Ledge Quotes

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

We only came close to dying six or seven times, which I thought was pretty good. Once, I lost my grip and found myself dangling by one hand from a ledge fifty feet above the rocky surf. But I found another handhold and kept climbing. A minute later Annabeth hit a slippery patch of moss and her foot slipped. Fortunately, she found something else to put it against. Unfortunately, that something was my face. "Sorry," she murrmured. "S'okay," I grunted, though I'd never really wanted to know what Annabeth's sneaker tasted like.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
There once was a girl who found herself dead. She peered over the ledge of heaven and saw that back on earth her sister missed her too much, was way too sad, so she crossed some paths that would not have crossed, took some moments in her hand shook them up and spilled them like dice over the living world. It worked. The boy with the guitar collided with her sister. "There you go, Len," she whispered. "The rest is up to you.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Percy, let me go" she croaked. "You can't pull me up." His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless. "Never," he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?" Nico's eyes widened. "But-" "Lead them!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!" "I-I will." Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess. Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. "We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together," she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Ebb I know what my heart is like Since your love died: It is like a hollow ledge Holding a little pool Left there by the tide, A little tepid pool, Drying inward from the edge.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Second April)
Overcome your guilt. Care, but not too much. Take responsibility, but don't blame yourself. Protect, save, help- but know when to give up. They're precarious ledges to walk. How do I do it?
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
You need shoving, not pushing. You need to jump back on that camel. Otherwise you’re going to stay up on the ledge you’ve made for yourself.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Life balances itself on a precarious ledge, we can stay safe up high or propel off the edge.
Tarryn Fisher (The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies, #1))
The moments that define lives aren't always obvious. They don't scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there's no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren't always protracted, heavy with meaning. Between one sip and the next, Victor made the biggest mistake of his life, and it was made of nothing more than one line. Three small words. "I'll go first.
Victoria Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
Nudge threw her arms around my neck. 'I love you Max! I love all of us too!' Yeah, me too,' Said the Gasman. 'I don't care if we have our house, or a cliff ledge, or a cardboard box. Home is wherever we all are, together.
James Patterson
Let’s go. Let’s count for something. Let’s get off that ledge.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
We were engaged in a very intricate dance of touching without touching, knowing without saying, and feeling without expressing. We were friends walking along a ledge, a very thin ledge - and I was too caught up in my heightened awareness of his existence to realize how close the ledge was to crumbling beneath my feet.
Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
I just can't fathom why anyone would stand on a ledge when there's a respectable amount of walking space right next to it.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
There was something unfamiliar about him. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
I don't care if we have our house, or a cliff ledge, or a cardboard box. Home is wherever we all are, together,
James Patterson
Because you smiled at me.” “What?” “You asked why I wanted to do this with you. It’s not because you were up on the ledge too, even though, okay, that’s part of it. It’s not because I feel this weird responsibility to keep an eye on you, which is also part of it. It’s because you smiled at me that day in class. A real smile, not the bullshit one I see you give everyone all the time where your eyes are doing one thing and your mouth is doing another.” “It was just a smile.” “Maybe to you.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Maybe all you need to pull you back form the ledge is to know someone would miss you if you fell.
Leah Raeder (Black Iris)
So . . . what is this fire river called?” “The Phlegethon,” [Annabeth] said. “You should concentrate on going down.” “The Phlegethon?” [Percy] shinnied along the ledge. They’d made it roughly a third of the way down the cliff—still high enough up to die if they fell. “Sounds like a marathon for hawking spitballs.” “Please don’t make me laugh,” she said. “Just trying to keep things light.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Simon, don’t you think I’m scared of that too? You’re not the only one on that ledge. If we jump, we jump together. We fall together.
Cassandra Clare (Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6))
And now - Plato's words mock me in the shadows on the ledge behind the flames: '...the men of the cave would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
I can't take not knowing what the next day will bring- the uncertainty is sawing me in two. The room is dark. A flickering candle burns on the window ledge a few feet away. I take a deep breath, which is to say, as deep a breath as I can take. "Are you okay?" Sarah asks. I wrap my arms around her. "I miss you," I say. "You miss me? But I'm right here." "That's the worst way to miss somebody. When they' re right beside you and you miss them anyway.
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
The moments that define lives aren't always obvious. They don't always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there's no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren't always protracted, heavy with meaning.
Victoria Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once. Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
The rich people not only had all the money, they had all the chance to get more; they had all the know-ledge and the power, and so the poor man was down, and he had to stay down.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
There were no clues left by the murderer inside the judge’s chambers. No fingerprints. Nothing. The only thing found that was out of the ordinary was a single strand of long auburn hair on the window ledge. A single strand of hair from an unknown female. All dead ends. From my initial perspective, the police were as thorough as they could have been.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge (Jack Ludefance, #3))
Easy climb, Kurokuma. You do it easily.' 'Not on your life,' Horace said... 'That's what we have Rangers for. They climb up sheer rock walls and crawl along narrow, slippery ledges. I'm a trained warrior, and I'm far to valuable to risk such shenanigans.' 'We're not valuable?' Will said, feigning insult. Horace looked at him. 'We've got two of you. We can always afford to lose one,' he said firmly.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
What is a friend? We probably all have our own definitions. For me, it's someone I don't feel alone with. Who doesn't bore me. Whose life I connect with and who takes reciprocal interest in my life. It's someone I feel comfortable turning to when I need to be talked off the ledge, and for whom I am glad to return the favor. Just a few people in my life fit that bill.
Sophia Dembling (The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World)
We only came close to dying six or seven times, which I thought was pretty good. Once, I lost my grip and found myself dangling by one hand from a ledge fifty feet above the rocky surf. But I found another handhold and kept climbing. A minute later Annabeth hit a slippery patch of moss and her foot slipped. Fortunately, she found something else to put it against. Unfortunately, that something was mt face. "Sorry," she murmured. "S'okay," I grunted, though I'd never really wanted to know what Annabeth's sneaker tasted like.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
This is what you do. If you feel low, you stand tall. You mess up, you move on. You want to try something, try it, and if it was a stupid thing to try, you look it in the eye. There's no turning back. You apologize if you're sorry, but know that the nimblest, strongest hands can't rebuild a bridge out of embers, so cut new wood. Start from scratch. You love with your whole heart. If you're jealous, talk yourself from the ledge. If you can't talk yourself down from the ledge, have a good time up there, looking down on the world. If you have to lie to make everything true again, lie like you mean it. If you find yourself in a cage, reach out through the bars for the key, unlock the door, and run away. If running away gets dangerous, run home. If home doesn't mean what it used to mean, decide what home will be in the future. If your best friend says she doesn't trust you, hold her jaw in your hand until it hurts, and make her face you. Thats all it takes. If you think you love a guy, see how his hand looks in yours, thats all it takes. If you get exiled into a new land, then go discover it. And if you feel like you're drowning, go swimming.
Hobson Brown
Oh how Shakespeare would have loved cinema!
Derek Jarman (Dancing Ledge)
Bet you can't even name one romantic movie you like," she teased. She felt smug when a few minutes went by and Oliver was still unable to name one romantic movie he could profess to enjoy. The Empire Strikes Back," Oliver finally declared, tapping his horn at a Prius that wandered over the line. The Empire Strikes Back? The Star Wars movie? That's not romantic!" Schuyler huffed, fiddling with the air conditioner controls. Au contraire, my dear, it's very romantic. The last scene, you know, when they're about to put Han in that freezing cryogenic chamber or whatever? Remember?" Schuyler mmm-hmmmed. And Leia leans over the ledge and says, 'I love you.'" That's cheesy, not romatic," Schuyler argued, although she did like that part. Let me explain. What's romantic is what Han says back. Remember what he says to her? After she says 'I love you'?" Schuyler grinned. Maybe Oliver had a point. "Han says, 'I know.'" Exactly," Oliver tapped the wheel. "He doesn't have to say anything so trite as 'I love you." Because that's already understood. And that's romantic.
Melissa de la Cruz (Revelations (Blue Bloods, #3))
... to keep moving up ... , you have to abandon the security of that ledge and reach for another hold. Letting go of that sense of security.. is the challenge. ... think of yourself as climbing a ladder. To move to the next rung, you must give up your grip and reach for the next one.
Nick Vujicic (Life Without Limits)
Everyone around you is going to give you a gentle push now and then, but never hard enough because they don’t want to upset Poor Violet. You need shoving, not pushing. You need to jump back on that camel. Otherwise you’re going to stay up on the ledge you’ve made for yourself.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
We’re staying together,” he promised. “You’re not getting away from me. Never again.” Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. ”As long as we’re together,” she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. "We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together," she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far,f ar above-maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
He looks up and the loss in his Noise is so great it feels like I'm standing on the edge of an abyss, that I'm about to fall down into him, into blackness so empty and lonely there'd never be a way out. "Todd," I say again, a catch in my voice. "On the ledge, under the waterfall, do you remember what you said to me? Do you remember what you said to save me?" He's shaking his head slowly. "I've done terrible things, Viola. Terrible things-" "We all fall, you said." I'm gripping his hand now. "We all fall but that's not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
Don’t move. I like this ledge of loose diamonds waiting to be spilled into the night. Let’s shine awhile without touching. Sensuality is, after all, a river that is always waiting.
Tess Gallagher (Moon Crossing Bridge)
He smiled. "I suppose I thought we'd have a madly impractical, terrifyingly modern sort of marriage. One based on love. Not to mention dangerous undertakings and hair's-breadth escapes from burning buildings, high ledges and exploding sewers." "And bickering." "Always that, yes." "Assuming I want to marry at all." "True. I know of no good way of forcing you to do anything." "And you're mad enough to think it could work - one day?" He cupped her face in his hands. His smile was so brilliant it seemed to illuminate the room. "I think it would be heaven." She trembled, then. "You have a very strange idea of heaven." "Kiss me and see.
Y.S. Lee (The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3))
Who wants to go hunting?” Tsunami nearly shouted. “I know I do! Great idea, Tsunami! No arguing with the Head of School; off we go!” She shot off the ledge and whooshed away into the clouds. Carnelian snorted. “I guess that discussion is over,” she said.
Tui T. Sutherland (Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6))
We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be 'interesting' to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes some difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest's clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely... by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria — which is our actual experience.
Joan Didion
Adventures don't happen when you're worried about the future or tied down by the past. They only exist in the now. And they always,always come at the most unexpected time,in the least likely of packages. An adventure is an open window; and an adventurer is the person willing to crawl out on the ledge and leap.
