Knife Sharpening Quotes

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Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Lao Tzu (Te-Tao Ching)
Some people think God puts difficult people in our lives for a reason, to make us better people as we sharpen ourselves on the knife of their shortcomings.
Ilsa Madden-Mills (Dirty English (English, #1))
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
Lao Tzu
No, I do not weep at the world. I'm too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston (Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings)
Whenever you feel a little stricken down in pain, think about this. The knife has to be sharpened by striking and rubbing it against something strong before it can become useful! You are going to be great after the struggles.
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Sharpening your knife is never a waste of time.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Quest (The Fitz and The Fool, #2))
No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston (How it Feels to be Colored Me (American Roots))
I really wanted to see you,” I said. “And I really wanted to see you, too,” she said. “When I couldn’t see you any more, I realized that. It was as clear as if the planets all of a sudden lined up in a row for me. I really need you. You’re a part of me; I’m a part of you. You know, somewhere—I’m not at all sure where—I think I cut something’s throat. Sharpening my knife, my heart a stone.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
Like a butcher sharpening knife on knife I sharpen heart on heart inside me.
Yehuda Amichai (The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai)
A knife is sharpened on stone, steel is tempered by fire, but men must be sharpened by men.
Louis L'Amour (The Walking Drum)
At certain times I have no race. I am me. I belong to no race or time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads. I do not weep at the world--I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. I have a strong suspicion, but I can't be sure, that much that passes for constant love is a golded-up moment walking in its sleep. Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston
He got up and walked out to the road. The black shape of it running from dark to dark. Then the distant low rumble. Not thunder. You could feel it under your feet. A sound without cognate and so without description. Something imponderable shifting out there in the dark. The earth itself contracting with the cold. It did not come again. What time of year? What age the child? He walked out into the road and stood. The silence. The salitter drying from the earth. The mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to the waterline. At a crossroads a ground set with dolmen stones where the spoken bones of oracles lay moldering. No sound but the wind. What will you say? A living man spoke these lines? He sharpened a quill with his small pen knife to scribe these things in sloe or lampblack? At some reckonable and entabled moment? He is coming to steal my eyes. To seal my mouth with dirt.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
Cold, harsh laughter, like knives being sharpened.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill, Keep sharpening your knife and it will be blunt Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Lao Tzu
He walked out into the road and stood. The silence. The salitter drying from the earth. The mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to th waterline. At a crossroads a ground set with dolmen stones where the spoken bones of oracles lay moldering. No sound but the wind. What will you say? A living man spoke these lines? He sharpened a quill with his small pen knife to scribe these things in sloe or lampblack? At some reckonable and entabled moment? He is coming to steal my eyes. To seal my mouth with dirt.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
A knife can only be sharpened so far before all you are doing is wearing it away.
Brandon Sanderson (Starsight (Skyward, #2))
A whetstone, though it cannot cut, may sharpen a knife that will.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I do not weep at the world--I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston
He who fights with guns and knives is a coward! For how easy is it to kill with the single pull of a trigger? And how does human flesh stand to a sharpened metal? Even an idiot can kill with a gun and a knife! A man needs no courage at all to stand behind these things that make him feel invincible and bigger than he ever will be! I don't say that no one should fight! Because battles must be fought, and wars will always be won! But let those who fight, fight with bare hands! The measure of true strength! With his hands and feet and nothing but! The country with truly strong men is able to have soldiers that need not a knife, that need no guns! And if you can soar even higher than that; fight with your pens! Let us all write! And see the substance of the man through his philosophies and through his beliefs! And let one philosophy outdo another! Let one belief outlast another! And let this be how we determine the outcome of a war!
C. JoyBell C.
The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful) the marble-topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. For luck you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit's foot in your right pocket. The fur had been worn off the rabbit's foot long ago and the bones and the sinews were polished by wear. The claws scratched in the lining of your pocket and you knew your luck was still there.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
Who the hell did that--just sat around, sharpening his knife collection like it was no big deal?
Kit Rocha (Beyond Jealousy (Beyond, #4))
This bad habit of fault-finding, criticizing and complaining is a tool that grows keener by constant use, and there is grave danger that he who at first is only a moderate kicker may develop into a chronic knocker, and the knife he has sharpened will sever his head. Hooker
Elbert Hubbard (A Message to Garcia: And Other Essential Writings on Success)
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
Stephen Mitchell (Tao Te Ching)
Apparently satisfied, Helen turned to grate her jaw along the floorboards; a gesture like a sharpening - serrated knife against a block. The moon, I felt, was not yet full enough to excuse this kind of behaviour, but by degrees nonetheless sat down beside my feral sister and joined her in dragging my teeth across the floor.
Julia Armfield (Salt Slow)
It wasn’t that my personality changed when I met Stella. It was that it became, it flourished, because I could say things to Stella that I wouldn’t have said to anyone back home—knowing they would only respond with bafflement, or laughter—and she always volleyed right back, sharpening me like a whetstone to a knife. I didn’t just want the friendship of this dazzling girl. I wanted the world that had made her so dazzling in the first place.
Anna Pitoniak (Necessary People)
He pauses then, studying me. “How would you have done it?” His question surprises me. “You mean how would I have killed you?” “Yes. Do you have a favorite method for such things?” Since he knows I am an assassin, there is no need to be coy. “I prefer a garrote. I like the intimacy it allows me when I whisper reminders of vengeance in their ears as they die. But in your case, I had sharpened my favorite knife especially for the occasion.” His brows quirk up. “Why no garrote for me?” I look pointedly at his thick neck, bulging with muscle and sinew. “I do not have one big enough,” I mutter.
Robin LaFevers
And my religious hunger, now invents God To make them a frame, to fill the void. Then my silly pious sense of harmony Loudly rejoices in orderly actuality But already, my fierce rebellion, the best poet Calmly sharpens a knife on the stone of my heart.
Rafał Wojaczek
His intelligence was just something he'd been born with. Luck of the draw, like being beautiful. It was a rationalization to say that he'd worked hard. It was like being given a fine knife and taking the trouble to polish and sharpen it: it's great that you make the effort, but someone had to give you the knife.
Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.)
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes....Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less. No, I do not weep at the world - I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston
He got up and walked out to the road. The black shape of it running from dark to dark. Then a distant low rumble. Not thunder. You could feel it under your feet. A sound without cognate and so without description. Something imponderable shifting out there in the dark. The earth itself contracting with the cold. It did not come again. What time of year? What age the child? He walked out into the road and stood. The silence. The salitter drying from the earth. The mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to the waterline. At a crossroads a ground set with dolmen stones where the spoken bones of oracles lay moldering. No sound but the wind. What will you say? A living man spoke these lines? He sharpened a quill with his small pen knife to scribe these things in sloe or lampblack? At some reckonable and entabled moment? He is coming to steal my eyes. To seal my mouth with dirt.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
your tongue touches me and a sharpened knife twists my insides sideways
Kelsey Webb (Sapling: The Beginner's Guide to the Art of Modern Poetry)
If you don't understand, stop following me. Communication between us is ended. I've gone definitively to the other side, with the eternal pariahs, sharpening my knife.
Juan Goytisolo (Juan the Landless)
Learning how to stand on your own feet and avoid leaning on somebody's shoulder will literally help you to sharpen your knife in this era.
moolesh.k.dindoyal
Not every mind learns the same way. A knife needs to be sharpened against stone, but a pearl needs to be polished with soft cloth.
Ken Liu (The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty, #2))
I do not weep at the world I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.
Zora Neale Hurston
Keep sharpening, and the knife becomes useless.
Lao Tzu (Waterway: a new translation of the Tao Te Ching and introducing the Wu Wei Ching)
People couldn’t forget, not the really awful things. They carried the past with them, sharpened it like a knife, and when you weren’t looking, when you least suspected it, they cut your heart out.
