Gray Skies Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Gray Skies. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who's trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
His beauty did not blaze like Will's did in fierce colors and repressed fire, but it had its own muted perfection, the loveliness of snow falling against a silver gray sky.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
I know you think this world is too dark to even dream in color, but I’ve seen flowers bloom at midnight. I’ve seen kites fly in gray skies and they were real close to looking like the sunrise, and sometime it takes the most wounded wings the most broken things to notice how strong the breeze is, how precious the flight.
Andrea Gibson
Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play... I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
She might be pointing to a doorway, or a person, or the sky. But such things were so common to my eyes, so undistinguished, that they would register as "nothing" I walked in a gray world of nothing.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
They're still looking at him," she said to Magnus under her breath. "At Will, I mean." "Of course they are," said Magnus. His eyes reflected light like a cat's as they surveyed the room. "Look at him. The face of a bad angel and eyes like the night sky in Hell. He's very pretty, and vampires like that. I can't say I mind either." Magnus grinned. "Black hair and blue eyes are my favorite combination." Tessa reached up to pat Camille's pale blond curls. Magnus shrugged. "Nobody's perfect.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Even the solitude, I've actually grown to quite like... I do like the feeling of getting into my little car, knowing for the next couple of hours I'll have only the roads, the big gray sky and my daydreams for company.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
It's one of those dumb days where nothing's really wrong but nothing's really right either and the sky can't even choose to be white or gray.
Andrea Portes (Anatomy of a Misfit)
Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn’t be enough for me to share with you. Nothing less than forever will do.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
I could have screamed, but I didn’t. I could have fought, but I didn’t. I just lay there and let it happen, watching the winter-white sky go gray above me.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
We'll act as if all this were a bad dream." A bad dream. To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. A bad dream. I remembered everything. I remembered the cadavers and Doreen and the story of the fig tree and Marco's diamond and the sailor on the Common and Doctor Gordon's wall-eyed nurse and the broken thermometers and the Negro with his two kinds of beans and the twenty pounds I gained on insulin and the rock that bulged between sky and sea like a gray skull. Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, would numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
There was no one color that could paint Lena Duchannes. She was a red sweater and a blue sky, a gray wind and a silver sparrow, a black curl escaping from behind her ear.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2))
The sky outside the window was changing rapidly from deep, velvety blue to cold, steely gray and then, slowly, to pink shot with gold.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
The winter sky has already turned black, but I could still see Wesley's gray eyes in the darkness. They were exactly the color of the sky before a thunderstorm.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
Each night, Liesel would step outside, wipe the door, and watch the sky. Usually it was like spillage - cold and heavy, slippery and gray - but once in a while some stars had the nerve to rise and float, if only for a few minutes. On those nights, she would stay a little longer and wait. Hello, stars.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I want you when it’s crazy, when it’s frightening, when it’s impossible, because there’s nothing within you that could hurt me half as much as not having you.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
You’re like a gray sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
Tessa had lain down beside him and slid her arm beneath his head, and put her head on his chest,listening to the ever-weakening beat of his heart. And in the shadows they'd whispered, reminding each other of the stories only they knew. Of the girl who had hit over the head with a water jug the boy who had come to rescue her, and how he had fallen in love with her in that instant. Of a ballroom and a balcony and the moon sailing like a ship untethered through the sky. Of the flutter of the wings of the clockwork Angel. Of holy water and blood.
Cassandra Clare
Traveling through the worlds gives you perspective. It makes you value what you have.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
All I can see is you. Why can't you understand that? No one shines as bright as you in the sky I'm looking at. To me there is no sun, no moon, and no stars in the sky, just endless miles of storm clouds and pretty, pretty gray.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
The moment his hand closed about the stone, light blazed from it again, raying out through his fingers. For the first time Tessa saw that he had a design on the back of his hand, drawn there as if in black ink. It looked like an open eye. "As for the temperature of Hell, Miss Gray," he said, "let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who's trying to rescue you from a hideous fate it never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
But grief changes. It softens, adapts its shape to become a part of you. That kind of sorrow never gets any lighter, but you grow accustomed to the weight as you carry it on.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Patience. I colored patience gray, hung over with black clouds. I colored hope yellow, just like the sun we could see for a few short morning hours. Too soon the sun rose high in the sky & disappeared from view, leaving us bereft and staring at blue.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
There is a strength within us that we can't even comprehend until it's called upon. We are, at our core, built to survive.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
His blue eyes were very dark...Will's were the colour of the sky just on the edge of the night...
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Kill me," he rasped at Clear Sky. "Kill me and live with the memory. Then tell the stars that you won." -Gray Wing
Erin Hunter (The First Battle (Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, #3))
An impassioned spirit truly paints the gray world with color.
Krista Ritchie (Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1))
The multiverse is infinite. So, yeah, we go through some terrible things together, and I’ve seen versions of you who are darker, and damaged, and I don’t care. I want you even when you’re broken. I want you no matter what. Your darkness, your anger, whatever it is you fear inside yourself—it doesn’t matter. I love you completely, don’t you see? I even want the worst of you because it’s still a part of you.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
She sat down on one of her grandmother's uncomfortable armchairs, and the cat sprang up into her lap and made itself comfortable. The light that came through the picture window was daylight, real golden late-afternoon daylight, not a white mist light. The sky was a robin's-egg blue, and Coraline could see trees and, beyond the trees, green hills, which faded on the horizon into purples and grays. The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world ... Nothing, she thought, had ever been so interesting.
Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
She tilted her head back, breathing deeply. It was a stone gray day, the sea a bleak slate broken up by whitecaps, the sky pleated with thick ripples of cloud. A hard wind filled the sails, carrying the little boat over the waves. 'It feels good to be this kind of cold,' she murmured. 'This kind?' 'Wind in your hair, sea spray on your skin. The cold of the living.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The poet dreams of the mountain Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts. I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks. I want to see how many stars are still in the sky That we have smothered for years now, a century at least. I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all, And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know. All that urgency! Not what the earth is about! How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only. I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts. In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.
Mary Oliver (Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
People I didn't know formed a circle around me, sheltering me from view. They escorted me safely back to our jurta, undetected. They didn't ask for anything. They were happy to help someone, to succeed at something, even if they weren't to benefit. We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
And I love you. In any world, any universe.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Marianne Dashwood looks at gray skies and sees blue. That's all very well, and it's not something you ever want entirely to lose. But you must lose a little of it; otherwise you're going to get wet.
Emma Thompson
The sky was pure opal now.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Thank you, Soul Catcher.” “Elias,” he says after a moment, the slightest bit of warmth entering those cold gray eyes. “From you I prefer Elias.
Sabaa Tahir (A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4))
Winter came and the city [Chicago] turned monochrome -- black trees against gray sky above white earth. Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
That kind of sorrow never gets any lighter, but you grow accustomed to the weight as you carry it on.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
This is not a story for the faint of heart; this is the story of one woman's very real struggle through a world against her, the people who hurt her, her real life demons and the people who showed her that every gray sky, no matter how dark, has a sun waiting to break through.
S.L. Jennings (Fear of Falling (Fearless, #1))
You're in a rather odd mood today." I'm soaking wet, Eloise." No need to snap at me about it, I didn't force you to walk across town in the rain." It wasn't raining when I left,". There was something about a sibling that brought out the eight-year-old in a body. I'm sure the sky was gray," Clearly, she had a bit of the eight-year-old in her as well.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
People who walk across dark bridges, past saints, with dim, small lights. Clouds which move across gray skies past churches with towers darkened in the dusk. One who leans against granite railing gazing into the evening waters, His hands resting on old stones.
Franz Kafka
The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play— I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Not gray, exactly. Right before the sun rises there's a moment when the whole sky goes this pale nothing color-not really gray but sort of, or sort of white, and I've always really liked it because it reminds me of waiting for something good to happen.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Sometimes I look at you, and I think—if I didn’t know we shared a destiny, if I hadn’t seen the proof for myself, I’d never believe this was real. That you could love me as much as I love you.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of color in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play. I tell you Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe, and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings sublte memories with it, a line from a piece of music that you had ceased to play--I tell you Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings)
Hasn't there always been a moon?" "Bless you. Not in the slightest. I remember the day the moon came. We looked up in the sky--it was all dirty brown and sooty gray here then, not green and blue...
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Stop measuring yourself against us. It’s not the right scale. You have your own gifts, your own talents. Show the world everything you’re capable of, Marguerite. You don’t even see how amazing you are.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
The summer had turned, the summer had gone; the autumn had dropped upon Bly and had blown out half our lights. The place, with its gray sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theater after the performance--all strewn with crumpled playbills.
Henry James (The Turn of the Screw)
At the edge you will always remember me, at the edge you will last be remembered, where sanity and insanity come together, for the time, then separates. Like leaves on October trees, that color the world, but for a moment, then leave. At the edge, where life losses its edginess, and thoughts we will become one, someday. At the edge the sun drops, the ring falls, and senses of raindrops climb upwards to the gray sky.
Anthony Liccione
There was no one color that could paint Lena Duchannes. She was a red sweater and a blue sky, a gray wind and a silver sparrow, a black curl escaping from behind her ear.
Margaret Stohl
The morning arrived the way Alice imagined a whisper would: in tendrils of gray and threads of gold, quietly, quietly. The sky was illuminated with great care and deliberation, and she leaned back to watch it bloom.
Tahereh Mafi (Furthermore (Furthermore, #1))
Their intentions may be good, but their judgment isn’t.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
She died on a windy gray day in March when the sky was full of darting crows and the world lay prostrate and defeated after winter. Peter Lake was at her side and it ruined him forever. It broke him as he had not ever imagined he could have been broken. He would never again be young, or able to remember what it was like to be young. What he had once taken to be pleasures would appear to him in his defeat as hideous and deserved punishments for reckless vanity.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
As for the temperature of Hell, Miss Gray,” he said, “let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.” He really is mad, Tessa thought, but didn’t say so; she was too alarmed by the fact that he had started toward the wide double doors of the Dark Sisters’ chambers. “No!” She caught at his arm, pulling him back. “Not that way. There’s no way out. It’s a dead end.” “Correcting me again, I see.” Will turned and strode the other way, toward the shadowy corridor Tessa had always feared. Swallowing hard, she followed him.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
His gray eyes met mine. "It doesn't matter where I go. I'll still be yours.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
and I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else. She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine, with a far wood under a white sky, and brown leaves choking the brook, and one last cricket in the crisp weeds... but thank God it was not that echo alone that I worshipped. What I used to pamper among the tangled vines of my heart, mon grand pch radieux, had dwindled to its essence: sterile and selfish vice, all that I cancelled and cursed. You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and halfthrottled, I will shout my poor truth. I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still gray-eyed, still sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine; Changeons de vie, ma Carmen, allons vivre quelque, part o nous ne serons jamais spars; Ohio? The wilds of Massachusetts? No matter, even if those eyes of hers would fade to myopic fish, and her nipples swell and crack, and her lovely young velvety delicate delta be tainted and torneven then I would go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of your dear wan face, at the mere sound of your raucous young voice, my Lolita.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Hold your finger to the sky with so much force it lengthens like a spine. Look up to the point of it and beyond. There. That tiny patch of the world, no bigger than the tip of your finger. At first glance, it might look like one flat color. Blue, or gray, or maybe even orange. But it's much more complex than that. Squint. See the daubs of lilac. The streak of sage no wider than a hyphen. That butterscotch smear and the faint wash of carnelian. All of them coming together to swirl at the point just above your finger. Breathe them in. Let them settle in your lungs. Those are the colors of right now.
