Oceans Apart Quotes

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I tell of hearts and souls and dances... Butterflies and second chances; Desperate ones and dreamers bound, Seeking life from barren ground, Who suffer on in earthly fate The bitter pain of agony hate, Might but they stop and here forgive Would break the bonds to breathe and live And find that God in goodness brings A chance for change, the hope of wings To rest in Him, and self to die And so become a butterfly.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
Love happens when people forgive.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
Well, hello, darling with the ocean eyes, How many secrets keep us apart? A sea of poems, a field of sighs, Can I cross and return to the start?
Amy Zhang (Falling into Place)
Maybe love isn't something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives. Just because we didn't end up on the same wave, doesn't mean we aren't apart of the same ocean.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
I have always wanted to give you the world, so I started giving you pieces of the oceans that kept us apart.
Karen Quan (Write like no one is reading)
A few months apart and an ocean in between us couldn’t keep our thoughts about each other from surfacing. - Taylor First
Kailin Gow (The Tutor: A Friends to Lover New Adult College Romance)
Even if we stay oceans apart ― Soon... I'll Find You Beneath The Stars
Granthana Sinha
Sanjit says his apartment, the same one in which he grew up, has been flooded many times by the midsummer torrents. For what has been for millennia a primarily agricultural society, rains simultaneously destroy, create, and preserve life in India, similar to the functions of the three premier Hindu gods, Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Every time Kolkata gets pounded by a cyclone, or when the monsoon first erupts in June (although the recent warming of the Indian Ocean increasingly disturbs a once-consistent timeline), Sanjit never fails to send along a video, his house flooded – seemingly destroyed – but the smiles on his, Bajju’s, or other house-guest’s faces signify just the opposite, having been cooled and relieved of perpetual heat. Flooded, they remain preserved.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
I will tear apart the planet. Cross continents, oceans…” He shrugged. “Nothing will keep me from him. And nothing will stop me from protecting him. I’ll die for him. In a heartbeat.
Tal Bauer (Enemies of the State (The Executive Office, #1))
When there's something or someone, when there's anything that makes you happy, you don't let a continent or an ocean or an empty pocket keep you apart
Dana Reinhardt (The Summer I Learned to Fly)
My parents used to say faith wasn't something you could pretend about. It wasn't real unless it looked like faith and acted like faith.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
He ran his thumb across my lips. “Ty byla sozdana dlya menya.” You were made for me. I believed it with everything in me. “Dazhe ocean ne mog razdelit’ nas,” I breathed beneath the possessive pressure of his thumb on my lips. Even the sea couldn’t keep us apart. He smiled. “Not even hell, kotyonok.
Danielle Lori (The Darkest Temptation (Made, #3))
I got lost in the feel of him, in the heat of his skin, in the way his body shook when he broke away and I felt like I was dreaming, like I’d forgotten how to think. (...) We broke apart, fighting to breathe, holding on to each other like we were drowning, like we’d been lost, left for dead in a very large expanse of sea.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
You know what I wish? I wish I could put time in a bottle and throw it into the ocean. Then I would have forever to spend with you. I wouldn’t need air to breathe or food to eat. Holding you in my arms would be all the food I would need. Having your love would be the only air I would need to breathe.
Lynn Austin (While We're Far Apart: (A World War I Homefront Novel Set in New York))
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
The well of my heart is a very deep place, and at the bottom, it's dark. He was my ocean, and I didn't know if I would drown until I learned how well I could swim.
Megan Hart (Tear You Apart)
You can't look at yourself in the ocean. Your looks fall apart like tendrils of light. Night on earth. - The Great Sadness
Federico García Lorca
The Voyager We are all lonely voyagers sailing on life's ebb tide, To a far off place were all stripling warriors have died, Sometime at eve when the tide is low, The voices call us back to the rippling water's flow, Even though our boat sailed with love in our hearts, Neither our dreams or plans would keep heaven far apart, We drift through the hush of God's twilight pale, With no response to our friendly hail, We raise our sails and search for majestic light, While finding company on this journey to the brighten our night, Then suddenly he pulls us through the reef's cutting sea, Back to the place that he asked us to be, Friendly barges that were anchored so sweetly near, In silent sorrow they drop their salted tears, Shall our soul be a feast of kelp and brine, The wasted tales of wishful time, Are we a fish on a line lured with bait, Is life the grind, a heartless fate, Suddenly, "HUSH", said the wind from afar, Have you not looked to the heavens and seen the new star, It danced on the abyss of the evening sky, The sparkle of heaven shining on high, Its whisper echoed on the ocean's spray, From the bow to the mast they heard him say, "Hope is above, not found in the deep, I am alive in your memories and dreams when you sleep, I will greet you at sunset and with the moon's evening smile, I will light your path home.. every last lonely mile, My friends, have no fear, my work was done well, In this life I broke the waves and rode the swell, I found faith in those that I called my crew, My love will be the compass that will see you through, So don't look for me on the ocean's floor to find, I've never left the weathered docks of your loving mind, For I am in the moon, the wind and the whale's evening song, I am the sailor of eternity whose voyage is not gone.
Shannon L. Alder
And being an "equal opportunity offender"—as in, "It's okay, because Daniel Tosh makes fun of ALL people: women, men, AIDS victims, dead babies, gay guys, blah blah blah"—falls apart when you remember (as so many of us are forced to all the time) that all people are not in equal positions of power. "Oh, don't worry—I punch everyone in the face! People, baby ducks, a lion, this Easter Island statue, the ocean…" Okay, well that baby duck is dead now.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
You are the stars hidden by clouds. I know you’re there even when I can’t see you. Your shine peeks out and reaches me in the depths of my soul. Tell me your arms are long enough to reach me across oceans. Tell me someday we will be together, somehow, some way. Tell me that this love we have can survive being together as well as we’ve survived being apart. Tell me we are more than the chasm of our divide.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from his back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. 'Harder,' Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes through the fifth floor, where Richard's family is now storing stacks of Moroccan tiles, down through the fourth floor, which is empty, down through Richard and India's apartment, and Richard's studio, and then to the ground floor, and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossil and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Our words allow us to enter each other’s affective niches, even at extremely long distances. You can regulate your friend’s body budget (and he yours) even if you are an ocean apart—by phone or email or even just by thinking about one another.
Lisa Feldman Barrett (How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain)
Night after night on starry wings Night lovers soared so high Miles apart, across the oceans Their love forgot to sigh In heavenly flight’s timelessness That highest height treasured Into the deepest of all blues Their depth of love measured. From the poem 'The Ballad of Night Lovers
Munia Khan (To Evince the Blue)
Maybe that was the key to all good relationships, having oceans of time apart.
Emma Straub (The Vacationers)
Imagine Columbus landed in 1492 and some tribe or another drowned him in the ocean. Would Lester FallsApart still be shoplifting in the 7-11?
