Insect Beauty Quotes

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I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
A tree may look as beautiful as ever; but when you notice the insects infesting it, and the tips of the branches that are brown from disease, even the trunk seems to lose some of its magnificence.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
She was a fly, but the others were dragonflies, butterflies, beautiful insects, dancing, fluttering, skimming, while she alone dragged herself up out of the saucer.
Virginia Woolf (A Haunted House and Other Short Stories)
You know the beauty of driving one of these? (Wulf) No. (Cassandra) You can swat a Daimon like a mosquito. (Wulf) Well, since they’re both bloodsucking insects, I say go for it. (Cassandra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
There is no reason to assume that the universe has the slightest interest in intelligence—or even in life. Both may be random accidental by-products of its operations like the beautiful patterns on a butterfly's wings. The insect would fly just as well without them.
Arthur C. Clarke
No living thing is ugly in this world. Even a tarantula considers itself beautiful
Munia Khan
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to. Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor. Because they never understand us, but they never give up. Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves. Because they come from little boys. Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women. Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy. Because they elevate sports to religion. Because they’re never afraid of the dark. Because they don’t care how they look or if they age. Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything. Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels. Because they’re always ready for sex. Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations. Because they’re afraid to go bald. Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say. Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry. Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human. Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end. Because they always finish the food on their plate. Because they are brave in front of insects and mice. Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots. Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between. Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline. Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try. Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be. Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them. Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it. Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action. Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys. Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads. Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say. Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size. Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to. Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Paulo Coelho
All were happy -- plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people -- adult men and women -- never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy -- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
In spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red and wisps of purplish cloud trail over them. In summer the nights. Not only when the moon shines, but on dark nights too, as the fireflies flit to and fro, and even when it rains, how beautiful it is! In autumn, the evenings, when the glittering sun sinks close to the edge of the hills and the crows fly back to their nests in threes and fours and twos; more charming still is a file of wild geese, like specks in the distant sky. When the sun has set, one's heart is moved by the sound of the wind and the hum of the insects. In winter the early mornings. It is beautiful indeed when snow has fallen during the night, but splendid too when the ground is white with frost; or even when there is no snow or frost, but it is simply very cold and the attendants hurry from room to room stirring up the fires and bringing charcoal, how well this fits the season's mood! But as noon approaches and the cold wears off, no one bothers to keep the braziers alight, and soon nothing remains but piles of white ashes.
Sei Shōnagon
Rachel crossed her arms. “And the other three Oracles? I’m sure none of them was a beautiful young priestess whom you praised for her…what was it?…‘scintillating conversation’?” “Ah…” I wasn’t sure why, but it felt like my acne was turning into live insects and crawling across my face. “Well, according to my extensive research—” “Some books he flipped through last night,” Meg clarified.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
Though men in their hundreds of thousands had tried their hardest to disfigure that little corner of the earth where they had crowded themselves together, paving the ground with stones so that nothing could grow, weeding out every blade of vegetation, filling the air with the fumes of coal and gas, cutting down trees and driving away every beast and every bird -- spring, however, was still spring, even in the town. The sun shone warm, the grass, wherever it had not been scraped away, revived and showed green not only on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards but between the paving-stones as well, and the birches, the poplars and the wild cherry-trees were unfolding their sticky, fragrant leaves, and the swelling buds were bursting on the lime trees; the jackdaws, the sparrows and the pigeons were cheerfully getting their nests ready for the spring, and the flies, warmed by the sunshine, buzzed gaily along the walls. All were happy -- plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people -- adult men and women -- never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy -- a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love. No, what they considered sacred and important were their own devices for wielding power over each other.
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
In his eyes shone the reflection of the most beautiful planet in the Universe---a planet that is not too hot and not too cold; that has liquid water on the surface and where the gravity is just right for human beings and the atmosphere is perfect for them to breathe; where there are mountains and deserts and oceans and islands and forests and trees and birds and plants and animals and insects and people---lots and lots of people. Where there is life. Some of it, possibly, intelligent.
Stephen Hawking (George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt)
Dandelion, staring into the dying embers, sat much longer, alone, quietly strumming his lute. It began with a few bars, from which an elegant, soothing melody emerged. The lyric suited the melody, and came into being simultaneously with it, the words bending into the music, becoming set in it like insects in translucent, golden lumps of amber. The ballad told of a certain witcher and a certain poet. About how the witcher and the poet met on the seashore, among the crying of seagulls, and how they fell in love at first sight. About how beautiful and powerful was their love. About how nothing - not even death - was able to destroy that love and part them. Dandelion knew that few would believe the story told by the ballad, but he was not concerned. He knew ballads were not written to be believed, but to move their audience. Several years later, Dandelion could have changed the contents of the ballad and written about what had really occurred. He did not. For the true story would not have move anyone. Who would have wanted to hear that the Witcher and Little Eye parted and never, ever, saw each other again? About how four years later Little Eye died of the smallpox during an epidemic raging in Vizima? About how he, Dandelion, had carried her out in his arms between corpses being cremated on funeral pyres and buried her far from the city, in the forest, alone and peaceful, and, as she had asked, buried two things with her: her lute and her sky blue pearl. The pearl from which she was never parted. No, Dandelion stuck with his first version. And he never sang it. Never. To no one. Right before the dawn, while it was still dark, a hungry, vicious werewolf crept up to their camp, but saw that it was Dandelion, so he listened for a moment and then went on his way.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Miecz przeznaczenia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #0.7))
When Kleiner showed me the sky-line of New York I told him that man is like the coral insect — designed to build vast, beautiful, mineral things for the moon to delight in after he is dead.
H.P. Lovecraft
History isn’t only a subject; it’s also a method. My method is, generally, to let the dead speak for themselves. I’ve pressed their words between these pages, like flowers, for their beauty, or like insects, for their hideousness. The work of the historian is not the work of the critic or of the moralist; it is the work of the sleuth and the storyteller, the philosopher and the scientist, the keeper of tales, the sayer of sooth, the teller of truth.
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
..."Are you okay?" he says, still looking at me, and I feel my smile slip, fade, and the silence that falls over us then is so total I can’t hear anything, not the rush-hiss of my heart pounding in my chest, not the sounds all around us; insects, wind, and the distant clatter of others’ lives in houses built close but not too close because when we look out our windows we all like to pretend that everything we see is ours. But Ryan is not mine.
Elizabeth Scott (The Unwritten Rule)
It is with eight lengthy legs we use to catch food, balance and knit a beautiful silk bed, but as babies we had lost our bones and skin, and hence our legs we had shed.
Jasmine Jean (Whimsy Girl)
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element. And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place. And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first, with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Bugs never bug my head. They are amazing. It is the activities of humans which actually bug me all the time.
Munia Khan
dragonflies circled me, the sun knifing off the brilliant blues and yellows of their bodies.
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir)
Alex's T-shirt is red, and for a second I think it's a trick of the light, but then I realise he's drenched, soaked in blood: blood seeping across his chest, like the stain seeping up the sky, bringing another day to the world. Behind him is that insect army of men, all running toward him at once, guns drawn. The guards are coming too, reaching for him from both sides.....The helicopter has him fixed in it's spotlight. He is standing white and still and frozen in its beam, and I don't think I have ever, in my life, seen anything more beautiful than him.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Death doesn’t hurt,” said one of the twins, and a light came into his silver eyes. “Death is dark, death is sweet.” The other twin took up the litany. “Death is all that lasts forever. Death is eternal beauty.” “Death is a lover with a thousand tongues—” “A thousand insect caresses—” “Death is easy.
Poppy Z. Brite (Lost Souls)
All we Karamazovs are such insects. And angel as you are, that insect lives in you, too, and will stir up a tempest in your blood. Tempests, because sensual lust is a tempest - worse than a tempest! Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed and never can be fathomed, for God sets before us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I am not an educated nor cultured man, Alyosha, but I've thought a lot about this. It's terrible what mysteries there are! Too many riddles weigh men down on earth. We must solve as we can, and try to keep a dry skin in the water. Beauty! I can't bear the thought that a man of lofty mind and heart begins with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What's still more awful is that a man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and his heart may be on fire with that ideal, genuinely on fire, just as in his days of youth and innocence. Yes, man is broad, too broad. I'd have him narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! What to the mind is shameful is beauty and nothing else to the heart. Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, that for the immense mass of mankind beauty is found in Sodom. Did you know that secret? The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It certainly was a most beautiful insect. It was pale blue underneath; but its back was glossy black with huge red spots on it.
Hugh Lofting (The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle)
And over the phone he could hear the ten legged insect already scrabbling across the keyboard!
Jo Nesbø (Police (Harry Hole, #10))
I mean that it is possible to be unselfish without a moral code, sophisticated without and education, and beautiful wearing a skeleton on the outside.
Marlene Zuk (Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love, and Language from the Insect World)
Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves the insects are eating each other; violence is a part of life.
Francis Bacon
Thousands of beautiful women? Yes. Thousands of insects whose only purpose is to lure fish? No.
Colleen Houck (Reawakened (Reawakened, #1))
Well the Dutch invented the microscope," she said. "They were jewellers, grinders of lenses. The want it all as detailed as possible because even the tiniest things mean something. Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life- a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple- the painter is giving you a secret message. He's telling you that living things don't last- it's all temporary. Death in life. That's why they're called natures mortes. Maybe you don't see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer- there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
They are beautiful, heart-rendingly beautiful, those wilds, with a quality of wide-eyed, unsung, innocent surrender that my lacquered, toy-bright Swiss villages and exhaustively lauded Alps no longer possess. Innumerable lovers have clipped and kissed on the trim turf of old-world mountainsides, on the innerspring moss, by a handy, hygienic rill, on rustic benches under the initialed oaks, and in so many cabanes in so so many beech forests. But in the Wilds of America the open-air lover will not find it easy to indulge in the most ancient of all crimes and pastimes. Poisonous plants burn his sweetheart's buttocks, nameless insects sting his; sharp items of the forest floor prick his knees, insects hers; and all around there abides a sustained rustle of potential snakes--que dis-je,of semi-extinct dragons!--while the crablike seeds of ferocious flowers cling, in a hideous green crust, to gartered black sock and sloppy white sock alike.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Every flower and insect, every bird, and all the creatures that live upon the land and swim within the rivers and seas, are part of the Tree of Life. You are connected to the whole of life. Whatever happens to the myriad forms of life in the world around you, has a direct affect on you''.
alexis karpouzos (The self-criticism of science)
Why were the flowers born so beautiful and yet so hapless? Insects can sting, and even the meekest of beasts will fight when brought to bay. The birds whose plumage is sought to deck some bonnet can fly from its pursuer, the furred animal whose coat you covet for your own may hide at your approach. Alas! The only flower known to have wings is the butterfly; all others stand helpless before the destroyer. If they shriek in their death agony their cry never reaches our hardened ears. We are ever brutal to those who love and serve us in silence, but the time may come when, for our cruelty, we shall be deserted by these best friends of ours. Have you not noticed that the wild flowers are becoming scarcer every year? It may be that their wise men have told them to depart till man becomes more human. Perhaps they have migrated to heaven. Much may be said in favor of him who
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
There is a tree. At the downhill edge of a long, narrow field in the western foothills of the La Sal Mountains -- southeastern Utah. A particular tree. A juniper. Large for its species -- maybe twenty feet tall and two feet in diameter. For perhaps three hundred years this tree has stood its ground. Flourishing in good seasons, and holding on in bad times. "Beautiful" is not a word that comes to mind when one first sees it. No naturalist would photograph it as exemplary of its kind. Twisted by wind, split and charred by lightning, scarred by brushfires, chewed on by insects, and pecked by birds. Human beings have stripped long strings of bark from its trunk, stapled barbed wire to it in using it as a corner post for a fence line, and nailed signs on it on three sides: NO HUNTING; NO TRESPASSING; PLEASE CLOSE THE GATE. In commandeering this tree as a corner stake for claims of rights and property, miners and ranchers have hacked signs and symbols in its bark, and left Day-Glo orange survey tape tied to its branches. Now it serves as one side of a gate between an alfalfa field and open range. No matter what, in drought, flood heat and cold, it has continued. There is rot and death in it near the ground. But at the greening tips of its upper branches and in its berrylike seed cones, there is yet the outreach of life. I respect this old juniper tree. For its age, yes. And for its steadfastness in taking whatever is thrown at it. That it has been useful in a practical way beyond itself counts for much, as well. Most of all, I admire its capacity for self-healing beyond all accidents and assaults. There is a will in it -- toward continuing to be, come what may.