Emily X.R. Pan (The Astonishing Color of After)
But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play— I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The sun tells the best joke of a day full of them, setting so spectacularly that you can almost smell the tropical paradise lazing somewhere over this rim of endless, gray socialist towers. Miles of square windows explode orange, red, and purple, like a million TV sets broadcasting the apocalypse. Clouds unspool. The sky drains of birds.
Tod Wodicka (All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well)
Belize: Hell or heaven? [Roy indicates "Heaven" through a glance] Belize: Like San Francisco. Roy Cohn: A city. Good. I was worried... it'd be a garden. I hate that shit. Belize: Mmmm. Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, fierce gusts of gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens. Roy Cohn: Isaiah. Belize: Prophet birds, Roy. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. Roy Cohn: And a dragon atop a golden horde. Belize: And everyone in Balencia gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome. And you ain't there. Roy Cohn: And Heaven? Belize: That was Heaven, Roy.
Tony Kushner (Angels in America)
You’ll get through this. You fear you won’t. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. Here in the pits, surrounded by steep walls and angry brothers, we wonder, Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? We feel stuck, trapped, locked in. Predestined for failure. Will we ever exit this pit?
Max Lucado (You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times)
I've always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.
Robert Michael Pyle (Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place)
And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bed-sheets around corners.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
The truth is dark under your eyelids. What are you going to do about it? The birds are silent; there's no one to ask. All day long you'll squint at the gray sky. When the wind blows you'll shiver like straw. A meek little lamb you grew your wool Till they came after you with huge shears. Flies hovered over open mouth, Then they, too, flew off like the leaves, The bare branches reached after them in vain. Winter coming. Like the last heroic soldier Of a defeated army, you'll stay at your post, Head bared to the first snow flake. Till a neighbor comes to yell at you, You're crazier than the weather, Charlie.
Charles Simic
When I could hold my eyes open long enough, I did stare up at the rain pelting down on me. I’ve never looked at it like that, straight up into the sky, and while I flinched more than I could actually see, when I could see it was absolutely beautiful. Like each drop rocketing towards me was separate from the thousands of others and for a suspended moment in time, I could glimpse it and see its delicate facets. I saw the gray clouds churning above me and felt the car shake when the wind from the traffic pushed against it. I shivered even though it’s warm enough to swim. But nothing I saw or felt or heard was as warm and fascinating as Andrew’s closeness.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
At the Moor Wanderer in the black wind; quietly the dry reeds whisper In the stillness of the moor. In the gray sky A flock of wild birds follows; Slanting over gloomy waters. Turmoil. In decayed hut The spirit of putrescence flutters with black wings. Crippled birches in the autumn wind. Evening in deserted tavern. The way home is scented all around By the soft gloom of grazing herds; Apparition of the night; toads plunge from brown waters.
Georg Trakl
Huge, dizzying, clumps and clusters of snow falling through the air, patches of white against an iron-gray sky, snow that touches your tongue with cold and winter, that kisses your face with its hesitant touch before freezing you to death. Twelve cotton-candy inches of snow, creating a fairytale world, making everything unrecognizably beautiful...
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Gray. The overcast skies had the colour of deadened stones, and seemed closer than usually, as though they were phlegmatically observing my every movement with their apathetic emptily blue-less eyes; each tiny drop of hazy rain drifting around resembled transparent molten steel, the pavement looked like it was about to burst into disconsolate tears, even the air itself was gray, so ultimate and ubiquitous that colour was everywhere around me. Gray...
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice)
People tend to find their destiny, no matter what world they're in.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
The sky was painted over, a perfect uniform gray. On days like this the clouds probably absorbed the sounds from the surface of the earth. And not just sounds. All kinds of things. Perceptions, for example.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
It occurs to me," said Hodge, "that the dilemmas of power are always the same." Clary glanced at him sideways. "What do you mean?" She sat on the window seat in the library, Hodge in his chair with Hugo on the armrest. The remains of breakfast—sticky jam, toast crumbs, and smears of butter—clung to a stack of plates on the low table that no one had seemed inclined to clear away. After breakfast they had scattered to prepare themselves, and Clary had been the first one back. This was hardly surprising, considering that all she had to do was pull on jeans and a shirt and run a brush through her hair, while everyone else had to arm themselves heavily. Having lost Jace's dagger in the hotel, the only remotely supernatural object she had on her was the witchlight stone in her pocket. "I was thinking of your Simon," Hodge said, "and of Alec and Jace, among others." She glanced out the window. It was raining, thick fat drops spattering against the panes. The sky was an impenetrable gray. "What do they have to do with each other?" "Where there is feeling that is not requited," said Hodge, "there is an imbalance of power. It is an imbalance that is easy to exploit, but it is not a wise course. Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side." "Simon doesn't hate me." "He might grow to, over time, if he felt you were using him.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
How smug I was, telling Theo how hard we tried to do right by the other selves we visit. I’m so full of it. I took more than this Marguerite’s only night with the man she loved; I took away her choices.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
My love of creativity is one of my constants, a pole star amid the many constellations of possibilities and personalities that make up all the people I could be.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
A lot of people say stuff like that about tragedies only because they think they’re supposed to,
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Because gray clouds hang heavy with misery, blue skies seem bluer.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Everything surrounding the ship is gray or dark blue and nothing is particularly hip, and once or maybe twice a day this thin strip of white appears at the horizon line but its so far in the distance you cant be sure whether its land or more sky. Its impossible to believe that any kind of life sustains itself beneath this flat, slate-gray sky or in an ocean so calm and vast, that anything breathing could exist in such limbo, and any movement that occurs below the surface is so faint its like some kind of small accident, a tiny indifferent moment, a minor incident that shouldnt have happened, and in the sky there's never any trace of sun - the air seems vaguely transparent and disposable, with the texture of Kleenex - yet its always bright in a dull way, the wind usually constant as we drift through it, weightless, and below us the trail the ship leaves behind is a Jacuzzi blue that fades within minutes into the same boring gray sheet that blankets everything else surrounding the ship. One day a normal looking rainbow appears and you vaguely notice it, thinking about the enormous sums of money the Kiss reunion tour made over the summer, or maybe a whale swims along the starboard side, waving its fin, showing off. It's easy to feel safe, for people to look at you and think someone's going somewhere. Surrounded by so much boring space, five days is a long time to stay unimpressed.
Bret Easton Ellis
I stare at her chest. As she breathes, the rounded peaks move up and down like the swell of waves, somehow reminding me of rain falling softly on a broad stretch of sea. I'm the lonely voyager standing on deck, and she's the sea. The sky is a blanket of gray, merging with the gray sea off on the horizon. It's hard to tell the difference between sea and sky. Between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
I say, "I love you." She says, "I love you too." And then she laughs. "It's kind of crazy. I mean you." "I know. What the hell?" She covers her mouth with one hand, but her eyes are shining. I'm thinking about a field of grass on a summer day. I'm thinking about the sun and being warmed from the inside and warmed from the outside. I take her hand under the gray-blue sky and I'm home.
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
I loved weather, all weather, not just the good kind. I loved balmy days, fearsome storms, blizzards, and spring showers. And the colors! Everyday brought something to be admired: the soft feathery patterns of cirrus clouds, the deep, dark grays of thunderheads, the lacy gold and peach of the early morning sunrise. The sky and its moods called to me.
L. Jagi Lamplighter (Prospero Lost (Prospero's Daughter, #1))
I wonder if this is what it feels like, falling out of love: feeling yourself fading out of existence - the gray sky, the coffee shop limbo - everything a way station of sorts. Making promises you know you can't keep. Making promises - period. People in love shouldn't have to vow or demand, petition or exhort. Nothing. Not even question. No collisions with your surroundings or yourself - you move gently, unknowing, in time.
Michael Thomas (Man Gone Down)
To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. A bad dream. I remembered everything. I remembered the cadavers and Doreen and the story of the fig tree and Marco's diamond and the sailor on the Common and Doctor Gordon's wall-eyed nurse and the broken thermometer and the Negro with his two kinds of beans and the twenty pounds I gained on insulin and the rock that bulged between sky and sea like a gray skull. Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them. But they were a part of me. They were my landscape.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
What is a fleecy as a cloud, As majestic and shimmering as the breaking dawn, As gorgeous as the sun the sun is strong? Why, it's ME! Twilight, the Great Gray, Tiger of the sky --- Light of the Night, Most beautiful, An avian delight. I beam --- I gleam --- I'm a livin' flying dream. Watch me roll off this cloud and pop on back. This is flying. I ain't no hack.
Kathryn Lasky (The Journey (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #2))
The people of each country get more like the people of every other country. They have no character, no beauty, no ideals, no culture-nothing, nothing.”… “Everything’s getting gray, and it’ll be grayer.
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
I looked at her, as vivid in my doorway as the moon in the autumn sky. Her eyes held mine, gray and steady. It is a common saying that women are delicate creatures, flowers, eggs, anything that may be crushed in a moment's carelessness. If I had ever believed it, I no longer did.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
No one shines as bright as you in the sky I’m looking at. To me there is no sun, no moon, and no stars in the sky, just endless miles of storm clouds and pretty, pretty gray.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
From this close, she could see the color of his eyes perfectly. They were a misty, shifting blue marbled with gray, like smoke rising through an early morning sky.