Gregory Ashe (Pretty Pretty Boys (Hazard and Somerset, #1))
Lilichka! (Instead of a letter)" Tobacco smoke eats the air away. The room,-- a chapter from Kruchenykh's Inferno. Recall,-- by the window, that day, I caressed you ecstatically, with fervor. Here you sit now, with your heart in iron armor. In a day, you'll scold me perhaps and tell me to leave. Frenzied, the trembling arm in the gloomy parlor will hardly be able to fit the sleeve. I'll rush out and hurl my body into the street,-- distraught, lashed by despair and sadness. There's no need for this, my darling, my sweet. Let's part tonight and end this madness. Either way, my love is an arduous weight, hanging on you wherever you flee. Let me bellow out in the final complaint all of my heartbroken misery. A laboring bull, if he had enough, will leave and find cool water to lie in. But for me, there's no sea except for your love,-- from which even tears won't earn me some quiet. If an elephant wants to relax, he'll lie, pompous, outside in the sun-baked dune, Except for your love, there's no sun in the sky and I don't even know where you are and with whom. If you thus tormented another poet, he would trade in his love for money and fame. But nothing sounds as precious to me as the ringing sound of your darling name. I won't drink poison, or jump to demise, or pull the trigger to take my own life. Except for your eyes, no blade can control me, no sharpened knife. Tomorrow you'll forget that it was I who crowned you, who burned out the blossoming soul with love and the days will form a whirling carnival that will ruffle my manuscripts and lift them above... Will the dry autumn leaves of my sentences cause you to pause, breathing hard? Let me pave a path with the final tenderness for your footsteps as you depart. (1916)
Vladimir Mayakovsky (Backbone Flute: Selected Poetry)
Then Mustafa moved away from the table, put on his glasses, and carefully sharpened the small pencil with a knife, and, sitting down at his desk, he opened the black book and wrote: Name—My beautiful boy. Cause of death—This broken world.
Christy Lefteri (The Beekeeper of Aleppo)
In most cases, the truth is a blade that does not need to be sharpened, and we almost never need to twist the knife. Because as a listener we can empathize with the fear that what we hear might hurt, we can also work to apply gentleness when speaking. I
Ethan Nichtern (The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path)
We’re supposed to practice the Cruciatus Curse on people who’ve earned detentions--” “What?” Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s untied voices echoed up and down the passage. “Yeah,” said Neville. “That’s how I got this one,” he pointed at a particularly deep dash in his cheek, “I refused to do it. Some people are into it, though; Crabbe and Goyle love it. First time they’ve ever been top in anything, I expect. “Alecto, Amycus’s sister, teaches Muggle Studies, which is compulsory for everyone. We’ve all got to listen to her explain how Muggles are like animals, stupid and dirty, and how they drove wizards into hiding by being vicious toward them, and how the natural order is being reestablished. I got this one,” he indicated another slash to his face, “for asking her how much Muggle blood she and her brother have got.” “Blimey, Neville,” said Ron, “there’s a time and a place for getting a smart mouth.” “You didn’t hear her,” said Neville. “You wouldn’t have stood it either. The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry.” “But they’ve used you as a knife sharpener,” said Ron, wincing slightly as they passed a lamp and Neville’s injuries were thrown into even greater relief. Neville shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. They don’t want to spill too much pure blood, so they’ll torture us a bit if we’re mouthy but they won’t actually kill us.” Harry did not know what was worse, the things that Neville was saying or the matter-of-fact tone in which he said them.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Ask a pig, sometime, about the trouble predicting the future from the past." "I stared at him, trying to decide if he was joking. "I've been short on prognosticating pigs." "Life is perfect for a pig," Ruc said. "Plenty of slops. A shed to keep off the rain. A good wallow. Every day for months a pig wakes up to the same perfect life. Sometimes for years. Then someone ties his hind legs together and cuts his throat while he squeals... The fact that my head's still attached at my neck doesn't mean no one's sharpening a knife.
Brian Staveley (Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #4))
The time was 7:40 A.M. I reached for the phone. “Do you have your axe?” came the voice on the other end. It was Mad Dog. “Yes.” “Is your axe sharp?” “No, but I can sharpen it while you’re driving here.” “How about your knife?” “Got it.” “Everything needs to be nice and sharp.
Neil Strauss (Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life)
The bride’s father watched that effort with a critical eye. After satisfying himself that the weapon was suitably lethal, he gravely accepted it as a gift from the younger man. ‘The groom has just sharpened the knife that the bride’s father will use on him, if he ever mistreats the girl,
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
Randy walked to the bar-counter and began to sharpen his razor. The razor was a six-inch hunting knife. He honed its edges vigorously on a whetstone and then stropped it on a belt nailed to the wall. A clean, smooth, painless shave was one of the things he missed, but not what he missed most.
Pat Frank (Alas, Babylon)
Gator, go wake that woman of yours. I need some answers. We need her to run the computers for us.” “Tonight, Boss?” Gator complained. “I had other ideas.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. “We all did. Hop to it.” “What about Sam?” Tucker asked. “His woman is the one who got us into this.” “I’m wounded.” Sam clutched his abdomen dramatically and staggered with quick, long strides so that he made it to the doorway in three quick steps. Jonas coughed, sounding suspiciously like he’d muttered “bullshit” under his breath. Kyle threw a peanut at him and Jeff surfed across the table in his bare socks to try to catch him before he bolted. “He’s in love, boys, let him go. He’ll probably just get laughed at,” Tucker said. “Do you really think Azami’s brothers are going to allow her to hook up with Sam? She’s fine and he’s . . . well . . . klutzy.” “That hurt,” Sam said, turning back. “Did you get a good look at those boys? I thought Japanese men were supposed to be on the short side, but Daiki was tall and all muscle. His brother moves like a fucking fighter,” Tucker added. “They might just decide to give you a good beating for having the audacity to even think you could date their sister, let alone marry her.” “Fat help you are,” Sam accused. “I could use a little confidence here.” Kyle snorted. “You don’t have a chance, buddy.” “Goin’ to meet your maker,” Gator added solemnly. Jeff crossed himself as he hung five toes off the edge of the table. “Sorry, old son, you don’t have a prayer. You’re about to meet up with a couple of hungry sharks.” “Have you ever actually used a sword before?” Kadan asked, all innocent. Jonas drew his knife and began to sharpen it. “Funny thing about blade men, they always like to go for the throat.” He grinned up at Sam. “Just a little tip. Keep your chin down.” “You’re all a big help,” Sam said and stepped out into the hall. This was the biggest moment of his life. If they turned him down, he was lost.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
Let me explain a little: Certain things are bad so far as they go, such as pain, and no one, not even a lunatic, calls a tooth-ache good in itself; but a knife which cuts clumsily and with difficulty is called a bad knife, which it certainly is not. It is only not so good as other knives to which men have grown accustomed. A knife is never bad except on such rare occasions as that in which it is neatly and scientifically planted in the middle of one's back. The coarsest and bluntest knife which ever broke a pencil into pieces instead of sharpening it is a good thing in so far as it is a knife. It would have appeared a miracle in the Stone Age. What we call a bad knife is a good knife not good enough for us; what we call a bad hat is a good hat not good enough for us; what we call bad cookery is good cookery not good enough for us; what we call a bad civilization is a good civilization not good enough for us. We choose to call the great mass of the history of mankind bad, not because it is bad, but because we are better. This is palpably an unfair principle. Ivory may not be so white as snow, but the whole Arctic continent does not make ivory black.
G.K. Chesterton (The Defendant)
Here’s a quick translation: spork = a spoon with added tines; splayd = a knife, fork, and spoon in one, consisting of a tined spoon with a sharpened edge; knork = a fork with the cutting power of a knife; spife = a spoon with a knife on the end (an example would be the plastic green kiwi spoons sold in kitchenware shops); sporf = an all-purpose term for any hybrid of spoon, fork, and knife.