Robert Fulghum (Uh-oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door)
i have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which i don’t agree with very well. he’ll hold up a flower and say, “look how beautiful it is,” and i’ll agree, i think. and he says - “you see, i as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” and i think that he’s kind of nutty. first of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, i believe, although i might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but i can appreciate the beauty of a flower. at the same time i see much more about the flower than he sees. i can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. i mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the color. it adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? why is it aesthetic? all kinds of interesting questions which shows that a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. it only adds; i don’t understand how it subtracts..
Richard P. Feynman
He began to see a kind of beauty in the strangeness of the field, too. It was quite different from what he had been taught to expect —as he had already discovered, were many of the things in this world—yet there weas pleasure for him now in its alien colors and textures, its new sights and smells. In sounds, too; for his ears were very acute and he heard many strange and pleasant noises in the grass, the diverse rubbings and clickings of those insects that had survived the cold weather of early November; and even, with his head now against the ground, the very small, subtle murmurings in the earth itself.
Walter Tevis (The Man Who Fell to Earth)
Maddeningly beautiful. and faint as an insect choir, like standing in the dark and glimpsing—the barest peripheral, an image behind your eyelids—the passing of your one desire, close enough to nuzzle if you could only fix its motion, see it all the way.
Kathe Koja (The Cipher)
Don’t read books! Don’t chant poems! When you read books your eyeballs wither away leaving the bare sockets. When you chant poems your heart leaks out slowly with each word. People say reading books is enjoyable. People say chanting poems is fun. But if your lips constantly make a sound like an insect chirping in autumn, you will only turn into a haggard old man. And even if you don’t turn into a haggard old man, it’s annoying for others to have to hear you. It’s so much better to close your eyes, sit in your study, lower the curtains, sweep the floor, burn incense. It’s beautiful to listen to the wind, listen to the rain, take a walk when you feel energetic, and when you’re tired go to sleep.
Yang Wanli
Birds are beautiful. After a lifetime of study I still love to look at them and listen to them, even the common species.
Kenn Kaufman (Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America)
Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life―a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple―the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last―it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer―there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Your garden is a protest. It is a place of defiant compassion. It is a space to help sustain wildlife and ecosystem function while providing an aesthetic response that moves you. For you, beauty isn’t just petal-deep but goes down into the soil, farther down into the aquifer and back up into the air and for miles around on the backs and legs of insects. You don’t have to see microbes in action, birds eating seeds, butterflies laying eggs, ants farming aphids….Your garden is a protest for all the ways in which we deny our life by denying other lives. Plant some natives. Be defiantly compassionate.
Benjamin Vogt (A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future)
What you see is what I am. I've not had my boobs done or my arse lifted, no nips, no tucks. No ribs removed, nothing. Those little strumpets we see on the silver screen today are mostly bathroom sealant. They buy breasts over the counter. What would you like, honey, small, medium or large? They give us stick insects and tell us it's beauty. If someone of their size went for an audition jn my day she'd have been shown a square meal and told to come back when she was a stone heavier. What's wring with curves? Anyone over a ten these days is regarded not as an average-sized woman but a marketing opportunity. Cream for this, pills for that, superfluous hair, collagen injection, quick weight-loss diets. Where's it going to end? We're pressured to expend so much money and effort ti be the 'perfect' shape when that shape is physically attainable by only one woman in a million. It's the cold face of capitalism, boys and girls, preying in misguided expectations. Besides, I always found perfection an overrated commodity
Jasper Fforde
Is there any sight more exquisite than a field of canary yellow rapeseed on a day of blinding sunlight? The colour appears to transcend structure and live and dance and breathe. Nature reveals its primordial palette and invites insects to pollinate and Man to dare to dream of creating something so vibrant, shockingly intense and timeless. It is the golden ignition of the divine spark of creativity writ large.
Stewart Stafford
At that moment the universe appeared to me a vast machine constructed only to produce evil. I almost doubted the goodness of God, in not annihilating man on the day he first sinned. "The world should have been destroyed," I said, "crushed as I crush this reptile which has done nothing in its life but render all that it touches as disgusting as itself." I had scarcely removed my foot from the poor insect when, like a censoring angel sent from heaven, there came fluttering through the trees a butterfly with large wings of lustrous gold and purple. It shone but a moment before my eyes; then, rising among the leaves, it vanished into the height of the azure vault. I was mute, but an inner voice said to me, "Let not the creature judge his Creator; here is a symbol of the world to come. As the ugly caterpillar is the origin of the splendid butterfly, so this globe is the embryo of a new heaven and a new earth whose poorest beauty will infinitely exceed your mortal imagination. And when you see the magnificent result of that which seems so base to you now, how you will scorn your blind presumption, in accusing Omniscience for not having made nature perish in her infancy. God is the god of justice and mercy; then surely, every grief that he inflicts on his creatures, be they human or animal, rational or irrational, every suffering of our unhappy nature is only a seed of that divine harvest which will be gathered when, Sin having spent its last drop of venom, Death having launched its final shaft, both will perish on the pyre of a universe in flames and leave their ancient victims to an eternal empire of happiness and glory.
Emily Brontë (Devoirs de Bruxelles)
In the beauty of countless danseuse in my palace, I saw an endless suffering in the form of distorted and diseased figures as the absolute certainty towards which they were heading even as insects unwittingly consign themselves to the blazing flame.
Ajit Kumar Jha (Siddhartha Smiles)
It is simply amazing how quickly attitudes improve when people finally understand bats as they really are—sophisticated, beautiful, even cute, quite aside from their crucial roles as primary predators of insects, pollinators of flowers, and dispersers of seeds.
Merlin Tuttle (The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World's Most Misunderstood Mammals)
That night my mother had what she considered a wonderful dream. She dreamed of the country of India, where she had never been. There were orange traffic cones and beautiful lapis lazuli insects with mandibles of gold. A young girl was being led through the streets. She was taken to a pyre where she was wound in a sheet and placed up on a platform built from sticks. The bright fire that consumed her brought my mother into that deep, light, dreamlike bliss. The girl was being burned alive, but, first, there had been her body, clean and whole.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
This time of year, the purple blooms were busy with life- not just the bees, but butterflies and ladybugs, skippers and emerald-toned beetles, flitting hummingbirds and sapphire dragonflies. The sun-warmed sweet haze of the blossoms filled the air. "When I was a kid," said Isabel, "I used to capture butterflies, but I was afraid of the bees. I'm getting over that, though." The bees softly rose and hovered over the flowers, their steady hum oddly soothing. The quiet buzzing was the soundtrack of her girlhood summers. Even now, she could close her eyes and remember her walks with Bubbie, and how they would net a monarch or swallowtail butterfly, studying the creature in a big clear jar before setting it free again. They always set them free. As she watched the activity in the hedge, a memory floated up from the past- Bubbie, gently explaining to Isabel why they needed to open the jar. "No creature should ever be trapped against its will," she used to say. "It will ruin itself, just trying to escape." As a survivor of a concentration camp, Bubbie only ever spoke of the experience in the most oblique of terms.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
Feral beauty tangled up and over every surface. Enormous vines and flourishing blooms swathed the area creating a shadowy, organic cathedral. A faint whiff of perfume breezed to her, like jasmine, but sweeter, more delicate—if jasmine could be more delicate without losing its scent entirely. The buzzing of alien insects reminded her of the sticky, summer days of her childhood in the South, and cicadas filled her memory with their incessant mating calls. Here, however, the insects grew louder as it grew darker. It seemed even they understood the dangers of daylight.
Jacqueline Patricks (Dreams of the Queen (The Brajj, #1))
Having no music doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. There're lots of other sounds that take its place -- the chirping of birds, the cries of all sorts of insects, the gurgle of the brook, the rustling of leaves. Rain falls, something scrambles across the cabin roof, and sometimes I hear indescribable sounds I can't explain. I ever knew the world was full of so many beautiful, natural sounds. I've ignored them my entire life, but not now. I sit on the porch for hours with my eyes closed, trying to be inconspicuous, picking up each and every sound around me.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
A few of my Aramean ancestors went to Egypt. We grew into an entire nation there. The Egyptians enslaved us and treated us like shit, so we asked Yahweh, our forefathers’ god, for help. He turned Egyptian waters to blood, chased the Egyptians with frogs and insects, leperized them, turned off their sun, killed all their firstborn sons, and finally, he drowned Pharaoh and his entire army in the sea—all to free us from Egypt. Now he gave us this beautiful paradise. So thank you, Yahweh, for killing all the Canaanites and giving us their land! Here is a nice fruit basket for you!
Steve Ebling (Holy Bible - Best God Damned Version - The Books of Moses: For atheists, agnostics, and fans of religious stupidity)
The character of the Indian's emotion left little room in his heart for antagonism toward his fellow creatures .... For the Lakota (one of the three branches of the Sioux Nation), mountains, lakes, rivers, springs, valleys, and the woods were all in finished beauty. Winds, rain, snow, sunshine, day, night, and change of seasons were endlessly fascinating. Birds, insects, and animals filled the world with knowledge that defied the comprehension of man. The Lakota was a true naturalist - a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, and the attachment grew with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their alters were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing. This is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its live giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
Luther Standing Bear
Love is what can’t be helped. When it waxes, and when it wanes. Love is what happens when you’ve been looking another way. Love is that sensation of something on the back of your neck, tell yourself it’s nothing, a strand of hair, at last you touch it and discover it’s an insect—you cast off with a curse.
Joyce Carol Oates (Beautiful Days)
The remarkable thing about the world of insects, however, is precisely that there is no veil cast over these horrors. These are mysteries performed in broad daylight before our very eyes; we can see every detail, and yet they are still mysteries. If, as Heraclitus suggests, god, like an oracle, neither “declares nor hides, but sets forth by signs,” then clearly I had better be scrying the signs. The earth devotes an overwhelming proportion of its energy to these buzzings and leaps in the grass. Theirs is the biggest wedge of the pie: Why? I ought to keep a giant water bug in an aquarium on my dresser, so I can think about it.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
One day a mayfly said this to a moth drawn to a flame. "You know that flame is a trap set by humans. It is not like you only have one day to live as I do. Why would you throw yourself at the flame knowing you'll die?" And so the moth said "the flame is too beautiful not to throw myself at. There is no beauty without pain.
Kim Bok Joo
If there is a "problem of evil" there is also a "problem of good." Wherever we look we see not only confusion but beauty. In snowflake, leaf or insect, we discover structured patterns of a delicacy and balance that nothing manufactured by human skill can equal. We are not to sentimentalize these things, but we cannot ignore them.