Maureen Johnson (Suite Scarlett (Scarlett, #1))
Her gray eyes clear, the goddess Athena answered, "Down from the skies I come to check your rage if only you will yield
Homer
If I had grown up in that house I couldn't have loved it more, couldn't have been more familiar with the creak of the swing, or the pattern of the clematis vines on the trellis, or the velvety swell of land as it faded to gray on the horizon, and the strip of highway visible -just barely – in the hills, beyond the trees. The very colors of the place had seeped into my blood: just as Hampden, in subsequent years, would always present itself immediately to my imagination in a confused whirl of white and green and red, so the country house first appeared as a glorious blur of watercolors, of ivory and lapis blue, chestnut and burnt orange and gold, separating only gradually into the boundaries of remembered objects: the house, the sky, the maple trees. But even that day, there on the porch, with Charles beside me and the smell of wood smoke in the air, it had the quality of a memory; there it was, before my eyes, and yet too beautiful to believe.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
The sky's gray and there's mizzle. It's so soft on my skin--it's nothing like rain. It's even softer than the lightest drizzle! Lift my face up, so it can kiss my skin." The Panopticon
Jenn Fagan
You’ll get through this. You fear you won’t. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. Here in the pits, surrounded by steep walls and angry brothers, we wonder, Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? We feel stuck, trapped, locked in. Predestined for failure. Will we ever exit this pit? Yes! Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.
Max Lucado (You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times)
It came very fast and the sun went a dull yellow and then everything was gray and the sky was covered and the cloud came on down the mountain and suddenly we were in it and it was snow.
Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms)
I could have screamed, but I didn't. I could have fought, but I didn't. I just lay there and let it happen, wathcing the winter-white sky go gray above me. One wolf prodded his nose into my hand and agianst my cheek, casting a shadow along my face. His yellow eyes looked into mine as the other wolves moved me this way and that. I held onto those eyes for as long as I could. Yellow. And, up close, flecked brillantly with every shade of gold and hazel. I didn't want him to look away, and he didn't. I wanted to reach out and grab a hold of his ruff, but my hands stayed curled to my chest, my arms frozen to my body. I couldn't remember what it felt like to be warm. Then he was gone, without him, the other wolves closed in, too close, sufficating. Something seemed too flutter in my chest. There was no sun; there was no light. I was dying. I couldn't remember what the sky looked like. But I didn't die, I was lost in a sea of cold, and then I was reborn into a sea of warmth. I remember this: his yellow eyes. I thought I would never see them again.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
They slow dance when it rains. I have no idea why, but every time the sky turns gray, you’ll find them together.” I smiled. “I remember once Dad barged into the Women’s Room, which is completely improper. You’re supposed to be invited in. But it was raining, and he wasn’t going to wait to sweep her away. And one time he dipped her in the hallway, and she just laughed and laughed. She was still wearing her hair down then, and I’ll never forget how it looked like a waterfall of red. It’s like no matter what happens, they can find themselves again there.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away. But you take October, now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along. You got time to think of the garbage you’ll dump on old man Prickett’s porch, or the hairy-ape costume you’ll wear to the YMCA the last night of the month. And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
When I traveled, and got lost within the other Paul Markovs—I always sensed the differences. The ways they thought and spoke and dreamed that I never would, or could.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
A new beginning done right," she said out loud, because everyone knew that saying it out loud made it true. "You hear that, karma?" She glanced upward through her slightly leaky sunroof into a dark sky, where storm clouds tumbled together like a dryer full of gray wool blankets. "This time, I'm gong to be strong." Like Katharine Hepburn. Like Ingrid Bergman ."So go torture someone else and leave me alone." A bolt of lightning blinded her, followed by a boom of thunder that nearly had her jerking out of her skin. "Okay, so I meant pretty please leave me alone." -Maddie
Jill Shalvis (Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1))
Outside, gray clouds stretched to infinity. Were my parents and Mikey out there somewhere? I imagined them soaring like birds through the heavens, and wondered how, in a sky so endless, could there be no room for me?
Karen Amanda Hooper (Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily, #1))
All his life Robert Grainier would remember vividly the burned valley at sundown, the most dreamlike business he’d ever witnessed waking—the brilliant pastels of the last light overhead, some clouds high and white, catching daylight from beyond the valley, others ribbed and gray and pink, the lowest of them rubbing the peaks of Bussard and Queen mountains; and beneath this wondrous sky the black valley, utterly still, the train moving through it making a great noise but unable to wake this dead world.
Denis Johnson (Train Dreams)
Our city, these streets, I don't know why it makes me so depressed. That old familiar gloom that befalls the city dweller, regular as due dates, cloudy as mental Jell-O. The dirty facades, the nameless crowds, the unremitting noise, the packed rush-hour trains, the gray skies, the billboards on every square centimeter of available space, the hopes and resignation, irritation and excitement. And everywhere, infinite options, infinite possibilities. An infinity, and at the same time, zero. We try to scoop it all up in our hands, and what we get is a handful of zero.
Haruki Murakami
Also, somehow, there doesn't seem to be any old-fashioned gender roles in place, or any gender roles at all. The priest who condemned me to the mob was a woman. I'll cheer for equality later.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
People talk about their heart being torn in two, but I always thought it was a metaphor, no more. But it really feels like that, like something precious at the core of me is being ripped into halves, neither of them complete.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Smoke fills the room, gray and sylphlike, lovely in its deadly grace. It trails into the fire and forms what appear to be wings—black and magnificent. A man’s silhouette fills out the image, two arms reaching for me. Morpheus, or a mirage? My mind trips back to our dance across the starlit sky in Wonderland, how amazing it felt to be so free. What would it feel like to dance with him in the middle of a blazing inferno, surrounded by an endless power that breathes and grows at our will?
A.G. Howard (Unhinged (Splintered, #2))
A thin snow started to spit out of grumpy gray skies. Which meant, Eve knew, that at least fifty percent of the drivers currently on the road would lose a minimum of one-third of their intelligence quotient, any skill they’d previously held at operating a vehicle thereby turning what had been the standard annoying traffic into mayhem.
J.D. Robb (Devoted in Death (In Death, #41))
Every corner of the sky awkwardly showed up wearing the exact same thing, a moody gray dress accessorized with flat clouds. If North, South, East, and West were drag queens, this would be bad, very bad.
Edmond Manning (King Perry (The Lost and Founds, #1))
I think you feel more deeply than most people ever do; you just don’t know how to show it. You always feel—out of step. You’re not like the people around you, and they know it as well as you do. And you think it’s because something’s wrong with you, so you retreat deeper into the background. That just means people don’t get to know the real you. You’re lonely. You’ve been lonely so long I think you’ve forgotten there’s any other way to be.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
I was thankful that nobody was there to meet me at the airport. We reached Paris just as the light was fading. It had been a soft, gray March day, with the smell of spring in the air. The wet tarmac glistened underfoot; over the airfield the sky looked very high, rinsed by the afternoon's rain to a pale clear blue. Little trails of soft cloud drifted in the wet wind, and a late sunbeam touched them with a fleeting underglow. Away beyond the airport buildings the telegraph wires swooped gleaming above the road where passing vehicles showed lights already.
Mary Stewart (Nine Coaches Waiting)
While the train flashed through never-ending miles of ripe wheat, by country towns and bright-flowered pastures and oak groves wilting in the sun, we sat in the observation car, where the woodwork was hot to the touch and red dust lay deep over everything. The dust and heat, the burning wind, reminded us of many things. We were talking about what it is like to spend one’s childhood in little towns like these, buried in wheat and corn, under stimulating extremes of climate: burning summers when the world lies green and billowy beneath a brilliant sky, when one is fairly stifled in vegetation, in the color and smell of strong weeds and heavy harvests; blustery winters with little snow, when the whole country is stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron. We agreed that no one who had not grown up in a little prairie town could know anything about it. It was a kind of freemasonry, we said.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3))
The first sound was the bowstrings, the snap of five thousand hemp cords being tightened by stressed yew, and that sound was like the devil’s harpstrings being plucked. Then there was the arrow sound, the sigh of air over feathers, but multiplied, so that it was like the rushing of a wind. That sound diminished as two clouds of arrows, thick as any flock of starlings, climbed into the gray sky. Hook, reaching for another broadhead, marveled at the sight of five thousand arrows in two sky-shadowing groups. The two storms seemed to hover for a heart’s beat at the height of their trajectory, and then the missiles fell. It was Saint Crispin’s Day in Picardy. For an instant there was silence. Then the arrows struck. It was the sound of steel on steel. A clatter, like Satan’s hailstorm.
Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt)
The sky is low and gray and loose and seems to hang. There’s something baggy about the sky.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
This is bigger than math! You can’t just swap one of us out for another!
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
What most people call instinct in people is really the interpretation of small subconscious cues.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Sometimes our hearts are wilder than we know.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
I like that it's a mystery -- that the universe always knows something we won't.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
We'd be trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realize that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
I can tell he's kissing me this desperately because he thinks it might be the last time. The way I'm kissing him should tell him it's not. Not even close. Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn't be enough for me to share with you. Nothing less than forever will do.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
It took two days to cross that ashen scabland. The road beyond fell away on every side. It's snowing, the boy said. He looked at the sky. A single gray flake sifting down. He caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last host of christendom.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Cars they sound like waves that are breaking On some distant shore I gazed so hard into the great aching sky It seemed that I, I wasn’t here no more That my rushing blood was a river My eyes two stars My blowing hair all a quiver A whispering field of grass That murmurs as you pass Oh my darlin’ Kathleen That whispers out your name
David Gray
It was a dark afternoon, threatening rain and the end of the world, and done in that particularly gloomy gray in which only New York afternoons indulge. A breeze was crying down the streets, whisking along battered newspapers and pieces of things, and little lights were pricking out all the windows- it was so desolate that one was sorry for the tops of sky-scrapers lost up there in the dark green and gray heaven.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tales of the Jazz Age)
White-crested waves crash on the shore. The masts sway violently, every which way. In the gray sky the gulls are circling like white flakes. Rain squalls blow past like gray slanting sails, and blue gaps open in the sky. The air brightens. A cold silvery evening. The moon is overhead, and down below, in the water; and all around it-a wide frame of old, hammered, scaly silver. Etched on the silver-silent black fishing boats, tiny black needles of masts, little black men casting invisible lines into the silver. And the only sounds are the occasional plashing of an oar, the creaking of an oarlock, the springlike leap and flip-flop of a fish. ("The North")
Yevgeny Zamyatin (The Dragon: Fifteen Stories)
I love you." "And I love you. In any world, in any universe." His smile was crooked. "This world is enough." Then he became more serious. "Sometimes I look at you, and I think - if I didn't know we shared a destiny, if I hadn't seen the proof for myself, I'd never believe this was real. That you could love me as much as I love you.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Most of [her ashes] fell into the river in a long gray curtain. But some was caught by the wind and blown upward toward the blue spring sky where it swirled a moment in the air, before dissolving into sunlight.
Kimberly Cutter (The Maid)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
Every time I look down on this timeless town Whether blue or gray be her skies. Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears, More and more do I realize: I love Paris in the springtime. I love Paris in the fall. I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles. I love Paris every moment, Every moment of the year. I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris? Because my love is near.