Cora Carmack (Finding It (Losing It, #3))
Nobody, who looks at a shard of flint lying beneath a rock ledge, or who finds a splintered log by the side of the road would ever find magic in their solitude. But in the right circumstances, if you bring them together, you can start a fire that consumes the world.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
I look at the knife- Resting in a puddle of water- Near the ledge by the pulpit behind Aaron- Where I dropped it- And I hear it calling to me- Take me, it says- Take me and use me, it says- Aaron hold open his arms. "Murder me," he says. "Become a man." Never let me go says the knife
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
I didn't have any more time. Directly below the window was a thickly leafed bush of some sort. I couldn't see it clearly and only hoped it wasn't a rosebush or something equally sharp. A second floor drop wouldn't kill me, though. Probably wouldn't even hurt—much. I climbed over the ledge, briefly meeting Dimitri's gaze as the other Strigoi moved in on him. The words came to me again: Don't hesitate. Dimitri's important lesson. But it hadn't been his first one. His first had been about what to do if I was outnumbered and out of options: Run. Time for me to run. I leapt out the window. I think the profanities that came out of my mouth when I hit the ground would have been understandable in any language. It hurt.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I can walk into someone's house, kiss their wife, sit down at their table, and eat their dinner. I can lift a passport at an airport, and in twenty minutes it will seem like it's mine. I can be a blackbird staring in the window. I can be a cat creeping along a ledge. I can go anywhere I want and do the worst things I can imagine, with nothing to ever connect me to those crimes. Today I look like me, but tomorrow I could look like you. I could be you.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals from blown roses on the grass, Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes; Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies. Here are cool mosses deep, And thro' the moss the ivies creep, And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep, And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
Alfred Tennyson
Maybe this is not a come-down-from-the-ledge story. But I tell it with the thought that the woman on the ledge will ask herself a question, the question that occurred to that man in Bogota. He wondered how we know that what happens to us isn't good?
Amy Hempel
Standing Here My entire world far beneath my feet, I should be filled with pride. Instead, I feel overwhelmed by a sense of defeat. Suddenly it comes to me, toes tempted to test the ledge, that there is a way out of this. Clam surety flows through my veins, and as I turn to wave good-bye, I wonder if it will hurt or if a single person will cry at my funeral. I take a deep breath, a final taste of sweet mountain air. I conjure Leona, Emily. Move my feet closer. Closer There's Grandma One, Grandma Two, and their spouses, waiting for me. I see Dad. Cara. Mommy. I screw up my courage, step over
Ellen Hopkins (Impulse (Impulse, #1))
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex. There’s one thing we always have to do. Breathe. In and out, every single day in every hour minute and moment we must inhale whether we like it or not. Even as we plan to asphyxiate our hopes and dreams still we breathe. Even as we wither away and sell our dignity to the man on the corner we breathe. We breathe when we’re wrong, we breathe when we’re right, we breathe even as we slip off the ledge toward an early grave. It cannot be undone. So I breathe. I count all the steps I’ve climbed toward the noose hanging from the ceiling of my existence and I count out the number of times I’ve been stupid and I run out of numbers.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Aw, fudge,' floated down to me, as a couple of golden eyes peered over a third-floor window ledge. 'You're a freaking dhampir. Why are you reading Tolkien?' I shrugged, then had to dodge the potted geranium he threw at me. 'After five hundred years, you've read just about everything. Besides, he had hella world-building skills.
Karen Chance
Even though I knew she wasn't going to jump, seeing her standing on the ledge made me realize that I want and need her in my life forever. She challenges me, pushes me, and pisses me off, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Jessica Sorensen
Guilt isn't in cat vocabulary. They never suffer remorse for eating too much, sleeping too long or hogging the warmest cushion in the house. They welcome every pleasurable moment as it unravels and savour it to the full until a butterfly or falling leaf diverts their attention. They don't waste energy counting the number of calories they've consumed or the hours they've frittered away sunbathing. Cats don't beat themselves up about not working hard enough. They don't get up and go, they sit down and stay. For them, lethargy is an art form. From their vantage points on top of fences and window ledges, they see the treadmills of human obligations for what they are - a meaningless waste of nap time.
Helen Brown (Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family)
Most people on the ledge of a tall building were not afraid they'd fall; they were afraid they'd jump.
Lauren Alego
Celia laughs and a curl of her hair falls across her cheek. Marco tentatively moves to brush it off her face, but before his fingers reach her, she pushes herself off the ledge, her silver gown a billowing cloud as she falls onto the pile of jewel-toned cushions.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
If time could run backward, like a film in reverse, we would see this mess reassemble itself into lush green hills and moss-covered ledges of limestone. The streams would run back up the hills to the springs and the salt would stay glittering in underground rooms.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
Where was it that I read about a man condemned to death saying or thinking, an hour before his death, that if he had to live somewhere high up on a cliffside, on a ledge so narrow that there was room only for his two feet - and with the abyss, the ocean, eternal darkness, eternal solitude, eternal storm all around him - and had to stay like that, on a square foot of space, an entire lifetime, a thousand years, an eternity - it would be better to live so than die right now! Only to live, to live, to live! To live, no matter how - only to live! ...How true! Lord, how true! Man is a scoundrel! And he's a scoundrel who calls him a scoundrel for that.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river? Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air - An armful of white blossoms, A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies, Biting the air with its black beak? Did you hear it, fluting and whistling A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall Knifing down the black ledges? And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds - A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river? And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for? And have you changed your life?
Mary Oliver (Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
There is genuine joy in being alone in the dark inside your own head with no outside distractions, where you can scramble from ledge to rocky ledge, hallooing happily in a vast, echoing cave; climbing hand over hand from ledge to ledge of facts and memories, picking up old gems and new: examining, comparing, putting them down again and reaching for the next.
Alan Bradley (As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7))
Life is capricious; one moment you're high on a mountain peak with flag in hand, the next you're clinging to an icy ledge by your fingertips.
Kevin Ansbro
I have been attacked by crows and men with grotesque faces; I have been set on fire by the boy who almost threw me off a ledge; I have almost drowned - twice - and this> is what I can't cope with? This is the fear I have no solutions for - a boy I like, who wants to...have sex with me?
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Our rocky ledge overlooking the valley. Perhaps a little less green than usual, but the blackberry bushes hang heavy with fruit. Here began countless days of hunting and snaring, fishing and gathering, roaming together through the woods, unloading our thoughts while we filled our game bags. This was the doorway to both sustenance and sanity. And we were each other's key.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Are you going to suggest I kiss you for good luck or strength or whatever it is your sex demon needs?" - William That earned the warrior a two-fingered salute. "So that's a no?" William asked. Paris worked his jaw. "Here, let me help you off the cliff to the drawbridge." With no more warning, he shoved William over the ledge. He thought he heard a fading, "So not cool," from the bastard as he fell...fell.. Splat. Paris worked
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, #9))
Soon they were all sitting on the rocky ledge, which was still warm, watching the sun go down into the lake. It was the most beautiful evening, with the lake as blue as a cornflower and the sky flecked with rosy clouds. They held their hard-boiled eggs in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other, munching happily. There was a dish of salt for everyone to dip their eggs into. ‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.
Enid Blyton (Five Go Off in a Caravan (Famous Five, #5))
If a man knew enough he could write a whole book about the juniper tree. Not juniper trees in general but that one particular juniper tree which grows from a ledge of naked sandstone near the old entrance to Arches National Monument.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
On that ledge in the blackness, she'd truly recognized for the first time in her life that some creatures who went bump in the night might hate that they did.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
I’ll call you guys so you can talk me down from my gay-men-who-fall-for-breeders ledge.
S.E. Culpepper (Private Eye (Liaisons #1))
With meditation I found a ledge above the waterfall of my thoughts.
Mary Pipher (Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World)
The ledge isn't even wide enough for my feet to fit on completely. I hang onto the rail tightly and do a Casper does...leaning out slowly over the water. Like this, there is no safety. No rail to catch me if I slip. I'm almost flying. Between me and death, there is...nothing. Nothing in the way but my own decision to hang on.
Kelley York (Suicide Watch)
I’m somewhat disgusted at myself for thinking such dramatic, girlie thoughts. But I can’t help myself. He rocks my world. You know how parents always say things like, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” Well, if Carter jumped off a cliff, I wouldn’t just jump off after him. I’d throw myself over the ledge and dive toward the earth below so I could catch up with him and hold his hand while we plummeted to our deaths. Yeah. I’m that much of a sicko.
Chelsea Fine (Sophie & Carter)
I think I've got a map in my car that wants to be used, and I think there are places we can go that need to be seen. Maybe no one else will ever visit them and appreciate them or take the time to think they're important, but maybe even the smallest places mean something....Let's go. Let's count for something. Let's get off that ledge.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Simon, don't you think I'm scared of that too? You're not the only one on that ledge. If we jump, we jump together. We fall together.
Cassandra Clare (Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6))
When someone is out on a ledge like that, especially when you're the one that coaxed them out there in the first place, you don't dare do anything to unbalance them.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
We breathe when we're wrong, we breathe when we're right, we breathe even as we slip off the ledge toward an early grave. It cannot be undone. So I breathe.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
He woke early the next morning. It was still cool, but he opened the window and, leaning on the ledge, looked down at the river. A ship slid by. Then another. Years later, in exile, he would watch the railway tracks from his hotel and it would sink a well in him, and he would taste the same calm water.
Rupert Thomson (The Five Gates of Hell)
Nico leaned over the edge o the chasm, thrusting out his hand, but he was much too far away to help. Hazel was yelling for the others, but even if they heard her over the chaos, they'd never make it in time. Annabeth's leg felt like it was pulling free of her body. Pain washed everything in red. The force of the Underworld tugged at her like dark gravity. She didn't have the strength to fight. She knew she was too far down to be saved. "Percy, let me go," she croaked. "You can't pull me up." His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless. "Never," he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico We'll see you there. Understand?" Nico's eyes widened. "But-" "Lead them there!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!" "I- will." Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess. Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never been more handsome. "We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A oneway trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together," she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
some like to imagine a cosmic mother watching through a spray of stars, mouthing 'yes, yes' as we toddle towards the light, biting her lip of we teeter at some ledge. longing to sweep us to her breast, she hopes for the best.
Tracy K. Smith (Life on Mars)
What must it be like for a suicide coming down from a high ledge? I'm sure it must be a very sane feeling. That's probably why they scream all the way down.
Stephen King (Rage)
Mira sat down on the rim of the fountain. The marble ledge was damp, and mist sprinkled her skin. Coins shimmered under the water like fish scales. She counted them, each one a wish, and wondered how love could be anything but good.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
He snatched up the reins again, holding her tight. There was nothing affectionate or remotely romantic about the gesture; it was desperation, like a man clinging to a ledge. "We run.
S.A. Chakraborty (The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1))
Forget boys and read a good book. Or study. When you're twenty-five and ranking in the big bucks, men will be falling all over you're a successful professional woman.