Kallistos Ware
In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half, hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below. The woods were full of sound: the stream between the rocks, the wind among the needles of the pine branches, the chitter of insects and the cries of small arboreal mammals, as well as the birdsong; and from time to time a stronger gust of wind would make one of the branches of a cedar or a fir move against another and groan like a cello. It was a place of brilliant sunlight, never undappled. Shafts of lemon-gold brilliance lanced down to the forest floor between bars and pools of brown-green shade; and the light was never still, never constant, because drifting mist would often float among the treetops, filtering all the sunlight to a pearly sheen and brushing every pine cone with moisture that glistened when the mist lifted. Sometimes the wetness in the clouds condensed into tiny drops half mist and half rain, which floated downward rather than fell, making a soft rustling patter among the millions of needles. There was a narrow path beside the stream, which led from a village-little more than a cluster of herdsmen's dwellings - at the foot of the valley to a half-ruined shrine near the glacier at its head, a place where faded silken flags streamed out in the Perpetual winds from the high mountains, and offerings of barley cakes and dried tea were placed by pious villagers. An odd effect of the light, the ice, and the vapor enveloped the head of the valley in perpetual rainbows.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
It's her. The woman from the photo." The plate was foxed around the edges, but the painting at its center was still intact. The annotation beneath gave the title as Sleeping Beauty and the artist's name, Edward Radcliffe. The woman in the painting was lying in a fantastical treetop bower of leaves and flower buds, all of which were waiting in stasis for the chance to bloom. Birds and insects were interspersed amongst the woven branches; long red hair flowed in waves around her sleeping face, which was glorious in repose. Her eyes were closed, but the features of her face- the elegant cheekbones and bow lips- were unmistakable. "She was his model," Elodie whispered.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
An immaculate garden is a hostile place to most wildlife. Beautifully weeded borders, with every fallen leaf and twig gathered and disposed of, hedges kept constantly crisp and grass mown to within a fraction of its life may make a certain sort of gardener glow with pride but will provide little comfort for most of our birds, mammals and insects.
Montagu Don (Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom)
She first peered into its fascinating cases of beetles and butterflies at the age of six, in the company of her father. She recalls her pity at each occupant pinned for display. It was no great leap to draw the same conclusion of ladies: similarly bound and trussed, pinned and contained, with the objective of being admired, in all their gaudy beauty.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
My sense of kinship with this world is not only with its obviously sympathetic and and beautiful aspects, but also with the horrendous and strange. For I have found that the monstrous and inhuman aspects of fish and insects and reptiles are not so much in them as in me. They are external embodiments of my natural creeps and shudders at the thought of pain and death.
Alan W. Watts (Nature, Man and Woman)
If nothing else, school teaches that there is an answer to every question; only in the real world do young people discover that many aspects of life are uncertain, mysterious, and even unknowable. If you have a chance to play in nature, if you are sprayed by a beetle, if the color of a butterfly's wing comes off on your fingers, if you watch a caterpillar spin its cocoon-- you come away with a sense of mystery and uncertainty. The more you watch, the more mysterious the natural world becomes, and the more you realize how little you know. Along with its beauty, you may also come to experience its fecundity, its wastefulness, aggressiveness, ruthlessness, parasitism, and its violence. These qualities are not well-conveyed in textbooks.
Michael Crichton (Micro)
Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Even the tiniest things mean something. Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Few things are harder to visualise than that a cold snowbound landscape, so marrow-chillingly quiet and lifeless, will, within mere months, be green and lush and warm, quivering with all manner of life, from birds warbling and flying through the trees to swarms of insects hanging in scattered clusters in the air. Nothing in the winter landscape presages the scent of sun-warmed heather and moss, trees bursting with sap and thawed lakes ready for spring and summer, nothing presages the feeling of freedom that can come over you when the only white that can be seen is the clouds gliding across the blue sky above the blue water of the rivers gently flowing down to the sea, the perfect, smooth, cool surface, broken now and then by rocks, rapids and bathing bodies. It is not there, it does not exist, everything is white and still, and if the silence is broken it is by a cold wind or a lone crow caw-cawing. But it is coming ... it is coming... One evening in March the snow turns to rain, and the piles of snow collapse. One morning in April there are buds on the trees, and there is a trace of green in the yellow grass. Daffodils appear, white and blue anemones too. Then the warm air stands like a pillar among the trees on the slopes. On sunny inclines buds have burst, here and there cherry trees are in blossom. If you are sixteen years old all of this makes an impression, all of this leaves its mark, for this is the first spring you know is spring, with all your sense you know this is spring, and it is the last, for all coming springs pale in comparison with your first. If, moreover, you are in love, well, then ... then it is merely a question of holding on. Holding on to all the happiness, all the beauty, all the future that resides in everything.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 2 (Min kamp #2))
When one chants the Holy Names, listens to Krishna katha or just meditates on Krishna’s form, one’s body feels wellbeing, one’s mind becomes tranquil, one beholds beauty in the sky, nature, people, animals, insects—in everything. Vāsudeva sarvam iti, everything is Krishna. One feels the cooling touch of the breeze. One feels the golden warmth of the setting sun. In an orb of happiness, one reposes oneself at the lotus feet of the Lord like a honey bee.
Anil B. Sarkar (Make Life Successful)
They want it all as detailed as possible because even the tiniest things mean something. Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Without the restless insects the place seemed stunned, stupefied, shocked by the ballet of gossamer violence, the wonder of plain and simple things drawn together to conjure such beauty, transforming that bubble of urban air into a theatre where an astonishing performance was fleetingly played to an awed audience of one, the memory of which would sparkle for a lifetime. And he knew it then, in that moment of dead happiness, what a gift, what a thing he had seen, what a treasure he held.
Chris Packham (Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir)
Sirius Sojourn by Stewart Stafford Cottage in an aromatic meadow, Summer's languid haze hanging, The old windmill's sundial stilled, Chirping birds and insect drones. Flowing brooks at a funereal pace, A bloated lull duels exiguous energy, Thick air's blanketing somnolence, Liquid refreshment soothes inertia. Salmon sundown slithers to a siesta, In a clear purple sky nodding assent, The intense day imperceptibly eased, As the night's humid embrace begins. © Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
Every time he moved, with every breath he took, it seemed the man was carried along by iridescent orange and black wings. She tried to convey how it was like travelling through the inside of a living body at times, the joints and folds of the earth, the liver-smooth flowstone, the helictites threading upward like synapses in search of a connection. She found it beautiful. Surely God would not have invented such a place as His spiritual gulag. It took Ali’s breath away. Sometimes, once men found out she was a nun, they would dare her in some way. What made Ike different was his abandon. He had a carelessness in his manner that was not reckless, but was full of risk. Winged. He was pursuing her, but not faster than she was pursuing him, and it made them like two ghosts circling. She ran her fingers along his back, and the bone and the muscle and hadal ink and scar tissue and the callouses from his pack straps astonished her. This was the body of a slave. Down from the Egypt, eye of the sun, in front of the Sinai, away from their skies like a sea inside out, their stars and planets spearing your soul, their cities like insects, all shell and mechanism, their blindness with eyes, their vertiginous plains and mind-crushing mountains. Down from the billions who had made the world in their own image. Their signature could be a thing of beauty. But it was a thing of death. Ali got one good look, then closed her eyes to the heat. In her mind, she imagined Ike sitting in the raft across from her wearing a vast grin while the pyre reflected off the lenses of his glacier glasses. That put a smile on her face. In death, he had become the light. There comes a time on every big mountain when you descend the snows and cross a border back to life. It is a first patch of green grass by the trail, or a waft of the forests far below, or the trickle of snowmelt braiding into a stream. Always before, whether he had been gone an hour or a week or much longer – and no matter how many mountains he had left behind – it was, for Ike, an instant that registered in his whole being. Ike was swept with a sense not of departure, but of advent. Not of survival. But of grace.
Jeff Long (The Descent (Descent, #1))
Nijinsky in 'Le Spectre de la rose' was like nothing I'd seen before. He danced a fifteen-minute solo and it passed like a dream. He was wearing a silk tricot, palest nude, onto which were pinned dozens of silk Bakst petals, pink and red and purple. The most exotic creature, so beautiful, like a shiny, graceful insect on the verge of flight. He leapt as if it cost him no effort, lingering in the air far longer than was possible, and seemed not to touch the stage between times. I believed that night that a man might fly, that anything was possible.
Kate Morton (The Lake House)
CRICKET A poor little cricket Hidden in the flowery grass, Observes a butterfly Fluttering in the meadow. The winged insect shines with the liveliest colors: Azure, purple, and gold glitter on his wings; Young, handsome, foppish, he hastens from flower to flower, Taking from the best ones. Ah! says the cricket, how his lot and mine Are dissimilar! Lady Nature For him did everything, and for me nothing. I have no talent, even less beauty; No one takes notice of me, they know me not here below; Might as well not exist. As he was speaking, in the meadow Arrives a troop of children. Immediately they are running After this butterfly, for which they all have a longing. Hats, handkerchiefs, caps serve to catch him. The insect in vain tries to escape. He becomes soon their conquest. One seizes him by the wing, another by the body; A third arrives, and takes him by the head. It should not be so much effort To tear to pieces the poor creature. Oh! Oh! says the cricket, I am no more sorry; It costs too dear to shine in this world. How much I am going to love my deep retreat! To live happily, live hidden.
Bill Dedman (Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune)
Only then (nearly out the door, so to speak) did I realize how unspeakably beautiful all of this was, how precisely engineered for our pleasure, and saw that I was on the brink of squandering a wondrous gift, the gift of being allowed, every day, to wander this vast sensual paradise, this grand marketplace lovingly stocked with every sublime thing: swarms of insects dancing in slant-rays of august sun; a trio of black horses standing hock-deep and head-to-head in a field of snow; a waft of beef broth arriving breeze-borne from an orange-hued window on a chill autumn—
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
IT HAD NEVER been such a beautiful May. Every day the sky shone a peerless blue, untouched by cloud. Already, the gardens were crammed with lupins, roses, delphiniums, honeysuckle, and lime clouds of lady’s mantle. Insects cricked, hovered, bumbled, and whizzed. Harold passed fields of buttercups, poppies, ox-eye daisies, clover, vetch, and campion. The hedgerows were sweetly scented with bowing heads of elderflower, and wound through with wild clematis, hops, and dog roses. The allotments too were burgeoning. There were rows of lettuce, spinach, chard, beetroot, early new potatoes, and wigwams of peas. The first of the gooseberries hung like hairy green pods.
Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1))
What then is the difference between film and theatre? Or should one not rather ask: what are the differences? Let us be content wi th the reply that the screen has two dimensions and the stage three, that the screen presents photographs and the stage living actors. All the subtler differences stem from these. The camera can show us all sorts of things--from close-ups of insects to panoramas of prairies--which the stage cannot even suggest, and it can move from one to another with much more dexterity than any conceivable stage. The stage, on the other hand, can be revealed in the unsurpassable beauty of three-dimensional shapes, and the stage actor establishes between himself and his audience a contact real as electricity.
Eric Bentley
Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human Ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog who was born in Newfoundland May 1803 and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808 When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth, Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth, The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe, And storied urns record who rests below. When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been. But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth, Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth – While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven. Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power – Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit! By nature vile, ennobled but by name, Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame. Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn, Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn. To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise; I never knew but one -- and here he lies.