Cole Porter
The simplest and the most incredible thing in the world had come true again: two people speaking to each other, each for himself; and sounds, called words, shaped the same images and feelings in that palpitating mass behind the skull, and out of meaningless vibrations of the vocal chords and their unexplainable reactions in the viscous gray convolutions, skies suddenly grew again in which were mirrored clouds, brooks, past times, growth and decay and hard-won wisdom.
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
Your dreams are as important as anyone else’s. Your future is as important as mine. I’m willing to make compromises, if that’s what it takes for us to remain together—but we shouldn’t compromise before we even start.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
Years ago, when I was working on my master's thesis, I went to New York for a semester as an exchange student. What struck me most was the sky. On that side of the world, so far away from the North Pole, the sky is flat and gray, a one-dimensional universe. Here, the sky is arched, and there's almost no pollution. In spring and fall the sky is dark blue or violet, and sunsets last for hours. The sun turns into a dim orange ball that transforms clouds into silver-rimmed red and violet towers. In winter, twenty-four hours a day, uncountable stars outline the vaulted ceiling of the great cathedral we live in. Finnish skies are the reason I believe in God.
James Thompson (Snow Angels (Inspector Kari Vaara, #1))
When night falls people become as lonely as snowflakes floating down from a gray city sky. Now and again we fall past a streetlamp and are visible, a brief moment apart, REAL-- we can be seen. We exist. Then we vanish into the gray darkness and the earth draws us to it.
Erik Fosnes Hansen (Psalm at Journey's End)
Hers were the pale gray that made you think of nightfall and silver bullets and the edge of winter. The color that filled the sky before it was torn in half by lightening.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
The day stared back an empty gray, with not a speck of white to give character to the lifeless sky.
Ashley Madau
My woman has a wandering eye; Yarrow, thyme and thorn. She eyes the ocean and the sky While stitching sails, forlorn. I got a kiss, and then a tear As she bade me go; But on the waves, my heart's in fear: My woman's in the know.
F.T. McKinstry (The Gray Isles (Chronicles of Ealiron, #2))
Only a few leaves of deep red remain on the otherwise bare limbs of the maples; the oak leaves are russet and wrinkled; briefly through the trees is the glimpse of the bay, flat and steel-gray today with the overcast November sky.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge)
This is the one thing I hope: that she never stopped. I hope when her body couldn’t run any farther she left it behind like everything else that tried to hold her down, she floored the pedal and she went like wildfire, streamed down night freeways with both hands off the wheel and her head back screaming to the sky like a lynx, white lines and green lights whipping away into the dark, her tires inches off the ground and freedom crashing up her spine. I hope every second she could have had came flooding through that cottage like speed wind: ribbons and sea spray, a wedding ring and Chad’s mother crying, sun-wrinkles and gallops through wild red brush, a baby’s first tooth and its shoulder blades like tiny wings in Amsterdam Toronto Dubai; hawthorn flowers spinning through summer air, Daniel’s hair turning gray under high ceilings and candle flames and the sweet cadences of Abby’s singing. Time works so hard for us, Daniel told me once. I hope those last few minutes worked like hell for her. I hope in that half hour she lived all her million lives.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
In mine, in space, in city and sky, we have lived our lives in fear. Fear of death. Fear of pain. Today, fear only that we fail. We cannot. We stand upon the edge of darkness holding the lone torch left to man. That torch will not go out. Not while I draw breath. Not while your hearts beat in your chests. Not while our ships yet have menace in them. Let others dream. Let others sing. We chosen few are the fire of our people." I beat my chest. "We are not Red, not Blue or Gold or Gray or Obsidian. We are humanity. We are the tide. And today we reclaim the lives that have been stolen from us. We build the future we were promised.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising Saga, #3))
I was raised in church, Gray. If you'd asked me during my wildest phases if I was a Christian, I'd have told you I was. But there was a disconnect there. You're judging me. No, I'm calling it like it is, unlike most of the people you know, who would all agree with you if you said the sky is red.
Becky Wade (Her One and Only (Porter Family, #4))
There were so many miracles at work: that a blossom might become a peach, that a bee could make honey in its thorax, that rain might someday fall. I thought then about the seasons changing, and in the gray of night I could almost will myself to see the azure sky, the gold of the maple leaves, the crimson of the ripe apples, the hoarfrost on the grass.
Jane Hamilton (A Map of the World)
The world around us is a blurry landscape of blues and grays and mottled hues and the few trees still standing have a hundred shaky, quivering arms ripping through their trunks, reaching up to the sky as if in prayer, begging for relief from the tragedy they've been rooted in. It's enough to make me feel sorry for the plants and animals forced to bear witness to what we've done. They never asked for this.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
It didn't take long. In that despondent changeless heat the entire human content of the ship congealed into a massive drunkenness. People moved flabbily about like squid in a tank of tepid smelly water. From that moment on we saw, rising to the surface, the terrifying nature of white men, exasperated, freed from constraint, absolutely unbuttoned, their true nature, same as in the war. That tropical steam bath called forth the instincts as August breeds toads and snakes on the fissured walls of prisons. In the European cold, under gray, puritanical northern skies, we seldom get to see our brothers' festering cruelty except in times of carnage, but when roused by the foul fevers of the tropics, their rottenness rises to the surface. That's when the frantic unbuttoning sets in, when filth triumphs and covers us entirely. It's a biological confession. Once work and cold weather cease to constrain us, once they relax their grip, the white man shows you the same spectacle as a beautiful beach when the tide goes out: the truth, fetid pools, crabs, carrion, and turds.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
By noon, in a gray February world, we had come down through snow flurries to land at Albany, and had taken off again. When the snow ended the sky was a luminous gray. I looked down at the winter calligraphy of upstate New York, white fields marked off by the black woodlots, an etching without color, superbly restful in contrast to the smoky, guttering, grinding stink of the airplane clattering across the sky like an old commuter bus.
John D. MacDonald (The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4))
All I can see is you. Why can’t you understand that? No one shines as bright as you in the sky I’m looking at. To me there is no sun, no moon, and no stars in the sky, just endless miles of storm clouds and pretty, pretty gray.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
Winters are a desolate time where all senses are wiped away, and here in Canada, this is especially true. All smells are sucked clean from the air, leaving only a harsh, icy crispness. Colours are stripped away, leaving a stark white landscape, a sky which stays black at night and gray in the day, a world of only three shades. Stay outside too long, and your hands will get so cold that they’ll go numb and turn red, like the claws of a lobster. During a whiteout, even sight itself is reduced to nothingness.
Rebecca McNutt (Listen is Silent, or The Usurer)
The crumpled butcherpaper mountains lay in sharp shadowfold under the long blue dusk and in the middle distance the glazed bed of a dry lake lay shimmering like the mare imbrium and herds of deer were moving north in the last of the twilight, harried over the plain by wolves who were themselves the color of the desert floor. Glanton sat his horse and looked long out upon this scene. Sparse on the mesa the dry weeds lashed in the wind like the earth's long echo of lance and spear in old encounters forever unrecorded. All the sky seemed troubled and night came quickly over the evening land and small gray birds flew crying softly after the fled sun. He chucked up the horse. He passed and so passed all into the problematical destruction of darkness.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
It was a day like a slow-motion video of twilight. Uneventful, to put it mildly. The lead gray of the sky mixed ever so slowly with black, finally blending into night. Just another quality of melancholy. As if there were only two colors in the world, gray and black, shifting back and forth at regular intervals.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
On June 23, 1942, there was a group of French Jews in a German prison, on Polish soil. The first person I took was close to the door, his mind racing, then reduced to pacing, then slowing down, slowing down.... Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each would that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear. I took them all away, and if there was a time I needed distraction, this was it. In complete desolation, I looked at the world above. I watched the sky as it turned from silver to gray to the color of rain. Even the clouds were trying to get away. Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye. They ere French, they were Jews, and they were you.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Inevitable pickup trucks complete with full gun racks, chainsaws, fishing poles, and big, sneering dogs in the back, line the streets and parking lots. Meek murmur of autumn skies, Ford and Chevy outfits to roll through town, as people get ready for a long, gray, foggy winter, big, four-wheel-drive pickups with snow blades attached, the box loaded down, with a high stack of cordwood topped by a huge elk carcass, to go disheartened in the midst of wretched weather, cold, raw, continually snowing.
Brian D'Ambrosio
With my naked eye, on nights the moon climbs slowly, sometimes so dusted with rust and rose, brown, and gold tones that it nearly drips earth colors and seems intimately braided with Earth, it feels close, part of this world, a friend. But through the telescope, the moon seems- ironically- farther away…the gray-white moon in a sea of black, its surface in crisp relief, brighter than ever before. I am struck too, by the scene’s absolute silence.
Paul Bogard (The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light)
So now you know that, as dark as the depths of the sea may be, as dark as the night gets without a moon, it is not really true darkness. It's just waiting for light to return. There are places that are truly dark in this world, Ven, but this place here, this open stretch of sea where you are floating, is not one of them. It's not really dark here - it's just night. If you hang on and stay awake, in a short while the edges of the sky will start to turn gray, then pink, and the sun will rise, and there will be blue above and all around you again.
Elizabeth Haydon (The Floating Island (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, #1))
Some dreams matter, illuminate a crucial choice or reveal some intuition that's trying to push its way to the surface. Other, though, are detritus, the residue of the day reassembling itself in some disjointed and chaotic way ... Frantic dreams, they left me tired, and I woke grouchy to another rainy day, the sky so densely gray and the rain so thick that I couldn't that I couldn't see the opposite shore [p, 166]
Kim Edwards (The Lake of Dreams)
The darkness behind my closed eyelids was like the cloud-covered sky, but the gray was somewhat deeper. Every few minutes, someone would come and paint over the gray with a different-textured gray - one with a touch of gold or green or red. I was impressed with the variety of grays that existed. Human beings were so strange. All you had to do was sit still for ten minutes, and you could see this amazing variety of grays.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
They do the twenty-one-gun salute for the good guys, right? So I brought this.” Beckett pointed the gun in the sky. “For Mouse.” One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen shots exploded from Beckett’s gun. “Who am I fucking kidding? What the hell does a gun shot by me mean? Nothing special, that’s for damn sure. Fuck it.” “For Mouse, who watched over my sister and saved Blake and me from more than we could’ve handled in the woods that night.” Livia nodded at Beckett, and he squeezed the trigger. When the sound had cleared, she counted out loud. “Seventeen.” Kyle stepped forward and replaced Livia at Beckett’s arm. “For Mouse. I didn’t know you well, but I wish I had.” The air snapped with the shot. “Eighteen.” Cole rubbed Kyle’s shoulder as he approached. He took the gun from Beckett’s hand. “For Mouse, who protected Beckett from himself for years.” The gun popped again. “Nineteen.” Blake thought for a moment with the gun pointed at the ground, then aimed it at the sky. “For Mouse, who saved Livia’s life when I couldn’t. Thank you is not enough.” The gun took his gratitude to the heavens. “Twenty.” Eve took the gun from Blake, the hand that had been shaking steadied. “Mouse, I wish you were still here. This place was better when you were part of it.” The last shot was the most jarring, juxtaposed with the perfect silence of its wake. As if the bullet was a key in a lock, the gray skies opened and a quiet, lovely snow shower filtered down. The flakes decorated the hair of the six mourners like glistening knit caps. Eve turned her face to be bathed in the fresh flakes. “Twenty-one,” she said softly, replacing her earpiece.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
My father’s rasping whistle caught my ears from down the line and I searched the dirt-smeared faces until I found a pair of bright blue eyes fixed on me. His gray-streaked beard hung braided down his chest behind the axe clutched in his huge fist. He tipped his chin up at me and I whistled back—our way of telling each other to be careful. To try not to die.