Stephie Davis (Putting Boys on the Ledge (The Girlfriend's Guide to Boys, #1))
I nudged myself closer to the ledge and closed my eyes and thought 'Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space,' and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying, 'When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.' The saying made my hair stand on end; it had been such cute poetry sitting on Alvah's straw mats.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
You’re not the only one on that ledge. If we jump, we jump together. We fall together.
Cassandra Clare (Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from Shadowhunter Academy, #6))
Ars Poetica A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit, Dumb As old medallions to the thumb, Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown— A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds. A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs, Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind— A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs. A poem should be equal to: Not true. For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea— A poem should not mean But be.
Archibald MacLeish (Collected Poems, 1917-1982)
It is only when our fate hangs in the balance, when our very life depends on something, that we see whether or not we trust that the rope to which we are clinging will support us. If we do not, then we let of of the ledge and swing on it with our full weight.
Margaret George (The Memoirs of Cleopatra)
Why do you do up your hair in those tortured plaits, now, Melanie? Why? Because, she said. You know that's no answer. You're spoiling your pretty looks, pet. Come here. She did not move. He ground out his cigarette on the window-ledge and laughed. Come here, he said again, softly. So she went.
Angela Carter
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
yoga soul today. instant resonation. Spring Somewhere a black bear has just risen from sleep and is staring down the mountain. All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness of early spring I think of her, her four black fists flicking the gravel, her tongue like a red fire touching the grass, the cold water. There is only one question: how to love this world. I think of her rising like a black and leafy ledge to sharpen her claws against the silence of the trees. Whatever else my life is with its poems and its music and its cities, it is also this dazzling darkness coming down the mountain, breathing and tasting; all day I think of her – her white teeth, her wordlessness, her perfect love.
Mary Oliver
The Surprise Attack. This is when you think someone scaring you will frighten the hiccups away. Of course, popping a paper bag behind you or clapping in your ear isn’t going to cut it. No, this only works when somebody shoves you off a tall skyscraper ledge into a properly rigged-up safety net forty stories below.
Neil Pasricha (The Book of (Even More) Awesome)
I met you at the cornerstone on the highway to bedlam./Walked with you to the pinnacle, along that ledge to hell,/Traveled along the passageway of all things aching,/But would crawl with you if you wanted me to/On the steeple point to hope./So we can tip the stars and hold the moon,/Graze the sun, but make it soon.
Melina Marchetta (The Piper's Son)
I realize it’s not true that I’m no longer shy; I’ve just learned to talk myself down from the ledge
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He talks softly, patiently, as I sit on the window ledge and watch boats with colorful triangles for sails scratch the ocean.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
When you've lived as long as I have," he said, eyes heavy-lidded but definitely on her, "you learn to appreciate new sensations. They are rare in an immortal's life." She found she'd moved toward him. He hooked her arm around her waist, pulling her closer until she straddled him as he sat on a ledge below the waterline, her legs wrapped around his waist. He settled her firmly against him. Sucking in a breath, she said, "Sex isn't new to you," and rocked her heat over the exquisite hardness of him. Good didn't begin to describe how it felt. How he felt. "No. But you are." "Never had a hunter before?" She grinned, nibbling on his lower lip. But he didn't smile. "I've never had Elena before." The words were husky, his eyes so intent she felt owned.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
He came back, sat on the ledge again, and handed her a glass. “You haven’t slept; you haven’t eaten.” “It goes with the territory.” The wine tasted like liquid gold. “Nonetheless, you worry me, Lieutenant.” “You worry too easily.” “I love you.” It flustered her to hear him say it in that lovely voice that hinted of Irish mists, to know that somehow, incredibly, it was true. Since she had no answer to give him, she frowned into her wine.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
Her endeavor was misguided and wrong and maybe plain crazy, akin to someone waking up one day and deciding he’s going to scale Kilimanjaro because he can’t stop imagining the view from the top, the picture so arresting and beautiful that it too soon delivers him to a precarious ledge, where he can no longer turn back. And while it’s easy to say this is a situation to be avoided, isn’t this what we also fear and crave simultaneously, that some internal force which defies understanding might remake us into the people we dream we are?
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
At that time, I well remember whatever could excite - certain accidents of the weather, for instance, were almost dreaded by me, because they woke the being I was always lulling, and stirred up a craving cry I could not satisfy. One night a thunder-storm broke; a sort of hurricane shook us in our beds: the Catholics rose in panic and prayed to their saints. As for me, the tempest took hold of me with tyranny: I was roughly roused and obliged to live. I got up and dressed myself, and creeping outside the basement close by my bed, sat on its ledge, with my feet on the roof of a lower adjoining building. It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch dark. Within the dormitory they gathered round the night-lamp in consternation, praying loud. I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying with the wild hour, black and full of thunder, pealing out such an ode as language never delivered to man - too terribly glorious, the spectacle of clouds, split and pierced by white and blinding bolts.
Charlotte Brontë
Yes, what's wooing?" Natalie asked. "It means making a guy realize how completely awesome you are, and that he will die a horrible, suffering death if he doesn't get you as his girlfriend within the next thirty seconds," Allie explained.
Stephanie Rowe (Putting Boys on the Ledge (The Girlfriend's Guide to Boys, #1))
One problem with agreeing to keep a secret is that it always starts off feeling like an easy, little decision. But it doesn't stay easy or little. it sits there like one of those jagged ledges hiding under the surface of the ocean at high tide—quietly waiting to rip everything apart if you forget, for even a second, it's there.
Cynthia Lord (Touch Blue)
So he found her. Most people would have said she was relaxed. But then, Roarke thought, most people didn’t really know and certainly didn’t understand Eve Dallas. He was more intimate with her, closer to her mind and heart than he had ever been with another. Yet there were still pockets of her he had yet to plumb. She was, always, a fascinating learning experience. She was naked, dipped to her chin in steamy water and perfumed bubbles. Her face was flushed from the heat, her eyes closed, but she wasn’t relaxed. He could see the tension in the hand that was fisted on the wide ledge of the tub, in the faint frown between her eyes. No, Eve was thinking, he mused.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
The sun is rising through a yellow, howling wind. Time for breakfast. Inside the trailer now, broiling bacon and frying eggs with good appetite, I hear the sand patter like rain against the metal walls and brush across the windowpanes. A fine silt accumulates beneath the door and on the window ledge. The trailer shakes in a sudden gust. All one to me -- sandstorm or sunshine I am content, so long as I have something to eat, good health, the earth to take my stand on, and light behind the eyes to see by.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
His father fell off a window-ledge. No wonder his mum had cheered up.
Nick Hornby (About a Boy)
This is one of my favorite moments: the seconds before the kiss. It's like dangling on a ledge with gravity pulling me forward and the wind daring me to let go and fly.
Katie McGarry (Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.1))
There once was a girl who found herself dead. She spent her days peering over the ledge of heaven, her chin in her palm. She was bored as a brick, hadn't adjusted yet to the slower pace of heavenly life. Her sister would look up at her and wave, and the dead girl would wave back but she was too far away for her sister to see. The dead girl thought her sister might be writing her notes, but it was too long a trip to make for a few scattered words here and there so she let them be. And then, one day, her earthbound sister finally realized she could hear music up there in heaven, so after that, everything her sister needed to tell her she did through her clarinet and each time she played, the dead girl jumped up (no matter what else she was doing), and danced.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Every woman’s body is an intimate landscape. The hills, the valleys, the narrow ledges, the riverbanks, the sudden eruptions of soft or crinkling hair. Here are the plains, the fine dry slopes. Here are the woods, here is the smooth path to the only door I wish to walk through. Eleanor’s body is the landscape of my true home.
Amy Bloom (White Houses)
The thing I don't say is: I want to stay alive. the reason I don't say it is because, given that fat folder in front of him, he'd never believe it. And here's something else he'd never believe--I'm fighting to be here in this [crappy], messed-up world. Standing on the ledge of the bell tower isn't about dying. It's about having control. It's about never going to sleep again.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Deep Song Belief is what buries us—that & the belief in belief— No longer do I trust liltlessness —leeward is the world's way—Go on plunge in —the lungs will let us float. Joy is the mile- high ledge the leap—a breath above the lip of the abandoned quarry—belief the dark the deep.
Kevin Young (Jelly Roll)
My grandmother lived a remarkable life. She watched her nation fall to pieces; and even when she became collateral damage, she believed in the power of the human spirit. She gave when she had nothing; she fought when she could barely stand; she clung to tomorrow when she couldn’t find footing on the rock ledge of yesterday. She was a chameleon, slipping into the personae of a privileged young girl, a frightened teen, a dreamy novelist, a proud prisoner, an army wife, a mother hen. She became whomever she needed to be to survive, but she never let anyone else define her. By anyone’s account, her existence had been full, rich, important—even if she chose not to shout about her past, but rather to keep it hidden. It had been nobody’s business but her own; it was still nobody’s business.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
Sally picked up her suitcase and began carrying it toward the open window. "Put the suitcase down, step away from it slowly, and nobody gets hurt," Jen ground out as she came out of the closet. "I'm sorry, Jen, but I can't let you leave. So I'll risk your wrath and do whatever it takes to keep your cranky, sulky, continually pissed off butt in Romania." Jen took a step towards Sally and the suitcase that was now teetering dangerously on the ledge of the open window. "Back the hell off, Jennifer Adams." Sally tilted the suitcase back as if to let it fall. Jen continued to take slow, measured steps towards Sally, thinking that her usually mild mannered friend wouldn't dare let go of the suitcase…She was wrong, so very wrong. Sally didn't just let go of the suitcase, she gave it a huge shove just as Jen lunged to grab it. Sally jumped back, slapping her hands over her mouth. She was nearly as surprised with herself as Jen was. "What…how… why," Jen sputtered as she stared at Sally incredulously. "You bitch," she finally managed to spit out.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
My foot slips on a narrow ledge; in that split second, as needles of fear pierce heart and temples, eternity intersects with present time. Thought and action are not different, and stone, air, ice, sun, fear, and self are one. What is exhilarating is to extend this acute awareness into ordinary moments, in the moment-by-moment experiencing of the lammergeier and the wolf, which, finding themselves at the center of things, have no need for any secret of true being. In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us…the present moment. The purpose of mediation practice is not enlightenment’ it is to pay attention even at unextraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing-but-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life.
