fish doesn't care. He doesn't read the tabloids. But, if I go out to see a fish other than my own, I'm right back where I started: entertaining others, which is more depleting than visiting the new fish is entertaining.
Maybe I should go to a coffee house. I find no stimulation in watching ordinary people trying to put the make on other uninteresting people. I can fix my own cup of coffee and not have to look at or talk to other people. No matter where I go, I stimulate others, and have been doing so all my life. It used to be I'd sometimes get stimulated back.
Anton Szandor LaVey
He, unfortunately for himself, had been beautifully brought up. His teacher had educated him as the child is educated in the womb, where it lives the history of man from fish to mammal--and, like the child in the womb, he had been protected with love meanwhile. The effect of such an education was that he had grown up without any of the useful accomplishments for living--without malice, vanity, suspicion, cruelty, and the commoner forms of selfishness. Jealousy seemed to him the most ignoble of vices. He was sadly unfitted for hating his best friend or torturing his wife. He had been given too much love and trust to be good at these things.
Chance, my master and my friend, will, I feel sure, deign once again to send me the spirits of his unruly kingdom. All my trust is now in him- and in myself. But above all in him, for when I go under he always fishes me out, seizing and shaking me like a life-saving dog whose teeth tear my skin a little every time. So now, whenever I despair, I no longer expect my end, but some bit of luck, some commonplace little miracle which, like a glittering link, will mend again the necklace of my days.
Reyna put her hand on his shoulder. ‘Coach, we’ll get you to your wife, but let’s do it right. Tyson, how did you and Ella get out to this ship?’
‘You … took a rainbow?’
‘He is my fish pony friend.’
‘A hippocampus,’ Nico advised.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
This has been the century of strangers, brown, yellow and white. This has been the century of the great immigrant experiment. It is only this late in the day that you can walk into a playground and find Isaac Leung by the fish pond, Danny Rahman in the football cage, Quang O’Rourke bouncing a basketball, and Irie Jones humming a tune. Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks. It is only this late in the day, and possibly only in Willesden, that you can find best friends Sita and Sharon, constantly mistaken for each other because Sita is white (her mother liked the name) and Sharon is Pakistani (her mother thought it best — less trouble).
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
In Santa Barbara they stopped at a fish restaurant in what seemed to be a converted warehouse.
Fenchurch had red mullet and said it was delicious.
Arthur had a swordfish steak and said it made him angry. He grabbed a passing waitress by the arm and berated her.
"Why's this fish so bloody good?" he demanded, angrily.
"Please excuse my friend," said Fenchurch to the startled waitress. "I think he's having a nice day at last.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
It’s traumatizing to think that a best friend could become just a friend. That’s because there is virtually no difference between an acquaintance and a friend. But the gulf between a friend and a best friend is enormous and profound. And if I look at it that way, I think I can see the value of a wedding. If you’re my best friend and the only way I get to have dinner with you is by traveling thousands of miles, selecting a chicken or fish option, and wearing a dress in the same shade of lavender as six other girls, I will do that.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
it seemed clear that no matter how unsubtly I fished for his reassurance he wasn’t going to provide it.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
Thank you to the crows that amass on Vancouver evenings and fly home to the darkness of Burnaby Mountain. Thank you to the brilliance of wet moss and lichen. Thank you to the rays of golden brown light slanting in the cool of a green lake. Thank you to the shoals of glinting fish. Thank you to the sweet gems of salmonberries. Thank you to the decaying leaves for their rich brown smell. Thank you to the slugs and wood lice beneath the leaves. Thank you to to my plant friends who keep me company as I write. I am deeply grateful to share this cycle with you.
Hiromi Goto (Half World)
When I was Mare Barrow of the Stilts, I thought the same way. I wondered what would happen if I survived conscription, and saw what that future held. A friendly marriage to the fish boy with green eyes, children we could love, a poor stilt home. It seemed like a dream back then, an impossibility. And it still is. It always will be. I do not love Kilorn, not the way he wants me to. I never will.
Victoria Aveyard (Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2))
Move along,” Hines said. “Last room down.”
I spotted a fish tank halfway down the aisle. Dug into my pocket.
“Hi,” I whispered. “Distraction in five. Four. Three...”
I broke off as we neared the tank.
Hi spun. “Yo, warden. When do we eat around here? I'm hypoglycemic, plus I've got a hernia. And rabies simplex D. Basically, I need a ton of pills or my arms will fall off.”
“Boy, you're on my last nerve.”
As Hines glared at Hiram, I palmed the flash drive and dumped it into the fish tank. The yellow-and-black rectangle tumbled to the bottom.
So long, friend. Let's hope Shelton's email went through.
“It's a cultural thing,” Hi was saying. “I think you're being very insensitive.”
Hines snorted. “Do you want me to cuff you?”
“Hi.” I nodded.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
To be a good writer, become a good listener.
Cynthia Briggs (The Adventures of Lily and Leon: A Soppy Fish Tale)
Birds can sing and fish can swim and I can do this.
Donna Tartt (The Little Friend)
Writing isn’t my life…it’s a lovely part of my life... but it’s not my life. My life is family, friends, fishing, food…things like reading and painting and all the rest of it, and you can’t really prioritize when you’re involved with family or you’re involved in fishing, you can’t say, ‘Oh, I really should be writing.
A few years ago a friend said that I use to hunt and fish and build houses and things but now my whole life revolved around my computer I replied "But my computer revolves around the world
Stanley Victor Paskavich (Return to Stantasyland)
No I am not okay. I've just been pulled out of play tryouts where I had to be the first to audition and everyone's trying out for the same parts, I just had a very bizarre conversation with the school secretary, Megan may be throwing up her cucumber sandwiches, I've broken five of the seven deadly sins in as many hours, a demon may be inside a girl in my world religions class, Grant Brawner called me by name, my license photo looks like a dead fish, I have to drive my friends all over town in two hours when I've never even driven without Dad before, none of my birthday wishes have come true yet, and now you're here with muffins like I'm in second grade? So, no, I am not ok.
Wendy Mass (Leap Day)
I read a book one day and my whole life was changed” starts Orhan Pamuk to his famous and brilliantly written book: The New Life. Some books just strike you with the very first sentence, and generally those are the ones that leave a mark in your memory and soul, the ones that make you read, come back many years later and read again, and have the same pleasure each time. I was lucky enough to have a father who was passionate about literature, so passionate that he would teach me how to read at the age of five. The very first book he bought for me was “The Little Black Fish” by Samad Behrangi. After that I started reading his other books, and at that age I had already owned a small Behrangi collection. Recently I was talking with a Persian friend about how Behrangi and his books changed my life. A girl, from another country, from kilometeters away, around the same time was also reading Behrangi’s books, and creating her own imaginary worlds with his rich and deep characters, and intense stories.
Samad Behrangi (The Little Black Fish)
Akira often gets mad at me because he thinks I'm too nice to strangers, and cold as a fish at home. What can I do? He's right, but that's the way I am. I'm more enthusiastic about people I've just met, whom I barely know at all, than with old friends. Before the awkwardness of a new acquaintance has worn off, I'm ready to offer myself up to that person.