Lord Byron
There is a deep stillness in the Fakahatchee, but there is not a moment of physical peace. Something is always brushing against you or lapping at you or snagging at you or tangling in your legs, and the sun is always pummeling your skin, and the wetness in the air makes your hair coil like a phone cord. You never smell plain air in a swamp - you smell the tang of mud and the sourness of rotting leaves and the cool musk of new leaves and the perfumes of a million different flowers floating by, each distinct but transparent, like soap bubbles. The biggest number in the universe would not be big enough to count the things your eyes see. Every inch of land holds up a thatch of tall grass or a bush or a tree, and every bush or tree is girdled with another plant’s roots, and every root is topped with a flower or a fern or a swollen bulb, and every one of those flowers and ferns is the pivot around which a world of bees and gnats and spiders and dragonflies revolve. The sounds you hear are twigs cracking underfoot and branches whistling past you and leaves murmuring and leaves slopping over the trunks of old dead trees and every imaginable and unimaginable insect noise and every kind of bird peep and screech and tootle, and then all those unclaimed sounds of something moving in a hurry, something low to the ground and heavy, maybe the size of a horse in the shape of a lizard, or maybe the size, shape and essential character of a snake. In the swamp you feel as if someone had plugged all of your senses into a light socket. A swamp is logy and slow-moving about at the same time highly overstimulating. Even in the dim, sultry places deep within it, it is easy to stay awake.
Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief)
You know why Antoinette will persevere, just as you and I will?" "Why?" she asks, searching my eyes. "Because she's a lotus, and so are we." "A lotus?" I smile to myself, recalling the story Papa told me as a girl. "The flower. Have you seen one?" "They're gorgeous," I say. "But my point isn't about their beauty. Lotus flowers lead harrowing journeys. Their seeds sprout in murky swamp water, thick with dirt and debris and snarls of roots. For a lotus to bloom, she must forge her way through this terrible darkness, avoid being eaten by fish and insects, and keep pressing onward, innately knowing, or at least hoping, that there is sunlight somewhere above the water's surface, if she can only summon the strength to get there. And when she does, she emerges unscathed by her journey and blooms triumphantly." I place both of my hands on her shoulders. "Suzette, you are a lotus.
Sarah Jio (All the Flowers in Paris)
Look at the thrush.” The young man glanced at the small speckled bird as it cocked its head to the side, observing the two men as they moved up the stairs. “What of the thrush?” “What lessons might be learned from living in such a small, weak body?” The old monk smiled at the bird, which flicked its tail before flying to perch on the branch of a low-hanging conifer. “The thrush has a most beautiful song, Master. One could learn to appreciate that.” “You are correct. And is it a powerful bird?” The young man smiled. “Of course not. It darts along the branches and eats only seeds and insects.” “And yet, it does not worry about its life. It is a humble bird, as many small creatures are humble, but it has a beautiful song.” He paused to catch his breath on the stairs and looked up at the young man beside him. “We gain more enlightenment from weakness and loss than we do from strength and victory.
Elizabeth Hunter (The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3))
Parents must rear their children toward that one day when the child begins to seek his or her freedom, when the insect, whether an ugly moth or a beautiful butterfly, seeks to abandon the cocoon. During the years between infancy and adolescence, the winning argument will have already been made. The winning argument will have been love; the losing argument, discipline. The winning argument will have been respect; the losing argument, manipulation. The winning argument will have been honesty; the losing argument, hypocrisy. The winning argument will have been freedom; the losing argument, control. If the child has been afforded winning arguments during the child's lifetime, there is little against which the adolescent can revolt. The child will spring forth into the world with joy, not hate; with respect and love, not fury and violence. To give to the world a child who is capable of joyously blooming is the gift of the successful parent.
Gerry Spence (How to Argue and Win Every Time)
Orchids are considered the most highly evolved flowering plants on earth. They are unusual in form, uncommonly beautiful in color, often powerfully fragrant, intricate in structure, and different from any other family of plants. The reason for their unusualness has always been puzzled over. One guess is that orchids might have evolved in soil that was naturally irradiated by a meteor or mineral deposit, and that the radiation is what mutated them into thousands of amazing forms... In 1678 the botanist Jakob Breyne wrote: "The manifold shape of these flowers arouses our highest admiration. They take on the form of little birds, of lizards, of insects. They look like a man, like a woman, sometimes like an austere, sinister figure, sometimes like a clown who excites our laughter. They represent the image of a lazy tortoise, a melancholy toad, an agile, ever-chattering monkey." Orchids have always been thought of as beautiful but strange. A wildflower guide published in 1917 called them "our queer freaks.
Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief)
Our duty is to teach men to see whatever is lovely and truly wonderful in life, and not to become prematurely ill-tempered and spiteful. We wish fully to enjoy what is beautiful, to cling to it—and to avoid, as far as possible, anything that might do harm to people like ourselves. If to-day you do harm to the Russians, it is so as to avoid giving them the opportunity of doing harm to us. God does not act differently. He suddenly hurls the masses of humanity on to the earth, and he leaves it to each one to work out his own salvation. Men dispossess one another, and one perceives that, at the end of it all, it is always the stronger who triumphs. Is that not the most reasonable order of things? If it were otherwise, nothing good would ever have existed. If we did not respect the laws of nature, imposing our will by the right of the stronger, a day would come when the wild animals would once again devour us—then the insects would eat the wild animals, and finally nothing would exist on earth but the microbes.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
I remember it clearly. It was a night of the full moon, and I was walking alone in the woods. By then I had already begun Listening to the whispers of trees, and to the voices of insects and birds. On this night, the moon cast its pale, brilliant light on everything around me, and energy seemed to radiate from trees swaying in the wind. While I was alone on that path in the woods, I came face-to-face with the moon. And oh, what a beautiful moon it was! I was enchanted. It made me forget everything I had suffered ... The next thing, I thought I heard a voice that sounded very much like the moon whispering to me. It said: I wanted you to see me. That's why I shine like this. From then on I began to see everything differently. If I were not here, this full moon would not be here. Neither would the trees. Or the wind. If my view of the world disappears, then everything that I see disappears too. It's as simple as that. ...This idea changed me. I began to understand that we were born in order to see and listen to the world. And that's all this world wants of us. My life had meaning.
Durian Sukegawa (Sweet Bean Paste)
We feel the life and motion about us, and the universal beauty: the tides marching back and forth with weariless industry, laving the beautiful shores, and swaying the purple dulse of the broad meadows of the sea where the fishes are fed, the wild streams in rows white with waterfalls, ever in bloom and ever in song, spreading their branches over a thousand mountains; the vast forests feeding on the drenching sunbeams, every cell in a whirl of enjoyment; misty flocks of insects stirring all the air, the wild sheep and goats on the grassy ridges above the woods, bears in the berry-tangles, mink and beaver and otter far back on many a river and lake; Indians and adventurers pursuing their lonely ways; birds tending to their young—everywhere, everywhere, beauty and life, and glad, rejoicing action. In this moment, he was experiencing what the Stoics would call sympatheia—a connectedness with the cosmos. The French philosopher Pierre Hadot has referred to it as the “oceanic feeling.” A sense of belonging to something larger, of realizing that “human things are an infinitesimal point in the immensity.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
It is quiet in the clearing, though gradually Lillian's ears attune to the soft rustling of insects and birds moving through the undergrowth, the faraway tapping of a woodpecker high in a tree. Down on the ground, a bronze-colored beetle tries to scale the side of her shoe. It slips on the smooth leather and tumbles back into the dry leaves, waggling its legs in the air. She shifts slightly on the tree trunk then watches as Jack pulls a strand of grass from a clump growing nearby and sucks on one end, looking about at the canopy overhead. "Wonderful light," he murmurs. "I wish I hadn't left my sketchbook at the house." She knows she must say something. But the moment stretches and she can't find the words so instead she looks about, trying to see the clearing as he might, trying to view the world through an artist's eyes. What details would he pull from this scene, what elements would he commit to memory to reproduce on paper? A cathedral, he'd said; and she supposes there is something rather celestial and awe-inspiring about the tall, arched trees and the light streaming in golden shafts through the soft green branches, filtered as though through stained glass.
Hannah Richell (The Peacock Summer)
Velutha looked down at Ambassador Insect in his arms He put her down. Shaking too. "And look at you!" he said, looking at her ridiculous frothy frock "So beautiful! Getting married?" Rahel lunged at his armpits and tickled him mercilessly. Ickilee ickilee ickilee! "I saw you yesterday," she said. "Where?" Velutha made his voice high and surprised. "Liar" Rahel said. "Liar and pretender. I did see you. You were a Communist and had a shirt and a flag. And you ignored me." "Aiyyo kashtam," Velutha said. "Would I do that? You tell me, would Velutha ever do that? It must've been my Long-lost Twin brother." "Which Long-lost Twin brother?" "Urumban, silly... The one who lives in Kochi." "Who Urumban?" Then she saw the twinkle. "Liar! You haven't got a Twin brother! It wasn't Urumban! It was you!" Velutha laughed. He had a lovely laugh that he really meant "Wasn't me," he said. "I was sick in bed." "See, you’re smiling!" Rahel said. "That means it was you Smiling means 'It was you.'" "That's only in English'’ Velutha said. "In Malayalam my teacher always said that 'Smiling means it wasn’t me.'" It took Rahel a moment to sort that one out. She lunged at him once again. Ickilee ickilee ickilee! (169(
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Here He, the holy One, is in contrast to every good man in all past ages. It was never known that God forsook a righteous man. There He is on that Cross, the absolutely righteous One, dying, forsaken of God. Oh, He says, I have gone down lower than any man ever went before, “I am a worm, and no man.” The word He used for worm is the word “tola,” and the tola of the orient is a little worm something like the cochineal of Mexico which feeds on a certain kind of cactus. The people beat these plants until the cochineal fall into a basin and then they crush those little insects and the blood is that brilliant crimson dye that makes those bright Mexican garments. In Palestine and Syria they use the tola in the same way and it makes the beautiful permanent scarlet dye of the orient It was very expensive and was worn only by the great and the rich and the noble. It is referred to again and again in Scripture. Solomon is said to have clothed the maidens of Israel in scarlet. Daniel was to be clothed in scarlet by Belshazzar. And that word “scarlet” is literally “the splendor of a worm.” “They shall be clothed in the splendor of a worm.” Now the Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am a worm; I am the tola,” and He had to be crushed in death that you and I might be clothed in glory. The glorious garments of our salvation are the garments that have been procured as a result of His death and His suffering.
H.A. Ironside (Studies on Book One of the Psalms (Ironside Commentary Series 6))
Epitaph to a Dog[4]Edit Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human Ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog who was born in Newfoundland May 1803 and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808 When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth, Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth, The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe, And storied urns record who rests below. When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been. But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth, Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth – While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven. Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power – Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit! By nature vile, ennobled but by name, Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame. Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn, Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn. To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise; I never knew but one -- and here he lies.