Bee Wilson (Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat)
Monks ought to behave like a grinding stone: Changsan comes to sharpen his knife, Li-szŭ comes to grind his axe, everybody and anybody who wants to have his metal improved in anyway comes and makes use of the stone. Each time the stone is rubbed, it wears out, but it makes no complaint, nor does it boast of its usefulness. And those who come to it go home fully benefitted; some of them may not be quite appreciative of the stone; but the stone itself remains ever contented......
D.T. Suzuki (Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk)
Take the greatest care of your knives; don’t cut with them on an enamel or marble-topped table or a plate; have a good steel for sharpening; keep your kitchen knives in a special box or compartment of the knife drawer; wash, dry, and put them away, with the points stuck into a cork, as soon as you have finished with them. Let it be understood by all members of the household that there will be serious trouble if your knives are borrowed for screwdriving, prising open packing-cases, cutting fuse wire or any other purpose for which they were not intended.
Elizabeth David (French Country Cooking)
UNDERBELLY Wouldbelove, do not think of me as a whetstone until you hear the whole story: In it, I’m not the hero, but I’m not the villain either so let’s say, in the story, I was human and made of human-things: fear and hands, underbelly and blade. Let me say it plain: I loved someone and I failed at it. Let me say it another way: I like to call myself wound but I will answer to knife. Sometimes I think we have the same name, Notquitelove. I want to be soft, to say here is my underbelly and I want you to hold the knife, but I don’t know what I want you to do: plunge or mercy. I deserve both. I want to hold and be held. Let me say it again, Possiblelove: I’m not sure you should. The truth is: If you don’t, I won’t die of want or lonely, just time. And not now, not even soon. But that’s how every story ends eventually. Here is how one might start: Before. The truth? I’m not a liar but I close my eyes a lot, Couldbelove. Before, I let a blade slide itself sharp against me. Look at where I once bloomed red and pulsing. A keloid history. I have not forgotten the knife or that I loved it or what it was like before: my unscarred body visits me in dreams and photographs. Maybelove, I barely recognize it without the armor of its scars. I am trying to tell the truth: the dreams are how I haunt myself. Maybe I’m not telling the whole story: I loved someone and now I don’t. I can’t promise to leave you unscarred. The truth: I am a map of every blade I ever held. This is not a dream. Look at us now: all grit and density. What, Wouldbelove do you know of knives? Do you think you are a soft thing? I don’t. Maybe the truth is: Both. Blade and guard. My truth is: blade. My hands on the blade; my hands, the blade; my hands carving and re-carving every overzealous fibrous memory. The truth is: I want to hold your hands because they are like mine. Holding a knife by the blade and sharpening it. In your dreams, how much invitation to pierce are you? Perhapslove, the truth is: I am afraid we are both knives, both stones, both scarred. Or we will be. The truth is: I have made fire before: stone against stone. Mightbelove, I have sharpened this knife before: blade against blade. I have hurt and hungered before: flesh against flesh. I won’t make a dull promise.
Nicole Homer
I also gained a deeper appreciation of what it must have been like for my mother to be in a foreign country unable to speak the language (in her case, unable to read or write any language). As I walked around by myself, however, it was obvious that based on my body language people perceived me as American but at the same time different enough from other Americans that they felt free to come up and ask me all kinds of personal questions about where I came from, what kind of work I did, whether I was married, how many people there were in my family. Back in the 1930s when I asked personal questions like these of a Chinese student at Bryn Mawr, she reprimanded me for being too personal. I’m not sure whether that was because she came from a higher social class or because the revolution has opened things up. I answered their questions as best as I could in my limited Chinese. The ingenuity and energy of the Chinese reminded me of my father, for example, the way that they used bicycles, often transformed into tricycles, for transporting all kinds of things: little children (sometimes in a sidecar), bricks and concrete, beds and furniture. I was amazed at the number of entrepreneurs lining the sidewalks with little sewing machines ready to alter or make a garment, barbers with stools and scissors, knife sharpeners, shoe repairmen, vendors selling food and other kinds of merchandise from carts. Everywhere I went I saw women knitting, as they waited for a bus or walked along the street, as if they couldn’t waste a minute. I had never seen such an industrious people. It was unlike anything that I had witnessed in England, France, the West Indies, Africa, or the United States.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
Metalearning: First Draw a Map. Start by learning how to learn the subject or skill you want to tackle. Discover how to do good research and how to draw on your past competencies to learn new skills more easily. Focus: Sharpen Your Knife. Cultivate the ability to concentrate. Carve out chunks of time when you can focus on learning, and make it easy to just do it. Directness: Go Straight Ahead. Learn by doing the thing you want to become good at. Don’t trade it off for other tasks, just because those are more convenient or comfortable. Drill: Attack Your Weakest Point. Be ruthless in improving your weakest points. Break down complex skills into small parts; then master those parts and build them back together again. Retrieval: Test to Learn. Testing isn’t simply a way of assessing knowledge but a way of creating it. Test yourself before you feel confident, and push yourself to actively recall information rather than passively review it. Feedback: Don’t Dodge the Punches. Feedback is harsh and uncomfortable. Know how to use it without letting your ego get in the way. Extract the signal from the noise, so you know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Retention: Don’t Fill a Leaky Bucket. Understand what you forget and why. Learn to remember things not just for now but forever. Intuition: Dig Deep Before Building Up. Develop your intuition through play and exploration of concepts and skills. Understand how understanding works, and don’t recourse to cheap tricks of memorization to avoid deeply knowing things. Experimentation: Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone. All of these principles are only starting points. True mastery comes not just from following the path trodden by others but from exploring possibilities they haven’t yet imagined.
Scott H. Young (Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career)
Rhysand mastered himself, a cool mask sliding into place. “You live in such a world.” It wasn’t entirely a question. But Bryce nodded. “Yes.” “And they want to bring all of that … here.” “Yes.” Rhysand stared ahead. Thinking it through. Azriel just kept his eyes on the space where the orb had displayed the utter destruction of her world. Dreading—and yet calculating. She’d seen that look before on Hunt’s face. A warrior’s mind at work. Amren turned to Rhys, meeting his stare. Bryce knew that look, too. A silent conversation passing between them. As Bryce and Ruhn had often spoken. Her heart wrenched to see it, to remember. It steadied her, though. Sharpened her focus. The Asteri had been here—under a different name, but they’d been here. The ancestors of these Fae had defeated them. And Urd had sent her here—here, not Hel. Here, where she’d instantly encountered a dagger that made the Starsword sing. Like it had been the lodestone that had drawn her to this world, to that riverbank. Could it really be the knife from the prophecy? She’d believed that destroying the Asteri would be as simple as obliterating that firstlight core, yet Urd had sent her here.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Flame and Shadow (Crescent City, #3))
When Wen was seventeen years old, she'd sharpened a kitchen knife and slashed the tires on her brother's bicycle. She never told Kehn, who gave on of the neighbor boys a beating over it. After that, Kaul Hilo came around their house in his car every day to pick up Kehn and Tar when the three of them went around town together, junior Fingers fresh out of the Academy, hungry to win jade and earn their reputations. Every day, Wen walked out to the Duchesse to bid her brothers goodbye and to welcome them home. Hilo once laughed as he pulled up to see her standing in the rain. He said she was the kindest and most devoted sister he'd ever met, that his own sister would never do such a thing. Wen had to admit with some chagrin that she had been a lovesick teenage girl, but she hadn't simply pined uselessly. A small thing like a ruined bicycle could change fate, just as a stone-eye could tip the scales in a clan war. She searched now for the one thing she could say that would make Hilo turn towards her, the way he used to when he rolled down the window and leaned across the seat with a grin. But she was too weary. 'I have to go back out there,' Hilo said. Wen turned onto her side. She felt the pressure of him lift off the mattress, and when the next burst of light from the fireworks struck the room, it lit empty space.