Adrienne Young (Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep, #1))
You were born on a day when the clouds were big and swollen with rain,” my nanny would say as she stroked my hair. “We were ready for a storm, but the sun filtered through the sky. Your mother held you by the window and noticed the gold flecks in your little gray eyes. Your eyes were the color of the heavens that day. That is why she named you Skye, amorcito.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
The morning was one peculiar to that coast. Everything was mute and calm; everything gray. The sea, though undulated into long roods of swells, seemed fixed, and was sleeked at the surface like waved lead that has cooled and set in the smelter's mould. The sky seemed a gray surtout. Flights of troubled gray fowl, kith and kin with flights of troubled gray vapors among which they were mixed, skimmed low and fitfully over the waters, as swallows over meadows before storms. Shadows present, foreshadowing deeper shadows to come.
Herman Melville (Benito Cereno)
When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
Of course we did other things too. We walked. We talked. We rode bikes. Though I had my driver's license, I bought a cheap secondhand bicycle so I could ride with her. Sometimes she led the way, sometimes I did. Whenever we could, we rode side by side. She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day. She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh. My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else's; but timid introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life. She saw things. I had not known there was so much to see. She was forever tugging my arm and saying, "Look!" I would look around, seeing nothing. "Where?" She would point. "There." In the beginning I still could not see. She might be pointing to a doorway, or a person, or the sky. But such things were so common to my eyes, so undistinguished, that they would register as "nothing" I walked in a gray world of nothing.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
And the sky was different. It had turned gray. Not the dull gray of high fall cloud cover, but rather a turbulent, molten gray that was really blue and purple and flint, all of it shifting and moving and swirling like the undulations of a snake. It had no eyes and no heartbeat and no body, but nonetheless one got the sense that the sky itself was sentient, even if it did not notice them below it.
Maggie Stiefvater (Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1))
The park is high. And as out of a house I step out of its glimmering half-light into openness and evening. Into the wind, the same wind that the clouds feel, the bright rivers and the turning mills that stand slowly grinding at the sky's edge. Now I too am a thing held in its hand, the smallest thing under the sky. --Look: Is that one sky?: Blissfully lucid blue, into which ever purer clouds throng, and under it all white in endless changes, and over it that huge, thin-spun gray, pulsing warmly as on red underpaint, and over everything this silent radiance of a setting sun. Miraculous structure, moved within itself and upheld by itself, shaping figures, giant wings, faults and high mountain ridges before the first star and suddenly, there: a gate into such distances as perhaps only birds know...
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Book of Images)
What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way," thought he, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner had been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or saved. But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the sky- the lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds gliding slowly across it. "How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all as I ran," thought Prince Andrew- "not as we ran, shouting and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that lofty sky before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All is vanity, all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing, but that. But even it does not exist, there is nothing but quiet and peace. Thank God!...
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Perhaps I ought to remember that she is very young, a mere girl and make allowances. She is all interest, eagerness, vivacity, the world is to her a charm, a wonder, a mystery, a joy; she can’t speak for delight when she finds a new flower, she must pet it and caress it and smell it and talk to it, and pour out endearing names upon it. And she is color-mad: brown rocks, yellow sand, gray moss, green foliage, blue sky; the pearl of the dawn, the purple shadows on the mountains, the golden islands floating in crimson seas at sunset, the pallid moon sailing through the shredded cloud-rack, the star-jewels glittering in the wastes of space — none of them is of any practical value, so far as I can see, but because they have color and majesty, that is enough for her, and she loses her mind over them. If she could quiet down and keep still a couple of minutes at a time, it would be a reposeful spectacle. In that cases I think I could enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, for I am coming to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature — lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, graceful; and once when she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder, with her young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she was beautiful.
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam and Eve)
In winter you wake up in this city, especially on Sundays, to the chiming of its innumerable bells, as though behind your gauze curtains a gigantic china teaset were vibrating on a silver tray in the pearl-gray sky. You fling the window open and the room is instantly flooded with this outer, peal-laden haze, which is part damp oxygen, part coffee and prayers. No matter what sort of pills, and how many, you've got to swallow this morning, you feel it's not over for you yet. No matter, by the same token, how autonomous you are, how much you've been betrayed, how thorough and dispiriting in your self-knowledge, you assume there is still hope for you, or at least a future. (Hope, said Francis Bacon, is a good breakfast but bad supper.) This optimism derives from the haze, from the prayer part of it, especially if it's time for breakfast. On days like this, the city indeed acquires a porcelain aspect, what with all its zinc-covered cupolas resembling teapots or upturned cups, and the tilted profile of campaniles clinking like abandoned spoons and melting in the sky. Not to mention the seagulls and pigeons, now sharpening into focus, now melting into air. I should say that, good though this place is for honeymoons, I've often thought it should be tried for divorces also - both in progress and already accomplished. There is no better backdrop for rapture to fade into; whether right or wrong, no egoist can star for long in this porcelain setting by crystal water, for it steals the show. I am aware, of course, of the disastrous consequence the above suggestion may have for hotel rates here, even in winter. Still, people love their melodrama more than architecture, and I don't feel threatened. It is surprising that beauty is valued less than psychology, but so long as such is the case, I'll be able to afford this city - which means till the end of my days, and which ushers in the generous notion of the future.
Joseph Brodsky
When Candida blew, she’d really blew, so the falling debris had mostly been too small to do any real damage to the rest of the boats in the marina. Other than a few minor cuts and bruises suffered by those folks stupid enough to look up at the sky and wait for it to rain wood and fiberglass and aluminum down on them rather than run for cover, no one had been hurt; no one ever said being able to afford a boat and marina fees made a person smart.
Bobby Underwood (The Long Gray Goodbye (Seth Halliday #2))
... I see the green earth covered with the works of man or with the ruins of men’s work. The pyramids weigh down the earth, the tower of Babel has pierced the sky, the lovely temples and the gray castles have fallen into ruins. But of all those things which hands have built, what hasn’t fallen nor ever will fall? Dear friends, throw away the trowel and mortarboard! Throw your masons’ aprons over your heads and lie down to build dreams! What are temples of stone and clay to the soul? Learn to build eternal mansions of dreams and visions!
Selma Lagerlöf (Gösta Berling's Saga)
The great city seemed to weigh upon me, as though it were crushing me under its heap of brick and stone. Gray, drizzly skies, congested streets, the soot-belching boats and barges chugging up and down the Thames, the teeming mass of four millions hastening about the countless activities of daily life in a metropolis, things adventurous, meaningful, spiritual, quotidian, futile, criminal, meaningless and absurd. Amidst this seething stew of humanity, I painted.
Gary Inbinder (The Flower to the Painter)
I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter's dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires. The land's sharp features seemed to be The Century's corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fervourless as I.
Thomas Hardy (Collected Poems)
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
The world was wrecked and withering, wrecked and full of fright: The Alice did her best to take … In the horrid sights— But this was hard, because it was The corruption of her life. The moon was bathed in blood and hate, It blotted out the sun The kings had got no business there Because their time was done— 'It's very rude of them,' she said, 'Slaughtering everyone!' The blood was red as red could be, The bones were dry as dry. You could not see a star because Gray clouds were in the sky: No angels flying overhead— There were none left to fly.
C.M. Stunich (Allison's Adventures in Underland (Harem of Hearts #1))
Ter refused to ride buses. The people depressed him, sitting there. He liked Greyhound stations though. We used to go to the ones in San Francisco and Oakland. Mostly Oakland, on San Pablo Avenue. Once he told me he loved me because I was like San Pablo Avenue. He was like the Berkeley dump. I wish there was a bus to the dump. We went there when we got homesick for New Mexico. It is stark and windy and gulls soar like nighthawks in the desert. You can see the sky all around you and above you. Garbage trucks thunder through dust-billowing roads. Gray dinosaurs.
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
You are not really dying,” he said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”Jem nodded. “So they tell me.”“I am sorry,” Will said.“No,” Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist.“Don’t be ordinary like that. Don’t say you’re sorry. Say you’ll train with me.” He held out the knife to Will, hilt rst. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She feltas if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have saidwhat.Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem’s face. His fingers brushedthe other boy’s as he took the weapon from him. It was the rst time, Charlotte thought,that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly.“I’ll train with you,” he said. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the littlesisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but rmly, he put Willabove everything else in the world.Well, nearly everything. She had been most struck by Jem when she rst came to theInstitute—he had an unearthly, unusual beauty, with his silvery hair and eyes and delicate features. He looked like a prince in a fairy-tale book, and she might have considered developing an attachment to him, were it not so absolutely clear that he was entirely inlove with Tessa Gray. His eyes followed her where she went, and his voice changed when hespoke to her. Cecily had once heard her mother say in amusement that one of theirneighbors’ boys looked at a girl as if she were “the only star in the sky” and that was theway Jem looked at Tessa.Cecily didn’t resent it: Tessa was pleasant and kind to her, if a little shy, and with herface always stuck in a book, like Will. If that was the sort of girl Jem wanted, she and henever would have suited—and the longer she remained at the Institute, the more sherealized how awkward it would have made things with Will. He was ferociously protectiveof Jem, and he would have watched her constantly in case she ever distressed or hurt him inany way. No—she was far better out of the whole thing.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The eyes themselves were of that baffling protean gray which is never twice the same; which runs through many shades and colorings like intershot silk in sunshine; which is gray, dark and light, and greenish gray, and sometimes of the clear azure of the deep sea. They were eyes that masked the soul with a thousand guises, and that sometimes opened, at rare moments, and allowed it to rush up as though it were about to fare forth nakedly into the world on some wonderful adventure -- eyes that could brood with the hopeless somberness of leaden skies; that could snap and crackle points of fire like those that sparkle from a whirling sword; that could grow chill as an arctic landscape, and yet again, that could warm and soften and be all adance with love-lights, intense and masculine, luring and compelling, which at the same time fascinate and dominate women till they surrender in a gladness of joy and of relief and sacrifice.