Lord Byron
She canted her wings and soared toward the top of it, where she could see a never-ending line of trees tossing violently in the wind. The hurricane made one more effort to throw her back into the sea, but she fought with her last reserves until she felt earth beneath her talons. She collapsed forward, clutching the wet soil for a moment, grateful to be alive. Keep going. They’re not safe yet. Clearsight pushed herself up and faced the trees. They were coming. The first two dragons she would meet in this strange new world. What would it be like to face unfamiliar tribes, completely different from the ones she knew? There wouldn’t be any NightWings like her here. No sand dragons, no sea dragons, no ice dragons. She’d glimpsed what these new dragons would look like, but she didn’t know anything yet about their tribes . . . or whether they would trust her. They stepped out of the trees, eyeing her with wary curiosity. Oh, they’re beautiful, she thought. One was dark forest green, the color of the trees all around them. His wings curved gracefully like long leaves on either side of him, and mahogany-brown underscales glinted from his chest. But it was the other who took Clearsight’s breath away. His scales were iridescent gold layered over metallic rose and blue, shimmering through the rain. He outshone even the RainWings she’d occasionally seen in the marketplace, and those were the most beautiful dragons in Pyrrhia. Not only that, but his wings were startlingly weird. There were four of them instead of two; a second pair at the back overlapped the front ones, tilting and dipping at slightly different angles from the first pair to give the dragon extra agility in the air. Like dragonflies, she realized, remembering the delicate insects darting across the ponds in the mountain meadows. Or butterflies, or beetles. She sat up and spread her front talons to show that she was harmless. “Hello,” she said in her very least threatening voice. The green one circled her slowly. The iridescent one sat down and gave her a small smile. She smiled back, although her heart was pounding. She knew she had to wait for them to make the first move. “Leefromichou?” said the green dragon finally, in a deep, calm voice. “Wayroot?” Take a breath. You knew it would be like this at first. “My name is Clearsight,” she said, touching her forehead. “I am from far over the sea.” She pointed at the churning ocean stretching way off to the east behind her. “Anyone speak Dragon?
Tui T. Sutherland (Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends, #1))
She finds herself, by some miraculous feat, no longer standing in the old nursery but returned to the clearing in the woods. It is the 'green cathedral', the place she first kissed Jack all those weeks ago. The place where they laid out the stunned sparrowhawk, then watched it spring miraculously back to life. All around, the smooth, grey trunks of ancient beech trees rise up from the walls of the room to tower over her, spreading their branches across the ceiling in a fan of tangled branches and leaves, paint and gold leaf cleverly combined to create the shimmering effect of a leafy canopy at its most dense and opulent. And yet it is not the clearing, not in any real or grounded sense, because instead of leaves, the trees taper up to a canopy of extraordinary feathers shimmering and spreading out like a peacock's tail across the ceiling, a hundred green, gold and sapphire eyes gazing down upon her. Jack's startling embellishments twist an otherwise literal interpretation of their woodland glade into a fantastical, dreamlike version of itself. Their green cathedral, more spectacular and beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She moves closer to one of the trees and stretches out a hand, feeling instead of rough bark the smooth, cool surface of a wall. She can't help but smile. The trompe-l'oeil effect is dazzling and disorienting in equal measure. Even the window shutters and cornicing have been painted to maintain the illusion of the trees, while high above her head the glass dome set into the roof spills light as if it were the sun itself, pouring through the canopy of eyes. The only other light falls from the glass windowpanes above the window seat, still flanked by the old green velvet curtains, which somehow appear to blend seamlessly with the painted scene. The whole effect is eerie and unsettling. Lillian feels unbalanced, no longer sure what is real and what is not. It is like that book she read to Albie once- the one where the boy walks through the wardrobe into another world. That's what it feels like, she realizes: as if she has stepped into another realm, a place both fantastical and otherworldly. It's not just the peacock-feather eyes that are staring at her. Her gaze finds other details: a shy muntjac deer peering out from the undergrowth, a squirrel, sitting high up in a tree holding a green nut between its paws, small birds flitting here and there. The tiniest details have been captured by Jack's brush: a silver spider's web, a creeping ladybird, a puffy white toadstool. The only thing missing is the sound of the leaf canopy rustling and the soft scuttle of insects moving across the forest floor.
Hannah Richell (The Peacock Summer)
A strange structure untangled itself out of the background like a hallucination, not part of the natural landscape. It was a funny-shaped, almost spherical, green podlike thing woven from living branches of trees and vines. A trellis of vines hung down over the opening that served as a door. Wendy was so delighted tears sprang to her eyes. It was her Imaginary House! They all had them. Michael wanted his to be like a ship with views of the sea. John had wanted to live like a nomad on the steppes. And Wendy... Wendy had wanted something that was part of the natural world itself. She tentatively stepped forward, almost swooning at the heavy scent of the door flowers. Languorously lighting on them were a few scissorflies, silver and almost perfectly translucent in the glittery sunlight. Their sharp wings made little snickety noises as they fluttered off. Her shadow made a few half-hearted attempts to drag back, pointing to the jungle. But Wendy ignored her, stepping into the hut. She was immediately knocked over by a mad, barking thing that leapt at her from the darkness of the shelter. "Luna!" Wendy cried in joy. The wolf pup, which she had rescued in one of her earliest stories, stood triumphantly on her chest, drooling very visceral, very stinky dog spit onto her face. "Oh, Luna! You're real!" Wendy hugged the gray-and-white pup as tightly as she could, and it didn't let out a single protest yelp. Although... "You're a bit bigger than I imagined," Wendy said thoughtfully, sitting up. "I thought you were a puppy." Indeed, the wolf was approaching formidable size, although she was obviously not yet quite full-grown and still had large puppy paws. She was at least four stone and her coat was thick and fluffy. Yet she pranced back and forth like a child, not circling with the sly lope Wendy imagined adult wolves used. You're not a stupid little lapdog, are you?" Wendy whispered, nuzzling her face into the wolf's fur. Luna chuffed happily and gave her a big wet sloppy lick across the cheek. "Let's see what's inside the house!" As the cool interior embraced her, she felt a strange shudder of relief and... welcome was the only way she could describe it. She was home. The interior was small and cozy; plaited sweet-smelling rush mats softened the floor. The rounded walls made shelves difficult, so macramé ropes hung from the ceiling, cradling halved logs or flat stones that displayed pretty pebbles, several beautiful eggs, and what looked like a teacup made from a coconut. A lantern assembled from translucent pearly shells sat atop a real cherry writing desk, intricately carved and entirely out of place with the rest of the interior. Wendy picked up one of the pretty pebbles in wonder, turning it this way and that before putting it into her pocket. "This is... me..." she breathed. She had never been there before, but it felt so secure and so right that it couldn't have been anything but her home. Her real home. Here there was no slight tension on her back as she waited for footsteps to intrude, for reality to wake her from her dreams; there was nothing here to remind her of previous days, sad or happy ones. There were no windows looking out at the gray world of London. There was just peace, and the scent of the mats, and the quiet droning of insects and waves outside. "Never Land is a... mishmash of us. Of me," she said slowly. "It's what we imagine and dream of- including the dreams we can't quite remember.
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales))
Who has made the decision that sets in motion these chains of poisonings, this ever-widening wave of death that spreads out, like ripples when a pebble is dropped into a still pond? Who has placed in one pan of the scales the leaves that might have been eaten by the beetles and in the other the pitiful heaps of many-hued feathers, the lifeless remains of the birds that fell before the unselective bludgeon of insecticidal poisons? Who has decided - who has the right to decide - for the countless legions of people who were not consulted that the supreme value is a world without insects, even though it be also a sterile world ungraced by the curving wing of a bird in flight? The decision is that of the authoritarian temporarily entrusted with power; he has made it during a moment of inattention by millions to whom beauty and the ordered world of nature still have a meaning that is deep and imperative.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
World! Oceans! Wind! Sunset! Sunrise! I have seen all the colours of life. Drops falling from leaves in early morning, And beautiful flowers bloom breaking virginity, Silence almost like darkness, And that milky light of moon, Robust monsoon fighting big trees, All these are dear to my heart! Poor life of insects, Birds chirping like Goddess singing melody, And at last if you have a lover beside? Friends! Then desires also become noble!
Mahiraj Jadeja (Love Forever)
Love is never between two people. It is what happens within you, and your interiority need not be enslaved to someone or something else. Try this for fifteen minutes or so: go sit with something that means nothing to you right now—maybe a tree, a pebble, a worm, or an insect. Do it a few days in a row. After a while, you will find you can look upon it with as much love as you do your wife or husband or mother or child. Maybe the worm does not know this. That doesn’t matter. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy)
Gasoline Shivering in the almost-drizzle inside the wooden outboard, nose over gunwale, I watched it drip and spread on the sheenless water: the brightest thing in wartime, a slick of rainbow, ephemeral as insect wings, green, blue, red, and pink, my shimmering private sideshow. Was this my best toy, then? This toxic smudge, this overspill from a sloppy gascan filled with essence of danger? I knew that it was poison, its beauty an illusion: I could spell flammable. But still, I loved the smell: so alien, a whiff of starstuff. I would have liked to drink it, inhale its iridescence. As if I could. That’s how the gods lived: as if.
Margaret Atwood
When will we realise the hypocrisy of our situation? On our own planet we are the bad guys, thoughtlessly annihilating life of all kinds for our convenience. We intuitively grasp that the aliens of the movie 'Independence Day' have no right to take our planet; I wonder what goes through the mind of an orang-utan as it sees its forest home bulldozed to the ground? There should not have to be a 'point of slugs' for us to allow them their existence. Do we not have a moral duty to look after our fellow travellers on planet Eart, beautiful or ugly, providing vital ecosystem services or utterly inconsequential, be they penguins, pandas, or silverfish?
Dave Goulson (Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse)
There are so many reasons to fall in love with dragonflies. They have intriguing stories to tell us. They make our world a more beautiful place. And they are scrappy survivors.
Cindy Crosby (Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History)
they liked to listen to the kids who played in the backyard. The kids were always talking about how they had done this or that, or gone here or there, downtown. Wiggly knew that towns had parks and stores and restaurants and bakeries and places to get sweet treats. That sounded wonderful to him! “All we have here is plants,” he said to his friends. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had all kinds of special places to go, like the kids always talk about?” “I’d like that,” said Rattles. “Imagine a five-star restaurant where we could eat tasty little insects all day long. Except for mosquitoes, of course!” he added, glancing quickly at Munchy. Munchy laughed. “I’d like a soda fountain where we garden creatures could order sugar-water shakes and other yummy treats!” she chimed. “I’d like a park,” said Wiggly. “A beautiful park with a maze of fun tunnels to wiggle through.” Munchy’s eyes lit up. “Oh, that would be so much fun! What would you like, Snarky?
Arnie Lightning (Wiggly the Worm)
Roses Four roses drinking from a blue vase. The first one I name Moment of Gladness, the second, Wresting Beauty from Fear. All year I watched her disappearing, the sweet fat of her hips, her laughter, her will, as though a whelk had drilled through her shell, sucked out the flesh. Death woke me each morning with its bird impersonation. But now she has cut these Clouds of Glory and a honeyed musk sublimes from their petals, veined fine as an infant’s eyelids, and spiraling like any embryo—fish, snake, or human. And she has carried them to me, saturated in the colors they have not swallowed, the blush and gold, the razzle-dazzle red. Riven from the dirt to cling here briefly. And now, as though to signify our fortune, a tiny insect journeys across the kingdom of one ivory petal and into the heart of the blossom. O, Small Mercies sliced from the root. I listen as they sip the blue water.
Ellen Bass
Nature is a strong brand name. Everybody knew that. First thing, Nomenclature 101. Slap Natural on the package, you were golden. Those words on the package promise ease from metropolitan care, modern worries. And out here, if you opened things up, underneath the cellophane, what did you find inside? That fruit has splendid packaging, it has solid consumer awareness and is an animal favorite. Its seeds will be deposited in spoor miles away and its market dominance will increase. Splendid and beautiful petals are great advertising--the insects buzz and hop from all points every weekend to hit this flower-bed mall. Natural selection was market forces. In business, in the woods: what is necessary to the world will last.