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
William slapped him on the shoulder, sending Sex into rapturous convulsions. “Before we do this, I’ve got one question for you. And you can’t lie. This is too important.” A bit sick to his stomach at what such a debaucher could want to know, Paris cast his attention to the black-haired, blue-eyed he-devil. “Ask.” “Are you going to suggest I kiss you for good luck or strength or whatever it is your sex demon needs?” That earned the warrior a two-fingered salute. “So that’s a no?” William asked. Paris worked his jaw. “Here, let me help you off the cliff to the drawbridge.” With no more warning, he shoved William over the ledge. He thought he heard a fading, “ So not cool,” from the bastard as he fell…fell… Splat.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, #9))
In his mind he made himself get down off the ledge and go outside to help Dina with her bags, then to see if there was anything his mother needed; he spoke to the maid in complete sentences, and remembered to clean the dust from his own shoes when he came back inside. Naked in the dark, with the memory of the Hand's reptilian eyes, he realized that the ritualized world he had dismissed as feminine was in fact civilization.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
And always, in my pocket, in my skin, in the back of my mind, the hollowness where he used to be. The empty circle where my finger used to fit into the ring. The crimson flakes and ruby dust strewn across the ledges of my ribs.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
At the top of the cellar steps Broadman knelt down and fumbled in his tinderbox. It turned out to be damp. 'I'll kill that bloody cat,' he muttered, and groped for the spare box that was normally on the ledge by the door. It was missing. Broadman said a bad word. A lighted taper appeared in mid-air, right beside him. HERE, TAKE THIS. 'Thanks,' said Broadman. DON'T MENTION IT. Broadman went to throw the taper down the steps. His hand paused in mid-air. He looked at the taper, his brow furrowing. Then he turned around and held the taper up to illuminate the scene. It didn't shed much light, but it did give the darkness a shape . . . 'Oh, no—' he breathed. BUT YES, said Death.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1))
You can believe any insane, detrimental shit you want, but if you used reason to get there, I can reason you back out.  I can show you where you fucked up your chain of logic.  But there’s no way to “faith” you back from the ledge.
Noah Lugeons (Diatribes, Volume 1: 50 Essays From a Godless Misanthrope (The Scathing Atheist Presents))
All she had to do was stay where she was, go on as she was. But there was no Tatiana here. Tatiana remained with Alexander. Her arms were around him in Lake Ladoga, where she lay down with him every night. Her arms were holding him bleeding out into the Lake Ladoga ice. She could have let go of him then, could have given him to God; God was certainly calling for him. But she didn’t. And because she didn’t, she was here in America, sitting on the ledge of the rest of her life. It certainly felt that way, that seminal moment where she knew that whatever her decision, her life would take either one course or it would take another. One way the path was plain and vivid. And the other was black and fraught with doubt
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
She saw the deepness that was at the edge of France and it made the beach under her feel like a ledge on a cliff.
J.M. Ledgard (Submergence)
Careful,” Tam warned Marella. “She might toss you off this ledge.” “I might toss both of you,” Sophie told them.
Shannon Messenger (Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #6))
Ledge Birds that love high trees and winds and riding flailing branches hate ledges as gripless and narrow, so that a tail is not just no advantage but ridiculous, mashed vertical against the wall. You will have seen the way a bird who falls on skimpy places lifts into the air again in seconds -- a gift denied the rest of us when our portion isn't generous.
Kay Ryan (The Best of It: New and Selected Poems)
Find an emotional tether. Someone you trusted before and someone you can trust now. A person who can connect you to your past but can pilot you into the future. Someone who can pull you back from the ledge when you find it and from the dark when it finds you. Find that person, hold on tight, and don’t let go.
Nicole Williams (Collared)
Will you let me hold your hand as we outrun reason, brush past elephants, race up steps, tumble down hills, roll in the hay, leap over crumbling walkways, and dangle our legs over ledges?
Samantha Sotto
The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning.
V.E. Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
And then, every time I didn't see her, there was a fall involved. I thought about dancing on the fifth-floor ledge outside out apartment. Every train she wasn't on felt something like hitting the pavement from five floors up. So maybe my father was right about that. Maybe happiness and excitement really are dangerous things.
Catherine Ryan Hyde (Chasing Windmills)
blue-gold sky, fresh cloud, emerald-black mountain, trees on rocky ledges, on the summit, the tiny pin of a telephone tower-all brilliantly clear, in shadow and out. and on and through everything everywhere the sun shines without reservation (p. 97)
Barbara Blatner (The Still Position: A Verse Memoir of My Mother's Death)
I read about a man condemned to death saying or thinking, an hour before his death, that if he had to live somewhere high up on a cliffside, on a ledge so narrow that there was room only for his two feet- and with the abyss, the ocean, eternal darkness, eternal solitude, eternal storm all around him- and had to stay like that, on a square foot of space, an entire lifetime, a thousand years, an eternity- it would be better to live so than to die right now! Only to live, to live, to live! To live, no matter how- only to live!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Bwenawa brought my attention to two wooden planks raised about four feet above the ground. On the ledges were lagoon fish sliced open and lying in the sun, the carcasses just visible through an enveloping blizzard of flies. "You see, " said Bwenawa. "The water dries in the sun, leaving the salt. It's kang-kang [tasty]. We call it salt fish." "Ah," I said. "In my country we call it rotten fish.
J. Maarten Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific)
Of course it's a trap With her, it always is one Trappy McTrapface Britomartis jumped from the ledge and landed in a kneeling position, her skirts spread around her in a pool of netting. (She loves those dramatic entrances. She is such an anime-character wannabe.)
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
My Manager forced me to put my beetle in my own ear, a clear waste and an act that gave me nightmares: of a burning city through which giant carnivorous lizards prowled, eating survivors off of balconies. In one particularly vivid moment, I stood on a ledge as the jaws closed in, heat-swept, and tinged with the smell of rotting flesh. Beetles intended for the tough, tight minds of children should not be used by adults. We still remember a kinder, gentler world.
Jeff VanderMeer (The Third Bear)
At eighteen, in a dream, he saw himself plodding through jungles, chinning up the ledges of cliffs, wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood in him has forgotten those dreams. The peculiar thing about Everett Ruess was that he went out and did the things he dreamed about, not simply for a two-weeks’ vacation in the civilized and trimmed wonderlands, but for months and years in the very midst of wonder...
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
She wanted to touch him, to throw her arms around him — but something held her back. Maybe it was the fear that her arms would pass right through him, that she would have come all this way only to find a ghost after all. As though he’d been able to read her thoughts, he slowly angled toward her. He raised his hands and held his palms out to her. Isobel lifted her own hands to mirror his. He pressed their palms together, his fingers folding down to lace through hers. She felt a rush of warmth course through her, a relief as pure and sweet as spring rain. He was real. This was real. She had found him. She could touch him. She could feel him. Finally they were together. Finally, finally, they could forget this wasted world and go home. "I knew it wasn’t true," she whispered. "I knew you wouldn’t stop believing." He drew her close. Leaning into him, she felt him press his lips to her forehead in a kiss. As he spoke, the cool metal of his lip ring grazed her skin, causing a shudder to ripple through her. "You..." His voice, low and breathy, reverberated through her, down to the thin soles of her slippers. "You think you’re different," he said. She felt his hands tighten around hers, gripping hard, too hard. A streak of violet lightning split the sky, striking close behind them. The house, Isobel thought. It had been struck. She could hear it cracking apart. She looked for only a brief moment, long enough to watch it split open. "But you’re not," Varen said, calling her attention back to him. Isobel winced, her own hands surrendering under the suddenly crushing pressure of his hold. A face she did not recognize stared down at her, one twisted with anger — with hate. "You," he scarcely more than breathed, "are just like every. Body. Else." He moved so fast. Before she could register his words or the fact that she had once spoken them to him herself, he jerked her to one side. Isobel felt her feet part from the rocks. Weightlessness took hold of her as she swung out and over the ledge of the cliff. As he let her go. The wind whistled its high and lonely song in her ears. She fell away into the oblivion of the storm until she could no longer see the cliff — could no longer see him. Only the slip of the pink ribbon as it unraveled from her wrist, floating up and away from her and out of sight forever.
Kelly Creagh (Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2))
This is a book about fracture. About the experiences that make up a life. About the pieces of me. Delving into naked emotion is a terrifying proposition. Digging into our souls to look for answers that may not be there is a ledge most of us avoid. And yet, here I am.
Rachel Thompson (Broken Pieces)
illuminated where I stood so I could better see myself and the world around me, and then he took that light and held it out so I could see the footholds and ledges I would need to reclaim a productive life.
Gordon Livingston (Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now)
Franklin, I was absolutely terrified of having a child. Before I got pregnant, my visions of child rearing- reading stories about cabooses with smiley faces at bedtime, feeding glop into slack mouths- all seemed like pictures of someone else. I dreaded confrontation with what could prove a closed, stony nature, my own selfishness and lack of generosity, the thick tarry powers of my own resentment. However intrigued by a “turn of the page,” I was mortified by the prospect of becoming hopelessly trapped in someone else’s story. And I believe that this terror is precisely what must have snagged me, the way a ledge will tempt one to jump off. The very surmountability of the task, its very unattractiveness , was in the end what attracted me to it. (32)
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
I remember the years I had been too afraid to dream of sitting on the ledge of a humble yellow house, chatting with a family that wasn’t my own, chatting in a language that wasn’t my own, in a part of the world so far away from the one I grew up in and yet not that different.
Shivya Nath (The Shooting Star)
The worst is being alone and not having someone with whom I can share life, someone who sees the world from the same narrow ledge I'm standing on and who understands without always having to be explained to.
Nancy Bond (Country of Broken Stone)
I need you, Teft,” Kaladin said. “I said—” “Not your food. You. Your loyalty. Your allegiance.” The older man continued to eat. He didn’t have a slave brand, and neither did Rock. Kaladin didn’t know their stories. All he knew was that these two had helped when others hadn’t. They weren’t completely beaten down. “Teft—” Kaladin began. “I’ve given my loyalty before,” the man said. “Too many times now. Always works out the same.” “Your trust gets betrayed?” Kaladin asked softly. Teft snorted. “Storms, no. I betray it. You can’t depend on me, son. I belong here, as a bridgeman.” “I depended on you yesterday, and you impressed me.” “Fluke.” “I’ll judge that,” Kaladin said. “Teft, we’re all broken, in one way or another. Otherwise we wouldn’t be bridgemen. I’ve failed. My own brother died because of me.” “So why keep caring?” “It’s either that or give up and die.” “And if death is better?” It came back to this problem. This was why the bridgemen didn’t care if he helped the wounded or not. “Death isn’t better,” Kaladin said, looking Teft in the eyes. “Oh, it’s easy to say that now. But when you stand on the ledge and look down into that dark, endless pit, you change your mind. Just like Hobber did. Just like I’ve done.” He hesitated, seeing something in the older man’s eyes. “I think you’ve seen it too.” “Aye,” Teft said softly. “Aye, I have.” “So, are you with us in this thing?” Rock said, squatting down. Us? Kaladin thought, smiling faintly. Teft looked back and forth between the two of them. “I get to keep my food?” “Yes,” Kaladin said. Teft shrugged. “All right then, I guess. Can’t be any harder than sitting here and having a staring contest with mortality.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
I’m letting this Rebecca mystery make my mind run wild. Actually, my whole life feels like it’s running wild whereas only weeks before it was calm and uneventful. I’m standing on a high-rise ledge and walking the edge, and while there is fear and apprehension, there is also a high I can only call an adrenaline rush that I crave more and more each day.