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
One problem with agreeing to keep a secret is that it always starts off feeling like an easy, little decision. But it doesn't stay easy or little. it sits there like one of those jagged ledges hiding under the surface of the ocean at high tide—quietly waiting to rip everything apart if you forget, for even a second, it's there.
Cynthia Lord (Touch Blue)
The tides rolled up to crash against the shore while we sat feet from one another with the remnants of all we’d left unsaid driving us apart.
Katherine McIntyre (By the Sea)
Long after you go down and the vessel rusts apart your bones sunken buried in the ocean floor I wonder if you miss people?
Kristin Elizabeth Clark (Freakboy)
Though her life hadn't turned out anything like she'd planned, she knew that in the darkest times God was always working. Always.
Karen Kingsbury
watching you fall apart and put yourself back together was a gift. I’m so amazed by you.
Kate Stewart (Someone Else's Ocean)
There was one painting, I remember, that showed a broad, clean sweep of sky and the ocean drawn out to the horizon, and the sand littered with seashells and crabs and mermaid's purses and bits of seaweed. A boy and girl were standing four feet apart, not facing each other, not acknowledging each other in any way, just standing,looking out at the water. I always liked that painting. I liked to think they had a secret.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
To become enlightened is not just to slip into some disconnected euphoria, an oceanic feeling of mystic oneness apart from ordinary reality. It is not even to come up with a solution, a sort of formula to control reality. Rather, it is an experience of release from all compulsions and sufferings, combined with a precise awareness of any relevent subject of knowledge. Having attained enlightenment one knows everything that matters, and the precise nature of all that is.
Robert A.F. Thurman
This level reach of blue is not my sea; Here are sweet waters, pretty in the sun, Whose quiet ripples meet obediently A marked and measured line, one after one. This is no sea of mine. that humbly laves Untroubled sands, spread glittering and warm. I have a need of wilder, crueler waves; They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm. So let a love beat over me again, Loosing its million desperate breakers wide; Sudden and terrible to rise and wane; Roaring the heavens apart; a reckless tide That casts upon the heart, as it recedes, Splinters and spars and dripping, salty weeds.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
Butterflies were God's bestest artwork.
Karen Kingsbury
So butterflies make us remember, don't they...That life is good no matter what. Because just like the caterpillar, the best days are ahead od us...
Karen Kingsbury
Ramey said in heaven you had no more pains or tears.
Karen Kingsbury
In the loudest voice I could muster, I shouted, "As of this moment, you are no longer the armies of China, Macedonia, Myanmar, Tibet or India. You are now warriors of Durga! We have already fought and overcome many fierce creatures. Now we give you the symbol of their power." I borrowed the Scarf and touched it to my Pearl Necklace. The silken material sped down each and every soldier to cloak them in the most brilliant red, blue, green, gold and white. Even the flag bearers were not left out and now held banners depicting Durga riding her tiger into battle. "Red for the heart of a Phoenix that sees through falsehood!" I cheered and raided the trident. "Blue for the Monsters of the Deep that rip apart those who dare to cross their domain! Gold for Metal Birds that cut their enemies with razor beaks! Green for the Horde of Hanuman that comes alive to protect that which is most precious! And white for the Dragons of the Five Oceans, whose cunning and power has no equal!
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga, #4))
Love is a deliberate and determined act of the will. There is nothing idle or passive about it. It doesn’t wane or fail when life gets tough; it only grows stronger and more resolved. It’s the bond that keeps your relationship from drifting when every storm in the ocean is raging to tear you apart. It’s the one thing you can depend on when all of life seems bent on getting you down.
Jimmy Evans (The Right One: How to Successfully Date and Marry the Right Person)
Love is what happens when we forgive. I forgive Connor Evans. A part of me will always love him, but from this day on I won't hate him. Not for one minute. I forgive him because he gave me Max.
Karen Kingsbury
In the tell-me-again times, (…) when my mom and I lived in a little apartment in a little building downtown, I slept in her bed. It was a raft on the ocean, a cloud, a forest, a spaceship, a cocoon that we shared. I could stretch out like a five-pointed star and then she'd bundle me back up in her arms. I'd wake in the morning tangled in her hair.
Erica Lorraine Scheidt (Uses for Boys)
Commitment, trust, and voluntary cooperation are not merely attitudes or behaviors. They are intangible capital. They allow companies to stand apart in the speed, quality, and consistency of their execution and to implement strategic shifts fast at low cost.
W. Chan Kim (Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant)
(So... what are you thinking?) About life. How strange it is, how one decision can affect so many people for all of time.
Karen Kingsbury
I saw us from above, from the sky, two flecks of being connected at the edge of the wide, pale ocean, lost to everything but each other.
Cristina Henríquez (Come Together, Fall Apart)
I wished I didn't need an ocean of space to feel comfortable. I still wanted to be loved. Yet again I felt like two people: one who desperately needed a hug, and one who would break apart at the slightest touch. How could I get people to keep their distance without leaving completely? How long would it take for them to get tired of the way I flinched and evaded?
Ruby Walker (Advice I Ignored: Stories and Wisdom from a Formerly Depressed Teenager)
Earth can be bad for your health too. On land, grizzly bears want to maul you; in the oceans, sharks want to eat you. Snowdrifts can freeze you, deserts dehydrate you, earthquakes bury you, volcanoes incinerate you. Viruses can infect you, parasites suck your vital fluids, cancers take over your body, congenital diseases force an early death. And even if you have the good luck to be healthy, a swarm of locusts could devour your crops, a tsunami could wash away your family, or a hurricane could blow apart your town. So the universe wants to kill us all.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Life is like the ocean. Sometimes, there will be sunshine and harmonious dance in each wave. Then, a time might come when storms are gonna hurl in, crashing everything apart in their way.
Umme Pritam (Eiliyah)
The Universe is made of hands; Hands that twist fabric and sizzle in the air. Hands that grasp curls and flick words away Small, smooth fingers pouring gold over gaping wounds Before slicing into soft tissue, Blood mixing with gold. Hands that make it beautiful. The Universe is made of bones; Bones that cut against yards of skin, Warm and yielding and moulded around the wings that splay across his back. Bones that cage the heart and dig into the hollows. Bones that break, Tear the warm, yielding skin. Bones that shred and brush his chin. The Universe is made of lips; Lips that breathe and stutter warm sighs, Caressing the cracks in his broken body, the body that he broke. Lips that carve paths into stone, That leave trails upon gooseflesh, Lips that make incisions, Too delicate to mend. The Universe is made of blood; Blood that runs warm and hot and steady and crimson, Pumping beneath the stone and the gold. Blood that burns with every jerk of limbs. Blood that spills on open palms, Staining the fabric, Filling up his throat. The Universe is made of eyes; Eyes that breach and eyes that splice and eyes that never leave. Eyes that ripple oceans. Eyes that whisper in the dark. Eyes that rip open the seams. Eyes that create wounds, create chaos, create broken shards of blue. Eyes that alight and won’t let go. The Universe was built. The Universe fell. You took it apart, Dragged the chaos from my soul with your hands, Your bones, Your lips, Your blood, Your eyes. And now you’re back. And so is the Universe. And so, I suppose, am I. The Universe is made of five things. The Universe is made of you.