Colson Whitehead (Apex Hides the Hurt)
Apparently an aesthetic sense is instinctual. Just as the beauty of a rose exceeds its function in attracting insects to spread pollen, so human skill always flowers in excess, producing beauty beyond need. Nature is not hardheaded, hardhearted, mechanical, pratical, or economical. Neither are we. Our simplest and most practical acts, including the use of language, are likely to be infused with grace and elaboration wich utilitarian purposes cannot explain
Judson Jerome (The Poet's Handbook)
Whipbirds cheered overhead, insects burred, the waterfall in Dead Man's Gully chipped and chattered. Fragments of light and color jittered as she ran, kaleidoscopic. The bush was alive: the trees spoke to one another in parched old voices; thousands of unseen eyes blinked from branches and fallen logs, and Vivien knew if she were to stop and press her ear to the hard ground she'd hear the earth calling to her, singing sounds from ancient times. She didn't stop, though; she was desperate to reach the creek that snaked through the gorge.
Kate Morton (The Secret Keeper)
reaches its optimum unspoiled beauty before time and other insects get the opportunity to age and maim it.
Angela Marsons (Stolen Ones (D.I. Kim Stone, #15))
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
(William) Hamilton recast the central ideas (of the evolutionary theory of aging) in mathematical form. Though this work tells us a good deal about why human lives take the course they do, Hamilton was a biologist whose great love was insects and their relatives, especially insects which make both our lives and an octopus’s life seem rather humdrum. Hamilton found mites in which the females hang suspended in the air with their swollen bodies packed with newly hatched young, and the males in the brood search out and copulate with their sisters there inside the mother. He found tiny beetles in which the males produce “and manhandle sperm cells longer than their whole bodies. Hamilton died in 2000, after catching malaria on a trip to Africa to investigate the origins of HIV. About a decade before his death, he wrote about how he would like his own burial to go. He wanted his body carried to the forests of Brazil and laid out to be eaten from the inside by an enormous winged Coprophanaeus beetle using his body to nurture its young, who would emerge from him and fly off. 'No worm for me nor sordid fly, I will buzz in the dusk like a huge bumble bee. I will be many, buzz even as a swarm of motorbikes, be borne, body by flying body out into the Brazilian wilderness beneath the stars, lofted under those beautiful and un-fused elytra [wing covers] which we will all hold over our “backs. So finally I too will shine like a violet ground beetle under a stone.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness)
The beat of things, their steady direction, had dissolved into nothing–this room wasn't happening then, it isn't happening now; maybe it's a dream of what's going to happen or what will happen never. The sound of her own voice injures her like a shock of electricity through her ears, but screaming herself to hoarse exhaustion is the only reprieve from breathing. She looked up out of her voice and saw the angel. He will have ears like a cartoon of organic growth. He is yellow with light but covered with mobile shadows, animated tattoos. His face kept changing. His voice will come from far off, like a train's. His body is steady and beautiful and hairless, the wings white, incinerating, and pure, but the head changes rapidly–the head of an eagle, a goat, an insect, a mouse, a sheep with spiraling horns that turn and lengthen almost imperceptibly–and the entire message had no words. The entire message will be only the beat and direction of time. Yes is Now. The angel who says "It's time." "Is it time?" she asked. "Does it hurt?" He will have the most beautiful face she has ever seen. "Oh babe." The angel starts to cry. "You can't imagine," he said.
Denis Johnson (Angels)
He spoke about the different beauties of Spring and Autumn. 'Each has its own delight,' he said. 'On Spring nights the sky is beautifully shrouded with mist. The moon then is not too bright and its light seems to be floating away in the distance. How delightful it is at such a time to hear someone plucking gently at the strings of a lute that have been set in the key of the Fragrant Breeze! When Autumn comes the sky is still misty, but the lucent moon shines through so clearly that one feels one could pick it up in one's hands. The soughing of the wind and the hum of the insects blend in such a way that all the savours of Nature seem to have come together. At such moments the strumming of the great zither accompanied by the clear notes of a flute makes one wonder how one could ever have admired Spring. But then there is a Winter night when the sky is chill, the air bitter cold, and the piles of snow reflect in the moonlight.
Lady Sarashina (As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams)
always talk about?” “I’d like that,” said Rattles. “Imagine a five-star restaurant where we could eat tasty little insects all day long. Except for mosquitoes, of course!” he added, glancing quickly at Munchy. Munchy laughed. “I’d like a soda fountain where we garden creatures could order sugar-water shakes and other yummy treats!” she chimed. “I’d like a park,” said Wiggly. “A beautiful park with a maze of fun tunnels to wiggle through.” Munchy’s eyes lit up. “Oh, that would be so much fun! What would you like, Snarky?” Snarky rolled his eyes. “That’s all fool’s talk,” he replied. “Garden folk like us can’t have towns, no matter how badly we want them.” Wiggly sighed. “But if we could have a town, what would you want in it?” he pressed. “A store, I suppose,” Snarky answered after a moment. “A store where I could sell pretty pebbles to customers.” Everyone knew that Snarky’s favorite hobby was collecting shiny pebbles. “That’s a great idea!” Wiggly told him. He sighed again. All of his friends had had great ideas. “There has to be some way…” he began slowly. “To build a town?” asked Munchy, finishing his thought. Wiggly grinned at her. “Exactly! We, the creatures of the garden, are going to build a town!” he declared suddenly. Snarky rolled his eyes and muttered some comment about how impossible that was going to be, but no one paid attention. They were determined to follow through with Wiggly’s plan. And so they did. Over the next several weeks, the garden friends collected trash that they found
Arnie Lightning (Wiggly the Worm)
Melanie builds the world around her as she goes. This is mostly countryside, with fields on all sides. Rectangular fields, mostly, or at least with roughly squared-off edges. But they’re overgrown with weeds to the grown-ups’ shoulder height, whatever crops they were once planted with swallowed up long ago. Where the fields meet the road, there are ragged hedges or crumbling walls, and the surface they’re walking on is a faded black carpet pitted with holes, some of them big enough for her to fall into. A landscape of decay – but still gloriously and heart-stoppingly beautiful. The sky overhead is a bright blue bowl of almost infinite size, given depth by a massive bank of pure white cloud at the limit of vision that goes up and up and up like a tower. Birds and insects are everywhere, some of them familiar to her now from the field where they stopped that morning. The sun warms her skin, pouring energy down on to the world out of that upturned bowl – it makes flowers grow on the land, Melanie knows, and algae in the sea; starts food chains all over the place. A million smells freight the complicated air.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts)
Over and over again, growing increasingly hostile as he went, he blackened the earth, drawing with the magnet of his rage the storm of the bloody century to my demesne. Worms screamed in anguish as they burned. Moles, disturbed from slumber, whimpered once then crumbled to ash. I suffered the soft implosion of larvae not yet formed enough to rue the beauty they were losing; subterranean life in all its dark, earthy grandeur. The occasional burrowing snake hissed defiance as it was seared to death. Sean O’Bannion walks—the earth turns black, barren, and everything in it dies, a dozen feet down. Hell of a princely power. Again, what the fuck was the Unseelie king thinking? Was he? Incensed by failure, Sean insisted hotly, as we stood in the bloody deluge—it wasn’t raining, that scarce-restrained ocean that parked itself above Ireland at the dawn of time and proceeded to leak incessantly, lured by the siren-song of Sean’s broodiness decamped to Scotland and split wide open—that I was either lying or it didn’t work the same for each prince. Patiently (okay, downright pissily, but, for fuck’s sake, I could be having sex again and gave that up to help him), I explained it did work the same for each of us but, because he wasn’t druid-trained, it might take time for him to understand how to tap into it. Like learning to meditate. Such focus doesn’t come easy, nor does it come all at once. Practice is key. He refused to believe me. He stormed thunderously and soddenly off, great ebon wings dripping rivers of water, lightning bolts biting into the earth at his heels, Kat trailing sadly at a safe distance behind. I was raised from birth to be in harmony with the natural world. Humans are the unnatural part of it. Animals lack the passel of idiotic emotions we suffer. I’ve never seen an animal feel sorry for itself. While other children played indoors with games or toys, my da led me deep into the forest and taught me to become part of the infinite web of beating hearts that fill the universe, from the birds in the trees to the insects buzzing about my head, to the fox chasing her cubs up a hillside and into a cool, splashing stream, to the earthworms tunneling blissfully through the vibrant soil. By the age of five, it was hard for me to understand anyone who didn’t feel such things as a part of everyday life. As I matured, when a great horned owl perched nightly in a tree beyond my window, Uncle Dageus taught me to cast myself within it (gently, never usurping) to peer out from its eyes. Life was everywhere, and it was beautiful. Animals, unlike humans, can’t lie. We humans are pros at it, especially when it comes to lying to ourselves.
Karen Marie Moning (Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever, #11))
Love is never between two people. It is what happens within you, and your interiority need not be enslaved to someone or some thing else. Try this for fifteen minutes or so: go sit with something that means nothing to you right now—maybe a tree, a pebble, a worm, or an insect. Do it a few days in a row. After a while, you will find you can look upon it with as much love as you do your wife or husband or mother or child. Maybe the worm does not know this. That doesn’t matter. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy)
The trouble is that we are seldom aware of the protection afforded by natural enemies until it fails. Most of us walk unseeing through the world, unaware alike of its beauties, its wonders, and the strange and sometimes terrible intensity of the lives that are being lived about us. So it is that the activities of the insect predators and parasites are known to few. Perhaps we may have noticed an oddly shaped insect of ferocious mien on a bush in the garden and been dimly aware that the praying mantis lives at the expense of other insects. But we see with understanding eye only if we have walked in the garden at night and here and there with a flashlight have glimpsed the mantis stealthily creeping upon her prey. Then we sense something of the drama of the hunter and the hunted. Then we begin to feel something of the relentlessly pressing force by which nature controls her own.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
Tendrils of vine and fern fell from both sides of the gully, like green waterfalls spilling from rocks. Sunlight beamed through the trees, illuminating every tiny insect and mote in the air...
Sumi Hahn (The Mermaid from Jeju)
It occurs to me that all the divisions I’ve drawn up are false, that I’ve been foolish, that the forces that drive the desert, that create and created it—the screaming wind, extremes of heat and cold, the ardors of insects and rodents and birds, the slow growth of fungi, sudden floods, the swirl of stars—are the same ones that drive the city of Las Vegas: the voraciousness with which it builds and destroys, its endless thirst, its fear of the dark and of any brief stillness or vacuity, the hungers of its visitors and of the corporations that run the casinos, of the police who serve them and the people who sleep in the streets, the brightness and beauty of its lights. There was nothing to find here, and nothing lost. I never left the desert.
Ben Ehrenreich
Whenever you see a commercial for Mexico, they never show this part,” Mike groused. “They always show these beautiful white-sand beaches, and quaint little towns, and fiestas full of happy people. They never show jungles and crocodiles and”—he paused to smack an insect on his arm—“clouds of mosquitoes. I want to be in the Mexico in the commercials. Not this one.” “There are much worse parts of Mexico than this,” Erica pointed out. “If we’d gone down in one of the southern deserts, we probably would have fried to death by now. At least here, there’s shade and water.” “I suppose,” Mike said, then added under his breath, “though this still stinks.” I didn’t argue with him, as I was in complete agreement.
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School Goes South)
I saw a butterfly feeding on a flowering vine. So beautiful, with great orange and black wings. I tried coaxing it onto my finger, though I didn’t think I could. To my utter delight, it worked. I held it up close so I could see the gorgeous colors. And it clutched my finger, crawling up my hand with those pricking hairy legs, this enormous insect. Before I thought, I shook it away as I would a spider.