Lisa Renee Jones (Being Me (Inside Out, #2))
Napier surfaced next to her and propped his arms on the ledge. "I meant to ask - can you swim?" "No," she said through chattering teeth, "Actually I can't." He cocked his head to the side and looked perplexed. "Your lips are blue." "I'm cold," she said curtly. "Want me to warm you up?" he asked, grinning. "I'd rather be cold," she snapped, hating him more by the second.
Emory Sharplin (Scrap)
I hate the dreadful hollow behind the little wood; Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood-read heath, The red-ribb'd ledges drip with a silent horror of blood And Echo there, whatever is ask'd her, answers "Death".
Agatha Christie (The Hollow (Hercule Poirot, #26))
Linda Hertney: It's like a final goodbye from Todd. (Linda = nut. Once claimed crow on ledge was reincarnation of her dead husband. Said she could telly by way crow's head was cocked disapprovingly at large lunch she was eating.)
George Saunders (Tenth of December)
Sometimes during the night, your father awakened. He rose from his bed, staggered across the room, and found the strength to raise the window sash. He called your mother's name with what little voice he had, and he called yours, too, and your brother, Joe. And he called for Mickey. At that moment, it seemed, his heart was spilling out, all the guilt and regret. Perhaps he felt the light of death approaching. Perhaps he only knew you were all out there somewhere, in the streets beneath his window. He bent over the ledge. The night was chilly. The wind and damp, in his state, were too much. He was dead before dawn.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
Listen,” I said, cool as a 911 operator talking someone down from a ledge, “you’re dead. I’m sorry about that, but I am not going to let you possess me. So follow the light, or go to the other side, or hang around your own house and haunt your accounting ledgers or something. You do not get to stay in my head.
Devon Monk (Magic in the Shadows (Allie Beckstrom, #3))
The bums were better dressed, younger, but just as listless. They sat around on the window ledges, hunched forward, getting warm in the sun and drinking the free coffee that W.F.I. offered. There was no cream and sugar, but it was free.
Charles Bukowski (Run With The Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader)
Now that music is faithfully reproducible, musicians are not needed as once they were. And music itself has changed. Though small cadres of classicists keep the sacred and ineffable alive, they are under siege by coarse generations whose music is hardly as musical as a bus engine or a chain saw. Something must have occurred during their mothers' pregnancies. How else is it possible to explain that playing Bach keeps them away from public spaces the way iron spikes drive pigeons from cathedral ledges?
Mark Helprin
Then I take a dump. Feel better. Take off my clothes and step into the pool. Ice water. But great. I walk along toward the deep end of the pool, the water rising inch by inch, chilling me. Then I plunge below the water. It's restful. The world doesn't know where I am. I come up, swim to the far edge, find the ledge, sit there. It must be about the 9th or 10th race. The horses are still running. I plunge again into the water, being aware of my stupid whiteness, of my age hanging onto me like a leech. Still, it's OK. I should have been dead 40 years ago. I rise to the top, swim to the far edge, get out.
Charles Bukowski (The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship)
There was something unfamiliar about him when he arrived in the Pig. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge. This wasn’t the Gansey she’d seen in the kitchen earlier; this was the Gansey she secretly called at night.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
The thing about hitting bottom is that, in the middle of it, sometimes you don’t know if you’re really hitting bottom or just bouncing off ledges on your way further down.
Frederick Weisel (Teller)
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth’s wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. “We’re staying together,” he promised. “You’re not getting away from me. Never again.” Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. “As long as we’re together,” she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far, far above—maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
I dreamt of turrets and craggy ledges where the windswept rain blew in from the ocean with the odor of violets. A pale woman in Elizabethan dress stood beside my bed and whispered in my ear that the bells would ring. An old salt in an oilcloth jacket sat atop a piling, mending nets with an awl, while far out at sea a tiny aeroplane winged its way towards the setting sun.
Alan Bradley (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1))
Are you still an android?” Cinder said around a bite of toast. “Sometimes I forget.” “Me too.” Iko ducked her head. “When we saw the feed of you jumping off that ledge, I was so scared I thought my wiring was going to catch fire. And I thought, I will do anything to make sure she’s all right.” She kicked at a pile of stray screws on the carpet. “I guess some programming never goes away, no matter how evolved a personality chip gets.” Licking some jam from her fingertips, Cinder grinned. “That’s not programming, you wing nut. That’s friendship.” Iko’s eyes brightened.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
When we discover that someone we trusted can be trusted no longer, it forces us to reexamine the universe, to question the whole instinct and concept of trust. For a while, we are thrust back onto some bleak, jutting ledge, in a dark pierced by sheets of fire, swept by sheets of rain, in a world before kinship, or naming, or tenderness exist; we are brought close to formlessness.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978)
On July 29, six days after I had arrived in Paris, Fin and I moved into the new lodgings on the top floor of the hotel next door, where, beyond the pigeons who occupied the window ledge, you could see the turrets of Notre Dame. The concierge told us not to feed the birds, but we gave them our stale bread just the same, and so our flock became a feathered multitude, pushing and shoving one another behind the cracked glass. In the afternoons the light seemed to have feathers in it.
Rebecca Stott (The Coral Thief)
She stopped over the ledge where he worked and she stood watching him openly. When he raised his head, she did not turn away. Her glance told him that she knew the meaning of her action, but did not respect him enough to conceal it. His glance told her only that he had expected her to come.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
With these surface waters, through a series of delicately adjusted, interlocking relationship, the life of all parts of the sea is linked. What happens to a diatom in the upper, sunlit strata of the sea may well determine what happens to a cod lying on a ledge of some rocky canyon a hundred fathoms below, or to a bed of multicolored, gorgeously plumed seaworms carpeting an underlying shoal. or to a prawn creeping over the soft oozes of the sea floor in the balckness of mile-deep water.
Rachel Carson (The Sea Around Us)
Where is it.. where is it I have read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him. If he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once. Only to live, to live and live. Life, whatever it may be, how true it is.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
My hand reaches for his eye. He does not pull away but breathes into my touch. His normal lid drifts closed, and beneath my fingertips the distended one throbs, as if the eye below is straining to see. In his heart there is a girl; she is me. No contract keeps her; she goes with him, she goes alone, precipice to precipice, on every ledge agreeing again to leap. She is with him, she has been with him, every minute. No one can know what we know. Just us. If you listen, you can hear it. In the wide sound of the rain-us.
Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
Do you ever wish people were more transparent?” “How so?” He picks at a piece of chipped stucco with his thumb until it breaks loose. He flicks it over the ledge. “I feel like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we’re all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us)
The voice was deep and quiet. In other circumstances it would even be described as soothing. There is, however, nothing soothing about being addressed by a disembodied voice out of nowhere, particularly when you are, like Zaphod Beeblebrox, not at your best and hanging from a ledge eight stories up a crashed building.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
Night. Heavenly delicious sweet night of the desert that calls all of us to love her. The night is our comfort with her coolness and darkness. On wings, on feet, on our bellies, out we all come to glory in the night.
Leslie Marmon Silko (The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir)
We have to emphasize to the gay community that opposition to same-sex marriages is not about hate, but about debate. Opposition to what some of us see as a devastating move that will further weaken the family and harm children--such opposition is not hateful. Morality is not bigotry. In their book The Homosexual Agenda, authors Alan Sears and Craig Osten give this illustration, which I've summarized: Imagine that you are standing at the bottom of a cliff and you are watching as someone on the ledge above you is walking backwards, and in a few steps he will surely fall over the precipice. You shout, warning him to stop, and before you know it, a crowd gathers around you, snapping your picture and accusing you of "hate speech." You are being warned to keep your prejudices to yourself. After all, who are you to tell someone where they can and can't walk? Who are you to say that someone can't walk backwards? You are dumbfounded, but there you are, the object of everyone's wrath.
Erwin W. Lutzer (The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Need to Know About What's Really at Stake)
Don't be afraid." And then we were gone. Weightless. The ground at my feet suddenly disappeared along with everything else. A scream lodged in my throat, coming out broken and pathetic. And then we were sitting on a wide ledge. High above Jackson Square. Christ, he'd blinked me to - I gazed above me. Not just a ledge. Oh God, oh God, oh God. "It helps if you breathe." "I think I might kill you," I said in a near whisper. Sebastian's shoulder bumped mine as he tried to hide a smile. "Well, you've got time, because we'll be up here for an hour or so before I have enough power again to get us down. I didn't think you'd be afraid of heights." I glared at him. "I'm not afraid of heights. I am, apparently, afraid of disappearing from solid ground and then reappearing on a ledge.
Kelly Keaton (A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters, #2))
I’ll cry if I want to. You will cease ordering me about!” He raised an eyebrow. “You dare to issue me orders?” She flushed, but at least she wasn’t crying any longer. “Now tell me about this brand on your thigh. Your father’s crest. I’d like to see it.” 176/756 She went crimson and she backed up a step until her back met with the ledge of the window. “I will not do something so indecent as to show you my leg!” “When we’re married, I’ll see more than that,” he said mildly. “Married? Married? I’m not marrying you, Laird. I’m not marrying anyone. Not yet anyway.
Maya Banks (In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1))
There’s a neon green post-it note stuck to the window ledge. It says DON’T EVEN TRY —R, in bold capital letters. Yeah, like I am going to listen to a sticky note from my captor. ... DON’T EVEN TRY, my ass. It must be Reece’s idea of a joke. Ha ha, so funny. It’s going to be even funnier when I kick him in the balls the next time I see him.
Rebecca Espinoza (Binds (Binds, #1))
Over her years of caring for unwanted animals, Lady Penelope Campion had learned a few things. Dogs barked; rabbits hopped. Hedgehogs curled up into pincushions. Cats plopped in the middle of the drawing room carpet and licked themselves in indelicate places. Confused parrots flew out open windows and settled on ledges just out of reach. And Penny leaned over window sashes in her nightdress to rescue them- even if it meant risking her own neck. She couldn't change her nature, any more than the lost, lonely, wounded, and abandoned creatures filling her house could change theirs.