Velvetoscar (Core 'ngrato)
Mental illness is no different than a heart condition. In the same way a faulty valve can cause harm to the body and require medication and care, so does a malfunctioning brain. Insanity is a crude, culturally loaded term setting the sufferer apart in a way which will not aid the patient’s recovery. The way we regard those whose brains hinder them with fault or injury is a prejudice, not a diagnosis.” Dr. North
Heidi Cullinan (Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt, #1))
Allie watched them and felt a pang of fleeting despair for the sad times of the world. Things had stretched apart There was no glue at the center of things anymore. She had never seen the ocean, never would.
Stephen King (The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1))
of all the things that have brought me suffering, being apart from you is the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. But please know, I would suffer this a thousand days to spend one day with you. And there will come a time when we will walk together along the ocean, watching sunsets and sunrises. But we will be together in honor.
Heather Burch (One Lavender Ribbon)
The night engulfed her with silence, and the horizon pulled her further into an alternate universe. Civilization left behind, she waited for him as the boat made its way deep into the ocean, then slowed. A million stars twinkled overhead. She never heard his footsteps. Like a wild stallion mounting his mare, he pressed his hard body against hers and dragged her legs apart. She gasped and held on tight as he yanked her up, spread her wide, and plunged deep inside.
Jennifer Probst (Sex, Lies and Contracts)
That was her favorite part, the moments of laughter and silliness. In some way, these times made their marriage strong, kept her more in love with Connor Evans every year. If they could play together this way, they would always be okay.
Karen Kingsbury
How did we get to such a lonely place? We live so close to each other and yet feel so far apart. I keep looking toward the past…tracing our journey in reverse…over the ocean through the war, seeking an origin story that will set everything right.
Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do)
So we must meet apart— You there—I—here With just the Door ajar That Oceans are—and Prayer— And that White Sustenance— Despair— — Emily Dickinson, from “I Cannot Live with You,” The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (Little,Brown and Company, 1960)
Emily Dickinson (The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)
Old ocean, the different species of fish that you nurture have not sworn brotherhood among themselves. Each species lives apart, on its own. The varying temperaments & conformations of each one satisfactorily explain what at first appears an anomaly. So it is with man, who has not the same motives as excuse. If a piece of land be occupied by thirty million human beings, they consider they have no obligation to concern themselves with the existence of their neighbors who are settled like roots in the adjacent patch of land. And descending from the general to the particular, each man lives like a savage in his den & rarely leaves it to visit his fellow --crouching alike in another lair. The great universal human family is a utopia worthy of the most paltry logic. Besides, from the spectacle of your fecund breasts emerges the notion of ingratitude, for one thinks immediately of those innumerable parents ungrateful enough towards the Creator to abandon the fruit of their sorry unions. I hail you old ocean!
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
It used to be that each time you fell in love, the effort of loving released in you the energy to hold everything together a little longer. Then, after several months or years, when things began to crack apart again, you would fall in love with someone else. New energy would be released, and for a time you and your world would be safe once more. By now, however, you have exhausted that. There seems to be no energy left - if you had discovered alcohol earlier it might have saved a few broken hearts. For you, alcohol is not the problem - it's the solution: dissolving all the separate parts into one. A universal solvent. An ocean.
Ron Butlin (The Sound of My Voice)
By then, violence was already mundane to me, was what I knew, ultimately, of love. Fuck. Me. Up. It felt good to name what was already happening to me all my life. I was being fucked up, at last, by choice. In Trevor's grip, I had a say in how I would be taken apart.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
For all the things that had happened to her, all the people she had met, the miles of ocean she had covered, she could feel nothing worth writing except: 'an exceedingly grand apartment which I spoil by the excess of irritation and agitation I carry with me everywhere...
Peter Carey
When I first started writing, I hated myself for being so uncertain, about images, clauses, ideas, even the pen or journal I used. Everything I wrote began with maybe and perhaps and ended with I think or I believe. But my doubt is everywhere, Ma. Even when I know something to be true as bone I fear the knowledge will dissolve, will not, despite my writing it, stay real. I’m breaking us apart again so that I might carry us somewhere else—where, exactly, I’m not sure. Just as I don’t know what to call you—White, Asian, orphan, American, mother?
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Those two Warsaws were gathered around the ring, speaking two languages, living in separate worlds, reading different newspapers, showing one another indifference at best, hatred at worst, but usually just remote disdain, as though they lived not on neighboring streets but an ocean apart.
Szczepan Twardoch (The King of Warsaw)
Executives are paralyzed by the muddle. Few employees deep down in the company even know what the strategy is. And a closer look reveals that most plans don’t contain a strategy at all but rather a smorgasbord of tactics that individually make sense but collectively don’t add up to a unified, clear direction that sets a company apart—let alone makes the competition irrelevant. Does this sound like the strategic plans in your company?
W. Chan Kim (Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant)
The Reed Flute's Song Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated. "Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound. Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say. Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back. At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving, a friend to each, but few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of spirit, spirit up from body: no concealing that mixing. But it's not given us to see the soul. The reed flute is fire, not wind. Be that empty." Hear the love fire tangled in the reed notes, as bewilderment melts into wine. The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn and drawn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender and a fine love, together. The one who secretly hears this is senseless. A tongue has one customer, the ear. A sugarcane flute has such effect because it was able to make sugar in the reedbed. The sound it makes is for everyone. Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying that they do. Stay where you are inside such a pure, hollow note. Every thirst gets satisfied except that of these fish, the mystics, who swim a vast ocean of grace still somehow longing for it! No one lives in that without being nourished every day. But if someone doesn't want to hear the song of the reed flute, it's best to cut conversation short, say good-bye, and leave.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
We move out over the ocean, and …I am looking straight down at the waves underneath me. The mid-morning sun is low and each crest flashes silver, silver, until it crashed into the rocky beach….and turns to foam. The rocks are broken into sand, and each grain …eventually…is broken down further. And as each grief crashes into us, we are broken too. We are rendered down and broken apart. Maybe some scientist could determine our ages by the size and number of pieces into which we’ve been broken? Maybe she could look at our pieces and measure the weight in impact of every grief and joy and agony. Maybe.
Shawn Klomparens (Jessica Z.)
Word of my arrival spread as soon as I walked out of the ocean. Our beach is on the North Shore of Long Island, and it’s enchanted so most people can’t even see it. People don’t just appear on the beach unless they’re demigods or gods or really, really lost pizza delivery guys. (It’s happened—but that’s another story.) Anyway, that afternoon the lookout on duty was Connor Stoll from the Hermes cabin. When he spotted me, he got so excited he fell out of his tree. Then he blew the conch horn to signal the camp and ran to greet me. Connor had a crooked smile that matched his crooked sense of humor. He’s a pretty nice guy, but you should always keep one hand on your wallet when he’s around, and do not, under any circumstances, give him access to shaving cream unless you want to find your sleeping bag full of it. He’s got curly brown hair and is a little shorter than his brother, Travis, which is the only way I can tell them apart. They are both so unlike my old enemy Luke it’s hard to believe they’re all sons of Hermes. “Percy!” he yelled. “What happened? Where’s Beckendorf ?