Fonda Lee (Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3))
Even with his eyes concealed, I sensed Amar’s gaze. “What world do you belong to? Theirs?” I pointed at an Otherworldly being sharpening his horns. “No. My kingdom is neither among humans nor Otherworldly beings. It is between.” “Why did you come to Bharata?” I asked. “The invitation to my swayamvara was issued only to the nations we’re at war with.” “Everyone is at war with my nation,” he said with a smile. “How did you even know about me?” “Akaran has its eyes and ears.” He could have been lying. Nothing escaped me from the rafters where I had spied for years. But my father had other meetings…and he was not always in Bharata. I hesitated. “How can I trust someone who won’t even reveal their face?” “It’s far too easy to be recognized here.” He drew the cloak closer and the gesture was so final, so closed off and unwelcoming, that I stepped back, chastened. Amar removed the wedding garland from around his neck. From the sleeves of his jacket, he withdrew a small knife. Before I could react, he swiped the knife across his palm. Small beads of blood welled to the surface. He held his palm out to me like a perverse offering. “I make this bond to you in blood, not flowers,” he said. “Come with me and you shall be an empress with the moon for your throne and constellations to wear in your hair. Come with me and I promise you that we will always be equals.” My mouth went dry. A blood oath was no trifling undertaking. Vassals swore it to lords, priests to the gods. But husbands to wives? Unthinkable.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
The Blessed I am in the darkness and alone. In front of me stands the door. When I open it, I am bathed in light. There are a father, a mother and sister, A dog, which, dumb, still barks in friendliness. How can I lie, and how can I say That I, hidden there in darkness, have not come to harm them? I drag myself over the threshold. Snow blossoms in my eyes. I saw him bowing to me courteously; How much that hurt me. How could my heart find peace, When round it raced the voice of the old man? I live in coldness. I dried my tears and went To where the man was eating with his family. It was so calm and loving a reception. I felt the violins sounding inside me At first, so sweetly, so gently. They will never sound again, when I have finished. Fear drenched my hands. Beneath me I could almost taste my womb. A sneer seemed to say: 'Have you no shame? What have you done with the wedding-ring on your finger? Terrible thief, where did you hide your courage? Does the nakedness of my right hand mean so little to me?' I felt so poor and naked. I wriggled in my chair And trembled to think what I must do. Pity clawed at my heart and shook my body Like a tree in a winter field blown by the wind Shedding leaves. I told myself it was time to go, Scolding my wan, faded self for my little worries. Pleased with myself again, I steeled myself for the torture. The joy of it! Oh, how I want to be Just like an animal and be happy again! I sharpen my claws with a knife. It is still night, and that thing called shame, I may not let it show itself. I know the train that tears through the woods. I go out to the unfeeling rails. Weary, I am glad to go to bed, Running across two flat sticks of iron.
Gertrud Kolmar
I was getting my knife sharpened at the cutlery shop in the mall,” he said. It was where he originally bought the knife. The store had a policy of keeping your purchase razor sharp, so he occasionally brought it back in for a free sharpening. “Anyway, it was that day that I met this Asian male. He was alone and really nice looking, so I struck up a conversation with him. Well, I offered him fifty bucks to come home with me and let me take some photos. I told him that there was liquor at my place and indicated that I was sexually attracted to him. He was eager and cooperative so we took the bus to my apartment. Once there, I gave him some money and he posed for several photos. I offered him the rum and Coke Halcion-laced solution and he drank it down quickly. We continued to drink until he passed out, and then I made love to him for the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up it was late. I checked on the guy. He was out cold, still breathing heavily from the Halcion. I was out of beer and walked around the corner for another six-pack but after I got to the tavern, I started drinking and before I knew it, it was closing time. I grabbed my six-pack and began walking home. As I neared my apartment, I noted a lot of commotion, people milling about, police officers, and a fire engine. I decided to see what was going on, so I came closer. I was surprised to see they were all standing around the Asian guy from my apartment. He was standing there naked, speaking in some kind of Asian dialect. At first, I panicked and kept walking, but I could see that he was so messed up on the Halcion and booze that he didn’t know who or where he was. “I don’t really know why, Pat, but I strode into the middle of everyone and announced he was my lover. I said that we lived together at Oxford and had been drinking heavily all day, and added that this was not the first time he left the apartment naked while intoxicated. I explained that I had gone out to buy some more beer and showed them the six-pack. I asked them to give him a break and let me take him back home. The firemen seemed to buy the story and drove off, but the police began to ask more questions and insisted that I take them to my apartment to discuss the matter further. I was nervous but felt confident; besides, I had no other choice. One cop took him by the arm and he followed, almost zombie-like. “I led them to my apartment and once inside, I showed them the photos I had taken, and his clothes neatly folded on the arm of my couch. The cops kept trying to question the guy but he was still talking gibberish and could not answer any of their questions, so I told them his name was Chuck Moung and gave them a phony date of birth. I handed them my identification and they wrote everything down in their little notebooks. They seemed perturbed and talked about writing us some tickets for disorderly conduct or something. One of them said they should take us both in for all the trouble we had given them. “As they were discussing what to do, another call came over their radio. It must have been important because they decided to give us a warning and advised me to keep my drunken partner inside. I was relieved. I had fooled the authorities and it gave me a tremendous feeling. I felt powerful, in control, almost invincible. After the officers left, I gave the guy another Halcion-filled drink and he soon passed out. I was still nervous about the narrow escape with the cops, so I strangled him and disposed of his body.
Patrick Kennedy (GRILLING DAHMER: The Interrogation Of "The Milwaukee Cannibal")
The unhappy priest was breathing hard; sincere horror at the foreseen dispersal of Church property was linked with regret at his having lost control of himself again, with fear of offending the Prince, whom he genuinely liked and whose blustering rages as well as disinterested kindness he knew well. So he sat down warily, glancing every now and again at Don Fabrizio, who had taken up a little brush and was cleaning the knobs of a telescope, apparently absorbed. A little later he got up and cleaned his hands thoroughly with a rag; his face was quite expressionless, his light eyes seemed intent only on finding any remaining stain of oil in the cuticles of his nails. Down below, around the villa, all was luminous and grandiose silence, emphasised rather than disturbed by the distant barking of Bendicò baiting the gardener’s dog at the far end of the lemon-grove, and by the dull rhythmic beat from the kitchen of a cook’s knife chopping meat for the approaching meal. The sun had absorbed the turbulence of men as well as the harshness of earth. The Prince moved towards the priest’s table, sat down and began drawing pointed little Bourbon lilies with a carefully sharpened pencil which the Jesuit had left behind in his anger. He looked serious but so serene that Father Pirrone no longer felt on tenterhooks. “We’re not blind, my dear Father, we’re just human beings. We live in a changing reality to which we try to adapt ourselves like seaweed bending under the pressure of water. Holy Church has been granted an explicit promise of immortality; we, as a social class, have not. Any palliative which may give us another hundred years of life is like eternity to us. We may worry about our children and perhaps our grandchildren; but beyond what we can hope to stroke with these hands of ours we have no obligations. I cannot worry myself about what will happen to any possible descendants in the year 1960. The Church, yes, She must worry for She is destined not to die. Solace is implicit in Her desperation. Don’t you think that if now or in the future She could save herself by sacrificing us She wouldn’t do so? Of course She would, and rightly.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (The Leopard)
...literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind ; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear, and, save for one or two passions such as desire and greed, is null , negligible and nonexistent. On the contrary, the very opposite is true. All day, all night the body intervenes; blunts or sharpens, colours or discolours, turns to wax in the warmth of June, hardens to tallow in the murk of February. The creature within can only gaze through the pane—smudged or rosy; it cannot separate off from the body like the sheath of a knife or the pod of a pea for a single instant; it must go through the whole unending procession of changes, heat and cold, comfort and discomfort, hunger and satisfaction, health and illness, until there comes the inevitable catastrophe; the body smashes itself to smithereens, and the soul (it is said) escapes. But of all this daily drama of the body there is no record. People write always about the doings of the mind; the thoughts that come to it; its noble plans; how it has civilised the universe. They show it ignoring the body in the philosopher's turret; or kicking the body, like an old leather football, across leagues of snow and desert in the pursuit of conquest or discovery. Those great wars which it wages by itself, with the mind a slave to it, in the solitude of the bedroom against the assault of fever or the oncome of melancholia, are neglected. Nor is the reason far to seek. To look these things squarely in the face would need the courage of a lion tamer; a robust philosophy; a reason rooted in the bowels of the earth. Short of these, this monster, the body, this miracle, its pain, will soon make us taper into mysticism, or rise, with rapid beats of the wings, into the raptures of transcendentalism. More practically speaking, the public would say that a novel devoted to influenza lacked plot; they would complain that there was no love in it—wrongly however, for illness often takes on the disguise of love, and plays the same odd tricks, investing certain faces with divinity, setting us to wait, hour after hour, with pricked ears for the creaking of a stair, and wreathing the faces of the absent (plain enough in health, Heaven knows) with a new significance, while the mind concocts a thousand legends and romances about them for which it has neither time nor liberty in health.