Banana Yoshimoto (Lizard)
I love salmon. Of all my fishy friends, I love salmon the best. Or trout. Or tuna. Or smelts. Oh heck. I love them ALL! But I have such fond memories of salmon. See, my dad was a fisherman. I mean a fanatic fisherman. Fishing was probably what he liked to do most (along with gardening and riding horses and camping in the Sierra and bowling and… ) But honestly, folks, fishing was probably the winner for leisure-time activities.
Mallory M. O'Connor (The Kitchen and the Studio: A Memoir of Food and Art)
I felt suffocated. And alone. More alone than ever. Every year, I ostentatiously crossed out of my address book any friend who'd made a racist remark, neglected those whose only ambition was a new car and a Club Med vacation, and forgot all those who played the Lottery. I loved fishing and silence. Walking the hills. Drinking cold Cassis, Lagavulin, or Oban late into the night. I didn't talk much. Had opinions about everything. Life and death. Good and evil. I was a film buff. Loved music. I'd stopped reading contemporary novels. More than anything, I loathed half-hearted, spineless people.
It was dark now as it becomes dark quickly after the sun sets in September. He lay against the worn wood of the bow and rested all that he could. The first stars were out. He did not know the name of Rigel but he saw it and knew soon they would all be out and he would have all his distant friends.
'The fish is my friend too,' he said aloud. 'I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.
Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea)
None of us can be proof against the influences that proceed from the persons he associates with. Wherefore, in books and men, let us look out for the best society, that which yields a bracing and wholesome influence. We all know the person for whose company we are the better, though the talk is only about fishing or embroidery.
Charlotte M. Mason
A Faint Music by Robert Hass
Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.
When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.
As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.
There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.
It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
We are, after all, citizens of the world - a world filled with bacteria, some friendly, some not so friendly. Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald's? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Senor Tamale Stand Owner, Sushi-chef-san, Monsieur Bucket-head. What's that feathered game bird, hanging on the porch, getting riper by the day, the body nearly ready to drop off? I want some.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Seemed to me a phone was an impersonal instrument. If it felt like it, it let your personality go through its wires. If it didn't want to, it just drained your personality away until what slipped through at the other end was some cold fish of a voice, all steel, copper, plastic, no warmth, no reality. It's easy to say the wrong thing on telephones; the telephone changes your meaning on you. First thing you know, you've made an enemy. Then, of course, the telephone's such a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn't want to be called. Friends were always calling, calling, calling me. Hell, I hadn't any time of my own.
Ray Bradbury (Twice 22: The Golden Apples of the Sun / A Medicine for Melancholy)
I loved the solar smile he would turn on his friends at times--and on me--nonplussing us when he simply left it on us, full-beam, for such a long, long moment that we'd finally have no choice but to realize this was no social smile, no rote kind of friendliness: this was what it felt like to be completely seen and loved for a moment.
David James Duncan (My Story as told by Water: Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections, Bird-watchings, Fish-stalkings, Visions, Songs and Prayers Refracting Light, from Living Rivers, in the Age of the Industrial Dark)
Any clear thing that blinds us with surprise,
your wandering silences and bright trouvailles,
dolphin let loose to catch the flashing fish...
saying too little, then too much.
Poets die adolescents, their beat embalms them,
the archetypal voices sing offkey;
the old actor cannot read his friends,
and nevertheless he reads himself aloud,
genuis hums the auditorium dead.
The line must terminate.
Yet my heart rises, I know I've gladdened a lifetime
knotting, undoing a fishnet of tarred rope;
the net will hang on the wall when the fish are eaten,
nailed like illegible bronze on the futureless future.
He was very fond of flying fish as they were his principal friends on the ocean. He was sorry for the birds, especially the small delicate dark terns that were always flying and looking and almost never finding, and he thought, the birds have a harder life than we do except for the robber birds and the heavy strong ones. Why did they make birds so delicate and fine as those sea swallows when the ocean can be so cruel? She is kind and very beautiful. But she can be so cruel and it comes so suddenly and such birds that fly, dipping and hunting, with their small sad voices are made too delicately for the sea.
Ernest Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea)
He looked at a picture on the wall and saw everything that existed outside the room he was sitting in and the one he was trying to write about. It was a picture of fishing nets stowed in canvas baskets and it had sex, memories, cravings, names of old friends, principal rivers of the world. Writing was bad for the soul when you got right down to it. It protected your worst tendencies. Narrowed everything to failure and its devastations. Gave your cunning an edge of treachery and your jellyfish heart a reason to fall deeper into silence.
Don DeLillo (Mao II)
A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishing pole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention. It was fall, and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose's. . . . Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day's woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive. Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog. Summer, and he watched his children's heart break. Autumn again, and Boo's children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Actually, I’m glad I’m not rich. I’ve gotta believe that it’s harder to die if you are. Not only do you lose possession of all those assets, all that cash and those stocks and bonds and cars and antiques and silver and paintings and vacation homes, but in those final days and weeks there can be no denying that a tremendous amount of your life was spent accumulating and fussing over all those assets, time that could have been spent with family and friends or fishing or traveling...
Jonathan Hull (Losing Julia)
You imagine that you worship truth. Yet by yourself you cannot be truthful even for an hour. You move within me, like a fish in the sea, and still you can't discover me...Look in the blade of your knife.
In the whole of time, I've blinked but once. I am those eyes that gaze at you without ceasing, even if I am not before you. I read what is within you -- know you better than your closest friend. Before my gaze your heart lies open; from me no thought is hidden. You wonder what I see. Like a child, you imagined you could hide. I bring you to the light. I cause you to stand alone.
The library turned out to be a very pleasant place, but it was not the comfortable chairs, the huge wooden bookshelves, or the hush of people reading that made the three siblings feel so good as they walked into the room. It is useless for me to tell you all about the brass lamps in the shapes of different fish, or the bright blue curtains that rippled like water as a breeze came in from the window, because although these were wonderful things they were no what made the three children smile. The Quagmire triplets were smiling, too, and although I have not researched the Quagmires nearly as much as I have the Baudelaires, I can say with reasonable accuracy that they were smiling for the same reason.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
The old thing where it always was, back again. As when a man, having found at last what he sought, a woman, for example, or a friend, loses it, or realises what it is. And yet it is useless not to seek, not to want, for when you cease to seek you start to find, and when you cease to want, then life begins to ram her fish and chips down your gullet until you puke, and then the puke down your gullet until you puke the puke, and then the puked puke until you begin to like it. The glutton castaway, the drunkard in the desert, the lecher in prison, they are the happy ones. To hunger, thirst, lust, every day afresh and every day in vain, after the old prog, the old booze, the old whores, that's the nearest we'll ever get to felicity, the new porch and the very latest garden. I pass on the tip for what it is worth.