Jack London
In winter, the air is clear enough to drink, and your eyes can travel many hundreds of miles until they reach the green of the near hills, the blue-gray beyond them, and then the snow peaks far away, which rise in the sky with the sun, and remain suspended there, higher than imaginable, changing color and shape through the day. Every hour, they come closer, their massive flanks clearly visible, plumes of cloud smoking from their tips. After the last of the daylight is gone, at dusk, the peaks still glimmer in the slow-growing darkness as if jagged pieces of the moon had dropped from sky to earth.
Anuradha Roy (The Folded Earth)
My November Guest" My Sorrow, when she's here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the bare, the withered tree; She walked the sodden pasture lane. Her pleasure will not let me stay. She talks and I am fain to list: She's glad the birds are gone away, She's glad her simple worsted gray Is silver now with clinging mist. The desolate, deserted trees, The faded earth, the heavy sky, The beauties she so truly sees, She thinks I have no eye for these, And vexes me for reason why. Not yesterday I learned to know The love of bare November days Before the coming of the snow, But it were vain to tell her so, And they are better for her praise. Robert Frost, The Complete Poems ( Henry Holt & Co, 1949)
Robert Frost (Complete Poems Of Robert Frost, 1949)
Dear Patton: I've been feeling blue lately but I wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the amount of rain we've had over the last few weeks. What are your thoughts on that? Ms. Diller Cary, NC Dear Ms. Diller: Rain can have a profound effect on someone inclined toward melancholy. I live in Los Angeles, and, as of this writing, we've just experienced three weeks of unending late-winter storms. The sky has been a limitless bowl of sludgy, hopeless gray. The ground, soaked and muddy, emits burbly, hissing spurts with every step, which sound like a scornful parent who sees no worth, hope, or value in their offspring. The morning light through my bedroom window promises nothing but a damp, unwelcoming day of thankless busywork and futile, doomed chores. My breakfast cereal tastes like being ostracized. My morning coffee fills my stomach with dread. What's the point of even answering this question? The rain--it will not stop. Even if I say something that will help you--which I won't, because I'm such a useless piece of shit--you'll eventually die and I'll die and everyone we know will die and this book will turn to dust and the universe will run down and stop, and dead dead dead dead dead. Dead. Read Chicken Soup for the Soul, I guess. Dead. Dead dead. Patton
Patton Oswalt
In her eyes was the reflection of everything that mattered: old diners with neon signs, vinyl records, celluloid film, drive-in movies, Pears soap, department stores, her brother’s old blue Camaro car and the smell of coal dust in the rainy sky of a summer lightning storm. …And all the nice bright colors of the past that she thought were gone for good came flowing back into her life like a wave of nostalgia flooding over her, reds, yellows, blues and greens drenching her gray memories in psychedelic ribbons and glittering fireworks. …She hoped that the world would always hold those miniscule yet beautiful, deep and mysterious traces of memory.
Rebecca McNutt (Smog City)
The woman types everything into her computer, raising her eyebrows slightly at Devon's middle name. "Devon Sky Davenport," she repeats. "Sky? S-k-y?" "Yes," Devon says, addressing the back of the computer monitor rather than the woman's face directly. "S-k-y. As in"---she swallows---"as in, 'the sky's the limit.'" But Devon doesn't volunteer any further explanation, doesn't explain to the women the story behind the name. That, in fact, "the sky's the limit" is how Devon's mom has always defined Devon and her supposed potential in life. Her mom would say it when Devon brought home a flawless report card or when Devon received a stellar postseason evaluation from her coach or when a complete stranger commented on Devon's exceptional manners or after the Last Loser packed his stuff and walked out. "You'll be Somebody for both of us," her mom would say. Not anymore, Mom. Everything's changed. Now, for me, "the sky" isn't anything but flat and gray and too far away to ever reach. She takes a deep breath. If you were here with me, you'd see it for yourself.
Amy Efaw (After)
The aroma of chicken broth and beef pie wafted into the parlor. She set down the tray of food on the low table next to him. “Are you all right?” He grunted. “You don’t want to eat anything?” “No.” He did not want to tax his stomach for the next twelve hours. “So what now? Are we going on the run?” He removed his arm from his face and opened his eyes. She was sitting on the carpet before the low table, wearing his gray, hooded tunic, but not his trousers. Her legs were bare below mid-thigh. The sight jolted him out of his lethargy. “Where are your trousers?” “They had no braces and won’t stay up. Besides, it’s warm enough in here.” He was feeling quite hot. It was not unusual to see girls in short robes come summertime in Delamer. But in England skirts always skimmed the ground and men went mad for a glimpse of feminine ankles. So much skin—boys at school would faint from overexcitement. He might have been a bit unsteady too, if he were not already lying down. “You never answered my question,” she said, as if the view of long, shapely legs should not scramble his thoughts at all.
Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1))
It was an unusual sunset. Having sat behind opaque drapery all day, I had not realized that a storm was pushing in and that much of the sky was the precise shade of old suits of armor one finds in museums. At the same time, patches of brilliance engaged in a territorial dispute with the oncoming onyx of the storm. Light and darkness mingled in strange ways both above and below. Shadows and sunshine washed together, streaking the landscape with an unearthly study of glare and gloom. Bright clouds and black folded into each other in a no-man's land of the sky. The autumn trees took on the appearance of sculptures formed in a dream, their leaden-colored trunks and branches and iron-red leaves all locked in an infinite and unliving moment, unnaturally timeless. The gray lake slowly tossed and tumbled in a dead sleep, nudging unconsciously against its breakwall of numb stone. A scene of contradiction and ambivalence, a tragicomedic haze over all. A land of perfect twilight.
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
Stop. You can’t love me because you’re lonely, or because I am the only one who doesn’t piss you off. I want to piss you off, I want to get on your fucking nerves. I don’t want the responsibility of always being your rock. I will try, but I’m a mess, too. I lie, I sleep too much and I don’t like children under the age of 6, really. I don’t even know if I want kids because I’m selfish, and mothers can’t be selfish once they decide to carry another life. I’m always looking for the rain to come so I trip over my own feet. I know exactly what the air smells like before a storm. Before you fall in love with me, I want you to know that I cry a lot because it feels good, and I masturbate at least 4 times a week, and you might fall out of love with me before either of us are ready for it. I have no experience with this. I’m trying to be brave and smart but its almost impossible to be both at the same time. You can’t love me like a fire escape. Sometimes I will be the match, or the smoke under the door. I don’t know what I’m doing, all I know is that we all catch fire sometimes, before we even get warm. Before you fall in love with me, I want you to know that there’s a 50% chance that this won’t work, that one of us will wind up hating the other. I will try to keep your head above water, but sometimes I’ll need help, too. I can’t be your savior, and I don’t expect you to be mine. Just watch me unfold and I’ll watch you unfold, too. We’ll get drunk and tell each other everything. I know that’s cheating but maybe it’ll be alright. Maybe we won’t wake up embarrassed. I am going to fall in love with you, too, feet first. Maybe we’ll slow dance off a building together, maybe we’ll have forgotten each other’s names by this time next year. I don’t care, the sky is gray with or without you, so I’m not going to look up anymore, I’m going to look ahead .
Caitlyn S.
THOSE BORN UNDER Pacific Northwest skies are like daffodils: they can achieve beauty only after a long, cold sulk in the rain. Henry, our mother, and I were Pacific Northwest babies. At the first patter of raindrops on the roof, a comfortable melancholy settled over the house. The three of us spent dark, wet days wrapped in old quilts, sitting and sighing at the watery sky. Viviane, with her acute gift for smell, could close her eyes and know the season just by the smell of the rain. Summer rain smelled like newly clipped grass, like mouths stained red with berry juice — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. It smelled like late nights spent pointing constellations out from their starry guises, freshly washed laundry drying outside on the line, like barbecues and stolen kisses in a 1932 Ford Coupe. The first of the many autumn rains smelled smoky, like a doused campsite fire, as if the ground itself had been aflame during those hot summer months. It smelled like burnt piles of collected leaves, the cough of a newly revived chimney, roasted chestnuts, the scent of a man’s hands after hours spent in a woodshop. Fall rain was not Viviane’s favorite. Rain in the winter smelled simply like ice, the cold air burning the tips of ears, cheeks, and eyelashes. Winter rain was for hiding in quilts and blankets, for tying woolen scarves around noses and mouths — the moisture of rasping breaths stinging chapped lips. The first bout of warm spring rain caused normally respectable women to pull off their stockings and run through muddy puddles alongside their children. Viviane was convinced it was due to the way the rain smelled: like the earth, tulip bulbs, and dahlia roots. It smelled like the mud along a riverbed, like if she opened her mouth wide enough, she could taste the minerals in the air. Viviane could feel the heat of the rain against her fingers when she pressed her hand to the ground after a storm. But in 1959, the year Henry and I turned fifteen, those warm spring rains never arrived. March came and went without a single drop falling from the sky. The air that month smelled dry and flat. Viviane would wake up in the morning unsure of where she was or what she should be doing. Did the wash need to be hung on the line? Was there firewood to be brought in from the woodshed and stacked on the back porch? Even nature seemed confused. When the rains didn’t appear, the daffodil bulbs dried to dust in their beds of mulch and soil. The trees remained leafless, and the squirrels, without acorns to feed on and with nests to build, ran in confused circles below the bare limbs. The only person who seemed unfazed by the disappearance of the rain was my grandmother. Emilienne was not a Pacific Northwest baby nor a daffodil. Emilienne was more like a petunia. She needed the water but could do without the puddles and wet feet. She didn’t have any desire to ponder the gray skies. She found all the rain to be a bit of an inconvenience, to be honest.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
I brought the newspaper close up to my eyes to get a better view of George Pollucci's face, spotlighted like a three-quarter moon against a vague background of brick and black sky. I felt he had something important to tell me, and that whatever it was might just be written on his face. But the smudgy crags of George Pollucci's features melted away as I peered at them, and resolved themselves into a regular pattern of dark and light and medium gray dots. The inky black newspaper paragraph didn't tell why Mr Pollucci was on the ledge, or what Sgt Kilmartin did to him when he finally got him in through the window.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
LAST summer I happened to be crossing the plains of Iowa in a season of intense heat, and it was my good fortune to have for a traveling companion James Quayle Burden—Jim Burden, as we still call him in the West. He and I are old friends—we grew up together in the same Nebraska town—and we had much to say to each other. While the train flashed through never-ending miles of ripe wheat, by country towns and bright-flowered pastures and oak groves wilting in the sun, we sat in the observation car, where the woodwork was hot to the touch and red dust lay deep over everything. The dust and heat, the burning wind, reminded us of many things. We were talking about what it is like to spend one's childhood in little towns like these, buried in wheat and corn, under stimulating extremes of climate: burning summers when the world lies green and billowy beneath a brilliant sky, when one is fairly stifled in vegetation, in the color and smell of strong weeds and heavy harvests; blustery winters with little snow, when the whole country is stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron. We agreed that no one who had not grown up in a little prairie town could know anything about it. It was a kind of freemasonry, we said.