Tessa Dare (The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3))
Statement of Being. There is one Mind, and I AM that Mind. That Mind is eternal, and it is Life. I am that Mind, and I am ETERNAL LIFE. That Mind knows no disease; I am that Mind, and I am HEALTH. That Mind is the source of all Power, and cannot know doubt nor fear; I am that M ind, and I am POW ER and PEACE. That M ind knows only Truth and knows ALL truth; I am that M ind, and I am KNOW LEDGE and WISDOM . All things created and uncreated, are in that Mind; I am that Mind, and I am WEALTH and PLENTY. I am the WAY, and the TRUTH, and the LIFE; the LIGHT in me shines out to bless the world.
Wallace D. Wattles (A New Christ: Jesus: The Man & His Works)
It was you,' I said, my words as new and uncertain as a baby's. I was sixteen and in my bedroom, and I shook my head in an attempt to unscramble my thoughts. 'Not the tongue. The fire.' I shut my eyes, then opened them to make sure I hadn't made this thing up. [...] But Christian hadn't taken his eyes off me, and in his expression I saw a slew of emotions: shame, defiance, fury. Fear, but not for himself. For me. I saw my big brother, who carried me off the ledge at Suicide Rock when I froze up. [...] Who thought I was a fool and had no problem telling me so, but who stuck up for me anyway.
Lauren Myracle (Shine)
There is a defined gulf Between credit and character If you doubt this, ask any banker; He will advise that character is nice But it is not collateral.
Evan Rhys (Poems from the Ledge)
I didn't think she was that kind of girl." I scampered up onto the ledge and strained to listen. "I overheard two of my students talking about her in homeroom yesterday. I never would have thought Natalie would do something like that. Then again, she's been acting out big-time. Fraternizing with that Spencer girl." I closed my eyes to stop the room from spinning. What would have ever made me think that teachers wouldn't hear about this, too? After all, it was all over the school. Another teacher agreed. "Natalie always seemed like such a nice girl." But I am a nice girl, I wanted to scream.
Siobhan Vivian
In the end, then, suffrage for women came down to the vote of one young man, influenced by his mom. It was rumored that “the anti-suffragists were so angry at his decision that they chased him from the chamber, forced him to climb out a window of the Capitol and inch along a ledge to safety.”15 Thus suffrage arrived in the United States, kicking and screaming.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom)
There is a corner of every man’s soul that would prefer him dead. That whispers poison in his ear in the still hours of the evening, puts spurs to his side when he stands atop a ledge. For the weak and the misbegotten, the suggestion alone proves sufficient, and the unfortunate runs himself a hot bath and adds his life-blood to it, or drinks a few pints of backyard whiskey and goes swimming in the canal. But most of us are too stubborn or cowardly to make a clean go of it, and this bit that hates us has to start thinking sly.
Daniel Polansky (Tomorrow, the Killing (Low Town #2))
Chaos theory treats the behavior of a whole system like a drop of water moving on a complicated propeller surface. The drop may spiral down, or slip outward toward the edge. It may do many different things, depending. But it will always move along the surface of the propeller.” “Okay.” “Malcolm’s models tend to have a ledge, or a sharp incline, where the drop of water will speed up greatly. He modestly calls this speeding-up movement the Malcolm Effect. The whole system could suddenly collapse. And that was what he said about Jurassic Park.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
I lean all my weight on the porcelain ledge, I draw my face closer until it touches the mirror. The eyes, nose, and mouth disappear. Nothing is left. Brown wrinkles show on each side of the feverish swelled lips, crevices, mole holes. A silky, white down covers the great slopes of the cheeks, two hairs protrude from the nostrils: it is a geological embossed map. And, in spite of everything, this lunar world is familiar to me. I cannot say I recognize the details. But the whole thing gives me an impression of something seen before which stupefies me: I slip quietly off to sleep.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Where was it that I read of how a condemned man, just before he died, said, or thought, that if he had to live on some high crag, on a ledge so small that there was no more than room for his two feet, with all about him the abyss, the ocean, eternal night, eternal solitude, eternal storm, and there he must remain, on a hand's-breadth of ground, all his life, a thousand years, through all eternity-it would be better to live so, than die within the hour? Only to live, to live! No matter how-only to live!... How true! Lord, how true! How base men are!... And he is worse who decries them on that account!
Fyodor Dostoevsky
I brought the newspaper close up to my eyes to get a better view of George Pollucci's face, spotlighted like a three-quarter moon against a vague background of brick and black sky. I felt he had something important to tell me, and that whatever it was might just be written on his face. But the smudgy crags of George Pollucci's features melted away as I peered at them, and resolved themselves into a regular pattern of dark and light and medium gray dots. The inky black newspaper paragraph didn't tell why Mr Pollucci was on the ledge, or what Sgt Kilmartin did to him when he finally got him in through the window.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
Maybe awful things is how God speaks to us, Vernon thought, trudging up the lightless tunnel. Maybe folks don’t trust in good things no more. Maybe awful things is all God’s got to remind us he’s alive. Maybe war is God come to life in men. Vernon pushed on toward the light of day. He stepped out onto the ledge and into the heat, and it felt like leaving a theater after the matinee had shown a sad film, the glare of sunshine after the darkness far too real to suffer.
Alan Heathcock (Volt)
If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. Artistic accounts include severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. A travel book may tell us, for example, that the narrator journeyed through the afternoon to reach the hill town of X and after a night in its medieval monastery awoke to a misty dawn. But we never simply 'journey through an afternoon'. We sit in a train. Lunch digests awkwardly within us. The seat cloth is grey. We look out the window at a field. We look back inside. A drum of anxieties resolves in our consciousness. We notice a luggage label affixed to a suitcase in a rack above the seats opposite. We tap a finger on the window ledge. A broken nail on an index finger catches a thread. It starts to rain. A drop wends a muddy path down the dust-coated window. We wonder where our ticket might be. We look back at the field. It continues to rain. At last, the train starts to move. It passes an iron bridge, after which it inexplicably stops. A fly lands on the window And still we may have reached the end only of the first minute of a comprehensive account of the events lurking within the deceptive sentence 'He journeyed through the afternoon'. A storyteller who provides us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearking us out with repetitions, misleading emphases[,] and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Burdak Electronics, the safety handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card[,] and a fly that lands first on the rim and then the centre of a laden ashtray. Which explains the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Becky walked to the sea late in the day, trod barefoot among the tumbled blocks of stone that lined the foreshore, smelling the old harsh smell of salt, hearing the water slap and chuckle while from high above came the endless sinister trickling of the cliffs. Into her consciousness stole, maybe for the first time, the sense of loneliness; an oppression born of the gentle miles of summer water, the tall blackness of the headlands, the fingers of the stone ledges pushing out into the sea.
Keith Roberts (Pavane)
We don't have to do anything at all to die... Living is more complex. There's one thing we always have to do. Breathe. In and out, every single day in every hour minute and moment we must inhale whether we like it or not. Even as we plan to asphyxiate our hopes and dreams we still breath. Even as we wither away and sell our dignity to the man on the corner we breathe. We breathe when we're wrong, we breathe when we're right, we breathe even when we slip of the ledge toward an early grave.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Those were the best nights of my life. I couldn’t say why, exactly, this was so—only that I knew that as an old woman, when I thought back to my youth, I’d remember these nights, sitting with these five people along the harrowing window ledge of the Foreman’s Lookout, gazing into that clear blue lake hundreds of feet below. Our friendship was born there. There we were bound together. Something about seeing each other against that spare, alien backdrop of rock, water, and sky—not to mention the prohibited, dangerous thing we were doing—it X-rayed us, revealed the unspoken questions we each were asking. You could feel life burning us, our scars as real as the wind whipping our faces. We knew that nothing would ever be the same, that youth was here and nearly gone already, that love was fragile and death was real.
Marisha Pessl (Neverworld Wake)
One of the many ways in which cats are superior to humans is their mastery of time. By making no attempt to dissect years into months, days into hours and minutes into seconds, cats avoid much misery. Free from the slavery of measuring every moment, worrying whether they are late or early, young or old, or if Christmas is six weeks away, felines appreciate the present in all its multidimensional glory. They never worry about endings or beginnings. From their paradoxical viewpoint an ending is often a beginning. The joy of basking on a window ledge can seem eternal, though if measured in human time it's diminished to a paltry eighteen minutes. If humans could program themselves to forget time, they would savor a string of pleasures and possibilities. Regrets about the past would dissolve, alongside anxieties for the future. We'd notice the color of the sky and be liberated to seize the wonder of being alive in this moment. If we could be more like cats our lives would seem eternal.
Helen Brown (Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family)
There’s a saying: ‘War is a long cliff.’ You can avoid the cliff completely, you can walk along the top for as long as you have the nerve, you can even choose to leap off, and if you only fall a short way before you hit a ledge you can always scramble back up again. Unless you’re just plain invaded, there are always choices, and even then, there’s usually something you’ve missed — a choice you didn’t make — that could have avoided invasion in the first place. You people still have your choices. There’s nothing inevitable about it.
Iain M. Banks (Use of Weapons (Culture, #3))
I want very badly to challenge the ease with which we succumb to the false divide of labels, that moment in which our empathy gives out and we refuse to respond openhandedly or even curiously to see people with whom we differ. As I see it, to refuse the possibility of finding another person interesting, complex and as complicated as oneself is a form of violence. At bottom, this is a refusal of nuance, and I wish to posit that nuance is sacred. To call it sacred is to value it so highly that we find it fitting to somehow set it apart as something to which we're forever committed. Nuance refuses to envision others degradingly, denying them the content of their own experience, and talks us down tenderly from the false ledges we've put ourselves on. When we take it on as a sacred obligation, nuance also delivers us out of the deadly habit of cutting people out of our own imaginations. This opens us up to the possibility of at least occasionally finding one another beautiful, the possibility of communion. [...] It could be that there's no communion without [nuance].