Samuel Beckett (Watt)
Everybody had his arms on everybody else’s shoulders, and they were all singing. Mike was sitting at the table with several men in their shirt-sleeves, eating from a bowl of tuna fish, chopped onions and vinegar. They were all drinking wine and mopping up the oil and vinegar with pieces of bread.
“Hello, Jake. Hello!” Mike called. “Come here. I want you to meet my friends. We are all having an hors d’œuvre.
Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises)
Trappings and charm wear off, I’ve learned. The book of welcome says, Let people see you. They see that your upper arms are beautiful, soft and clean and warm, and then they will see this about their own, some of the time. It’s called having friends, choosing each other, getting found, being fished out of the rubble. It blows you away, how this wonderful event happened—me in your life, you in mine. Two parts fit together. This hadn’t occurred all that often, but now that it does, it’s the wildest experience. It could almost make a believer out of you. Of course, life will randomly go to hell every so often, too. Cold winds arrive and prick you; the rain falls down your neck; darkness comes. But now there are two of you. Holy Moly.
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
When I was a kid and would tell my mom that people at school were mean to me, she’d pat me on the head and tell me stories about how she’d lived through war and an actual revolution, and when she was fifteen someone cracked open her skull in the middle of the street while her
best friend was gutted like a fish so, hey, why don’t you just eat your Cheerios and walk it off, you ungrateful American child. I ate my cheerios. I didn't talk about it.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
Consider what a child misses during the 15, 000 hours (from birth to age seventeen) he spends in front of the TV screen. He is not working in the garage with his father, or in the garden with his mother. He is not doing homework, or reading, or collecting stamps. He is not cleaning his room, washing the supper dishes, or cutting the lawn. He is not listening to a discussion about community politics among his parents and their friends. He is not playing baseball or going fishing, or painting pictures. Exactly what does television offer that is so valuable it can replace these activities that transform an impulsive, self-absorbed child into a critically thinking adult?
You are always in danger in the forest, where no people are. Step between the portals of the great pines where the shaggy branches tangle about you, trapping the unwary traveller in nets as if the vegetation itself were in a plot with the wolves who live there, as though the wicked trees go fishing on behalf of their friends--step between the gateposts of the forest with the greatest trepidation and infinite precautions, for if you stray from the path for one instant, the wolves will eat you. They are grey as famine, they are as unkind as plague.
MarkBaynard: If you start hanging out over here, won't your Facebook Friends miss you?
Abby_Donovan: Those people weren't my friends. If they had been, they wouldn't have sent me all those annoying quizzes.
MarkBaynard: A true friend never asks you to feed their imaginary fish. Or fertilize their imaginary crops.
Abby_Donovan: Although with a little coaxing, I might be persuaded to take home your imaginary kitten. So how is Twitter different from Facebook?
MarkBaynard: Twitter is the perpetual cocktail party where everyone is talking at once but nobody is saying anything.
Teresa Medeiros (Goodnight Tweetheart)
When I was a child I had a fishless aquarium. My father set it up for me with gravel and plants and pebbles before he'd got the fish and I asked him to leave it as it was for a while. The pump kept up a charming burble, the green-gold light was wondrous when the room was dark. I put in a china mermaid and a tin horseman who maintained a relationship like that of the figures on Keat's Grecian urn except that the horseman grew rusty. Eventually fish were pressed upon me and they seemed an intrusion, I gave them to a friend. All that aquarium wanted was the sound of the pump, the gently waving plants, the mysterious pebbles and the silent horseman forever galloping to the mermaid smiling in the green-gold light. I used to sit and look at them for hours. The mermaid and the horseman were from my father. I have them in a box somewhere here, I'm not yet ready to take them out and look at them again.
Russell Hoban (Turtle Diary)
Rachel left," he says, sighing. "Says she's never coming back."
Galen nods. "She always says that. It's probably for the better tonight, though." They both wince as Rayna plants the ball of her foot in Emma's back, splaying her across the sea of shards.
"I taught her that," Toraf says.
"It's a good move."
Neither of the combatants seem to care about the rain, lightning, or the whereabouts of their hostess. The storm billows in, drenching the furniture, the TV, the strange art on the wall. No wonder Rachel didn't want to see this. She fussed over this stuff for days.
"So, it kind of threw me when she said she didn't like fish," Toraf says.
"I noticed. Surprised me, too, but everything else is there."
"That white hair is shocking though, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I like it. Shut up." Galen throws a sideways glare at his friend, whose grin makes him ball his fists.
"Hard bones and thick skin, obviously. There's no sign of blood. And she took some pretty hard hits from Rayna," Toraf continues neutrally.
Galen nods, relaxes his fists.
"Plus, you feel the pull-" Toraf is greeted with a forceful shove that sends him skidding on one foot across the slippery marble floor. Laughing, he comes back to stand beside Galen again.
"Jackass," Galen mutters.
"Jackass? What's a jackass?"
"Not sure. Emma called me that today when she was irritated with me."
"You're insulting me in human-talk now? I'm disappointed in you, minnow." Toraf nods toward the girls. "Shouldn't we break this up soon?"
"I don't think so. I think they need to work this out on their own."
"What about Emma's head?"
Galen shrugs. "Seems fine right now. Or she wouldn't have bashed the window into pieces with her forehead.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The Reed Flute's Song
Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.
"Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.
Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.
Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.
At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,
a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden
within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,
spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us
to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty."
Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment
melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn
and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy
and longing for intimacy, one
song. A disastrous surrender
and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.
A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect
because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes
is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying
that they do. Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.
Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,
who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!
No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.
But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,
it's best to cut conversation
short, say good-bye, and leave.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
When Sam’s having a hard time and being a total baby about the whole thing, I feel so much frustration and rage and self-doubt and worry that it’s like a mini-breakdown. I feel like my mind becomes a lake full of ugly fish and big clumps of algae and coral, of feelings and unhappy memories and rehearsals for future difficulties and failures. I paddle around in it like some crazy old dog, and then I remember that there’s a float in the middle of the lake and I can swim out to it and lie down in the sun. That float is about being loved, by my friends and by God and even sort of by me. And so I lie there and get warm and dry off, and I guess I get bored or else it is human nature because after a while I jump back into the lake, into all that crap. I guess the solution is just to keep trying to get back to the float. This morning Sam woke at 4:00, so
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
Did I ever tell you about Asin? She is the wild woman of the woods. It's an old story of the People. My mom used to tell me about Asin. Asin couldn't bear being married or having children or having friends. She always wanted to run wild. She ran wild through the woods. If you saw her running you had to run to water as fast as you could and drink or her restlessness would come into you like a thirst that could never be quenched. She was happy and unhappy. She had wild long hair and she was very tall and she ran like the wind. When you saw dunegrass rippling in a line she was running through it. When the wind changed direction suddenly that was Asin. She was never satisfied or content and so she ran and ran and ran. She would grab men who were fishing alone and make love to them and then throw them down on the ground and run away weeping. She would grab children who wandered too far alone in the woods but she would return them to the same spot after three days and run away again. She would listen to women talking by the fire or working in the village or gathering berries but if they invited her to join them she ran away. You could hear her crying sometimes when the sun went down. She wanted something but she never knew what it was so she had nothing. She was as free as anyone ever could be and she was trapped. When I was young I wanted to be Asin. Many times I wanted to be Asin. So do you, Nora. I know. It's okay. It's alright. My sweet love. Poor Asin. Sometimes I think to be Asin would be the saddest thing in the world. Poor thing.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Ed Lim’s daughter, Monique, was a junior now, but as she’d grown up, he and his wife had noted with dismay that there were no dolls that looked like her. At ten, Monique had begun poring over a mail-order doll catalog as if it were a book–expensive dolls, with n ames and stories and historical outfits, absurdly detailed and even more absurdly expensive.