Willa Cather (My Antonia (Great Plains trilogy #3))
Wild Peaches" When the world turns completely upside down You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color. Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown. The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot. 2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold. The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass. The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass. Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter’s over. By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear. 3 When April pours the colors of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak, We shall live well — we shall live very well. The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We’ll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback. 4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There’s something in this richness that I hate. I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones. There’s something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones. I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
Elinor Wylie
He took the sacramental chalice, and stretching forth his bare arm, cried in a loud voice, 'Come ye viewless ministers of this dread hour! come from the fenny lake, the hanging rock, and the midnight cave! The moon is red - the stars are out - the sky is burning - and all nature stands aghast at what we do!' Then replacing the sacred vessel on the altar, he drew, one by one, from different parts of his body, from his knotted hair, from his bosom, from beneath his nails, the unholy things which he cast into it. 'This,' said he, 'I plucked from the beak of a raven feeding on a murderer's brains! This is the mad dog's foam! These the spurgings of a dead man's eyes, gathered since the rising of the evening star! This is a screech-owl's egg! This a single drop of black blood, squeezed from the heart of a sweltered toad! This, an adder's tongue! And here, ten grains of the gray moss that grew upon a skull which had lain in the charnel-house three hundred years! What! Not yet?' And his eyes seemed like balls of fire as he cast them upwards. 'Not yet? I call ye once! I call ye twice! Dare ye deny me! Nay, then, as I call ye thrice, I'll wound mine arm, and as it drops, I'll breathe a spell shall cleave the ground and drag you here!' ("The Forsaken Of God")
William Mudford (Reign of Terror)
These things matter to me, Daniel, says the man with six days to live. They are sitting on the porch in the last light. These things matter to me, son. The way the hawks huddle their shoulders angrily against hissing snow. Wrens whirring in the bare bones of bushes in winter. The way swallows and swifts veer and whirl and swim and slice and carve and curve and swerve. The way that frozen dew outlines every blade of grass. Salmonberries thimbleberries cloudberries snowberries elderberries salalberries gooseberries. My children learning to read. My wife's voice velvet in my ear at night in the dark under the covers. Her hair in my nose as we slept curled like spoons. The sinuous pace of rivers and minks and cats. Fresh bread with too much butter. My children's hands when they cup my face in their hands. Toys. Exuberance. Mowing the lawn. Tiny wrenches and screwdrivers. Tears of sorrow, which are the salt sea of the heart. Sleep in every form from doze to bone-weary. Pay stubs. Trains. The shivering ache of a saxophone and the yearning of a soprano. Folding laundry hot from the dryer. A spotless kitchen floor. The sound of bagpipes. The way horses smell in spring. Red wines. Furnaces. Stone walls. Sweat. Postcards on which the sender has written so much that he or she can barely squeeze in the signature. Opera on the radio. Bathrobes, back rubs. Potatoes. Mink oil on boots. The bands at wedding receptions. Box-elder bugs. The postman's grin. Linen table napkins. Tent flaps. The green sifting powdery snow of cedar pollen on my porch every year. Raccoons. The way a heron labors through the sky with such a vast elderly dignity. The cheerful ears of dogs. Smoked fish and the smokehouses where fish are smoked. The way barbers sweep up circles of hair after a haircut. Handkerchiefs. Poems read aloud by poets. Cigar-scissors. Book marginalia written with the lightest possible pencil as if the reader is whispering to the writer. People who keep dead languages alive. Fresh-mown lawns. First-basemen's mitts. Dish-racks. My wife's breasts. Lumber. Newspapers folded under arms. Hats. The way my children smelled after their baths when they were little. Sneakers. The way my father's face shone right after he shaved. Pants that fit. Soap half gone. Weeds forcing their way through sidewalks. Worms. The sound of ice shaken in drinks. Nutcrackers. Boxing matches. Diapers. Rain in every form from mist to sluice. The sound of my daughters typing their papers for school. My wife's eyes, as blue and green and gray as the sea. The sea, as blue and green and gray as her eyes. Her eyes. Her.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I looked around the empty lot. I wavered on getting out when a giant lightning bolt painted a jagged streak across the rainy lavender-gray sky. Minutes passed and still he didn’t come out of the Three Hundreds’ building. Damn it. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped out of the car, cursing at myself for not carrying an umbrella for about the billionth time and for not having waterproof shoes, and ran through the parking lot, straight through the double doors. As I stomped my feet on the mat, I looked around the lobby for the big guy. A woman behind the front desk raised her eyebrows at me curiously. “Can I help you with something?” she asked. “Have you seen Aiden?” “Aiden?” Were there really that many Aidens? “Graves.” “Can I ask what you need him for?” I bit the inside of my cheek and smiled at the woman who didn’t know me and, therefore, didn’t have an idea that I knew Aiden. “I’m here to pick him up.” It was obvious she didn’t know what to make of me. I didn’t exactly look like pro-football player girlfriend material in that moment, much less anything else. I’d opted not to put on any makeup since I hadn’t planned on leaving the house. Or real pants. Or even a shirt with the sleeves intact. I had cut-off shorts and a baggy T-shirt with sleeves that I’d taken scissors to. Plus the rain outside hadn’t done my hair any justice. It looked like a cloud of teal. Then there was the whole we-don’t-look-anything-alike thing going on, so there was no way we could pass as siblings. Just as I opened my mouth, the doors that connected the front area with the rest of the training facility swung open. The man I was looking for came out with his bag over his shoulder, imposing, massive, and sweaty. Definitely surly too, which really only meant he looked the way he always did. I couldn’t help but crack a little smile at his grumpiness. “Ready?” He did his form of a nod, a tip of his chin. I could feel the receptionist’s eyes on us as he approached, but I was too busy taking in Grumpy Pants to bother looking at anyone else. Those brown eyes shifted to me for a second, and that time, I smirked uncontrollably. He glared down at me. “What are you smiling at?” I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, trying to give him an innocent look. “Oh, nothing, sunshine.” He mouthed ‘sunshine’ as his gaze strayed to the ceiling. We ran out of the building side by side toward my car. Throwing the doors open, I pretty much jumped inside and shivered, turning the car and the heater on. Aiden slid in a lot more gracefully than I had, wet but not nearly as soaked. He eyed me as he buckled in, and I slanted him a look. “What?” With a shake of his head, he unzipped his duffel, which was sitting on his lap, and pulled out that infamous off-black hoodie he always wore. Then he held it out. All I could do was stare at it for a second. His beloved, no-name brand, extra-extra-large hoodie. He was offering it to me. When I first started working for Aiden, I remembered him specifically giving me instructions on how he wanted it washed and dried. On gentle and hung to dry. He loved that thing. He could own a thousand just like it, but he didn’t. He had one black hoodie that he wore all the time and a blue one he occasionally donned. “For me?” I asked like an idiot. He shook it, rolling his eyes. “Yes for you. Put it on before you get sick. I would rather not have to take care of you if you get pneumonia.” Yeah, I was going to ignore his put-out tone and focus on the ‘rather not’ as I took it from him and slipped it on without another word. His hoodie was like holding a gold medal in my hands. Like being given something cherished, a family relic. Aiden’s precious.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Winter tightened its grip on Alaska. The vastness of the landscape dwindled down to the confines of their cabin. The sun rose at quarter past ten in the morning and set only fifteen minutes after the end of the school day. Less than six hours of light a day. Snow fell endlessly, blanketed everything. It piled up in drifts and spun its lace across windowpanes, leaving them nothing to see except themselves. In the few daylight hours, the sky stretched gray overhead; some days there was merely the memory of light rather than any real glow. Wind scoured the landscape, cried out as if in pain. The fireweed froze, turned into intricate ice sculptures that stuck up from the snow. In the freezing cold, everything stuck -- car doors froze, windows cracked, engines refused to start. The ham radio filled with warnings of bad weather and listed the deaths that were as common in Alaska in the winter as frozen eyelashes. People died for the smallest mistake -- car keys dropped in a river, a gas tank gone dry, a snow machine breaking down, a turn taken too fast. Leni couldn't go anywhere or do anything without a warning. Already the winter seemed to have gone on forever. Shore ice seized the coastline, glazed the shells and stones until the beach looked like a silver-sequined collar. Wind roared across the homestead, as it had all winter, transforming the white landscape with every breath. Trees cowered in the face of it, animals built dens and burrowed in holes and went into hiding. Not so different from the humans, who hunkered down in this cold, took special care.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
When I describe for my far-away friends the Northwest’s subtle shades of weather — from gloaming skies of ‘high-gray’ to ‘low-gray’ with violet streaks like the water’s delicate aura — they wonder if my brain and body have, indeed, become water-logged. Yet still, I find myself praising the solace and privacy of fine, silver drizzle, the comforting cloaks of salt, mold, moss, and fog, the secretive shelter of cedar and clouds. Whether it’s in the Florida Keys, along the rocky Maine coast, within the Gulf of Mexico’s warm curves, on the brave Outer Banks; or, for those who nestle near inland seas, such as the brine-steeped Great Salk Lake or the Midwest’s Great Lakes — water is alive and in relationship with those of us who are blessed with such a world-shaping, yet abiding, intimate ally. Every day I am moved by the double life of water — her power and her humility. But most of all, I am grateful for the partnership of this great body of inland sea. Living by water, I am never alone. Just as water has sculpted soil and canyon, it also molds my own living space, and every story I tell. …Living by water restores my sense of balance and natural rhythm — the ebb and flow of high tides and low tides, so like the rise and fall of everyday life. Wind, water, waves are not simply a backdrop to my life, they are steady companions. And that is the grace, the gift of inviting nature to live inside my home. Like a Chambered Nautilus I spin out my days, drifting and dreaming, nurtured by marine mists, like another bright shell on the beach, balancing on the back of a greater body.