Jeffe Kennedy (The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms, #1))
This land makes me believe anything is possible. Here lies a gift unraveled as was meant to be: within its many folds are men, beasts, insects and grass. The green goes on and on in relentless beauty. As I look at the land I am heartbroken thinking of the future when I will not be here and when this place, too, will be something else.
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa (A Home in Tibet)
16 Through the Eyes of a Child Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16-17 When children discover a new treasure, they are not content to simply look at it. They touch, smell, and explore it. With wide-eyed delight they share the treasure with others. Even if the “treasure” is a creepy crawling insect or a wide-eyed toad, it’s beautiful to the one who found it! As adults we sometimes miss the joy of experiencing the treasures that surround us. One of those treasures is our faith. As time passes, we might forget our first love for God or even take our faith for granted. Our lives become busy and complicated, and it becomes easy to get caught up in what we think are more “important” matters. Sometimes we intellectualize the Bible or our relationship with God and completely miss the simplicity and beauty of it. The excitement and joy of new believers is like that of a child who has discovered a treasure. They marvel at it, delight in it, and can’t help but share it with others. Revisit the moment you accepted Christ as your Savior and ask God to restore the excitement of your first love for him. PRECIOUS SAVIOR, I sometimes take my faith for granted. Forgive me for the times I make my faith complicated or cumbersome. I want to embrace the freshness I felt when I first knew you and rejoice in the simplicity of my Father’s love, but there are also new depths that you wish to show me. I ask you to take my faith to the next level, and then help me to share it with others.
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
The air was pure and still, and early sunshine sparkled on the heavy dew. In the valley sat cotton candy mist, and the distant hills stood softly, their edges blurred and colors muted by the moist air. Swallows and house martins swooped and dipped, hungry for their breakfasts, catching the first rise of insects of the day. The honeysuckle and roses had not yet warmed to release their scent, so the strongest smell was of wet grass and bracken. Laura smiled, breathing deeply, and walked lightly through the gate into the meadows. She hadn't the courage to head off onto the mountain on her own just yet but could not wait to explore the woods at the end of the fields. By the time she reached the first towering oaks, her feet were washed clean by the dew. She felt wonderfully refreshed and awake. As she wandered among the trees she had the sense of a place where time had stood still. Where man had left only a light footprint. Here were trees older than memory. Trees that had sheltered farmers and walkers for generations. Trees that had been meeting points for lovers and horse dealers. Trees that had provided fuel and food for families and for creatures of the forest with equal grace. As she walked deeper into the woods she noticed the quality of sound around her change. Gone were the open vistas and echoes of the meadows and their mountain backdrop. Here even the tiniest noises were close up, bouncing back off the trunks and branches, kept in by the dense foliage. The colors altered subtly, too. With the trees in full leaf the sunlight was filtered through bright green, giving a curious tinge to the woodland below. White wood anemones were not white at all, but the palest shade of Naples yellow. The silver lichens which grew in abundance bore a hint of olive. Even the miniature violets reflected a suggestion of viridian.
Paula Brackston (Lamp Black, Wolf Grey)
And Swedenborg himself saw birds during his sojourns in the Spirit World and it was revealed to him that — in the Grand Man — rational concepts are seen as birds. Because the head corresponds to the heavens and the air. He actually experienced in his body the fall of certain angels who had formed wrong opinions in their community about thoughts and influx — he felt a terrible tremor in his sinews and bones — and saw one dark and ugly bird and two fine and beautiful. And these solid birds were the thoughts of the angels, as he saw them in the world of his senses, beautiful reasonings and ugly falses. For at every level everything corresponds, from the most purely material to the most purely divine in the Divine Human.
A.S. Byatt (Angels and Insects)
Ten Principles of Jurisprudence Rights originate where existence originates. That which determines existence determines rights. Since it has no further context of existence in the phenomenal order, the universe is self-referent in its being and self-normative in its activities. It is also the primary referent in the being and the activities of all derivative modes of being. The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be used. As a subject, each component of the universe is capable of having rights. The natural world on the planet Earth gets its rights from the same source that humans get their rights: from the universe that brought them into being. Every component of the Earth community has three rights: the right to be, the right to habitat, and the right to fulfil its role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth community. All rights are role-specific or species-specific, and limited. Rivers have river rights. Birds have bird rights. Insects have insect rights. Humans have human rights. Difference in rights is qualitative, not quantitative. The rights of an insect would be of no value to a tree or a fish. Human rights do not cancel out the rights of other modes of being to exist in their natural state. Human property rights are not absolute. Property rights are simply a special relationship between a particular human ‘owner’ and a particular piece of ‘property,’ so that both might fulfil their roles in the great community of existence. Since species exist only in the form of individuals, rights refer to individuals, not simply in a general way to species. These rights as presented here are based on the intrinsic relations that the various components of Earth have to each other. The planet Earth is a single community bound together with interdependent relationships. No living being nourishes itself. Each component of the Earth community is immediately or mediately dependent on every other member of the community for the nourishment and assistance it needs for its own survival. This mutual nourishment, which includes the predator-prey relationship, is integral with the role that each component of the Earth has within the comprehensive community of existence. In a special manner, humans have not only a need for but also a right of access to the natural world to provide for the physical needs of humans and the wonder needed by human intelligence, the beauty needed by human imagination, and the intimacy needed by human emotions for personal fulfilment.33
Peter Burdon (Exploring Wild Law)
Eventually, she held up the page, satisfied. It depicted Yalb and the porter in detail, with hints of the busy city behind. She’d gotten their eyes right. That was the most important. Each of the Ten Essences had an analogous part of the human body—blood for liquid, hair for wood, and so forth. The eyes were associated with crystal and glass. The windows into a person’s mind and spirit. She set the page aside. Some men collected trophies. Others collected weapons or shields. Many collected spheres. Shallan collected people. People, and interesting creatures. Perhaps it was because she’d spent so much of her youth in a virtual prison. She’d developed the habit of memorizing faces, then drawing them later, after her father had discovered her sketching the gardeners. His daughter? Drawing pictures of darkeyes? He’d been furious with her—one of the infrequent times he’d directed his infamous temper at his daughter. After that, she’d done drawings of people only when in private, instead using her open drawing times to sketch the insects, crustaceans, and plants of the manor gardens. Her father hadn’t minded this—zoology and botany were proper feminine pursuits—and had encouraged her to choose natural history as her Calling. She took out a third blank sheet. It seemed to beg her to fill it. A blank page was nothing but potential, pointless until it was used. Like a fully infused sphere cloistered inside a pouch, prevented from making its light useful. Fill me. The creationspren gathered around the page. They were still, as if curious, anticipatory. Shallan closed her eyes and imagined Jasnah Kholin, standing before the blocked door, the Soulcaster glowing on her hand. The hallway hushed, save for a child’s sniffles. Attendants holding their breath. An anxious king. A still reverence. Shallan opened her eyes and began to draw with vigor, intentionally losing herself. The less she was in the now and the more she was in the then, the better the sketch would be. The other two pictures had been warm-ups; this was the day’s masterpiece. With the paper bound onto the board—safehand holding that—her freehand flew across the page, occasionally switching to other pencils. Soft charcoal for deep, thick blackness, like Jasnah’s beautiful hair. Hard charcoal for light greys, like the powerful waves of light coming from the Soulcaster’s gems. For a few extended moments, Shallan was back in that hallway again, watching something that should not be: a heretic wielding one of the most sacred powers in all the world. The power of change itself, the power by which the Almighty had created Roshar. He had another name, allowed to pass only the lips of ardents. Elithanathile. He Who Transforms. Shallan could smell the musty hallway. She could hear the child whimpering. She could feel her own heart beating in anticipation. The boulder would soon change. Sucking away the Stormlight in Jasnah’s gemstone, it would give up its essence, becoming something new. Shallan’s breath caught in her throat. And then the memory faded, returning her to the quiet, dim alcove. The page now held a perfect rendition of the scene, worked in blacks and greys. The princess’s proud figure regarded the fallen stone, demanding that it give way before her will. It was her. Shallan knew, with the intuitive certainty of an artist, that this was one of the finest pieces she had ever done. In a very small way, she had captured Jasnah Kholin, something the devotaries had never managed. That gave her a euphoric thrill. Even if this woman rejected Shallan again, one fact would not change. Jasnah Kholin had joined Shallan’s collection.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
He was like all boys: beautiful and callow, and like an insect he couldn't sit still.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
A starving pariah dog with the appearance of having lately been skinned had squeezed itself in after the last man; it looked up at the Consul with beady, gentle eyes. Then, thrusting down its poor wrecked dinghy of a chest, from which raw withered breasts drooped, it began to bow and scrape before him. Ah, the ingress of the animal kingdom! Earlier it had been the insects; now these were closing in upon him again, these animals, these people without ideas: "Dispense usted, por Dios," he whispered to the dog, then wanting to say something kind, added, stooping, a phrase read or heard in youth or childhood: "For God sees how timid and beautiful you really are, and the thoughts of hope that go with you like little white birds--
Malcolm Lowry
These leaves were once part of a tree, a tree that has now gone to ground to prepare for a season of rest. Did the tree have any consideration for the green cloak that covered it, fed it, and enabled it to breathe? No. Did it think of the insects who lived there and helped pollinate its flowers and keep nature alive? No. The tree just thought about itself; some things, like leaves and insects, are discarded as needed. I’m like one of those leaves on the city ground, who lived thinking it would be everlasting and died without knowing exactly why; who loved the sun and the moon and who watched those buses and rattling streetcars go by for a long time, and yet no one ever had the courtesy to let her know that winter existed. They lived it up, until one day they began to turn yellow and the tree bid them farewell. It didn’t say “see you later” but “good-bye,” knowing the leaves would never be back. And it asked the wind for help loosening them from their branches and carrying them far away. The tree knows it can grow only if it rests. And if it grows, it will be respected. And can produce even more beautiful flowers.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
He lifted his hat as he approached. “Miss Carter.” I dearly wanted to stop to talk to him, but I knew I could not. Must not. And so I kept my eyes trained on the sidewalk before me as I passed. “Miss Carter?” I kept walking. Surely he would understand. But he did not. “Clara?” He had said it so loudly that I feared we would attract attention. And so I stopped. He’d taken off his hat. “What—why—?” Standing rigid, eyes still trained on the sidewalk in front of me, I leaned slightly in his direction. And when I spoke, it was in whispered words. “I am trying to cut you.” “Cut me?” I nodded once and prepared to move on. “But . . . wait . . . what does that mean?” “I am trying to snub you.” “Oh. I see.” But it was quite clear that he didn’t. “So you must not speak to me anymore.” “Why not?” I raised my head and turned toward him. “Because I just rebuffed you. I pretended to ignore you. Really, Harry, you ought to be quite humiliated! And I did it here on the sidewalk in front of everyone.” “Why would you do that?” “Stop speaking to me!” There. Now maybe he would understand. “If you insist. But . . . how long is this cutting to last? It sounds quite painful.” We were starting to gather no little attention. Aunt was right. Better to end it here and now. I couldn’t have him anyway. “It lasts forever. You must remember that I’ve been unspeakably rude to you.” “Ah. Yes. Unspeakably rude. I’m beginning to understand. In any event, then—” “You really must stop speaking.” My voice was unaccountably beginning to rise quite beyond the range of our two sets of ears. “You mean to say forever? We can’t even—” “Now. You must stop speaking now.” “You would not want to know if, say, a small insect had become entangled in your hair?” I put a hand up to check. “Why? Has one?” “No. But in that case, you would wish for me to speak.” “Of course I would wish for you to speak. Has one?” “No.” “Really, Harry, tell me!” “You ask me not to speak to you and then you order me to speak to you? I confess I can’t keep up with all of this social nonsense.” He was laughing at me. I could see his eyes twinkling. I glared at him for one long moment and then . . . I burst into laughter too. He joined me. And when finally we could speak again, he set his hat atop his head and tipped the brim toward me. “Good day, Miss Carter.” I nodded. “Good day, Mr. De Vries.