‘Jenny Cohen has this one,’ she’d told them, her finger tracing the outline of a blond doll that did indeed resemble Jenny Cohen: sweet faced with heavy bangs, slightly stocky. 'And they just made a new one with red hair. Her mom’s getting it for her sister Sarah for Hannukkah.’ Sarah Cohen had flaming red hair, the color of a penny in the summer sun. But there was no doll with black hair, let alone a face that looked anything like Monique’s. Ed Lim had gone to four different toy stores searching for a Chinese doll; he would have bought it for his daughter, whatever the price, but no such thing existed.
He’d gone so far as to write to Mattel, asking them if there was a Chinese Barbie doll, and they’d replied that yes, they offered 'Oriental Barbie’ and sent him a pamphlet. He had looked at that pamphlet for a long time, at the Barbie’s strange mishmash of a costume, all red and gold satin and like nothing he’d ever seen on a Chinese or Japanese or Korean woman, at her waist-length black hair and slanted eyes. I am from Hong Kong, the pamphlet ran. It is in the Orient, or Far East. Throughout the Orient, people shop at outdoor marketplaces where goods such as fish, vegetables, silk, and spices are openly displayed. The year before, he and his wife and Monique had gone on a trip to Hong Kong, which struck him, mostly, as a pincushion of gleaming skyscrapers. In a giant, glassed-in shopping mall, he’d bought a dove-gray cashmere sweater that he wore under his suit jacket on chilly days. Come visit the Orient. I know you will find it exotic and interesting.
In the end he’d thrown the pamphlet away. He’d heard, from friends with younger children, that the expensive doll line now had one Asian doll for sale – and a few black ones, too – but he’d never seen it. Monique was seventeen now, and had long outgrown dolls.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
The summer our marriage failed
we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car.
We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea,
talking about which seeds to sow
when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach
leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt,
downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers,
and there was a joke, you said, about old florists
who were forced to make other arrangements.
Delphiniums flared along the back fence.
All summer it hurt to look at you.
I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going
in different directions.” As if it had something to do
with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down
how love empties itself from a house, how a view
changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose
for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed
down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks,
it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day
after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings?
You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated
a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave
carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles.
On our last trip we drove through rain
to a town lit with vacancies.
We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met
five other couples—all of us fluorescent,
waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency
of the motor that would lure these great mammals
near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long,
creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker:
In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm
and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves.
Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we
get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger
than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can
communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s
my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me?
His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang
for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening.
The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes
were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing
or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates.
Again and again you patiently wiped the spray
from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good
troopers used to disappointment. On the way back
you pointed at cormorants riding the waves—
you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic,
the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure
whales were swimming under us by the dozens.
Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument,
the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning,
washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved
sitting with our friends under the plum trees,
in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you
stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How
the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain
how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time,
how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying
to describe the ways sex darkens
and dies, how two bodies can lie
together, entwined, out of habit.
Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire,
on an old couch that no longer reassures.
The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest
and found ourselves in fog so thick
our lights were useless. There’s no choice,
you said, we must have faith in our blindness.
How I believed you. Trying to imagine
the road beneath us, we inched forward,
honking, gently, again and again.
In her memoir of living among the Bushmen, The Old Way: A Story of the First People, my friend Liz lovingly invokes an image first coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins: “You are standing beside your mother, holding her hand. She is holding her mother’s hand, who is holding her mother’s hand. . . . ” Eventually the line stretches three hundred miles long and goes back five million years, and the clasping hand of the ancestor looks like that of a chimpanzee. I loved picturing one of Octavia’s arms stretching out to meet one of her mother’s arms, and one of her mother’s mother’s arms, and her mother’s mother’s mother’s. . . . Suckered, elastic arms, reaching back through time: an octopus chorus line stretching not just hundreds, but many thousands of miles long. Back past the Cenozoic, the time when our ancestors descended from the trees; back past the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs ruled the land; back past the Permian and the rise of the ancestors of the mammals; back, past the Carboniferous’s coal-forming swamp forests; back past the Devonian, when amphibians emerged from the water; back past the Silurian, when plants first took root on land—all the way to the Ordovician, to a time before the advent of wings or knees or lungs, before the fishes had bony jaws, before blood pumped from a multichambered heart. More than 500 million years ago, the tides would have been stronger, the days shorter, the year longer, and the air too high in carbon dioxide for mammals or birds to breathe. All the earth’s continents huddled in the Southern Hemisphere. And yet still, the arm of Octavia’s ancestor, sensitive, suckered, and supple, would have been recognizable as one of an octopus.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
Where mermaids live looks a bit like your pool.' said Bernard. 'Except they build houses out of whale bones and the wreckage of sunken ships. They play chess with seahorses. They wear capes of fish scales and sleep on beds made from seaweed.'
As we listened, I thought I heard a slight splashing from the far end of the pool.
'At night,' Bernard continued, 'they turn on an electric eel for a night-light, and they light a fire, and the smoke goes up a chimney made from coral.'
'Wait a minute,' interupted Zoe, clearly immersed in Bernard's description. 'If they live underwater, how could they have a fire?'
'You should ask them,' said Bernard.
Zoe and I open our eyes.
Now, look, I know the light was just playing tricks on us. And I know we'd all probably inhaled too much sequin glue. But for the briefest moment, the blue of Zoe's pool gave way to deeper, darker aqua-colored water. The few plants and rocks were replaced with a lagoon and a waterfall where several mermaids lounged half in the water, half in the sun. They splashed and dove, their laughter making the same sound as the water.
Michelle Cuevas (Confessions of an Imaginary Friend)
Money: My Thesis
Money can buy you comfort,
but it can’t buy you peace.
Money can buy you pleasure,
but it can’t buy you happiness.
Money can buy you food,
but it can’t buy you contentment.
Money can buy you delight,
but it can’t buy you love.
Money can buy you praise,
but it can’t buy you honor.
Money can buy you titles,
but it can’t buy you respect.
Money can buy you neighbors,
but it can’t buy you friends.
Money can buy you crowds,
but it can’t buy you God.
Money can buy you religion,
but it can’t buy you faith.