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
We map our world in story. The world falls apart. We map a new world. Again and again we story our lives in order to situate ourselves: I am here, not there. I am here and long to go there. Once found, new possibilities emerge. Curiosity rises within us. We feel the pull to discover new countries, traverse new oceans.
Mark Yaconelli (Between the Listening and the Telling: How Stories Can Save Us)
Butterflies prove that God gives second chances. Because a butterfly spends most of its life as a caterpillar, scooting along on the ground, barely getting by. When a caterpillar sees a butterfly he thinks how wonderful it would be to fly. And then one day he gets tired. Very tired. He builds a little room, curls up inside, and takes a nap. Deep in his heart he wonders if maybe that's all. Maybe life is over. But one day the caterpillar wakes up, and God has done an amazing thing. The caterpillar hakes off the little room and feels something on his back. This time when he goes a bit down the tree branch he doesn't scoot like before. He flies!
Karen Kingsbury
Guyal of Sfere had been born one apart from his fellows and early proved a source of vexation for his sire. Normal in outward configuration, there existed within his mind a void that ached for nourishment. It was as if a spell had been cast upon his birth, a harassment visited on the child in a spirit of sardonic mockery, so that every occurrence, no matter how trifling, became a source of wonder and amazement. Even as young as four he was expounding such inquiries as: ‘Why do squares have more sides than triangles?’ ‘How will we see when the sun goes dark?’ ‘Do flowers grow under the ocean?’ ‘Do stars hiss and sizzle when rain comes by night?
Jack Vance
The largest animal in the ocean and the largest living land animal were no more than a hundred yards apart, and I was convinced that they were communicating! In infrasound, in concert, sharing big brains and long lives, understanding the pain of high investment in a few precious offspring, aware of the importance and the pleasure of complex sociality, these rare and lovely great ladies were commiserating over the back fence of this rocky Cape shore, woman to woman, matriarch to matriarch,
Carl Safina (Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel)
We have each other. We lived apart from them; we understand now. Our failure to touch, to belong. But it doesn’t matter anymore. Everybody is gone, and we will join them. We are born apart, driftwood on the banks of an endless dark ocean. And we will be carried away by the swell soon enough. But in between, in a single day of living… that dancing in a strip of sunlight, we can find what we miss. The love that makes us whole. The imminence. Everybody found their other. This pattern is mine...
No one could understand; nor could she explain it herself. This senseless kindness is condemned in the fable about the pilgrim who warmed a snake in his boson. It is the kindness that has mercy on a tarantula that has bitten a child. A mad, blind kindness. People enjoy looking in stories and fables for examples of the danger of this kind of senseless kindness. But one shouldn't be afraid of it. One might just as well be afraid of a freshwater fish carried out by chance into the salty ocean. The harm from time to time occasioned a society, class, race or State by this senseless kindness fades away in the light that emanates from those who are endowed with it. This kindness, this stupid kindness, is what is most truly human in a human being. It is what sets man apart, the highest achievement of his soul. No it says, life is not evil.
Vasily Grossman (A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army)
Pippin?" "Yes, Dash?" "How did we get here?" "Aboard this ship?" she teased. "Nate ordered the sails raised and then --" "Very funny," he said, cutting her off. "You know what I mean. Here. To this place." "Oh, this place," she said, her face growing solemn. "I've wondered that as well, and all I can think of is that we are like our stars." "How so?" "You and I are the two outer stars, and the one between us is everything that keeps us apart." He set his lips together and gazed out at the waves. "Like this ocean," he offered.
Elizabeth Boyle (Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress (Bachelor Chronicles, #5))
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
A crease of disquiet snakes across his brow. 'Your father plays with fire to gather them together like that. They are too clever. They form alliances. They develop - ambitions.' He looks so solemn I wish to soothe his fears. 'You worry too much, I am sure,' I say lightly. 'After all, they are still rooted in the ground, are they not? They cannot pull themselves up and march around wrecking havoc, like an invading army.' 'Maybe,' he says, though he sounds unsure. 'I have never met their like before; that is all. It disturbs me.' He gestures around. 'And not only me. The forests, the fields, the moss that grows on the rocks - none of them are happy about that garden. Nature would have kept those plants safely apart, scattered over the continents, separated by oceans. But your father has summoned them from the corners of the earth and locked them together, side by side, hidden behind walls, where they can grow in secret. It is wrong, Jessamine - I fear it is dangerous -
Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries, #1))
Susan and Elizabeth ran to him and grabbed his hands. “Race us, Daddy … come on, race us.” Their voices sounded almost the same as they pulled at him and jumped up and down on the sugary white sand.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
idea that all of us are caterpillars, really. Furry little creatures scooting along the ground wondering why we can't seem to fly. And then God, in all His goodness, encourages us to crawl in a hole, bury our old selves, and die to the life we once knew. If we'll do that, if we'll trust Him with our entire existence, then He'll give us something beautiful in exchange. He'll give us wings. The ultimate wings come when we give our lives to Christ and let Him be Lord of our lives, our Savior. Without those wings, a person cannot see heaven—a tragedy none of us need face if only we accept God's gift of grace. If this idea is confusing to you, if you've never considered Jesus' second chances, then make a phone call. Find a Bible-believing church and find out more about the God who made you, the One who created a plan for your salvation. But if you've known God and find yourself stuck on the ground again, remember this. Second chances happen throughout our lives. Jesus told us to forgive seventy times seven—in other words, to always forgive. And in return He promised us the same. No matter where you're at in life, no matter what you've done, God waits with open arms, ready to give you that second chance. Even for the seven-hundredth time.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
Afterward, as we walk down Congress Street toward my apartment, the man says, “Men like that know how to pick the right ones, you know? They’re real predators. They know how to scan a herd and select the weak.” As he says that, I see a scene of me, fifteen and wild-eyed, separated from my parents, running in a panicked gait across a tundra landscape while Strane sprints after me, gathering me in his arms without breaking stride. An ocean roars in my ears, blocking out the rest of the man’s thoughts on the film, and I think, Maybe that’s all it was. I was an obvious target. He chose me not because I was special, but because he was hungry and I was easy.
Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa)
EMBARKING on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. With wholehearted practice comes inspiration, but sooner or later we will also encounter fear.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
Oh, Daddy … you're home, and look who's here!” Susan and Elizabeth reached him first, and Connor swung them around. As he did he caught Michele's eyes in the back of the group. She was crying and laughing all at the same time.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
I think of my mother and how, when I was a child, she'd take me into the water with her and I felt time suspended in her embrace. How badly I've wanted to return to those moments. We remained under the same roof, but the years pulled us apart, so we could never recover the softness I felt from her under the sun, amid the waves. Here, in the open ocean, with nobody to hold me at the surface but myself, I become sad for what's become of my mother and me, the ways life hardened us to one another.