Virginia Woolf (On Being Ill)
literature does itsnbest to maintain that its concern is with the mind ; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear, and, save for one or two passions such as desire and greed, is null , negligible and nonexistent. On the contrary, the very opposite is true. All day, all night the body intervenes; blunts or sharpens, colours or discolours, turns to wax in the warmth of June, hardens to tallow in the murk of February. The creature within can only gaze through the pane—smudged or rosy; it cannot separate off from the body like the sheath of a knife or the pod of a pea for a single instant; it must go through the whole unending procession of changes, heat and cold, comfort and discomfort, hunger and satisfaction, health and illness, until there comes the inevitable catastrophe; the body smashes itself to smithereens, and the soul (it is said) escapes. But of all this daily drama of the body there is no record. People write always about the doings of the mind; the thoughts that come to it; its noble plans; how it has civilised the universe. They show it ignoring the body in the philosopher's turret; or kicking the body, like an old leather football, across leagues of snow and desert in the pursuit of conquest or discovery. Those great wars which it wages by itself, with the mind a slave to it, in the solitude of the bedroom against the assault of fever or the oncome of melancholia, are neglected. Nor is the reason far to seek. To look these things squarely in the face would need the courage of a lion tamer; a robust philosophy; a reason rooted in the bowels of the earth. Short of these, this monster, the body, this miracle, its pain, will soon make us taper into mysticism, or rise, with rapid beats of the wings, into the raptures of transcendentalism. More practically speaking, the public would say that a novel devoted to influenza lacked plot; they would complain that there was no love in it—wrongly however, for illness often takes on the disguise of love, and plays the same odd tricks, investing certain faces with divinity, setting us to wait, hour after hour, with pricked ears for the creaking of a stair, and wreathing the faces of the absent (plain enough in health, Heaven knows) with a new significance, while the mind concocts a thousand legends and romances about them for which it has neither time nor liberty in health.
Virginia Woolf (On Being Ill)
When I pull my hand away, my fingertips are not stained red, but silver. I stare at my nails, trying to make sense of what I see when out of the formless gloom, a monster emerges. I do scream when a pair of blue-white eyes appear, a pinprick of black in their center. Slowly, a shape coalesces into being- a long, elegant face, whorls of inky shadows swirling over moon-pale skin, ram's horns curling around pointed, elfin ears. He is more terrifying and more real than the vision I experienced in the labyrinth. But worst of all are the hands, gnarled and curled and with one too many joints in each finger. With a silver ring around the base of one. A wolf's-head ring, with two gems of blue and green for eyes. My ring. His ring. The symbol of our promise I had returned to the Goblin King back in the Goblin Grove. Mein Herr? For a brief moment, those blue-white eyes regain some color, the only color in this gray world. Blue and green, like the gems on the ring about his finger. Mismatched eyes. Human eyes. The eyes of my immortal beloved. Elisabeth, he says, and his lips move painfully around a mouth full of sharpened teeth, like the fangs of some horrifying beast. Despite the fear knifing my veins, my heart grows soft with pity. With tenderness. I reach for my Goblin King, longing to touch him, to hold his face in my hands the way I had done when I was his bride. Mein Herr. My hands lift to stroke his cheek, but he shakes his head, batting my fingers away. I am not he, he says, and an ominous growl laces his words as his eyes return to that eerie blue-white. He that you love is gone. Then who are you? I ask. His nostrils flare and shadows deepen around us, giving shape to the world. He swirls a cloak about him as a dark forest comes into view, growing from the mist. I am the Lord of Mischief and the Ruler Underground. His lips stretch thin over that dangerous mouth in a leering smile. I am death and doom and Der Erlkönig. No! I cry, reading for him again. No, you are he that I love, a king with music in his soul and a prayer in his heart. You are a scholar, a philosopher, and my own austere young man. Is that so? The corrupted Goblin King runs a tongue over his gleaming teeth, those pale eyes devouring me as though I were a sumptuous treat to be savored. Then prove it. Call him by name. A jolt sings through me- guilt and fear and desire altogether. His name, a name, the only link my austere young man has to the world above, the one thing he could not give me. Der Erlkönig throws his head back in a laugh. You do not even know your beloved's name, maiden? How can you possibly call it love when you walked away, when you abandoned him and all that he fought for? I shall find it, I say fiercely. I shall call him by name and bring him home. Malice lights those otherworldly eyes, and despite the monstrous markings and horns and fangs and fur that claim the Goblin King's comely form, he turns seductive, sly. Come, brave maiden, he purrs. Come, join me and be my bride once more, for it was not your austere young man who showed you the dark delights of the Underground and the flesh. It was I.
S. Jae-Jones (Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2))
You're such a romantic. Just like your brother. Do you know what he bought for me for our last anniversary? A knife sharpener.
Kim Fielding (Good Bones (Bones #1))
The morning will brighten the day, darkness gives way to light. The man awakens and sharpens his knife on the whetstone of success.
Kristian Goldmund Aumann (From Poet's Hand)
Take me to church I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife Offer me that deathless death Good God, let me give you my life
Pratyush Singh
screaming like a madman, he desperately sliced across his throat with the large butcher knife he’d been holding. Once, twice, three times he slashed at his Adam’s apple with little or no consequence as his calves melted into a bloody pulp from the frenzy of razor-sharp, ravaging teeth. “Fuck!” he shrieked. “This is the knife Pam said needed sharpening last Thanksgiving.
Billy Wells (In Your Face Horror- Volume 1)
HEART ACTION Plan a tea party to gather together some old or new friends. Even having just one person over for a cup of tea and good conversation will create a time of hospitality and connection. Make it simple so that you enjoy it and can focus on sharing your heart with your guests. A TEA PARTY HAS ITS OWN MANNERS Serving tea is a wonderful excuse for sharpening etiquette around the table. Mothers can use this time to teach their young daughters about the importance of learning and practicing good manners. • The server of teas and all liquids will serve from the right. The person being served will hold their cups in the left hand. You may adjust this if the person receiving is left-handed. • To prevent from getting lipstick on your teacup, blot your lipstick before you sit down at the serving table. • Scones and crumpets should be eaten in small bite-sized pieces. If butter, jam, or cream is used, add them to each piece as it is eaten. • Good manners will dictate proper conversation. The goodies are theatre, museums, fine arts, music, movies, literature, and travel. The baddies are politics, religion, aches and pains, deaths, and negative discussion. Keep the conversation upbeat. • A knife and fork are usually used with open-faced sandwiches and cakes with icing. • Milk or cream is always added after the tea is poured.
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
I’m not sharpening my knife, nor am I fluffing welcoming pillows. I should mention that I’m not fluffing pillows to kill her with either.