David Dark
Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather, There is a house that is no more a house Upon a farm that is no more a farm And in a town that is no more a town. The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you Who only has at heart your getting lost, May seem as if it should have been a quarry— Great monolithic knees the former town Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered. And there’s a story in a book about it: Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest, The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole. You must not mind a certain coolness from him Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain. Nor need you mind the serial ordeal Of being watched from forty cellar holes As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins. As for the woods’ excitement over you That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves, Charge that to upstart inexperience. Where were they all not twenty years ago? They think too much of having shaded out A few old pecker-fretted apple trees. Make yourself up a cheering song of how Someone’s road home from work this once was, Who may be just ahead of you on foot Or creaking with a buggy load of grain. The height of the adventure is the height Of country where two village cultures faded Into each other. Both of them are lost. And if you’re lost enough to find yourself By now, pull in your ladder road behind you And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me. Then make yourself at home. The only field Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall. First there’s the children’s house of make-believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad. Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole, Now slowly closing like a dent in dough. This was no playhouse but a house in earnest. Your destination and your destiny’s A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage. (We know the valley streams that when aroused Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.) I have kept hidden in the instep arch Of an old cedar at the waterside A broken drinking goblet like the Grail Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it, So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t. (I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Robert Frost
I’d like to run away, to flee from what I know, from what is mine, from what I love. I want to set off, not for some impossible Indies or for the great islands that lie far to the south of all other lands, but for anywhere, be it village or desert, that has the virtue of not being here. What I want is not to see these faces, this daily round of days. I want a rest from, to be other than, my habitual pretending. I want to feel the approach of sleep as if it were a promise of life, not rest. A hut by the sea, even a cave on a rugged mountain ledge, would be enough. Unfortunately, my will alone cannot give me that. Slavery is the only law of life, there is no other, because this law must be obeyed; there is no possible rebellion against it or refuge from it. Some are born slaves, some become slaves, some have slavery thrust upon them. The cowardly love we all have of freedom -which if it were given to us we would all repudiate as being too new and strange –is the irrefutable proof of how our slavery weighs upon us.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
The bloody cockfucking wanker therapist wants me to write my bloody thoughts about all the tragedy in my bloody life.  It’ll be therapeutic, he says.  It’ll be closure, he cheers.  I’d bloody well like to push him over the ledge of his window, I think back.  Hang my head over the sill and tinkle my bloody fingers in a wave.  Watch him flail his arms about trying to bloody fly as he plummets, then splashes across the sidewalk. 
Christine Zolendz (Cold-Blooded Beautiful (Beautiful, #2))
If I take a chamois and rub real hard on the bone, right on the ledge of your cheek bone, some of the black will disappear. It will flake away into the chamois and underneath there will be gold leaf. I can see it shining through the black. I know it is there… [...] And if I take a nailfile or even Eva’s old paring knife - that will do - and scrape away at the gold, it will fall away, it will fall away and there will be alabaster. The alabaster is what gives your face its planes, its curves. That is why your mouth smiling does not reach your eyes. Alabaster is giving it a gravity that resists a total smile.

 [...] Then I can take a chisel and small tap hammer and tap away at the alabaster. It will crack then like ice under the pick, and through the breaks I will see the loam, fertile, free of pebbles and twigs. For it is the loam that is giving you that smell.

Toni Morrison (Sula)
As I speak, his fingers trail down my arm. I’m just so relieved he’s willing to touch me after I’ve told him this. He turns my hand over and traces the fine lines on my palm. “And?” He looks up beneath heavy lids. “What else should I know about you?” “My skin—” I stop, swallow. He leans down, presses his lips to my wrist in a feathery kiss. “What about your skin?” “You know. You’ve seen it,” I rasp. “It changes. The color becomes—” “Like fire.” His gaze lifts from my wrist and he says that word he said so long ago surrounded in cold mists, tucked on a ledge above a whispering pool of water. “Beautiful.” “You said that before. In the mountains.” “I meant it. Still do.” I laugh weakly. “I guess this means you’re not mad at me.” “I would be mad, if I could.” He frowns. “I should be.” He inches closer to me on the couch. We sink deeper into the tired cushions. “This is impossible.” “This what?” I clutch the collar of his shirt in my fingers. His face is so close I study the varying color of his eyes. For a long time, he says nothing. Stares at me in that way that makes me want to squirm. For a moment, it seems that his irises glow and the pupils shrink to slits. Then, he mutters, “A hunter in love with his prey.” My chest squeezes. I suck in a breath. Pretty wonderful, I think, but am too embarrassed to say it. Even after what he just admitted. He loves me? Studying him, I let myself consider this and whether he can possibly mean it. But what else could it be? What else could drive him to this moment with me? To turn his back on his family’s way of life? As he looks at me in that desperate, devouring way, I’m reminded of those moments in his car when he tended the cut on my palm and ran his hand over my leg. My belly twists. I glance around, see how seriously, dangerously alone we are. More alone than in the stairwell. Or even the first time together, on that ledge. I lick my lips. Now we’re alone with no school bell ready to rip us apart. Even more alarming, no more secrets stand between us. No barriers. Nothing to stop us at all. I hold my breath until I feel the first press of his lips, certain I’ve never been this close to another soul, this vulnerable. We kiss until we’re both breathless, warm and flushed, twisting against each other on the couch. His hands brush my bare back beneath my shirt, trace every bump of my spine. My back tingles, wings vibrating just beneath the surface. I drink the cooler air from his lips, drawing it into my fiery lungs. I don’t even mind when he stops and watches my skin change colors, or touches my face as it blurs in and out. He kisses my changing face. Cheeks, nose, the corners of my eyes, sighing my name it like a benediction between each caress. His lips slide to my neck and I moan, arch, lost to everything but him. In this, with him . . . I’m as close to the sky as I’ve ever been.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
I promise not to step on you—I only look like a clodhopper,” he was saying when Jo reached them. He winked at Ella, who glanced away and blinked, as if surprised that he’d come so close to guessing what she thought. Jo slid up to the bar behind her sister, planted a stiff arm on the ledge, and raised an eyebrow at him. He glanced up and saw her. She expected him to blanche, or bristle, or pretend he’d just forgotten someplace else he had to be. A lot of men did that, when they realized that the girl they thought was alone had brought friends to look out for her. But instead he only said, “Oh,” softly, his smile so wide and earnest that crows’-feet appeared at the edges of his eyes; he smiled as though she was an old friend, as though he had been waiting for Jo a long time and was delighted to see her at last.
Genevieve Valentine (The Girls at the Kingfisher Club)
He could feel the end of the battle approaching, and so could the blur of the Sith he faced in the Force, the shadow had become a pulsar of fear. Easily, almost effortlessly, he turned the shadow's fear into a weapon: he angled the battle to bring them both out onto the window ledge. Out in the wind. Out with the lightning. Out on a rain-slicked ledge above a half kilometer drop. Out where the shadow's fear's fear made it hesitate. Out where the shadow's fear turned some of it's Force-powered speed into a Force-powered grip on the slippery permacrete. Out where Mace could flick his blade in one precise arc and slash the shadow's lightsaber in half. One piece flipped back in through the cut open window. The other tumbled from opening fingers, bounced on the ledge, and fell through the rain towards the distant alleys below. Now the shadow was only Palpatine: old and shrunken, thinning hair bleached white by time and care, face lined with exhaustion. 'For all your power, my lord,you are no Jedi. All you are, my lord,' Mace said evenly, staring past his blade, 'is under arrest.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations, #3))
Bloom of adulthood. Try a whiff of that. On your back in the dark you remember. Ah you remember. Cloudless May day. She joins you in the little summerhouse. Entirely of logs. Both larch and fir. Six feet across. Eight from floor to vertex. Area twenty-four square feet to the furthest decimal. Two small multicoloured lights vis-a-vis. Small stained diamond panes. Under each a ledge. There on summer Sundays after his midday meal your father loved to retreat with Punch and a cushion. The waist of his trousers unbuttoned he sat on the one ledge and turned the pages. You on the other your feet dangling. When he chuckled you tried to chuckle too. When his chuckle died yours too. That you should try to imitate his chuckle pleased and amused him greatly and sometimes he would chuckle for no other reason than to hear you try to chuckle too. Sometimes you turn your head and look out through a rose-red pane. You press your little nose against the pane and all without is rosy. The years have flown and there at the same place as then you sit in the bloom of adulthood bathed in rainbow light gazing before you. She is late.
Samuel Beckett (As the Story Was Told (Beckett Short))
I wondered straightaway how he could sit at peace there, of an evening, with the row of heads staring down at him. There were no pictures, no flowers: only the heads of chamois. The concession to melody was the radiogram and the stack of records of classical music. Foolishly, I had asked, "Why only chamois?" He answered at once, "They fear Man." This might have led to an argument about animals in general, domestic, wild, and those which adapt themselves to the whims and vagaries of the human race; but instead he changed the subject abruptly, put on a Sibelius record, and presently made love to me, intently but without emotion. I was surprised but pleased. I thought, "We are suited to one another. There will be no demands. Each of us will be self-contained and not beholden to the other." All this came true, but something was amiss. There was a flaw - not only the nonappearance of children, but a division of the spirit. The communion of flesh which brought us together was in reality a chasm, and I despised the bridge we made. Perhaps he did as well. I had been endeavouring for ten years to build for my self a ledge of safety. ("The Chamois")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
1. Those who first set themselves to discover nature’s secrets and designs, fearlessly opposing mankind’s early ignorance, deserve our praise;   2. For they began the quest to measure what once was unmeasurable, to discern its laws, and conquer time itself by understanding.   3. New eyes were needed to see what lay hidden in ignorance, new language to express the unknown,   4. New hope that the world would reveal itself to inquiry and investigation.   5. They sought to unfold the world’s primordial sources, asking how nature yields its abundance and fosters it,   6. And where in its course everything goes when it ends, either to change or cease.   7. The first inquirers named nature’s elements atoms, matter, seeds, primal bodies, and understood that they are coeval with the world;   8. They saw that nothing comes from nothing, so that discovering the elements reveals how the things of nature exist and evolve.   9. Fear holds dominion over people when they understand little, and need simple stories and legends to comfort and explain; 10. But legends and the ignorance that give them birth are a house of limitations and darkness. 11. Knowledge is freedom, freedom from ignorance and its offspring fear; knowledge is light and liberation, 12. Knowledge that the world contains itself, and its origins, and the mind of man, 13. From which comes more know­ledge, and hope of knowledge again. 14. Dare to know: that is the motto of enlightenment.  
A.C. Grayling (The Good Book: A Secular Bible)
Religions are metaphorical systems that give us bigger containers in which to hold our lives. A spiritual life allows us to move beyond the ego into something more universal. Religious experience carries us outside of clock time into eternal time. We open ourselves into something more complete and beautiful. This bigger vista is perhaps the most magnificent aspect of a religious experience. There is a sense in which Karl Marx was correct when he said that religion is the opiate of the people. However, he was wrong to scoff at this. Religion can give us skills for climbing up on onto a ledge above our suffering and looking down at it with a kind and open mind. This helps us calm down and connect to all of the world's sufferers. Since the beginning of human time, we have yearned for peace in the face of death, loss, anger and fear. In fact, it is often trauma that turns us toward the sacred, and it is the sacred that saves us.