Patricia Engel (The Veins of the Ocean)
We will not meet our maker inside a world that we have made...” We cannot truly know ourselves without knowing the living Earth, for it is the ground of our being. The fire of the sun burns within our cells. The wind gives us life with each breath, and our blood reflects the chemical composition of the great oceans. Every molecule of our bodies has come from the natural world. Nature is the visible face of the spirit, and our nature and spirit will only be found within, and not apart from her.
Sparrow Hart
He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from his back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. "Harder", Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes through the fifth floor, where Richard's family is now storing stacks of Moroccan tiles, down through the fourth floor which is empty, down through Richard and India's apartment, and Richard's studio, and then to the ground floor and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossils and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one. When he wakes the next morning, Willem is no longer on top of him but beside him, but they are still intertwined, and he feels slightly drugged, and relieved, for he has not only not cut himself but he has slept, deeply, two things he hasn't done in months.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
She was talking about the future. About their future, as if it were settled and agreed upon that they would be together. As if she'd accepted the mate bond. The hard crust of time moved inside him--calcified years shifting, shifting, threatening to break apart under the assault of this new flood of feeling. He didn't move. Didn't breathe. Didn't allow his fingers to tighten on the hand he held. He was too strong. He could crush it, could quite literally crush her bones if he gripped too hard. He could hurt her. He wouldn't. Easier to stop breathing than to take that chance. But she wanted his promise, didn't she? To give her that, he needed air. [His] chest heaved. The breath he drew was ragged. He felt it all the way down. "All right. But you have to promise the same..." Her face was still and solemn, her eyes large. It was too dark to see their beautiful ocean color, yet he could feel the ocean in them washing over him. Her voice was quiet. "I do so vow." Those were the right words. The perfect words. Were they Wiccan? Part of some sidhe ritual? It didn't matter. He gave them back to her. "And I, too, do so vow." (Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks)
Eileen Wilks
Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries. Personally I find the noises they make reassuring. The creaks and footsteps in the night, their little tricks of hiding things, or moving them, I find endearing, not upsettling. It makes the place feel so much more like a home. Inhabited. Apart from ghosts nothing lives here for long. No cats no mice, no flies, no dreams, no bats. Two days ago I saw a butterfly, a monarch I believe, which danced from room to room and perched on walls and waited near to me. There are no flowers in this empty place, and, scared the butterfly would starve, I forced a window wide, cupped my two hands around her fluttering self, feeling her wings kiss my palms so gentle, and put her out, and watched her fly away. I've little patience with the seasons here, but your arrival eased this winter's chill. Please, wander round. Explore it all you wish. I've broken with tradition on some points. If there is one locked room here, you'll never know. You'll not find in the cellar's fireplace old bones or hair. You'll find no blood. Regard: just tools, a washing-machine, a drier, a water-heater, and a chain of keys. Nothing that can alarm you. Nothing dark. I may be grim, perhaps, but only just as grim as any man who suffered such affairs. Misfortune, carelessness or pain, what matters is the loss. You'll see the heartbreak linger in my eyes, and dream of making me forget what came before you walked into the hallway of this house. Bringing a little summer in your glance, and with your smile. While you are here, of course, you will hear the ghosts, always a room away, and you may wake beside me in the night, knowing that there's a space without a door, knowing that there's a place that's locked but isn't there. Hearing them scuffle, echo, thump and pound. If you are wise you'll run into the night, fluttering away into the cold, wearing perhaps the laciest of shifts. The lane's hard flints will cut your feet all bloody as you run, so, if I wished, I could just follow you, tasting the blood and oceans of your tears. I'll wait instead, here in my private place, and soon I'll put a candle in the window, love, to light your way back home. The world flutters like insects. I think this is how I shall remember you, my head between the white swell of your breasts, listening to the chambers of your heart.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
He had lived in an apartment with books touching the ceilings, and rugs thick enough to hide dice; then in a room and a half with dirt floors; on forest floors, under unconcerned stars; under the floorboards of a Christian who, half a world and three-quarters of a century away, would have a tree planted to commemorate his righteousness; in a hole for so many days his knees would never wholly unbend; among Gypsies and partisans and half-decent Poles; in transit, refugee, and displaced persons camps; on a boat with a bottle with a boat that an insomniac agnostic had miraculously constructed inside it; on the other side of an ocean he would never wholly cross; above half a dozen grocery stores he killed himself fixing up and selling for small profits; beside a woman who rechecked the locks until she broke them, and died of old age at forty-two without a syllable of praise in her throat but the cells of her murdered mother still dividing in her brain; and finally, for the last quarter century, in a snow-globe-quiet Silver Spring split-level: ten pounds of Roman Vishniac bleaching on the coffee table; Enemies, A Love Story demagnetizing in the world’s last functional VCR; egg salad becoming bird flu in a refrigerator mummified with photographs of gorgeous, genius, tumorless great-grandchildren.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
i wore red lipstick to the grocery store last Monday to buy a carton off eggs and so when the cashier told me that my eyes reminded him of the ocean, i asked if he’s ever drowned in his own sadness, he said my total was $1.89 and that he didn’t know what i meant, i payed in quarters and told him i was an Art major, i told him my boyfriend was a musician and we were saving up for an apartment in the city and how i’d use the walls as canvases and how he’d play his piano on Sunday mornings when the rain tasted like salt, and i told him that i had my first art opening in three weeks and he should stop by and i’d introduce him to this friend i had named Lolita who was really good in bed, he thought i was insane and i wonder if he knew how many times i’ve cried in the shower with my make up smeared and my eyes swollen shut, he said “yeah, yeah, sounds good, have a nice day” and i wonder if he’ll ever know i wanted to really be a poet and that’s why when some man in the parking lot asked if i had a lighter, i dropped my eggs while stumbling to find one, and cried on the way home
Every generation of children instinctively nests itself in nature, no matter matter how tiny a scrap of it they can grasp. In a tale of one city child, the poet Audre Lord remembers picking tufts of grass which crept up through the paving stones in New York City and giving them as bouquets to her mother. It is a tale of two necessities. The grass must grow, no matter the concrete suppressing it. The child must find her way to the green, no matter the edifice which would crush it. "The Maori word for placenta is the same word for land, so at birth the placenta is buried, put back in the mothering earth. A Hindu baby may receive the sun-showing rite surya-darsana when, with conch shells ringing to the skies, the child is introduced to the sun. A newborn child of the Tonga people 'meets' the moon, dipped in the ocean of Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. Among some of the tribes of India, the qualities of different aspects of nature are invoked to bless the child, so he or she may have the characteristics of earth, sky and wind, of birds and animals, right down to the earthworm. Nothing is unbelonging to the child. "'My oldest memories have the flavor of earth,' wrote Frederico García Lorca. In the traditions of the Australian deserts, even from its time in the womb, the baby is catscradled in kinship with the world. Born into a sandy hollow, it is cleaned with sand and 'smoked' by fire, and everything -- insects, birds, plants, and animals -- is named to the child, who is told not only what everything is called but also the relationship between the child and each creature. Story and song weave the child into the subtle world of the Dreaming, the nested knowledge of how the child belongs. "The threads which tie the child to the land include its conception site and the significant places of the Dreaming inherited through its parents. Introduced to creatures and land features as to relations, the child is folded into the land, wrapped into country, and the stories press on the child's mind like the making of felt -- soft and often -- storytelling until the feeling of the story of the country is impressed into the landscape of the child's mind. "That the juggernaut of ants belongs to a child, belligerently following its own trail. That the twitch of an animal's tail is part of a child's own tale or storyline, once and now again. That on the papery bark of a tree may be written the songline of a child's name. That the prickles of a thornbush may have dynamic relevance to conscience. That a damp hollow by the riverbank is not an occasional place to visit but a permanent part of who you are. This is the beginning of belonging, the beginning of love. "In the art and myth of Indigenous Australia, the Ancestors seeded the country with its children, so the shimmering, pouring, circling, wheeling, spinning land is lit up with them, cartwheeling into life.... "The human heart's love for nature cannot ultimately be concreted over. Like Audre Lord's tufts of grass, will crack apart paving stones to grasp the sun. Children know they are made of the same stuff as the grass, as Walt Whitman describes nature creating the child who becomes what he sees: There was a child went forth every day And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became... The early lilacs became part of this child... And the song of the phoebe-bird... In Australia, people may talk of the child's conception site as the origin of their selfhood and their picture of themselves. As Whitman wrote of the child becoming aspects of the land, so in Northern Queensland a Kunjen elder describes the conception site as 'the home place for your image.' Land can make someone who they are, giving them fragments of themselves.
Jay Griffiths (A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World)
Suddenly life was good, even glamorous. We were poor but didn’t know it, or maybe we did know, but we didn’t care, because my mother had stopped disappearing into her bedroom. Our apartment building was surrounded by empty lots, which were all that separated us from the ocean. Within a couple of decades, those stretches of undeveloped land – prime coastline real estate –would be built upon, with upscale apartment complexes and million-dollar houses with ocean views. But in 1967, those barren lots were our magnificent private playground. I had a tomboy streak and recruited neighborhood boys onto an ad hoc softball team. Dieter and my mother installed a tetherball pole, which acted as a magnet for kids in the neighborhood. For the first time in years, we were enjoying what felt like a normal, quasi-suburban existence, with us at the center of everything–the popular kids with the endless playground.
Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)
The Universe is Made of Five Things' is how it starts. He thinks it's probably the title, but his fingers don't stop long enough to let him question it any more than that. He rubs his eyes, keeps typing with shaky, jerking fingers. 'The Universe is made of hands; Hands that twist fabric and sizzle in the air. Hands that grasp curls and flick words away. Small, smooth fingers pouring gold over gaping wounds. Before slicing into soft tissue, Blood mixing with gold. Hands that make it beautiful. The Universe is made of bones; Bones that cut against yards of skin, Warm and yielding and moulded around the wings that splay across his back. Bones that cage the heart and dig into the hollows. Bones that break, Tear the warm, yielding skin. Bones that shred and brush his chin. The Universe is made of lips; Lips that breathe and stutter warm sighs, Caressing the craks in his broken body, the body that he broke. Lips that carve paths into stone, That leave trails upon gooseflesh, Lips that nake incisions, Too delicate to mend. The Universe is made of blood; Blood that runs warm and hot and steady and crimson, Pumping beneath the stone and the gold. Blood that burns with every jerk of limbs. Blood that spills on open palms, Staining the fabric, Filling up his throat. The Universe is made of eyes, Eyes that breach and eyes that splice and eyes that never leave. Eyes that ripple oceans. Eyes that whisper in the dark. Eyes that create wounds, create chaos, create broken shards of blue. Eyes that alight and won ' t let go. The Universe was built. The Universe fell. You took it apart, Draggd the chaos from my soul with your hands, Your bones, Your lips, Your blood, Your eyes, And now you're back. And so is the Universe, And so, I suppose, am I. The Universe is made of five things. The Universe is made of you.
Velvetoscar (Core 'ngrato)
They had heard that many, many miles away, but not so many as before they started, on the other side of the mountains, was the ocean. Constant rain. Greenness. Maybe that's where they were going, thought Talmadge. Sometimes--but how could he think this? how could a child think this of his mother?--he thought she was leading them to their deaths. Their mother was considered odd by the other women at the mining camp; he knew this, he knew how they talked about her. But there was nothing really wrong with her he though (forgetting the judgement of a moment before); it was just that she wanted different things than those women did. That was what set them and his mother apart. Where some women wanted mere privacy, she yearned for complete solitude that verged on the violent; solitude that forced you constantly back upon yourself; even when you did not want it anymore. But she wanted it nonetheless. From the time she was a small girl, she wanted to be alone. The sound of other people's voiced grated on her: to travel to town, to interact with others who were not Taldmadge or Talmadge's father or sister, was torture to her: it subtracted days from her life. And so they walked: to find a place that would absorb and annihilate her, a place to be her home, and the home for her children. A place to show her children, you belong to the earth, and the earth is hard.
Amanda Coplin (The Orchardist)
He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from h9is back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. "Harder", Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes through the fifth floor, where Richard's family is now storing stacks of Moroccan tiles, down through the fourth floor which is empty, down through Richard and India's apartment, and Richard's studio, and then to the ground floor and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossils and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one. When he wakes the next morning, Willem is no longer on top of him but beside him, but they are still intertwined, and he feels slightly drugged, and relieved, for he has not only not cut himself but he has slept, deeply, two things he hasn't done in months.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I had a magical day during one Sunday when I walked out in nature. On the outside this day only consisted of taking a walk out in the beautiful sunny weather and cleaning my apartment, but on the inside everything suddenly changed. When I walked out in nature in the sunny weather, a silent explosion suddenly happened within me and my whole perception of reality changed. In a single moment, everything had changed, although nothing on the outside had really changed. Everything on the outside was exactly as before, but my way of seeing had changed. The difference was that before I did not see and now I could see. My eyes were open. Suddenly I was one with everything, one with the stones, one with the trees and one with the people that I meet on my walk. My heart danced with joy together with a feeling of: ”I am God”. Not that I am the creator of everything, but that I am part of the Whole, part of the divine. It felt like coming home, that Existence is my home. I also saw that even if the people that I meet did not understand that they are a part of the Whole, they still are a part of the Whole. I felt the waves of Existence in my own heart and being and I felt like a small wave in a great ocean. It gave a taste of the eternal, a taste of the limitless and boundless source of creativity. In just a few moments, I learnt more than during 20 years in university. Wisdom is basically the understanding that we all are part of the Whole. We are all small rivers moving towards the ocean. I laughed at the fact that enlightenment is really our innate birthright, and that small children already live in this mystical unity with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams, ocean, and all the living things that dwell within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain, earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, the torpor of the year when feeble dreams visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep holds every future leaf and flower; the bound with which from that detested trance they leap; the works and ways of man, their death and birth, and that of him and all that his may be; all things that move and breathe with toil and sound are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell. Power dwells apart in its tranquillity, remote, serene, and inaccessible: and this, the naked countenance of earth, on which I gaze, even these primeval mountains teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, slow rolling on; there, many a precipice frost and the sun in scorn of mortal power have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle, a city of death, distinct with many a tower and wall impregnable of beaming ice. Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin is there, that from the boundaries of the sky rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down from yon remotest waste, have overthrown the limits of the dead and living world, never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil; their food and their retreat for ever gone, so much of life and joy is lost. The race of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, and their place is not known. Below, vast caves shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, which from those secret chasms in tumult welling meet in the vale, and one majestic river, the breath and blood of distant lands, for ever rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves, breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
We phone each other because it's only in these long-distance calls, this groping for each other along cables of buried copper, cluttered relays, the whirling contact points of clogged selector switches, only in this probing the silence and waiting for an echo that one prolongs that first call from afar, that cry that went up when the first great crack of the continental drift yawned beneath the feet of a human couple, when the depths of the ocean opened up to separate them, while, torn precipitously apart, one on one bank and one on the other, the couple strove with their cries to stretch out a bridge of sound that might keep them together yet, cries that grew ever fainter until the roar of the waves overwhelmed all hope.
Italo Calvino (Numbers in the Dark and Other Stories)
What do we mean by the lived truth of creation? We have to mean the world as it appears to men in a condition of relative unrepression; that is, as it would appear to creatures who assessed their true puniness in the face of the overwhelmingness and majesty of the universe, of the unspeakable miracle of even the single created object; as it probably appeared to the earliest men on the planet and to those extrasensitive types who have filled the roles of shaman, prophet, saint, poet, and artist. What is unique about their perception of reality is that it is alive to the panic inherent in creation: Sylvia Plath somewhere named God "King Panic." And Panic is fittingly King of the Grotesque. What are we to make of a creation in which the routine activity is for organisms to be tearing others apart with teeth of all types-biting, grinding flesh, plant stalks, bones between molars, pushing the pulp greedily down the gullet with delight, incorporating its essence into one's own organization, and then excreting with foul stench and gasses the residue. Everyone reaching out to incorporate others who are edible to him. The mosquitoes bloating themselves on blood, the maggots, the killerbees attacking with a fury and demonism, sharks continuing to tear and swallow while their own innards are being torn out-not to mention the daily dismemberment and slaughter in "natural" accidents of all types: the earthquake buries alive 70 thousand bodies in Peru, automobiles make a pyramid heap of over 50 thousand a year in the U.S. alone, a tidal wave washes over a quarter of a million in the Indian Ocean. Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all its creatures. The soberest conclusion that we could make about what has actually been taking place on the planet for about three billion years is that it is being turned into a vast pit of fertilizer. But the sun distracts our attention, always baking the blood dry, making things grow over it, and with its warmth giving the hope that comes with the organism's comfort and expansiveness. "Questo sol m'arde, e questo m'innamore," as Michelangelo put it.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
He remembered an old tale which his father was fond of telling him—the story of Eos Amherawdur (the Emperor Nightingale). Very long ago, the story began, the greatest and the finest court in all the realms of faery was the court of the Emperor Eos, who was above all the kings of the Tylwydd Têg, as the Emperor of Rome is head over all the kings of the earth. So that even Gwyn ap Nudd, whom they now call lord over all the fair folk of the Isle of Britain, was but the man of Eos, and no splendour such as his was ever seen in all the regions of enchantment and faery. Eos had his court in a vast forest, called Wentwood, in the deepest depths of the green-wood between Caerwent and Caermaen, which is also called the City of the Legions; though some men say that we should rather name it the city of the Waterfloods. Here, then, was the Palace of Eos, built of the finest stones after the Roman manner, and within it were the most glorious chambers that eye has ever seen, and there was no end to the number of them, for they could not be counted. For the stones of the palace being immortal, they were at the pleasure of the Emperor. If he had willed, all the hosts of the world could stand in his greatest hall, and, if he had willed, not so much as an ant could enter into it, since it could not be discerned. But on common days they spread the Emperor's banquet in nine great halls, each nine times larger than any that are in the lands of the men of Normandi. And Sir Caw was the seneschal who marshalled the feast; and if you would count those under his command—go, count the drops of water that are in the Uske River. But if you would learn the splendour of this castle it is an easy matter, for Eos hung the walls of it with Dawn and Sunset. He lit it with the sun and moon. There was a well in it called Ocean. And nine churches of twisted boughs were set apart in which Eos might hear Mass; and when his clerks sang before him all the jewels rose shining out of the earth, and all the stars bent shining down from heaven, so enchanting was the melody. Then was great bliss in all the regions of the fair folk. But Eos was grieved because mortal ears could not hear nor comprehend the enchantment of their song. What, then, did he do? Nothing less than this. He divested himself of all his glories and of his kingdom, and transformed himself into the shape of a little brown bird, and went flying about the woods, desirous of teaching men the sweetness of the faery melody. And all the other birds said: "This is a contemptible stranger." The eagle found him not even worthy to be a prey; the raven and the magpie called him simpleton; the pheasant asked where he had got that ugly livery; the lark wondered why he hid himself in the darkness of the wood; the peacock would not suffer his name to be uttered. In short never was anyone so despised as was Eos by all the chorus of the birds. But wise men heard that song from the faery regions and listened all night beneath the bough, and these were the first who were bards in the Isle of Britain.
Arthur Machen (The Secret Glory)
No direct evidence yet documents Earth’s tidal cycles more than a billion years ago, but we can be confident that 4.5 billion years ago things were a lot wilder. Not only did Earth have five-hour days, but the nearby Moon was much, much faster in its close orbit, as well. The Moon took only eighty-four hours—three and a half modern days—to go around Earth. With Earth spinning so fast and the Moon orbiting so fast, the familiar cycle of new Moon, waxing Moon, full Moon, and waning Moon played out in frenetic fast-forward: every few five-hour days saw a new lunar phase. Lots of consequences follow from this truth, some less benign than others. With such a big lunar obstruction in the sky and such rapid orbital motions, eclipses would have been frequent events. A total solar eclipse would have occurred every eighty-four hours at virtually every new Moon, when the Moon was positioned between Earth and the Sun. For some few minutes, sunlight would have been completely blocked, while the stars and planets suddenly popped out against a black sky, and the Moon’s fiery volcanoes and magma oceans stood out starkly red against the black lunar disk. Total lunar eclipses occurred regularly as well, almost every forty-two hours later, like clockwork. During every full Moon, when Earth lies right between the Sun and the Moon, Earth’s big shadow would have completely obscured the giant face of the bright shining Moon. Once again the stars and planets would have suddenly popped out against a black sky, as the Moon’s volcanoes put on their ruddy show. Monster tides were a far more violent consequence of the Moon’s initial proximity. Had both Earth and the Moon been perfectly rigid solid bodies, they would appear today much as they did 4.5 billion years ago: 15,000 miles apart with rapid rotational and orbital motions and frequent eclipses. But Earth and the Moon are not rigid. Their rocks can flex and bend; especially when molten, they swell and recede with the tides. The young Moon, at a distance of 15,000 miles, exerted tremendous tidal forces on Earth’s rocks, even as Earth exerted an equal and opposite gravitational force on the largely molten lunar landscape. It’s difficult to imagine the immense magma tides that resulted. Every few hours Earth’s largely molten rocky surface may have bulged a mile or more outward toward the Moon, generating tremendous internal friction, adding more heat and thus keeping the surface molten far longer than on an isolated planet. And Earth’s gravity returned the favor, bulging the Earth-facing side of the Moon outward, deforming our satellite out of perfect roundness.
Robert M. Hazen (The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet)
Of all the plants, trees have the largest surface area covered in leaves. For every square yard of forest, 27 square yards of leaves and needles blanket the crowns. Part of every rainfall is intercepted in the canopy and immediately evaporates again. In addition, each summer, trees use up to 8,500 cubic yards of water per square mile, which they release into the air through transpiration. This water vapor creates new clouds that travel farther inland to release their rain. As the cycle continues, water reaches even the most remote areas. This water pump works so well that the downpours in some large areas of the world, such as the Amazon basin, are almost as heavy thousands of miles inland as they are on the coast. There are a few requirements for the pump to work: from the ocean to the farthest corner, there must be forest. And, most importantly, the coastal forests are the foundations for this system. If they do not exist, the system falls apart. Scientists credit Anastassia Makarieva from Saint Petersburg in Russia for the discovery of these unbelievably important connections. They studied different forests around the world and everywhere the results were the same. It didn't matter if they were studying a rain forest or the Siberian taiga, it was always the trees that were transferring life-giving moisture into land-locked interiors. Researchers also discovered that the whole process breaks down if coastal forests are cleared. It's a bit like if you were using an electrical pump to distribute water and you pulled the intake pipe out of the pond. The fallout is already apparent in Brazil, where the Amazonian rain forest is steadily drying out. Central Europe is within the 400-mile zone and, therefore, close enough to the intake area. Thankfully, there are still forests here, even if they are greatly diminished.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
Time did exist here, in small amounts (well some of the time) – and there were feint eddies and currents of time here, things that were barely tangible. Feint forces of the universe they were, nearly indiscernible from the nothingness like a warm breeze on a hot summer night. How long he had been here, he knew not – but he was slowly learning to master these barely tangible waves like a new surfer with one foot on the sandy beach and the other on a shiny new board of Hatred. Revenge splashed around his feet like the cold waves of the ocean of Time. Nearby, two other inmates collided with each other, bounced apart spread-eagled and spiraled off into the distance in infinite slowness. The Wetsuit of Insanity clung to his spiritual body, isolating him from the timelessness that seemed to exist here. A wind of Change blew at him from behind and he pushed off from the beach with iron determination and a mental clarity hereto before unknown to him. Something in the microcosm that didn’t even have a name went ‘bling’ and against all the laws of probability, Brad Xyl opened his eyes.
Christina Engela (The Time Saving Agency)
Darkness: I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd, And men were gather'd round their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch: A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The flashes fell upon them; some lay down And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd; And others hurried to and fro, and fed Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up With mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again With curses cast them down upon the dust, And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd And twin'd themselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. And War, which for a moment was no more, Did glut himself again: a meal was bought With blood, and each sate sullenly apart Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; All earth was but one thought—and that was death Immediate and inglorious; and the pang Of famine fed upon all entrails—men Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, And he was faithful to a corse, and kept The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, But with a piteous and perpetual moan, And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand Which answer'd not with a caress—he died. The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two Of an enormous city did survive, And they were enemies: they met beside The dying embers of an altar-place Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things For an unholy usage; they rak'd up, And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath Blew for a little life, and made a flame Which was a mockery; then they lifted up Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died— Even of their mutual hideousness they died, Unknowing who he was upon whose brow Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, The populous and the powerful was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless— A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still, And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd They slept on the abyss without a surge— The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before; The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
Lord Byron
When it begins it is like a light in a tunnel, a rush of steel and steam across a torn up life. It is a low rumble, an earthquake in the back of the mind. My spine is a track with cold black steel racing on it, a trail of steam and dust following behind, ghost like. It feels like my whole life is holding its breath. By the time she leaves the room I am surprised that she can’t see the train. It has jumped the track of my spine and landed in my mothers’ living room. A cold dark thing, black steel and redwood paneling. It is the old type, from the western movies I loved as a kid. He throws open the doors to the outside world, to the dark ocean. I feel a breeze tugging at me, a slender finger of wind that catches at my shirt. Pulling. Grabbing. I can feel the panic build in me, the need to scream or cry rising in my throat. And then I am out the door, running, tumbling down the steps falling out into the darkened world, falling out into the lifeless ocean. Out into the blackness. Out among the stars and shadows. And underneath my skin, in the back of my head and down the back of my spine I can feel the desperation and I can feel the noise. I can feel the deep and ancient ache of loudness that litters across my bones. It’s like an old lover, comfortable and well known, but unwelcome and inappropriate with her stories of our frolicking. And then she’s gone and the Conductor is closing the door. The darkness swells around us, enveloping us in a cocoon, pressing flat against the train like a storm. I wonder, what is this place? Those had been heady days, full and intense. It’s funny. I remember the problems, the confusions and the fears of life we all dealt with. But, that all seems to fade. It all seems to be replaced by images of the days when it was all just okay. We all had plans back then, patterns in which we expected the world to fit, how it was to be deciphered. Eventually you just can’t carry yourself any longer, can’t keep your eyelids open, and can’t focus on anything but the flickering light of the stars. Hours pass, at first slowly like a river and then all in a rush, a climax and I am home in the dorm, waking up to the ringing of the telephone. When she is gone the apartment is silent, empty, almost like a person sleeping, waiting to wake up. When she is gone, and I am alone, I curl up on the bed, wait for the house to eject me from its dying corpse. Crazy thoughts cross through my head, like slants of light in an attic. The Boston 395 rocks a bit, a creaking noise spilling in from the undercarriage. I have decided that whatever this place is, all these noises, sensations - all the train-ness of this place - is a fabrication. It lulls you into a sense of security, allows you to feel as if it’s a familiar place. But whatever it is, it’s not a train, or at least not just a train. The air, heightened, tense against the glass. I can hear the squeak of shoes on linoleum, I can hear the soft rattle of a dying man’s breathing. Men in white uniforms, sharp pressed lines, run past, rolling gurneys down florescent hallways.
Jason Derr (The Boston 395)