Money can buy you education,
but it can’t buy you wisdom.
Money can buy you medicine,
but it can’t buy you health.
Money can buy you time,
but it can’t buy you life.
Money can buy you a compass,
but it can’t buy you purpose.
Money can buy you luck,
but it can’t buy you fate.
Money can buy you advisers,
but it can’t buy you certainty.
Money can buy you today,
but it can’t buy you tomorrow.
Money can buy you fish,
but it can’t buy you the ocean.
Money can buy you land,
but it can’t buy you the world.
Money can buy you aeroplanes,
but it can’t buy you the skies.
Money can buy you telescopes,
but it can’t buy you the stars.
Summer days, and the flat water meadows and the blue hills in the distance, and the willows up the backwater and the pools underneath like a kind of deep green glass. Summer evenings, the fish breaking the water, the nightjars hawking round your head, the smell of nightstocks and latakia. Don’t mistake what I’m talking about. It’s not that I’m trying to put across any of that poetry of childhood stuff. I know that’s all baloney. Old Porteous (a friend of mine, a retired schoolmaster, I’ll tell you about him later) is great on the poetry of childhood. Sometimes he reads me stuff about it out of books. Wordsworth. Lucy Gray. There was a time when meadow, grove, and all that. Needless to say he’s got no kids of his own. The truth is that kids aren’t in any way poetic, they’re merely savage little animals, except that no animal is a quarter as selfish.
A boy isn’t interested in meadows, groves, and so forth. He never looks at a landscape, doesn’tgive a damn for flowers, and unless they affect him in some way, such as being good to eat, he doesn’t know one plant from another. Killing things - that’s about as near to poetry as a boy gets. And yet all the while there’s that peculiar intensity, the power of longing for things as you can’t long when you’re grown up, and the feeling that time stretches out and out in front of you and that whatever you’re doing you could go on for ever.
George Orwell (Coming up for Air)
…I notice that people always make gigantic arrangements for bathing when they are going anywhere near the water, but that they don’t bathe much when they are there.
It is the same when you go to the sea-side. I always determine—when thinking over the matter in London—that I’ll get up early every morning, and go and have a dip before breakfast, and I religiously pack up a pair of drawers and a bath towel. I always get red bathing drawers. I rather fancy myself in red drawers. They suit my complexion so. But when I get to the sea I don’t feel somehow that I want that early morning bathe nearly so much as I did when I was in town.
On the contrary, I feel more that I want to stop in bed till the last moment, and then come down and have my breakfast. Once or twice virtue has triumphed, and I have got out at six and half-dressed myself, and have taken my drawers and towel, and stumbled dismally off. But I haven’t enjoyed it. They seem to keep a specially cutting east wind, waiting for me, when I go to bathe in the early morning; and they pick out all the three-cornered stones, and put them on the top, and they sharpen up the rocks and cover the points over with a bit of sand so that I can’t see them, and they take the sea and put it two miles out, so that I have to huddle myself up in my arms and hop, shivering, through six inches of water. And when I do get to the sea, it is rough and quite insulting.
One huge wave catches me up and chucks me in a sitting posture, as hard as ever it can, down on to a rock which has been put there for me. And, before I’ve said “Oh! Ugh!” and found out what has gone, the wave comes back and carries me out to mid-ocean. I begin to strike out frantically for the shore, and wonder if I shall ever see home and friends again, and wish I’d been kinder to my little sister when a boy (when I was a boy, I mean). Just when I have given up all hope, a wave retires and leaves me sprawling like a star-fish on the sand, and I get up and look back and find that I’ve been swimming for my life in two feet of water. I hop back and dress, and crawl home, where I have to pretend I liked it.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
He no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha, instead he saw other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha. He saw the face of a fish, a carp, with an infinitely painfully opened mouth, the face of a dying fish, with fading eyes—he saw the face of a new-born child, red and full of wrinkles, distorted from crying—he saw the face of a murderer, he saw him plunging a knife into the body of another person—he saw, in the same second, this criminal in bondage, kneeling and his head being chopped off by the executioner with one blow of his sword—he saw the bodies of men and women, naked in positions and cramps of frenzied love—he saw corpses stretched out, motionless, cold, void— he saw the heads of animals, of boars, of crocodiles, of elephants, of bulls, of birds—he saw gods, saw Krishna, saw Agni—he saw all of these figures and faces in a thousand relationships with one another, each one helping the other, loving it, hating it, destroying it, giving re-birth to it, each one was a will to die, a passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of them died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one and the other face—and all of these figures and faces rested, flowed, generated themselves, floated along and merged with each other, and they were all constantly covered by something thin, without individuality of its own, but yet existing, like a thin glass or ice, like a transparent skin, a shell or mold or mask of water, and this mask was smiling, and this mask was Siddhartha's smiling face, which he, Govinda, in this very same moment touched with his lips. And, Govinda saw it like this, this smile of the mask, this smile of oneness above the flowing forms, this smile of simultaneousness above the thousand births and deaths, this smile of Siddhartha was precisely the same, was precisely of the same kind as the quiet, delicate, impenetrable, perhaps benevolent, perhaps mocking, wise, thousand-fold smile of Gotama, the Buddha, as he had seen it himself with great respect a hundred times. Like this, Govinda knew, the perfected ones are smiling.
For one day as I leant over a gate that led into a field, the rhythm stopped: the rhymes and the hummings, the nonsense and the poetry. A space was cleared in my mind. I saw through the thick leaves of habit. Leaning over the gate I regretted so much litter, so much unaccomplishment and separation, for one cannot cross London to see a friend, life being so full of engagements; nor take a ship to India and see a naked man spearing a fish in blue water. I said life had been imperfect, an unfinished phrase. It had been impossible for me, taking snuff as I do from any bagman met in a train, to keep coherency—that sense of the generations, of women carrying red pitchers to the Nile, of the nightingale who sings among conquests and migrations. It had been too vast an undertaking, I said, and how can I go on lifting my foot perpetually to climb the stair? I addressed myself as one would speak to a companion with whom one is voyaging to the North Pole.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
And he saw a youth approaching,
Dressed in garments green and yellow,
Coming through the purple twilight,
Through the splendor of the sunset;
Plumes of green bent o'er his forehead,
And his hair was soft and golden.
Standing at the open doorway,
Long he looked at Hiawatha,
Looked with pity and compassion
On his wasted form and features,
And, in accents like the sighing
Of the South-Wind in the tree-tops,
Said he, "O my Hiawatha!
All your prayers are heard in heaven,
For you pray not like the others,
Not for greater skill in hunting,
Not for greater craft in fishing,
Not for triumph in the battle,
Nor renown among the warriors,
But for profit of the people,
For advantage of the nations.
"From the Master of Life descending,
I, the friend of man, Mondamin,
Come to warn you and instruct you,
How by struggle and by labor
You shall gain what you have prayed for.