Brenda Peterson (Singing to the Sound: Visions of Nature, Animals, and Spirit)
The more south we were, the more deep a sky it seemed, till, in the Valley of Mexico, I thought it held back an element too strong for life, and that the flamy brilliance of blue stood off this menace and sometimes, like a sheath or silk membrane, shoed the weight it held in sags. So when later he would fly high over the old craters on the plain, coaly bubbles of the underworld, dangerous red everywhere from the sun, and then coats of snow on the peak of the cones—gliding like a Satan—well, it was here the old priests, before the Spaniards, waited for Aldebaran to come into the middle of heaven to tell them whether or not life would go on for another cycle, and when they received their astronomical sign built their new fire inside the split and emptied chest of a human sacrifice. And also, hereabouts, worshipers disguised as gods and as gods in the disguise of birds, jumped from platforms fixed on long poles, and glided as they spun by the ropes—feathered serpents, and eagles too, the voladores, or fliers. There still are such plummeters, in market places, as there seem to be remnants or conversions or equivalents of all the old things. Instead of racks or pyramids of skulls still in their hair and raining down scraps of flesh there are corpses of dogs, rats, horses, asses, by the roads; the bones dug out of the rented graves are thrown on a pile when the lease is up; and there are the coffins looking like such a rough joke on the female form, sold in the open shops, black, white, gray, and in all sizes, with their heavy death fringes daubed in Sapolio silver on the black. Beggars in dog voices on the church steps enact the last feebleness for you with ancient Church Spanish, and show their old flails of stump and their sores. The burden carriers with the long lines, hemp lines they wind over their foreheads to hold the loads on their backs, lie in the garbage at siesta and give themselves the same exhibited neglect the dead are shown. Which is all to emphasize how openly death is received everywhere, in the beauty of the place, and how it is acknowledged that anyone may be roughly handled—the proudest—pinched, slapped, and set down, thrown down; for death throws even worse in men’s faces and makes it horrible and absurd that one never touched should be roughly dumped under, dumped upon.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins. The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream, and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars. Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. In a graveyard far off there is a corpse who has moaned for three years because of a dry countryside on his knee; and that boy they buried this morning cried so much it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet. Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful! We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead dahlias. But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist; flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths in a thicket of new veins, and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders. One day the horses will live in the saloons and the enraged ants will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows. Another day we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue. Careful! Be careful! Be careful! The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm, and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge, or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe, we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting, where the bear’s teeth are waiting, where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting, and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder. Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is sleeping. If someone does close his eyes, a whip, boys, a whip! Let there be a landscape of open eyes and bitter wounds on fire. No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one. I have said it before. No one is sleeping. But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night, open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters - City That Does Not Sleep
Federico García Lorca
Luz leaned her head against the window. The bus was already on the outskirts of Mexico City and the endless urban landscape had never seemed so gray and or so harsh. Most of the city was nothing like the old money enclave of Lomas Virreyes where the Vegas lived or Polanco where the city’s most expensive restaurants and clubs catered to the wealthy. The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn’t concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it. The Reforma newspaper had reported a few weeks ago that the city’s population was in excess of 28 million--more than 25 percent of the country’s entire population--and Luz believed it. All of those people were clawing at each other in a huge fishbowl suspended 7500 feet above sea level, where there was never enough oxygen and the air was thin and dirty. The city was hemmed in by mountains on all sides; mountains like Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl that sometimes spewed smoke and ash and prevented the contaminatión from cars and factories and sewers from escaping. Luz privately thought of it as la sopa--a white soup that often blotted out the stars and prevented the night sky from getting dark. The bus slowed in traffic. As they crept along Luz saw a car stopped on the side of the road, pulled over by a transito traffic cop. As Luz watched, the driver handed the cop a peso bill from his wallet. The transito accepted it but kept talking, gesturing at the car. The motorist handed him another bill. La mordida--the bite--of the traffic cop, right under her nose. Los Hierros was crap.
Carmen Amato (The Hidden Light of Mexico City)
You know, I still feel in my wrists certain echoes of the pram-pusher’s knack, such as, for example, the glib downward pressure one applied to the handle in order to have the carriage tip up and climb the curb. First came an elaborate mouse-gray vehicle of Belgian make, with fat autoid tires and luxurious springs, so large that it could not enter our puny elevator. It rolled on sidewalks in a slow stately mystery, with the trapped baby inside lying supine, well covered with down, silk and fur; only his eyes moved, warily, and sometimes they turned upward with one swift sweep of their showy lashes to follow the receding of branch-patterned blueness that flowed away from the edge of the half-cocked hood of the carriage, and presently he would dart a suspicious glance at my face to see if the teasing trees and sky did not belong, perhaps to the same order of things as did rattles and parental humor. There followed a lighter carriage, and in this, as he spun along, he would tend to rise, straining at his straps; clutching at the edges; standing there less like the groggy passenger of a pleasure boat than like an entranced scientist in a spaceship; surveying the speckled skeins of a live, warm world; eyeing with philosophic interest the pillow he had managed to throw overboard; falling out himself when a strap burst one day. Still later he rode in one of those small contraptions called strollers; from initial springy and secure heights the child came lower and lower, until, when he was about one and a half, he touched ground in front of the moving stroller by slipping forward out of his seat and beating the sidewalk with his heels in anticipation of being set loose in some public garden. A new wave of evolution started to swell, gradually lifting him again from the ground, when, for his second birthday, he received a four-foot-long, silver-painted Mercedes racing car operated by inside pedals, like an organ, and in this he used to drive with a pumping, clanking noise up and down the sidewalk of the Kurfurstendamm while from open windows came the multiplied roar of a dictator still pounding his chest in the Neander valley we had left far behind.
Vladimir Nabokov
From east to west, in fact, her gaze swept slowly, without encountering a single obstacle, along a perfect curve. Beneath her, the blue-and-white terraces of the Arab town overlapped one another, splattered with the dark-red spots of the peppers drying in the sun. Not a soul could be seen, but from the inner courts, together with the aroma of roasting coffee, there rose laughing voices or incomprehensible stamping of feet. Father off, the palm grove, divided into uneven squares by clay walls, rustled its upper foliage in a wind that could not be felt up on the terace. Still farther off and all the way to the horizon extended the ocher-and-gray realm of stones, in which no life was visible. At some distance from the oasis, however, near the wadi that bordered the palm grove on the west could be seen broad black tents. All around them a flock of motionless dromedaries, tiny at the distance, formed against the gray ground the black signs of a strange handwriting, the meaning of which had to be deciphered. Above the desert, the silence was as vast as the space. Janine, leaning her whole body against the parapet, was speechless, unable to tear herself away from the void opening before her. Beside her, Marcel was getting restless. He was cold; he wanted to go back down. What was there to see here, after all? But she could not take her gaze from the horizon. Over yonder, still farther south, at that point where sky and earth met in a pure line - over yonder it suddenly seemed there was awaiting her something of which, though it had always been lacking, she had never been aware until now. In the advancing afternoon the light relaxed and softened; it was passing from the crystalline to the liquid. Simultaneously, in the heart of a woman brought there by pure chance a knot tightened by the years, habit, and boredom was slowly loosening. She was looking at the nomads' encampment. She had not even seen the men living in it' nothing was stirring among the black tents, and yet she could think only of them whose existence she had barely known until this day. Homeless, cut off from the world, they were a handful wandering over the vast territory she could see, which however was but a paltry part of an even greater expanse whose dizzying course stopped only thousands of miles farther south, where the first river finally waters the forest. Since the beginning of time, on the dry earth of this limitless land scraped to bone, a few men had been ceaselessly trudging, possessing nothing but serving no one, poverty-stricken but free lords of a strange kingdom. Janine did not know why this thought filled her with such a sweet, vast melancholy that it closed her eyes. She knew that this kingdom had been eternally promised her and yet that it would never be hers, never again, except in this fleeting moment perhaps when she opened her eyes again on the suddenly motionless sky and on its waves of steady light, while the voices rising from the Arab town suddenly fell silent. It seemed to her that the world's course had just stopped and that, from that moment on, no one would ever age any more or die. Everywhere, henceforth, life was suspended - except in her heart, where, at the same moment, someone was weeping with affliction and wonder.
Albert Camus
Boney freckled knees pressed into bits of bark and stone, refusing to feel any more pain. Her faded t-shirt hugged her protruding ribs as she held on, hunched in silence. A lone tear followed the lumpy tracks down her cheek, jumped from her quivering jaw onto a thirsty browned leaf with a thunderous plop. Then the screen door squeaked open and she took flight. Crispy twigs snapped beneath her bare feet as she ran deeper and deeper into the woods behind the house. She heard him rumbling and calling her name, his voice fueling her tired muscles to go faster, to survive. He knew her path by now. He was ready for the hunt. The clanging unbuckled belt boomed in her ears as he gained on her. The woods were thin this time of year, not much to hide behind. If she couldn’t outrun him, up she would go. Young trees teased her in this direction, so she moved east towards the evergreens. Hunger and hurt left her no choice, she had to stop running soon. She grabbed the first tree with a branch low enough to reach, and up she went. The pine trees were taller here, older, but the branches were too far apart for her to reach. She chose the wrong tree. His footsteps pounded close by. She stood as tall as her little legs could, her bloodied fingers reaching, stretching, to no avail. A cry of defeat slipped from her lips, a knowing laugh barked from his. She would pay for this dearly. She didn’t know whether the price was more than she could bear. Her eyes closed, her next breath came out as Please, and an inky hand reached down from the lush needles above, wound its many fingers around hers, and pulled her up. Another hand, then another, grabbing her arms, her legs, firmly but gently, pulling her up, up, up. The rush of green pine needles and black limbs blurred together, then a flash of cobalt blue fluttered by, heading down. She looked beyond her dangling bare feet to see a flock of peculiar birds settle on the branches below her, their glossy feathers flickered at once and changed to the same greens and grays of the tree they perched upon, camouflaging her ascension. Her father’s footsteps below came to a stomping end, and she knew he was listening for her. Tracking her, trapping her, like he did the other beasts of the forest. He called her name once, twice. The third time’s tone not quite as friendly. The familiar slide–click sound of him readying his gun made her flinch before he had his chance to shoot at the sky. A warning. He wasn’t done with her. His feet crunched in circles around the tree, eventually heading back home. Finally, she exhaled and looked up. Dozens of golden-eyed creatures surrounded her from above. Covered in indigo pelts, with long limbs tipped with mint-colored claws, they seemed to move as one, like a heartbeat. As if they shared a pulse, a train of thought, a common sense. “Thank you,” she whispered, and the beasts moved in a wave to carefully place her on a thick branch.
Kim Bongiorno (Part of My World: Short Stories)