Mary Pipher (Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World)
Pirate and Osbie Feel are leaning on their roof-ledge, a magnificent sunset across and up the winding river, the imperial serpant, crowds of factories, flats, parks, smoky spires and gables, incandescent sky casting downward across the miles of deep streets and roofs cluttering and sinuous river Thames a drastic strain of burnt orange, to remind a visitor of his mortal transience here, to seal or empty all the doors and windows in sight to his eyes that look only for a bit of company, a word or two in the street before he goes up to the soap-heavy smell of the rented room and the squares of coral sunset on the floor-boards—an antique light, self-absorbed, fuel consumed in the metered winter holocaust, the more distant shapes among the threads or sheets of smoke now perfect ash ruins of themselves, nearer windows, struck a moment by the sun, not reflecting at all but containing the same destroying light, this intense fading in which there is no promise of return, light that rusts the government cars at the curbsides, varnishes the last faces hurrying past the shops in the cold as if a vast siren had finally sounded, light that makes chilled untraveled canals of many streets, and that fills with the starlings of London, converging by millions to hazy stone pedestals, to emptying squares and a great collective sleep. They flow in rings, concentric rings on the radar screens. The operators call them ‘angels.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
A rain of pebbles from overhead makes me glance up in time to see Ruthann step onto the lip of the cliff, another fifteen feet above me. Her body is wrapped tight in a pure white robe. "Ruthann!" I shout, my voice caroming off the rock walls, an obscenity. She looks down at me. Across the distance our eyes meet. "Ruthann, don't," I whisper, but she shakes her head. I'm sorry. In that half-second, I think about Wilma and Derek and me, all the people who do not want to beleft behind, who think we know what is best for her. I think about the doctors and the medicines Ruthann lied about taking. I think about how I could talk her down from that ledge like I have talked down a dozen potential suicide victims. Yet the right thing to do, here, is subjective. Ruthann's family, who wants her alive, will not be the one to lose hair from drugs, to have surgery to remove her breast, to die by degrees. It is easy to say that Ruthann should come down from that cliff, unless you are Ruthann. I know better than anyone what it feels like to have someone else make choices for you, when you deserve to be making them yourself. I look at Ruthann, and very slowly, I not. She smiles at me, and so I am her witness -- as she unwraps the wedding robe from her narrow shoulders and holds is across her back like the wide wings of a hawk. As she steps off the edge of the cliff and rises to the Spirit World. As the owls bear her body to the broken ground.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
We take so much of the universe on trust. You tell me: “In 1950 I lived on the north side of Beacon Street in Somerville.” You tell me: “She and I were lovers, but for months now we have only been good friends.” You tell me: “It is seventy degrees outside and the sun is shining.” Because I love you, because there is not even a question of lying between us, I take these accounts of the universe on trust: your address twenty-five years ago, your relationship with someone I know only by sight, this morning’s weather. I fling unconscious tendrils of belief, like slender green threads, across statements such as these, statements made so unequivocally, which have no tone or shadow of tentativeness. I build them into the mosaic of my world. I allow my universe to change in minute, significant ways, on the basis of things you have said to me, of my trust in you. I also have faith that you are telling me things it is important I should know; that you do not conceal facts from me in an effort to spare me, or yourself, pain. Or, at the very least, that you will say, “There are things I am not telling you.” When we discover that someone we trusted can be trusted no longer, it forces us to reexamine the universe, to question the whole instinct and concept of trust. For a while, we are thrust back onto some bleak, jutting ledge, in a dark pierced by sheets of fire, swept by sheets of rain, in a world before kinship, or naming, or tenderness exist; we are brought close to formlessness.
Adrienne Rich
Imagine a single survivor, a lonely fugitive at large on mainland Mauritius at the end of the seventeenth century. Imagine this fugitive as a female. She would have been bulky and flightless and befuddled—but resourceful enough to have escaped and endured when the other birds didn’t. Or else she was lucky. Maybe she had spent all her years in the Bambous Mountains along the southeastern coast, where the various forms of human-brought menace were slow to penetrate. Or she might have lurked in a creek drainage of the Black River Gorges. Time and trouble had finally caught up with her. Imagine that her last hatchling had been snarfed by a [invasive] feral pig. That her last fertile egg had been eaten by a [invasive] monkey. That her mate was dead, clubbed by a hungry Dutch sailor, and that she had no hope of finding another. During the past halfdozen years, longer than a bird could remember, she had not even set eyes on a member of her own species. Raphus cucullatus had become rare unto death. But this one flesh-and-blood individual still lived. Imagine that she was thirty years old, or thirty-five, an ancient age for most sorts of bird but not impossible for a member of such a large-bodied species. She no longer ran, she waddled. Lately she was going blind. Her digestive system was balky. In the dark of an early morning in 1667, say, during a rainstorm, she took cover beneath a cold stone ledge at the base of one of the Black River cliffs. She drew her head down against her body, fluffed her feathers for warmth, squinted in patient misery. She waited. She didn't know it, nor did anyone else, but she was the only dodo on Earth. When the storm passed, she never opened her eyes. This is extinction.
David Quammen (The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions)
She nearly slipped on an icy rock, but he caught her, his shoepacks sure on the frozen ground. He led her up a shaded path to a limestone wall, where they squeezed through an opening like a loophole. On the other side, the earth fell away, and it seemed they stepped into open sky. She gave a little gasp, not of fear, but of awe. He turned to take her in, pressing his back against the cold cliff and drawing her in front of him. She looked down and found the toes of her boots in midair with only her heels on the ledge. But he had one hard arm around her, grounding her. His breath was warm against her cold cheek. “I wanted to show you Cherokee territory, not just tell you about it.” She followed the sweep of his arm south, his finger pointing to distant snow-dusted mountains and a wide opal river. Small puffs of smoke revealed few campfires or cabins. The land lay before them like a disheveled white coverlet, uninhabited and without end, broken by more mountains and wending waterways. The unspoiled beauty of it took her breath. For a moment he relaxed his hold on her. With a cry, she reached for him again, fearing she might fall into nothingness. “Careful,” he murmured, steadying her. “Trust me.” She shut her eyes tight as his arms settled around her, anchoring her to the side of the cliff. Frightened as she was, she felt a tingling from her bare head to her feet. ’Twas altogether bewildering and frightening . . . yet pleasing. Gingerly, as if doing a slow dance, he led her off the ledge onto safe ground, where he released her and turned toward the stallion grazing on a tuft of grass. His smile was tight. “We should return—soon, before your father thinks I took you captive.” Reluctantly she walked behind him, framing every part of him in her mind in those few, unguarded moments before he mounted.
Laura Frantz (Courting Morrow Little)
But every single day after work Tatiana brushed her hair and ran outside, thinking, please be there, and every single day after work Alexander was. Though he never asked her to go to the Summer Garden anymore or to sit on the bench under the trees with him, his hat was always in his hands. Exhausted and slow, they meandered from tram to canal to tram, reluctantly parting at Grechesky Prospekt, three blocks away from her apartment building. During their walks sometimes they talked about Alexander’s America or his life in Moscow, and sometimes they talked about Tatiana’s Lake Ilmen and her summers in Luga, and sometimes they chatted about the war, though less and less because of the anxiety over Pasha, and sometimes Alexander taught Tatiana a little English. Sometimes they told jokes, and sometimes they barely spoke at all. A few times Alexander let Tatiana carry his rifle as a balancing stick while she walked a high ledge on the side of Obvodnoy Canal. “Don’t fall into the water, Tania,” he once said, “because I can’t swim.” “Is that true?” she asked incredulously, nearly toppling over. Grabbing the end of his rifle to steady her, Alexander said with a grin, “Let’s not find out, shall we? I don’t want to lose my weapon.” “That’s all right,” Tatiana said, precariously teetering on the ledge and laughing. “I can swim perfectly well. I’ll save your weapon for you. Want to see?” “No, thank you.” And sometimes, when Alexander talked, Tatiana found her lower jaw drifting down and was suddenly and awkwardly aware that she had been staring at him so long that her mouth had dropped open. She didn’t know what to look at when he talked—his caramel eyes that blinked and smiled and shined and were grim or his vibrant mouth that moved and opened and breathed and spoke. Her eyes darted from his eyes to his lips and circled from his hair to his jaw as if they were afraid she would miss something if she didn’t stare at everything all at once. There were some pieces of his fascinating life that Alexander did not wish to talk about—and didn’t. Not about the last time he saw his father, not about how he became Alexander Belov, not about how he received his medal of valor. Tatiana didn’t care and never did more than gently press him. She would take from him what he needed to give her and wait impatiently for the rest.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
The family were wild," she said suddenly. "They tried to marry me off. And then when I'd begun to feel that after all life was scarcely worth living I found something"—her eyes went skyward exultantly—"I found something!" Carlyle waited and her words came with a rush. “Courage—just that; courage as a rule of life, and something to cling to always. I began to build up this enormous faith in myself. I began to see that in all my idols in the past some manifestation of courage had unconsciously been the thing that attracted me. I began separating courage from the other things of life. All sorts of courage—the beaten, bloody prize-fighter coming up for more—I used to make men take me to prize-fights; the déclassé woman sailing through a nest of cats and looking at them as if they were mud under her feet; the liking what you like always; the utter disregard for other people's opinions—just to live as I liked always and to die in my own way—Did you bring up the cigarettes?" He handed one over and held a match for her silently. "Still," Ardita continued, "the men kept gathering—old men and young men, my mental and physical inferiors, most of them, but all intensely desiring to have me—to own this rather magnificent proud tradition I'd built up round me. Do you see?" "Sort of. You never were beaten and you never apologized." "Never!" She sprang to the edge, poised or a moment like a crucified figure against the sky; then describing a dark parabola plunked without a slash between two silver ripples twenty feet below. Her voice floated up to him again. "And courage to me meant ploughing through that dull gray mist that comes down on life—not only over-riding people and circumstances but over-riding the bleakness of living. A sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth of transient things." She was climbing up now, and at her last words her head, with the damp yellow hair slicked symmetrically back, appeared on his level. "All very well," objected Carlyle. "You can call it courage, but your courage is really built, after all, on a pride of birth. You were bred to that defiant attitude. On my gray days even courage is one of the things that's gray and lifeless." She was sitting near the edge, hugging her knees and gazing abstractedly at the white moon; he was farther back, crammed like a grotesque god into a niche in the rock. "I don't want to sound like Pollyanna," she began, "but you haven't grasped me yet. My courage is faith—faith in the eternal resilience of me—that joy'll come back, and hope and spontaneity. And I feel that till it does I've got to keep my lips shut and my chin high, and my eyes wide—not necessarily any silly smiling. Oh, I've been through hell without a whine quite often—and the female hell is deadlier than the male." "But supposing," suggested Carlyle, "that before joy and hope and all that came back the curtain was drawn on you for good?" Ardita rose, and going to the wall climbed with some difficulty to the next ledge, another ten or fifteen feet above. "Why," she called back, "then I'd have won!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Offshore Pirate)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon