Lights And Colors Quotes

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My God, Sage. Your eyes. How have I never noticed them?" That uncomfortable feeling was spreading over me again. "What about them?" "The color," he breathed. "When you stand in the light. They're amazing... like molten gold. I could paint those..." He reached toward me but then pulled back. "They're beautiful. You're beautiful.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Black for hunting through the night For death and mourning the color's white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown And red to call the enchantment down White silk when our bodies burn Blue banners when the lost return Flame for the birth of a Nephilim And to wash away our sins. Gray for the knowledge best untold Bone for those who don't grow old Saffron lights the victory march Green to mend our broken hearts Silver for the demon towers And bronze to summon wicked powers -Shadowhunter children's rhyme
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way.
Heraclitus
I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads. It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
And like a colorful bloom of temporary lights in the sky, you will shine.
Chad Sugg
You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. (Matthew 5:14, The Message)
Anonymous (The Message Remix (Bible in Contemporary Language))
His steady gaze held hers. His blue eyes were very dark, uniquely so. She had known people before with blue eyes, but they had always been light blue. Will's were the color of the sky just on the edge of night.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
He tasted like midnight and wind, and shades of rich brown and light blue. Colors that made her feel safe and guarded.
Stephanie Garber (Caraval (Caraval, #1))
I consider myself a stained-glass window. And this is how I live my life. Closing no doors and covering no windows; I am the multi-colored glass with light filtering through me, in many different shades. Allowing light to shed and fall into many many hues. My job is not to direct anything, but only to filter into many colors. My answer is destiny and my guide is joy. And there you have me.
C. JoyBell C.
Mara, that's the life I want to give you. That's what I'm offering you. I want to fill you life with color and warmth. I want to fill it with light. Give me a chance
Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)
How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.
John Burroughs
I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would've been Constantine's voice singing. If singing was a color, it would've been the color of that chocolate.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Until a few days ago, humans had been little more than legend to him, and now here he was in their world. It was like stepping into the pages of a book -- a book alive with color and fragrance, filth and chaos -- and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treating her differently than it did others, the air seemed to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place was a story about her.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
...now he saw the familiar wide river beside the path differently. He saw all of the light and color and history it contained and carried in its slow - moving water; and he knew that there was an Elsewhere from which it came, and an Elsewhere to which it was going
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
my dear, I have nothing to say. my heart burns like the evening sky.
Sanober Khan
It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift Songbook: Guitar Recorded Versions)
The sun shine comes, you see the shine you see the color, when night comes you the stars you see the dark the blooming moon you choose a star you follow the star it comes in your dreams you follow stars once a light bug dies you see a new star you follow the star your dreams come true.
Demi Lovato
I hadn't known that a light could be a feeling and a sound could be a color and a kiss could be both a question and an answer. And that heaven could be the ocean or a person or this moment or something else entirely.
Megan Miranda (Fracture (Fracture, #1))
I wanted to say, My life is full. I chose this life because it's a constant assault of color and taste and light and it's raw and ugly and fast and it's mine. And you'll never understand. Until you live it, you don't know.
Stephanie Danler (Sweetbitter)
Why did you?” Clary asked. “Why did I what?” “Help me back there.” “You’re my sister.” She swallowed. In the morning light, Sebastian’s face had some color in it. There were faint burns along his neck where demon ichor had splashed him. “You never cared that I was your sister before.” “Didn’t I?” His black eyes flicked up and down her. “Our father’s dead,” he said. “There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are the only one left whose blood runs in my veins, too. You are my last chance.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Let’s not wait until the light fades into irreparable loss, but let’s stay in the loop and pursue the momentous flow of daily little wonders, since life kindly tenders us gorgeous bouquets of sparkling colors, telling signs and rousing episodes. (“Côté cour…Côté jardin”)
Erik Pevernagie
When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call "white" is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion.
Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of Love)
Introduction to Poetry I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem's room and feel the walls for a light switch. I want them to waterski across the surface of a poem waving at the author's name on the shore. But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.
Billy Collins (The Apple that Astonished Paris)
Dreaming is adding vibrant color to the shriveled landscape of our reality. Since we are not always in a position to decamp or lay claim to the future, it can tread lightly in the twinkling meanders of our mind and bring relief and mental freedom. ("Voices of the sea")
Erik Pevernagie
Each person shines with his or her own light. No two flames are alike. There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color. Some people’s flames are so still they don’t even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks. Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking, and if you approach you shine in the fire.
Eduardo Galeano
Ugliness is an illusion, gentlemen. Like beauty. Like color. All depends on the light. The only reality is action.
Karen Traviss (True Colors (Star Wars: Republic Commando #3))
If people were silent, they could hear the noise of their own lives better. If people were silent, it would make what they did say, whenever they chose to say it, more important. If people were silent, they could read one another's signals, the way underwater creatures flash lights at one another, or turn their skin different colors.
Ali Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish)
I was completely astonished by the beauty of nature. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings.
Albert Hofmann
It strikes Werner just then as wondrously futile to build splendid buildings, to make music, to sing songs, to print huge books full of colorful birds in the face of the seismic, engulfing indifference of the world - what pretensions humans have!
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
When the war has lasted twenty years... the dragonets will come. When the land is soaked in blood and tears... the dragonets will come. Find the SeaWing egg of deepest blue. Wings of night shall come to you. The largest egg in mountain high will give to you the wings of sky. For wings of earth, search through the mud for an egg the color of dragon blood. And hidden alone from the rival queens, the SandWing egg awaits unseen. Of three queens who blister and blaze and burn, two shall die and one shall learn if she bows to a fate that is stronger and higher, she'll have the power of wings of fire. Five eggs to hatch on brightest night, five dragons born to end the fight. Darkness will rise to bring the light. The dragonets are coming....
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
I kiss her and she finds the light switch and turns it off, and we're just lit in Pepsi-can colors and it's like we've finally found this other kind of conversation, this conversation in gestures and pulls and pushes and breaths and grasps and teases and glimmers and rubs and expectation.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
GATHERING LEAVES Spades take up leaves No better than spoons, And bags full of leaves Are light as balloons. I make a great noise Of rustling all day Like rabbit and deer Running away. But the mountains I raise Elude my embrace, Flowing over my arms And into my face. I may load and unload Again and again Till I fill the whole shed, And what have I then? Next to nothing for weight, And since they grew duller From contact with earth, Next to nothing for color. Next to nothing for use. But a crop is a crop, And who's to say where The harvest shall stop?
Robert Frost
While we are alive we should sit among colored lights and taste good wines, and discuss our adventures in far places; when we are dead, the opportunity is past.
Jack Vance
Love is not black and white. It’s not even gray. Love is every shade of color in the spectrum, changing with every ray of light given and stolen.
Cassia Leo (Bring Me Home (Shattered Hearts, #4))
Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Mistress of Spices)
It is growing cold. Winter is putting footsteps in the meadow. What whiteness boasts that sun that comes into this wood! One would say milk-colored maidens are dancing on the petals of orchids. How coldly burns our sun! One would say its rays of light are shards of snow, one imagines the sun lives upon a snow crested peak on this day. One would say she is a woman who wears a gown of winter frost that blinds the eyes. Helplessness has weakened me. Wandering has wearied my legs.
Roman Payne
The walls weren't moving, and the room was open - gaping. No colors, but shades of darkness, of night . Only those star-flecked violet eyes were bright, full of color and light. He gave me a lazy smile before he leaned forward. I pulled away, but his hands were like shackles. I could do nothing as his mouth met with my cheek, and he licked away a tear. His tongue was hot against my skin, so startling that I couldn't move as he licked away another path of salt water, and then another. My body went taut and loose all at once and I burned, even as chills shuddered along my limbs. It was only when his tongue danced along the damp edges of my lashes that I jerked back. He chuckled as I scrambled for the corner of the cell. I wiped my face as I glared at him. He smirked, sitting down against a wall. "I figured that would get you to stop crying." "It was disgusting." I wiped my face again. "Was it?" He quirked an eyebrow and pointed to his palm - to the place where my tattoo would be. "Beneath all your pride and stubbornness, I could have sworn I detected something that felt differently. Interesting." "Get out." "As usual, your gratitude is overwhelming.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
EVENTIDE Dark and light striking each other, vividly etching wild colors through the horizon. The charm of sunset makes me want to scurry home.
Tara Estacaan
They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
Colors are the deeds/ and sufferings of light.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When you sit in silence long enough, you learn that silence has a motion. It glides over you without shape or form, exactly like water. Its color is silver. And silence has a sound you hear only after hours of wading inside it. The sound is soft, like flute notes rising up, like the words of glass speaking. Then there comes a point when you must shatter the blindness of its words, the blindness of its light.
Anne Spollen (The Shape of Water)
I like to watch his hands as he works, making a blank page bloom with strokes of ink, adding touches of color to our previously black and yellowish book. His face takes on a special look when he concentrates. His usual easy expression is replaced by something more intense and removed that suggests an entire world locked away inside him. I've seen flashes of this before: in the arena, or when he speaks to a crowd, or that time he shoved the Peacekeepers' guns away from me in District 11. I don't know quite what to make of it. I also become a little fixated on his eyelashes, which ordinarily you don't notice much because they're so blond. But up close, in the sunlight slanting in from the window, they're a light golden color and so long I don't see how they keep from getting all tangled up when he blinks.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I had two dreams about him after he died. I dont remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
They’re good, these stories,” Mace continued, his cheeks stained with light color. “They teach the pain of others.” “Empathy. Carlin always said it was the great value of fiction, to put us inside the minds of strangers.
Erika Johansen (The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3))
Life was a freight train barreling toward just one stop, our loved ones streaking past our windows in blurs of color and light. There was no holding on to any of it, and no slowing it down.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
And there, row upon row, with the soft gleam of flowers opened at morning, with the light of this June sun glowing through a faint skin of dust, would stand the dandelion wine. Peer through it at the wintry day - the snow melted to grass, the trees were reinhabitated with bird, leaf, and blossoms like a continent of butterflies breathing on the wind. And peering through, color sky from iron to blue. Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in your veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
I watched the early morning light pass over and through the windows of colored glass, leaving streaks of red and green and yellow on the stone floor. When I was little, I used to try and capture the colored light. I thought I could hold it in my hand and carry it home. Now I know it is like happiness-- it is there or it is not, you cannot hold it or keep it.
Karen Cushman (Catherine, Called Birdy)
When the starry sky, a vista of open seas, or a stained-glass window shedding purple beams fascinate me, there is a cluster of meaning, of colors, of words, of caresses, there are light touches, scents, sighs, cadences that arise, shroud me, carry me away, and sweep me beyond the things I see, hear, or think, The "sublime" object dissolves in the raptures of a bottomless memory. It is such a memory, which, from stopping point to stopping point, remembrance to remembrance, love to love, transfers that object to the refulgent point of the dazzlement in which I stray in order to be.
Julia Kristeva (Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (European Perspectives: a Series in Social Thought & Cultural Ctiticism) (English and French Edition))
Your place is with me,” Jem said. “It always will be.” “What do you mean?” He flushed, the color dark against his pale skin. “I mean,” he said, “Tessa Gray, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” Tessa sat bolt upright. “Jem!” They stared at each other for a moment. At last he said, trying for lightness, though his voice cracked, “That was not a no, I suppose, though neither was it a yes.” “You can’t mean it.” “I do mean it.” “You can’t—I’m not a Shadowhunter. They’ll expel you from the Clave—” He took a step closer to her, his eyes eager. “You may not be precisely a Shadowhunter. But you are not a mundane either, nor provably a Downworlder. Your situation is unique, so I do not know what the Clave will do. But they cannot forbid something that is not forbidden by the Law. They will have to take your—our—individual case into consideration, and that could take months. In the meantime they cannot prevent our engagement.” “You are serious.” Her mouth was dry. “Jem, such a kindness on your part is indeed incredible. It does you credit. But I cannot let you sacrifice yourself in that way for me.” “Sacrifice? Tessa, I love you. I want to marry you.
Cassandra Clare
He let his eyes flitter over her. “I don’t see anything ‘precisely.’ I can tell you’re slender. I can see you’re wearing white, or some light color. Your face is pale, your lips are reddish. And there appears to be a dark brown octopus attacking your head.” “That’s my hair.” Ransom shrugged. “You asked what I see. I see tentacles.
Tessa Dare (Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1))
238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world. 239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. “Love is not consolation,” she wrote. “It is light.” 240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.
Maggie Nelson (Bluets)
The newcomer stood well over six feet, as tall as any Warden. His hair was dark, the color of obsidian, and it reflected blue in the dim light. Lazy locks slipped over his forehead and curled just below his ears. Brows arched over golden eyes and his cheekbones were broad and high. He was attractive. Very attractive. Mind-bendingly beautiful, actually, but the sardonic twist to his full lips chilled his beauty. The black T-shirt stretched across his chest and flat stomach. A huge tattoo of a snake curled around his forearm, the tail disappearing under his sleeve and the diamond-shaped head rested on the top of his hand. He looked my age. Total crush material—if it wasn’t for the fact that he had no soul.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1))
I come home that morning, after I been fired, and stood outside my house with my new work shoes on. The shoes my mama paid a month's worth a light bill for. I guess that's when I understood what shame was and the color of it too. Shame ain't black, like dirt, like I always thought it was. Shame be the color of a new white uniform your mother ironed all night to pay for, white without a smudge or a speck a work-dirt on it.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Christmas always used to get me down. There was something oppressive about all those twinkling colored lights. "Are you happy?" "Do you fit in anywhere?" ....is what it felt like they were asking me.
Chica Umino
What will people say, you running off to Memphis like you don't have a house to look after? Shug say, Albert. Try to think like you got some sense. Why any woman give a shit what people think is a mystery to me. Well, say Grady, trying to bring light. A woman can't git a man if peoples talk. Shug look at me and us giggle. Then us sure nuff. Then Squeak start to laugh. Then Sofia. All us laugh and laugh.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Feminists do the best Photoshop because they leave the meat on your bones. They don’t change your size or your skin color. They leave in your disgusting knuckles, but they may take out some armpit stubble. Not because they’re denying its existence, but because they understand that it’s okay to make a photo look as if you were caught on your best day in the best light.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
There are millions of people out there who live this way, and their hearts are breaking just like mine. It’s okay to say, “My kid is a drug addict or alcoholic, and I still love them and I’m still proud of them.” Hold your head up and have a cappuccino. Take a trip. Hang your Christmas lights and hide colored eggs. Cry, laugh, then take a nap. And when we all get to the end of the road, I’m going to write a story that’s so happy it’s going to make your liver explode. It’s going to be a great day.
Dina Kucera (Everything I Never Wanted to Be: A Memoir of Alcoholism and Addiction, Faith and Family, Hope and Humor)
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
You end up exhausted and spent, but later, in retrospect, you realize what it all was for. The parts fall into place, and you can see the whole picture and finally understand the role each individual part plays. The dawn comes, the sky grows light, and the colors and shapes of the roofs of houses, which you could only glimpse vaguely before, come into focus.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
If hot red is for anger and rage, pink is the color of a soft burning – hot enough to light up the dark corners of sadness and grief, but cool enough to be tender, innocent, open.
Ibi Zoboi (American Street)
There’s power in the touch of another person’s hand. We acknowledge it in little ways, all the time. There’s a reason human beings shake hands, hold hands, slap hands, bump hands. “It comes from our very earliest memories, when we all come into the world blinded by light and color, deafened by riotous sound, flailing in a suddenly cavernous space without any way of orienting ourselves, shuddering with cold, emptied with hunger, and justifiably frightened and confused. And what changes that first horror, that original state of terror? “The touch of another person’s hands. “Hands that wrap us in warmth, that hold us close. Hands that guide us to shelter, to comfort, to food. Hands that hold and touch and reassure us through our very first crisis, and guide us into our very first shelter from pain. The first thing we ever learn is that the touch of someone else’s hand can ease pain and make things better. “That’s power. That’s power so fundamental that most people never even realize it exists.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
At the end of her life she was aware of heat but not pain. She had time to consider his eyes, eyes of that blue which is the color of the sky at first light of the morning. She had time to think of him on the Drop, riding Rusher flat out with his black hair flying back from his temples and his neckerchief rippling; to see him laughing with an ease and freedom he would never find again in the long life which stretched out for him beyond hers, and it was his laughter she took with her as she went out, fleeing the light and heat in to the silkly, consoling dark, calling to him over and over as she went, calling bird and bear and hare and fish.
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
I smiled at the stacks, inhaling again. Hundreds of thousands of pages that had never been turned, waiting for me. The shelves were a warm, blond wood, piled with spines of every color. Staff picks were arranged on tables, glossy covers reflecting the light back at me. Behind the little cubby where the cashier sat, ignoring us, stairs covered with rich burgundy carpet led up to the worlds unknown. 'I could just live here,' I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don't interpret. See the light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be.
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now)
She wasn’t light; she was color. Every single one…
Hannah Nicole Maehrer (Assistant to the Villain (Assistant to the Villain, #1))
...I'm innocent still -inside me are stained glass windows that have never been broken- and when I see your light it stains my soul with color ...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
The redness was going out of the light now, the remains of the day were a fading pink, the color of wild roses.
Stephen King (Hearts in Atlantis)
Yes, I answered you last night; No, this morning, sir, I say: Colors seen by candle-light Will not look the same by day.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Well, you missed out on some important protocol, Ella. You can't stand between a Texan and his power tools. We like them. Big ones that drain the national grid. We also like truck-stop breakfasts, large moving objects, Monday night football, and the missionary position. We don't drink light beer, drive Smart cars, or admit to knowing the names of more than about five or six colors. And we don't wax our chests, ever.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
Colored lights blink on and off, racing across the green boughs. Their reflections dance across exquisite glass globes and splinter into shards against tinsel thread and garlands of metallic filaments that disappear underneath the other ornaments and finery. Shadows follow, joyful, laughing sprites. The tree is rich with potential wonder. All it needs is a glance from you to come alive.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Surely heaven must have something of the color and shape of whatever village or hill or cottage of which the believer says, This is my own.
William Faulkner (Light in August)
Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief…. Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le vol-pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.
William S. Burroughs
I stopped at a red light, feeling foolish as always for stopping at an intersection at an hour when the streets are deserted, just because a colored lightbulb told me to. Society has got me so fucking trained. I rubbed my eyes and groaned and felt utterly alone in the world.
David Wong
The ears were large, flaring forward, the eyes limpid amber, in which the pupil floated like a glittering jewel, changing color with shifts of the light:  obsidian, emerald, ruby, opal, amethyst, diamond.
William S. Burroughs (Ghost of Chance)
I kiss her and she finds the light switch and turns it off, and we're just lit in Pepsi-can colors and it's like we've finally found this other kind of conversation, this conversation in gestures and pulls and pushes and breaths and grasps and teases and glimmers and rubs and expectation.
Rachel Cohn (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
That was the day I learned how dangerous a color can be. That a boy could be knocked off that shade and made to reckon his trespass. Even if color is nothing but what the light reveals, that nothing has laws, and a boy on a pink bike must learn, above all else, the law of gravity.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
You don’t want a million answers as much as you want a few forever questions. The questions are diamonds you hold in the light. Study a lifetime and you see different colors from the same jewel. The same questions, asked again, bring you just the answers you need just the minute you need them.
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
Women’s” war has its own colors, its own smells, its own lighting, and its own range of feelings. Its own words. There are no heroes and incredible feats, there are simply people who are busy doing inhumanly human things.
Svetlana Alexievich (The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II)
I stopped at a red light, feeling foolish as always for stopping at an intersection at an hour when the streets are deserted, just because a colored lightbulb told me to.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Ruby, what does the future look like?” Nico asked. “I can’t picture it. I try all the time, but I can’t imagine it. Jude said it looked like an open road just after a rainstorm.” I turned back toward the board, eyes tracing those eight letters, trying to take their power away; change them from a place, a name, to just another word. Certain memories trap you; you relive their thousand tiny details. The damp, cool spring air, swinging between snow flurries and light rain. The hum of the electric fence. The way Sam used to let out a small sigh each morning we left the cabin. I remembered the path to the Factory the way you never forgot the story behind a scar. The black mud would splatter over my shoes, momentarily hiding the numbers written there. 3285. Not a name. You learned to look up, craning your neck back to gaze over the razor wire curled around the top of the fence. Otherwise, it was too easy to forget that there was a world beyond the rusting metal pen they’d thrown all of us animals into. “I see it in colors,” I said. “A deep blue, fading into golds and reds—like fire on a horizon. Afterlight. It’s a sky that wants you to guess if the sun is about to rise or set.” Nico shook his head. “I think I like Jude’s better.” “Me too,” I said softly. “Me too.
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
you will drown if you do not have boundaries. they are not optional. this structure counts on your inability to say no. mean no. they take no from our first breath. go back and return it to your mouth. your heart. your light. – swim | women of color
Nayyirah Waheed (salt.)
You drive me insane, June,” he murmurs against my hair. “You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you?” I tilt my face up to see him. His eyes reflect the faint lights from the JumboTrons, a rainbow of evening colors. “Billions of people will come and go in this world,” he says softly, “but there will never be another like you.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
Whiteness is the color of death, you know, not black. Wetness is life, the breeder and shaper of life. In the beginning the sun was black. So all light was absorbed before it had a chance to return. And our dreams, then, were empty.
Jim Carroll
If there is such a thing as being conditioned by climate and geography, and I think there is, it is the West that has conditioned me. It has the forms and lights and colors that I respond to in nature and in art. If there is a western speech, I speak it; if there is a western character or personality, I am some variant of it; if there is a western culture in the small-c , anthropological sense, I have not escaped it. It has to have shaped me. I may even have contributed to it in minor ways, for culture is a pyramid to which each of us brings a stone.
Wallace Stegner (The American West as Living Space)
Once upon a time, [...]. There was a world that was perfectly made and full of birds and striped creatures and lovely things like honey lilies and star tenzing and weasels— [...] And this world already had light and shadow, so it didn't need any rouge stars to come and save it, and it had no use for bleeding suns or weeping moons, either, and most important, it had never known war, which is a terrible and wasteful thing that no world needs. It had earth and water, air and fire, all four elements, but it was missing the last element. Love. [...] And so this paradise was like a jewel box without a jewel. There it lay, day after day of rose-colored dawns and creature sounds and strange perfumes, and waited for lovers to find it and fill it with their happiness. The end. [...] The story is unfinished. The world is still waiting.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Maybe there would be a Tinker city someday, too. They would buy up all of the colored dye, and everyone else in the world would ave to wear brown.' -Mat
Robert Jordan (A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14))
It's the colors that will make you stray. They sing to you, the not-blue and the searing light, and no matter how tightly you tie yourself to the inbetween, eventually you will break free. No one swims only in the shallow water.
Betsy Cornwell (Tides)
Elodin pointed down the street. "What color is that boy's shirt?" "Blue." "What do you mean by blue? Describe it." I struggled for a moment, failed. "So blue is a name?" "It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself." My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand." He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
You can fall in love again with someone you're already in love with. It's like waking from a dream within a dream and finding another layer, the colors more vivid, the light more lucid, the fantasy more real. Being in love is an endless loop of waking to reverie.
Leah Raeder (Cam Girl)
Fireflies out on a warm summer's night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower's orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other's nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives. To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? ... For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?... Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned...sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates. 'The hen,' said Samuel Butler, 'is the egg's way of making another egg.' It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. ... The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon--often within hours of spawning--they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic. They've served their purpose. Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.
Carl Sagan (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Earth Before Humans by ANN DRUYAN' 'CARL SAGAN (1992-05-03))
She held a bluebell up to the light; and Dunstan could not but observe that the color of sunlight glittering through the purple crystal was inferior in both hue and shade to that of her eyes.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
Hell is the backdrop that reveals the profound and unbelievable grace of the cross. It brings to light the enormity of our sin and therefore portrays the undeserved favor of God in full color.
Francis Chan (Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up)
Things are the way they are, but everything has a reason. Kittens are cute because they're tiny fur-balls with smushed faces. Rainbows are pretty because they have every color in the world in them and they're made from refracted light. Chick flicks are sad because chicks sometimes just need a good cry. And assholes are always assholes for a reason.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
However, this sceptic had one fanaticism. This fanaticism was neither a dogma, nor an idea, nor an art, nor a science; it was a man: Enjolras. Grantaire admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras. To whom did this anarchical scoffer unite himself in this phalanx of absolute minds? To the most absolute. In what manner had Enjolras subjugated him? By his ideas? No. By his character. A phenomenon which is often observable. A sceptic who adheres to a believer is as simple as the law of complementary colors. That which we lack attracts us. No one loves the light like the blind man. The dwarf adores the drum-major. The toad always has his eyes fixed on heaven. Why? In order to watch the bird in its flight. Grantaire, in whom writhed doubt, loved to watch faith soar in Enjolras. He had need of Enjolras. That chaste, healthy, firm, upright, hard, candid nature charmed him, without his being clearly aware of it, and without the idea of explaining it to himself having occurred to him.
Victor Hugo
It was the hour in which objects lose the consistency of shadow that accompanies them during the night and gradually reacquire colors, but seem to cross meanwhile an uncertain limbo, faintly touched, just breathed on by light; the hour in which one is least certain of the world's existence.
Italo Calvino (The Nonexistent Knight & The Cloven Viscount)
Squeeze your eyes closed, as tight as you can, and think of all your favorite autumns, crisp and perfect, all bound up together like a stack of cards. That is what it is like, the awful, wonderful brightness of Fairy colors. Try to smell the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, green smoke into the afternoon. To feel the mellow, golden sun on your skin, more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of your favorite reading nook at the close of the day.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with it’s path high above, and it’s two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of a gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Hayley Williams
Outside is pure energy and colorless substance. All of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings.
Albert Hofmann
Nearly one million people lived in Soweto. Ninety-nine point nine percent of them were black—and then there was me. I was famous in my neighborhood just because of the color of my skin. I was so unique people would give directions using me as a landmark. “The house on Makhalima Street. At the corner you’ll see a light-skinned boy. Take a right there.” Whenever
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
I bought new strings of colored lights. This served as a profession of faith in the future. I take the opportunity for such professions where and when I can invent them, since I do not yet actually feel this faith in the future.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? How aware of variations in heat waves can that eye be? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of color. Imagine a world before the 'beginning was the word.
Stan Brakhage (Metaphors on Vision)
Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest - the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways - and re-enter the woods. For only there can a man encounter the silence and the darkness of his own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world's longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and seen that darkness, he will grow humble before the place and begin to take it in - to learn from it what it is. As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them. He will be with them - neither ignorant of them, nor indifferent to them, nor against them - and so at last he will grow to be native-born. That is, he must reenter the silence and the darkness, and be born again. (pg. 27, "A Native Hill")
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Belize: Hell or heaven? [Roy indicates "Heaven" through a glance] Belize: Like San Francisco. Roy Cohn: A city. Good. I was worried... it'd be a garden. I hate that shit. Belize: Mmmm. Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, fierce gusts of gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens. Roy Cohn: Isaiah. Belize: Prophet birds, Roy. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. Roy Cohn: And a dragon atop a golden horde. Belize: And everyone in Balencia gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome. And you ain't there. Roy Cohn: And Heaven? Belize: That was Heaven, Roy.
Tony Kushner (Angels in America)
There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: 'I’ll go take a hot bath.' I meditate in the bath.The water needs to be very hot, so hot you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water’s up to your neck. I remember the ceiling over every bathtub I’ve stretched out in. I remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. I remember the tubs, too: the antique griffin-legged tubs, and the modern coffin-shaped tubs, and the fancy pink marble tubs overlooking indoor lily ponds, and I remember the shapes and sizes of the water taps and the different sorts of soap holders. I never feel so much myself as when I’m in a hot bath.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
I don't know if you realize this, but there are some researchers - doctors - who are giving this kind of drug to volunteers, to see what the effects are, and they're doing it the proper scientific way, in clean white hospital rooms, away from trees and flowers and the wind, and they're surprised at how many of the experiments turn sour. They've never taken any sort of psychedelic themselves, needless to say. Their volunteers - they're called 'subjects,' of course - are given mescaline or LSD and they're all opened up to their surroundings, very sensitive to color and light and other people's emotions, and what are they given to react to? Metal bed-frames and plaster walls, and an occasional white coat carrying a clipboard. Sterility. Most of them say afterward that they'll never do it again.
Alexander Shulgin (Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story)
We all go through hard times in life. It’s a part of being alive and it's the reality we all have to deal with. There are times we forget our value as a person because we are so blinded with these thoughts of loneliness, emptiness and ego. Somewhere along the road we become numbed with all the frustrations and dissatisfaction. But life itself isn't always about darkness and sadness, Life is also filled with colors and that makes it beautiful. Along this path of darkness there's always light waiting to be seen by our daunted hearts. Our heart is gifted to see this light. It may be hiding behind those circumstances that we encounter; in a stranger we just met at an unexpected place; a family who has been always there but you just ignored because of your imperfect relationship with them; it might be a long time friend you have or a friend you just met. Open your heart and you will see how blessed you are to have them all in your life. Sometimes they are the light that shines your path in some dark phases of life. Don't lose hope
Chanda Kaushik
I was told The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7 She picks the colors and the cake first By the age of 10 She knows time, And location By 17 She’s already chosen a gown 2 bridesmaids And a maid of honor By 23 She’s waiting for a man Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment” Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed Someone Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen To be honest I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing I have no clue what want my wedding will look like But I imagine The women who pins my last to hers Will butterfly down the aisle Like a 5 foot promise I imagine Her smile Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps And know exactly where our wedding is being held The woman that I plan to marry Will have champagne in her walk And I will get drunk on her footsteps When the pastor asks If I take this woman to be my wife I will say yes before he finishes the sentence I’ll apologize later for being impolite But I will also explain him That our first kiss happened 6 years ago And I’ve been practicing my “Yes” For past 2, 165 days When people ask me about my wedding I never really know what to say But when they ask me about my future wife I always tell them Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long I say She thinks too much Misses her father Loves to laugh And she’s terrible at lying Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl I tell them If my alarm clock sounded like her voice My snooze button would collect dust I tell them If she came in a bottle I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys If she was a book I would memorize her table of contents I would read her cover-to-cover Hoping to find typos Just so we can both have a few things to work on Because aren’t we all unfinished? Don’t we all need a little editing? Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone? Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense She don’t always make sense But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most I don’t know when I will be married I don’t know where I will be married But I do know this Whenever I’m asked about my future wife I always say …She’s a lot like you
Rudy Francisco
It was safe, with all the lights off and no one around to point and stare. In the night it's easy to indulge. It was just the two of us—we didn't have to think about who we were or what this meant or where it was going. It was like an escape. It's easy to forget at this moment billions of people exist and far-off galaxies are being born and stars collide. Kissing is its own kind of collision, it produces its own planetarium of lights inside your head. For me, it was like seeing colors for the first time after living in a black-and-white world. A single person can be just as wide and vast and spellbinding as any sky full of stars. They can make you think the world stops and night can last forever.",
Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken (Awaken, #1))
Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hardest about the seduction of certain geographies that feel like home — not by story or blood but merely by their forms and colors. How our perceptions are our only internal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you away. How you can fall in love with the light.
Ellen Meloy (The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky (Pulitzer Prize Finalist))
The complex human eye harvests light. It perceives seven to ten million colors through a synaptic flash: one-tenth of a second from retina to brain. Homo sapiens gangs up to 70 percent of its sense receptors solely for vision, to anticipate danger and recognize reward, but also—more so—for beauty.
Ellen Meloy (The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky (Pulitzer Prize Finalist))
In the back of my mind, I thought maybe I would find my Robert Redford in New Orleans. We made our way to the city by afternoon and planned to drive home when the sun rose over Lake Pontchartrain. We had no idea where else to go, except to Bourbon Street. We walked toward the bright lights and glowing colors of one strip club after another…. In 1975, Big Daddy’s was the top, topless go-go joint on Bourbon.
Karen Hinton (Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men and Power)
We had no desire to live in Istanbul, nor in Paris or New York. Let them have their discos and dollars, their skycrapers and supersonics transports. Let them have their radios and their color TV, hey, we have ours, don't we? But we have something they don't have. Heart. We have heart. Look, look how the light of life seeps into my very heart
Orhan Pamuk (The New Life)
He had never seen a gunshot wound. He kept asking what it felt like? dull or sharp? an ache or burn? My head was spinning and naturally I could give him no kind of coherent answer but I remember thinking dimly that it was sort of like the first time I got drunk, or slept with a girl; not quite what one expected, really, but once it happened one realized it couldn't be any other way. Neon lights: Motel 6, Dairy Queen. Colors so bright, they nearly broke my heart.
Donna Tartt
I smiled half a smile at her puppy antics, wondering what it would be like to be able to join her, to shed my human skin and the confines that went with it and just live in the moment as a wolf. What would I look like with four legs and fur—would I be light-colored like Katie, or a darker timber, like Dev? I wondered if I would be velvet black with ice-blue eyes, like Chase.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1))
Jodie had taught her that the female firefly flickers the light under her tail to signal to the male that she's ready to mate. Each species of firefly has its own language of flashes. As Kya watched, some females signed dot, dot, dot, dash, flying a zigzag dance, while others flashed dash, dash, dot in a different dance pattern. The males, of course, knew the signals of their species and flew only to those females. Then, as Jodie had put it, they rubbed their bottoms together like most things did, so they could produce young. Suddenly Kya sat up and paid attention: one of the females had changed her code. First she flashed the proper sequence of dashes and dots, attracting a male of her species, and they mated. Then she flickered a different signal, and a male of a different species flew to her. Reading her message, the second male was convinced he'd found a willing female of his own kind and hovered above her to mate. But suddenly the female firefly reached up, grabbed him with her mouth, and ate him, chewing all six legs and both wings. Kya watched others. The females all got what they wanted – first a mate, then a meal – just by changing their signals. Kya knew judgment had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the players. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
One day,’ I told him, ‘God will turn out all the lights to remind people like you that in the dark, you won’t be able to tell who is white like you and who ain’t. We’ll have to treat one another equally. We’ll learn it’s not our skin color that makes us good or bad. And only when we learn that, will God turn the lights back on.
Tiffany McDaniel (Betty)
People think that the word "class" involves the color black, wearing Chanel No. 5 and carrying a Louis Vuitton. The word "class" and "classy", to me, mean what happens when you are able to be thankful, able to give and be a true friend to anybody regardless of their background and where they come from. That's class. It's a beautiful wave that washes away faults and paints things in a graceful light. You can't always do this, though. Sometimes you just need to slap someone. Still, you can slap someone with a lot of poise and that makes all the difference.
C. JoyBell C.
Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steadily falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
Dylan Thomas (A Child's Christmas in Wales)
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
It occurred to me, as it sometimes does, that this day is over and will never be lived again, that we are only the sum of days, and when those are spent, we will not come back to this place, to this time, to these people and these colors, and I wonder whether to be sad about this or to be happy, to trust that these moments were meant for some kind of enjoyment, as a kind of blessing. And if feels, tonight, as if there is much to think about, there is much we have been given and much we have left behind. The smell of freedom is as brisk as the air through the windows. And there is a feeling that time itself has been curtained by darkness.
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
...judgement had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the participants. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light. Nothing seemed too indecorous as long as the tick & the tock of life carried on. She knew this was not a dark side to Nature, just inventive ways to endure against all odds.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
An incomplete list: No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by. No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take pictures of concert states. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars. No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one's hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite. No more flight. No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment. No more airplanes, no more requests to put your tray table in its upright and locked position – but no, this wasn't true, there were still airplanes here and there. They stood dormant on runways and in hangars. They collected snow on their wings. In the cold months, they were ideal for food storage. In summer the ones near orchards were filled with trays of fruit that dehydrated in the heat. Teenagers snuck into them to have sex. Rust blossomed and streaked. No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space. No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
It's more than the color.' He lifts my chin a little and our eyes reconnect. 'They have a dark line around the edge of the iris, a thing of natural beauty that brings your eyes to life. And they are intense; they shine like they're reflecting the light of a thousand stars, and they reflec...t me, too, and they make me want to be everything to you. And when you get angry, they dance a little, and every time it weakens my heart and makes me smile.
David Cristofano (The Girl She Used to Be)
when someone speaks he looks at a mouth, not eyes and their colors, which, it seems to him, will always alter depending on the light of a room, the minute of the day. Mouths reveal insecurity or smugness or any other point on the spectrum of character. For him they are the most intricate aspect of faces. He's never sure what an eye reveals. but he can read how mouths darken into callousness, suggest tenderness. One can often misjudge an eye from its reaction to a simple beam of sunlight.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw “the tree with the lights in it.” It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing that like being for the first time see, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells un-flamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colors. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well… Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of us…I could light myself…that is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting… God is there under a form that has the good luck to be neither religious, not intellectual, nor sentimental, but quite simply alive.
Jacques Lusseyran (And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Revolution)
One noteworthy study suggests that people who suppress negative emotions tend to leak those emotions later in unexpected ways. The psychologist Judith Grob asked people to hide their emotions when she showed them disgusting images. She even had them hold pens in their mouths to prevent them from frowning. She found that this group reported feeling less disgusted by the pictures than did those who'd been allowed to react naturally. Later, however, the people who hid their emotions suffered side effects. Their memory was impaired, and the negative emotions they'd suppressed seemed to color their outlook. When Grob had them fill in the missing letter to the word "gr_ss", for example, they were more likely than others to offer "gross" rather than "grass". "People who tend to [suppress their negative emotions] regularly," concludes Grob, "might start to see their world in a more negative light." p. 223
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
So build yourself as beautiful as you want your world to be. Wrap yourself in light then give yourself away with your heart, your brush, your march, your art, your poetry, your play. And for every day you paint the war, take a week and paint the beauty, the color, the shape of the landscape you’re marching towards. Everyone knows what you’re against; show them what you’re for.
Andrea Gibson
The leaves streamed down, trembling in the sun. They were not green, only a few, scattered through the torrent, stood out in single drops of green so bright and pure that it hurt the eyes; the rest were not a color, but a light, the substance of fire on metal, living sparks without edges. And it looked as if the forest were a spread of light boiling slowly to produce this color, the green rising in small bubbles, the condensed essence of spring. The trees met, blending over the road and the spots of sun on the ground moved with the shifting of the branches, like a conscious caress.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she’d thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color. A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major. “Why magnesium?” she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal. His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. “Because it’s beautifully explosive, just like my X.
Nalini Singh (Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling, #11))
Without memories to cloud it, the mind perceives with absolute clarity. Each observation stands out in stark relief. In the beginning, when there's not yet a smudge, the slate still blank, there is only the present moment: each vital detail, shocked color, the fall of light. Like film stills. The mind relentlessly open to the world, deeply impressed, even hurt by it: not yet gauzed by memory.
Nicole Krauss
To express the love of two lovers by the marriage of two complementary colours, their blending and their contrast, the mysterious vibrations of related tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of a light tone against a dark background. To express hope by some star. Someone's passion by the radiance of the setting sun. That's certainly no realistic trompe l'oeil, but something that really exists, isn't it?
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh)
You’re right,” Jacks said. “You’re not part of my world. You’re not one of those girls. And maybe that’s why.” “Why what?” “Why I can’t stop thinking about you.” Maddy rolled her eyes. “Guys like you don’t say that to girls like me.” “I’ve never said that to anyone, actually,” Jacks corrected. “In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before.” He let out a little laugh. “How am I doing?” He swallowed hard, trying to push down his nervousness. He was astonished to realize he was nervous. Somehow being around Maddy just put him in a different space. Jacks felt so present. Maddy stared at him, letting the anger and frustration surge through her. “Why are you doing this to me?” she asked finally. He paused, considering. “I’m being honest. I know you may not believe me. But I haven’t been able to not think about you. When we were in the back at the restaurant, and . . .” Jacks’s voice trailed off, his face coloring. “I still feel terrible about what I did. I lied to you and, even though I had good reasons for it, it was wrong of me.” Maddy studied him. Was he telling the truth? Jacks smiled. “I mean this in the best possible way: I’m not going to leave you alone until you let me make it up to you. I’m serious. I’ll be here every night. You might as well get me some pajamas and a toothbrush.” Despite her best efforts not to, Maddy laughed. She looked at Jacks and could see the faintest twinkle of light in his eyes. “So what you’re saying is that I should just give in and let you make it up to me. Otherwise you’ll be tormenting me like this for the rest of my life?” “Pretty much. Yeah.” “Well.” She sighed. “What do you have in mind?” “Come fly with me.
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
The grass is full of ghosts tonight.' 'The whole campus is alive with them.' They paused by Little and watched the moon rise, to make silver of the slate roof of Dodd and blue the rustling trees. 'You know,' whispered Tom, 'what we feel now is the sense of all the gorgeous youth that has rioted through here in two hundred years.' ... And what we leave here is more than class; it's the whole heritage of youth. We're just one generation-- we're breaking all the links that seemed to bind us her to top-booted and high-stocked generations. We've walked arm and arm with Burr and Light-Horse Harry Lee through half these deep-blue nights.' 'That's what they are,' Tom tangented off, 'deep-blue-- a bit of color would spoil them, make them exotic.' Spries, against a sky that's a promise of dawn, and blue light on the slate roofs-- it hurts... rather--' 'Good-by, Aaron Burr,' Amory called toward deserted Nassau Hall, 'you and I knew strange corners of life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
From then on I had her in my memory with so much clarity that I could do what I wanted with her. I changed the color of her eyes according to my state of mind: the color of water when she woke, the color of syrup when she laughed, the color of light when she was annoyed. I dressed her according to the age and condition that suited my changes of mood: a novice in love at twenty, a parlor whore at forty, the queen of Babylon at seventy, a saint at one hundred.
Gabriel García Márquez
The other aspect of those weekday-evening trips he loved was the light itself, how it filled the train like something living as the cars rattled across the bridge, how it washed the weariness from his seatmates' faces and revealed them as they were when they first came to the country, when they were young and America seemed conquerable. He'd watch that kind light suffuse the car like syrup, watch it smudge furrows from foreheads, slick gray hairs into gold, gentle the aggressive shine from cheap fabrics into something lustrous and fine. And then the sun would drift, the car rattling uncaringly away from it, and the world would return to its normal sad shapes and colors, the people to their normal sad state, a shift as cruel and abrupt as if it had been made by a sorcerer's wand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
It was dark in the alcove, so dark that Jace was only an outline of shadows and gold. His body pinned Clary's to the wall. His hands slid down along her body and reached the end of her dress, drawing it up along her legs. "What are you doing?" She whispered. "Jace?" He looked at her. The peculiar light in the club turned his eyes an array of fractured colors. His smile was wicked. "You can tell me to stop whenever you want," he said. "But you won't.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful. Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance. Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs. Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for they will be crowned.
Francis of Assisi
All the radiance of April in Italy lay gathered together at her feet. The sun poured in on her. The sea lay asleep in it, hardly stirring. Across the bay the lovely mountains, exquisitely different in color, were asleep too in the light; and underneath her window, at the bottom of the flower-starred grass slope from which the wall of castle rose up, was a great cypress, cutting through the delicate blues and violets and rose-colors of the mountains and the sea like a great black sword. She stared. Such beauty; and she there to see it. Such beauty; and she alive to feel it. Her face was bathed in light.
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April)
My Diego: Mirror of the night Your eyes green swords inside my flesh. waves between our hands. All of you in a space full of sounds — in the shade and in the light. You were called AUXOCHROME the one who captures color. I CHROMOPHORE — the one who gives color. You are all the combinations of numbers. life. My wish is to understand lines form shades movement. You fulfill and I receive. Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light.
Frida Kahlo
I live alone," he said simply. "I live in the open. I hear the waves at night and see the black patterns of the pine boughs against the sky. With sound and silence and color and solitude, of course I see visions. Anyone would." "But you don't believe in them?" Doc asked hopefully. "I don't find it a matter for belief or disbelief," the seer said. "You've seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks into the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself everytime that it's an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it? Don't you see visions?" "No," said Doc.
John Steinbeck (Sweet Thursday (Cannery Row, #2))
Sometimes, you need the ocean light, and colors you’ve never seen before painted through an evening sky. Sometimes you need your God to be a simple invitation not a telling word of wisdom. Sometimes you need only the first shyness that comes from being shown things far beyond your understanding, so that you can fly and become free by being still and by being still here. And then there are times you want to be brought to ground by touch and touch alone. To know those arms around you and to make your home in the world just by being wanted. To see eyes looking back at you, as eyes should see you at last, seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen, seeing you, as you yourself had always wanted to see the world.
David Whyte (Pilgrim)
You go through life thinking there's so much you need. Your favorite jeans and sweater. The jacket with the faux-fur lining to keep you warm. Your phone and your music and your favorite books. Mascara. Irish breakfast tea and cappuccinos from Trouble Coffee. You need your yearbooks, every stiffly posed school-dance photo, the notes your friends slipped into your locker. You need the camera you got for your sixteenth birthday and the flowers you dried. You need your notebooks full of the things you learned and don't want to forget. You need your bedspread, white with black diamonds. You need your pillow - it fits the way you sleep. You need magazines promising self-improvement. You need your running shoes and your sandals and your boots. Your grade report from the semester you got straight As. Your prom dress, your shiny earrings, your pendants on delicate chains. You need your underwear, your light-colored bras and your black ones. The dream catcher hanging above your bed. The dozens and dozens of shells in glass jars... You think you need all of it. Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
I used to think there were two kinds of Crayola artists: Ones who color inside the lines and ones who don’t stay within the rigid boundaries set by thick black perimeters that make up a cuddly koala. But it seems that inside and outside the lines is just the main basis for comparison. You also have those who color lightly inside and fill each space according to the chosen and appropriate shade. Then you have those who scribble and slap any color anywhere. And sometimes these people have purple turkeys and shit that drives me absofreakinglutely crazy because, seriously
Amber L. Johnson (Puddle Jumping (Puddle Jumping, #1))
I put both hands on his chest and backed him up a pace. The black sky behind him was filled with color. I said, “Go. Hurry. You can still help. You’re missing it.” He pulled me close again and gazed down at me, tracing one finger so tenderly along my cheekbone. His finger was black, and he might be leaving an attractive black streak across my skin. I didn’t mind. The way he was looking at me with those light blue eyes, I had never felt more beautiful. He bent his head close to my ear again so I could hear him whisper, “I’m not missing anything
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
Colors shift like smoke within the branch beneath our feet. Sprites jump from leaf to leaf, leaving sprinklings of glittery dust in the air behind them. Droplets of water are strung like pearls from the silver strands of a spider’s web. Bluebottle glow-bugs stick to the leaves and branches, lighting up the night with their blue-green bodies. And high above us, clouds are draped like sashes of color across the sky. Amethyst, azure, jade.
Rachel Morgan (The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1))
My eyelids are heavy as stone. But when I sleep, I'll have that dream again. I haven't wanted to tell you about it, until now. I'll be in the Separates, and I'll be digging with my bare hands. When I've made a hole deep enough to plant a tree, I'll place my fingers inside. I'll slip off the ring you gave me. It will catch the light and glint a rainbow of colors over my skin, but I will take my hands away, leaving it there. I'll sprinkle the earth back over it, and I will bury it. Back where it belongs. I'll rest against a tree's rough trunk. The sun will be setting, it's dazzling color threading through the sky, making my cheeks warm. Then I will wake up. Good-bye, Ty, Gemma
Lucy Christopher (Stolen (Stolen, #1))
I can't really remember the days. The light of the sun blurred and annihilated all color. But the nights, I remember them. The blue was more distant than the sky, beyond all depths, covering the bounds of the world. The sky, for me, was the stretch of pure brilliance crossing the blue, that cold coalescence beyond all color. Sometimes, it was in Vinh Long, when my mother was sad she'd order the gig and we'd drive out into the country to see the nighta s it was in the dry season. I had that good fortune- those nights, that mother. The light fell from the sky in cataracts of pure transparency, in torrents of silence and immobility. The air was blue, you could hold it in your hand. Blue. The sky was the continual throbbing of the brilliance of the light. The night lit up everything, all the country on either bank of the river as far as the eye could reach. Every night was different, each one had a name as long as it lasted. Their sound was that of the dogs, the country dogs baying at mystery. They answered on another from village to village, until the time and space of the night were utterly consumed.
Marguerite Duras (The Lover)
Nature offers us a thousand simple pleasers- Plays of light and color, fragrance in the air, the sun's warmth on skin and muscle, the audible rhythm of life's stir and push- for the price of merely paying attention. What joy! But how unwilling or unable many of us are to pay this price in an age when manufactured sources of stimulation and pleasure are everywhere at hand. For me, enjoying nature's pleasures takes conscious choice, a choice to slow down to seed time or rock time, to still the clamoring ego, to set aside plans and busyness, and to simply to be present in my body, to offer myself up. Respond to the above quote. Pay special attention to each of your five senses as you describe your surroundings. Also, you need to incorporate at least one metaphor and smile in your descriptions.
Lorraine Anderson (Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature)
Everything we think we know is really only perceived by our senses,' he explains patiently. 'The sounds we hear are just waves in the air; colors are electromagnetic radiation; your sense of taste comes from molecules that match a specific area on your tongue. Hey, if our eyes could access the infrared part of the light spectrum, the sky would be green and trees would be red. Some animals see in completely different ways, so who knows what colors look like to them. Nothing is really how we perceive it.
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don't? Now she was me - the familiar stranger. She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide whether it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Or had they? She had my hair - long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma’s had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth - more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I’d always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn’t that my skin was suddenly so white ... maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting. I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness ... as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger ... more barbaric. From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment — just an instant—I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother’s people rejoiced.
P.C. Cast
Some mornings you wake up fully in your body, and you know this is all there is--the air, the shape your body makes in the air, your hand, the skin that covers your hand, the air that covers your skin, the light that fills the air, a few colors in the light, this one thought, this dream dissolving--it is a dream that, in your half-awake state, embarrasses you. You don't tell it to the woman waking up beside you, the woman you love, because it is about another woman, whom you might also love. This is the dream you need to hold onto, this is your shadow speaking, attempting to bewilder you again. Sometimes, if you lay still, you can feel the air entering each cell, sometimes you can feel the blood in your lips. Sometimes, if you lay very still, you can feel the whole web tremble.
Nick Flynn (The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir)
You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode. There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Jac Vanek
Possibilities I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case. I prefer the color green. I prefer not to maintain that reason is to blame for everything. I prefer exceptions. I prefer to leave early. I prefer talking to doctors about something else. I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations. I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems. I prefer, where love's concerned, nonspecific anniversaries that can be celebrated every day. I prefer moralists who promise me nothing. I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind. I prefer the earth in civvies. I prefer conquered to conquering countries. I prefer having some reservations. I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order. I prefer Grimms' fairy tales to the newspapers' front pages. I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves. I prefer dogs with uncropped tails. I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark. I prefer desk drawers. I prefer many things that I haven't mentioned here to many things I've also left unsaid. I prefer zeroes on the loose to those lined up behind a cipher. I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars. I prefer to knock on wood. I prefer not to ask how much longer and when. I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.
Wisława Szymborska
There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame. The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean's faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale's rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love. The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love. The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman's fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, 'I am home' as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, 'I am me' on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre'd marl - says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, 'I am home.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge — pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
THE MOTH AND THE BUTTERFLY When the sun rises over the horizon, the butterfly emerges to dance in its brilliant light. It flickers its colorful wings with euphoria, To celebrate all the beauty found in the majestic garden of life. When the moon arrives in the darkness, The moth appears at the disappearance of sunlight. It flickers its pale wings as it shakes from its deep slumber, To go search for food To carry it through the night. The moth prefers the moon and detests the sun, while the butterfly loves the sun and hides from the moon. Every living creature responds to light, But depending on the amount of light you have inside, Determines which lamp in the sky Your heart will swoon. Poetry by Suzy Kassem
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
From the bottom of my heart I desired to surrender myself to the sleep of oblivion. If only oblivion were attainable, if it could last forever, if my eyes as they closed could gently transcend sleep and dissolve into non-being and I should lose consciousness of my existence for all time to come, if it were possible for my being to dissolve in one drop of ink, in one bar of music, in one ray of colored light, and then these waves and forms were to grow and grow to such infinite size that in the end they faded and disappeared—then I should have attained my desire.
Sadegh Hedayat (The Blind Owl)
Molecules form and dissolve, returning to the primordial soup of atoms. But consciousness survives the death of the molecules on which it rides. What was once a bundle of energy in a sunbeam turns into a leaf, only to fall and change again into soil. The change of state crosses many boundaries. A sunbeam is invisible, whereas leaves and soil are visible.A leaf is alive and growing,whereas sunbeams aren't.the colors of light, leaf, and soil are different, and so on. But all these transformations exist as constructs of the mind.The actual energy present in the sunbeam experiences no change at all.
Deepak Chopra (The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want)
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
That evening, as I watched the sunset’s pinwheels of apricot and mauve slowly explode into red ribbons, I thought: The sensory misers will inherit the earth, but first they will make it not worth living on. When you consider something like death, after which (there being no news flash to the contrary) we may well go out like a candle flame, then it probably doesn’t matter if we try too hard, are awkward sometimes, care for one another too deeply, are excessively curious about nature, are too open to experience, enjoy a nonstop expense of the senses in an effort to know life intimately and lovingly. It probably doesn’t matter if, while trying to be modest and eager watchers of life’s many spectacles, we sometimes look clumsy or get dirty or ask stupid questions or reveal our ignorance or say the wrong thing or light up with wonder like the children we all are. It probably doesn’t matter if a passerby sees us dipping a finger into the moist pouches of dozens of lady’s slippers to find out what bugs tend to fall into them, and thinks us a bit eccentric. Or a neighbor, fetching her mail, sees us standing in the cold with our own letters in one hand and a seismically red autumn leaf in the other its color hitting our sense like a blow from a stun gun, as we stand with a huge grin, too paralyzed by the intricately veined gaudiness of the leaf to move.
Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses)
As long as you are not conscious of your self you can live; but if you become conscious of your self you fall from one grave into another. All your rebirths could ultimately make you sick. The Buddha therefore finally gave up on rebirth, for he had had enough of crawling through all human and animal forms. After all the rebirths you still remain the lion crawling on the earth, the Chameleon, a caricature, one prone to changing colors, a crawling shimmering lizard, but precisely not a lion, whose nature is related to the sun, who draws his power from within himself who does not crawl around in the protective colors of the environment, and who does not defend himself by going into hiding. I recognized the chameleon and no longer want to crawl on the earth and change colors and be reborn; instead I want to exist from my own force, like the sun which gives light and does not suck light. That belongs to the earth. I recall my solar nature and would like to rush to my rising. But ruins stand in my way They say: 'With regard to men you should be this or that.' My chameleonesque skin shudders. They obtrude upon me and want to color me. But that should no longer be. Neither good nor evil shall be my masters. I push them aside, the laughable survivors, and go on my way again, which leads me to the East. The quarreling powers that for so long stood between me and myself lie behind me.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
As suburban children we floated at night in swimming pools the temperature of blood; pools the color of Earth as seen from outer space. We would float and be naked—pretending to be embryos, pretending to be fetuses—all of us silent save for the hum of the pool filter. Our minds would be blank and our eyes closed as we floated in warm waters, the distinction between our bodies and our brains reduced to nothing—bathed in chlorine and lit by pure blue lights installed underneath diving boards. Sometimes we would join hands and form a ring like astronauts in space; sometimes when we felt more isolated in our fetal stupor we would bump into each other in the deep end, like twins with whom we didn’t even know we shared a womb.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
Five minutes later, the girls stood at the open kitchen door, blinking in the brilliant overcast light. The smell of lilacs, roses, sweet peas, and honeysuckle mixed with the scent of crisp late summer leaves. None of them had been in the gradens for nine months, and the bright saturated greens, reds, and violets overwhelmed them. It reminded Azalea of Mother, beautiful and bright, thick with scents and excitement. And the King-he was like the palace behind them, all straights and grays, stiff and symmetrical and orderly. "It's really allowed?" said Flora, her eyes alight at the colors. "Allowed allowed?" said Goldenrod. "For the last time," said the King, pushing them gently out the kitchen door and onto the path. "It is Royal Business! Go On. Get some color in your cheeks.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
…For love it is never the same. What goes on inside is never the same just like this music which changes every instant. For love there are a million variations, a million nights, a million days, contrasts in moods, in textures, whims, a million gestures colored by emotion, by sorrow, joy, fear, courage, triumph, by revelations which deepen the groove, creations which expand its dimensions, sharpen its penetrations. Love is vast enough to include a phrase read in a book, the shape of a neck seen and desired in a crowd, a face loved and desired, seen in the window of a passing subway, vast enough to include a past love, a future love, a film, a voyage, a scene in a dream, an hallucination, a vision. Love-making under a tent, or under a tree, with or without a cover, under a shower, in darkness or in light, in heat or cold.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944)
This was a face such as I had never seen before, even in the most fanciful of dreams, a face that was, in its way, a work of art. For it was light and dark, night and day, this world and the Otherworld. On the left side, the face of a youngish man, the skin weathered but fair, the eye gray and clear, the mouth well formed if unyielding in character. On all the right side, extending from an undrawn mark down the exact center, an etching of line and curve and feathery pattern, like the mask of some fierce bird of prey. An eagle? A goshawk? No, it was, I thought, a raven, even as far as the circles about the eye and the suggestion of predatory beak around the nostril. The mark of the raven. If I had not been so frightened, I might have laughed at the irony of it. The pattern extended down his neck and under the border of his leather jerkin and the linen shirt he wore beneath it. His head was completely shaven, and the skull, too, was colored the same, half-man, half-wild creature; some great artist of the inks and needle had wrought this over many days, and I imagined the pain must have been considerable.
Juliet Marillier (Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2))
RAINBOW VOICES I ask people of the world and children of light to start reflecting the stories of their souls to vibrate wisdom around the earth. Pick up a paintbrush or microphone. Press the inks of your pens to paper or tap words onto your screens, and start sharing what you know and have learned with the masses. Turn your personal painting into a piece of the earth's puzzle so that our unified assemblage of thoughts, experiences and lessons reveal common truths that cannot be denied. Imagine the changes that could happen if everyone suddenly stopped acting like someone else, became true to themselves, and celebrated the beauty of their uniqueness. Only after people have willingly removed their masks and costumes, and have begun pouring light from their hearts to reveal their vulnerability, dreams and pains, will we be able to see that beneath the surface we are all the same. After all, how can the world collectively fight for truth, if soldiers in its army are void of truth? We must first all be true by putting truth in our words and actions. And to do so, everyone must learn to think and react with their conscience. Imagine what Truth could do to neutralize the clutches of evil once this black and white world suddenly became embraced by a strong rainbow of loud powerful voices. We could put color back into every home, every school, every industry, every nation, and every garden on earth where flowers have been crushed by corruption.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I suppose you think you know what autumn looks like. Even if you live in the Los Angeles dreamed of by September’s schoolmates, you have surely seen postcards and photographs of the kind of autumn I mean. The trees go all red and blazing orange and gold, and wood fires burn at night so everything smells of crisp branches. The world rolls about delightedly in a heap of cider and candy and apples and pumpkins and cold stars rush by through wispy, ragged clouds, past a moon like a bony knee. You have, no doubt, experienced a Halloween or two. Autumn in Fairyland is all that, of course. You would never feel cheated by the colors of a Fairyland Forest or the morbidity of a Fairyland moon. And the Halloween masks! Oh, how they glitter, how they curl, how their beaks and jaws hook and barb! But to wander through autumn in Fairyland is to look into a murky pool, seeing only a hazy reflection of the Autumn Provinces’ eternal fall. And human autumn is but a cast-off photograph of that reflecting pool, half burnt and drifting through the space between us and Fairyland. And so I may tell you that the leaves began to turn red as September and her friends rushed through the suddenly cold air on their snorting, roaring high wheels, and you might believe me. But no red you have ever seen could touch the crimson bleed of the trees in that place. No oak gnarled and orange with October is half as bright as the boughs that bent over September’s head, dropping their hard, sweet acorns into her spinning spokes. But you must try as hard as you can. Squeeze your eyes closed, as tight as you can, and think of all your favorite autumns, crisp and perfect, all bound up together like a stack of cards. That is what it is like, the awful, wonderful brightness of Fairy colors. Try to smell the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, green smoke into the afternoon. To feel to mellow, golden sun on your skin, more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of your favorite reading nook at the close of the day.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue. For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.
Rebecca Solnit
What is the colour of Christmas? Red? The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon, Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast? Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter? One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, For the true colour of Christmas is Black. Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight. I am not sure who wrote this. I got it from page nine of “A Book of Christmas” by William Sansom. Google didn’t help. It is rather true I think, that the true color of Christmas is black. For like the author said in succeeding sentences “The table yellow with electric light, the fire by which stories are told, the bright spangle of the tree- they all blazé out of shadow and out of a darkness of winter
William Sansom
When the Devil was a woman, When Lilith wound Her ebony hair in heavy braids, And framed Her pale features all 'round With Botticelli's tangled thoughts, When she, smiling softly, Ringed all her slim fingers In golden bands with brilliant stones, When she leafed through Villiers And loved Huysmans, When she fathomed Maeterlinck's silence And bathed her Soul In Gabriel d'Annunzio's colors, She even laughed And as she laughed, The little princess of serpents sprang Out of her mouth. Then the most beautiful of she-devils Sought after the serpent, She seized the Queen of Serpents With her ringed finger, So that she wound and hissed Hissed, hissed And spit venom. In a heavy copper vase; Damp earth, Black damp earth She scattered upon it. Lightly her great hands caressed This heavy copper vase All around, Her pale lips lightly sang Her ancient curse. Like a children's rhyme her curses chimed, Soft and languid Languid as the kisses, That the damp earth drank From her mouth, But life arose in the vase, And tempted by her languid kisses, And tempted by those sweet tones, From the black earth slowly there crept, Orchids - When the most beloved Adorns her pale features before the mirror All 'round with Botticelli's adders, There creep sideways from the copper vase, Orchids- Devil's blossoms which the ancient earth, Wed by Lilith's curse To serpent's venom, has borne to the light Orchids- The Devil's blossoms- "The Diary Of An Orange Tree
Hanns Heinz Ewers (Nachtmahr: Strange Tales)
Title: Blue Light Lounge Sutra For The Performance Poets At Harold Park Hotel the need gotta be so deep words can't answer simple questions all night long notes stumble off the tongue & color the air indigo so deep fragments of gut & flesh cling to the song you gotta get into it so deep salt crystalizes on eyelashes the need gotta be so deep you can vomit up ghosts & not feel broken till you are no more than a half ounce of gold in painful brightness you gotta get into it blow that saxophone so deep all the sex & dope in this world can't erase your need to howl against the sky the need gotta be so deep you can't just wiggle your hips & rise up out of it chaos in the cosmos modern man in the pepperpot you gotta get hooked into every hungry groove so deep the bomb locked in rust opens like a fist into it into it so deep rhythm is pre-memory the need gotta be basic animal need to see & know the terror we are made of honey cause if you wanna dance this boogie be ready to let the devil use your head for a drum
Yusef Komunyakaa
We are not great connoisseurs of the two twilights. We miss the dawning, exclusably enough, by sleeping through it, and are as much strangers to the shadowless welling-up of day as to the hesitant return of consciousness in our slowly waking selves. But our obliviousness to evening twilight is less understandable. Why do we almost daily ignore a spectacle (and I do not mean sunset but rather the hour, more or less, afterward) that has a thousand tonalities, that alters and extends reality, that offers, more beautifully than anything man-made, a visual metaphor or peace? To say that it catches us at busy or tired moments won't do; for in temperate latitudes it varies by hours from solstice to solstice. Instead I suspect that we shun twilight because if offers two things which, as insecurely rational beings, we would rather not appreciate: the vision of irrevocable cosmic change (indeed, change into darkness), and a sense of deep ambiguity—of objects seeming to be more, less, other than we think them to be. We are noontime and midnight people, and such devoted camp-followers of certainly that we cannot endure seeing it mocked and undermined by nature. There is a brief period of twilight of which I am especially fond, little more than a moment, when I see what seems to be color without light, followed by another brief period of light without color. The earlier period, like a dawn of night, calls up such sights as at all other times are hidden, wistful half-formless presences neither of day nor night, that draw up with them similar presences in the mind.
Robert Grudin (Time and the Art of Living)
Raoden regarded himself in a small piece of polished steel. His shirt was yellow dyed with blue stripes, his trousers were bright red, and his vest a sickly green. Over all, he looked like some kind of confused tropical bird. His only consolation was that as silly he looked, Galladon was much worse. The large, dark-skinned Dula looked down at his pink and light green clothing with a resigned expression. "Don't look so sour, Galladon." Raoden said with a laugh. "Aren't you Dulas supposed to be fond of garish clothing?“ "That's the aristocracy—the citizens and republicans. I'm a farmer; pink isn't exactly what I consider a flattering color."Then he looked up at Raoden with narrow eyes. "If you make even one comment about my resembling a kathari fruit, I will take off this tunic and hang you with it." Raoden chuckled. "Someday I'm going to find that scholar who told me all Dulas were even-tempered, then force him to spend a week locked in a room with you, my friend.
Brandon Sanderson (Elantris (Elantris, #1))
I open my arms wide and let the wind flow over me. I love the universe and the universe loves me. That’s the one-two punch right there, wanting to love and wanting to be loved. Everything else is pure idiocy—shiny fancy outfits, Geech-green Cadillacs, sixty-dollar haircuts, schlock radio, celebrity-rehab idiots, and most of all, the atomic vampires with their de-soul-inators, and flag-draped coffins. Goodbye to all that, I say. And goodbye to Mr. Asterhole and the Red Death of algebra and to the likes of Geech and Keeeevin. Goodbye to Mom’s rented tan and my sister’s chargecard boobs. Goodbye to Dad for the second and last time. Goodbye to black spells and jagged hangovers, divorces, and Fort Worth nightmares. To high school and Bob Lewis and once-upon-a-time Ricky. Goodbye to the future and the past and, most of all, to Aimee and Cassidy and all the other girls who came and went and came and went. Goodbye. Goodbye. I can’t feel you anymore. The night is almost too beautifully pure for my soul to contain. I walk with my arms spread open under the big fat moon. Heroic “weeds rise up from the cracks in the sidewalk, and the colored lights of the Hawaiian Breeze ignite the broken glass in the gutter. Goodbye, I say, goodbye, as I disappear little by little into the middle of the middle of my own spectacular now
Tim Tharp (The Spectacular Now)
Memory" I’ve memorized all the fish in the sea I’ve memorized each opportunity strangled and I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love and I’ve memorized that too. I’ve memorized green rooms in St. Louis and New Orleans where I wept because I knew that by myself I could not overcome the terror of them and it. I’ve memorized all the unfaithful years (and the faithful ones too) I’ve memorized each cigarette that I’ve rolled. I’ve memorized Beethoven and New York City I’ve memorized riding up escalators, I’ve memorized Chicago and cottage cheese, and the mouths of some of the ladies and the legs of some of the ladies I’ve known and the way the rain came down hard. I’ve memorized the face of my father in his coffin, I’ve memorized all the cars I have driven and each of their sad deaths, I’ve memorized each jail cell, the face of each new president and the faces of some of the assassins; I’ve even memorized the arguments I’ve had with some of the women I’ve loved. best of all I’ve memorized tonight and now and the way the light falls across my fingers, specks and smears on the wall, shades down behind orange curtains; I light a rolled cigarette and then laugh a little, yes, I’ve memorized it all. the courage of my memory.
Charles Bukowski (What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire)
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.” She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me. “Hi,” she whispers. It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear. She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast. Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says. “Juliette—” “I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it. I don’t want to. Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling. I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed. Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back. Because I want her. Now. Here. Everywhere. I want nothing between us. I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me. I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me. I wonder if I’ve actually died. But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.” Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?” “Just a little longer and I’ll leave.” “No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—” “You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.” “No—” But now she’s holding a gun. And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
My goofiest-sounding secret is that I also believe in magic. Sometimes I call it God and sometimes I call it light, and I believe in it because every now and then I read a really good book or hear a really good song or have a really good conversation with a friend and they seem to have some kind of shine to them. The list I keep of these moments in the back of my journal is comprised less of times when I was laughing or smiling and more of times when I felt like I could feel the colors in my eyes deepening from the display before me. Times in which I felt I was witnessing an all-encompassing representation of life driven by an understanding that, coincidence or not, our existence is a peculiar thing, and perhaps the greatest way to honor it is to just be human. To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.
Tavi Gevinson
I want my life to be a celebration of slowness. Walking through the sage from our front door, I am gradually drawn into the well-worn paths of deer. They lead me to Round Mountain and the bloodred side canyons below Castle Rock. Sometimes I see them, but often I don't. Deer are quiet creatures, who, when left to their own nature, move slowly. Their large black eyes absorb all shadows, especially the flash of predators. And their ears catch each word spoken. But today they walk ahead with their halting prance, one leg raised, then another, and allow me to follow them. I am learning how to not provoke fear and flight among deer. We move into a pink, sandy wash, their black-tipped tails like eagle feathers. I lose sight of them as they disappear around the bend. On the top of the ridge I can see for miles.... Inside this erosional landscape where all colors eventually bleed into the river, it is hard to desire anything but time and space. Time and space. In the desert there is space. Space is the twin sister of time. If we have open space then we have open time to breath, to dream, to dare, to play, to pray to move freely, so freely, in a world our minds have forgotten but our bodies remember. Time and space. This partnership is holy. In these redrock canyons, time creates space--an arch, an eye, this blue eye of sky. We remember why we love the desert; it is our tactile response to light, to silence, and to stillness. Hand on stone -- patience. Hand on water -- music.
Terry Tempest Williams (Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert)
You're a Dark One," said Anton. "All you see in everything is evil, treachery, trickery." "All I do is not close my eyes to them," Edgar retorted. "And that's why I don't trust Zabulon. I distrust him almost as much as I do Gesar. I can even trust you more—you're just another unfortunate chess piece who happens by chance to be painted a different color from me. Does a white pawn hate a black one? No. Especially if the two pawns have their heads down together over a quiet beer or two." "You know," Anton said in a slightly surprised voice, "I just don't understand how you can carry on living if you see the world like that. I'd just go and hang myself." "So you don't have any counterarguments to offer?" Anton took a gulp of beer too. The wonderful thing about this natural Czech beer was that even if you drank lots of it, it still didn't make your head or your body feel heavy... Or was that an illusion? "Not a single one," Anton admitted. "Right now, this very moment, not a single one. But I'm sure you're wrong. It's just difficult to argue about the colors of the rainbow with a blind man. There's something missing in you... I don't know what exactly. But it's something very important, and without it you're more helpless than a blind man.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Day Watch (Watch, #2))
I have many names, and none of them matter. Names are not important. To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so the question him saying, 'What is it like, this thing you have seen?' So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, 'It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.' Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it 'fire.' If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, 'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not matter. 'I' do not matter. No word matter. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, and being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality-the Nameless.
Roger Zelazny (Lord of Light)
If a person leads an ‘active’ life, as Wiggs had, if a person has goals, ideals, a cause to fight for, then that person is distracted, temporarily, from paying a whole lot of attention to the heavy scimitar that hangs by a mouse hair just about his or her head. We, each of us, have a ticket to ride, and if the trip be interesting (if it’s dull, we have only ourselves to blame), then we relish the landscape (how quickly it whizzes by!), interact with our fellow travelers, pay frequent visits to the washrooms and concession stands, and hardly ever hold up the ticket to the light where we can read its plainly stated destination: The Abyss. Yet, ignore it though we might in our daily toss and tussle, the fact of our impending death is always there, just behind the draperies, or, more accurately, inside our sock, like a burr that we can never quite extract. If one has a religious life, one can rationalize one’s slide into the abyss; if one has a sense of humor (and a sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised), one can minimalize it through irony and wit. Ah, but the specter is there, night and day, day in and day out, coloring with its chalk of gray almost everything we do. And a lot of what we do is done, subconsciously, indirectly, to avoid the thought of death, or to make ourselves so unexpendable through our accomplishments that death will hesitate to take us, or, when the scimitar finally falls, to insure that we ‘live on’ in the memory of the lucky ones still kicking.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further — for time is the longest distance between two places. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left Saint Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger — anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura — and so goodbye. . .
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
The heroin flowing through me, I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. He was drunk and overweight in a restaurant in Beverly Hills, and curling into myself on the bed I thought: What if I had done something that day? I had just sat passively in a restaurant booth as the midday light filled the half-empty dining room, pondering a decision. The decision was: should you disarm him? That was the word I remember: disarm. Should you tell him something that might not be the truth but would get the desired reaction? And what was I going to convince him of, even though it was a lie? Did it matter? Whatever it was, it would constitute a new beginning. The immediate line: You’re my father and I love you. I remember staring at the white tablecloth as I contemplated saying this. Could I actually do it? I didn’t believe it, and it wasn’t true, but I wanted it to be. For one moment, as my father ordered another vodka (it was two in the afternoon; this was his fourth) and started ranting about my mother and the slump in California real estate and how “your sisters” never called him, I realized it could actually happen, and that by saying this I would save him. I suddenly saw a future with my father. But the check came along with the drink and I was knocked out of my reverie by an argument he wanted to start and I simply stood up and walked away from the booth without looking back at him or saying goodbye and then I was standing in sunlight. Loosening my tie as a parking valet pulled up to the curb in the cream-colored 450 SL. I half smiled at the memory, for thinking that I could just let go of the damage that a father can do to a son. I never spoke to him again.
Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park)
I thought. I thought of the slow yellow autumn in the swamp and the high honey sun of spring and the eternal silence of the marshes, and the shivering light on them, and the whisper of the spartina and sweet grass in the wind and the little liquid splashes of who-knew-what secret creatures entering that strange old place of blood-warm half earth, half water. I thought of the song of all the birds that I knew, and the soft singsong of the coffee-skinned women who sold their coiled sweet-grass baskets in the market and on Meeting Street. I thought of the glittering sun on the morning harbor and the spicy, somehow oriental smells from the dark old shops, and the rioting flowers everywhere, heavy tropical and exotic. I thought of the clop of horses' feet on cobblestones and the soft, sulking, wallowing surf of Sullivan's Island in August, and the countless small vistas of grace and charm wherever the eye fell; a garden door, a peeling old wall, an entire symmetrical world caught in a windowpane. Charlestone simply could not manage to offend the eye. I thought of the candy colors of the old houses in the sunset, and the dark secret churchyards with their tumbled stones, and the puresweet bells of Saint Michael's in the Sunday morning stillness. I thought of my tottering piles of books in the study at Belleau and the nights before the fire when my father told me of stars and butterflies and voyages, and the silver music of mathematics. I thought of hot, milky sweet coffee in the mornings, and the old kitchen around me, and Aurelia's gold smile and quick hands and eyes rich with love for me.
Anne Rivers Siddons (Colony)
Instructions for a Broken Heart I will find a bare patch of earth, somewhere where the ruins have fallen away, somewhere where I can fit both hands, and I will dig a hole. And into that hole, I will scream you, I will dump all the shadow places of my heart—the times you didn’t call when you said you’d call, the way you only half listened to my poems, your eyes on people coming through the swinging door of the café—not on me—your ears, not really turned toward me. For all those times I started to tell you about the fight with my dad or when my grandma died, and you said something about your car, something about the math test you flunked, as an answer. I will scream into that hole the silence of dark nights after you’d kissed me, how when I asked if something was wrong—and something was obviously so very wrong—how you said “nothing,” how you didn’t tell me until I had to see it in the dim light of a costume barn—so much wrong. I will scream all of it. Then I will fill it in with dark earth, leave it here in Italy, so there will be an ocean between the hole and me. Because then I can bring home a heart full of the light patches. A heart that sees the sunset you saw that night outside of Taco Bell, the way you pointed out that it made the trees seem on fire, a heart that holds the time your little brother fell on his bike at the fairgrounds and you had pockets full of bright colored Band-Aids and you kissed the bare skin of his knees. I will take that home with me. In my heart. I will take home your final Hamlet monologue on the dark stage when you cried closing night and it wasn’t really acting, you cried because you felt the words in you and on that bare stage you felt the way I feel every day of my life, every second, the way the words, the light and dark, the spotlight in your face, made you Hamlet for that brief hiccup of a moment, made you a poet, an artist at your core. I get to take Italy home with me, the Italy that showed me you and the Italy that showed me—me—the Italy that wrote me my very own instructions for a broken heart. And I get to leave the other heart in a hole. We are over. I know this. But we are not blank. We were a beautiful building made of stone, crumbled now and covered in vines. But not blank. Not forgotten. We are a history. We are beauty out of ruins.
Kim Culbertson (Instructions for a Broken Heart)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
Season late, day late, sun just down, and the sky Cold gunmetal but with a wash of live rose, and she, From water the color of sky except where Her motion has fractured it to shivering splinters of silver, Rises. Stands on the raw grass. Against The new-curdling night of spruces, nakedness Glimmers and, at bosom and flank, drips With fluent silver. The man, Some ten strokes out, but now hanging Motionless in the gunmetal water, feet Cold with the coldness of depth, all History dissolving from him, is Nothing but an eye. Is an eye only. Sees The body that is marked by his use, and Time's, Rise, and in the abrupt and unsustaining element of air, Sway, lean, grapple the pond-bank. Sees How, with that posture of female awkwardness that is, And is the stab of, suddenly perceived grace, breasts bulge down in The pure curve of their weight and buttocks Moon up and, in swelling unity, Are silver and glimmer. Then The body is erect, she is herself, whatever Self she may be, and with an end of the towel grasped in each hand, Slowly draws it back and forth across back and buttocks, but With face lifted toward the high sky, where The over-wash of rose color now fails. Fails, though no star Yet throbs there. The towel, forgotten, Does not move now. The gaze Remains fixed on the sky. The body, Profiled against the darkness of spruces, seems To draw to itself, and condense in its whiteness, what light In the sky yet lingers or, from The metallic and abstract severity of water, lifts. The body, With the towel now trailing loose from one hand, is A white stalk from which the face flowers gravely toward the high sky. This moment is non-sequential and absolute, and admits Of no definition, for it Subsumes all other, and sequential, moments, by which Definition might be possible. The woman, Face yet raised, wraps, With a motion as though standing in sleep, The towel about her body, under her breasts, and, Holding it there hieratic as lost Egypt and erect, Moves up the path that, stair-steep, winds Into the clamber and tangle of growth. Beyond The lattice of dusk-dripping leaves, whiteness Dimly glimmers, goes. Glimmers and is gone, and the man, Suspended in his darkling medium, stares Upward where, though not visible, he knows She moves, and in his heart he cries out that, if only He had such strength, he would put his hand forth And maintain it over her to guard, in all Her out-goings and in-comings, from whatever Inclemency of sky or slur of the world's weather Might ever be. In his heart he cries out. Above Height of the spruce-night and heave of the far mountain, he sees The first star pulse into being. It gleams there. I do not know what promise it makes him.
Robert Penn Warren
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone… His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for — Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air. Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand. “Don’t kill me!” “That was not my intention.” Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand. “Well, Severus? What message does Lord Voldemort have for me?” “No — no message — I’m here on my own account!” Snape was wringing his hands. He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him. “I — I come with a warning — no, a request — please —” Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other. “What request could a Death Eater make of me?” “The — the prophecy… the prediction… Trelawney…” “Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard!” said Snape. “That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?” Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore. “Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her — them — safe. Please.” “And what will you give me in return, Severus?” “In — in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
...each day I sit down in purposeful concentration to write in a notebook, some sentences on a buried truth, an unnamed reality, things that happened but are denied. It is hard to describe the stillness it takes, the difficulty of this act. It requires an almost perfect concentration which I am trying to learn and there is no way to learn it that is spelled out anywhere or so I can understand it but I have a sense that it's completely simply, on the order of being able to sit still and keep your mind dead center in you without apology or fear. I squirm after some time but it ain't boredom, it's fear of what's possible, how much you can know if you can be quiet enough and simple enough. I move around, my mind wanders, I lose the ability to take words and roll them through my brain, move with them into their interiors, feel their colors, touch what's under them, where they come from long ago and way back. I get frightened seeing what's in my own mind if words get put to it. There's a light there, it's bright, it's wide, it could make you blind if you look direct into it and so I turn away, afraid; I get frightened and I run and the only way to run is to abandon the process altogether or compromise it beyond recognition. I think about Celine sitting with his shit, for instance; I don't know why he didn't run, he should've. It's a quality you have to have of being near mad and at the same time so quiet in your heart that you could pass for a spiritual warrior; you could probably break things with the power in your mind. You got to be able to stand it, because it's a powerful and disturbing light, not something easy and kind, it comes through your head to make its way onto the page and you get fucking scared so your mind runs away, it wanders, it gets distracted, it buckles, it deserts, it takes a Goddamn freight train if it can find one, it wants calming agents and sporifics, and you mask that you are betraying the brightest and the best light you will ever see, you are betraying the mind that can be host to it... ...Your mind does stupid tricks to mask that you are betraying something of grave importance. It wanders so you won't notice that you are deserting your own life, abandoning it to triviality and garbage, how you are too fucking afraid to use your own brain for what it's for, which is to be a host to the light, to use it, to focus it; let it shine and carry the burden of what is illuminated, everything buried there; the light's scarier than anything it shows, the pure, direct experience of it in you as if your mind ain't the vegetable thing it's generally conceived to be or the nightmare thing you know it to be but a capacity you barely imagined, real; overwhelming and real, pushing you out to the edge of ecstasy and knowing and then do you fall or do you jump or do you fly?
Andrea Dworkin (Mercy)
Those clothes are Susie's,' my father said calmly when he reached him. Buckley looked down at my blackwatch dress that he held in his hand. My father stepped closer, took the dress from my brother, and then, without speaking, he gathered the rest of my clothes, which Buckley had piled on the lawn. As he turned in silence toward the house, hardly breathing, clutching my clothes to him, it sparked. I was the only one to see the colors. Just near Buckley's ears and on the tips of his cheeks and chin he was a little orange somehow, a little red. Why can't I use them?' he asked. It landed in my father's back like a fist. Why can't I use those clothes to stake my tomatoes?' My father turned around. He saw his son standing there, behind him the perfect plot of muddy, churned-up earth spotted with tiny seedlings. 'How can you ask me that question?' You have to choose. It's not fair,' my brother said. Buck?' My father held my clothes against his chest. I watched Buckley flare and light. Behind him was the sun of the goldenrod hedge, twice as tall as it had been at my death. I'm tired of it!' Buckley blared. 'Keesha's dad died and she's okay?' Is Keesha a girl at school?' Yes!' My father was frozen. He could feel the dew that had gathered on his bare ankles and feet, could feel the ground underneath him, cold and moist and stirring with possibility. I'm sorry. When did this happen?' That's not the point, Dad! You don't get it.' Buckley turned around on his heel and started stomping the tender tomato shoots with his foot. Buck, stop!' my father cried. My brother turned. You don't get it, Dad,' he said. I'm sorry,' my father said. These are Susie's clothes and I just... It may not make sense, but they're hers-something she wore.' ... You act like she was yours only!' Tell me what you want to say. What's this about your friend Keesha's dad?' Put the clothes down.' My father laid them gently on the ground. It isn't about Keesha's dad.' Tell me what it is about.' My father was now all immediacy. He went back to the place he had been after his knee surgery, coming up out of the druggie sleep of painkillers to see his then-five-year-old son sitting near him, waiting for his eyes to flicker open so he could say, 'Peek-a-boo, Daddy.' She's dead.' It never ceased to hurt. 'I know that.' But you don't act that way.' Keesha's dad died when she was six. Keesha said she barely even thinks of him.' She will,' my father said. But what about us?' Who?' Us, Dad. Me and Lindsey. Mom left becasue she couldn't take it.' Calm down, Buck,' my father said. He was being as generous as he could as the air from his lungs evaporated out into his chest. Then a little voice in him said, Let go, let go, let go. 'What?' my father said. I didn't say anything.' Let go. Let go. Let go. I'm sorry,' my father said. 'I'm not feeling very well.' His feet had grown unbelievably cold in the damp grass. His chest felt hollow, bugs flying around an excavated cavity. There was an echo in there, and it drummed up into his ears. Let go. My father dropped down to his knees. His arm began to tingle on and off as if it had fallen asleep. Pins and needles up and down. My brother rushed to him. Dad?' Son.' There was a quaver in his voice and a grasping outward toward my brother. I'll get Grandma.' And Buckley ran. My father whispered faintly as he lay on his side with his face twisted in the direction of my old clothes: 'You can never choose. I've loved all three of you.
Alice Sebold
Eventually they climb sixteen steps into the Gallery of Mineralogy. The guide shows them a gate from Brazil and violet amethysts and a meteorite on a pedestal that he claims is as ancient as the solar system itself. Then he leads them single file down two twisting staircases and along several corridors and stops outside an iron door with a single keyhole. “End of tour,” he says. A girl says, “But what’s through there?” “Behind this door is another locked door, slightly smaller.” “And what’s behind that?” “A third locked door, smaller yet.” “What’s behind that?” “A fourth door, and a fifth, on and on until you reach a thirteenth, a little locked door no bigger than a shoe.” The children lean forward. “And then?” “Behind the thirteenth door”—the guide flourishes one of his impossibly wrinkled hands—“is the Sea of Flames.” Puzzlement. Fidgeting. “Come now. You’ve never heard of the Sea of Flames?” The children shake their heads. Marie-Laure squints up at the naked bulbs strung in three-yard intervals along the ceiling; each sets a rainbow-colored halo rotating in her vision. The guide hangs his cane on his wrist and rubs his hands together. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear a long story?” They nod. He clears his throat. “Centuries ago, in the place we now call Borneo, a prince plucked a blue stone from a dry riverbed because he thought it was pretty. But on the way back to his palace, the prince was attacked by men on horseback and stabbed in the heart.” “Stabbed in the heart?” “Is this true?” A boy says, “Hush.” “The thieves stole his rings, his horse, everything. But because the little blue stone was clenched in his fist, they did not discover it. And the dying prince managed to crawl home. Then he fell unconscious for ten days. On the tenth day, to the amazement of his nurses, he sat up, opened his hand, and there was the stone. “The sultan’s doctors said it was a miracle, that the prince never should have survived such a violent wound. The nurses said the stone must have healing powers. The sultan’s jewelers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it, and when he was done, it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water. The sultan had the diamond fitted into a crown for the prince, and it was said that when the young prince sat on his throne and the sun hit him just so, he became so dazzling that visitors could not distinguish his figure from light itself.” “Are you sure this is true?” asks a girl. “Hush,” says the boy. “The stone came to be known as the Sea of Flames. Some believed the prince was a deity, that as long as he kept the stone, he could not be killed. But something strange began to happen: the longer the prince wore his crown, the worse his luck became. In a month, he lost a brother to drowning and a second brother to snakebite. Within six months, his father died of disease. To make matters even worse, the sultan’s scouts announced that a great army was gathering in the east. "The prince called together his father’s advisers. All said he should prepare for war, all but one, a priest, who said he’d had a dream. In the dream the Goddess of the Earth told him she’d made the Sea of Flames as a gift for her lover, the God of the Sea, and was sending the jewel to him through the river. But when the river dried up, and the prince plucked it out, the goddess became enraged. She cursed the stone and whoever kept it.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Wanting his mind on other matters, she deliiberately challenged his statement. "You don't know so much about me. There was a man once. He was crazy about me." She tried to look wordly. "Absolutely crazy for me." His answering laughter was warm against her neck, her throat. His lips touched the skin over her pulse and skimmed lightly up to her ear. "Are you, by any chance, referring to that foppish boy with the orange hair and spiked collar? Dragon something?" Savannah gasped and pulled away to glare at im. "How could you possibly know about him? I dated him last year." Gregori nuzzled her neck, inhaling her fragrance, his hand sliding over her shoulder, moving gently over her satin skin to take possession of her breast. "He wore boots and rode a Harley." His breath came out in a rush as his palm cupped the soft weight, his thumb brushing her nipple into a hard peak. The feel of his large hand-so strong, so warm and possessive on her-sent heat curling through her body. Desire rose sharply. He was seducing her with tenderness. Savannah didn't want it to happen. Her body felt better, but the soreness was there to remind her where this could all lead. Her hand caught at his wrist. "How did you find out about Dragon?" she asked, desperate to distract him, to distract herself. How could he make her body burn for his when she was so afraid of him, of having sex with him? "Making love," he corrected, his voice husky, caressing, betraying the ease with which his mind moved like a shadow through hers."And to answer your question, I live in you, can touch you whenever I wish.I knew about all of them. Every damn one." He growled the worrds, and her breath caught in her throat. "He was the only one you thought of kissing." His mouth touched hers. Gently. Lightly. Returned for more. Coaxing, teasing, until she opened to him. He stole her breath, her reason, whirling her into a world of feeling.Bright colors and white-hot heat, the room falling away until there was only his broad shoulders,strong arms, hard body, and perfect,perfect mouth. When he lifted his head, Savannah nearly pulled him back to her.He watched her face,her eyes cloudy with desire, her lips so beautiful, bereft of his. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are, Savannah? There is such beauty in your soul,I can see it shining in your eyes." She touched his face, her palm molding his strong jaw. Why couldn't she resist his hungry eyes? "I think you're casting a spell over me. I can't remember what we were talking about." Gregori smiled. "Kissing." His teeth nibbled gently at her chin. "Specifically,your wanting to kiss that orange-bearded imbecile." "I wanted to kiss every one of them," she lied indignantly. "No,you did not.You were hoping that silly fop would wipe my taste from your mouth for all eternity." His hand stroked back the fall of hair around her face.He feathered kisses along the delicate line of her jaw. "It would not have worked,you know.As I recall,he seemed to have a problem getting close to you." Her eyes smoldered dangerously. "Did you have anything to do with his allergies?" She had wanted someone, anyone,to wipe Gregori's taste from her mouth,her soul. He raised his voice an octave. "Oh, Savannah, I just have to taste your lips," he mimicked. Then he went into a sneezing fit. "You haven't ridden until you've ridden on a Harley,baby." He sneezed, coughed, and gagged in perfect imitation. Savannah pushed his arm, forgetting for a moment her bruised fist. When it hurt, she yelped and glared accusingly at him. "It was you doing all that to him! That poor man-you damaged his ego for life. Each time he touched me, he had a sneezing fit." Gregori raised an eyebrow, completely unrepentant. "Technically,he did not lay a hand on you.He sneezed before he could get that close.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))