Rabih Alameddine (An Unnecessary Woman)
Ascott scrambled for his dive knife, he and waved the four- inch blade between himself and the octopus. The floating sack of tentacles hesitated and then all eight of its arms snapped forward. Curled in the tip of each was a variety of sharpened implements, from swords and dive knives to a fishing spear. The large unblinking eyes seemed to be saying, Your move.
Paul Mannering (Pisces of Fate (Drakeforth Trilogy #2))
The outbreath is like a whetstone, and the mind is like the knife or sword that is being sharpened on that stone. When you sharpen a knife, you draw the blade of the knife across the sharpening stone. Following your outbreath is like drawing the blade of mind across the breath. Then
Chögyam Trungpa (Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness)
His fingers turned to ice around my neck, and I shivered as the cold traced its way down my skin and beneath my clothes, branching out to my arms and legs, my fingers, and the tips of each toe. It rushed up my neck and over my head. The chill gushed into my mouth and nostrils, washed down my throat, and crept into my stomach and bowels. It opened my insides like a newly sharpened knife, cutting down to my very bones.
Charlie N. Holmberg (Followed by Frost)
✓the ancient ritual of the earth; ploughing and planting, reaping and threshing. The fundamental business remains unaltered; it is only the methods and tools that science is changing. ✓If you want good roses, sharpen your knife and harden your heart. ✓much of gardening is a struggle against the fecundity of Nature ✓New words are always being born and old ones fading away. ✓Winter sunshine is a fairy wand touching everything with a strange magic. It is like the smile of a friend in time of sorrow.
Patience Strong
The nature of our culture is such that if you were to look for instruction in how to do any of these jobs, the instruction would always give only one understanding of Quality, the classic. It would tell you how to hold the blade when sharpening the knife, or how to use a sewing machine, or how to mix and apply glue with the presumption that once these underlying methods were applied, “good” would naturally follow. The ability to see directly what “looks good” would be ignored. The result is rather typical of modern technology, an overall dullness of appearance so depressing that it must be overlaid with a veneer of “style” to make it acceptable. And that, to anyone who is sensitive to romantic Quality, just makes it all the worse. Now it’s not just depressingly dull, it’s also phony. Put the two together and you get a pretty accurate basic description of modern American technology: stylized cars and stylized outboard motors and stylized typewriters and stylized clothes. Stylized refrigerators filled with stylized food in stylized kitchens in stylized houses. Plastic stylized toys for stylized children, who at Christmas and birthdays are in style with their stylish parents. You have to be awfully stylish yourself not to get sick of it once in a while. It’s the style that gets you; technological ugliness syruped over with romantic phoniness in an effort to produce beauty and profit by people who, though stylish, don’t know where to start because no one has ever told them there’s such a thing as Quality in this world and it’s real, not style. Quality isn’t something you lay on top of subjects and objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Real Quality must be the source of the subjects and objects, the cone from which the tree must start.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
On the ride back across the gray plains, the young cowboy – he was just twenty – looked rather despondent. Goodnight ignored his despondence for a while, then got tired of it. What did a healthy sprout of twenty have to be despondent about? “What’s made you look so peaked, J.D.?” Goodnight inquired. “Why, it’s Captain Call, I guess,” the young cowboy said. He was glad to talk about it, to get his dark feelings out. “What about Captain Call?” Goodnight asked. “Why, wasn’t he a great Ranger?” the boy asked. “I’ve always heard he was the greatest Ranger of all.” “Yes, he had exceptional determination,” Goodnight told him. “Well, but now look… what’s he doing? Sharpening sickles in a dern barn!” J.D. exclaimed. Goodnight was silent for a bit. He wished his young cowboys would keep their minds on the stock, and not be worrying so about things they couldn’t change. “Woodrow Call had his time,” he said, finally. “It was a long time, too. Life’s but a knife edge, anyway. Sooner or later people slip and get cut.” “Well, you ain’t slipped,” J.D. Brown said. “How would you know, son?” Goodnight said.
Larry McMurtry
Me and Winder had fun, Mama! I know how to kill a pig, boil a pig, and scrape the hair off a pig.” Aletta winced, grateful she’d missed those particular lessons. She reached for a brush and began running it through his dark hair, making a mental note to give him a haircut soon. “Jake taught me,” he continued. “But we held the knife together because it was my first time. He says next time maybe I can do it by myself.” “Jake?” She paused, her grip tightening on the brush. Had Andrew overheard them downstairs just now? He nodded. “You know . . . the soldier.” “Andrew, you’re to call him Captain Winston. Either that or ‘sir.’ You know children aren’t to address adults by their Christian names.” “But he said I could. Today when we were eatin’ lunch.” “And I’m saying that you can’t. Is that understood?” He looked at her for a moment then gave a begrudging nod. “He showed me how to build a fire too. And how to sharpen a knife. He knows how to do lots of fun stuff.” Grateful for the Captain’s attentiveness to her son, Aletta also felt a possessiveness rising inside her. Warren should still be here. Should be the one teaching him all those things. Not a total stranger. And yet Captain Winston was hardly a total stranger.
Tamera Alexander (Christmas at Carnton (Carnton #0.5))
Unmask that face Let me see what lies beneath Unmask that face Let me see what’s not on the surface I no longer believe the smile on that face Hidden motives is all I see I no longer believe the sweetness of words A backstabber is all I see Dare to show your real face As coward is that masked face Dare to flaunt the inner you As respect, you might get Sharpen your knife Stab me in the chest I will admire you For not stabbing me in the back Unmask that face Let me see what lies beneath Unmask that face Let me see what’s not on the surface
Shreya Naik
When are you leaving?" "As soon as I can. I've waited for weather, I've gathered my information and regained my Skill. I've tightened my muscles and renewed some skill with a blade. So much time I had to waste." "Sharpening your knife is never a waste of time. You've finally learned that. Not an apprentice any longer, nor even a journeyman. This makes you a master.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Quest (The Fitz and the Fool, #2))
Emeline...?" Her mother's voice was no longer a rasp, but a soft, quivering thing. Emeline spun to find the Vile behind her, glimmering like a mirage. The air shone, delicate as a cobweb, then changed. Like a butterfly abandoning its chrysalis, the Vile before her fell away, until a monster stood before Emeline no longer. In the monster's place was a middle-aged woman, beautiful as the moon. Her raven-dark hair fell in waves around her shoulders, her eyes were the bright blue of robins' eggs, and down her body spilled a silk dress the color of storm clouds. Emeline let out a shaky breath. "Mama?" Rose Lark dropped the knife and the sharpening stone. They hit the soft earth with a thud. The roots of the cavern immediately grew over them, pulling both blade and stone deep into the earth where they couldn't be retrieved. Staring at her daughter, Rose took a hesitant step before lifting shaky fingers to Emeline's face. "I'm so sorry," she whispered as tears trembled down her pale cheeks. Emeline shook her head furiously, reaching for her. "It wasn't your fault." She wrapped her arms around her mother's frail shoulders, pulling her close. Her hair smelled sweet, like rosewater. Her thin body shook like a sapling in a gale. Weeping, Rose held her daughter tightly, as if, this time, she didn't intend to let go.
Kristen Ciccarelli (Edgewood)
I found Ruadan in his room, engaging in his favorite, super pro-social activity: knife-sharpening. His blade glinted, and he didn’t even bother to look up at me as I crossed into the room.
C.N. Crawford (Court of Shadows (Institute of the Shadow Fae, #1))
Jude felt - well, if she were honest with herself, Jude would say she felt akin to the knife she held. It was a simple kitchen knife, one of a set, but it had a honed sharpness that Jude liked and a clean steel blade. The wood fit perfectly into the curve of her hand, and when she used it, it felt like an extension of her arm. When she sharpened it, she was sharpening her own self. Back and forth, back and forth, grinding down on the whetstone until they were both sharp enough to cleave and cut and slice.