Rise up from your bed of branches,
Rise, O youth, and wrestle with me!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha)
Life is wonderful and strange...and it’s also absolutely mundane and tiresome. It’s hilarious and it’s deadening. It’s a big, screwed-up morass of beauty and change and fear and all our lives we oscillate between awe and tedium. I think stories are the place to explore that inherent weirdness; that movement from the fantastic to the prosaic that is life....
What interests me—and interests me totally—is how we as living human beings can balance the brief, warm, intensely complicated fingersnap of our lives against the colossal, indifferent, and desolate scales of the universe. Earth is four-and-a-half billion years old. Rocks in your backyard are moving if you could only stand still enough to watch. You get hernias because, eons ago, you used to be a fish. So how in the world are we supposed to measure our lives—which involve things like opening birthday cards, stepping on our kids’ LEGOs, and buying toilet paper at Safeway—against the absolutely incomprehensible vastness of the universe?
How? We stare into the fire. We turn to friends, bartenders, lovers, priests, drug-dealers, painters, writers. Isn’t that why we seek each other out, why people go to churches and temples, why we read books? So that we can find out if life occasionally sets other people trembling, too?
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change.
“Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?”
The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—”
I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder.
Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat.
“What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out.
I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.”
Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing.
Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position.
“Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?”
“What is happening?”
We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation.
“Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says.
I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs.
My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.”
He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag.
As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures.
I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.”
“You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.”
Fuck, it totally does.
Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.”
I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.”
“You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.”
“Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.”
“Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
We can combat existential anguish – the unbearable lightness of our being – in a variety of ways. We can choose to work, play, destroy, or create. We can allow a variety of cultural factors or other people to define who we are, or we can create a self-definition. We decide what to monitor in the environment. We regulate how much attention we pay to nature, other people, or the self. We can watch and comment upon current cultural events and worldly happenings or withdraw and ignore the external world. We can drink alcohol, dabble with recreational drugs, play videogames, or watch television, films, and sporting events. We can travel, go on nature walks, camp, fish, and hunt, climb mountains, or take whitewater-rafting trips. We can build, paint, sing, create music, write poetry, or read and write books. We can cook, barbeque, eat fine cuisine at restaurants or go on fasts. We can attend church services, worship and pray, or chose to embrace agnosticism or atheism. We can belong to charitable organizations or political parties. We can actively or passively support or oppose social and ecological causes. We can share time with family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances or live alone and eschew social intermixing.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Poor fool! If he had only left that shutter alone. He had no restraint, no restraint—just like Kurtz—a tree swayed by the wind. As soon as I had put on a dry pair of slippers, I dragged him out, after first jerking the spear out of his side, which operation I confess I performed with my eyes shut tight. His heels leaped together over the little doorstep; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever. All the pilgrims and the manager were then congregated on the awning–deck about the pilot–house, chattering at each other like a flock of excited magpies, and there was a scandalized murmur at my heartless promptitude. What they wanted to keep that body hanging about for I can’t guess. Embalm it, maybe. But I had also heard another, and a very ominous, murmur on the deck below. My friends the wood–cutters were likewise scandalized, and with a better show of reason—though I admit that the reason itself was quite inadmissible. Oh, quite! I had made up my mind that if my late helmsman was to be eaten, the fishes alone should have him. He had been a very second–rate helmsman while alive, but now he was dead he might have become a first–class temptation, and possibly cause some startling trouble. Besides, I was anxious to take the wheel, the man in pink pyjamas showing himself a hopeless duffer at the business.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
After three years of music-hall and theatre I'm still the same: always ready too soon.
Ten thirty-five. . . . I'd better open that book lying on the make-up shelf, even though I've read it over and over again, or the copy of Paris-Sport the dresser was marking just now with my eyebrow pencil; otherwise I'll find myself all alone, face to face with that painted mentor who gazes at me from the other side of the looking-glass, with deep-set eyes under lids smeared with purplish grease-paint. Her cheek-bones are as brightly coloured as garden phlox and her blackish-red lips gleam as though they were varnished. She gazes at me for a long time and I know she is going to speak to me. She is going to say:
"Is that you there? All alone, therr in that cage where idle, impatient, imprisoned hands have scored the white walls with interlaced initials and embellished them with crude, indecent shapes? On those plaster walls reddened nails, like yours, have unconsciously inscribed the appeal of the forsaken. Behind you a feminine hand has carved Marie, and the name ends in a passionate mounting flourish, like a cry to heaven. Is it you there, all alone under that ceiling booming and vibrating beneath the feet of dancers, like the floor of a mill in action? Why are you there, all alone? And why not somewhere else?"
Yes, this is the dangerous, lucid hour. Who will knock at the door of my dressing-room, what face will come between me and the painted-mentor peering at me from the other side of the looking-glass? Chance, my master and my friend, will, I feel sure, deign once again to send me the spirits of his unruly kingdom. All my trust is now in him----and in myself. But above all in him, for when I go under he always fishes me out, seizing and shaking me like a life-saving dog whose teeth tear my skin a little every time. So now, whenever I despair, I no longer expect my end, but some bit of luck, some commonplace little miracle which, like a glittering link, will mend again the necklace of my days.
Faith, that is what it is, genuine faith, as blind as it sometimes pretends to be, with all the dissembling renunciations of faith, and that obstinacy which makes it continue to hope even at the moment if crying. "I am utterly forsaken!" There is no doubt that, if ever my heart were to call my master Chance by another name, I should make an excellent Catholic.
According to the gospels, Christ healed diseases, cast out devils, rebuked the sea, cured the blind, fed multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, walked on the sea, cursed a fig tree, turned water into wine and raised the dead.
How is it possible to substantiate these miracles?
The Jews, among whom they were said to have been performed, did not believe them. The diseased, the palsied, the leprous, the blind who were cured, did not become followers of Christ. Those that were raised from the dead were never heard of again.
Can we believe that Christ raised the dead?
A widow living in Nain is following the body of her son to the tomb. Christ halts the funeral procession and raises the young man from the dead and gives him back to the arms of his mother.
This young man disappears. He is never heard of again. No one takes the slightest interest in the man who returned from the realm of death. Luke is the only one who tells the story. Maybe Matthew, Mark and John never heard of it, or did not believe it and so failed to record it.
John says that Lazarus was raised from the dead.
It was more wonderful than the raising of the widow’s son. He had not been laid in the tomb for days. He was only on his way to the grave, but Lazarus was actually dead. He had begun to decay.
Lazarus did not excite the least interest. No one asked him about the other world. No one inquired of him about their dead friends.
When he died the second time no one said: “He is not afraid. He has traveled that road twice and knows just where he is going.”
We do not believe in the miracles of Mohammed, and yet they are as well attested as this. We have no confidence in the miracles performed by Joseph Smith, and yet the evidence is far greater, far better.
If a man should go about now pretending to raise the dead, pretending to cast out devils, we would regard him as insane. What, then, can we say of Christ? If we wish to save his reputation we are compelled to say that he never pretended to raise the dead; that he never claimed to have cast out devils.
We must take the ground that these ignorant and impossible things were invented by zealous disciples, who sought to deify their leader. In those ignorant days these falsehoods added to the fame of Christ. But now they put his character in peril and belittle the authors of the gospels.
Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one savior, one inspired book, and but one little narrow grass-grown path that leads to heaven.
Why did he not again enter the temple and end the old dispute with demonstration? Why did he not confront the Roman soldiers who had taken money to falsely swear that his body had been stolen by his friends? Why did he not make another triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Why did he not say to the multitude: “Here are the wounds in my feet, and in my hands, and in my side. I am the one you endeavored to kill, but death is my slave”? Simply because the resurrection is a myth. The miracle of the resurrection I do not and cannot believe.
We know nothing certainly of Jesus Christ. We know nothing of his infancy, nothing of his youth, and we are not sure that such a person ever existed.
There was in all probability such a man as Jesus Christ. He may have lived in Jerusalem. He may have been crucified; but that he was the Son of God, or that he was raised from the dead, and ascended bodily to heaven, has never been, and, in the nature of things, can never be, substantiated.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Galen turns to Dr. Milligan, who's standing beside him and staring at Emma as if she were floating in midair. "Yes, she is," Galen says.
Dr. Milligan looks at Galen, a knowing smile plastered on his face. "Looks like she's enchanted more than just the little fish. In fact, looks like you're worse off than any of them, my boy."
Galen shrugs. He's got nothing to hide from Dr. Milligan.
Dr. Milligan lets out his breath in a whistle. "What does Rayna say?"
"She likes her." The good doctor raises a thin gray brow. Galen sighs. "She likes her enough.."
"Well, can't ask for more than that, I suppose. Shall we, then?"
Galen nods. "Emma. Dr. Milligan is here."
Emma turns. And freezes. "You!" she chokes out. "You're Dr. Milligan?"
The older man bows his head. "Yes, young lady, I am. You remember me, then."
She nods, walking slowly toward them as if she smells a trap. "You tried to give me free season passes. You talked to me at the petting tank."
"Yes," he says. "Of course I offered you season passes. How else could I study your fascinating interaction with the specimens?"
She crosses her arms. "I didn't know I could talk to fish at the time. How did you?"
"At first I didn't," he says, closing the distance between them and gently taking her hand. "But when I saw your eye color, I knew you had to be Syrena. I remembered Galen telling me about that gift, but I never really believed it. Which is silly, I suppose. I mean, if I believe in mermaids-ahem, excuse me Galen, Syrena-then why not a gift like that?"
"And what do you think now, Dr. Milligan?" Galen says, a little perturbed at the revelation that his friend thought he lied. Also, "mermaids" was uncalled for.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green.
Under the gypsy moon,
all things are watching her
and she cannot see them.
Green, how I want you green.
Big hoarfrost stars
come with the fish of shadow
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its wind
with the sandpaper of its branches,
and the forest, cunning cat,
bristles its brittle fibers.
But who will come? And from where?
She is still on her balcony
green flesh, her hair green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.
—My friend, I want to trade
my horse for her house,
my saddle for her mirror,
my knife for her blanket.
My friend, I come bleeding
from the gates of Cabra.
—If it were possible, my boy,
I’d help you fix that trade.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
—My friend, I want to die
decently in my bed.
Of iron, if that’s possible,
with blankets of fine chambray.
Don’t you see the wound I have
from my chest up to my throat?
—Your white shirt has grown
thirsty dark brown roses.
Your blood oozes and flees a
round the corners of your sash.
But now I am not I,
nor is my house now my house.
—Let me climb up, at least,
up to the high balconies;
Let me climb up! Let me,
up to the green balconies.
Railings of the moon
through which the water rumbles.
Now the two friends climb up,
up to the high balconies.
Leaving a trail of blood.
Leaving a trail of teardrops.
Tin bell vines
were trembling on the roofs.
A thousand crystal tambourines
struck at the dawn light.
Green, how I want you green,
green wind, green branches.
The two friends climbed up.
The stiff wind left
in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil
My friend, where is she—tell me—
where is your bitter girl?
How many times she waited for you!
How many times would she wait for you,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony!
Over the mouth of the cistern
the gypsy girl was swinging,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moon
holds her up above the water.
The night became intimate
like a little plaza.
Drunken “Guardias Civiles”
were pounding on the door.
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea.
And the horse on the mountain.
Federico García Lorca (The Selected Poems)
The Dying Man"
in memoriam W.B. Yeats
1. His words
I heard a dying man
Say to his gathered kin,
“My soul’s hung out to dry,
Like a fresh salted skin;
I doubt I’ll use it again.
“What’s done is yet to come;
The flesh deserts the bone,
But a kiss widens the rose
I know, as the dying know
Eternity is Now.
“A man sees, as he dies,
My heart sways with the world.
I am that final thing,
A man learning to sing.
2. What Now?
Caught in the dying light,
I thought myself reborn.
My hand turn into hooves.
I wear the leaden weight
Of what I did not do.
Places great with their dead,
The mire, the sodden wood,
Remind me to stay alive.
I am the clumsy man
The instant ages on.
I burned the flesh away,
In love, in lively May.
I turn my look upon
Another shape than hers
Now, as the casement blurs.
In the worst night of my will,
I dared to question all,
And would the same again.
What’s beating at the gate?
Who’s come can wait.
3. The Wall
A ghost comes out of the unconscious mind
To grope my sill: It moans to be reborn!
The figure at my back is not my friend;
The hand upon my shoulder turns to horn.
I found my father when I did my work,
Only to lose myself in this small dark.
Though it reject dry borders of the seen,
What sensual eye can keep and image pure,
Leaning across a sill to greet the dawn?
A slow growth is a hard thing to endure.
When figures our of obscure shadow rave,
All sensual love’s but dancing on a grave.
The wall has entered: I must love the wall,
A madman staring at perpetual night,
A spirit raging at the visible.
I breathe alone until my dark is bright.
Dawn’s where the white is. Who would know the dawn
When there’s a dazzling dark behind the sun.
4. The Exulting
Once I delighted in a single tree;
The loose air sent me running like a child–
I love the world; I want more than the world,
Or after image of the inner eye.
Flesh cries to flesh, and bone cries out to bone;
I die into this life, alone yet not alone.
Was it a god his suffering renewed?–
I saw my father shrinking in his skin;
He turned his face: there was another man,
Walking the edge, loquacious, unafraid.
He quivered like a bird in birdless air,
Yet dared to fix his vision anywhere.
Fish feed on fish, according to their need:
My enemies renew me, and my blood
Beats slower in my careless solitude.
I bare a wound, and dare myself to bleed.
I think a bird, and it begins to fly.
By dying daily, I have come to be.
All exultation is a dangerous thing.
I see you, love, I see you in a dream;
I hear a noise of bees, a trellis hum,
And that slow humming rises into song.
A breath is but a breath: I have the earth;
I shall undo all dying with my death.