Siri Mitchell (She Walks in Beauty (Against All Expectations Collection Book #3))
The fifth, and final, way to prove the existence of God, Aquinas said, was the argument from intelligent design. It’s just common sense, according to Aquinas, to believe that the universe was created by an ‘intelligent designer’; in other words, God. The order of nature, the beauty of the stars, the clever way it all fits together had to be arranged by such a designer and not by chance. Just look around you, Aquinas was saying; examine the perfection of a tree or an insect or a child and tell me there isn’t a God.
Susan Schoenberger (A Watershed Year)
It spoke about how the dragonfly is born a larva, but when it’s ready, it sheds its casing and becomes the beauty we see flying around us. In many stories, this is seen as the process of both life and death. The dragonfly emerging from its casing is just like when the soul leaves the body. There are two stages to the dragonfly. The first stage is when it is an insect that lives underwater. This is their life on earth. The next is when they emerge and find their flight. They become airborne and find a new freedom. That’s when their soul is freed from the restraints of their body. Isn’t that beautiful, Ellie? Isn’t that an amazing thought? That even after death our spirits live on?
Brittainy C. Cherry (Eleanor & Grey)
It is has been postulated that all the events in a person’s life parallel those of past and future civilizations. The sages tell us that there is no individual truth. There exists only universal truth. Cultures endowed the basic reality that speaks to us with many names. The ultimate truth might or might not be a singular Godhead per se, but rather the oneness that we intuitively seek to connect with comes without manifestation or form. Liberation from suffering is what ultimately leads to union with this oneness, a sought after state of consciousness beyond being and nonbeing, beyond tangibility or comprehension. Surrendering all earthly attachments, renouncing all desires, and relinquishing any form of being, represent the inaugural steps I should make in order to connect with the sense of oneness that I seek. All things, people, and events of this world – grass, plants, trees, rivers, oceans, sand, stones, birds, fish, animals, insects, birth, death, flood, fire, pestilence, war, saints, crooks, heroes, delusion, and enlightenment – are part of a sacred reality.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
However, the Nature of Man has been so crafted that he desires more and more and since living in harmony with Nature, seems much more difficult to humans now, we try to bring civilization into all beautiful areas, eventually poisoning the beauty to such an extent that trees and animals, birds and insects need to be protected from us by national programmes. Are we sure that we are the most advanced amongst all creatures? Maybe this was decided because, we are the only race which is unable to live in harmony with its surroundings and constantly desires change and devours whatever comes in the way.
Shivani (Travel Diaries : The Pilgrimage)
When he turned the handle of the gate, he stood, transfixed, as it opened like the cover of a book onto a scene that seemed too perfect to be real. An effusive garden grew between the flagstone path and the house, foxgloves waving brightly in the breeze, daisies and violets chattering over the edges of the paving stones. The jasmine that covered the garden wall continued its spread across the front of the house, surrounding the multipaned windows to tangle with the voracious red flowers of the honeysuckle creeper as it clambered over the roof of the entry alcove. The garden was alive with insects and birds, which made the house seem still and silent, like a Sleeping Beauty house. Leonard had felt, as he took his first step onto the path, as if he were walking back through time; he could almost see Radcliffe and his friends with their paints and easels set up on the lawn beyond the blackberry bramble...
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
A century after its introduction, Eucalyptus stelloleta, a tree planted worldwide for lumber and ornamental purposes, supports only one species in California but 48 species of insects in its Australian homeland according to D. Strong and colleagues.
Rick Darke (The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden)
BIBLIOGRAPHY Often the question of which books were used for research in the Merry series is asked. So, here is a list (in no particular order). While not comprehensive, it contains the major sources. An Encyclopedia of Faeries by Katharine Briggs Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend by Miranda J. Green Celtic Goddesses by Miranda J. Green Dictionary of Celtic Mythology by Peter Berresford Ellis Goddesses in World Mythology by Martha Ann and Dorothy Myers Imel A Witches’ Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W. Y. Evans-Wentz Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross The Ancient British Goddesses by Kathy Jones Fairy Tradition in Britain by Lewis Spense One Hundred Old Roses for the American Garden by Clair G. Martin Taylor’s Guide to Roses Pendragon by Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd Kings and Queens from Collins Gem Butterflies of Europe: A Princeton Guide by Tom Tolman and Richard Lewington Butterflies and Moths of Missouri by J. Richard and Joan E. Heitzman Dorling Kindersly Handbook: Butterflies and Moths by David Carter The Natural World of Bugs and Insects by Ken and Rod Preston Mafham Big Cats: Kingdom of Might by Tom Brakefield Just Cats by Karen Anderson Wild Cats of the World by Art Wolfe and Barbara Sleeper Beauty and the Beast translated by Jack Zipes The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm translated by Jack Zipes Grimms’ Tales for Young and Old by Ralph Manheim Complete Guide to Cats by the ASPCA Field Guide to Insects and Spiders from the National Audubon Society Mammals of Europe by David W. MacDonald Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswym Cabbages and Kings by Jonathan Roberts Gaelic: A Complete Guide for Beginners The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley Holland The Penguin Companion to Food by Alan Davidson
Laurell K. Hamilton (Seduced by Moonlight (Meredith Gentry, #3))
While lawn is often an unnecessary element in many gardens, it is actually an important design element to consider for a garden with free-range chickens. Chickens and organically maintained lawns will have a good symbiotic relationship if they are managed well. Chickens graze on the grass blades as a choice food source for greens, which can also be collected and dried for food. Chickens will keep the lawn mowed, so to speak, because they will make the lawn a frequent stop in their daily foraging. Chickens will search out and eat insects in lawns, and leave behind their manure, which is an excellent fertilizer for lawns. The height of your lawn is critical: the blades need to be long enough to photosynthesize in order to be healthy and grow—3 inches is ideal; and chickens prefer a certain height of grass blade—5 to 6 inches is too tall for them to graze, and letting them graze below 2 inches can damage the grass. So for chicken foraging, it is best to keep your lawn about 3 to 4 inches, which may be a bit longer than you are used to cutting it, but the turf will be healthier and withstand the chicken’s grazing better.
Jessi Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard)
Clover (Trifolium species) has been called one of the best all-around feeds for animals because of the high nutrient value. And it also is a legume, so it fixes nitrogen in the soil naturally. Clover is also an important nectar source for bees and a host of other pollinating insects. There are several types of clovers, including white Dutch clover (Trifolium repens), which is low growing and requires less mowing than a conventional lawn, making it a great addition to eco-turf seed mixes. Clover is also good to use in seed mixtures with grain as a companion plant because it loosens subsoils and makes more nutrients available
Jessi Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard)
David Dilcher wrote, “flowering plants were the first advertisers in the world. They put out beautiful petals, colorful patterns, fragrances, and gave a reward, such as nectar or pollen, for any insect that would come and visit them.
Sally Hogshead (Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Persuasion, and Captivation)
This was true mountain country, now, and true wilderness. Valley meadows, leafy trees halfway up the slopes, then evergreens gradually taking over at the higher altitudes... their road wound its way up and down through tree-tunnels that only intermittently allowed them to see the sky. It would have been a lovely journey under other circumstances. The weather remained fair, and remarkably pleasant, even if the night was going to be cold. She had only read about the wilderness, never experienced it for herself, and she found herself liking it a lot. Or- parts of it, anyway. The way it was never entirely silent, but simply 'quiet'- birdsong and insect noises, the rustle of leaves, the distant sound of water. She had never before realized how noisy people were. And the forest was so beautiful. She wasn't at all used to deep forest; it was like being inside a living cathedral, with beams of light penetrating the tree-canopy and illuminating unexpected treasures, a moss-covered rock, a small cluster of flowers, a spray of ferns. These woods were 'old', too, the trees had trunks so big it would take three people to put their arms around them, and there was a scent to the place that somehow conveyed that centuries of leaves had fallen here and become earth.
Mercedes Lackey (One Good Knight (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #2))
They want it all as detailed as possible because even the tiniest things mean something. Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life -- a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple -- the painter is giving you a secret message. He's telling you that living things don't last -- it's all temporary. Death in life. That's why they're called natures mortes. Maybe you don't see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer -- there it is.
Donna Tartt
While dismembering it, perhaps you might have noted the modular design and admired the great variety of body appendages (figure 1.9). There are several aspects to lobster construction that reflect the general themes of modularity and serial homology. First, the body is organized into a head (with the eyes and mouthparts), a thorax (with walking legs), and a long tail (yum!). Second, different sections of the body possess numbers of specific appendages (antennae, claws, walking legs, swimmerets). And third, each jointed appendage is itself segmented, and different kinds of appendages have different numbers of segments overall (compare a claw with a walking leg). If you were feeling adventuresome and dissected an insect or a crab, you’d see some general similarities in body organization, segmentation, and appendages but, again, differences in the number and kind of serially homologous structures. FIG. 1.9 The diversity of the serially repeated appendages of a lobster. The antennae, claws, walking legs, swimmerets, and tail structures are all modifications of a common limb design. DRAWING BY
Sean B. Carroll (Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo)
When Adrian’s father opened certain books with illustrations in colour of exotic lepidoptera and sea creatures, we looked at them, his sons and I, Frau Leverkühn as well, over the back of his leather-cushioned chair with the ear-rests; and he pointed with his forefinger at the freaks and fascinations there displayed in all the colours of the spectrum, from dark to light, mustered and modelled with the highest technical skill: genus Papilio and genus Morpho, tropical insects which enjoyed a brief existence in fantastically exaggerated beauty, some of them regarded by the natives as evil spirits bringing malaria. The most splendid colour they displayed, a dreamlike lovely azure, was, so Jonathan instructed us, no true colour at all, but produced by fine little furrows and other surface configurations of the scales on their wings, a miniature construction resulting from artificial refraction of the light rays and exclusion of most of them so that only the purest blue light reached the eyes. “Just think,” I can still hear Frau Leverkühn say, “so it is all a cheat?” “Do you call the blue sky a cheat?” answered her husband looking up backwards at her. “You cannot tell me the pigment it comes from.
Thomas Mann
My dress is of plain forest green wool, but the other girls are wearing beautiful tunics the color of gems- ruby dresses with sapphire mantles and dappled with jewels that dance before me like little insects on fire. My hair is dark as a crow, but theirs is red and gold and even longer than mine. A ray of sun slashes through the turbulent Irish sky, and I see that my friends' perfect skin shimmers in the sun, making them almost translucent.
Karen Essex (Dracula in Love)
I asked Mincha if he would like to be reincarnated as the beautiful scarlet minivet. Mincha paused for a moment and then pointed out how many insects a minivet consumes in its lifetime. “Killing other creatures causes pain in the world. So from a Buddhist perspective, we must say that the minivet is not to be envied.” Besides, he related, there are 500 rebirths separating birds and humans, so a bird rebirth would be a big setback from enlightenment. Back
Eric Dinerstein (The Kingdom of Rarities)