Yah-Yah Scholfield (On Sundays, She Picked Flowers)
As opposed to really listening, you tend to be always sharpening your knife, thinking how to prove your point; why you’re right,
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
Let me explain a little: Certain things are bad so far as they go, such as pain, and no one, not even a lunatic, calls a toothache good in itself; but a knife which cuts clumsily and with difficulty is called a bad knife, which it certainly is not. It is only not so good as other knives to which men have grown accustomed. A knife is never bad except on such rare occasions as that in which it is neatly and scientifically planted in the middle of one’s back. The coarsest and bluntest knife which ever broke a pencil into pieces instead of sharpening it is a good thing in so far as it is a knife. It would have appeared a miracle in the Stone Age. What we call a bad knife is a good knife not good enough for us; what we call a bad hat is a good hat not good enough for us; what we call bad cookery is good cookery not good enough for us; what we call a bad civilisation is a good civilisation not good enough for us. We choose to call the great mass of the history of mankind bad, not because it is bad, but because we are better. This is palpably an unfair principle. Ivory may not be so white as snow, but the whole Arctic continent does not make ivory black. Now it has appeared to me unfair that humanity should be engaged perpetually in calling all those things bad which have been good enough to make other things better, in everlastingly kicking down the ladder by which it has climbed. It has appeared to me that progress should be something else besides a continual parricide; therefore I have investigated the dust-heaps of humanity, and found a treasure in all of them. I have found that humanity is not incidentally engaged, but eternally and systematically engaged, in throwing gold into the gutter and diamonds into the sea.
G.K. Chesterton (The Defendant)
Before we dive into specific examples, let’s first look at a simple, four-step, codified breakdown for a typical infomercial pitch: 1. The Problem: Here’s the problem you’re experiencing today, based on your status quo state or the solution you’re already using. This is where the tension is created. Where they “cut you” and get you to see you are bleeding (as we discussed in chapter 4)! In some cases, this pain might be top of mind, or it might be hidden, latent, or even something you may not think about all that often. This is also a perfect place to call out the enemy you identified earlier in this chapter. For example, if this were an infomercial for a set of space-aged kitchen knives that never need sharpening, the narrative might begin with a poor fool trying to cut a red, ripe tomato with an old, dull knife. As the grainy black-and-white footage rolls, the unsuspecting subject squashes the tomato with their sub-par knife, sending seeds and tomato flesh flying in all directions (and ruining the white suit they were wearing for some reason). Tension is created as the viewer starts to see themselves as the subject or hero of this story. 2. The Ideal Solution: Here’s the ideal solution to the problem. While not always top of mind, people often know the solutions to problems but see them as requiring too much effort and cost. In other words, spending money or investing time doing something our hero doesn’t want to do can usually solve the problem. This is where that solution is positioned. For example, the ideal solution to our dull knife problem is to go to a fancy kitchen store and purchase some top-of-the-line Japanese hand-forged steel knives. In a business context, many problems can be solved by throwing tons of time, money, and both human and technical resources at a them. 3. The Problem with That Ideal Solution: This is what makes that ideal solution difficult or less desirable. Here, you are creating contrast between where your hero is today and where they need to get to—a large gap they need to overcome. In doing this you are positioning the ideal solution as something they don’t want to or can’t make happen. For example, you could go to the kitchen store and buy those fancy knives, but they cost hundreds of dollars that you would rather not spend. The same goes for the massive business resource splurge suggested in the previous step. 4. Enter Our Solution: The stunning climax! Here’s how investing in our product, service, or solution can help you overcome the problem and pain you’re experiencing, while at the same time circumventing the challenges associated with the ideal solution.
David Priemer (Sell the Way You Buy: A Modern Approach To Sales That Actually Works (Even On You!))
I am like the pencil I constantly sharpen with a knife; I am just a dull nub of the person I was.
Robert Dugoni (The World Played Chess)
Elric spoke a mighty sermon, while Magre started the fire in his pit. Elric expounded, recited Scripture and sang the glories of the Faith. When he came to an end and declared his final ‘Hallelujah!’, Magre gave him a stoup of ale to ease his throat. Sharpening a knife he complimented Elric upon the fervour of his rhetoric. Then he smote off Elric’s head, cut, drew, spitted, cooked and devoured the sanctified morsel with a garnish of leeks and cabbages.
Jack Vance (The Complete Lyonesse (Lyonesse, #1, #2 and #3))
He kept thinking about Uncle Austin, how he taught him to build a fire in the rain, to sharpen a knife, to regard ten cords of wood as money in the bank, to read the wind and tides with intention, to catch a fish, to build a snare, to live off the land and sea and not just survive, but thrive; to know a thousand things with animal senses—to be smart, strong, sensual, alive, more alive than you’ll ever be indoors.
Kim Heacox (Jimmy Bluefeather)
I’ve come to consider the principles of nature: It’s a quiet place, where you can observe the influences of the environment. Wild animals, for example, sleep differently from domesticated animals. This can be a good lesson. Or take the wild rooster: Its eyes are quick, its tail feathers sparse, its wings strong, and its call short. It can run fast and fly far. What do these characteristics come from? I’ve made this a lesson for myself. Domesticated roosters and wild roosters come from the same species, but the domesticated rooster’s wings are weak, its call long, its tail feathers lush and ungainly, its behavior different from that of the wild rooster. The wild rooster is the way it is because it can’t afford to let down its guard. It always has to be on the alert because danger is ever-present in the forest. If the wild rooster went around acting like a domestic rooster, the cobras and mongooses would make a meal of it in no time. So when it eats, sleeps, opens and closes its eyes, the wild rooster has to be strong and resilient in order to stay alive. So it is with us. If we spend all our time wallowing around in companionship, we’re like a knife or a hoe stuck down into the dirt: It’ll rust easily. But if it’s constantly sharpened on a stone or a file, rust won’t have a chance to take hold. Thus we should learn to be always on the alert. This is why I like to stay in the forest. I benefit from it and learn many lessons.
Ajaan Lee (The Autobiography of Phra Ajaan Lee)
All of us kids walked home for lunch, anxious to see our moms and grandmas. Lunch would be waiting and the television, which I so loved, was always set to “The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show.” When he signed off with “God bless your pea-picking hearts!” I was out the door and back to my friends for the walk back to school. A better place to raise a family could never have been found. The milkman delivered quite a few quart glass bottles with the cream for coffee floating on top. A Wonder Bread delivery man lived next door. He delivered only to stores, but would bring us cute miniature loaves of bread once in a while. The scissors and knife sharpener man made his rounds. Grandma loved to work with sharp scissors and admonished us, “Don’t ever cut paper with my shears, it dulls the blades.” I felt sorry for the poor Fuller Brush man since my Mom never would buy anything, but she’d take the free samples. Maybe he just liked talking to my Mom who loved to talk. My favorite was the Good Humor ice cream truck, of course.