5. They Sing, They Sing
All women loved dance in a dying light–
The moon’s my mother: how I love the moon!
Out of her place she comes, a dolphin one,
Then settles back to shade and the long night.
A beast cries out as if its flesh were torn,
And that cry takes me back where I was born.
Who thought love but a motion in the mind?
Am I but nothing, leaning towards a thing?
I scare myself with sighing, or I’ll sing;
Descend O gentlest light, descend, descend.
I sweet field far ahead, I hear your birds,
They sing, they sing, but still in minor thirds.
I’ve the lark’s word for it, who sings alone:
What’s seen recededs; Forever’s what we know!–
Eternity defined, and strewn with straw,
The fury of the slug beneath the stone.
The vision moves, and yet remains the same.
In heaven’s praise, I dread the thing I am.
The edges of the summit still appall
When we brood on the dead or the beloved;
Nor can imagination do it all
In this last place of light: he dares to live
Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings
Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things.
Theodore Roethke (The Collected Poems)
Such is the lot of the knight that even though my patrimony were ample and adequate for my support, nevertheless here are the disturbances which give me no quiet. We live in fields, forests, and fortresses. Those by whose labors we exist are poverty-stricken peasants, to whom we lease our fields, vineyards, pastures, and woods. The return is exceedingly sparse in proportion to the labor expended. Nevertheless the utmost effort is put forth that it may be bountiful and plentiful, for we must be diligent stewards. I must attach myself to some prince in the hope of protection. Otherwise every one will look upon me as fair plunder. But even if I do make such an attachment hope is beclouded by danger and daily anxiety. If I go away from home I am in peril lest I fall in with those who are at war or feud with my overlord, no matter who he is, and for that reason fall upon me and carry me away. If fortune is adverse, the half of my estates will be forfeit as ransom. Where I looked for protection I was ensnared. We cannot go unarmed beyond to yokes of land. On that account, we must have a large equipage of horses, arms, and followers, and all at great expense. We cannot visit a neighboring village or go hunting or fishing save in iron.
Then there are frequently quarrels between our retainers and others, and scarcely a day passes but some squabble is referred to us which we must compose as discreetly as possible, for if I push my claim to uncompromisingly war arises, but if I am too yielding I am immediately the subject of extortion. One concession unlooses a clamor of demands. And among whom does all this take place? Not among strangers, my friend, but among neighbors, relatives, and those of the same household, even brothers.
These are our rural delights, our peace and tranquility. The castle, whether on plain or mountain, must be not fair but firm, surrounded by moat and wall, narrow within, crowded with stalls for the cattle, and arsenals for guns, pitch, and powder. Then there are dogs and their dung, a sweet savor I assure you. The horsemen come and go, among them robbers, thieves, and bandits. Our doors are open to practically all comers, either because we do not know who they are or do not make too diligent inquiry. One hears the bleating of sheep, the lowing of cattle, the barking of dogs, the shouts of men working in the fields, the squeaks or barrows and wagons, yes, and even the howling of wolves from nearby woods.
The day is full of thought for the morrow, constant disturbance, continual storms. The fields must be ploughed and spaded, the vines tended, trees planted, meadows irrigated. There is harrowing, sowing, fertilizing, reaping, threshing: harvest and vintage. If the harvest fails in any year, then follow dire poverty, unrest, and turbulence.
Ulrich von Hutten (Ulrich von Hutten and the German Reformation)
She sat and watched the dockhand when it was sunny and she sat and watched him when it rained. Or when it was foggy, which is what it was nearly every morning at eight o’clock. This morning was none of the above. This morning was cold. The pier smelled of fresh water and of fish. The seagulls screeched overhead, a man’s voice shouted. Where is my brother to help me, my sister, my mother? Pasha, help me, hide in the woods where I know I can find you. Dasha, look what’s happened. Do you even see? Mama, Mama. I want my mother. Where is my family to ask things of me, to weigh on me, to intrude on me, to never let me be silent or alone, where are they to help me through this? Deda, what do I do? I don’t know what to do. This morning the dockhand did not go over to see his friend at the next pier for a smoke and a coffee. Instead, he walked across the road and sat next to her on the bench. This surprised her. But she said nothing, she just wrapped her white nurse’s coat tighter around herself, and fixed the kerchief covering her hair. In Swedish he said to her, “My name is Sven. What’s your name?” After a longish pause, she replied. “Tatiana. I don’t speak Swedish.” In English he said to her, “Do you want a cigarette?” “No,” she replied, also in English. She thought of telling him she spoke little English. She was sure he didn’t speak Russian. He asked her if he could get her a coffee, or something warm to throw over her shoulders. No and no. She did not look at him. Sven was silent a moment. “You want to get on my barge, don’t you?” he asked. “Come. I will take you.” He took her by her arm. Tatiana didn’t move. “I can see you have left something behind,” he said, pulling on her gently. “Go and retrieve it.” Tatiana did not move. “Take my cigarette, take my coffee, or get on my barge. I won’t even turn away. You don’t have to sneak past me. I would have let you on the first time you came. All you had to do was ask. You want to go to Helsinki? Fine. I know you’re not Finnish.” Sven paused. “But you are very pregnant. Two months ago it would have been easier for you. But you need to go back or go forward. How long do you plan to sit here and watch my back?” Tatiana stared into the Baltic Sea. “If I knew, would I be sitting here?” “Don’t sit here anymore. Come,” said the longshoreman. She shook her head. “Where is your husband? Where is the father of your baby?” “Dead in the Soviet Union,” Tatiana breathed out. “Ah, you’re from the Soviet Union.” He nodded. “You’ve escaped somehow? Well, you’re here, so stay. Stay in Sweden. Go to the consulate, get yourself refugee protection. We have hundreds of people getting through from Denmark. Go to the consulate.” Tatiana shook her head. “You’re going to have that baby soon,” Sven said. “Go back, or move forward.” Tatiana’s hands went around her belly. Her eyes glazed over. The dockhand patted her gently and stood up. “What will it be? You want to go back to the Soviet Union? Why?” Tatiana did not reply. How to tell him her soul had been left there? “If you go back, what happens to you?” “I die most likely,” she barely whispered. “If you go forward, what happens to you?” “I live most likely.” He clapped his hands. “What kind of a choice is that? You must go forward.” “Yes,” said Tatiana, “but how do I live like this? Look at me. You think, if I could, I wouldn’t?” “So you’re here in the Stockholm purgatory, watching me move my paper day in and day out, watching me smoke, watching me. What are you going to do? Sit with your baby on the bench? Is that what you want?” Tatiana was silent. The first time she laid eyes on him she was sitting on a bench, eating ice cream. “Go forward.” “I don’t have it in me.” He nodded. “You have it. It’s just covered up. For you it’s winter.” He smiled. “Don’t worry. Summer’s here. The ice will melt.” Tatiana struggled up from the bench. Walking away, she said in Russian, “It’s not the ice anymore, my seagoing philosopher. It’s the pyre.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))