Carol Ann P. Cote (Downstairs ~ Upstairs: The Seamstress, The Butler, The "Nomad Diplomats" and Me -- A Dual Memoir)
Mark Bittman is the New York Times’s “minimalist cook” and author, whose books include: How to Cook Everything, The VB6 Cookbook, and The Food Matters Cookbook. Bittman says you can do virtually all the cooking you need to with just these cooking supplies. 6 Use this list as your guide when minimizing your kitchen: eight-inch, plastic-handle stainless alloy chef’s knife instant-read thermometer three stainless steel bowls sturdy pair of tongs sturdy sheet pan plastic cutting board paring knife can opener vegetable peeler colander small, medium, and large cast-aluminum saucepans medium nonstick cast-aluminum pan large steep-sided, heavier-duty steel pan skimmer slotted spoon heat-resistant rubber spatula bread knife big whisk food processor salad spinner Microplane grater coffee and spice grinder blender knife sharpener
Joshua Becker (The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life)
RELATIVE DIFFICULTY OF KNIFE-BASED ACTIVITIES FROM EASIEST TO MOST DIFFICULT, WITH SHARPENING A PENCIL REPRESENTING THE MEDIAN If you can REACH FOR A KNIFE then you can PICK UP A KNIFE If you can PICK UP A KNIFE then you can DIP A KNIFE IN A BATHTUB If you can DIP A KNIFE IN A BATHTUB then you can SMEAR JELLY WITH A KNIFE If you can SMEAR JELLY WITH A KNIFE then you can CUT A LOAF OF BREAD WITH A BREAD KNIFE If you can CUT A LOAF OF BREAD WITH A BREAD KNIFE then you can CUT A STEAK WITH A STEAK KNIFE If you can CUT A STEAK WITH A STEAK KNIFE then you can CARVE A TURKEY WITH A CARVING KNIFE If you can CARVE A TURKEY WITH A CARVING KNIFE then you can CARVE A TOTEM POLE WITH A CHAINSAW If you can CARVE A TOTEM POLE WITH A CHAINSAW then you can SHARPEN A PENCIL WITH A POCKETKNIFE If you can SHARPEN A PENCIL WITH A POCKETKNIFE then you can WHITTLE A DUCK WITH A POCKETKNIFE If you can WHITTLE A DUCK WITH A POCKETKNIFE then you can SHAVE A THREAD WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR If you can SHAVE A THREAD WITH A STRAIGHT RAZOR then you can REMOVE A CORNEA WITH A SCALPEL If you can REMOVE A CORNEA WITH A SCALPEL then you can MAKE A LOT OF MONEY If you can MAKE A LOT OF MONEY then you can HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH YOUR SECRETARY If you can HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH YOUR SECRETARY then you can BE BLACKMAILED If you can BE BLACKMAILED then you can IMAGINE COMMITTING A CRIME If you can IMAGINE COMMITTING A CRIME then you can REACH FOR A KNIFE
David Rees (How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants)
Give your poison a voice. Listen to its monstrous head; let it vent- then cut it off 'with a sharpened knife. For everything, everyone- deserves a listening ear. But not everything requires more.
Sahndra Fon Dufe
The truth is: I want to hold your hands because they are like mine. Holding a knife by the blade and sharpening it.
Nicole Homer
When Sleep was about twenty, he fell under the spell of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values. This memoir-as-tutorial, which had been rejected by 121 publishers, is a strange but brilliant meditation on what it means to lead a life dedicated to “Quality.” Pirsig exalts people who care so intensely about the quality of their actions and decisions that even the most mundane work becomes a spiritual exercise—a reflection of inner traits such as patience, integrity, rationality, and serenity. Whether you’re mending a chair, sewing a dress, or sharpening a kitchen knife, he writes that there is “an ugly way of doing it” and “a high-quality, beautiful way of doing it.
William P. Green (Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World's Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life)
If I was washing out clothes in the basin or sharpening the point on my homemade knife, when the ants appeared, I stopped at once to give them my full attention. It would have been unthinkable to squander two activities on the same bit of time.
Corrie Ten Boom; Elizabeth Sherrill; John Sherrill;
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
THE GLANCE-OFF is even more important than the parry in causing deflection. The guarding positions of your hands and arms, and the hunched left shoulder in your normal punching stance were designed to give the upper portion of your body a wedgelike effect. That wedging of hands, arms, shoulder and forehead should enable you to (1) keep inside an opponent's attack as you step in to lead or to counter, and (2) cause most blows to glance off to the sides or up into the air. The glance-off is more dependable than the parry because there's more solidity, if necessary, in the glance-off 1 than in the parry. The reserve solidity is there only in case your glance-off has to be turned into a block. However, the less solid the glance-off, the less your own balance is disturbed. Your glance-off movements are not the solid, chopping movements of hand or arm blocks; they are lightning, knifing or sliding movements. They interfere little with your balance, but they spin your opponent slightly out of punching position. If you watch a professional fighter punch the light bag, you'll note that more than half his bag-work comprises a rhythmic tattoo achieved like this: straight left - backhand left - straight right - backhand right -straight left - etc. You may ask, "Why this backhand striking, when the backhand blow is illegal in boxing?" The answer to that is: He's sharpening his backhand for glance-offs and blocking. If you get a chance to use the light bag, spend half your time on that tattoo. A power-backhand for glancing and blocking is almost as useful for a fighter as is a good backhand for a tennis player.
Jack Dempsey (Toledo arts: championship fighting and agressive defence (Martial arts))
An engineer’s skills are like the blade of a knife: you may spend tens of thousands of dollars to find engineers with the sharpest skills for your team, but if you “use” that knife for years without sharpening it, you will wind up with a dull knife that is inefficient, and in some cases useless.
Brian W. Fitzpatrick (Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others)
Oblation "Your prayers are your light; Your devotion is your strength; Sleep is the enemy of both. Your life is the only opportunity that life can give you. If you ignore it, if you waste it, You will only turn to dust." - Rabi'a The terror that brings me to these words, The horror and sickness I feel that words Are not enough, the sin I make in speaking, How can I rail against the pain without Pain itself balling in the gut and forcing itself through my throat? I’d fly in the wind And merge with its velocity, drive my car At the edge of the cliff and go over its rim, If I thought I’d come closer to the pain That they felt. The suffering of the child In the suburban home, the tear in the eye Of women and infants gathering food from ruins, Can I sharpen the edge of my knife On the rocks that smoke on the horizon, Rasp its teeth on the steel girders And console the sting of death? Let me bring these sparks of confusion to the altar, Set them on the pyre and merge into the light. Then, then, will I find what I am looking for? Find reality beyond time, the oneness that animates All life, pulls together these fragments and ties The knots in my muscles? I have nothing to offer On the altar but this flesh, this desire of desire, The lie and the fear that the flesh bears. Then, then, will I find what I am looking for? Find reality beyond time, the oneness that animates All life, pulls together these fragments and ties The knots in my muscles? I have nothing to offer On the altar but this flesh, this desire of desire, The lie and the fear that the flesh bears.
Charles David Miller
Mein Herr? For a brief moment, those blue-white eyes regain some color, the only color in this gray world. Blue and green, like the gems on the ring about his finger. Mismatched eyes. Human eyes. The eyes of my immortal beloved. Elisabeth, he says, and his lips move painfully around a mouth full of sharpened teeth, like the fangs of some horrifying beast. Despite the fear knifing my veins, my heart grows soft with pity. With tenderness. I reach for my Goblin King, longing to touch him, to hold his face in my hands the way I had done when I was his bride. Mein Herr. My hands lift to stroke his cheek, but he shakes his head, batting my fingers away. I am not he, he says, and an ominous growl laces his words as his eyes return to that eerie blue-white. He that you love is gone. Then who are you? I ask. His nostrils flare and shadows deepen around us, giving shape to the world. He swirls a cloak about him as a dark forest comes into view, growing from the mist. I am the Lord of Mischief and the Ruler Underground. His lips stretch thin over that dangerous mouth in a leering smile. I am death and doom and Der Erlkönig. No! I cry, reading for him again. No, you are he that I love, a king with music in his soul and a prayer in his heart. You are a scholar, a philosopher, and my own austere young man. Is that so? The corrupted Goblin King runs a tongue over his gleaming teeth, those pale eyes devouring me as though I were a sumptuous treat to be savored. Then prove it. Call him by name. A jolt sings through me- guilt and fear and desire altogether. His name, a name, the only link my austere young man has to the world above, the one thing he could not give me. Der Erlkönig throws his head back in a laugh. You do not even know your beloved's name, maiden? How can you possibly call it love when you walked away, when you abandoned him and all that he fought for? I shall find it, I say fiercely. I shall call him by name and bring him home. Malice lights those otherworldly eyes, and despite the monstrous markings and horns and fangs and fur that claim the Goblin King's comely form, he turns seductive, sly. Come, brave maiden, he purrs. Come, join me and be my bride once more, for it was not your austere young man who showed you the dark delights of the Underground and the flesh. It was I.
S. Jae-Jones (Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2))